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    Bottle Rocketeer

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  1. I came in for my first-ever manual Mun landing. On the night side. Without any lights. Not a great start. I managed to make it down OK, though, but it was nerve-wracking, considering it was my first non-MechJeb landing ever.
  2. Interesting -- the devs incorporated the Grand Tour into the stock game! Tip: land on Eve first.
  3. I don't particularly need one. I just have a basic rule that I don't do a mission unless I can accomplish a contract with it. Since that's my rule, I have strategies in place that actually take over 65% of my funds income and convert it to science and reputation, which at this stage, I actually need more than funds. I like to build my rockets minimal and cheap, and so I can make a profit even off a contract with relatively lousy payout. I also always accept the "test at launchpad", "test while landed", "transmit science data from space around", "re-position satellite in a new orbit", etc. contracts. It's basically free money, and it helps clear the contract board for bigger, better contracts.
  4. I am a mostly-stock player. I used only one mod, and that was MechJeb, and now that's slowly becoming unnecessary. I used to use MechJeb to do everything for me -- but I've since learned how to do almost everything manually, so I don't even put a MechJeb unit on my rockets anymore. I only use it in the assembly buildings to give me delta-V readouts, because I'm too lazy to do the calculations by hand -- and then before launching, I remove it so I'm not tempted to "cheat" by automating something. I think the allure of stock is that it's harder to do certain things than with mods. Hinges, joints, and the like have to be somehow cobbled together out of the limited parts available. Making a good stock vehicle, I think, is more difficult than a modded vehicle, especially the challenge of making it look good whilst being functional. Mods also make the game much more complex, often to the point that a lot of players cannot understand what is going on in the game due to the heavy modding. I personally like KSP because it's not amazingly realistic, and it's a lot simpler to think about than actual rocket science. Heavy modding also means that every time the game updates, your save file is ruined until the mods you're using are updated, which may take a long time. This is no concern in stock games. You can also share ships with people more easily, since a stock ship will work on everyone's games, not just the games that happen to have the specific mod set you have.
  5. Designed a four-Kerbonaut manned Duna mission in career mode. I've thoroughly double and triple-checked the entire rocket and even performed a simulation launch into LKO, it went very smoothly. It will set me back about $190,000, but that's not a problem because I'm swimming in money ($5.5 million plus) in my current career save. Two Kerbonauts will land on the surface and return. A science lab will remain in orbit to receive the science the lander will bring back -- I'll plan on getting samples from the upper and lower atmospheres, as well as the surface. Both the science lab and the lander have extra parachutes on them so they can land on Kerbin safely. I fully intend to recover the nuclear engine I'm using for a transfer stage -- that thing costs $10,000 (5% of my total rocket cost in just that one part), so it's pretty valuable. Trouble is, Duna is in 125% the wrong location. It'll be months before the next transfer window opens.
  6. I'm 16 and a 500-hour player, and I try to make my ships look simply acceptable. I try to avoid part clipping (beware the Kraken -- because of my discipline, it actually has never struck me) while still making my ships look realistic. For example, I don't use engines that are too small for the fuel tank I've used; I try to make my ships have as many smooth lines and edges as possible (no weird protrusions of battery stacks, SAS clumps, excessive monopropellant, etc.), and I try to make them as small, efficient, and as cheap as possible whilst still retaining some degree of realism (e.g. no pilots strapped into chairs passing through dense atmospheres at 5 G's).
  7. How's everyone's career modes going, and what's the overall game plan, money/science/reputation building strategy, upcoming/progressing missions, etc? Seems there aren't very many of these threads going around anymore, so I thought I'd start one. As far as mine goes, I'm rich, with $5,000,000+ in funds. I just depleted my 2,000+ science by unlocking another 20% of the tech tree, which is now over 80% unlocked. I try never to do a mission unless a contract is offering me money for it, which is why my administration building has strategies in place that take well over 50% of my funds to yield extra science and reputation. Minmus is my main science bank, but I've nearly bled it dry by now, so the Mun is my source of emergency science. I can land 1 Kerbal on either the Mun or Minmus for just $35,000 per launch, and if I hop around on Minmus 2-3 times I can multiply my science gains. (I try to make my launches as cheap and efficient as possible. I try not to clip parts, but my rockets are, I think, still fairly aesthetically pleasing.) I launched two probes that successfully entered orbit, and transmitted science back from, Eve and Ike. I have a Duna mission planned that will cost $120,000; 4 Kerbals will travel to Duna, and 2 will land and return from the surface. (Getting them back down after they've returned will be tough -- I'm considering building an SSTO to fetch them, since, although I have built many successful SSTO's in the past, I have never built one in career mode before.) My end-game will be to have some kind of Grand Tour mission. The rocket will probably cost a million or two, but getting science from every single solid body in the Kerbol system all in one launch should be well worth it! Below, a screenshot from a recent landing on Minmus.
  8. My career mode save. I landed on Minmus for the 4th? time, for some science mining. The background here, in a back nook of the Lesser Flats, is awesome. I already have science packages in orbit around Eve and Ike, with a large ship for a manned Duna mission in the works as soon as the transfer window opens. I try to do all my missions as cheaply as possible, and only if a contract exists to reward me for it. This Minmus lander set only costs $34,500 on the pad, and it can do between 2-3 surface hops before returning home. My Mun landing package costs almost the same, but it can't hop around on the surface. My upcoming manned Duna mission, however, will set me back $120,000, which is a huge increase.
  9. Some rough budget estimates off the top of my head: Ground to Low Kerbin Orbit: 4000 m/s Transfer burn to Duna: 900 m/s Duna capture via aerobraking: 0 m/s (thin atmo, go as low as 10km; heat shield optional) --- Powered capture: 400 m/s Low Duna Orbit to Surface: 1300 m/s [parachutes hardly matter, but may save a few m/s] Surface to Low Duna Orbit: 1300 m/s Transfer burn to Kerbin: 700 m/s Kerbin capture via aerobraking: 0 m/s (warranty void if attempted without a heat shield) ---- Powered capture: 400 m/s Low Kerbin Orbit to Ground via parachutes: 100 m/s [deorbit burn only] --- Powered descent: 2000 m/s Total minimum: 8300 m/s Total maximum: 11000 m/s I'd allot 10 km/s as a safe bet.
  10. I have a save game I'm playing now, and I have a ship currently on a Mun flyby. I plan to take a lander down to Mun, then perform a hyperbolic rendezvous with the main ship on a second Mun flyby about 18 days later. The trouble is, when I try to EVA Bill Kerman and get him to the lander seat, at about 600km above the Mun's surface, he IMMEDIATELY ragdolls and gets flung out at about 5 m/s relative to the ship. He breaks several of the still-retracted! SP-L 1x6 solar panels mounted to the lander can I just took him out of. Should breaking retracted solar panels even be a thing? I can usually recover using a quick time warp burst, then fly him back and get him in the lander seat, but I don't want him breaking my ship! I have not been able to get him to successfully and safely EVA at all. Is something wrong with my save file or something?
  11. I'm pretty sure it was Miller's planet with the 1.3 g and Mann's with 0.8, from the movie Is that reversed? I watched a video on this mod and it says Mann's had 1.32 g ASL in the little sidebar info thingy.
  12. I don't build absurd rockets, but since my dad plays KSP (not very well in my opinion), he built a huge rocket. Took up all the horizontal AND vertical space in the VAB and he constantly keeps trying to add more parts. Costs $10.7 million (the game renders it as 1.7+E7 on the ship selection screen because it's so expensive), has several thousand parts and is a giant lagfest (the game renders about 1 second of game time every 15-20 real-time seconds) and most of it is tweakscaled 5m Kerbodyne tanks, with the addition of 7m tweakscaled SRB's. He doesn't have a clue that seeing atmo heating on ascent is inefficient, so he has the rocket pulling 2-4 g's all the way up and almost incinerating itself. The ascent stage, transfer stage, and etc. aren't even separate from each other. The lander is garbage as well. Four aerospikes, five large holding tanks, an ISRU, and a 3-man capsule SSTO that has some 2,200 dV when the ore tanks are empty but only 1,200 when full. The thing can barely do a Duna landing even with surface refueling. Also he doesn't scan for resources so his most recent landing was on top of an almost non-existent ore pocket, and it took him 7 Kerbin months to get the lander refueled. He used many modded parts from KW Rocketry and SpaceY, and abused tweakscale to the largest degree possible. My best rocket, the "Magnus VI", has 1,261 parts, costs $1.7 million, and renders about 1 second per 5-8 real-time seconds. My computer isn't even as good as dad's. I also don't have KW, SpaceY, or tweakscale installed on my system, so my rocket is essentially 100% stock except for the "MJ and KER for all" mod.
  13. I've been trying to get a grand tour ship together, and with every (failed) attempt and redesign, I add one to the roman numeral on the end. My ship series is called the "Magnus". The Magnus I never got off the ground, the Magnus II made it halfway to orbit and got no further, the Magnus III got to orbit but then the transfer stage was too small, the Magnus IV was a 1.0 fix for the nuclear engines, the Magnus V was a successful launch but it disintegrated while aerobraking at Eve due to crappy design, and currently I'm trying to eke out enough power from the Magnus VI launch stage to get it to orbit. Also, each progressive rocket gets more expensive... the Magnus I was about $300k, but the Magnus VI is currently $1.7mil. For my universal 4,900+ dV SSTO rocket, I've just called it "Universal SSTO", and for my asparagused Eve lander I've just called it "Eve Lander". I don't come up with names very well. I'm not sure why I didn't call the Magnus IV the "Magnus IIIa", I probably should have (the ascent stage was unchanged).
  14. I send everything in 1 launch usually. I went to Duna in career mode twice using a single-launch vehicle, of course with a separate lander. Interesting story: After the first one was a nearly catastrophic failure when I tried to land the crew back on Kerbin without adequate thrust or parachutes, as well as confusing some of the Mk1 structural fuselages for the Mk1 liquid fuel tanks which resulted in my nukes having less fuel than they were designed to have, I completely overhauled the ship and made it semi-recoverable once it got back to Kerbin. I went to Duna again, and everything went flawlessly until after I landed. When I took off I accidentally took off the wrong way into orbit -- my mothership was orbiting in a -90 inclination and my lander had put itself up in a +90 inclination. It cost my mothership the 1700 dV I had planned on using for Ike in order to rendezvous. Then I screwed up the return transfer and spent 15 years orbiting Kerbol before I was able to expend any reasonable amount of dV in order to get home.
  15. No pictures. The math says it ought to work, but I've not taken it there yet. I probably should.. and I was too lazy to take pictures. Might do that. I'll fly a ship [actually 2 ships] to Jool and test it.
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