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About bigcalm

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    Hendrik Lorentz

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  1. It looks rather asymmetric - how are you planning to push it to its intended destination in the first place? But perhaps that's really your answer - RCS ports should really be spaced an equal distance away from the centre of mass - so that's the way you should go and you should be able to do this using this existing design plus some cubic octagonal struts and RCS ports on the end. However, my own preference would be to make it symmetric even though it'll be heavier - and that way putting RCS on it would be a lot easier - any reason you can't replicate the Mk1 crew cabin and fuel tank on the other side too? Could you do this and just add a decoupler later to get rid of the relevant bits when you no longer need them to keep the centre of mass in a sane place?
  2. bigcalm


    Scott Manley has a beginner's series - it's for an earlier version of KSP but 95% of it will still apply. He goes through the basics and should help you get started.
  3. bigcalm

    Have I reached the end?

    I'm also still on 1.3.1 though I have bought the DLC - more as a "thank you" to Squad rather than it having content that I'm particularly interested in (let's face it, I got my money's worth a long time ago). I too have been to every planet and every moon, but really I don't find KSP getting old - it's more the additional challenges that you can set for yourself, though I think I would have stopped a long time ago if I couldn't have mods. Planet are a small bonus but increasing the longevity for me is adding more stuff to think about - adding MKS so I have to care about life support, adding Extra-planetary launchpads, adding electric propellers, sea-plane and submarine mod packs so I can explore areas that I wouldn't normally go to. My fondest wish for a KSP improvement is simply better memory management so that I can have fifty mods and a career with 150 craft on the go - my game does crash a lot.
  4. bigcalm

    Jet Engines on Laythe

    Roughly, sea level on Laythe == 3000 metres altitude on Kerbin. Now you're testing a boat which makes this trickier, but really all you want to know is whether your airtakes / engines combo works there. In which case, build a small plane using the same number of engines and intakes, fly it to the mountains, and see if the engines work at an altitude of 3000 metres. If they do, on Laythe they should be perfectly fine.
  5. I made a Mk3 SSTO spaceplane by accident. You see, I was planning to get a rather bulky thing down to the surface of Laythe, and rather than slap a de-orbit engine on it, I went for rapiers just to get it out of orbit. Then after putting the wings on, I was struggling with the centre of mass. One of the components was an (empty) Mk-3 to 2.5m fuel tank that allowed me to dock it to get it to Laythe in the first place, and filling it up with oxidiser sorted my centre of mass / centre of lift problems out. So, naturally, I test these things before hurling them a billion miles, so I try it from the runway, turn around and land in the grasslands, because landing gear can always be an issue. Fine, no problem, let's try it again - keep going. Hmm, big mountains coming up, let's just throttle up, get over them and land on the other side. Hang on, I'm going supersonic. And now hypersonic. Shall I try it? Yes, I've got some oxidiser. Made it (just) to LKO going the wrong way around Kerbin, with a Mk3 spaceplane that was never designed to do so. Here's a pic.
  6. 1. There's also some different nuclear engines available in the NearFuture mod - they're balanced, just tend to be larger thus saving on part count more than anything else. The only issue I've had with nuclear engine powered ISRUs is the engines are really long and it's fiddly to arrange the craft around them so that they have lowish centre of mass and won't tip over when you inevitably land on a steep slope. This will happen to you on Pol - there's very little flat terrain around so plan accordingly. 2. Bear in mind you will likely need a small amount of oxidiser - for your SSTO planes at Laythe, so don't forget the ability to transport it around. Sounds like you've got a great mission planned out ahead of you - apart from the vessels to Laythe (your primary objective), you're going to need the ISRU setup at Pol - one Lander, one orbital refinery and fuel dump, and one tanker and these can likely be sent in a single package. Good luck!
  7. In my last playthrough and this one too, I went for the refuelling setup at Vall, though Pol was always a consideration. Its highish gravity well means that you need extra large vessels to do Vall efficiently. Anyway, pros and cons. Laythe: Pros: Can do it using an ISRU plane which is nice and air breathing and efficient. Great location. Cons: Can't automate landing a plane with MechJeb ; Using a plane will mean each refuelling trip takes ages; Designing a heavy ISRU plane that can land easily on Laythe is not a trivial task and you're more likely to crash it. Vall: Pros: Best location in the Joolian system; Can be automated with MechJeb; Flattish. Cons: Highish gravity well means larger engines, larger fuel tanks to make it efficient and thus pushing the thing out to Vall in the first place can be fiddly. Tylo: Pros: None ; Cons: HUGE gravity well means HUGE vessels to make it work. I wouldn't even attempt it. Bop: Pros: Low gravity well; Cons: Worst location in the Joolian system due to the inclined orbit. Very hilly. Pol: Pros: Lowest gravity well; Cons: It's a long way out meaning transit to the other moons takes a long time. Very hilly.
  8. bigcalm

    6 Million Dollar Kerbal

    "Jebediah Kerbin, kerbonaut. A man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic kerbal. Jebediah Kerman will be that man. Better than he was before. Better...stronger...faster."
  9. bigcalm

    Eve Tips?

    That's a very pretty plane. I've never used Karbonite - but have used electric propellers from mods to get around in Eve (with an on-board nuclear reactor) - it's slow but will work pretty much forever. Here's a one man ascender. Stock apart from the MechJeb and a small amount of MKS supplies (which basically makes it heavier). And after I built this eighteen man ascender (which worked), my hard drive ate itself in disgust. There's an ISRU setup in the middle that's invisible and causes an awful lot of non-fatal explosions on take-off.
  10. bigcalm

    Eve Tips?

    Yeah, I ended up with Acme Corporation designs like this for planes. It works but it does look a bit silly I'll admit
  11. bigcalm

    Eve Tips?

    Yes, I had this too. The problem is that your centre of mass is a long way from the heatshield on the bottom and as a result, once it starts turning, there is likely no stopping it from flipping and then exploding. However, an Eve ascender is a big thing and it's really tough to keep the centre of mass near the heat shield - your design skills should be going towards the smoothly aerodynamic ascender, not the descent. You're completely right in mounting heatshields near the top to counteract this - this is by far the simplest solution to this issue and can be applied to most craft.
  12. bigcalm

    Help a noob out please

    It's for an older version, and spamming intakes like that won't really work in the current version, but take a look at Scott Manley's Orange Tank Efficiency video - he essentially builds an almost SSTO (ok he drops a bunch of air-intake engines) that uses a single orange tank of fuel and takes it all the way to Duna and Ike and then back to Kerbin.
  13. bigcalm

    [1.3] - Modular Kolonization System (MKS)

    Whilst I agree that they have some similar resources ( Polymers, Metals, Machine Parts/Metals, Specialised Parts/Electronics ), it's pretty different, and also, Surviving Mars isn't really worth playing unless you're a huge fan of Sim City style games
  14. bigcalm

    Help a noob out please

    All good advice above - building an SSTO (i.e. Single Stage to Orbit, i.e. Not throwing anything away) that will get to the Mun will be difficult. Not Eve ascender difficult, but close. I would recommend that you try and land on the Mun and come back using staging first, before attempting this. Then if you want to attempt the SSTO to the Mun idea, it's simply a matter of designing planes that can get into orbit with a lot of unused delta-v. If you're willing to use mods, Kerbal Engineer Redux will be able to tell you what your delta-v is in flight and during design though it won't help you fly the mission, and MechJeb2 will give you the same information but actually help execute maneuver nodes. From low kerbin orbit (which typically takes 3500-4500ms to reach), you will need roughly 2100ms delta v to reach the surface of the Mun, and around 1100ms extra if you want to return to Kerbin, though having slightly more than what's required is strongly recommended.