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About Nich

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    Sr. Spacecraft Engineer

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  1. Thanks I will keep trying. Ideally if you can get 20t to work then scaling for 40t and 60t is pretty simple with mass to be used for satellite contract's comsat payload.
  2. Has any one managed to put a low tech object into orbit with a 20t launch mass? Even with early AJ-10s and LR89/79s, balloon tanks and Tank III I cant seem to get it done. That is not even considering the fact that I have no idea how I am going to get the 450k I will need to do tooling and engine unlocks. My sounding rocket contracts are only netting 12-13k and take about 21 days to build. FYI that is about 2 years doing 35 missions assuming they are unlimited. My aerobee core weights .063t which is lighter then the spudniks at .083t although both of these seem heavier then I remember.
  3. Best tip I have heard with Gilly is you don't land on it you dock with it. Really changes your mind set
  4. In my experience you want just enough engine to get 100-120 m/s by the end of the runway and just enough wing that you don't crash into the sea with 3 degrees pitch and you will probably make it to space. Although I should try a 150 m/s version with less wing some day.
  5. @Geschosskopf 1 TWR seems really high for a plane based SSTO. Most people recommend 1 rapier per 15 tons but I think >50% requires more like 40-50 tons per rapier.
  6. To be fair they are one of the most expensive nodes in the tech tree to unlock. So I cant argue against making them a disgustingly OP engine. Could always counter balance by adding a ton or 2
  7. @Fearless Son True but do you even get over mach 2.5 at 45 degrees. Feel like that would give you a really high AP.
  8. For this type of assent wouldn't panthers be better
  9. @KerikBalm I didn't do many pure rapier designs to be honest. Most of my stuff was meant for Minimus refueling so it had a nuke stage. Lite nuke (or nuke cluster) at 20km around 1600 m/s. Flame out at 24 km around 1800 m/s and switch to LFO mode to raise orbit to a 70x30km orbit and burn the nuke to finish with a 75x75 orbit. I always had melting problems with the rapiers if I was too low and thrust problems if I got too high. I used a shock spike in front (antenna) and reversed shock cones clipped into the rapier. With the low enough drag I never had an issue breaking the sound barrier at sea level but getting off the runway was difficult. I felt like 1650 is just the point stuff started melting at 22km. But like I said it has been multiple versions since I have made SSTO's 1.3 or 1.4 I am guessing
  10. I have noticed everyone tends to land 2x as fast as they should be. You should be pitched up to 5-10 degrees when your wheels make contact. Learning to land on an uphill is quite challenging but it can greatly reduce your stopping distance. But yes if I am making a SSTO plane I generally plan for at least 4 hours to put it together. My hardest part tends to be reentry getting a case of the flippies, then lawn dart, then flippies as I make adjustments.
  11. Panthers and whiplashes are not even close to being in the same ball park. It has been a while since I have made a space plane but I remember them having a top speed in the 1200 range at 17ish km. I typically hit 1800 at 22ish km with air breathing with the rapiers. This means you have basically doubled your dv needed to reach orbit. I do kind of feel Rapiers with reverse nose cone clipped in are OP. They really should just remove the tail node. I would agree that this engine is clearly based off the saber engine and should have really good vacuum isp but how would you balance it? In RO you have to use hydrogen which would double or triple your tank mass and you need 6000 dv out of the LOX stage. Do you nerf all air breathing by making the speed of sound 70 m/s thus giving the rapier a top air breathing speed of 420 m/s and a ceiling of 8km?
  12. Hold ALT while doing wasd will make a permanent adjustment. So just hold ALT-S until canards look level. If you have rear pitching surfaces you may not want to do all the way to level. Forgot how to clear it.
  13. I see repeats now and then but for the most part I am still entertained after 5 years.
  14. In past versions of KSP ore tanks had a better mass ratio then the LFO tanks. Not sure if it is still true these days.
  15. Personally I like mag lev launchers. One mag lev launches straight up. A second mag lev in orbit accelerates/decelerates depending on perspective into orbit. The second mag lev then reboosts its orbit using ion or other exotic high efficiency thrusters preferably nuclear powered or ground based laser powered. As part of a collage project I did the calculations for a carbon nanotube static space elevator with no margin would require 2 ropes weighting a total of 638 kt and would only be able to lift 50 kg into geostationary orbit. It had a max width of 62 cm