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  1. Hello @pieterwNL and welcome to the KSP forums. The first engines available to you in career mode are solid rocket motors. They are basically just big fireworks - you light them once and then they burn at full power until they run out of fuel. You can't throttle a solid rocket motor, nor can you stop them once they start. This is normal for those type of engines. The liquid fuel engines that you unlock with later tech can be throttled down. If that wasn't your problem then we need to know more about your rocket.
  2. Hello @jirka828 1) Yes, overlapping parts so that they intersect and/or occupy the same space (partially or entirely) is what people mean by "part clipping." 2) The check box for "Part Clipping in Editors" doesn't have as much effect as it used to. As I understand it, the KSP editor was much more stringent about how much overlap it would accept when you attached parts together. I believe this was before the rotate, and translate editor gizmos were introduced. At the time there was a good reason to restrict part placement since it was harder to correct their alignment afterwards and the game wouldn't let you place parts near each other that overlapped significantly. Now, you can attach parts and then move them out of each other's way with the editor gizmos if you want to. If I remember correctly, checking the box to allow part clipping may allow you to attach multiple parts to the same attach node. 3) As a single player sandbox environment game your play style is mainly dependent on the rules you want to enforce on yourself. Adding more player control over part placement opened up greater opportunities for designers of custom and replica builders to experiment with. Some also cite instances where the density, weight distribution, or other properties of stock parts could be considered unrealistic or otherwise too restrictive compared to the options available to real-world craft designers. Consider that in the real world it would be easy to just use a structural girder that's half the size of the small one in the game if that's what you needed for your craft. But in the game the only solution might be to attach the girder provided and hide half of it inside the fuel tank or somewhere it won't be seen. It's still entirely possible to build craft without relying on part clipping/overlapping, but the game is simply not as restrictive as it used to be. I am unaware of a way to enforce the restrictions against part clipping - except by sheer willpower.
  3. I think I can chime in a bit here considering that I'm currently reading the journals of Lewis & Clark right now, coincidentally. Although the Lewis & Clark expedition did include hired hands, many of them had arranged to leave and go back to St. Louis part way through. And all of them were fully aware that this was not just exploration for the sake of it, but also an economic expedition for the purpose of opening up (and monopolizing) commerce with the natives, the French fur traders, and the ports on the west coast. One of the most important goals along the way was to make contact with Sacajawea's tribe and barter for horses from them so that they could continue over land when the river courses were no longer navigable. They brought trade goods along with them for this very purpose. It was only "unknown" to the population of white settlers from the United States. The expedition fully intended to make use of the knowledge of the native tribes they met along the way for hunting advice, seasonal recommendations for travel, and directions through the waterways and mountain passes. Lewis and Clark also found out that the waterway of the Colorado down from the Rocky Mountains would be too rapid and dangerous for boat travel - which they predicted, but was confirmed by the Shoshone tribe. They knew they would be entirely unable to complete the journey westward without aid from the Shoshones in the form of horses and manpower. I think it's clear Mars is entirely inhospitable in relation to just about any part of the Earth. That's not to say that the life in the wilderness of 1804 Montana was a cake walk. Many of the tribes were barely subsisting, especially those in the mountains that didn't have access to the buffalo. But even that was a result of being pushed out of their territory by other tribes. So yea, there's really no comparison between going on a one-way trip to Mars, and exploring the North American frontier. On one hand you are completely at the mercy of instant death in an airless void, and totally alone, having absolutely no support in dire circumstances; and on the other hand, literally going where many thousands have gone before through a green, bounteous, haven of life.
  4. I know this has already been solved, but just in case anyone else has this trouble, the mod that was responsible is World Stabilizer. World Stabilizer changes the way that things contact the ground when they load in, so it makes sense that it was the culprit. The mod author simply exempted the Breaking Ground experiments from being stabilized.
  5. LOL, such creative names! To be fair, despite my intention to give my bases and stations interesting and novel names, I usually end up going the boring route just out of ease and usability. I mean, it's much easier to find the station you're looking for in the tracking station if its called Minmus Station Alpha isn't it? But here's some of my ideas for naming themes. - Precious metals or gemstones + synonyms for adventurous sounding words, ex: The Emerald Emissary, The Silver Sentry... extra points if you match the color of the metal/gem to the color of the planet it is on or orbiting. - Locations from a favorite series of novels, comic books, or TV shows, ex: Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Terok Nor... - Mythological concepts, places or heroes, ex: The Riddle of the Sphinx, The World Tree, The Shield of Achilles... - Do what most explorers of the past did and name it after something from your own home region, or name it after the first Kerbal to go there, ex: New Dallas, Jebediahtown... - Just string together some vaguely impressive words, ex: Timeless Abyss, Cosmic Majesty, Ethereal Twilight... - If it's a science station name it after famous scientists, ex: Hawking, Maxwell... - If it's a fuel depot name it after famous port cities, ex: San Francisco, New Orleans, Singapore, Shanghai...
  6. Well, @Cabadam the name of the sun as Kerbol isn't officially in the game, so there's no reason know unless you've already been clued in by the community. And now you have! Keep in mind that there's no one right way to play. Even with a comm-sat network people have all sorts of strategies, and I'm sure you'll find one that works for you. Glad to hear that you've been having fun with the game. Good luck!
  7. When he said he was on a "quest" I wasn't thinking about contracts, but that makes sense. @killamonjaru - steam name If the "Run Test" button isn't showing up then you may be using the wrong size heat shield from what the contract is asking for. Or, some contracts ask for parts to "activate from the staging sequence." This means that you would have to stage it like a decoupler at just the right time. But to do that you'd have to make sure that the staging is set to "enabled" in the VAB. Other contracts only need to be tested from the launch pad or after splash down. Can you give us the exact text of the contract, and all its conditions?
  8. Hello @killamonjaru - steam name and welcome to the KSP forums. The option to jettison the heat shield is usually the only option for all but one of the heat shields in the stock game. They are intended to be ablative tiles fixed to the underside of a capsule, covering only the limited surface area of their diameter, and can be discarded after reentry. Only the ten-meter inflatable heat shield has the option to inflate to expand to a larger size. What other options were you hoping to find?
  9. @Confutus Hi there. If there's "one neat trick" to building a plane that can fly "low and slow" and remain stable it is this: add a few degrees of incidence to the wings. A positive angle of incidence means that when viewed from the side you rotate the wings so that the leading edge is ever so slightly higher than the trailing edge. This allows the wings to produce more lift at slow speeds without having to constantly pitch the nose upwards. Adding incidence does add more drag to the wings during flight, but not as much as pitching the whole plane does, and that drag is usually compensated by extra lift. It also has the advantage of requiring no extra parts.
  10. Hello @Cabadam and welcome to the KSP forums! I can see how those numbers wouldn't seem to make sense. The confusion lies in the use of the term "Kerbol" in the section you were reading. "Kerbol" is the unofficial term for the central Sun in the game. Thus, the six rings of satellites in orbits out to 50,000,000km really does mean to put them in orbit around the game's sun at those distances, not the planet of Kerbin. This way you get deep space communication coverage across the entire solar system, including planets such as Moho and Eeloo. For the Kerbin system itself a much more modest set of satellites is recommended.
  11. You're overlooking the possibility that the designer/modeler/artist didn't even want to produce a product like this, but was asked to follow guidelines from a director that had other priorities. I.E. "We're looking for a smooth, low complexity design. Prioritize color options over tank butt switching. No make it look less busy. Need it and those other five designs by the end of the week."
  12. I very much agree. Imagine if the scientific instruments were actually useful. A thermometer could turn on and off a bank of drills when they begin to overheat, or deploy solar panels when the sun hits it. Landing gear could auto-deploy at altitude. A barometer would be required for parachutes to auto-deploy. The seismic accelerometer could trigger aborts. Maybe the atmospheric scanner could be repurposed as an angle-of-attack sensor to use as a rudimentary glide angle autopilot. Unlocking the ability to use most part outputs to trigger action groups like you suggest could literally be a game changer - especially with the robotic parts.
  13. If you're getting sudden jumpiness from your station after docking or switching to the station after loading then the problem is often due to autostruts. The biggest offender seems to be autostrut to heaviest part, and occasionally with autostrut to root part. The reason it happens is because the autostruts realign themselves after a staging change, including docking, and since this often includes having a new or different heaviest/root part then the autostruts let go of what they were holding and jump to a different part that could be across a particularly flexible joint. This can cause weird forces across the station and sometimes ends up being a buggy mess. The best advice so far is to use autostruts sparingly and to try strutting to grandparent part if you really need them.
  14. I think I can see both sides of this issue. If I'm understanding correctly, there is on one hand the opinion that full orbital information, including patched conics, should be available from the very beginning of career mode. And on the other hand there is the opinion that how the game progresses through tracking station upgrades is currently satisfactory. My own opinion is simply that the game does not actually give the player any good information about what the mysterious "patched conics" is, what that upgrade would reveal, or what the lack of patched conics entails. Perhaps the mouse-over text for tracking station upgrades should explain that "Without an upgrade to our patched-conics tracking software we can't accurately calculate trajectories between two worlds yet. You can try, but you might get lost."
  15. Helicopters are diabolical, and I can't pretend that I've figured out how to make a properly functional one in KSP but: As I understand it, it's recommended to right-click the prop blades and disable their pitch, yaw and roll control inputs. Of course, this assumes that you are using something other than the props to control these axes, such as reaction wheels, a tail rotor assembly, and/or ailerons.