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    Spacecraft Engineer
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    Science, Singing, Adventure, Peace

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  1. I built a space plane and when it was deployed to the tarmac an oscillation left and right began. Which amplified. With or without SAS. Until it shook itself off the runway and started shedding parts. Fun.
  2. I have a glorified word-processor I bought 2 years ago for $400 new out of the box. It has a 2 gig AMD A8 processor and only 2 gig of ram, and no dedicated graphics card. A large complex rocket can give me 2-3 fps at launch and it can take over an hour to get to orbit, and i STILL have fun. The fun of this game is in the engineering and deployment-to-use, so lower frame rates become (I believe) more tolerable. Though mind you I am NOT saying I wouldn't enjoy it much more at 30 fprs. I wrote a long-term mission report for a while and have many mods installed, including EVE (though trimmed), and it was useful for all of that. I do have to unload the game and re-start after 4-6 hours, as once it loads more than a handful of screens or vessels it slows down in loading new screens a lot.
  3. No pictures (yet), but I will do my best to paint with words. The Program has a contract for science from the surface of Eve! So I designed a delightful little Soviet-style lander, and was quite tickled to see it pass through re-entry with only moderate damage. I managed to miss the large continent I had targeted however, and was heading for a water landing. Oh well, thought I, at least with an inflatable heat-shield it will float! Little did I realize they were inflated with lead. Ah! But this is excellent! I can now 'land' on the floor of the ocean, and still use all my soil analysis tools! If I can transmit from the ocean floor it will work! Then at 118m everything crushed. :| Floating to the top of the sea, incredibly, all that survived is; the Octo probe core, 2 batteries, a communitron 16, and 1 tiny solar panel. One survived communicating probe, ... zero science that can be done.
  4. That's very insightful, I appreciate the input. I think I'll have to "simulate" it and then make my best effort. This is the probe, so as designed the Entry Probe needs to detach before the Insertion Stage can fire to break the Orbiter into orbit. I'll see how it goes!
  5. The probe has some Dv, yes, though only enough to change course. Maybe I'll sketch up a diagram and get some screen-shots when I'm home later, but the Orbiter was going to use Dv insertion and so not touch the atmosphere, but the entry probe would be on a closer orbit to intersect of course, so it would be out-pacing the orbiter until the atmosphere started to slow it down. I can't put a big transmitter on the probe because entry would tear then off, so I need to stay within 1,5m M and LoS to make sure i get the data.
  6. Good day one and all. I am embarking upon an exploration of the gas giants (out planets mod) and my plan calls for a probe stage in three parts. A gas giant entry probe, to be detached after entering SOI, an orbital insertion stage that when decoupled from the orbiter itself will serve as a potential relay, and then the orbiter itself. My issue is, as I start to think about it, how to ensure that the entry probe stays in communication with the orbiter/insertion-stage as it enters the planet's atmosphere. Logically the probe would seem to need to slow down after separation, or else the entry probe might circle around the planet and depart line of sight and lose data transmission. Does anyone have a "method" to ensure this works out, or do I just have to play with varying angles and try to make it work?
  7. See that? 25km off target, but I made it to this beautiful valley where I need to do my biological experiments. Anyone care to guess what is NOT going to be happening? :| Experiments. Or anything. The last command I sent was to apply the breaks when I caught some air at 20 m/s. Unfortunately, the probe core - like an idiot - was mounted right at the front there. Where there is nothing now. :| Sigh...
  8. That water in the last shot looks amazing. You balanced it well!
  9. I'm going to shamelessly give this corpse a kick, as it the idea would provide for Kuiper Belt bodies and might be of current-event interest, on the off chance that someone with the code wizzarding skills might take the idea and run with it.
  10. Be fortunate the kerb isn't spagetifiing away at trans-light speed. I haven't seen that behavior recently, but it has been known to happen on rare occasions.
  11. Well, this is a link for the think-tank we had back then. I had one person much smarter than I say it could be done, but I tried several avenues and the ones I thought were viable were non-starters.
  12. Oktober 1st, '64 Mortimer sat at a mechanic's desk in the Air Force space-plane hangar, the large craft itself now nearly half disassembled. It was easy to see why it had never made it to orbit, even to him. It had clearly been designed by someone who thought the only answer to drag was "moar power", and the pilots had been told that a "standard" re-entry included the phrase, 'when the uncontrollable tumble begins immediately deploy the chutes or you may not regain consciousness to do so before impact.' Comforting. Parts were even now being cataloged and deemed 'store' or 'dispose' by KSC technicians, and then loaded on the appropriate trucks. Mortimer was itemizing the parts that would be disposed of and calculating the expected remuneration they'd get back. Since the 'complete confidence' lawmaker's briefing, Mortimer's primary job had been complete. He had originally been brought in to ensure that the KSC survived its spartan early funding period, and with the CA decision to divert half of the last year's Air Force space-plane budget to the KSC there would be so much cash that even Gene would be hard pressed to spend them into ruin. That being said, there was no reason it had to be Mortimer sitting here doing part notations in an unheated hanger on a chilly morning. He could have sent his assistant. However Mort was trying to find an answer to a larger question. In-between the technicians jogging up and dropping off slips of paper, Mort was going through the construction and concept documents for the Munex Initiative. The space plane had been born of a desire to ferry cargo frequently to space, and also rationalize the programs co-existence with KSC from a gross horizontal/vertical launch perspective. The Munex Initiative had been born out of a classified briefing given by D-Magic to the CA which highlighted the threat to civilization of asteroid collision. What was most interesting though is that it was not the CA that decided to base asteroid intercepting missiles on the moon, that scheme had been pitched by D-Magic themselves. The more he read the memos though, the less convinced he was that D-Magic really cared about executing the plan. They seemed far more interested in establishing and ensuring frequent travel to Mun. Frequently they passed off design decision making or even suggestion opportunities to the Air Force, but always offered a firm opinion whenever that would support more numerous cartage trips. He was particularly interested in specifics of the plan that they argued most vociferously for, namely radar observatories at both poles. And every time the question had been raised which pole to start at, they had insisted the north... Mortimer paused to gaze across the tarmac to the black car that the D-Magic team had arrived at the admin building in. He suspected they had come to collect the box of documents he was currently sorting through. Funny that, that it was here with him rather than over there waiting to be picked up. "I bet they're disappointed" he thought. A kerb in a dark suit wearing dark glasses turned and gazed across the runway towards the hanger before getting in and being driven off. Mort waved from the shadows of the hanger, then went back to work. 'meanwhile...' Linus walked into Gene's office, where he and Wernher had been having a heated 'heart-to-heart' about his Duna Universal Space Transport. Gene looked up and waited for Linus to speak. "It is just as we suspected Gene." He looked at Wernher with obvious sympathy. Gene didn't say anything, having been already convinced, but Wernher spoke sharply. "Can you truly be sure?!?" Linus nodded. "The sun is entering a stage of significant sun-spot activity, such that the astronomy department predicts there will be no period of quiescence lasting the required 2.2 years for at least a decade. As you both know, our radiation shielding can make a single solar flare survivable, but not two. There is no way to fly to Duna with the current spacecraft." Gene asked, "How many active shields would we need?" "70." Wernher said something undoubtedly foul in Kerman and slumped in his chair. Gene spoke. "Ok, that settles that Linus, thanks. We will need to come up with a new technology solution to fulfill the CA's mandate. I'm sorry Wernher, I know that design has been your baby for far longer than we have had a KSC. It just won't cut the mustard now." Wernher didn't speak, but his attitude seemed be one of begrudging acceptance. "Wernher, we'll need to wait until after Linus' team comes up with a radiation solution before we can enter a new design stage. In the mean-time, that means all our "local body" transport rockets will need to be reworked. We can't take a risk on even a Mun shot now." Both Linus and Wernher appeared demoralized. "Get going guys! Our problems won't fix themselves!" And Gene immediately pulled out a yellow pad and started writing an inter-office memo.
  13. This is why I love this community. Thank you @Snark and All. That was the insight I was hoping for. My plans will now be simpler and more attuned. :] If I don't screw it up I will post it in the results. If i do screw it up, it will appear in my mission report.
  14. Thank you for KSP-TOT, I will look into that. I think my rationale was more time than speed, as I just want to make the journey as short as possible. Burning 40,000 dv in Kerbin orbit to go straight to Valentine (extrasolar planets mod) will take 33,000 years. Going to Neidon to Kerbol to Jool to Valentine would get me there sooner. I would sacrifice 5 years travel on the front end as I dove back in but in the end it would pay off. End (Planet9 mod) is not so far, only ~40 years (i think), so I don't think a super complex trajectory would pay off. It would be going faster at End, but I doubt it would get there sooner due to the sacrificed out-bound time. That's really the question I am puzzling over. At what point does the inbound leg no-longer make sense. I was trying to find that magic "dividing line."
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