JonathanPerregaux

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About JonathanPerregaux

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    Spacecraft Engineer
  1. What's your most stupid thing ever you did in KSP?

    The best way to stabilize a cat-rocket is to apply butter-side-up slices of bread to the top. That way, the ship will achieve perfect equilibrium. Science!
  2. KSP Weekly: Trekking the Stars

    I want a mobile launch pad that will let me do this:
  3. What's your most stupid thing ever you did in KSP?

    Here she is, my cat-rocket "CatCo." It flies about as well as an actual cat.
  4. How does Gravity exist?

    Curious fact: If you could exist in the exact center of the Earth, you would be weightless. Why? Because you would have an equal amount of mass all around you. The gravitational pull of that mass in all directions would cancel out any gravitational "pull" you would experience. The Earth, in free-fall around the sun, is also weightless.
  5. How does Gravity exist?

    "Spacetime tells matter how to move; matter tells spacetime how to curve." —John Archibald Wheeler
  6. How does Gravity exist?

    Because if the Cosmos didn't suck, it would blow.
  7. What's your most stupid thing ever you did in KSP?

    Built a cat-shaped rocket with ears, eyes, cheeks, whiskers, legs and a tail and then spent the next few hours attempting to make it fly into space. It did, eventually, get to space. But man, was it was stupid.
  8. Since I started using 1.3 my rockets flip out of control

    I usually build giant rockets that test the limits of being able to fly. Flipping over is an old, annoying friend of mine. Here's what I do to keep him from showing up at my house. Watch your wet center-of-mass. As fuel burns, the COM moves. If you're not careful, though, the remaining fuel mass can pose a problem during your gravity turn, inducing a flip. With heavy lifters stacked on multiple tanks, I change the fuel priority so the lower tanks burn first. This shifts the COM towards the nose quicker than if I let all the tanks empty themselves equally (the default). Be wary of solid rocket boosters, as they have no gimbals. If they are too powerful compared to your liquid-fuel engines, you may lose just enough steering control to flip over. To compensate, I've either reduced the flow rate of the SRBs or added some Mk-55 "Thud" engines to the sides to add more thrust and gimbal. A little drag may help borderline cases. I've solved some flipping problems by ensuring I had adequate tail fins to keep the rear-end planted. Watch out when using non-cylindrical lifting bodies such as the MK2 for rocket fuselages. At speed, lifting forces will throw your rocket back and could flip it. Staging can suddenly drop a lot of mass, briefly throwing your COM into chaos. If your ship is not quite nose-heavy enough, or unstable structurally, it may not be able to survive this transition. Strengthen the ship using autostrut or, if geometries are complex, actual struts. Anything that wobbles won't be fuel-efficient. A wobble that grows into a resonance (especially during Max Q) may flip the rocket if steering overcompensates. I always autostrut each stage's main engine to the root part, unless I have pods sticking out. For outboard engines I usually try autostrut to grandfather part. If the ship twists itself to bits with this, I'll throw actual strut parts on there to hold her steady. Hide non-aerodynamic parts inside fairings if you can. You'd be surprised how much a set of exposed landing legs will cost you on ascent. Pay attention to Max Q (MechJeb is good at this) but be careful not to throttle down too much or you may lose control and flip.
  9. What is the most HORRIBLE way one of your kerbals died

    Death by launch clamps relentlessly following me into low orbit, my favorite annoyance.
  10. What Have You Done In real-life, Space related?

    I burned holes through some bark chips using the sun and my father's telescope with a Barlow lens attached.
  11. I just started using this mod for the first time. It nicely fills in the parts gap for wheels and landing legs. Great job. One thing I'm noticing though is that the L-shaped legs start deployed on the launch pad, even though they are stowed in the VAB. If I press G they will stow themselves, but I have to do this every time. Is this a known bug or something I've somehow messed up?
  12. What happened to the demo?

    I played the crap out of the demo. I found the sparse collection of parts perfect, as it allowed me to focus on the basic science of rocketry. I didn't know a periapsis from my posterior, so the demo laid a lot of track in my head. So many myths shattered! So much insight gained! So many exploding things! Once I built a functional sun-skimmer using my new-found skills and knowledge, I bought the full game and went bananas.
  13. What's Your Funniest, Wierdest, Or Stupidest Design?

    Well, I built a gigantic cube out of girders and plates and attempted to fly it. It almost made it through Max Q.
  14. Is Autostrut an in-game cheat?

    I've had auto-strut twist and demolish larger spacecraft to hilarious effect, so knowing how to use it effectively makes it a non-cheat to me.
  15. Aye! More wee new parts... come to da!