Loren Pechtel

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About Loren Pechtel

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    Senior Rocket Scientist

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  1. Loren Pechtel

    [1.3] - Modular Kolonization System (MKS)

    Got a little bit of a bug, I don't know if it's MKS that's responsible. I have a rover with a surface scanner on it. When it was in an area lacking in rare & exotic minerals it reported their concentrations as unknown rather than as zero.
  2. Loren Pechtel

    [1.3] - Modular Kolonization System (MKS)

    That turned out to be the problem. I thought you couldn't get a 0% on normal (which is why I didn't think of it originally), but those two are 0% over most of the planet.
  3. Loren Pechtel

    [1.3] - Modular Kolonization System (MKS)

    Why can't I mine ExoticMinerals and RareMetals? I have a vessel that should be able to mine everything that can be mined. Wheel it out, everything else works fine, but for these two the drills simply don't start. The one thing notably different about them is that everything else has it's own Kontainer, but when I set a Kontainer for ExoticMinerals it also gets capacity for RareMetals.
  4. I don't know if it's related but I've seen this sort of behavior being caused by the rocket not being able to turn fast enough. It's easy to have a very high TWR on a low-g world, if it doesn't have much command authority it's not able to make a meaningful gravity turn into such a low orbit. Years ago I had one rocket that I could actually get better performance out of on Minmus by burning radial out for about 1 second, then shutting down my engines and turning completely horizontal, then burning for orbit--by the time I started falling back I was building up enough horizontal speed. I was trying to figure out how to modify it to take off at perhaps 10 degrees from the horizontal but I didn't see any practical solutions.
  5. You must be a sadist! Getting that much delta-v from pushing is going to take ages, and then quite a while more to get his periapsis into the atmosphere (good luck getting a proper ejection angle from the Mun!)
  6. Loren Pechtel

    ISRU noob needs help...

    RTG's are weak, it takes a lot of them to keep things powered. For your money there are two other options that work better: 1) Fuel cells. Yes, they'll burn up some of your take but it keeps things running during the dark time. (Note that this is only an option if you have a refinery on the craft set to produce fuel and oxidizer.) 2) Big batteries. They're heavier to lift but don't consume any fuel. Obviously you must have enough solar to charge them up. Nuke is overkill for a simple mining base.
  7. Loren Pechtel

    [1.3] USI Life Support [0.5.0]

    The claw contracts pay better than the simple rescues but if your real objective is Kerbals they're very annoying. I also mod the number of contracts way up so I can do more at once--my current recruiting ship seats three dozen. (I'm only keeping the level 5 guys so I need to rescue quite a few) but I'd hate to try to bring back more than one part on a rocket. At least with the mods I'm playing with there's nothing that important behind the claw, the top manipulator part can be researched without the stuff before it.
  8. Loren Pechtel

    [1.3] USI Life Support [0.5.0]

    Thank you! Last night I got to wondering if I could do it with KAS and avoid researching the claw (once you research it many rescue contracts say to bring back the part the guy is in and I do all my recruiting in low Minmus orbit and don't want to have to haul parts home) and it sounds like that's the answer--much easier than clawing, also.
  9. Loren Pechtel

    [1.3] USI Life Support [0.5.0]

    How do I rescue my Kerbal? I gave him enough supplies and habitation, the homesick timer expired. He's in a rover on Minmus--while the rover can be controlled (he wasn't driving it in the first place) it has no rockets. The booster that brought it is on Minmus but there's no way to reattach the rover and it has no crew capability. It has the fuel to take off but it can't come home. Landing a rocket next to him doesn't work, he saw it but that didn't do anything about being homesick. (Hey, you're homesick, that's your ride home, you won't go over to it?!) If I claw him will he change seats into the vehicle that clawed him? And then from that into something sane to make the return voyage? Do I have to make some sort of insane contraption to bring his whole rover back? Note that his habitation timer will almost certainly expire before anything else can reach him. He's got plenty of power and plenty to eat, though. I would like to see a change to habitation and homesickness--higher level Kerbals (this guy is a level 5 scientist) should be more tolerant of the conditions of spaceflight.
  10. Actually, I do know coding. If the mod didn't already know the fuel left it couldn't figure out of there was enough to do the landing burn. While in theory it could be working with delta-v rather than units of fuel it is reporting the amount burned in units. Since the fuel is almost certainly in a locked tank the game core isn't going to tell the truth about it, the mod must be doing it.
  11. Loren Pechtel

    Fairings and skycranes -- seems to be impossible

    Why did I never think of turning a fairing upside-down??? Somehow I was stuck on the idea that the fairing builder would only go up. When you equip a rover with a Bon Voyage controller you can use a single launch to gather science from all over everywhere except Eve and Laythe.
  12. I'm finding the parts that were recovered but no fuel listed. The value of the fuel is listed, not the amount. I do feel like an older version did list the amount of fuel. It's a very useful piece of information and trivial to display. I consider it's absence to be broken.
  13. It's possible this has been fixed but given how long it's been there I doubt it: When doing a propulsive landing it tells you how much fuel it burned doing it, but it doesn't tell you how much was left in the tanks afterwards.
  14. Loren Pechtel

    Fairings and skycranes -- seems to be impossible

    Exactly--they're built up from below. Skycranes connect to the top of the cargo. (Think of how Curiosity landed on Mars--the rockets were above the payload.) Now the gameplay forum shows up. It wasn't showing up when I posted the question.
  15. I have long since given up on trying to incorporate a rover with a full science package into something that can fly within a normal rocket body. I center it under a skycrane and accept the horrible drag penalties from getting such an abomination into orbit. (And generally launch straight up until I'm well up into the atmosphere.) 1.4 seems much harsher to anything without perfect aerodynamics and I have yet to get my current abomination into orbit. Since I can't actually balance the aerodynamics I decided to try a fairing--nope, no way to build it down. I'm currently redesigning the rocket with a big procedural heat shield (with zero ablator) on top of it, this will keep the wind off it but since it's still exposed on the underside it will still mess with the flight somewhat. Any better solutions? (And I can't find the gameplay forum, hence this is here instead.)