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About septemberWaves

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    Mission Architect

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  • Location All the planets. All of them.
  • Interests Space; designing spacecraft; writing sci-fi/fantasy stories.

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  1. septemberWaves

    Constellation Style 2019

    This thread will document my new entries to my Doing It Constellation Style challenge. Difficulty settings & mod list: So far, I have tested out some core technology; specifically, my analogues for Orion (Alnilam-X CT4), Altair (Alnilam-X VLV4-Mun), and the Ares I (Halcyon I) launch vehicle. They function about as well as I can get them to work; and I think my Altair analogue will be sufficiently modifiable for future missions. The Alnilam-X CT4 spacecraft can sustain a full crew of four in orbit for almost 80 Kerbin days, and the Alnilam-X VLV4-Mun has a safe surface excursion duration of about one Kerbin day (though shutting down life support systems can extend this duration much longer, which will be important when Kerbals will be sent to the future Mun base). My naming scheme for crewed vehicles, in case anyone is wondering, is based on Orion's Belt. It is the same scheme I am using in my September Astronautics save; 1.25m and 1.875m crew vehicles are Alnitak-class, 2.5m crew vehicles are Alnilam-class, and 3.75m (and larger) crew vehicles are Mintaka-class. The -X suffix denotes subclass, specifically the fact that this is a separate vehicle series to what I use in my other playthrough (wherein -1 would denote early vehicles of a particular class, -2 would denote more advanced versions, etc.). CT4 refers to a crew transport with a capacity of four, and VLV4-Mun refers to a vacuum landing vehicle with a crew capacity of four which is rated for Mun landings. I will update this thread very soon with the Munar Sortie mission.
  2. The redesigned Terrier engine is certainly an improvement. It looks a lot nicer in every way, and I particularly like the ability to change the engine mounts - this will help a lot with the aesthetics of many of my spacecraft. As for the Poodle, I also like the redesign a lot. I am likely to use it for third stages of launch vehicles now, rather than using a 1.25m engine like I used to prefer.
  3. septemberWaves

    What did you do in KSP today?

    I tested out some vehicles for my new entry to my Doing It Constellation Style challenge. It was something of a pain to make an Orion analogue which works well with Kerbalism while also not being too heavy to launch on an Ares I analogue, but I managed it eventually. I had to give up on using 3.2x scale Kerbin and go back to the stock system though; this ship has a mass of nearly 18 tonnes and I do not have a solid rocket motor capable of serving as a first stage for it if I were to continue trying to use the upscaled version of Kerbin (I dislike tweakscaling engines, but even when I tried doing that I would've had to sacrifice aesthetics for functionality, which is something I do not wish to do here). In any case, this new Orion analogue has sufficient supplies for 80 days in space with a full crew of four. It occurs to me now that I may want to rotate the service module 90° relative to the command module compared to its current orientation. I will do this later. More difficult to put together properly was my Altair analogue. It's not much trouble to make a Mun lander, but making one with so many parts that it causes me significant lag issues in the editor is something I am not used to in the slightest. This is probably by far the most complex lander I have ever made; I am also debating giving the cargo bay a door, though I have never actually made a stock hinge so I am unsure how that would work. It works quite nicely though. Using fuel cells means that mission duration is rather limited (to about a day), but I do not need crew on the surface of the Mun for a long time for the initial Munar sortie mission - and when I make a Mun base I will be able to use solar power for that, and the lander can have life support systems disabled so that the only thing that has to be kept running is the probe core. The whole thing has far too much delta-v, but I would much rather have an excess than too little. It also means that the cargo bay on the descent stage can carry a reasonably-sized rover, or other payloads potentially.
  4. I am thinking of making my own tech tree mod, as I am not fully satisfied with any currently-available tech trees. However, I have no idea where to even begin, short of looking at the config files of existing tech tree mods to get some vague idea of how the formatting works. Are there any guides which already exist that can point me in the right direction?
  5. septemberWaves

    Doing It Constellation Style

    @michal.don These vehicle designs are looking good. Which mod adds that solid rocket on the Ares I? And regarding Commnet, it is of course permitted to send satellites in advance (and all of the interplanetary challenges actually necessitate that if you are going for maximum score); you do not need to use the Constellation lifters for satellite launches either, since satellites are typically much less massive payloads. The reason there is no task in the Munar Sortie mission for communication satellites is because if players choose to land on the Kerbin-facing side of the Mun, the lander will always have a connection to Kerbin when landed (and planning Mun missions this way can be interesting).
  6. septemberWaves

    Work-in-Progress [WIP] Design Thread

    I am not sure I understand how you are calculating lift here (spaceplanes are not my area of expertise; they are fun sometimes but mine are rarely anything close to optimal) but yes, 3.2x scale is rather extreme for spaceplanes.
  7. septemberWaves

    My Jool 5 Attempt.

    Are your parachutes below your center of mass? If so (and it certainly looks that way), that is likely to cause you issues.
  8. septemberWaves

    Work-in-Progress [WIP] Design Thread

    @FleshJeb That is an interesting design. It is worth noting though that my rescale settings have not simply changed the planetary and orbital radii; I have also increased atmosphere heights by a factor of 1.4x, and doubled day lengths (except for tidally-locked bodies, whose day lengths are determined by the relevant orbits). The first of those changes means that a higher orbit is necessary (my standard currently is 125km, though it varies by launch vehicle; Kerbin's atmosphere is 98km high so there is room for lower orbits than my standard). Whether your plane works or not in 3.2x scale I cannot be sure without testing it; the biggest issue I encountered is that airbreathing engines cannot reach a sufficient fraction of orbital velocity, or achieve a sufficient height before switching to rocket mode, which is why for shuttles I will essentially be forced into using rocket engines.
  9. septemberWaves

    Work-in-Progress [WIP] Design Thread

    The lifting plane which I posted earlier in this thread almost definitely can't carry that plane in the picture; it can manage the small one I designed, but with heavier wings and a nuclear engine I think your plane is too heavy (at least, too heavy without me doing significant optimizations on that rapier plane); my design was only a proof-of-concept though, so it was non-optimal and is certainly not practical for use. Your SRB-launched design is probably closer to what I will eventually end up using for shuttles, only the lifter will be able to fly like a plane. Also I would test out that vehicle but I am using Kerbalism, and I do not know if nuclear engines irradiate kerbals but I would not like to take that risk with one so close to a command pod. I can confirm though that 6km/s is sufficient to reach orbit around 3.2x scale Kerbin; for a conventional rocket launch it takes 6 to 6.2km/s (vacuum), and orbital velocity is something in the range of 4.5km/s; an efficient spaceplane that is lifted past the lower atmosphere by a launch vehicle can certainly manage orbit and beyond with 6km/s. It would not be sufficient for RSS though, since orbital velocity there is around 8km/s.
  10. septemberWaves

    My Jool 5 Attempt.

    If you are unsure about delta-v, this might help you. No more need for guesswork. Personally I am going to try to calculate delta-v requirements manually in my new playthrough (partly because different orbits have different requirements, and partly to practice the calculations because I am a space science student) but that chart should be a good enough approximation for your purposes so long as you include sufficient room for error.
  11. septemberWaves

    What did you do in KSP today?

    I sent a kerbal to orbit 3.2x scale Kerbin for the first time in this save. Details can be found here.
  12. septemberWaves

    September Astronautics

    Part 5: First Kerbal In Space The Argos 3 rocket has been developed, and with it we can enter a new era of space exploration by sending kerbals to space. Argos 3 is designed to launch the Alnitak-1 CT1-S (wherein Alnitak-1 is the series of crewed space vehicles, CT1 refers to a crew transport with a crew capacity of 1, and S denotes the short service module, as there is also a longer variant). Valentina Kerman is the pilot of this first launch. The first crewed spaceflight mission was a success. This variant of the Alnitak-1 CT1-S had its mission duration limited to only a few hours because of the limitations of battery power, but the service module is highly configurable. Most future missions will include a hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell (and storage for its fuel); there is also space in the service module for scientific equipment, additional life support supplies, and anything else which may be useful - and if the short service module is insufficient, the spacecraft can instead use a service module with twice the length (the Argos 3 rocket is fully capable of supporting all potential payloads that an Alnitak-1 CT1 spacecraft might carry).
  13. septemberWaves

    Work-in-Progress [WIP] Design Thread

    It is inspired vaguely by a real concept I saw a while ago; I cannot remember the context but I recall that it involved a shuttle with a winged launch system.
  14. septemberWaves

    Work-in-Progress [WIP] Design Thread

    I am working on a fully reusable shuttle concept. In practice, this particular vehicle is entirely unable to reach orbit around 3.2x scale Kerbin, or to do anything practical, but it demonstrates the concept. When I actually make a usable one, it will launch from the desert airfield so that the shuttle can circularize and the carrier can land at the KSC. I will probably use a rocket plane (possibly vertically-launched, but perhaps not) for any actual applications of this system, since rapier engines are not particularly practical for 3.2x scale Kerbin - especially because I will probably want a shuttle that can transport reasonably-sized payloads.
  15. septemberWaves

    My Jool 5 Attempt.

    Typically with Laythe, I'll make sure I'm in a circular orbit (or near enough), quicksave, then do a de-orbit burn to a specific periapsis which I will take note of. Then I'll compare where I land with where I want to land, return to quicksave, and attempt to adjust the position of the de-orbit burn accordingy. Alternatively, if you aim to slightly overshoot a big island and make sure your lander can conduct a partially-propulsive landing (i.e. fire the engines to make sure your trajectory ends up on land) you should be fine. I have other ideas for how I will conduct my next Laythe excursion, but that will be for my Constellation-style challenge so the landers will be somewhat unconventional and not really appropriate for a Jool 5 mission.