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    Modpack Dev
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    Space, probably

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  1. I started a new RP-1 playthrough yesterday and decided to finally learn how to make aircraft in Realism Overhaul. Pictured above is Bee 1, my first successful experimental aircraft. Not useful for much, but taught me a lot about aircraft design. Once I knew how to make a plane, I decided to make one that can break the sound barrier. The Bee 2 completed that task flawlessly, after being air-launched at 5km. I overshot the runway a bit, but landed successfully regardless. I'm very pleased with how my planes have turned out so far, they fly extremely well.
  2. The first Red Spirit probes have arrived at Duna. Red Spirit 1 arrived early, and serves as a relay for the others. Red Spirit 3, pictured above, is a scientific satellite which also successfully reached orbit. Red Spirit 2 followed; this one is a much more complex mission and it is fortunate that both reached orbit successfully. Now for the landers. Red Spirit 4 unfortunately experienced an engine failure during a mid-course correction, and therefore did not make it to Duna. Red Spirit 5, however, reached Duna successfully. Before atmospheric entry, the remaining fuel in the transfer stage is burned to slow down by a few hundred meters per second. These first Red Spirit landers go directly from an interplanetary trajectory to atmospheric entry. Arrival was timed to ensure communication with Red Spirit 1 during landing. Separation of the transfer stage right before entering the atmosphere at nearly 4km/s. Atmospheric entry was rough, but ultimately successful. Duna's atmosphere turned out to be thinner than expected, so preliminary slowdown requires the solid rocket motors to activate. This also means that the parachute was unable to be of any use, so it was simply jettisoned when the aerodynamic shroud was. And Red Spirit 5 became the first artificial object to successfully land on Duna. Red Spirit 6, the final lander of this fleet, successfully entered the atmosphere and regained communications after the plasma blackout phase, but unfortunately communication was lost again shortly after. It is theorized that terrain was higher than expected, and so the probe impacted the terrain before aeroshield jettison, when the lander's altimeter was still shrouded. In the next launch window it will be important to send a satellite to study the altimetry of Duna, so that future landers do not encounter similar issues. The first three Red Spirit landers were ultimately a long shot. It wasn't certain if any of them would survive, based on the very limited data about Duna that had been gathered by Kerbin-based observation. The risky approach of entering the atmosphere directly from an interplanetary trajectory, made necessary by current launch capabilities, was an additional challenge that the landers had to contend with. The planet's unique combination of moderately high gravity and an atmosphere too thin for parachutes while also too thick to be largely ignored means that it will likely always be quite challenging to land on. Red Spirit 5 was an unexpected success.
  3. First images of Duna taken by Red Spirit 1. First one is one that I compiled from three separate RGB images, second one is the full colour mode of the camera. Not sure if I did something wrong with combining the three images, or if that method simply results in more overall noise in the result. Red Spirit 1 itself, still attached to its transfer stage.
  4. Classic ascent profile is not what you want. What you need is Primer Vector Guidance (PVG), it provides a better ascent profile by doing calculations on-the-fly to tailor the ascent profile to your launch vehicle's capabilities (for example, the thrust of the current stage, which changes with stage-and-a-half designs). There is one thing PVG doesn't handle, and that's half-stage separation; you'll have to jettison those manually at an appropriate part of the launch. Additionally, rockets with solid orbital insertion stages don't tend to work overwhelmingly well with Mechjeb's ascent autopilot in general; for those, as well as any other rockets that PVG doesn't perform well with (or that you just want to fly manually), I have a profile which typically works well and can be performed with Smart A.S.S (set to surface mode so your pitch and heading are relative to the surface): One final note: while at least one of these methods (either PVG or the manual ascent profile, I can't remember which as it's been a while) definitely used to work fine with Saturn IB in JNSQ (which is about 2.7x stock scale), I can't confirm if it still does with the new Saturn revamp as I've not tested that at all yet.
  5. Sent a Mercury relay satellite to Minmus to improve communications for future missions. A second identical satellite will also be sent to Minmus, and another pair will be sent to Mun.
  6. I've also encountered the roll issue with the R7 launch vehicle. Experimentation with various configurations of autostruts and rigid attachment (and lack thereof) doesn't seem to help with it. Additionally, I'm not using FAR or anything else which would affect the atmosphere, so strange atmospheric effects from another mod should be able to be ruled out.
  7. In this image, these are all BDB parts. Specifically, this design is the Ranger lander concept shown on this page.
  8. Landed at the south pole of Minmus.
  9. Today I conducted my first ever Mun-orbit-rendezvous landing mission with Principia's n-body orbital dynamics. The above lander was sent to orbit Mun, and the crew soon followed in a different vessel. This method was the best option at my current point in the game due to limited launch capacities, but it also allowed me to fulfil a contract for docking in Munar orbit.
  10. More of the Duna fleet. Red Spirit 2, 3, and 4 from top to bottom. Red Spirit 4, 5, and now also 6 (it was decided to send a third lander to have better chances of success) are identical.
  11. My first n-body interplanetary transfer. Not actually that tough to figure out, surprisingly. This is Red Spirit 1, a science and communications satellite which will orbit Duna, collecting data and serving as the preliminary relay for the other Red Spirit missions launched in this window: two orbiters and two experimental landers.
  12. That's all thanks to NeptuneCamera. That's a great mod, it has huge potential for screenshots like this. I'm hoping to get some good ones of Duna soon; I've got a window coming up and several probes prepared for launch. Speaking of probes, these new ones are looking excellent so far.
  13. That's not a texture mod, exactly. It's the JNSQ planet pack, which is also why the margins were so tight with this mission (it's roughly 2.7x stock scale, so it's actually well-balanced for stock-balance parts). Also, since I see you asked previously, I already answered about the visual setup; check the comment at the top of this page, I can only assume you didn't see that at first.
  14. These were taken with Zorg's Vintage config. In general I'd recommend Zorg's configs and also PALETTE.
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