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About NorthernDevo

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    Spacecraft Engineer

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  1. NorthernDevo

    What was the first thing you did when you bought KSP?

    I first got the demo - I can't recall the version - and played it for about three years until I could afford both the Internet and the game. My most common activity was carpet-bombing KSC with fuel tanks when my wobbly assemblage ripped itself apart 10 kms up.
  2. NorthernDevo

    rhino engines, what are they good for?

    I LOVE the Rhino as a transfer stage. Part of my gameplay is to build the most efficient rockets possible, but looks are an important consideration. I like using the thing as a transfer stage to the Mun with a 3-Kerb orbiter/lander stack, it just looks so cool when it separates and burns. I can't show a pic; I'm doing a new career and haven't reached that stage yet, but I do use it a lot, and quite enjoy it.
  3. NorthernDevo

    What in the name of DUH did I just see?!

    I'll pay money for that!!!!
  4. NorthernDevo

    What did you do in KSP today?

    I WANT THAT!!!!!!!
  5. NorthernDevo

    What in the name of DUH did I just see?!

    LOL that is freakin' hilarious. Thanks, folks!
  6. So... Here I am with my extra-large coffee plus double-espresso shot; 5 in the morning and sleep-deprived synapses sizzling like Rice Krispies. I click my KSP icon for a little relaxation before bed and WHUUUUT?! OK - DOODS! Dev dudes - that's funny as all get-out but MAN that freaked me out!
  7. NorthernDevo

    Out of curiosity, what's your craft naming scheme?

    My usual naming scheme is "Untitled Spacecraft". ;-)
  8. NorthernDevo

    What did you do in KSP today?

    Chuckle - that reminds me of the very early days of the Simviation Forums - like - first page. One guy asked a question about that part of the airplane where the pilot sits. Given the censorship settings, the word that was printed in the post was "thingypit". Naturally; we had a WHOLE lot of fun with the guy, until we realized what was going on. (Then of course we had even more fun. )
  9. NorthernDevo

    What did you do in KSP today?

    Just a quick one: My last career - hard mode; no revert, no money to start - was getting more annoying than enjoyable so I restarted. I currently have a few contracts to gather science data from orbit of Kermin, test the big LV-601-4 OME, and save a couple Kerbals while I'm up there. Problem: I only have the 'Roundified' mono tank open so far so after needling Gene for a while to see if he could offer up a mono tank test (and failing), I just went with the tiny tanks. Lots of 'em. Cheers!
  10. NorthernDevo

    I love the new rover MK2 Lander variant.

    I'm constantly surprised when anything I build actually works.
  11. NorthernDevo

    I love the new rover MK2 Lander variant.

    Yup - I totally LOVE the thing! Rover Max is my land vehicle of choice; it's based around the MkII Rover variant. They really did a great job when they created the thing!
  12. NorthernDevo

    What did you do in KSP today?

    Just a quick easy mission; placing a contract science base on Minmus: Smile - I love my sunrise shots: It's just to satisfy a contract; Minmus is pretty much scienced out. Cheers!
  13. NorthernDevo

    What did you do in KSP today?

  14. NorthernDevo

    What did you do in KSP today?

    Holy... Gasp...pant... Well; this was certainly the most terrifying return I've ever been a part of - a total and complete nailbiter and I'm not just having fun with the language here. How on Earth I managed to pull it off, I really have no idea. My science mission to Minmus was a success but there were so many points along the way where it nearly ended in disaster. Following a textbook landing on the Mint Frosted Moon's Lesser Flats, Engineer Algee and Scientist Sanmore suffered their first glitch while conducting ground experiments. One of the devices proved hard to reach and Sanmore tried to retrieve its data by climbing out of the Rover Max's top hatch. She stumbled and fell, breaking the port solar panel. Now - that's not a major worry; the vehicle simply charges a bit more slowly and RM has redundant fuel cells built in for security. It was, however, a clue to how things were going to go. The Rover Max behaved superbly on its circumnavigation of Minmus, carrying its crew on their journey with solid reliability. They quickly racked up full experiments from every equatorial biome, visited both the Black and Green Monoliths (the latter being conveniently spawned right on the Greater Flats), and carried out several surveys called up by Gene. Things went bad though when the Human Controller (ahem...waves) made a dumb mistake and accidentally hit the space bar while reaching for his coffee. Bang! There goes all the externally-stored mono-propellant; 4 Cylindrified Monoprop Tanks flying to the sides like depth charges from a K-gun volley. Following a string of vocal comments that sounded like some of the more colourful moments in Breaking Bad, the Human Controller continued the mission, with approximately 30% more fuel than required to reach the return ship in orbit. So long as nothing else dumb happened, we'd be OK. Yup - you guessed it. The journey to the Pole went perfectly; Algee electing to make a diversion to chase down a seismic anomaly into the nearby Highlands for Gene. Rather than waste fuel running the fuel cell, it was easy enough to simply turn and race towards Kerbol until the remaining solar panel began charging the batteries. All in all, a terribly fun mission. We covered the entirety of the Green Timbit's biomes and the last hour saw Rover Max racing south at 50kph to intercept the return vehicle's orbital track. (Rover Max races South to pick up the orbital track) Then...disaster. I was relaxing; it was going well. Just one more survey string to run for Gene; this one almost on the line of the orbital track.I forgot to zoom out to look ahead - at 50kph on Minmus the Rover takes a long time to slow down - it's off the ground half the time. Rover Max launched itself off the hills just north of Great Flats and sailed into a high, fatal arc. No help for it - I activated the jump jets, killed the Rover AP, flipped orientation to 'up' and conducted a decent belly-down landing; exactly how the Rover Max had been designed to do. Buuuuuut.... according to the Subway Map, it takes 180 Dv to reach orbit. I had 181 left. Problem!!!! Now - if this was 'normal' difficulty no probs - just F5-F9 until I get it. But not on Hard mode, no revert. I needed a way to shave those numbers. I found it. First, I closed the solar panel and drove around hard for a while, draining the battery. Then I turned the fuel cell on and waited for two days until it exhausted the Baguette tank. I was now as light as I could possibly be - with a DV of 188. It would have to do. I drove East until I was on Great Flats, made sure I was right under the orbital track and gunned it. With the reaction wheel and traction control off, Rover Max can hit nearly 70 kph on the flats. I got her going as fast as she would, then restarted the reaction wheel and TC, set speed control for 100 and ramped her off the slopes to the East, helping with a burst of monoprop. As she sailed into space with an AP of 7 kms, I set that number into MechJeb's Ascent Guidance, flipped Max's orientation to 'Up' and engaged. It worked - brilliantly. Max's blistering land speed was nearly half that required for orbit and while 7km is white-knucklingly low for an orbit, it just clears the highest hills. I made it into orbit with nearly 30% of that 188 DV left. There was enough to target the return vehicle, match planes (1.3 degrees), plot a VERY conservative interception and rendezvous with the return ship. (Rover Max ascends to RV with the return vessel) (A picture-perfect interception. LOL check out the remaining fuel!) There wasn't enough fuel left in RM's tank to deorbit the machine and really, I'm rather glad - she's a proud vehicle and did a magnificent job. Rover Max deserves more than to end up a pile of scrap on a distant moon. I hope one day we'll come out this way again to collect her. She'll have pride of place in the Kerbsonian Museum. (Algee and Sanmore transfer to the return vessel with loads of science.) Upon entry into the ship, I got another startling discovery: I thought this pod had built-in attitude-hold SAS. It doesn't - and neither Algee nor Sanmore is a pilot. Oooops. Well kids, this is where knowing the nav-ball REALLY becomes important. The little ship wiggling around like crazy, I got her going prograde right at the return point, then held down Q for a few seconds, putting in gyroscopic stability. A quick burn to break orbit, advance until I'm back in Kerbin's SOI, stabilize at retro and spin the ship like crazy again - those were two woozy little Kerbals by the time I was done with 'em. Burn to an Pe of 30, then since (Doh!) the life-support canisters are in the fuel tank, wait to detach the engine until the ship's well past the 70Km mark. (And yes, forget to transfer life support from the canisters to the command pod.) Fortunately, even unguided the pod was beautifully stable and conducted a lovely 3g re-entry. Lovely, until the Mk 16 chute decided to take forever to open; not fully deploying until she was a scant 200m off the ground! She smacked hard, destroying the heat shield but saving the pod. Algee and Sanmore - and all their data - were shaken up, bumped and bruised but alive! And the reward...was worth it. Whew! What a nailbiter - I definitely have to iron those bugs out. Cheers!
  15. NorthernDevo

    What did you do in KSP today?

    I spent the morning testing a cheap 'n easy transfer vehicle to get a Rover Max to Minmus. After working the kinks out, I loaded 'er up and set out for the Mint Frosted Moon: The Rover easily has the Delta-Vee to reach the return vehicle in orbit, and has sufficient science equipment to drain the orbiting Timbit dry on a single mission. It'll probably take me the majority of the weekend - after that I have to shut down KSP for a while and get some bloody writing done; I have deadlines to meet. Edit: Whoops; what the return vehicle doesn't have is a probe core - oops! Well; no problem. It has 'hold' SAS and that's about all I need. Rover Max approaching DOI over Minmus: She needs to switch from forward to 'up' when kicking off the descent engine and switching to hover-jets, but it's a simple, well-practiced procedure by now. Following this mission I'll be able to actively prepare for the DunaStar mission, coming in about 6 months.