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  • Location
    The High Desert far north of Area 00110011
  • Interests
    Space History, (Project Gemini FTW!) Math, (retired Statistical Analyst) and games that allow me to combine the two. Is it any wonder I play KSP?

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  1. Not to rain on anyone's parade... I mean, people are free to like what they like... but I just find it interesting that with a very few exceptions people just want to make the Kerbol system exactly like the Solar system. I find myself thinking the exact opposite... that if anything the Kerbol system is already too much like the Solar system and should be changed to be more different, not more similar. Then there is Kerbol itself... Let's get real. A star with a radius of 261,600 km is not a type G2 star. Kerbol should be more like a K3 with a peak blackbody frequency of about 623 nm. In terms most people can understand, the RGB of Kerbol should be 255 (FF), 200 (C8), 149 (95). (kind of a bright peachy-orange shade like Epsilon Eridani) Either that or it would have to have a radius closer to 700,000 km like Sol and every other G2-type star we've ever seen. Stars are the radius they are for reasons that get very complex, (relating to the balance point of the outward pressure of hydrogen fusion versus the inward pressure of the mass of hydrogen) but suffice it to say that they are never seen as Main Sequence stars more than a a few percent off the "standard" scale of the H-R Diagram... and we've looked at millions of examples and have never seen an exception. The function of stellar radius in Sol units (~696,000 km) is approximately equal to (T / 5780) x √LA x ε, where T equals the temperature in degrees Kelvin, LA equals the Absolute Luminosity relative to Sol, and ε is the Emissivity of hydrogen, approximately 0.994. Making it even smaller would result in it becoming even redder, dimmer, and cooler. This isn't even touching on Kerbol's mass, which is so low (1.7x1028 kg) it wouldn't even be classified as a tiny M9 Red Dwarf, the smallest of which have 10 times the mass of Kerbol. That low of a mass would make Kerbol not a star at all, but a sub-stellar Brown Dwarf. As a type K3 star, consistent with its size, Kerbol should have a mass of about 1.5x1030 kg, or about 75% the mass of Sol and nearly 100 times its current mass. If people want to argue that physics works differently in KSP, I would counter that these stellar effects are a result of the basic functions of gravity and nuclear forces, which is shown to work exactly the same in KSP-land as here. (the inverse square rule presides and matter follows the same mass-density functions as the natural universe) Change: Make Kerbol a class K3 star, the same size it is now, but reduce surface temperature to about 4,700°K, make the light slightly peachy orange in color, and increase the mass to 1.5x1030 kg. Result: Planetary orbits would need to move accordingly to fit the new stellar dynamics. Kerbin would shift outward to an orbital radius of about 37.4 million km to the correct "Goldilocks Zone" for a K3 star, instead of only 13.6 million km (where, if over a G2-type star, Kerbin would be a baked wasteland with a surface temperature of 832°K) with an orbital period of about 210 Kerbin days. (52 Earth days) The other planets would shift outward proportionally. (about 2.75 times their current orbits) While this makes distances between planets greater, their much higher orbital velocities would make close approaches occur twice as often, increasing the number of launch windows for minimal ∆V. Moho: Should be tidally locked and larger, to be realistically sized for its mass. Eve: Dump the "Venus Analogue" junk and move Duna here... a vast desert wasteland with a thin CO2 atmosphere and no ice caps. Surface temp about 400°K and size/mass are shifted to something more realistic. Ike gets less mass to have a realistic density, but is otherwise unchanged. Kerbin: Keep the size the same and just think of Kerbin as having a super-dense core... like say pure Osmium under pressure. (I know this is counter-intuitive, considering my suggestions for Kerbol, but I have to draw the "realism" line somewhere and planetary density is a good a place as any) The Mun is fine the way it is, unrealistic mass/density and all. Minmus should have a higher inclination, say about 20° or so, and a larger eccentricity, say about 0.2 and in a 2-1 sync with the Mun. It should also be the first "realistic density" body you encounter. Duna: Move a real-sized Eve here and make it the way we used to think Venus was like... tropical jungles, etc. High CO2 count in the atmosphere, along with a significant amount of atmospheric water green-houses the planet into a semi-livable state instead of it being an ice-ball. Complete it with a low oxygen content (about equal to 4,000m on Earth) and plant life. Gilly is fine, just adjust its mass to match its size. Jool: Bigger... much bigger. Right now it's about Earth-sized. Blow it up to Neptune sized or larger and we're good. The moons all get the "real size" inflation, with Lathe becoming an iceball, as it should be. (we now have Eve to be the planet with free oxygen to play with space-planes on) Dres & Eeloo: Realistically sized and Dres moved out beyond Jool's orbit, making them both Kuiper-belt objects. Then add about a dozen more, all unique and not like anything we have in the Sol system, along with procedurally generated asteroids, all outside Jool's orbit. (seriously, if Kerbin was getting bombarded as often as occurs in the game as it stands, life on Kerbin would still be microbial, having been blasted back to their beginnings over and over the way it happened here during the Late Heavy Bombardment period) Procedurally generated comets are cool. (Imagine catching a Shoemaker–Levy 9 over Jool!) See a pattern? Kerbin and the Mun stay "travel sized for your convenience" while the rest of the bodies in the system get the realism treatment, satisfying everybody. This keeps the difficulty to start the same, allowing for a learning curve with unrealistically small bodies to make entry into the game as easy as it is now, with fun missions to the Mun having similar value as we have currently, but then ups the difficulty curve by going RO once beyond the Mun. Minmus then becomes where you learn how to deal with realistic planetary sizes. The best of both worlds. Above all though, the Kerbin system needs to be less like ours as it sorta breaks suspension of disbelief. The odds of another system evolving like ours are so far remote that I can't take it all all seriously. (I just ignore it and pretend they're more different) YMMV.
  2. What is this "too much math" thing you speak of? That's like saying you have too much love! (seriously, I LOVE math and can't imagine a circumstance were calculus is anything but fun... I know... I'm weird! ) In all seriousness, thanks for the compliment! I pride myself on my knowledge of physics. I just don't want the player base for KSP2 to be hamstrung by Win10. Undoubtedly within a year it would be "updated" and make KSP2 unplayable anyway. (probably on purpose to kill competition with MSFS and Minecraft) The dev team for KSP2 has repeatedly said that they're going to expose even more of the code than KSP does, making mods even easier to make, more seamless, and more complex. I just hope that Fall 2021 is the last push-back of the delivery date. (now that it's under the Take Two umbrella, I expect it will be, but fingers crossed just the same!)
  3. Since I'm big into realism, (play with TACLS, Persistent Rotation, Connected Living Space, Mandatory RCS, etc.) I only clip where the part has an obvious and visible emptiness that can be filled with something useful. For example, the space inside most decouplers is wasted empty space, so this is where I usually stick RCS tanks, remote guidance control units, antennas, batteries, etc. that I use on lower stages for recovery. (I try to fully recover all my launch vehicles... waste not, want not, I always say!) As for people that clip into other parts? Meh. I don't tell other people they're having BAD-WRONG-FUN by doing it and being all 'judgy' about it. I mean, how can you "cheat" at a single-player game that has no set goal? (Ok, using the "infinite fuel" mode is really kind of "cheating", but that's how my youngest son learned how to play KSP, so I know it has a use, so... ::shrug:: )
  4. Worst fail? That would be the time I was assembling one of my first large space stations in orbit around Kerbin. It was to be launched in four stages: the first was the station core, habitation modules, and lab module on top of an Atlas V-type 1st stage. (2nd stage was like an oversized Centaur and was meant to remain attached as a re-fueling tank) The rub? I was playing the science game and lacked any kind of remote guidance, so every module had to be put in orbit with a Kerbaled capsule on top, moved in, docked, and then decouple the control capsule and de-orbit before O2/Food/Water supplies tap out... (I play with TACLS) which means after placement, the remaining station will have no guidance until the last module docks with the control cupola. (which at time of first launch was not yet unlocked) First launch goes off without a hitch. Easy, right? Just put it where I want it, decouple, and burn home. No sweat. 2nd launch has the power and main life support module; a ton of batteries, solar panels, O2 scrubber, wastewater recycler, and some utility ports for docking later unmanned resupply missions. Again, this goes off without a hitch... I rendezvous, dock, decouple, and burn for home again. Third launch is the kicker; the station power module already docked was done at a 90° offset from the core, like a pipe laying on top on another pipe forming a big cross. The 3rd launch contains the station's main docking port, supply truss, and several tons of food and spares supplies and docks to the core... parallel next to the left wing of the power module. However, this is a two-part launch. The second part with the command cupola (just unlocked) will have to decouple from the first part after it attaches to the station, then be guided around to the other side of the station and docked to the core parallel to the right wing of the power module. So I get up there, rendezvous, and just after docking the first module and am ready to decouple the 2nd, I accidentally double-tap the staging key, decoupling the 2nd module from the station and decoupling the guidance capsule from the 2nd module. So now I have this whole station up on-orbit (sans 4th launch with the crew and emergency escape module) with no way to guide the 2nd module into position... and it keeps knocking gently at the power module, pushing the as-yet uncontrollable station into a slow tumble. So here I am... with Val in a capsule that can't do anything other than de-orbit... with a command cupola drifting free with no way to connect to it except the docking port that needs to attach to the station... the rest of the station in a slow tumble that I can't stop that makes docking with the station impossible... (even if I had anything to do that with... which I didn't) and of course, I hadn't done any quicksaves since before I started. (saving and reloading won't help either because I use the Persistent Rotation mod) Forty hours of work, not including design time, down the tubes because I go for high realism and failed to account for the idea that I might mess up. Ended up abandoning the whole thing in orbit and starting over. (it stayed up there, still tumbling out of control and useless until I lost the entire game in a HD crash) Not too horrible of an "epic fail" I guess, but for me it was a devastating setback. (and really embarrassing)
  5. I know a lot of people watched his videos and got into KSP afterward, so probably a good percentage of the player base learned rendezvous and docking from Mr. Manley. (I don't happen to be one of them, I came to KSP already knowing the mechanics of both from Orbiter 2010 and a dozen space games before it) As for my proudest moment? Probably the establishment of a full six satellite Com Relay network and mapping constellation over the Mun... from a single launch vehicle. The 1st stage was reminiscent of an Atlas V with a payload of two trinary sets of satellites, one with heavy Com Relay gear set to go into Munar equatorial orbit and the other with lighter relay gear and a full biome and altimetry mapping suite for going into polar orbit. The equatorial set was mounted to a tricoupler at the top of the 2nd stage, with a pylon up the middle of those three satellites to a 3rd stage with another tricoupler with the polar satellites mounted to it. After TMI (Trans Munar Injection) the 3rd stage separated and made a course correction burn to put it right over the north pole of the Mun, while the 2nd stage continued on a trajectory to enter equatorial orbit. When the 3rd stage reached the right altitude over the Mun, I retro-burned for a 2-3 synchronous orbit of my target orbit. Then quickly switched to the second stage and repeat, putting it in a 2-3 synchronous orbit over the equator. As soon as each reached apogee, they released their 1st satellites, which burned to circularize. Then, one orbit later, released the 2nd, and after the third orbit I released the last. The icing on the cake was that after the satellites were placed around the Mun, I used the last of the ∆V in the 2nd and 3rd stages to send them back to Kerbin, using a deployable heat shield and chutes to recover the entire launch vehicle, the 1st stage having been recovered after TMI... ...and I did it all without using a quicksave once. Three satellites in perfect equilateral triangle formation offset exactly one sixth of an orbit from three other satellites in a perfect equilateral triangle, 90° off axis... all in one shot and with nothing wasted except fuel and a shroud. That was my proudest moment! (no pictures though... lost the whole thing with a HD crash :^/ ) Either that or the time, back in 1.0.5 when I re-created all of Project Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab using FASA parts playing in Science Mode. I even had a full roster of crew with specific Kerbals standing in for each of the real life astronauts. (Jeb was Sheppard, Elzer was Lovell, Hudfal was McDivitt, etc.) The only thing I didn't replicate were the accidents (Apollo 1, Apollo 13, Skylab's damage, etc.) or the cut missions. (Apollos 18, 19, and 20 were flown) I know... I'm a complete nut!
  6. LOL! Thanks for trying to make me feel better about my stubbornness, but I know I'm a nut! I even spent several hours tweaking my Flightstick so it would have fine movement for the first 50% of travel on each axis, then coarse movement the closer you get to the extremes of each axis. (so a 50% pitch forward is translated to only a 10% deflection of controls, but a 100% pitch forward is still 100% pitch forward, etc.) Edit: I also fixed through programming a physical error in the X axis where a 100% right deflection only resulted in a 90% deflection in the system... re-scaling the entire X axis to get a 100% deflection... <--- NUT
  7. I remapped the default keys as soon as I started playing the game 6 years ago to the same keys I'd been using in other games: Numpad 8-2 for pitch, 4-6 for roll 9-7 for yaw. Throttle is on keypad Period, (up) 0, (down), +, (max) and -. (cut) Tied steering to yaw out of habit from too many years flying flight sims. (and actual private pilot flight experience with my father!) Then translation is mapped to Home-End for dorsal-ventral, Del-PgDn for port-starboard, and Ins-PgUp for fore-aft. The four arrow keys are alternate pitch-yaw controls. WASD? Never used in any game (always remapped to my defaults) and and probably never will. In practice though I use my programmed CH Flightstick. Programed to be pitch-roll in mode 1, with the four-direction hat as RCS lateral port-stbd-dorsal-ventral, and the three thumb buttons are headlight toggle, brakes, and landing gear toggle. Tap the trigger and I go to Mode 2 where the X axis changes to yaw and the pitch axis inverts (perfect for rocket flying) the hat gives me fore-aft RCS, left and right hat are roll, and the thumb buttons are SAS toggle, Precision toggle, and RCS Toggle. The rest of the controls are also re-mapped to something I find more natural. (SAS toggle to the S key, Precision toggle to the ~ key, Abort to F12 because I kept hitting Backspace accidentally, etc.) It's at the point now that I can't use the game unless the keyboard is remapped as I don't actually know the default keys. I know I'm weird! :^Þ
  8. Orbiter is to KSP what a professionally built model is to Legos. Using it right requires flight plans, a detailed understanding of the spacecraft, and not making a single mistake. While it can be a fantastic simulation, (I actually had to learn to use the DSKY!) KSP is much more fun. KSP almost rewards mistakes, while Orbiter actively punishes you for them. (like real life) Honestly, I haven't touched Orbiter in over six years. Maybe the new version is better... but 2010 was brutal! Project Space Station was more about program management than anything else. Launch Scheduling, crew selection, orbiter loading, experiment selection, component purchasing, managing satellite launches, etc. Of course, the fun part was designing your station on the ground and then assembling your space station on-orbit! Getting the parts there meant dozens of successful launches. Launches were abstracted into a "fly through the boxes" minigame, followed by orbital operations, then another "boxes" minigame for re-entry, and lastly a horizontally scrolling landing sequence where you have to try and hit the numbers at the head of the runway before rolling out to a stop. Depending on how good you did in the launch game determined how far away you were from your station for part deployment and how good you did in the landing game determined how long your maintenance period was. (do too badly and an orbiter was out of circulation for months and not available for payload delivery... pushing back your schedule and costing more money) It was fun and simplistic, but endorsed by NASA... so of course I spent thousands of hours playing the thing! Happy to oblige! Orientation: This was mostly selected based on aspect to the Sun for thermal management, but also to minimize crew radiation exposure. During the outbound voyage, the CSM/LM stack was oriented "north celestial pole" facing (with the LM descent engine pointed toward the zenith and the SPS engine bell pointed toward the nadir) with a 0.3°/sec left roll rate about the plane of the ecliptic. This was done for thermal management and also to stabilize the stack through gyroscopic effect. Return trips were oriented to celestial nadir. (CM docking port pointed in the same general direction as the Earth's south pole) During TDE, orientation was 40° right and 40° angled nadir of prograde for separation, so the S-IVb wouldn't block radio communication to Earth. Separation maneuvers were performed alternately with the RCS or SPS, depending on mission parameters. (Apollo 8 for example used RCS while 11 used the SPS) Most separation maneuvers were on the close order of 10 ft/sec, using either method. Very cool! Thanks, BTW, for your compliments at my insanely simplistic (and likely inefficient) efforts at writing real code. I was in middle school at the time and teaching myself calculus... not for grades but for programing! (my father taught me algebra when I was still in 5th grade to learn basic electronics; he tried to teach my sister as well, but I was the only one of his daughters to take an interest in "dad's work")
  9. Thanks! I won't move to Win10 for personal reasons that I won't get into here. Suffice it to say that I'd rather have a virus than Win10... it's less invasive. I really don't either... I just preferred the way it was before female Kerbals when there was really no distinction other than name. I mean... when you get down to it, female Kerbals are just another example of Tertiary Sexual Characteristics at best. (like the difference between Pac Man and Ms. Pac Man) It's just silly!
  10. Bought from the store, not Steam, so no "official" count for me... but I'd say, as a rough estimate only, within a close order of magnitude of 6k hours (that is, not less than 3k nor more than 12k) over the last 6 years. (about 9.6-38 hours per week) Never even thought about until I saw this thread. I guess I play too much! (admittedly, a lot of those hours were spent diagnosing reasons for why something went weird and I ended up staring at my desktop... probably more than I have spent actually playing the game! :^Þ )
  11. I do use mods, but not Kopernicus. Never appealed to me. Mostly just use visual and QOL mods like Chatterer, EVE, TAC LS, and such. Kerbal Konstructs is the most out-there mod I use so I could make KSC flashier. But I used to run totally stock for a long time and didn't notice any increase in its appearance. Maybe I'm just lucky? (either that or weird!)
  12. Ok.... this is unusual? I get the sand castle all the time. Does that make me weird? Admittedly, I've been playing for over six years and have lord-knows how many thousands of hours invested in this game, with unp-teen million restarts due to one thing or another... so maybe I just get it a lot because I keep having to close out, do actual work, and then re-open it again later? Honestly though... I had no idea that the sand castle was rare. Learned something new today! (The More You Know... ⁄͡ * )
  13. Mascons only have an effect when you're within a certain percentage of the ratio of the mass distribution over total mass over distance. Orbiting the Moon, because of its small size, relatively low mass, and extremely large mass concentrations relative to that size, orbits below 100km are very unstable... but the Moon is an unusual circumstance. No other major moon in our solar system has that unusual of a mass distribution as a ratio of its size. Even then, orbits above 100km are considered fairly stable over the Moon... and there's nothing that says a "lumpy" Kerbin, or "lumpy" Mun would need to have a large mascon ratio to its size the way the Moon does. Let's break it down. The moon has a radius of ≈1,738 km and a mass of 7.342×1022 kg. The problem is that the Moon's mascons constitute nearly 0.1% of its mass. (ref. https://pgda.gsfc.nasa.gov/products/50 ) 0.1% of 7.342×1022 kg is 7.342×1019 kg, roughly the mass of Uranus's moon, Miranda... just as displacement. While no single mascon has a density variance of more than 1% from norm, the Moon has a lot of mascons left over from the Late Heavy Bombardment period. So many that its point center of mass is displaced 2 km towards the Earth. So if they were to include "lumpy gravity" in the simulation, so long as it was less than or equal to the Moon's unusually high 0.1% mascon distribution, even an orbital altitude of 100km (30 km above the atmosphere) would be fairly stable for months, if not years. This is due to the fact that Kerbin has over 72% the mass as the Moon, (5.2915x1022 kg vs. 7.342×1022 kg) but an equatorial radius of less than 35% of the Moon's. (600 km vs. 1,738 km) Thus, a 100km orbit is 1 part in 16 of the planet's radius, as compared to a 100 km orbit over the moon which is only 1 part in 6 of its radius. Even the Moon's 1% mascons on Kerbin wouldn't be a significant change in vector over time, so long as you're outside the atmosphere. (and inside the atmosphere, they would have a negligible effect compared to the atmosphere's effect) Most people put Kerbin Observation satellites at an orbit of 250 - 500 km where mascons similar to the Moon's extreme examples would have no noticeable effect over years, likely decades. Communication satellites mostly go in keo-stationary orbit of 2,863 km and would be effectively 100% stable, with 1% mascons having an imperceptible effect over thousands of years. The only reason it's an issue over our Moon is that it has no atmosphere, so you can orbit a lot closer to its surface. (I've personally skimmed orbits at less than 500 meters from the highest equatorial peaks on the Mun) Give the Mun 1% mascons and yes, orbits under 20km will be unstable... but then, shouldn't they be? (those orbits are basically skimming the surface and shouldn't be stable for more than a few revolutions) All that having been said, I don't think Intercept Games is going to model mascons. (Mod anybody? ) I know n-body physics has been ruled out by the dev team, but they are implementing the two-body problem for the twin planets Rask and Rusk. While this will be a special case in vanilla, it opens up the possibility of making other 2-body systems through modding. Imagine the Kerbin-Mun system modeled as a two-body system in a mod... complete with la grange points, orbital instability, and hugely complex high-altitude orbits... I can't wait! Things I want out of KSP 2: 1) Run on something other than Windows 10. (Linux, Win 8.1, Mac, etc.) Please don't ham-string players into that awful mess of an OS just to play KSP 2! 2) To be done. That's it! It's already showing me stuff more than I want, so these two things are all I ask for. I won't bother asking for pie-in-the-sky features that I know won't be implemented... like getting rid of "female" Kerbals. Honestly, I liked it better when every Kerbal was a generic "thing" that the only way you could tell if they were male or female was by their name. (yes, I hate Val! She and the other "female" Kerbals look dumb! There! I said it and I'm glad!)
  14. Sounds about right.... Echelon was almost as bad. Cool as it was for the time, 1-2 seconds per frame (yes... seconds per frame) made it frustrating at times to try and fly. Worth it though! I spent hundreds of hours working on deciphering that silly code of theirs!
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