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    And Conan was asked: "What is best in life?"
    And Conan answered: "To reach orbit, drive on the Mun. To hear the lamentations of ground control."

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  1. Medium Rover. Meet the Rover XLR. https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/RoverXLR Room for 2 Kerbals for extended trips. Science Complement and large scanning arm onboard. Only 30 parts. 6 wheels on two hinges, therefor retractable for easier storage. Low center of mass, relatively stable to drive.
  2. I built a thing. Or several, depending on the viewpoint. https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/Thundershark-with-Lotus-Station-Runabout-and-Rover Thundershark SSTA with Lotus Station, Runabout and Rover Thundershark Heavy Cruiser with dedicated SSTO Runabout with Rover. Payload: Lotus Station for orbital research. Thundershark Heavy Cruiser Heavy science cruiser with SSTO Runabout Crew complement: up to 13 Kerbals Engines 16x Rapier 2x Vector 6x Nerv nuclear engines 2x Vectors in frontal service bay for short take off (4x Aerospikes of Runabout can be used as well) Vernor based RCS system Dedicated Runabout at the back Due to size, the runabout does not fit in a cargo bay. Therefore, it is attached via docking ports at the back of the main ship Cargo bay 7.5m long Mk3 Cargo bay for protected payloads Mobile Science Lab ISRU Complement 2x Large Mining drills Convert-o-Tron 250 Solar panels and Radiators Thundershark Runabout 4,600 m/s vacuum dV, TWR of 1.5 Complement: 3 Kerbals Service bay with attached Collapsible Science Rover 4x Aerospikes SSTO capable from Kerbin 4x Parachutes (2x drogue chutes, 2x regular parachutes) Airbrakes Storage capacity for science experiments Custom shielded docking port Collapsible Rover See separate page for details and download: https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/Collapsible-Rover-in-Box Full Science Complement, Medium scanning arm Seating for two Kerbals. Can be folded up and stored in a 2.5m service bay in the Runabout Payload: Lotus Station Crew complement: up to 27 Kerbals Mobile Processing Lab for deep-space research 2x RA-100 large relay antennas Sentinel infrared telescope Thundershark in Hangar. Runabout is docked at the back, Lotus station is in storage configuration in the man cargo bay. Mobile science lab is front left, Convert-O-Tron250 is front right. In the frontal service bays, the mining drills, fuel cell arrays and Vector engines for short take off or uprighting are stored. Lotus Station being deployed in orbit. Station is in storage configuration before unfolding. Lotus Station unfolded. Room for up to 27 Kerbals. Comes with Mobile science lab for orbital research, Sentinel infrared Telescope and two powerful RA-100 Relay Antennas. Thundershark Runabout. Is stored at the back of the mothership, because it is too wide to fit in cargo bays. Runabout comes with seating for 3 Kerbals and a science rover in the lower service bay. Collapsible rover deployed. Comes with seating for 2 Kerbals, science equipment and an RTG for sunlight-independent propulsion. Runabout in Orbit Note the specially shielded frontal docking port. Due to advanced construction techniques (*cough* Exploits *cough*), the frontal docking port is dragless. Has enough thrust and fuel to reach Kerbin orbit alone as an SSTO. For Tylo landing and takeoff, docking another fuel tank with the frontal docking port is recommended. Runabout after reentry and during landing. Two airbrakes help in keeping orientation during reentry and slow down the craft. 2 drogue chutes and two regular parachutes help with landing. A short burst of the aerospikes might be needed before touchdown to avoid damage to the vessel. - Mephisto- (Re-adjusts shirt. "Make it so, Number One!")
  3. Right now, the Steam approval looks as following: 2149 users made a steam review. 48% percent of them gave a positive review 1368 users). 52% gave the game a negative review (1504 users). Less than 50% are recommending the game in its current state! I am an avid fan of KSP1 with over 2000 hours in the game and the firm decision to buy it on release day. I am postponing my buy after all the videos and reviews in the last days for the following reasons: - 50€ price tag is equivalent to a AAA title, fully developed - performance issues here and there - core features are not working - missing content is not a factor. I would have gladly paid if I can build better stuff in KSP2 than in KSP1 right from the start and use the old Kerbol system as a playground. I can live with missing content as depicted in the roadmap. But not with a barely playable game with massive performance issues. Releasing a product for this amount of money in this kind of stae should not be rewarded. Not from a major studio after the franchise has been here for over ten years. From my point of view, the reason for early access is that you can test things with a wider audience for things you cannot test inhouse. Not for finding essential bugs and with a horrible optimization. Comparisons with KSP1 early access are moot in my opinion, because the basics should have been ironed out by now. Especially after 4 years of development. If the game is released in this state after many years of development, there is no reason to believe that follow-up content is coming swiftly.
  4. I am excited to build bigger and more complex craft in KSP2!
  5. I must say, I am a bit underwhelmed from the videos on youtube from the last couple of days. I understand it is early access and not a full game. But still, I am a bit shocked how raw it still is in its core mechanics after four (?) years of development . I am not interested in fancy graphics for a successor of KSP 1, so having not very polished graphics does not bother me. My core expectation for KSP 2 is that I can build ships I can't build in KSP1. The main limitation for this is performance of the physics calculation. Physics calculation limits the size and complexity of the vessels and projects I can build massivly in KSP1 and as far as I can judge from the videos, from KSP2 at this stage as well. It is hard to understate the importance of performance right now. Aside from performance, things like action groups and and a proper work space in VAB / SPH are on the top of the list. Symmetry mode, I look at you. Even if the product is far from finished, being able to feel you're not working against the program eases handling and acceptance. Given that development was announced in August 2019 with a release date of early 2020, which got postponed to Q3 2021, then 2022, then early 2023, I fear we are stuck for quite a while with the early access phase. I expect a full release not before end of 2025 / 2026. I really appreciate the work of the developing team and I see the effort going into this, but given the raw first impression and lack of performance I am a bit reserved, whether my core expectation for KSP 2 can be fulfilled. And even if so, in a reasonable timeframe. Edit after early access release: Boy, that post did not age well. KSP2 struggles with 50-100 parts, has severe bugs in its core mechanics and the physics handling. For comparison: Solid works can handle upwards of 100.000 parts with different joint and material properties in rela time. In a version from ten years ago.
  6. Nice videos and cool execution! And congrats on discovering VSSTOs or Vertical take-off, single stage to orbit crafts. The main trick of jet engines and wings compared to rockets wihtout wings is that they allow for flight with a TWR below 1. Now, if you aim for a TWR of greater than 1 with rapiers, you need many more 2 ton engines for take-off than with wings and a horizontal take-off. For the latter mode, a TWR of 0.3 - 0.4 is more than sufficient. Rapiers are excellent in the supersonic regime and far outclass panthers and whiplashs at higher mach speeds. At a velocity near zero, they are suboptimal. 2 tons of Rapier engines give you 105kN of thrust (but 465.64 kN at Mach 3.75). A Panther gives you 85 kN of thrust for 1.2 tons, which is better per kilogramm than the rapier. And this is in dry mode. If you use the Panther in wet mode, you get 135 kN for 1.2 tons of engine. Toggling between wet and dry mode is almost instantly, which saves you the spool up and down time of jet engines. So, maybe replacing some of the Rapiers with Panthers will allow for better control at take-off and landing for less mass without losing much performance in the higher velocity ranges. Anyways, cool video. I am looking forward to more content from you. P.S.: That was my take on an VSSTO: https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/XV-01-Atlantian-VSSTO
  7. I have been experimenting with SSTOs in Je ne sais quoi (JNSQ) a bit lately. As it rescales the system by a factor of 2.7, it makes it a bit more challenging to build useful SSTOs there. Great fun. A combination of Rapiers, Wolfhounds and Nervs are the trick. Rapiers bring the craft to 1500 - 1550 m/s, where Wolfhounds and Nervs bring it to orbital velocities of 3800+ m/s. If build correctly, crafts have still enough fuel for a trip to Minmus and an ISRU for refueling. Here are some examples: Stiletto SSTA from 2019 2 Kerbals in command seats inside a service bay, ISRU in the front. 132t take off mass. https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/JNSQ-02-Stiletto-SSTA-for-Je-ne-sais-quoi-Planet-pack Tanto SSTA Basically a redesign of the Stiletto with newer building techniques. 6 Rapiers, 3 Wolfhounds, 2 Nervs. 205t take off mass, 2 Kerbals in pods. https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/JNSQ-X-4-Tanto-SSTO Tethys SSTA Up to 8 Kerbals, science bay, ISRU and plenty of other stuff. 284t take off mass, 10x Rapiers, 4x Wolfhounds, 4x Nervs. https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/JNSQ-X-8-Tethys-SSTO Bahamuth Rescue Ranger Built for two rescue contracts, where one pod has to be brought back to the surface of Kerbin. Comes with a dragless rear docking port senior as well and a science bay. The rescued capsule has been attached with a small claw at the top: The 173t take off mass equals to 43,25t per Rapier engine. The rather low TWR at start means a take off besides the runway is necessary. https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/JNSQ-X-11-Bahamuth-Rescue-Ranger And lastly a universal lander for JNSQ. Technically a SSTO, apart from Kerbin, Eve, Nara and the Gas Giants. Dolphin MK I Runabout As ejecting from a command seat through a fairing proved rather buggy for me, a hinge is used to bring the seat outside the fairing. Due to aerodynamic trickery, the whole body is shielded from drag, only wings and elevons produce drag (and lift). https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/Dolphin-Mk-I-dragless-lander-for-JNSQ Have a good day, folks! - Mephisto-
  8. Shenaningans with drag and engine plates! Fairings and engine plates are both useful for drag shielding. Engines plates can also support many more nodes than intended! For reasons unknown, engine plates with a shroud do not only shield the attached parts at the back, but also the part at the front. We can use this, to shield the whole body of a craft from drag: This is a very small and basic lander for JNSQ. The whole body, the engines and the docking port at the back are shielded from drag. Only the engine plate itself produces a small amount of drag. As slowing down with a dragless body is impractical, wings and elevons provide lift and drag when needed for reentry and crossrange capabilities. A 1.25m fairing is the basis. An engine plate is added to the fairing. Shrouded engine plates have some unique features: they shield the parts at the back from drag AND they shield the part in front of it from drag as well for reasons unknown. This way, the fairing, the engines and the docking port are shielded from drag. To activate the shroud, a part needs to be added at the back. Here, a reaction wheel is added to activate the shroud and the magical shielding properties. In this state, the reaction wheel would still produce significant amount of frontal plate drag. To avoid this, it is later offset inside the fairing to be shielded as well. There is a trick to add more items to the engine plate: after we have already used the 4+1 nodes (the docking port is offset for a better view), the engine plate can set again to new nodes, where additional parts can be added, all shielded from drag when inside the shroud. Time for a check on the runway! All relevant parts are dragless. Only the elevons, the wings and the airbrake now produce drag (and lift). Link to the craft: https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/Dolphin-Mk-I-dragless-lander-for-JNSQ Link to the imgur album with the whole construction process: https://imgur.com/gallery/KAeSTGX -Mephisto- (Flying like a leaf in the wind! Without drag? How?)
  9. You can do that, but parts will not be shielded against drag. So it is purely cosmetic, apart from the added lift in unwanted places whilst in atmosphere.
  10. Upgrades for my JNSQ-Fleet: JNSQ X-8 Tethys SSTO Just completed the first mission with my new SSTO in "Je ne sais quoi" to Minmus and the Mun. Has room for 8 Kerbals and can collect lots of science. Features: Command pod for Pilot and Engineer Passenger Seats for four Kerbals Science bay in starboard service bay Full ISRU complement (small ISRU, large mining drill, fuel cell arrays, RTG, ore tank) Frontal docking port junior via inflatable airlock at the bow Frontal parachute for parachute assisted landing (Duna, etc.) Breaking parachutes for quick deceleration after landing (Kerbin, Laythe, etc.) Sensors and scanners for ore detection Docking port senior at the stern. In space, an Engineer can put the cover on the upper part of the craft. Free service bay for future upgrades at the front. (Rover, micro lander, satellite, etc.) Special emphasis on high temperature and high impact tolerance for key parts: wherever possible, parts with high stress and temperature tolerance have been used to compensate for higher thermal loads in Je ne sais quoi mod. Link to Kerbalx: https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/JNSQ-X-8-Tethys-SSTO
  11. JNSQ X-4 Tanto SSTO Tanto on its way to orbit in Kerbal Space Programm with the Je ne sais quoi mod. JNSQ takes place in a system with 2.5x the size, meaning orbital velocities are higher and crafts have to be redesigned to cope with the higher demands in reaching orbit or reentering from orbit. The Tanto is equipped with 6x Rapier engines, 3x Wolfhound engines and 2x Nerv engines to be able to reach a low kerbin orbit with an orbital velocity of 3.800 m/s. It has enough fuel left to reach Kerbins second small moon, Minmus, and use its mining equipment there to replenish its fuel tanks for further voyages. It can handle the heat from low kerbin reentry as well. Link to KerbalX: https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/JNSQ-X-4-Tanto-SSTO Mephisto (Flying like a leaf in the wind.)
  12. I might have a little craft for this: https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/XS-07-Myrmidon-Liquid-Fuel-only-SSTO-to-Mun-and-Duna Took it from Kerbin to the Mun and Duna and back to Kerbin. To orbit! Fly me to the Mun... A flag! On the Mun! A nice day in the dessert. Hope they don't have sandworms on Duna... More pictures in the Imgur gallery: https://imgur.com/a/inJNYvH -Mephisto- (Fly Safe and prosper, or something like that)
  13. It has been quite a while. Welcome to 2021, everyone. Time for some updates! Hyperion Mk IV refit https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/XR-26-Hyperion-Mk-IV-with-Stingray-Eve-Lander Refit of the venerable Hyperion Mk III from 2017 with modern tech. Contains seating for 22 Kerbals, ISRU, Mobile Lab, Mining Drill, lots of experiments. The engine layout is very powerful for a vessel of its size: it can even take of vertically. For short take offs, vectors in the back can provide additional thrust. Bobcats in frontal service bays help to bring the craft into the air. XS-11 Ifrit (Panther / Aerospike / Nerv Testbed) https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/XS-11-Ifrit The Ifrit is a small craft, intended for carrying in a cargo bay. It serves two Kerbals as a landing and exploration craft. With full oxidiser, it has a range of 2,333 m/s dV with the aerospike. add some additional liquid fuel for the Nerv, and you can land on Tylo as well. With liquid fuel only, the Nerv engine has a range of 4,500 m/s dV. The onboard ISRU with the small mining drill allows refueling wherever ore concentration is 5% or higher. Onboard experiments can be stored on the drone core. The inflatable airlock allows docking with small docking ports. RCS thrusters support docking procedures. Kerbals can also replenish EVA fuel for their jetpacks when entering the inflatable airlock. Flags are replenished as well. To aid in horizontal take off, the craft has four airbrakes. Deploy the airbrakes for easy take off. On Kerbin, the Ifrit can reach orbit on its own: to save mass, only a 1.2t heavy panther engine provides airbreathing thrust. Use the Panther for take off and activate the wet mode to reach maximum velocity near sea level. When speed is maxed out, climb higher and add the aerospike and the Nerv. Orbit can be reached with about 500 m/s dV left. With this, you can dock with a mothership. XR-27 Sagitarius https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/XR-27-Sagitarius Another iteration from the trusted line of long range explorers, Sagitarius brings 8 Kerbals with some level of comfort to almost any destination in the system, even Tylo. Equiped with plenty of science instruments and a mobile lab, onboard scientists will find plenty of new things to discover. The ISRU and Mining drill ensures the longevity of your explorations. 4 Rapiers, 2 Wolfhounds and 2 Nervs bring you to the stars. Max range on Nervs: 6,400 m/s dV. Max range on Wolfhounds: 2,700 m/s dV. Max range on Rapiers (rocket mode) and Wolfhounds combined: 2,390 m/s dV. Collapsible Rover in a box https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/Collapsible-Rover-in-Box XR-29 Agathon - Orange tank to Tylo (in style) https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/XR-29-Agathon-Mk-II-orange-tank-to-Tylo The primary mission of Agathon is to bring a 32t orange tank to the surface of Tylo. However, you can change the payload to any other you deem fit. Features Crew of 3 plus 16 Passengers Large Cargo Bay for 32t payload to Tylo Sturdy landing gears Mining Drills plus small ISRU for refueling on bodies and asteroids plenty of storage space with new parts -Mephisto- (Forward, unto dawn!)
  14. Nothing new for sure, but sometimes useful: Airbrakes instead of landing legs. Airbrakes are installed "inverted", as the hinge is at the back. The frontal part has to be below the center of mass to be able to lift. The upper airbrakes prevent the craft from toppling over. They weight only 50 kg each, as much as the LT-1 landing struts and half as much as the bigger LT-2 landing struts. Remove the lower airbrakes from the action group "braking", otherwise it lifts the craft up. Craft file: https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/XS-11-Ifrit
  15. Seems I am kind in a retro mood. Another iteration of my trusted Grand Tour vessel, albeit this time without the Eve lander attached. It is really satisfiying, when all the panels, radiators, antennas and sensors deploy with a single click. As usual, with enough reach for Moho and enough thrust for a Tylo landing. No need for a seperate ressource scanning satellite, as all the scanners are onboard already. Enough Room for 8 Kerbals. XR-27 Sagitarius To the stars with Sagitarius! Another iteration from the trusted line of long range explorers, Sagitarius brings 8 Kerbals with some level of comfort to almost any destination in the system, even Tylo. Equiped with plenty of science instruments and a mobile lab, onboard scientists will find plenty of new things to discover. The ISRU and Mining drill ensures the longevity of your explorations. 4 Rapiers, 2 Wolfhounds and 2 Nervs bring you to the stars. Max range on Nervs: 6,400 m/s dV. Max range on Wolfhounds: 2,700 m/s dV. Max range on Rapiers (rocket mode) and Wolfhounds combined: 2,390 m/s dV. Enjoy your journey. Link to KerbalX: https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/XR-27-Sagitarius
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