Fraktal

Members
  • Content Count

    206
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Fraktal

  1. Subassemblies save their staging and add everything to the exact same stage you saved the subassembly with when you use it. If, for example, you have a booster with three stages you saved as 0/1/2 and you use that subassembly, KSP adds its components to 0/1/2 instead of the last three stages you currently have or creating new stages for them. There is no prediction there, everything is reloaded as-is.
  2. Me, I just want two pieces of realism right now, both of them physics-related. Fix. The damn. FRICTION. It's ridiculous just how slippery the ground is, regardless of gravity. Pieces broken off from a plane tipping over during landing shouldn't keep sliding forward for hundreds of meters. Raise the speed threshold above which ragdolled kerbals are forced to stay ragdolled. It's ridiculous that they're completely incapable of stopping their tumbling around until they come to a near complete halt. They shouldn't keep rolling like a tumbleweed for 10+ seconds if they hit the ground with a bit too much horizontal velocity while jetting around.
  3. For what it's worth, I believe it could be worth keeping a demo around so that people who are interested in getting KSP but are unsure if their PC's hardware is enough can use the demo as benchmark to see for themselves if their rig is good. Especially since minimum/recommended spec lists you usually find online are not 100% pass/fail; for instance, my own laptop's CPU is supposedly insufficient for KSP according to SysReqLab, pointing at the low single-core clock speed of 1.1 GHz while completely ignoring that it's quad-core and auto-overclocks itself up to 2.2 GHz when under load, not to mention claiming that my RAM is a pass as far as recommended specs go while in actuality, the game runs like crap if I'm running Chrome in the background and it still crashes with an access violation error after about two dozen scene changes, despite not using any parts mods. So yes, no amount of stated specs is ever going to be a more definitive verdict than actually running the game, for which a demo would be perfect.
  4. The mission of the RV-1 rover ended today, successfully. Two sessions ago, the rover arrived to Minmus, landing near the highlands just east of the Great Flats. After visiting all four nearby biomes, the rover spent over an hour rolling downhill and surveyed the Great Flats before firing up its thrusters and jetting westward on a suborbital hop, landing in the Lesser Flats. From there, it spent another hour rolling north to survey the nearby Flats. Once that was done, the controllers noted that the Greater Flats were currently on the night side of Minmus with Kerbin beneath the horizon. So instead of jetting there directly, the rover instead jetted north and landed near the north pole, from where it proceeded to roll eastward along the arctic circle until it reached the terminator, at which point it dropped anchor and shut down until morning. When daylight came, the probe fired up its thrusters again and jumped to the south in its largest hop ever, arriving over the Greater Flats. However, despite the controllers having waited with the maneuver until the Greater Flats had LOS to Kerbin, the rover ended up dropping out of contact less than two minutes before the suicide burn. The result was a hard landing that destroyed the rover's front right wheel, but miraculously left everything else intact. Once contact with Kerbin was reestablished, the rover transmitted its last batch of science data before attempting to use its thrusters to climb up to orbit with the intention of leaving Minmus and deorbiting into Kerbin. But with one of the landing wheels gone and the rover's dual Baguette tanks almost empty, the rover's engines ended up producing too much asymmetric thrust for the probe core to compensate and by the time the proper power ratio was manually set, it was too late: the rover hit the ground hard enough to lose the probe core, the science package and one of the Baguettes along with its thruster, causing the other thruster to fire 460 m/s of dV in a rapid, uncontrolled spin that hurled the rover up to nearly 300 km altitude before it fell down and was destroyed on impact. Still, the mission was a success: the rover visited every single biome and sent back data from each. From the experience, the RV-1 design was overhauled, removing one of the Baguette tanks and encasing the other inside the rover's central structural element to make the design more robust. In addition, the decision was made to remove two of the rover's three antennas and instead include an RS-1 relay satellite into the launch payload, as said design already proved its reliability with three satellites in semi-synchronous orbit around the Mun providing uninterrupted connectivity to any missions on the far side, even those without a dedicated antenna. The rover itself also received an additional thruster on the rear for improved controllability during both ascent and descent, as the forward-facing OKTO core's navigation system couldn't see the prograde direction of the downward-facing thrusters and thus all prograde/retrograde burns had to be eyeballed completely in the blind. With the mission concluded, the brass greenlighted a manned mission and within a day, Explorer-3B blasted off for its first manned Minmus landing. In the end, Jeb and Bob visited and surveyed no less than five biomes; in particular, when the lander passed over a Slopes biome on its way to the nearby Flats, Bob got out and jetted back to the hill to verify if the biome had a flat enough spot at the top of the hill for the lander. Once he verified that there was such a spot with a 6.2° elevation about 600 meters uphill, Jeb locked onto his position and flew the lander to him instead of waiting for him to return. They had enough spare fuel for one more biome, but the brass decided not to take any chances and brought them home with 500 m/s remaining between the main engine and the RCS. Although the engineers desired to use this opportunity to test whether RCS thrusters could be used to cancel lateral velocity during landing, the result was disappointing: the thrusters did not have enough power to meaningfully affect the lander's trajectory while it still had fuel for the main engine, nor did lander's monopropellant capacity grant them enough endurance for a long burn. In the end, Jeb and Bob returned to Kerbin on a shallow reentry with 45 km periapse, almost bouncing off the atmosphere but having burned all their remaining fuel before reentry, they did not have enough upwards velocity to escape and ended up landing with less than 2 units of ablator remaining on the heatshield out of 60. They brought with them a massive treasure trove of scientific information (15 surface samples, 15 goo observations, 15 materials studies, 5 crew reports, 5 EVA reports, 5 atmospheric surveys, 5 temperature surveys) that immediately allowed R&D to pursue two different avenues of development. After careful consideration of what was required by the program's plans for the future, the brass decided to develop the HECS core, along with improved solar panels, energy storage and relay antennas, in preparation for the upcoming launch of the RV-2 rover mission to GIlly once the second flight of the Explorer-3B finishes surveying Minmus' surface (which will unlock a third node). There was a great deal of debate whether to go inwards and explore Gilly, or go outwards and explore Ike. In the end, Gilly was chosen due to the wider transmission window available for the RS-2 relay satellite to be sent along with it. In addition, there is also an ongoing debate whether it's worth to extend the RS-2's range to the entirety of Eve's orbit, or to merely settle for maintaining connectivity during the Kerbin transfer window.
  5. For space vessels: Pathfinder class: manned short-range science flights Kerbin-1: sounding rocket Kerbin-2: suborbital rocket Kerbin-3: LKO rocket Spaceliner class: manned personnel/tourist transport Spaceliner-1: LKO Spaceliner-2: Mun/Minmus orbiter Spaceliner-3: Mun/Minmus orbiter with RCS and docking capability Spaceliner-4: near interplanetary orbiter Spaceliner-5: far interplanetary orbiter Surveyor class: unmanned science flights Surveyor-1: single-shot Mun/Minmus probe Surveyor-2: Minmus orbiter + rover Surveyor-3: Gilly/Ike orbiter + rover Surveyor-4: Dres/Bop/Pol orbiter + rover Explorer class: manned long-range science flights Explorer-1: single-person Mun/Minmus orbiter Explorer-2: single-person Mun/Minmus lander Explorer-3: two-person Mun/Minmus lander with sufficient dV for polar landings Explorer-4: near interplanetary (Duna/Dres/Moho) orbiter, lander and manned rover Explorer-5: far interplanetary (Jool/Eeloo) orbiter and SSTO lander shuttle Argus class: Grand Tour mothership with a rocket SSTO rated for Tylo's gravity, an airbreathing SSTO rated for Kerbin's gravity and an ISRU rig rated for Moho's gravity For aircraft, with an increasing letter suffix as more advanced engines are developed and used: L - Mk1 L1: twin Juno, then single-engine L2: twin-engine L2 Record Breaker: triple-engine with no science or personnel payload L3: SSTO M - Mk2 M1: twin-engine M2: quad-engine M2 Record Breaker: hexa-engine with no science or personnel payload M3: SSTO H - Mk3 H1: atmospheric H2: SSTO No designations for STS analogues yet, because I'm yet to produce a flyable tailsitter shuttle. My last attempt made suborbital, but it was very small and instead of being a tailsitter, it had the tanks and engines symmetrically attached on the top and bottom instead of only at the bottom.
  6. What heresy is this? There's no such thing as impossible in KSP.
  7. Hey, KSP doesn't simulate n-body interactions. So as long as the spheres of influence do not touch, we can go as wild with inclined and eccentric moon orbits as we damn well please.
  8. Nah, let's throw GP2 in as DLC content on a very high-inclination orbit as explanation for why it's not where it should be in the stock game. Also, moon suggestions to mix things up with the environmental hazards: A moon whose atmosphere is excessively high in oxygen, causing jet engines to be almost as powerful as a rocket but overheat very quickly if you actually try to use them at full power (not to mention burning LF faster as well). Oh, and Kerbals can't take their helmets off there or else they die of hyperoxia. A moon whose atmosphere is thin but very hot (as in, hotter than Moho), requiring many and powerful radiators to be able to burn the engines long enough to escape without the engines exploding from overheating. A moon that has no atmosphere, but disproportionately high gravity for its size.
  9. I found it highly useful as an SSTO VTOL engine in munar gravity and lower. Less risk of a tailstrike from not turning horizontal quickly enough prior to ground contact, not to mention less of a risk of using up too much LF during the approach, nor do you have to lug around oxidizer if you're flying with nukes. Descend on main engines until you get to about 100 m/s, then turn horizontal and switch to the Puffs. Monoprop is heavy, yes, but you use most of it up during the landing and can burn the rest on takeoff in a vertical ascent to gain room and time for flipping vertical and lighting the main engines, which means you don't have to lug it around anymore on your way upwards.
  10. Just remembered: a part that allows probes and rovers to collect a surface sample while landed. Recommend putting it under the "Advanced Exploration" node in the tech tree (tier 6) so that in order to obtain it, the player already has to upgrade the R&D facility to the point where kerbonauts can collect surface samples themselves.
  11. After some more aircraft research, this time into finding the optimal intakes for my designs (what's the point of the radial intake with that much drag, anyway?), I decided to put my newly unlocked rover wheels to use and sent a rover to Minmus. I ended up massively overestimating the amount of dV I'd need to get there and was forced to dump nearly 800 m/s worth of fuel in my transfer stage after the deorbit burn. Also, that 2100 m/s I packed into the rover for its pair of Ant engines on the bottom might've been too much, as I only needed half of that for the suicide burn descent and that includes having wasted quite a bit trying to zero out my horizontal velocity, as I mounted the OKTO core in a horizontal orientation for driving around, which meant I couldn't see the retrograde marker on the navball while retroburning, so I was forced to eyeball it. Lots of spinning and dancing ensued, followed by about two minutes of swearing trying to get the rover upright because even though the gravity was low enough for the OKTO's reaction wheel to flip the rover upright, whichever wheel touched the ground first ended up kicking out like a horse and counteracting my efforts the moment I was more than 20° upright. Oh well. The rover is down, I have four biomes done already and once I'm done with everything I can access on the equator, I'm going to use that remaining 1k m/s to go suborbital and reach the poles. I'm currently headed towards the nearest flats and should be able to reach it before I go out of LOS with the KSC (since I don't have relay sats around Minmus yet, a fact I only realized when the rover arrived and failed to execute an orbital insertion burn due to Minmus eclipsing Kerbin).
  12. With the Mun mostly devoid of new science data, I decided to get back into aircraft research and made an interesting discovery on the first test flight of the L2A Record Breaker. Well, aside from the discovery that Engine Nacelles still work if their front attachment node is covered with a nosecone; I thought it couldn't work if the airflow was obstructed and I'm overjoyed to be proven wrong. Anyway. Apparently turbofans don't like being run at full power at Mach 2 for more than a few minutes... But at least this design made it back to the KSC and landed without parachutes, which was a first in today's line of experiments. For reference, the overheating also showed up with only two engines at Mach 1.8 and the produced heat was sufficient to tax two small radiators at 99.88% each. Without radiators, the engines belched out so much heat that the rest of the plane was still increasing in temperature over a minute after both engines were completely shut down and the aircraft was back on the ground. I'm thinking of adding on a large radiator instead. Also experimented with drop tanks. Not that useful: two small tanks only add on about five minutes' worth of fuel and their decouplers are producing so much drag that the plane only reaches Mach 1.07 - but the moment the tanks are empty and I drop them, the plane immediately accelerates to Mach 1.73. It's just not worth it. On the other hand, I figured out to my joy how to make my planes practically self-fly themselves with SAS instead of SAS struggling to keep them level. By toying around with wing AoA and tail/canard trim, I figured out how to make the plane very slightly nose upward when flying without SAS, which means SAS has to pull it downwards to keep it level, which very noticeably decreased cruising AoA and thus drag. Of course, it doesn't work with physical time acceleration: when I flip the switch, all intakes' effective air speed drops like a stone, which decreases engine thrust, which causes the plane to nose down. Still, it's gonna come in handy for visual survey missions once I take these designs into a career game.
  13. In today's adventure, the engineers at the KSC finally finalized the schematics of the RD-2 lander stage for the Explorer-3B lander. In particular, the engineers decided to install an approach control system consisting of 8 small monopropellant thrusters, calculated to have a TWR of 1.34 under munar gravity and intended to take over from the primary lander engine during the final approach. While fabrication and was underway, Jeb volunteered to test out the also finalized concept for the Transport-1 personnel shuttle on a munar flyby, with Bill and Val as passengers. Val has never been to space, so the two days in microgravity were good learning experience for her. As soon as Transport-1 splashed down and the crew arrived back to the KSC, Jeb only took a short break before boarding the freshly completed Explorer-3B on its maiden voyage to the Mun. As usual, Bob accompanied him in the secondary cockpit as science officer. Bill and Val both saw them off at the launch before Val headed for home; Bill stayed at Mission Control for a while longer to oversee the munar insertion burn, as the crater targeted by the science division for this mission's landing site was perilously close to the northern pole's treacherous terrain and required a very high-inclination orbit to reach. Once Jeb reported back to mission control that the burn was successfully executed, Bill headed home, content that as always, his colleagues got this mission in the bag. ---- The phone call came during the night, startling him awake. Groggily trying to blink sleep out of his eyes, Bill only managed to pick up the receiver on the third try. - "'m here." - he mumbled, suppressing a yawn. "Come to Mission Control, now." - came Val's terse voice. - "We have a problem." ---- "I'm here, boss." - Bill said quietly as he tapped Gene on the shoulder. Even with everyone working quietly and professionally at their terminals, the tense atmosphere in Mission Control was evident. "Good." - Gene thumbed at Val behind him. - "She told you what happened?" "The quick version. Run it by me again." "Deorbit burn took place at 47 kilometers above the target area. Jeb had some problems bringing the approach control system online, but he managed to get it working. Apparently some of the fuses were installed backwards and shut the thrusters down when he hit the priming switch; the crew is looking into it now. Anyway, the landing site was a bust: the flattest area Jeb managed to find was still sloped 10°." Bob winced. - "Yikes. That's more than half of what the landing struts can take under munar gravity." "I know, but it gets worse. By the time the lander reached the crater, the area was dangerously close to the terminator." "The site was in the shadow?" "Yes. Jeb was forced to take off and relocate. Luckily, there was a hole in the crater rim exactly in Kerbol's direction and the initial site was just a few hundred meters south of the edge of the shadow so he didn't have to go far, but he had to put it down at 12°." "Damn. How much fuel did he use up?" "The lander had just over 1200 at landing and Jeb used less than 200, so it went better than we expected." - Gene sighed. - "Problem is, by the time Bob finished running the experiments, the shadow caught up with them and they only had power for one transmission." "So what, they dumped the sample?" - Bill guessed. "No." - Gene replied flatly. - "Bob hung off the secondary cockpit's ladder with one hand while holding the sample in the other hand during takeoff." A blank stare was the answer he got. "...what." "I'm not kidding." "The hell you aren't. I'd expect this sort of thing from Jeb, but Bob?" "I swear I'm not pulling your leg. I've got the transmission log, if you don't believe me." "How the hell he didn't fall off the ladder during the acceleration?" "Guess all those trips to the Mun finally toughened him up." - Gene guessed. - "Anyway. They're in orbit now and here's where the problem is." "Not enough fuel?" "Bang on. We've got 508 in the 909 and 33 in the ACS." "That'd normally be enough. Orbit?" "23 km periapse, 26 km apoapse, 74° inclination almost perfectly lined up with Kerbin. The guys are running the numbers like crazy but there's barely any lateral velocity at their current orbital position, so a retrograde escape is a no-go at this time." "How bad?" "2.7 million klicks. At best." Bob paled. - "Kerp." - he swore. "Yep. We've got about two days until the Mun's orbital position lines up for a retrograde escape..." - Gene trailed off before lowering his voice. - "...but medical says Bob's vitals are putting out some values I don't like. Jeb's holding him together for now but I'd still prefer if we got them home as quickly as possible because if Bob loses it..." He didn't need to finish. Both knew exactly what would happen if a kerbonaut were to succumb to fear in the middle of a dangerous situation: empty coffins to be buried. "Get me the numbers." - Bill said finally. - "I'll figure something out." "You do that. We've never lost a single kerbonaut and we're sure as hell not gonna lose two now. Those two are counting on us and we've gotta come through." ---- Four hours later, Gene was in the middle of reaching for what he guessed was his twentieth cup of coffee that day when his field of vision was suddenly filled with a large sheet full of numbers and trajectories. Looking up, he beheld the visage of Bob leaning heavily on Gene's terminal, bloodshot eyes barely open. Then with a shaky hand, Bob pointed at three heavily encircled parts and mumbled something unintelligible that vaguely sounded like - "Done." Gene wordlessly gave him the coffee mug before standing up to take the sheet to the comms technician. ---- Jeb was quietly gazing at the munar surface less than thirty kilometers beyond his cramped capsule's window when the radio crackled to life. - "Explorer, Mission Control. Comm check." "Mission Control, Explorer. Listening." "Standby to receive maneuver data." He watched on his monitor as the numbers came in, dimly noting that on the CCTV monitor to the side, Bob jerked awake. As the data finished transmitting, Jeb's eyebrow rose. - "Mission Control, Explorer. Transmission complete. Please confirm, burn 200 at point almost exactly opposite of Kerbin?" "Confirmed, Explorer." "That's barely enough to break orbit. Shouldn't it be more than that?" "Negative, Explorer. Do not deviate from the burn target." "Copy, Mission Control." - Jeb replied before looking over the data again. Again, he failed to see how it would help. ---- "Engine shutdown confirmed." - a technician announced. "Margin?" "Zero. No overburn or underburn. Jeb nailed it perfectly, to the tenth. Explorer is now on course for munar escape." Gene made a noncommittal sound. - "That's the first bit of good news I've heard since the beginning of this kerpstorm." - He glanced to the shuttered office off to the side, from which even the windows couldn't block out the sound of Bill's snoring. - "Let's just hope he got the numbers right. Comms, transmit the second maneuver." "Yes, sir." - A short while later, Gene heard the controller's voice through his own near-silent prayer. - "Explorer, Mission Control. Confirm maneuver: full burn at designated location." ---- "Director, we have a problem." Gene sighed for what felt like a hundredth time. - "What now?" "Jeb just finished the second burn, but his periapse is only 80. They're gonna be too high for an aerobreak and the 909's out of fuel." "Damn. Call for the guys to get the T-1B ready. Even if we have to leave the data behind, we're bringing the crew back home." "Sir, we've never done an orbital rendezvous before. And even if we had, the relative orbital velocity will be 700 m/s, giving us an intercept window of about ten minutes. There's no way we can pull that maneuver off, even if Explorer would get that far." "What do you mean, 'get that far'?" - Gene demanded. "They lost too much speed on the second burn. The Mun will capture them again in less than an hour." Gene buried his face in his hands. - "You've gotta be kidding me... we've done all this for nothing?" "Don't throw in the towel just yet, boss." - Bill quipped as he emerged from behind the technician, the darkness of the bags beneath his eyes almost looking like makeup. "But we're back where we started and don't have any fuel left-" "Trust me." - Bill cut Gene off with confidence. - "I know what I'm doing." ---- Gene still wasn't convinced as he started at Mission Control's main display, the trajectory line shifting to show Explorer's new orbit around the Mun. Only, there was no apoapse indicator. "Sir..." - a technician began with uncertainty. - "If I'm seeing this right... we're on course for a munar escape in less than an hour." Gene's head immediately snapped towards him. - "What? How?" "I don't know, sir. But they're at a very high altitude, I think they have escape velocity." Gene narrowed his eye and studied the display. - "What's the projected trajectory after escape?" "Computer's still calculating." - After nearly a minute, the technician backed away from his terminal so suddenly he nearly fell backwards with his chair. - "We've got minus fifty periapse on Kerbin!" "What the-?! I thought we were stuck at plus eighty! How on Kerbin..." - He looked back at the board. Attentively and thoroughly, he took in every detail of every object and trajectory involved... ...and his eyes went wide at the same time as his mouth hung open. - "Oh, you have got to be kidding me... the Mun's gravity is pulling them retrograde?!" "Yup." - Bill quipped as he appeared next to him with a cup of coffee. - "And we've still got 33 m/s in the ACS. We burn that prograde here..." - He pointed at the third mark on his orbital drawing. - "...and it's gonna raise periapse to 35 for a nice, shallow reentry." Gene just stared at him. - "...you magnificent piece of kerp. Not only you got them home, but you still had that kind of safety margin?" Bill shrugged with a grin. - "Just doing my job, boss." (yes, this is the exact dramatization of what went down in my game today)
  14. Maybe. Also, I suddenly remembered what I've been missing for a long time now: inline parachute. Because it's ridiculous that you have to choose between the chute or the docking ring when your payload is light enough to need only one chute and you don't want to make the craft asymmetric due to drag and mass distribution.
  15. Don't forget how you can be standing a hundred meters away from the edge of the shelf, yet the game still says you are standing on the ocean. The biome border does not line up with the edge of the shelf whatsoever.
  16. Good idea. Heat suit for Moho, pressure suit for Eve, radiation suit for Jool's moons. Also, what about specialized research into ground EVA suits, without which Kerbals can still go EVA on, say, Duna, but have greatly reduced movement speed? RL suits are anything but agile on the ground, so you're not going to be running around on Mars without something more lightweight. How about this: suit weight and local gravity inversely proportionally determine the impact threshold at which kerbals go ragdoll. Heavy suits ragdoll later in vacuum but earlier in gravity, light suits ragdoll earlier in vacuum but later in gravity.
  17. Details that came to my mind for that in the meantime: Doors take up a full half of the bay's circumference. Instead of internal attachment nodes at either end, the cargo bay has a radial mounting rack in the internal surface, exactly opposite of the door's center line. Aside from carrying stuff, the rack can be used as a radial decoupler to detach and push out the cargo, since the bay is so small that the cargo might not have room for RCS. Decoupling functionality can be used as-is or can be staged; the choice would be a VAB tweakable, similar to fairings.
  18. And I wasn't thinking of a Thud-style "hangs off the side and points downwards" radial engine. I was thinking of an Ant-style "sticks to the bottom pointing directly outward" engine. In fact... just now I had the mental image of the VTOL engine being not a freely-attachable part, but being squeezed into a 1.25m/Mk2 fuselage, with the nozzle being on the belly in the middle rather than at the rear.
  19. Question. Whenever I save a subassembly in a category, then use the mod to tag it or change the description, the subassembly is removed from the category I placed it in and dumped into the "all" header. Is that deliberate, bug or technical limitation you can't / haven't gotten the time to get around?
  20. A gizmo that produces EC if sufficiently heated up. The EC output should be insufficient for operating ore converters and radiators and/or should only start producing any EC if heated beyond ore converter maximum operational temperature. Instead, its primary purpose would be for keeping the reaction wheels at least partially running during reentry. Just a small quality-of-life improvement, y'know. Also, a pre-Tier 4 battery. Small (30-40) capacity and quite heavy, to give the player a mite bigger margin of error for reaction wheeling in space but still keep it reasonably limited.
  21. Nah, 3.75m ion is what we need. I mean, this is KSP. Someone is eventually going to build a several hundred ton monster of a ship propelled solely by ions and make it work, if they hadn't already. Anyway, being a bit more serious here... how about a dedicated VTOL jet engine? Good static thrust. Good gimbal. Throttles up/down faster than other jets. Gains marginal benefit from airspeed and flames out at transsonic speeds. Suffers very badly from altitude, flaming out just a few kilometers above Kerbin's highest mountain. Prone to overheating if fired for an extended length of time. Possibly limited to radial mounting only? Possibly responds to RCS controls only?
  22. A version of the LV-N that has different (better/worse) efficiency, but uses monoprop as fuel.
  23. That's what I did back in the day before switching over to shallower aerobraking passes. In the end, I don't have an angle I always stick to: I just pick a target periapse and make the burn at the Mun, then I burn any remaining fuel just before reentry to maximize my chances of not skipping back off into orbit, which tends to bring my periapse even lower. Whatever works to bring me back down safely. But then again, as I did a 15km periapse reentry yesterday, my return stage almost flipped over from the lander can's drag. Ever since 1.4, it's been pretty much impossible for me to reenter with anything bigger than a single command pod without it flipping over from drag if I'm not using SAS (and if anything other than a heatshield is at the front, even with SAS). But as I also found out the hard way yesterday, apparently the lander can has so much drag that it decelerates the return stage to safe parachute release speed even if I'm entering prograde... found out the hard way, as in, I tried experimenting with putting the lander can higher up in an attempt to use its drag to stabilize during reentry. Except this resulted in the return stage disintegrating from the materials bay that was now directly behind the heatshield suddenly overheating and exploding in 0.2 seconds after over a minute of doing fine temperature-wise, which tore off the heatshield and put the lander can directly into the heat, whose drag caused the return stage to immediately flip over and start burning off the solar panels on the top. I HATE drag. It's my worst enemy. Other than the drag, the lander can is doing just fine during reentry, spiking to about 82% heat at the most for as long as something is in front of it. This lander design turned out to work really well. I mean, I routinely return from near-polar orbits with a few hundred dV remaining if I use a suicide burn descent. Wasteful, perhaps, but has enough safety margin that nobody gets stranded.
  24. Today was the first time I ever used Rockomax parts, as well as my first multi-crew mission to the Mun (that wasn't a sandbox SSTO, that is). Took me over an hour and a half in real time and about four days in-game time, as I ended up coming up with a 130-ton beast the RA-1 first stage's Skipper could barely lift into orbit. First time I tried taking off, the engine ran out of fuel at 50-something km apoapse. So I swapped the Thumpers for Kickbacks and staged the Skipper after SRB separation... and ended up with a booster so powerful it almost circularized on its own; the RC-1 transfer stage's Poodle barely had to do anything. Not to mention that thanks to the use of Rockomax tanks, adaptors and the Poodle, the shiny new Pathfinder-3 spacecraft actually looked like a proper spaceship instead of the uniformly skinny skippers I was using so far. I definitely liked what I saw. Anyway. After munar transfer and insertion burn, I still had about 1k m/s remaining in the transfer stage. So I thought, let's try landing on the Mun's poles since I have the dV to spare. Worst half-hour of my KSP experience followed. The terrain was absolutely horrible, with the flattest terrain I could find being a 10+° slope that caused my lander to tilt over due to lateral velocity causing the landing struts on that side to kick out like a horse and flip the whole thing over faster than SAS could compensate. It also didn't help that said landing struts are the Micro Landing Strut variety and as much as I wanted to put them on the sides of the Rockomax tank the lander's Terrier was being fed from, the struts simply didn't have the length for sufficient ground clearance to not smash the Terrier on landing. Anyway. I tipped over and took about 30 minutes to get back up and stay up. It helped that between the Mk1 command pod, the Mk1 landing can and the extra reaction wheel in the transfer stage, I had no shortage of torque. Even so, the munar surface was slippery like ice and I ended up using about three-quarters of the 300 EC I packed for transmitting science with nearly the entirety of the crater I landed in being shadowed by nearby mountains, so transmission was out of the question. Bob got out of the lander can and went about his business; I put the lander together in such a way that when he climbed to the very top of the landing can's ladder, he could just about reach every bit of science gear on the lander at the same time, which was a big improvement over the Pathfinder-2B where Bob was forced to bounce up and down with his MMU in front of the instruments like a stoned bunny. And when Bob got out for flag planting, I noticed to my great surprise that I accidentally landed about 30 meters away from the boundary between the Poles and the Polar Lowlands biomes. So once I hauled over enough surface samples to fill both cockpits plus the experiment storage, I tried to hop over to the other biome. Naturally, I tipped over again and took another 20 minutes of flailing around on the slippery munar surface before I got angry and gravity-hacked myself upright because I did not have the EC to screw around. Even once it was back up and Bob was doing his thing, I periodically had to return to the lander can and repeatedly flip SAS on and off because Bob's weight on the ladder was causing the landing legs to harmonically lean back and forth with slowly but steadily increasing amplitude and I didn't have the power to leave SAS running. Eventually my science storage was completely full, so I blasted off and headed home. Arrived back to Kerbin with nearly 700 m/s remaining; burned all of it just before reentry, which unfortunately brought my periapse down from 50 km to negative, so I reentered steeper than I planned. But as a result, less than 20 ablator burned off from my heatshield (I packed 100 and frequently reenter gently enough to use up 60+) and although the lander can heated up to 76% (it was directly behind the heatshield), that was the highest it got. I still had to jettison the heatshield, however, as I only packed one parachute and the unexpectedly high remaining ablator was so heavy that the lander was descending too fast for the lander can to take it. So I dropped the shield, the lander can splashed down in one piece and I was 82 science richer (I'm playing with 10% science gains, so that normally would've been 823 science from a single mission) on the first try of a completely untested design. I promptly used that science to grab better landing legs for the Pathfinder-3B, although I'm currently scratching my head as to whether just use the legs and call it a design, or wait until I have ladders. Note to self: add more chutes and try offseting the Terrier into the Rockomax adaptor to gain enough clearance for mounting the landing struts wider apart. I'm almost finished harvesting the Mun for science; only have about 3-4 biomes left. Once I'm done, it should give me enough science to finish off the rest of science tier 5, which means beginning construction of what will eventually be an orbital fuel depot around Kerbin. Then it's on to Minmus for more science towards building interplanetary craft.
  25. Not fixed. I took a tricoupler and put a trio of Ants onto the triple nodes. RCS Build Aid showed non-zero torque. Then I grabbed one of the Ants with the offset tool and clicked one of the arrows. Not dragged anywhere, just clicked. Torque instantly became zero. So yes, the default part placement is NOT symmetrical.