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About DeadJohn

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    Bottle Rocketeer

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  1. Understood. I misinterpreted "within 50km" as just having to be beneath that altitude.
  2. Salutations. I'm saying hello and getting one step beyond the "newbie posts are reviewed to weed out the spambots". I'm a real person and I play KSP My first go round with KSP was way back when it was still beta, shareware, demo, or whatever that ancient license was. I got heavily back into the game a year ago. My current playthrough is in 1.7.3 Career mode with many mods. Kerbal Planetary Bases Systems, Stockalike Station Parts Redux, and KAS give endless flexibility when constructing permanent infrastructure on planets and in orbit, and Bases and Stations Reborn gives me something to do with them.
  3. (I'm definitely bending the spirit of the challenge with this entry. I'm new here, so please let me know whether pushing the rules is generally encouraged or frowned upon.) Anyway, I submit the "Minmus Missile". 4745 m/s before explosive overheating. I flew higher than 50km, way higher to the edge of Kerbin SOI, and dove into the atmosphere to get below 50km. Built economically with only 12 parts. Bottom stage is 4 SRBs. Upper stage is LV-N nuke power. No decouplers, docking ports, or separators used; a dummy probe core with low temperature tolerance sits between the stages and the LV-N burns through it to separate. Flight profile was a mostly vertical ascent, Ap beyond Minmus, dropped velocity to 0 m/s at Ap, drifted to establish prograde direction directly at Kerbin, then burnt the rest of the fuel to increase velocity. Total flight time 24 days. I have a lot of mods installed, but none of them were used for the build or during flight. Images of the VAB and craft at terminal velocity attached.
  4. Docking can be one of the biggest learning curves in KSP. Here's how I first learned to dock massive ships. Set your heaviest, slowest ship (the station) to align the port with the "normal" direction. Right-click the port to "control from here" and then let SAS slowly do its job. If you're in the usual eastward launch counterclockwise orbit around Kerbin, that docking port will be aiming north, and tends to stay north even if the rest of the ship rotates during orbit. Next step is to rendezvous your heavy lifter with the station. Get close to the station, then slowly maneuver to be slightly "above" (north in my Kerbin example) of the station's docking port. Right-click to control from the heavy lifter's docking port, set SAS to "target", and let your lifter slowly rotate to align the docking ports. Gently use RCS to move the lifter towards the station. Watch the navball and keep the yellow direction indicator centered. Regular docking ports like a speed around 0.3 m/s or slower, the klaw needs 1.2 m/s. Note that if you switch control back and forth between ships, SAS mode may turn off or reset to heading hold. In my copy (heavily modded 1.7.3), SAS continues to work in the correct mode for the ship I was controlling, but resets for the ship I just took control of. Keep the station targeted on "normal" and the heavy lifter on "target". All this assumes your docking ports are aligned along the centerline of the ship. If you have a radial port on the side of the ship, SAS aims at the center of mass rather than the ports, and you may need to manually point one or both of your ships to keep the target indicator and direction indicator centered. I find 2 mods useful for docking. Better Time Warp (or similar) allows tweaking physics timewarp (Alt->). I set the maximum speed to 10x (default is 4x) so I waste less time watching massive ships align themselves. Just make sure to go back to 1x before actually docking. The other docking mod is helpful for all docking, and essential for radial ports IMO. It gives a camera and a green indicator as things get close to docking.
  5. Are you playing in Contract or Sandbox mode? What mods are you using? If Contract, leave it there and wait for contracts to expand the station and send tourists (I recommend this mod If Sandbox, turn it into an orbital fuel depot by attaching more fuel tanks.