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king of nowhere

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About king of nowhere

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    Senior Rocket Scientist

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  1. in the past days, i landed on laythe at the equator and i flew a small airplane all the way to the green monolith - which in my case spawned somewhere north of crescent bay. then i returned to my lander. i did not bother with testing it, it had 3100 m/s and one should only need 2900 to orbit laythe. unfortunately, between high drag and low thrust, the lander turned out to be unfit for the task. it misses orbit by at least 400 m/s. it's not even close enough for the orbiter to come grab it from a suborbital trajectory. so i had to revert back to a previous save and take care to l
  2. from the Mun you can get 50 m/s of extra speed with a gravity assist, 100 at most. as others have said, the more massive the body, the stronger the gravity assist. in fact, the cheapest trajectory to jool entails using a mun gravity assist to leave Kerbin's SoI, to get an orbit with an exact duration of one year so that you intersect kerbin's orbit the next year and get a gravity assist from it, sending you on the opposite direction from jool: to eve. all because eve, with its great mass, is wonderful at gravity assisting. that trajectory requires a few more flyby of kerbin and eve, and a
  3. if i wanted to go up and down, plant a flag, and dilly dally, i could use a command seat. which i refuse to do anyway, because i want to keep up at least some pretence of realism. what i actually want is to go down with multiple crew members, spend multiple days traveling around the place conducting science, then go up, and then reuse the whole system.
  4. impossible. you get pressurized tanks from the very start. you need pressurized tanks of hydrogen and oxygen (unless you are using a oxygen-monopropellant fuel cell, but those are less efficient). if you right click on the part in the editor, it will tell you exactly what you need, and that's hydrogen and oxygen
  5. there is no unique answer, because it depends on what you find challenging but not frustrating. most people would find kerbalism itself frustrating in the first place. that said, i'd stay at 100%, because finding some resources is damn hard. nitrogen and water are extremely rare, in many planets you don't find them at all, in other planets you only find them in a few biomes. for a self-sustained base, you need water, nitrogen, and ore, all in the same place. in the whole inner system, there are only two places where this can even happen: mun and duna. the are the only inner bodies wi
  6. i missed the part about being at higher difficulty. yes, that triples the radiation. still, in my current run - at hard level - i managed to reach laythe at 30% radiation damage. i did have to make a burn directly towards the planet, though, spending a good 1000 m/s extra between accelerating and braking. when going through the death zone, even just saving a few minutes make a difference
  7. it's a bit like watching my life from outside... what's your part count? the Dream Big wasn't so bad, and it was 1300 part. My pc is a good laptop, but not excellent, and a fixed pc could get more powerful wait, there is another trick. the game has some issue with ram usage, where it keeps accumulating it. you have to close and restart it regularly when using big ships. try that and see if it works regarding the laythe plane, is it shielded? on a fast trajectory, a vehicle with shielded habitats should get around 10-15% radiation on its way to Laythe.
  8. in fact, considering i can make a comfortable laythe rocket with 15 tons, it may be just cheaper to send disposable stuff everywhere
  9. I've been unable to get the plane to have low drag during engine ignition. Probably it's the Mk2 fault, mostly. The big wings certainly don't help, too. Unfortunately, the characteristics that make a good rocket spaceplane and those that make a good explorer propeller plane are often mutually exclusive. add in the need to add radiation shielding, food, redundant life support; of course performance is going to take a hit there. Anyway, this means that the best way to launch is, after getting as high as possible with propellers, to point mostly upwards. A good spaceplane accelerates mostly
  10. besides that thing with the control point, there are a couple more points to make here: 1) 18 minutes burn time is a lot. and starting at +9 is horribly inefficient. To make this relatively simple: look at the navsphere, the manuever marker in there. look at the prograde marker. the more distant they are, the less efficient the burn. efficiency is roughly equal to the cosine of the angle between them. at t-9, your prograde is roughly 90 degrees away from the manuever node, meaning a burn there is practically wasted. 1b) you can mitigate this by splitting the burn into several smaller
  11. i made a return capsule with 15 km/s, but it uses ion engines, which have even worse thrust than nuclear. as for the rest, @jimmymcgoochie already explained the rocket equation, and why this stops you from having too much deltaV without a ridiculous mass. basically, if you want to run more complex missions, you must learn to be less wasteful.
  12. my current laythe plane, which i failed to test before using, basically can't take off. it reaches 40 m/s on the ground, and it can barely turn up in the air. but it loses speed in doing so, and it cannot sustain flight at less than 60 m/s. basically, i can take long jumps, but to actually fly i must launch from the top of a mountain. it also doesn't have enough energy to sustain its science experiments.
  13. try to turn on the engines and take a pictures. if you see the effect with the sort of halo of light like in the first picture i posted, it is blocking. if you don't see the effect, it's all ok. also, what is the mass of your ship? do you have just those 4 nervs, or more that we can't see? 4 nervs are pushing for 240 kN, if we know the mass of the ship it is easy to make a rough estimate of how long the burn should actually take, and then we can diagnose if there is something wrong with the burn indicator
  14. so, the burn time went off, by much more than was planned. that's not uncommon. I often have cases when nerv engines have miscalculated burn times. there is also another option, though; maybe the bottom of your ship is blocking the exhaust, making you lose power? does your ship look like this? the above image is wrong engine mounting; engines are getting blocked the above image is normal everything seems a regular case of low twr. your burn ended 10 minutes after the node, the node was at periapsis, when you move away from periapsis you lose speed, the
  15. Part 8: the Jool system I normally take a few hours to make one of those posts. And real life business is keeping me mostly away from the game those last weeks. In the interest of splitting up some updating job, and keeping this thread from languishing too much, I decided to start writing the next part before finishing it. I will gradually update this until the end of the Jool sequence, and then I will write a proper introduction and post a proper picture 8.1) Leaving Duna 8.2) It's not such a long way to Jool after all 8.3) Preparing for Laythe
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