king of nowhere

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About king of nowhere

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    Sr. Spacecraft Engineer

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  1. really? because it happened to me. i was experimenting a robotic arm to lift a rover in and out of a cargo bay, and when the claw touched the wall, it stuck there. both the claw and the cargo bay had the same ship interaction on. anyway, when that happened, the ship components were scrambled by a kraken, so while it is possible to attach a claw to its ship, i would not want to try it
  2. I took up the no contract career challenge. i cannot accept contracts, only take money coming from world first. I have to say, this game has a lot of freedom, and that's normally good, but i got to the point where i'm skilled enough that i can do anything by brute force. and since i got isru, i didn't even need money anymore. in my regular career i'm at day 200 and i haven't yet reached any other planet, but i have a dozen vehicles traveling. and they are all reusable and refuelable, so i just need to wait for them. but with no contract, i cannot mine money, and this puts a real challenge. so, first thing i did, i got science on the launchpad to unlock the first two techs. with those, i made an ssto to reach orbit and outer space (this one i've seen in a youtube video, i wouldn't be able to optimize so well). i also run as many experiments as i could. with that science i unlocked the docking ports, i made two small docking vehicle, launched and docked them to get the "rendez-vous" and "starting a space station" and "crew transfer" goals. then i set off to make a low cost mun and minmus mission (this one all with planning of my own). I spent 26000 total for a lander and an orbiter. the lander would rendez-vous with the orbiter on mun orbit, getting the "space station around mun" goal. i kept bob on the orbiter and jeb on the lander, so bob could collect the data and refresh the instruments before and after landing. it was a total nightmare. atmospheric drag forced me to make a narrow lander. i only have the cheaper landing struts. i picked off a place that looked flat, but it actually wasn't. even 5 degrees were enough to collapse my lander. i reached the point where i landed my rocket perfectly, and the SAS system would keep it upright. but as soon as jeb got out, it would collapse. no way i would give up the "walk on mun" and "plant a flag" money. eventually i discovered to play with the landing legs spring value to keep the rocket upright, just like a guy putting some paper under a table leg to stop it from wobbling. except for landing, i would have the orbiter carry the lander; the lander barely had enough fuel for it. "couldn't you just transfer fuel to it?" nope, it requires level 2 lab, which requires 400k, which i had no way of getting. anyway, i went from mun to minmus. that required very little deltaV. unfortunately, on getting up and down from mun, i spent too much fuel, and i didn't have enough for a full minmus mission. i went down anyway. at least the greater flats allowed me to land at the first try even with the crappy lander. i missed 30 m/s to get orbital again, but i could get suborbital and use the orbiter to rescue. have you ever tried docking when one vehicle is completely out of fuel and the other has no SAS available? quite annoying. at this time i also had basically spent the energy, because i hadn't unlocked the solar panels yet, and i only carried one battery. why not add more? because i was still limited to 30 parts. Now i had enough money for a level 2 lab, i decided to use it, then pass all the electricity to the lander. the lander used the electricity to aerobrake, pointing retrograde correctly. i still lost the science junior near the end (plus the antenna), so a bit less money recovered, but the pilot and the experiments were safe. the orbiter had only enough energy to point retrograde once and fire the remaining fuel to slow down. if it reentered atmosphere tumbling, it would not survive. but this manuever needed to aerobrake a few times first, with the ship tumbling madly. during those passes i also lost the antenna and the battery, and maybe a couple more pieces. utlimately, though, i was able to bring back everything that mattered. i had left 1% of my initial fuel and 2% of my initial battery. i haven't had that much fun with this game in weeks. overcoming limitations is much more fun than being all powerful.
  3. does it really have to use atmospheric braking? for my eve ascent, i put a convert-o-tron and drills on it, i use rocket braking going down, i refuel and i start again. it only took around 7 tons of extra mass, including extra solar panels and radiators, and i ditch them before liftoff. and the lander is more than 1000 tons (part of a crazy contract requiring me to lift 30 tons of ore and landing it on another planet)
  4. no mod is especially required. some will simplify your life, but that's it. in my experience, the best way to learn the game is to start a career mode and start taking contracts. you take a contract, you try to figure out a spaceship that can do it. you cannot figure out something, you go on the forum and ask. unfortunately, this game is not very beginner-friendly. just like real space exploration. just, try to be specific and clear when you ask questions. there are dozens of subtle ways a spaceship could go wrong, and we can't help you if we lack the information to understand the problem. post pictures whenever it can help. i also suggest you try all the tutorials, they give you the basics at least. now, regarding some of the things you mentioned - you already can make a satellite. you can launcvh a spacecraft in orbit. well, make an unmanned spacecraft (you need probe cores, which you may not have unlocked yet), send it to orbit, that's a satellite. - building space stations is easy. you launch a bigger satelllite on a bigger rocket, and call it a station. well, ok, when you start docking it gets more complicated, luckily docking is explained in the tutorial. making a bigger rocket is easy as long as you can use bigger parts, otherwise it gets more complicated, you have to make a launcher shaped like a stack of asparagus (we actually call it the asparagus setup) so that you can have multiple engines working without then unbalancing the rocket in bad ways. - building a rover is easy. take a lander, put wheels on it. how do you make a lander? take a satellyte, make sure it has an engine big enough to lift against muns gravity, and enough extra fuel to go to mun and land. well, ok, if you try this, you will see a lot of problems. for example, your "rover" will probably not have a shape apt to landing, so it may capsize and sit uselessly. or maybe it could get stuck on top of its own engine. but here the engineering starts. now you should have an idea of what didn't work. try to find ways to solve your problems, and iterate.
  5. right now i'm reading a book on rocket propellants (ignition, you can find it on the internet, it is quite interesting if you like that kind of stuff and know some chemistry, as you clearly do); according to it, hydrogen peroxide was thoroughly researched, and it can be used as monopropellant, but hydrazine was favored because it is more efficient. a quick wikipedia search gave 160 s specific impulse for peroxide, and 220 s for hydrazine. this second value is much more in line with the game's monopropellant effectiveness. On the other hand, from water you can get both LH/LOx fuel, and hyrogen peroxide. and if you make peroxide you wante a bit of mass, which is consistent with the loss of mass when making monopropellant (though you lose around 6% of the mass, not 20%). my headcanon is that ore is water, since it can be found as ice , or chemically bound to rocks, on most planets, and you can get rocket fuel from it with a 100% efficiency. but then, if that was the case, the mass ratio between fuel and oxidizer would be different. In fact, i can't think of any rocket fuel with that mass ratio. all rocket fuel has plenty of hydrogen, so the oxidizer always ends up much heavier. so, i am afraid nothing real models the behavior of ore in the game
  6. i tested in case i splash down in the ocean, and my plane can use its propellers to move around in water too. so, i can say i already have a flying boat!
  7. i'm interested to try this myself, but is there some list of all the objectives that give you money?
  8. don't forget that you can also convert the ore to monopropellant, and those are generally hydrazine-based. so it would have to have nitrogen. i don't think there is any chemical possible way to make it work
  9. I reached the point where my spaceplane is almost good enough to go ssto on eve. I realized that my flight profile requires a lot of powered flight before clearing the atmosphere, and i believe i could make the whole thing work if i could minimize drag. i've seen a youtube video of a similar design making it, but it goes faster in the atmosphere with less TWR than my model. unfortunately, the game gives no indication on how to accomplish that. Having a thing that looks aerodinamic and one that actually is aerodinamic according to this game's physical engine are two entirely different things. sure, i activated the aerodinamic overlay, but a few red arrows aren't all that clear. and most of them are inside the plane, not visible. today i had a moment of insight, where i decided to look at the game wikia, that reports drag factors. except, i'm seeing that every single wing has a drag coefficient of 0.2 and a lift generated of 1 (1 what?) every 100 kg of weight, every single fuel tank of 0.3-0.2 (whatever that means) regardless of size or inclination, the MK3 cargo bay has 0.2-0.3 (why the different order over the fuel tanks?), nose cones have 0.1 regardless of shape (i always thought that the more inclined nose cone had better aerodinamic to compensate extra weight...). basically, it's no use at all. i know about not having open nodes. i reluctantly gave up on having a clamp-o-tron (except a shielded one, but now i'm seeing the wiki reports the same drag values for it than it does for the standard version). I attached the rockets behind radially mounted nose cones, and the thing has nose cones on both ends. for reference, this is my most successful model though not by far the only model i tried. for example, this other model does not generate enough lift to take off, despite having a greater lift-to-weight ratio and this one, that only has the wings rearranged, will tend to deviate on the side mid-flight for no apparent reason so, how can i improve my aerodinamic when i'm not getting any useful feedback besides -this flies, this doesn't - ?
  10. i recomment using large tanks. your refueling trips will become a big nuisance if they require 20 trips each time. using refueling extensively, i ended up loading the convert-o-tron and drills directly on a ship that goes up and down from the planet. it's less efficient because you have to drag along the weight of those mining equipment, but it's much faster in-game, because you don't have to drive a rover from the base to the lander all the time. whether you end up doing that or you make a full mun base, i have a few more recomendations - make your lander with a large base. it will be easier to land, which you will want to do often - make your lander with lots of reaction wheels, and possibly a good rcs system. you will have to dock often, so you want to make it manueverable for easy docking. for the same reason, put your docking port somewhere easy to reach. - once you are around mun or (worse) minmus, oberth effect will be unfavorable. i discovered that to make big burns, it is often less convenient to launch from there, even if you save 900 m/s to get out of kerbin's gravity well. there are ways around that, of course, my favourite one is to launch back towards kerbin and get a gravity assist from it, though it requires to time well the manuever. anyway, you have to take that into account. you also can launch a very big fuel tank (mine has a 600 ton capacity) that you refuel around mun or minmus, then you bring it back to kerbin orbit to refuel stuff there. you only have to refill it once in a while. - put an expert engineer with the mining equipment. it's not strictly necessary, but even a level 0 engineer will quintuplicate the yield over no engineer at all. my standard refueler has 1 convert-o-tron in the middle and 4 rockomax 18 ton around it. it is very easy to land and manuever. i used a single wolfhound engine with a TWR around 0.5, which is good for working on mun. i also made a larger version that holds 300 tons and have 5 wolfhounds (with 4 convert-o-trons and 12 drills), but that one is significantly harder to land because it grew in height more than in diameter; i made it to refuel my 600-ton orbital tank in a reasonable time. i also have a few space stations that double as fuel depots, but most times i refuel directly from the mining ship.
  11. yes, but if you want to match your orbital plane, you have no choice on when making the normal/antinormal burn. and while you are there, the savings for pitagora's teorem for adding a prograde or radial component to the burn generally far outweight the loss of efficiency. especially when going to closer planets, like eve and duna, where the difference between different parts of the orbit is not huge. furthermore, the best place to make a prograde manuever is the apoapsis, but you cannot make a correction burn there. if you are going to eve, then by apoapsis you are already on eve, and if you are missing, you must make your correction before that. if you are going to outside planets, then apoapsis is when you start and of course it would be great if one could make a precise burn and be already on a perfect intercept upon leaving kerbin, but good luck on that. they are called correction manuever exactly because you wouldn't need them if the original manuever was 100% accurate.
  12. while those hinges do indeed look cool, they are not strictly needed, and may be causing the problem. you could try removing them just to see how it goes. i use robotics a lot, but they are kraken bait. it is also possible that this only happens in high gravity. have you tried this rover on mun? maybe the problems will just disappear. I failed to notice the rockets at first.
  13. this one look like a rockomax jumbo 36 ton tank. incidentally, i use the same fuel tank for my rover, and i use 8 ruggedized wheels for it, just like your model. My rover has a few extra funcionalities that raise its weight to 50 tons, still, i never had any problem with suspensions. and that's both with full tank or empty tank, on mun and on minmus equally. P.S. why are the wheels attached to hinges? i cannot figure out their purpose P.P.S. i also cannot figure out why your rover has RCS thrusters. i don't see rockets on it to make it fly
  14. One thing i want to add is that when you make the plane change manuever on the ascending/descending node, that's also the perfect place to make a correction manuever. the reason is pitagora's theorem. if you have to burn 400 m/s for plane change, and 400 m/s prograde, you burn at 45 degrees and you end up spending 400*square root of 2 m/s, which is less than 600 m/s. A net saving over having to make the two burns separately. For the same reason, a small inclination correction when leaving kerbin SoI can be convenient, because you are already bunring 1000 m/s, so you can slip a 2-300 m/s in another direction almost for free (1000 m/s prograde + 300 m/s normal will result in just 1044 m/s total). Of course it won't fix your inclination completely, because you are not in an orbital node. However, you can use that to move an orbital node. For example, you can minimize your inclination. or you can push the node closer to kerbin, so it will happen when your ship moves slower, and it will be less expensive to change orbital plane. those tricks may save a little bit of fuel, though they won't make a huge difference
  15. I don't get it. So, you make a small burn that would put you out of minmus SoI, but still around kerbin. then what? you make a burn from there? you're still going to be pretty slow, around 5-700 m/s. which is still a strong improvement over minmus, granted. But it's still no more efficient than launching directly from Mun orbit. i doubt it could come close to the efficiency of a kerbin gravity assist Unless i've misunderstood what you're suggesting. Anyway, mun orbit to kerbin gravity assist has the right balance between efficiency and complication for my tastes.