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king of nowhere

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  1. parts was shows in one of the screenshots, about 1350. a good third of them are struts and launch stability enhancers to keep the thing from disintegrating on the launchpad. as for lag... I took this video from the second largest launch I ever did. this one lagged slightly less, b ecause the payload has less parts, still it's a good comparison. It also used 684 vectors plus a smattering of others
  2. Temporarily paused my current challenge (rss+kerbalism+stock parts grand tour) to make a spinoff challenge: manned landing on the moons of saturn. in kerbalism, saturn has a very strong radiation belt, manned landings on the inner moons are impossible. well, almost impossible; I calculated that if I carry 7500 tons of radiation shields, it will nullify the radiations. So I set out to do just that. to further complicate matters, I also decided to not use nuclear engines. The final ship should be between 50 and 100 thousand tons. I know from previous experience that I can launch at most 1000 tons in orbit in a single launch; any more than that, and the game crashes. So I designed a ship split into 1000-tons modules. Today I sent the first one into orbit. Well, almost. The first part of Ringrazer is sitting on the launchpad. The module I must launch is a bit over 1000 tons, and I need this 50k ton rocket. It beats my previous record of biggest rocket by 25% The problem with a rocket this big is lag by part size. Half of that ridiculous part count is the vector engines, because they are the most compact engine, giving high thrust per unit area. They are the only engine I can put underneath the biggest fuel tanks. The other half is struts and launch stabilizers. Really, it took a few hours just to avoid the rocket crashing under its own weight on the launchpad. Ignition. A few of the vectors engines explode, but that's accounted for. it doesn't really affect anything. The titanic rocket lifts off. The rxhaust from 684 vectors + 25 cougars First stage separation. The smaller boosters could have detached separately, but I saw I'd only gain 10 m/s by dropping the first, and it was more important to get higher thrust during the first phase of ascent. Indeed, I later realized I should also keep the second stage in place longer. I'm used still to kerbin, and on real earth I tend to make steeper gravity turns. I then have to compensate. Flying sideways like this causes a lot of drag, but still negligible over the gravity drag. Plus, most of that energy spent on drag is returned as lift anyway. However, when separating the third stage, the tanks hit the rest of the rocket. the ejection works just fine, if the rocket is flying parallel to the airflow. Ok, try again, with a better trajectory. This time the third stage gets detached all right. I also got to squeeze some 50 m/s more from it; I don't know if because of the better trajectory or because I kept the spent second stage for extra thrust for a while. Dropping the fourth stage too I am at 2.5 km/s, with 5.8 km/s left. Orbital speed is 7.8 km/s, but I'll still lose some to gravity drag, it's going to be a close thing. Unfortunately, the engines have a limited burn time. At the last of the big boosters are running out, that time is over, and the engines start breaking up. Good thing those that remains are enough, but the rocket wobbles precariously. Note to self: when I remake this thing, I have to use high quality engines for those last boosters. Finally, though, even the last boosters are detached without accidents. DeltaV budget, though, is very close Finally, the Ringrazer segment is left to orbit on its own. Ok, it's still got the nose cones - which are full of fuel - and the engines, all those will be detached once in orbit to dock the other modules. Some fuel tanks, instead, will stay as part of Ringrazer's backbone. Ejecting the nose cones. Here I discover another design problem: those high thrust engines can only be turned on twice. Once at liftoff. Now I had to shut them down to remove the empty nose cones, and I turned the engines on again afterwards. But I'm still in the atmosphere. How do I make circularization? What about orbital manuevers? Yes, I did carry the biggest RCS I had (taken from a bunch of big ships mods), but they are still severely underpowered. Also, when I shut down the engines I will want to ditch them, but I can't because the RCS are bound to the detachable part. Eventually, I run out of fuel , just 100 km shy of orbit. Have to try again. So here's the new launch. I did solve the engine problem by using a bunch of wolfhounds. The wolfhounds have dozens of ignitions, so they let me do some orbital manuevering. And they are more efficient than RCS. I also have a bit more deltaV; I don't know if it's because of a different ascent profile, because I launched from Kurou instead of Cape Canaveral, or because I have some higher-efficiency engines; probably a combination of all three. Either way, even though I do have enough deltaV to orbit, I let my trajectory fall too low near the end. So I plunge down inside the atmosphere, and even a last minute correction burn straight up still make me pass at 80 km. In rss the atmosphere extends to 140 km, and at this speed the airflow is hot enough that it destroied one of the radiation shields I'm carrying. So I will have to try again, but I know the system works. By the way, I had to mod myself bigger radiation shields, because kerbalism only offers 2.5 ton ones, and I'd have required 3000 of those
  3. I have bad news and good news. the bad new is, it's a know bug, and indeed there is nothing to be done, except hacking the save. the good news is, it's a predictable and reliable hack, and somebody made a tool for it. check this kml editor, it can edit save files in many ways, and it does fix broken docking ports. I never checked its other functionalities, but I did use it to save my own mission when I had this bug myself, and I can attest that it is reliable, it works just fine, and it does not mess up anything else. Also, if you destroy the docking port with the intent of fixing it later with eva construction, there is a good chance that breaking a broken docking port will crash the game.
  4. I can also add that your kerbal may have a jetpack, giving it a lot of manueverability. once you get close, the kerbal can fly to the rescue ship on his own. if, instead, your kerbal does not have a jetpack, it's a lot more difficult. you have to make a rescue ship covered in ladders, and bump into the kerbal, and try to grab a ladder while at it.
  5. right, they do! 20% heavier than stock ones, but the biggest are 270 times stronger. that was my original plan too. unfortunately, won't work. i am tyring to beat my own size records, which means a lot. for I have decided to make a manned landing on the saturn moons in kerbalism. the problem is that there is a really huge radiation belt that will kill any kerbal coming near in a few hours. kerbalism offers a few strategies to cope with radiations, but none effective there. except potentially one: the active shield, which reduces radiations by a tiny amount. I calculated that I will need 7500 tons of active shields to nullify the radiation belt of saturn. and I decided to make it a personal matter, and do exactly that. Of course I will also need fuel and stuff - mostly fuel, a lot of it because it takes 4 km/s just to get an intercept from earth to mars or venus, and from there i can start working with gravity assists. it would take 8 km/s to go straight to saturn. So all things considered I estimate 50k tons of ship. but with those oversized parts I can keep it all under 1000 parts, so it's good. the problem is launching. I know, from previous experience, that I can only launch about 1000 tons (orbital payload) at a time. Any bigger than that, and the launch vehicle necessary is so huge, it crashes my pc. literally. So I have to make a 50k tons ship that I can send to orbit and dock in several dozen 1000 ton parts. I'm thinking a central core of a dozen modules with the radiation shields, with the drop tanks attached laterally. In all this, I'd really rather not try to figure out how to bind the rcs. If i put it on the central core, I risk its exhaust being blocked by the drop tanks and becoming ineffective. If I put it on the drop tanks, I will drop it eventually. Putting on a single oversized reaction wheel per segment is just so much more practical.
  6. just checked them. they are no more powerful than the regular 2.5 m reaction wheels, while weigthing 3 times as much. I supposed it can be used as a thermal covering... for a spaceplane during reentry, since they have very high heat resistance... except that a spaceplane covered in reaction wheels would be too heavy to fly, so I'll just file them as "useless junk". As I am looking for ways to save on part count on large vehicles, that would otherwise require 100+ stock wheels. the 5 m core at least has some actual torque to it; still, it's as strong as 3 regular wheels, while being 8 times heavier. seems like I will have to make rescale some stock parts if I want to get some big reaction wheels
  7. the cheat menu is your friend for testing. perss alt-f12, a menu opens. there is a cheat section. you can teleport to any orbit you want.
  8. it's totally worth playing, if you got to the point that stock is too easy and boring and you want some extra challenge. as for other mods, there may be problems. I am not an expert here, kerbalism is compatible with all major mods but you should check that. worst case scenario, the game does not work and you have to remove kerbalism
  9. actually, it is always more efficient to intercept from a lower trajectory. the reason is that it takes fuel to raise your apoapsis, and then fuel to lower it. so for an 80 km equatorial orbit the right orbit to intercept efficeintly is a 75 km orbit
  10. at some difficulty levels, you can't transfer fuel through a claw. besides that, I had fuel transfer bugs, but redocking in a different spot actually helped. also, sometimes fuel transfer is very slow, so maybe it takes several seconds to see the fuel level change. so, if it's none of the usual culprits (fuel transfer through claw not allowed, buildings to updrade, lack of control) I have no idea.
  11. I thought I had seen some 5 m reaction wheels in this mod, but I can't find them. is my memory tricking me?
  12. It has a similarity, but it's not quite right, because orbital phasing entails changing your orbit, then going back to the original orbit. It's actually a mix between orbital phasing and hohmann transfer. I'm surprised it doesn't have a name, ever since I started using rss - which has a lot more inclination than the stock system - I use this more than regular hohmann. resonant orbit is not quite it; it's when you take a gravity assist from a planet and time your ejection orbit to return to the planet in a few more years
  13. wait, I got it: depending on the difficulty setting, a probe in low orbit may have no contact, because the tracking stations are few and far between, and you can have all of them be below the horizon. that could explain sudden loss of signal
  14. Lately I'm finding myself doing a lot of transfers according to a certain pattern. First, I make an ejection burn from the parent body like on a Hohmann transfer, as shown in the image However, this is NOT a Hohmann transfer, because I do not meet the target body at periapsis (or at apoapsis if I'm moving away from the central body, let's keep with the example from the pictures for simplicity) I do not meet the target body immediately, because the transfer was not syncronized. Instead, when I am at periapsis, I make a retrograde burn (or prograde, but it would make for a more expensive intercept). This changes my orbital time enough that I will meet the target body at periapsis at a later orbit. It can be the next orbit, or a few orbits in the future; generally you can pay less if you're willing to wait more. The picture shows it. Yellow manuever, at periapsis, is the change to get the right orbital time. In this case it's a big burn because the target is a small moon with negligible oberth effect, so I lose nothing by burning in open space - and I avoid cosine losses. but it's normally a small adjustment manuever. purple is not a manuever (0 m/s), but it's there to get the game to see the intercept several orbits into the future. And finally red is the capture burn. I've done this extensively to reach all the moons of saturn. I've done it in going from ceres to vesta I've done a slight modification in going to mercury. I've done it when leaving Venus. This manuever is as expensive as a regular Hohmann transfer - give or take a small excess for the burn you make in interplanetary space, which is not as effective as burning near a planet. It takes longer, possibly multiple orbits. It has the advantage, though, that you can pick your planar nodes. When you have to make a transfer with high inclination, you can avoid a plane change if you make a hohmann transfer on the planar node; in that case you get to pay the plane change with the eject or capture burn, saving a lot of fuel by both oberth effect and combining two burn. But this hohmann transfer requires the right placement from you and the target body; you can't always count on the planets aligning for a hohmann transfer right when you're passing through the planar node. So you make this manuever instead, starting the hohmann manuever on the node, and then you syncronize to meet your target later. You can also make this manuever when you are in an elliptic orbit, and you must burn at periapsis to leave cheaply, and you can't pick your direction. In this case, again, you leave when your ellipse is best aligned to save fuel, and you syncronize to meet your target later. Doing grand tours, I often find myself in an elliptic orbit, it's a lot cheaper to park the mothership like that than it is to circularize and then raise apoapsis again. So I've done this manuever a lot, possibly more than any other. Yet I don't know a name for it, I don't even know if it has a name. I checked if I could find names of orbital transfers, but I only find the bi-elliptic transfer, which is something entirely different. So, do anyone know if this manuever has an official name?
  15. I wanted to share a couple of pics taken near the south pole of enceladus, i find them absolutely breathtaking
  16. A couple of pics taken near the south pole of enceladus, the moon of saturn
  17. Part 8: the lord of the rings: a stroll inside Chernobyl's reactor The extreme radiation make the inner Saturn moons unapproachable by a crewed ship. Fat Man and Clamp perform unmanned landings. This time Saturn is properly spectacular 8.1) Ranting on realism and radiations (recognizing routing with a rooster results in reverse) 8.2 Rhea and Dione: easy starts 8.3) Mimas: as bad as Mercury 8.4) Unremarkable Tethys, beautiful Encelado 8.5) Isru, return and other burocracy 8.6) Bonus: how do the rings of Saturn look from up close Bug compilation updated Broken parts recap
  18. I'm not aware of it. As for myself, I just learned to avoid touching other parts with the mouse cursor
  19. Well, I also discovered a bug in this. I discovered that in a subsequent mission Clamp had contact with Trypophobia, but not with Cylinder. Which made no sense, because Clylinder was a lot closer than Trypophobia. So I changed vessel to Cylinder, then changed back to Clamp, and TA-DAAAH! I got control. Just another bug. #28 on the list I'm compiling.
  20. It usually takes around a month to perfect the hardware to run my large missions, possibly more. They are not a single system, though, but a collection of a mothership to carry everything around and a bunch of specialized smaller ships to perform specialized roles. For a single system... it probably took a couple weeks to perfect my Dancing Porcupine's armor and robotic joints. Nowdays I use much simpler models, though.
  21. it would be easier to give advice if we had an idea why exactly you can't rendez-vous... anyway, you can try this foolproof way: 1) make sure you have 0 inclination. exactly 0.0 2) get into a matchin orbit, that's only a couple km offset. if the ship you want to rendez-vous with is in a 80x80 km orbit, get into a 78x78 orbit. this way you'll get a rendez-vous eventually, though it's not the most efficient method. Oh, by the way, there are some bugs with the close approach marker, sometimes it disappears. don't let yourself be fooled when you know you have a rendez-vous.
  22. Part 7: the flop of the rings - the two moons A'Twin moves to Saturn, where it refills on fuel on Iapetus and on nitrogen on Titan. The chapter title is because the rings of Saturn look very underwhelming compared to expectations 7.1) A surprisingly expensive transfer 7.2) Bouncing on Titan, aiming for Iapetus 7.3) There's life on Titan. Bugs and krakens, to be precise Bugs compilation updated
  23. Look, instead of having us play guessing games, can't you actually tell us what is wrong and why it should not be that way? The only I can see, you have highlighted the battery, 1% and duration: perptual. Looks absolutely normal: the satallyte just moved out of the planet's shadow. So its batteries got discharged during the night, and now they just started to recover.
  24. I've been playing this game for years, and yet remote probe control still eludes me. I am trying to make a rendez-vous between two unmanned vehicles around Rhea, a moon of saturn. One is the Fat Man stage. it has a okto2 core, it's equipped with 3 communotron 88-88 and one HG-5 relay. it has signal to Trypophobia, a manned ship around Iapetus. Trypophobia has a crew of 3, 1 pilot. none of them inside an actual command pod, I'm keeping them in hitchhicker containers for kerbalism reasons, but it doesn't seem to make a difference; trypophobia has no relay antennas. The lander Clamp, instead, is equipped with two communotron 16. it's 500 m from Fat Man, and uncontrolled. It can sometimes pick up signals from Cylinder, another manned vessel (crew 6, 2 pilots) which also has relay antennas powerful enough to connect to earth. Clamp has no control. Both Trypophobia and Cylinder have a RC-001S probe core. Now the question is: why don't Clamp use Fat Man's HG-5 as relay to connect to Trypophobia? Would slapping a Communotron 88-88 on Clamp (by eva construction as soon as I get back to a manned vessel, because I have to go to other moons too) help? How about a HG-5? Is it better to have both, or just the most powerful communotron 88-88 would do the trick in all situation? Please, don't link the wiki page on probe control point. I am already familiar with it, and i'm still unsure on the details
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