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Everything posted by DaveyJ576

  1. You know… If you used some different solar panels, one could combine this together with a Skylab wet workshop to create a “Super Skylab”! By itself this will be awesome, but the kitbashing potential is tremendous!
  2. @Zorg, does your MORL Gemini docking port have an inflatable sealing ring around it? I believe that was how the real MORL docking bay was configured. It allowed astronauts to transfer into the station without having to suit up and do an EVA. Once docked the ring was inflated, the bay pressurized, and the astros would open the hatch and float into the station like they were taking a casual stroll. Pretty cool idea. I would bet that KSP limitations won't allow that to happen. Even still, you have a great design there. I am looking forward to flying it.
  3. Sounds like you are making progress! But I need to ask… you do know that inclination can easily be set in MJ, right? Just below the boxes where you set the desired Ap and Pe parameters there is a box to enter the desired inclination. When you use this your rocket will execute a roll maneuver right after launch, rolling to the heading necessary to attain the desired inclination. You can even adjust when the roll maneuver takes place. Obviously it is better to have your rocket roll to the correct heading before it executes the pitch maneuver, so the earlier the better. I usually set it to roll at 50-60 meters, or whenever the rocket clears the tower (I use the MLP mod for realistic launch pads and towers).
  4. The often rumored but never confirmed Titan I Agena A with the Midas 1 payload. Evening launch from Vandenberg AFB SLC-3W. Staging in the high altitude twilight... Agena A doing its work... On the mission with sensor deployed. The U.S. Department of Defense issued this statement: "The launch that took place yesterday from Vandenberg Air Force Base was a routine weather satellite deployment. We can neither confirm nor deny that it was associated in any way with the rumored Midas program, neither can we confirm nor deny that any observation of joint Egyptian/Soviet naval exercises in the Red Sea ever took place."
  5. @Rodger, disregard my earlier question. I found a document that showed the actual location of the frangible bolts that held the 1st and 2nd stages together. The adaptor did stay with the 2nd stage. The 2nd stage motor was actually hot-staged, with the motor starting before staging happened. The circular shapes on each side of the adaptor were blow out panels that vented the engine exhaust outward until staging actually occurred. There was also a heatshield installed on top of the 1st stage LOX tank to prevent the 2nd stage exhaust from destroying it before separation. It was an interesting system that betrayed the lack of experience on behalf of the designers. This was VERY early in the space age and some of this stuff was just not known at the time. They were learning by doing.
  6. Yeah, that will be a bit tough to hit exactly. The inclination won't be a problem, but those exact apoapsis and periapsis parameters will be tough to hit. You have to use the Star 20 solid upper stage (X-248 config), with a manual shutdown at just the right time. You can use MJ in either Classic Ascent or PVG, just go for a circular orbit at 159km. After 2nd stage burnout you will still be suborbital, but wait until just before you hit 155km, put your heading just below the horizon, disengage SAS, light the spin motor decoupler, then light the solid. When you hit the desired parameters cut off the solid. I just tried it and got to a 1900km x 159km. I overshot by nearly 1000km. The solids are hard to control. @Rodger, is it possible that the Vanguard Interstage has the decoupler at the wrong end? At staging the cone stays with the 2nd stage. Shouldn't it stay with the 1st stage? I suppose it was meant to be that way in real life, but it seems like a lot of unnecessary weight to carry uphill. Thanks!
  7. May I present the Chrysler PGM-11 Redstone Short Range Ballistic Missile: It flies well! The reentry vehicle detonated at 39 kilometers. A bit high for operational purposes, but good enough for a demo mission.
  8. I wasn't able to get screen shots, but I landed a capsule in the mountains to the west of KSC and found floating rocks there. They were about 1.5 meters above the ground grade. Also, my Kerbal walked through a large rock!
  9. Since Titan seems to be the Topic du Jour, I thought I would post some images and info of the Greatest Rocket Ever FlownTM. An ICBM has to be protected at its launch site or it becomes very vulnerable to attack. The Atlas program instituted the coffin style launcher, where the vehicle was stored in a horizontal position on a rotatable launcher inside a semi-hardened building. To launch, the roof was rolled back, the vehicle and launch base rotated to vertical, the rocket was fueled, and the go button was pushed. This system was mechanically complex, placed undesirable stresses on the vehicle, and was still too vulnerable to attack as a large portion of the launcher housing was above ground. Storing the missile vertically inside an underground "silo" came to be the preferred method, but there was a considerable amount of concern that the blast and acoustic effects of lighting a rocket engine inside an enclosed tube would adversely affect the vehicle. Atlas in particular, with its pressure stabilized structure, would not hold up in that environment. The solution was to simply store the vehicle in the silo, but raise it up above the ground prior to firing. This method required the vehicle to be mounted to a rather complex elevator system that raised it and a stabilizer tower up above the ground prior to launch. The launch sequence was equally complex. If the missile was on alert status, the RP-1 fuel would be loaded. It was stable at ambient temperatures and thus could remain in the missile for a long period of time. When a launch order was received, the LOX was fast loaded while the missile was still in the silo. Once LOX loading was complete, the massive silo doors would be opened and the elevator engaged. Once the launch table was fully above ground the final launch countdown was started and the missile was fired. Total time from receiving the launch order to missile away: 15 minutes. Atlas F missiles were also silo based and their launch sequence and time was similar to the Titan I. There were obvious liabilities with this method. It took way too long to raise and fire the missile, making it vulnerable to incoming enemy ICBMs and bombers. The sequence could not be initiated if there were any nearby detonations with their associated blast effects, and similar to the coffin launchers it was mechanically complex. In one test on 15 October 1960 a Titan I missile was undergoing a wet dress rehearsal at the Operational Suitability Test Facility (OSTF) at Vandenberg AFB. The fully RP-1/LOX loaded missile (dummy warhead) was raised up on the platform. Upon completion of the test the lowering sequence was begun. Shortly thereafter the mechanism failed and the missile with its launch platform fell back into the silo and exploded. The blast was so powerful that a five ton piece of wreckage landed 1200 feet away. The silo was completely destroyed. It was well understood that this was not the perfect basing method. A parallel effort was undertaken to develop a true "fire from the hole" capability of launching the missile directly from the silo. This was not a possibility with the Atlas F, but it was felt that the Titan I could be adapted for this new method. A separate silo was built at the OSTF to test this concept. Before the first Titan I was launched from an elevator silo, and several months before the first Minuteman, a test of this new method was conducted. On 03 May 1961 Titan I VS-1 was launched directly from an underground silo at the OSTF and the test was entirely successful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSZC4ol8va0&t=436s It was initially thought that the Titan I would be transitioned to silo launch, but this was deferred to the follow-on Titan II. All operational Titan I missiles were based in elevator silos. Prior to becoming operational, many Titan I vehicles were test fired from LC-15, LC-16, LC-19, and LC-20 at Cape Canaveral and from several pads at Vandenberg. It was a good looking vehicle, and despite being relatively short lived, it remains one of my favorites. Below is a recreation of one of those test launches from Vandy. On the pad and the launch: Staging! Second stage flight "Reentry Vehicle" separation.
  10. I figured that texturing limitations were at work. Doing all of that with Conformal Decals is a lot more work than can be justified! I will happily fly it as is.
  11. May I suggest one small change to the STS-1 tank configuration? The ET used on this flight was unique visually. It had a black band around the ogive section. This was part of the lightning abatement system. The heavy black paint was intended to give a lightning strike an alternate path. After the STS-1 flight, engineers feared that the heavy, thick paint would become a debris hazard if it broke off during flight. ET-2 used on STS-2 had the paint removed at KSC prior to flight leaving a white scar on the tank. Of course, for ET-3 and beyond with the lack of white paint there was no black stripe. Below are two pics of the ET-1 tank. Unfortunately, I could not find a clear pic of ET-2 that showed the scar, but in essence it was just a barely visible light white colored strip around the ogive where the black paint had been removed. This is a very nit-picky observation of a totally amazing work of KSP art. Very well done @EStreetRocketsand @Invaderchaos! You can be proud of this mod. By the way, as a reference there is no better book than Dennis R. Jenkins' Space Shuttle: Developing an Icon 1972-2013. It is THE definitive reference work on the Space Shuttle. You won't need any other technical reference. It is a massive three volume magnum opus. It is a little pricey, but it is worth every penny.
  12. My earlier post concerning the relative merits of solid rockets vs liquid fuel rockets was of course meant to be in total jest. If you can't tell by my avatar I am a Navy veteran so I take a great deal of pleasure in poking at my brothers-in-arms in the Air Force/Space Force. As far as KSP is concerned, you have to admit that flying an all solid rocket can at times be an exercise in frustration. If it wasn't for the Safe Solid shutdown system they would be nearly unusable. For obvious reasons it is impossible for KSP/BDB to completely reproduce real life physics, and the ability to accurately target specific orbital parameters in-game with a solid motor is somewhat limited. For those reasons I tend to shy away from all-solid rockets. As strap-on boosters they are great (go Titan!), but Scout and the like tend to be difficult to fly precisely. This takes nothing away from the dev team's excellent work on the Minotaur rocket. Once again the quality of the art work alone is amazing!
  13. Solids = bad. Liquids = good. Except for Polaris/Poseidon/Trident. All are Navy submarine missiles so they are waaay cool.
  14. I feel your pain. I have the same reaction often, most of the time related to MechJeb and Infernal Robotics. Then, after I take a deep breath, I remind myself how sophisticated KSP and the mods are, and of the fact that the modders all work for free. I then shut up and continue the mission.
  15. Surveyor 1 on the Moon! It flies quite well. It is a little different from the Coatl version, and I found that to land safely I had to burn the verniers at full thrust at the same time as the solid motor, at about 70k on KSRSS. On Coatl I could light the solid first then the verniers after separation, but doing that with this model does not slow it down fast enough. These verniers really sip the fuel, so you have plenty of gas to land even when they are used in conjunction with the solid. I set it down with about 15% fuel remaining. If I recall correctly burning the verniers and the solid at the same time was the actual procedure used to land the Surveyors. @akron, thank you for all the great missions with your version! I still use a lot of the Coatl parts!
  16. As far as the Belle-RNRD nose cone for the GATV is concerned, is it supposed to be jettisoned once the vehicle arrives in orbit? As it currently stands it does not have any separation force at all. If you try to stage it during the ride to orbit while the vehicle is still under acceleration it will get hung up before eventually falling away, potentially causing damage. If you wait until reaching orbit, it does separate cleanly, but with virtually no separation delta-V. I could not find a definitive reference which stated when the shroud was jettisoned, but I think it is a safe assumption that the intention was to get rid of it once out of the atmosphere but before the vehicle reached orbit, in a fashion similar to all other shrouds. It would save weight and improve vehicle performance, and it would eliminate a potential debris hazard for the Gemini vehicle as it approached for docking. @Rodger
  17. Throwback Saturday! What Gemini 9 could have been if they had avoided the "Angry Alligator". The astronauts on this mission are Tony Nelson and Roger Healey. No sign of anyone else in the area...
  18. MechJeb 2.0. While not perfect, MechJeb will provide you with a smooth ride all the way uphill, ending with a nice, very nearly circular orbit. I am currently playing the older (non-Reborn) KSRSS on 2.5x, flying mostly BDB and SOCK. There are a few caveats. First, the MechJeb learning curve is steep, and it can be frustrating at first. There are a lot of parameters to consider as MJ is loaded with features. I use only about 25% of the features so it is not as daunting as it may seem, once you get used to it. Second, it is an extraordinarily complex software program, and even though the dev team has done an amazing job replicating spacecraft operating parameters, there are a few things that are just a little wonky. Play it and you will find them. Be prepared for some occasional weirdness. All in all it is a great complement to KSRSS.
  19. On 26 June 1984, STS-14 (41D) experienced the first post-ignition, pre-launch abort since Gemini 6A. The SSME start sequence was aborted after only one engine had started. In the immediate aftermath of the abort, while still strapped in his seat on the flight deck, astronaut Steve Hawley deadpanned, “Gee, I thought we would be a lot higher at MECO!”
  20. I would like to correct an earlier post that I made concerning the shuttle rolling to the heads down and later to the heads up position during launch. It turns out I was badly misinformed. It really had nothing to do with SRB separation. The shuttle rolled to a heads down position immediately after launch for several reasons (in order of importance): 1. It greatly reduced the effect of aerodynamic forces on the wings. The shuttle was flying at the absolute limit of its structural integrity during launch. Trajectories were very carefully planned so that the structural limits would not be exceeded, which would very quickly lead to a loss-of-vehicle/loss-of-crew incident. Rolling to heads down greatly aided in this effort. 2. It resulted in significant reductions in drag and thrust vector losses, resulting in a nearly 20% increase in payload to orbit performance. 3. It allowed the shuttle to align itself with the correct and desired launch azimuth. Very nearly all rockets perform a roll maneuver for this reason. The reuse of the Saturn launch pads forced the shuttle stack to be oriented with the vertical stabilizer (tail) pointed south, thus making a roll maneuver a necessity in order to launch to the east. 4. It made RTLS aborts easier as the pilots would already have a view of the horizon, saving precious time in aligning the vehicle in an abort situation. 5. It provided the S-band comms antennas that were (by necessity) mounted on the upper sections of the orbiter's forward fuselage with a clear line of sight to the communications stations at Merritt Island and Bermuda. This enabled a continuous comms link on the ride uphill. Staying in a heads up orientation would have blocked these stations by the bulk of the orbiter/ET stack. Staying in the heads down position all the way to MECO was the normal procedure for all flights up to STS-87. That flight (in November 1997) was the first to use the Roll-To-Heads-Up (RTHU) maneuver at the T+6 minute mark, which enabled communications through TDRS 2.5 minutes sooner and allowed NASA to close the Bermuda tracking station. Renowned historian Dennis R. Jenkins stated that "most" flights after STS-87 used the maneuver, but he did not list which ones did not. I believe it to be a reasonable assumption that very nearly all of them did. The original post that prompted my earlier and now incorrect post was in regards to a theoretical shuttle/ET stack launched on a Saturn S-1C stage. Given the statements above, it would have still been necessary to roll the vehicle to a heads down position immediately upon launch, even without the side-mounted SRBs. It would only be advantageous to perform a RTHU maneuver when sufficient TDRS coverage had been obtained. @Blufor878, I apologize for the confusion concerning your cool Saturn/Shuttle pics. By the way, has anyone ever tried an RTLS abort using SOCK in game?
  21. Bravo! The square shaped coupler/decouple used to mate the Spartan to the payload bay truss, where did you get that?
  22. @Kuiper_Belt and @pTrevTrevs, Absolutely epic work! The Spider mission was fantastic. If only we could have done that IRL… I have only recently began shuttle operations and I wanted to ask you two questions, 1.) are you using KSRSS, and 2.) if so where did you get your Edwards AFB? I have seen a couple of mods that provides one, but they are sized for RSS and don’t seem to have configs for 2.5x. Thanks!
  23. Thanks. I already found that one, but it appears that it works only with RSS. There are no configs for the smaller KSRSS.
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