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About paul_c

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  1. In the end I did it a different way. I launched them separately. The polar orbit was for a very small satellite so I was able to build a rocket small, with marginal performance, which also flew reasonably well (I've had trouble with small rockets not being that controllable and ending up with a mishap). It still took 3 attempts. First time the 2nd stage did a flip - I recovered but not enough deltaV left to get anywhere near the orbit. 2nd try the final stage on the satellite was just too low performance, but it only took an upgrade of the fuel bag from a sphere to the sausage, to get enough p
  2. I now have these two around Kerbin: As can be seen, they are very different. One is a polar inclination and the other is an elliptical orbit in and out of Minmus's radius. How would you (or wouldn't you) launch both satellites on one rocket? I was thinking - not sure if its too bonkers: * Launch into a POLAR orbit, approx the Ap and matching the orange orbit. Then detach the satellite, then tweak its inclination if needs be and raise its Pe with its own engine/fuel. Adjust the Pe of the rocket/2nd sat (pink orbit) to 70+km. * Wait for Minmus to come into the extended plan
  3. I did think about this yesterday and its definitely something I want to try. I will need to do a little research and find out the angles and other numeric details; then find a good excuse to do it (for example, I think I have an M700 scanner which has done its work at Minmus, but need to check how much fuel is left in it).
  4. Thanks, I was able to at least capture a broad orbit with the excess fuel I had. If I'd not had this, it would have been end of mission. It gave me a chance to do a bunch of science stuff at high orbit, its down now to about 80x200km (Ike is so huge, I was able to snag it on the retro burn and lower myself even more). I've parked it in a Duna orbit for now, there is a lot of science/data to process and the lads are working 24x7! (Or is it 18x4.3 since its Duna?) Thanks also for the mod suggestion - I am enjoying standard KSP and the challenges it gives at the moment, probably later on I'll
  5. I've been playing KSP for a number of weeks and now Kerbin-orbital and Mun/Minmus trips are consistent, after a run of bad luck trying to land on/return from Mun. So I gathered a bunch of Duna/Ike contracts and the time has come to do the trip. I'd been twice before, but they were not-too-serious attempts with a big overpowered rocket and a bit of luck too. I transmitted a little bit of science data, not much, then got "lost in space". So on my third trip I'd done a bunch of planning, and was taking an 8-pax station with a science lab and some Kerbals. I'd done a few tests on electrical d
  6. I haven't killed a staff Kerbal for a while now - I'm taking the realism seriously and trying to keep them alive. I did kill a tourist recently - controller went dead and the parachute didn't deploy, even though they'd landed on Minmus and made it all the way back, including the re-entry. That was unlucky. I kinda feel partially responsible. I did build a massive rover truck thing, with a science lab on it, loads of structure, big motors too, it could do about 40m/s. It also had massive ground clearance - unfortunately not quite enough though, and the chassis was about neck height. I pres
  7. It depends what you want to achieve, I guess. If you like to delve into a programme of testing various rocket designs, then that's a brilliant way to spend time in KSP. I've done similar. Sometimes the focus isn't so much the actual rocket, but the destination or the payload - for example in career mode, you might have a satellite to launch with an unusual requirement. Or have your own personal goals of eg "getting to the Mun" or elsewhere. Me personally, I like building/launching satellites and controlling the costs as much as possible on them. So I'll spend an amount of time slimming do
  8. Phraseology - "Tried and tested" is figurative - I don't have links to scientific papers on it (although I dare say they do exist, since rocket science is an academic profession). Its KSP's conventional wisdom, which is based on the laws of physics, which is what KSP is (with tweaks here and there) based on. Another aspect I forgot is payload/crew comfort and Max-Q considerations - of course, these don't exist in KSP but do in real life - this is why when demonstrating new airplanes they don't do barrel rolls, although they could.
  9. Didn't the actual space shuttle do a 270deg turn once it was done with its re-entry (and some S turns in there too). With a 270, you're basically flying a crosswind, downwind and base turn like an airplane would approach a runway. It gives opportunities to adjust and line up (in position, angle to the runway and glideslope/appropriate height) by extending or contracting each leg or turn. I believe a similar thing is done by airplanes with an emergency of variable/unknown length, for example if they are diagnosing something or a developing medical emergency - they will circle the chosen a
  10. My (limited) understanding, is that: * TWR must be >1, otherwise its not a rocket and/or won't go up like a rocket * Anything above 1 means it accelerates. Since its flying in the atmosphere (initially) then drag will need to be overcome (and its losses are proportional to v2) * The bigger the lever arm (ie like a dumbell, the weight at the top and bottom - don't worry about the bottom the engine and sloshed fuel will be there) the more control. * The larger the TWR the more control too (but we don't want excessive TWR due to drag) * Fins help with control/stability but add dr
  11. Just had another one with a distant orbit of Kerbin, this time they asked for 24x16Mm and inclination 11.2deg. I aimed for the Mun, swung by on gravity assist and had a Kerbin orbit of 75x12 (ie beyond Minmus). I was also able to line up the Ap to not too far from the AN/DN of the desired orbit. This meant that doing the plane change cost buttons (about 24dV). Then it was a case of raising the Pe while far out at my 75Mm Ap (I was worried about comms signal, but it worked out okay), then burning retro to complete the contract by setting the desired Ap. Basically a bi-elliptic transfer but
  12. I managed an insertion at 127deg for Minmus, there was a satellite contract for 300 x 360km, 180deg inclination. However, obviously the speeds at Minmus are a different kettle of fish. The strategy was to do a trans-Minmus burn to aim directly at the moon (no Pe shown), then do a normal/antinormal at the midpoint. Of course, if you lose comms at the midpoint.....
  13. I've looked at combining missions where they fit nicely together. About 70% of the time I do the career stuff, the other time its my own personal curiousity. Here's an interesting one....is it possible to get a gravity assist off the Mun the "wrong way", ie approach it from further forwards then, figuratively speaking, "turn right" (if looking from above N pole)? I've never done it like that but I don't know if its simply not possible physically, or its just that the normal direction of entering the Mun occurs say 95% of the time. The reason being, I have this: Ap: 14,661,033m P
  14. ETA the other issue was CofG when flying stage 2, I had to have a few goes. First time it did a loop the loop, I recovered but it was too late, I squeaked into low orbit but with a bunch of fuel not there. So I had to spend a bit longer rearranging where everything fitted together to get a nicely flying rocket too.
  15. Phew! The other aspect of the trip, landing on the Mun, has been done. It was an unmanned basic lander but with a service bay and some scientific instruments - and a big fuel tank. I need to decide if I'll risk another T/O and landing on the Mun or just come home. The little satellite's contract is also fulfilled now, here's the total dV spent: Inclination change, 90% of the way to Polar: 181dV(Extra burn needed on Mun lander to lower its Pe to 15km: 55dV) Raise Pe: 144dV Inclination change #2: 66dV Pe adjustment (down! I should have remembered, an inclination change tends to ci
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