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  1. So I had a TON of extra Delta-V in the end. I don't know how KSP was calculating it, but I ended up with my Landers and their transfer vehicles in low Laythe and Bop orbits with 1/4 to 1/3 of their fuel remaining. No aerobraking, just powered gravity braking around Jool and moons. I did a stupid and built my Laythe Landers upside down. The 10M heat shield is on top of my base. So I have to reenter zenith first, then flip the ship nadir down (at which point my heat shield will be backwards at the lander/bases zenith like an umbrella), jettison the heat Shields and land via chutes and thuds. I should have just built it with the heat shield in nadir position and launched/pushed it to Laythe backwards. I also have no idea what the aerodynamic characteristics of my lander are. I think I built it cg forward of cp when flying zenith first (the orientation in which the heat shield will work), with the idea it will flip upright when I deploy the chutes. I have a lot of RXN wheels and RCS to help point it where I want, but no guarantee It won't get stuck zenith down and Kerbalsplat. Here's a pic. The base/lander is on the right. Heat shield Zenith, Thuds and landing legs Nadir where it's docked to it's transfer vehicle. Any tips on how to land? I also am using Mechjeb to land. Since it likes landers that weren't built by insane sorceresses, I'll have to quickly flip it on and off at various times during retro burns, reentry and landing while I do manual adjustments and swap control directions.
  2. I usually remember to quicksave about halfway through my irrevocable burns. :p
  3. You just blew my mind. So THATS why my wheeled Landers are always so tippy!
  4. Good idea, but my mission is already gone bye-bye. The ship in question is now orbiting kerbol, and scheduled for a burn to a Jool transfer orbit in a few days. I'd have to rendezvous in deep space... At this point I think it's less effort to just deal with a (relatively) low-deltav jool capture. I can actually ram my refueling tanker into the Laythe Base transfer vehicle and use it to transfer a few thousand delta-v of propellant from its transfer vehicle. It is only a few hours behind Laythe Base on essentially the same trajectory. Since it's just a big empty gas can its transfer taxi has nuke fuel to spare.
  5. Thanks! I WAS controlling from some weird point on the ship. That fixed my problem. I split my 22m burn into 3, and it did take less deltaV. I also learned how to use the maneuver tools mo bettah. I did Munar flybys at 15-30km (I have 3 ships headed to the Joolian system), and, yeah, I only got a Kerbol Apoapsis about halfway to Duna. Since I'm in the window for a Hohmann transfer to Jool, and I had already spent 900m/s to boost up to Munar orbit (in the wrong direction for Jool), I used the Mun flyby to redirect my Kerbin SOI escape 90 degrees. I don't have the patience to wait for the alignments to do a Kerbin slingshot, so I'm just going to brute-force a Hohmann transfer all the way up to Jool. It's about 2500m/s of DeltaV. I have 3 components on the way to Jool, each pushed by a 14km/s (no cargo) nuclear transfer vehicle: 1. Laythe base, which is quite massive; includes 2 labs, and an integrated harvester and refinery. 2. A Laythe SSTO lander which lands on wheels and can trundle over to the base to refuel. Also for hops around Laythe. Also, IT FLOATS upright! 3. A Bop mining ship and refinery which I'm going to use for in-space refueling of the SSTO and nuclear transfer ships. My problem is my ill-advised Mun slingshot and Kerbol transfer leaves me with just 500m/s of delta-V to capture 1. (Laythe Base) into the Jool system. I have an inflatable heat shield up front, so I can try aerobraking at Jool itself. I managed to make that happen last time with a smaller vehicle (after sploding lots of times before I picked a good periapsis). Otherwise I can try gravity braking or powered gravity braking around Jool, Tylo, or Laythe. I think 500m/s should be plenty, considering some people on this forum seem to be able to ping-pong around the entire kerbolar system with a kitten fart worth of propellant. All I need to do is capture Laythe base into the Jool system, then I can play musical chairs with my transfer vehicles and Bop refueling ship. The SSTO and refueling ship are very light and will have plenty of margin when they reach the Joolian system. Here's another question that could save me several hours; If I wanted to put more big stuff on a ship (like more NERV's or something) that won't fit in cargo containers, can I just blast a big ball of tanks and engines into orbit, rendezvous, and then have an engineer assemble the whole thing? I did this with MechJebs after I got that mod, but those are small. What's the biggest thing an engineer can move around/attach/detach in free-fall?
  6. Hm... Isn't the kinetic energy vector of my propellant, in a retrograde burn, pointing in the wrong direction and counterproductive to throw that mass overboard at periapsis? Assuming I'm not going to do any gravity assists or areobraking, isn't it better to dump velocity at the edge of a SOI rather than deep down in the gravity well? Or am I physicsing wrong? Thanks for the tip on the mun. On a Laythe landing mission, I dropped down to Kerbin through a 100km tylo swing by with just 500m/s or so, so I just assumed I could get a solid kick from the mun at half the altitude, but I guess it's a pretty small body.
  7. 1. That's a great point and idea. I think I could split up the burn into 3 or so. What is the maximum number of nodes one can pre-program? 2. I think I could make my munar slingshot push my apoapsis close to jools SOI with just a few hundred dv in course correction, especially if I do it 50km over the munar surface. The problem I have is that I'm not getting course projections after I leave Kerbins SOI. Is there a way to get the map screen to project the course after more than 3 SOI entries/exits? Id never heard of the oberth effect before. Thanks for that. I understand that prograde burns should happen at periapsis when possible, what about retrograde capture burns? Would those be more efficient far away (and slower) from the hyperbolic focus/periapsis?
  8. Yeah, I just didn't expect it to fall so much. I've got 3 large and 1 medium fuel fuselage pushing 2 science labs a mostly empty fuel tank (final landing burn) some thuds, a 10m heat shield, a refinery, drill... Hm.... I guess it is a lot. Thanks for the tip on control points. That could be it! That's gotten me before. I docked using the docking port sr. As a control point And the one on Laythe Base is facing "backwards" So it's very possible I've got a upside down control point.
  9. Yikes! Thanks. I didn't see the gameplay forum. I'll go there.
  10. I have a Laythe base docked to a nuclear-powered Intersolar Transfer Vehicle (ITV). The whole ship is pretty massive. The ITV started out with 14,000 km/s, but only shows about 3500km/s when docked to the base. I think that might be an error due to the number of parts and various fuel tanks. There are 3 NERV's propelling the whole thing. 1. I'm planning on a departure burn to a Mun swingby for a gravity assist at about 50KM periapsis to fling the whole thing out into Kerbol-centric orbit, 2. where I'll do another burn to raise Apoapsis into Jool's SOI. 3. After that I'm going to hunt down a Joolian moon for another gravity assist to get joolian capture. 3.5. Somewhere in there I might do a refuel with a Bop mining ship (coming along on a different transfer vessel) 4. Then some more maneuvering to get into Laythe orbit and drop the base. The problem is that my 900km/s 18:22 departure burn isn't going off right. I Start the burn at t-9:11, but the deltaV immediately starts climbing, as does the burn timer. It gets up to around 1000km/s and the timer freezes at about 20:00. My orbit ends up just being an elipsis around kerbin. I've had this problem before with smaller stacks of ships, where I just had to re-do the burn and it would go off correctly. Is this a bug, and is there any way around it other than a complete rebuild of the mission to not use nukes? Can KSP just not handle pushing really big ships with really small engines? I also get a really bad wobble when I try to physics warp during the burn. 4X gives me super shakes. 3X can go for a few minutes before getting some small shakes. 2X is stable. The incorrect burn seems to happen with or without physics warp. Thanks for your help!
  11. I plunked down science labs on the Min, Minmus, and kludged together a space station early on. With EVA experiments and gravirol etc. I got to full science and completed the tech tree just after my first Duna probe landed. From then on, I always put the expensive disc shaped flight assist controller aboard. So my engineer or scientist can give me full control with all the fixins. I basically bring pilots along as eye candy these days. The flight controller also seems to have the ability to store unlimited science data, so I don't have to overwrite my atmospheric readings from jool with those from Laythe or wherever. What's an autostrut?
  12. I don't want to look at the steam hour log to see how much of my life has been dumped into ksp. I've been playing "seriously" since maybe last summer. Here's my Bop mining refinery hopper (solar and thermal retracted) docked to it's ITV. I put another large docking port on top, but it's off-center compared to the CG, so it's a bit useless. I cheat and pump across tanks that are AGU connected (thus all the grabby bits). I figure the kerbalnauts could be rigging up hoses or something. Also, I thought I was clever and put relays, batteries, and solar panels on those big nuke fuel tanks. When they're empty, I can drop them as relay stations, but I'm not sure if they'll work without some sort of pod... Also, I'm not certain I won't forget they're not just debris and accidentally terminate them one day.
  13. Laythe Aerocapture. Kinda got sideways. Nothing essential exploded. This is the entire stack after jool Aerocapture, minus a rcs tank I unwisely dumped. Yay! We made it! Only the second crew to step foot on another planet outside of Kerbins SOI. (I did an Apollo style Duna landing prior to this) For my next Laythe mission, I'm sending a flotilla of 3 of these monstrosities. That's Laythe Base Alpha docked to one of 3 Intrasolar Transport Vehicles. The other two ships are a mining and refinery dropship (for Bop) and an SSTO dropship for Laythe ups and downs.
  14. I'll bet! I love struts! They're like duct tape. If it wobbles on the launch pad, just add more struts!
  15. Thanks! I'll try that out. Any suggestions for a good site to host my screenshots? Also, I know this isn't the place for questions, but any idea why mechjeb sometimes screws up a long burn? Is there a way to avoid this other than using SAS and babysitting the end time myself? I guess I could just do a search for the answer. Anybody else think pilots are useless? I always stick a flight control pod on my vehicles for experiment storage if nothing else. Seems to totally negate the need for a pilot. Then again, I can't build a working aircraft to save my life. Maybe that's where pilots shine?
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