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Everything posted by Vanamonde

  1. You\'re doing fine and just having the same problems everybody had to learn to get through. Firstly, the altimeter reads from 'sea level,' whatever that means on the Mun, and doesn\'t tell you how high you are off the ground. You have to look past your ship on the main screen and watch the terrain rise up to meet you, because that\'s the only way to tell when you\'re about to touchdown. Secondly, 17m/s is a bit fast. Anything over 10m/s and you risk damage to your ship. I actually try to keep it below 7m/s or so, to be on the safe side. Thirdly, some of us like to use RCS for last-minute extra-braking, but there\'s difference of opinion about that. Other than that, it just takes practice. And seriously, crashing a few times beforehand just makes you feel that much more triumphant the first time you pull it off. Take lots of celebratory screenshots. Good luck! Also, you might want to consider changing the name from 'Death Machine 2,' just for morale purposes.
  2. Figure #1: Right at the Mun\'s north pole... Figure #2: there is a very steep hill that looks a lot like a pyramid but isn\'t artificial... Figure #3: but is sharp enough to get stuck upon. Figure #4: But the scenery up there is worth the drive.
  3. Sensible suggestion, but there IS no place lower than sea level on Minmus, and the plateaus don\'t seem smooth enough to get up to speed. Thanks. I figured it had to be something like that, otherwise the car would have just tangentially floated away from the surface once I got going that fast. Oddly, you don\'t get much additional impression of speed once you get over 100m/s. I think it\'s just too fast for the animation to give the impression that the ground is flowing beneath you. By the way, the cart was still picking up speed when I hit the hill. There doesn\'t seem to any upper limit to it.
  4. What\'s better than the Bonneville Salt Flats? The Minmus Methane Seas! Perfectly flat, goes on for miles. I\'m trying to, well, drive to space. I hit 961.8mph, and then I hit that little slope, which I figured was too abrupt, but was the gentlest one I could find and I needed a launch ramp. That proved unfeasible. But despite reaching 4x orbital speed before that, the car never rose so much as a milimeter off of the surface. It gets (lack of)airborne going over bumps at 30m/s but can\'t lift off at 430m/s? What gives?
  5. Did you intend it to resenble a homey little camping tent? It looks kind of cozy.
  6. Oh yeah, taking a stab at something and going up in a fireball is part of the fun of the game, and I wouldn\'t want that to change. But right now it feels like cheating when I leave a ship parked in a scenic spot on Mun for a month, or blow a return trajectory and hit atmo at 3km/sec and 20 degrees from vertical, but my guys walk away.
  7. Congratulations on the purchase of your new automobile! Right now it can\'t turn left, the headlights only work during the day, it shuts itself off every couple of hours in the middle of whatever you\'re doing, and there are no seats. But we\'ll mail you fixes for those things in 3-12 months, honest! This why I have refused to buy new games for about 6 years. I either wait for a goldbox version that\'s as debugged as it\'s going to get, and/or wait for it to show up in the bargain bin for $10. Often they still suck or don\'t work, but at least I\'m not out much time, money, and aggravation. Except, of course, for KSP, where the guys were honest and told me right up front that the game is not yet in finished form, and only charged me $15 for it. Bethesda will take your $50 for a game whose final version has a list of glitches as long as your leg. If they keep up business practices like this, I foresee Squad building up a fanatically loyal fanbase.
  8. Over very long periods of time, I believe tidal effects cause bodies to alter their rotational rate and orbital speed until they are mutually tidally locked. And by 'very long periods of time,' I mean, most orbiting pairs in the solar system haven\'t yet reached this state in ~5 billion years. Of course it\'s perturbed by the existence of other bodies, and would never be anything the game would have to take into account anyway. But it does cause orbits to 'decay' (decelerate) or accelerate, depending on the circumstances. For example, earth\'s rotation has slowed gradually as it transfers angular momentum to the moon, whose orbital radius increases a bit over 1 inch per year in response. Moon is already tidally locked to us, and we will eventually be tidally locked to it. I believe Pluto and Charon are mutually locked like that, though I\'m not sure what effect a recently discovered 2nd Plutonian moon has on that arrangement.
  9. This is my stock parts Lunar habitat mockup. I landed one on equatorial Mun and Minmus, but didn\'t realize how much extra fuel the big thing would have to burn to reach higher lattitudes. The third one ran out of gas just 3400m above its intended landing spot. Ka. Boom.
  10. I was looking for a rough estimate for a basic capsule. Should I plan for my missions to last 3 days before return or reprovisioning? Or 2 weeks? That kind of thing. I\'m sure there are variables, the biggest one being that I doubt the developers have come anywhere close to making up their minds yet. But I was hoping somebody may have run across a ballpark figure somewhere in dev interviews, or something like that.
  11. Some aspects of the game don\'t matter now, but I want to get into good habits so I don\'t have to break bad habits later when it does matter. And I realize there are no hard answers this early in development, so this is as much for discussion as to get info. 1. Do we have any idea how long a capsule will support Kerbals? Right now it doesn\'t matter if you miss a launch window or somesuch because you can just go around again. But will that leave the guys running out of air when 'real' crews are implemented? 2. What\'s a reasonable speed for hitting Kerbin atmo? I\'m still figuring out return flight paths and tend to come down at any old speed, but I don\'t want to incinerate the little guys. And what\'s a survivable G load? (One of my early flights was 15gs for a couple of minutes, which I\'m suspecting is deleterious to the health.) 3. When components start costing, how important will efficiency be? Will we need to fly razor-thin fuel margins? (It will be interesting balancing this against #1: too fast and you go broke, but too slow and crews suffocate.) They\'ll need to strike an economic balance with the game. For example, I liked Railroad Tycoon 3 a lot, but it\'s economic system was unsatisfying because it was geared toward exanding your empire. You couldn\'t lose money, it was just a matter of getting rich as fast as you could, and there was little satisfaction in running your empire once you had it, because money would pile up in heaps and there was nothing to spend it on. I\'m hoping KSP turns out more like an open-ended Sim city than a scenario-with-an-endpoint Tycoon paradigm.
  12. At least your troubles were not a waste. That explosion is a seriously awesome screenshot.
  13. Wait, you were aiming for the Mun but 'landed' on Minmus? Logically then, you should aim for Minmus to get to Mun. Or heck, aim for Kerbin. Who knows where you could end up?
  14. RedDwarfIV, is this what you\'re refering to (from Wikipedia): I hadn\'t remembered that. It is interesting.
  15. How do you define embarrassment? (Figure #1) Flying all the way to Mun surface, only to get stuck on an obstacle you brought with you. I ejected my de-orbit stage from so low that it didn\'t explode, then landed on it and hooked the rear wheels. It was pretty tricky getting off of there without turning turtle or exploding anything. But once free, there\'s some pretty interesting scenery in that weird, deeply wrinkled terrain around Mun\'s north pole. In figure #2, in the lower middle you can see the fan of my headlights near the bottom of one of those steep canyons. (Is anybody else fascinated by the scenery in this game? I take scads of snapshots wherever I go.)
  16. Ouch. This is painful. Are you all really too young to know this stuff? Am I really getting this old? Yes, Asimov wrote the classic short story collection I, Robot back in the 40s and 50s, though I\'ve never heard anything about a collaborator, as he was quite capable of writing his 400+ books all by his lonesome. The stories were so well-thought-out and influential that his 3 laws have been used by many other authors, and even actual computer scientists take them seriously. Asimov returned to his robots in several later novels, and eventually tied them into the Foundation series as part of the same future history. Having been dead for 12 years at the time, I should say not. Also checkout The Robots of Dawn, in which Dr. A predicts where the internet seems to being going, even though he wrote the book in 1984. On the world of Aurora, nobody leaves home and they just telepresence wherever they need to go. It\'s a locked room mystery.
  17. Yes, the distribution of mass with the tricouplers did seem to be the problem. I guess I was hoping it was a glitch instead because I didn\'t want to avoid using these things that group the engines so tidily and securely. I hope they\'ll eventually introduce bi- and quad-couplers to get around the problem, but in the meantime I build kind of bulky rockets on a 4-surround-1 symmetry. They fly straight, but are hard to rotate with all that mass so far from the centerline.
  18. Not in this instance, anyway. While practicing rendezvous I used ASAS (which it seems may be a factor?) to stabilize one ship, and it stayed that way for a while, then I hopped to the other. The first started off stable as I had left it, then developed up a random spin. Definitely not residual. Right. That\'s actually the camera POV rotating. On the subject of rotations that may be glitches, is it me or do rockets built using tri-couplers seem to wallow around a lot? Trying to yaw you get unintentional pitch and roll, for example. Setting control surfaces or RCS thrusters at 120 angles seem to have similar issues, so I\'ve taken to avoiding trilateral symmetry altogether because they\'re a nuisance to steer.
  19. As soon as you switch away from personally piloting a vehicle, it picks up little random rotations. Why? In real life, escaping gas, imperfect vacuum in the vicinity of a planet, tidal effects, and a number of other things can exert an off-center force on a vehicle. But I don\'t believe KSP simulates any of those things, so what\'s causing it in the game? For that matter, how come these objects always seem to spin gradually? Shouldn\'t the rotation be either speeding up or entirely absent? There\'s the reaction, but where\'s the force? (Oops! Meant to post this in 'general.' Sorry mods!)
  20. Yes, for one brief, shining moment, my van was going 248.6 miles per hour:
  21. Ugh! I hate it when something I thought I understood turns out to be somebody\'s bad analogy. I know it\'s hard to explain some of this stuff in plain terms, but it\'s just so annoying to find out I\'ve been told something that isn\'t true. But how does one get it right? By asking dumb questions. To wit: 1. If virtual particles are just a useful fiction, how do they get anything done? Don\'t they at least have to have the *properties* of actual particles, however ephemeral their lifespans? And since one of the properties of normal particles is mass, shouldn\'t virtual particles have mass as well? 2. Rogue planets are not wholly a fictitious idea: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2072290,00.html I don\'t actually believe that this is what dark matter consists of, but I am curious about how the possibility can be ruled out. But as I said, 'conveniently accounts for this one phenomenon' but has no other apparent properties. Just the gravity needed to make galaxies rotate as observed. Isn\'t that somewhat like ether, which they thought was necessary to explain light but was otherwise indetectable? Of course I\'m being silly. That\'s why I was posting this on a website devoted to crashing little spaceships full of green people, instead of, say, Scientific American. I don\'t actually believe that I am right and all of the scientific establishment is wrong. I want to improve my understanding by finding out why I\'m wrong. I do regret and apologize if I have in any way besmirched the good name of dark matter or neutrinos. They both pass through me constantly, and have never done any harm in the process. My aspersions upon these harmless and inoffensive particles were indeed uncalled for. I am ashamed. 3. So the background radiation was released from everywhere in space at all directions and just the fraction of it that was randomly heading our way reaches our detectors? Okay, I think I get that. 4. I checked several sources before posting, and I suppose the numbering is arbitrary, but action/reaction is traditionally ennumerated as Newton\'s 3rd. I\'m afraid I still don\'t get how gyroscopes fling the reaction 90 degrees from the action, though. It has occurred to me that it might involve the same principle that requires me to make Kerbal orbital-plane-change burns a quarter of an orbit before the effect becomes fully evident, though I struggle with visualizing how the forces play out.
  22. Has it been pointed out that you can actually see the arches while approaching Mun from hundreds of kilometers away? Occasionally you see little white specs on the surface, almost all of which are graphics glitches which either disappear or move along with your perspective. But if you watch carefully (and know where to look), 2 of them keep sparkling in the same places. Meanwhile, I wasn\'t looking for it, but just trying out my new cart and decided to check out the view from yon hill:
  23. This site seems to attract a lot of knowledgeable people and science enthusiasts, so maybe someone can answer some long-lingering questions for a semi-self-educated layman like me. 1) If space is filled with an infinite number of virtual particles at all times, how come every point in space doesn\'t have infinite mass? 2) Why can\'t the dark matter that alters galaxy rotation consist of scads of rogue planets? I mean, we\'re pretty sure there are lots of rogue planets out there now, right? Why invent this weird stuff and assert that 90% of the universe can\'t be seen? To me, dark matter is too similar to the old idea of ether: something completely indetectible except in that it conveniently accounts for this one phenomenon. It\'s like physics invisible friend; 'Oh, it\'s there, it just doesn\'t want you to see it right now.' 3) Cosmic background radiation. It\'s got to be coming toward us, or our instruments couldn\'t detect it. But if it\'s said to be energy thrown out by the big bang, why isn\'t it heading away from us? What exactly is it our instruments are receiving? 4) Gyroscopes. I mean, WTF? Doesn\'t Newton\'s second law say that the reaction should be opposite to the action? Not 90 degrees in another direction. So are gyroscopes black magic or what?
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