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About SpeedDaemon

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    Rocketry Enthusiast
  1. I've found that using a standardized recoverable SSTO boost stage makes it much easier to be consistent with the landing. In my case I primarily use it for putting ~20T station modules in orbit, so it always begins its de-orbit from a 130km circular equatorial orbit, which also makes things easier. (I know that it takes exactly 100m/s burn at 160 deg E to hit KSC) It's expensive (70k funds for the booster), but at 98% recovery, it's still difficult to be cheaper, even for fairly small stuff. If you can standardize your boosters, and flight test a few standard pre-return orbits, you can be pretty consistent and not have to drag stuff across the surface.
  2. There's no way to get a satellite constellation to stay put using in-game methods that I know of. Maybe a mod I haven't found yet... Here's a post of mine from last year on how I handle this:
  3. Here's how I usually handle stations (around Kerbin, anyway): 1. I use a reusable SSTO rocket that can put about 20T in a 200km orbit (my stations are usually at around 130km), and return via parachute (because it's quick and easy, and I'm lazy). 2. I start with a core module that's basically all 2.5m docking ports and reaction wheels. 3. Send up modules for habitation, power generation, and fuel storage to get things started. 4. Anything else is added on an as-needed basis. 5. I like to pre-place KAS strut endpoints in the VAB in case i need them later for stability. They can be removed later to reduce part count if you don't use them. I use one of the aforementioned "orbital fork trucks" to move modules around in orbit (basically probe core and fuel, main engine, and two long spars that fit around the 2.5m modules with RCS at the ends). All station modules are designed to fit within the limits of the launcher and orbital tug. I usually keep a small utility craft docked to it with KIS containers full of small solar panels, antennas, science gear, etc. that can get to the Mun and Minmus and back for fixing design errors and rescuing Kerbals.
  4. If you don't already have it, get the RCS Build Aid mod. It will show you full, empty, and average CoM at the same time, which is great for balancing space planes. Now that fuel drains evenly, I've had a pretty easy time of making craft where the CoM doesn't move at all as the tanks empty just by re-arranging the fuselage segments (using "short" versions gives you more flexibility and makes this easier - when you're done, you can replace any adjacent ones with long segments)
  5. Nice! Just finished this. Also, it's been a year, and am I really the only one that noticed the Starship Troopers reference here?
  6. The big reason: If you have limited funds, getting fuel to LKO from Minmus is cheaper than from the surface of Kerbin. Everything involved is reusable, and the fuel is free! Having a lot of cheap fuel in LKO means you can either launch larger craft empty, or use their fuel for ascent, which drastically reduces the size/cost of your launches. I also like to have a few high-TWR reusable stages at the station that can be docked to inter-planetary craft to kick them out of Kerbin SOI, then return to refuel.
  7. Good Start! I would actually suggest making Reactors and Heat Management part 2, since that's a prerequisite for a lot of the other stuff. Might also want to note which version of KSPI-E these are for.
  8. How are you CoT and CoM aligned? How does that alignment change as you burn through your fuel? Also, are you actually launching that with it starting rotated 45 degrees off of a cardinal direction? Rotating it so that "up" for the shuttle is 90deg might help some.
  9. The other thing about Moho is that it moves so fast in its orbit that splitting a burn can put you far enough off of your target transfer window that you spend more dV correcting later. Usually for Moho xfers, I spend the extra effort to get as high a TWR as I can for that first burn, so I can get it over with as fast as possible.
  10. Well, there is, sort of... The way I've handled this in the past is to build my satellites as if there was some kind of station-keeping facility (usually just including RCS thrusters, and 2 or so units of monopropellant per year of planned lifetime). Once they're launched into the proper orbits, edit the save file to make all of the satellites in the constellation have exactly the same orbital parameters, with no digits after the decimals, and the proper phase separation. They will stay perfectly lined up as long as they stay on rails (you never fly them, or get close enough to load them into physics). I don't really consider this to be cheating, given there's no other way to do it that I know of, and I'm spending the extra mass/funds to outfit them for station keeping. Same technique might work for placing craft at L4/L5. Once their station-keeping fuel is "used up", you can send a "refueling" mission, or replace them, or whatever.
  11. I have a reusable SSTO lifter like this based around an orange tank/Mainsail, with 8 Whiplashes radially mounted to it on the 1.25m 200u tanks. It can get ~18T to LKO. During ascent, you have to toggle the mainsail on/off strategically to get the TRJs to where they produce enough thrust, and the margins are pretty slim, dV-wise. Pros: - Simpler ascent profile than a spaceplane-type SSTO - Lands on its tail via parachutes, so that's easier than landing a spaceplane on the runway - Can fit things under fairings that won't fit in spaceplane cargo bays Cons: - Hard to pinpoint the landing, so never get the full 100% refund, which matters, because: - It's expensive (~70k for the re-usable part) - The different kinds of fuel flow (jets vs. rockets) are difficult to manage without TAC fuel balancer (the jets will steal LF from the whole craft unless you actively do something to stop them)
  12. I would highly recommend checking Slashy and Val's profiles for some of the SSTO/spaceplane-related threads they've posted in, and reading those. Those two are almost entirely responsible for my spaceplane ability going from "500 engines and no space for you!" to getting a 190T beast of a Mk3 spaceplane into orbit, and back to the runway (after Valentina dealt with some fuel-balance !fun! during reentry) using only five Rapiers.
  13. For boost stages, design the rocket so that they're staged off before your PE is out of the atmosphere. Design the next stage (for LKO-only missions) so that you use it for your de-orbit burn as well. For Mun/Minmus missions, burn so that you'll hit them, then stage off the transfer stage, and adjust again so you have a PE. Or keep the xfer stage long enough to get into a sub-orbital trajectory before you dump them, then either land or circularize again. Some amount of debris is going to be inevitable unless you spend a lot of effort. It could just be left up there until you have the tech to go get it.
  14. In the new aero model, you're almost required to have fins at the bottom of the rocket for stability. Your previous designs probably don't have them. Also, make sure you cover anything aerodynamically "dirty" at the top of the rocket with fairings, and keep weight as far towards the nose as possible. You can't go straight up to 8k and tilt way over anymore, either. Start your gravity turn at about 50-70m/s by tilting over 2-3 degrees, and then follow the prograde marker. Pointing your rocket outside of the prograde circle too low in the atmosphere (below about 35km) will often result in RUB-ing. (rapid unplanned backwardness) Slowing down a bit lower in the atmosphere can help, too.
  15. If you're going to dump rep, you might as well get some funds or science out of it by doing it via the admin building strategies.