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About Blu_C

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    Spacecraft Engineer
  1. I am not, no, for pretty much the same reason.
  2. When creating a new career you can set the difficulty. Aside from the regular Easy/Normal/Hard settings you can also make custom settings. One of the things you can do is set how much money/science/reputation you begin the game with. If you dislike the early game science grind you may want to give yourself a moderate amount. Alternately you can increase the science awarded by contracts. Or some combination of the two.
  3. Your way of doing things gave me an idea. Should something like this work as well? SET SteerVect to NEXTNODE:BURNVECTOR:NORMALIZED. LOCK STEERING to LOOKDIRUP( SteerVect, SHIP:FACING:TOPVECTOR). EDIT: In case anyone else has a similar question: Ended up using the code just above and it works perfectly fine.
  4. Minor question about how craft control works with Cooked Controls. I've been using the following code to steer my craft toward a maneuver node: LOCK STEERING to NEXTNODE:BURNVECTOR:NORMALIZED. Nothing special. It smoothly swings to the desired direction, but once on the node it begins to roll slightly back and forth. This is behavior I would prefer to avoid as on craft without reaction wheels which only have RCS this will burn through an absurd amount of their RCS fuel. Is there a way to get rid of the roll oscillations I've been experiencing?
  5. This is something that is best left to a video. Scott Manley has one that, although for an older version of the game should still teach you what you need to know.If you told exactly what you are having trouble doing I could give more specific advice. Are you having trouble with the docking itself? The rendezvous? Something else completely?
  6. Blu_C

    Catching asteroids

    I'll try to answer as best I can, though it is really easier to understand after you have tried it a couple of times and watched a couple videos. Now first big question is have you gotten to the point where you have no trouble with docking? IF not then STOP and learn how to dock first. This will teach you a bunch of skills like how to set up a rendezvous and move your ship around in a way that won't get you killed when in close proximity to the asteroid. It sounds like your main problem is with getting there: Get There There are 2 ways to do this. The easier way is to probably leave Kerbin SOI and set up a rendezvous outside. This will both ultimately require less fuel (especially for the larger asteroids) and gives you more time to set up the encounter. Do you already know how to get to another planet from Kerbin? If not then STOP and learn to do that. The process is much the same here. I'll be assuming you know how to reach another planet. Set the asteroid as your target and then create a maneuver node inside Kerbin SOI, then begin playing with the values and node position to get the closest encounter you can manage. The closer the better. Once you leave Kerbin SOI change your velocity to Target mode. You will notice that the prograde/retrograde indicators will change. They now show you the realitive motion between you and your target. The retrograde one is the most important when you are trying to slow down as burning in this direction will bring you to a stop in relation to the target (though this will likely begin to change again slowly as time goes by. Your goal is to get the prograde direction to point directly at the target. The sooner you do this the less fuel you'll need to burn later as early course corrections result in larger changes over time than later corrections. To get the prograde marker pointed at the target point your nose at the target and take note of the direction the prograde marker is in. Now turn in the opposite direction about 45 degrees and make a burn. You should notice the marker slowly closes in on the target node, but it may be slow. I like to keep an eye on the map view from here and watch the closest approach indicator. As you make this burn the closest approach should be getting smaller. If it starts getting larger than STOP and try doing small burns in different directions until you find one that begins making it smaller again (a good trick is to point at the target then do small burns at 90 degrees off left/right and up/down, and away). When you find a direction that starts narrowing the encounter distance keep burning. Once you get it as low as you can time warp for a bit. You will notice that the prograde drifts away from the target most likely, this is because you aren't in the same orbit and it is ok. After you have closed some distance (say, covered half the distance) repeat the above process. If you can get the encounter distance to under 1,000km (or less!) then you are close enough that you can warp to the closest approach and simply get the velocity vector pointed at the target and burn toward it. Now, once you start getting close it is time to worry. I like to set my encounter to be within 1km, but not exactly on. This makes it so that if I bungle my breaking burn I don't slam into the target. Point your rocket retrograde and take note of how quickly you are closing with the target and how far away you are. This will give you an idea for how soon you need to start your breaking burn. If you keep pointed retrograde realitive to the target velocity then when the difference reaches near 0m/s you will be on approximately the same orbit as the asteroid. Change Orbit: Yes it is possible to aerobreak, I suggest not going too deep in the atmosphere. Certainly not below 40km, though I avoid going below 50km. If I think I need to slow down more I'll fire my engines near periapsis as well to take full advantage of of the increased efficiency. I like to be pretty conservative with my captures if possible (simply getting the orbit to within the mun's orbit) if possible and worry about getting it into the exact orbit I want until later. This makes building the rocket to capture it less costly.
  7. As for why they broke, there are several possible reasons: If something hit them while they are extended they break pretty easy (even if packed they'll break if something hits them hard enough). Above a certain drag threshold they also break so extending them in atmosphere and moving fast can cause them to break, so to be safe you probably want to pack them any time you re-enter atmosphere even though they should be okay at higher altitudes. Now, if you are landed there used to be a bug (that I expect still exists) where a craft with deployed solar panels which was unloaded would have them ripped off when it re-loaded. This is probably a result of the physics kicking in as the craft comes off the rails, which causes a sort of 'jolt' as they are applied all at once. This is also partly why when you get close to another space ship the game tends to hang for a moment, it is loading in the new craft and applying physics to it. I believe the mod Kerbal Joint Reinforcement has a feature where when a craft is loaded in the physics are gradually applied, but I am unsure if this is only for the active craft or all craft.
  8. A docking node and few spare tanks for RCS/Fuel. If you get into orbit and find you have more fuel than you need then you can drop it into these tanks. This allows you to eventually start having longer-duration missions and makes resupplying easier as you have a supply right there without having to launch a new rocket. Admittedly this becomes way more important with things like Life Support mods, and later game can be overshadowed somewhat by mining.
  9. Going direct to your target orbit altitude is almost ALWAYS more efficient. This is because of the Olberth effect, which makes your burns more efficient the deeper into the gravity well you are (that is actually a simplification). The difference isn't enough I would say you should worry about it generally, but if you are really into trying to get the most efficient rocket possible it may be something to take into account.
  10. I personally prefer having an orbital base and focus on making an efficient fuel hauler that can easily go down to the surface, collect the fuel, then launch back up (but then i'm using modded KSP with Kerbal Attachment System). It is less viable on higher gravity locations with atmosphere if you don't have KAS, but still possible. Just keep in mind that everything you are lugging up and down every trip is more fuel you are burning instead of putting on your refueling station and keep the excess mass to a minimum. The lower gravity the body the more efficiently you can get the fuel up.
  11. Blu_C

    So, how do you make MK3 SSTOs?

    A lot of this is going to be TWR. I don't know the numbers exactly (I prefer making my space planes MKII). Now, you've said you "lose control" at around 10k meters. That can mean a LOT of things and your images really don't help to show exactly what is happening (you go from 10k to 200m in the span of one image jump). What do you mean you lose control, exactly? Are you starting to flip? Unable to pull the nose up? Something else completely? One thing I've heard is you should have 1 rapier per 13 or 14 tons of spacecraft minimum. It doesn't LOOK like that is your problem, however you may want to give that a check anyway. RAPIERS only really start to kick in their thrust after you break a speed threshold so if you have trouble getting yourself to break Mach 1 then you never have a chance to see their full power.
  12. Do you get an error saying that you don't have a pilot on board? Specifically even if you have a kerbal onboard unless they have the 'pilot' role you will not be able to use SAS. Or are you talking about not getting the little list of orientations when you turn SAS on? In that case, those only unlock as your pilot gains experience.
  13. Yes, it was in one of the recent updates (either the 1.0 or the ones that immediately followed it). There was a post about it somewhere on the forums. Read the rest of the thread. My guess is that time warp is the culprit. I've noticed that using it can cause odd problems. Almost always if I encounter a problem while under physics warp I've found that simply canceling the warp fixes it. My advice would be to try that and get back to us on if it fixed the problem. Another troubleshooting step you could do is install Kerbal Engineer and do the flight with the Vessel info window open. The problem may reveal itself in one of the readouts.
  14. Blu_C

    How do you stitch wings?

    Vectura is correct, using struts to hold the pieces together is the only way. Make sure to be methodical about how you do it, because any place you miss will be a spot where the wing can flex. It probably won't cause the wing to rip apart, but that flexing can affect the flight characteristics.
  15. Blu_C

    1.0.2 - Fuel Efficient Launches

    As a rule of thumb I find that with the current aerodynamics a TWR of around 1.5 works pretty good, and that a TWR of 1.8 is nearing the threshold where things are overcooking. You can go to a TWR as low as 1.3 if you need to, but things will be less efficient as you cannot accelerate as fast so you'll have significantly more gravity losses early on. Rockets with weaker TWR's also need to have a more vertical ascent than ones with a higher one (by contrast a higher TWR allows you to safely take a flatter ascent which in my experience is generally more efficient so long as you don't flatten out too much before 10k). I've got a completely unguided launch system that gets a smallish payload into orbit and is at a pitch of probably 25 or 30 degrees at 10k, but by that point the TWR 8 or something absurd like that as the SRB burns itself out.