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About Spatzimaus

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    Junior Rocket Scientist

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  1. So glad to hear that the physics bits are starting to get sorted out; this mod has been one of my must-haves for quite a while. The tracks were essential for my larger (400+ ton) rovers, obviously. Also, I'm a big fan of multirole vehicles and one of my favorite designs was an electric prop-and-ion engine SSTO seaplane capable of flying itself to Laythe or Eve to act as an emergency all-terrain recovery vehicle; while early versions tried all sorts of pontoon setups, these repulsors made it MUCH more practical. But this comment made me want to ask a question: So, the ques
  2. Honestly, there are a LOT of things that could probably be handled like this. It's just way too easy to complete certain missions with craft that weren't designed for those particulars. Outpost missions? Land a larger rocket with a lander can, some wheels stuck to the side, etc. During the time it's sitting on the surface, the game counts it as a base, so as long as it's got all the bells and whistles it'll complete the contract. Science missions? Unmanned tiny lander with a thermometer, or an orbiting one with a grav sensor, can repeat these as necessary, and they'll pay for the
  3. Dunes. There was a LOT of hopping on the terrain when I landed, and I'm amazed it didn't tumble during the LONG braking, but it somehow made it down in one piece. It's not easy to see from the picture, but it's got metric buttloads of lift. First, the Mk2 parts used as its fuselage base provide a little lift. Then, I used wing segments above and below the main fuselage to smooth out the design. And finally, that wing, while it looks small, is actually a triple wing with two full "shell" sections above and below a swiss cheese'd middle wing, like so: That's with the top wing shell removed
  4. I didn't really have a problem back in 0.90: That was my long-range SSTO spaceplane, designed to go straight to Laythe from Kerbin without refueling. On a whim I tried it out on Duna, and it landed just fine. Granted, I'll bet that part of it was my use of the B9 landing gear (which has better shock absorption than the stock small gear) but it still wasn't bad at all for a complete dead-stick landing. I'd bet that a big part of it is lift. That spaceplane design had plenty of lift for 0.90, so it could handle Duna's thin atmosphere just fine. In 1.02, everyone's using less wing on their K
  5. Kerbin's orbit around the sun has a semimajor axis of 1.3E10m, with zero eccentricity. Mun's orbital semimajor axis around Kerbin is 1.2E7m, again with zero eccentricity. So, the closest point and furthest point are only ~0.2% different in distance, meaning a 0.4% discrepancy in insolation between opposite parts of the orbit. (This'd also change the temperature of illuminated objects by 0.1%, or about 0.3 degrees Celsius, but that's not really relevant here.) Of course, we're only talking about half that difference since it'll be nighttime for the other half of each orbit, so the distance
  6. More likely, it's that the aiming isn't perfect. To keep the internal simulation running at a reasonable speed, they probably do things like have the solar panels stick to integer numbers of degrees of rotation, and there's probably some rounding on the solar angles as well. So, even though it says 1.00 Exposure, it might be varying by a percent or so simply based on the fact that internally it's actually varying from 0.995 to 1.005 (yes, I know it's physically impossible to go above 1.00, but internal rounding CAN do that). That'd explain the 1% variation seen in those shots.
  7. If your craft is a spaceplane, and you're talking about a payload to be deployed in orbit, the much easier solution is to disable the payload's tanks (right click on the part, click on the little green icon next to the LiquidFuel readout to change it to red) so that the craft doesn't consume it at all. Once you've deployed, reverse the process.
  8. So do I. My little lander (nothing but a probe core, a small parachute, a 0.625m inline battery, four of the lightest legs, a thermometer, and an antenna) has four OX-STATs placed around the sides. Obviously these can't track the Sun, so they're not useful for this sort of test, but I was amazed to see how little energy they produced even at the optimum times of day. It took hours to refill the batteries from even a single thermometer reading. ------------- As to the astrophysics of this, it's pretty realistic if you look at total solar energy. On Earth, the Sun produces 1367 W/m^2 of ener
  9. Exactly this. All of my boosters are like this, now. Remember, you don't need to aim exactly; just get in the general ballpark of KSC to recover most of your money.
  10. They've rebalanced the electricity production, but I think it needs quite a bit of work. First, because of the new temperature dependence issues; an OX-STAT on Eve produces almost nothing, which has caused problems for the unmanned lander I put there. (Transmit one temperate report, and it takes hours to recharge off multiple panels.) Second, because the panels are so useless once you get out to Jool that you pretty much HAVE to use multiple RTGs to power any ions; I don't want the old distance scaling, but the base values might need a bit of tweaking upwards. I haven't had a problem with
  11. This one surprised me too, at first, but honestly it's just meant that I don't hire Kerbals. I've got a fleet of 1-man recovery vessels (costs ~22k on the pad, almost half of which gets recovered on landing) designed to grab stranded kerbonauts from low orbit. Basically it's an old Mk1 cockpit (launched empty), a probe core and small battery, a couple solar panels, a 1.25m heat shield, a couple parachutes, and some legs. (Newer versions add some RCS jets and monoprop, but the original just used a small, detachable liquid stage for orbital maneuvers.) Mount it on top of some SRBs and you ca
  12. Not a bad design, although it's a bit top-heavy. You might roll if you try to make a turn too fast, or go up a steep slope. I'm currently trying out a large, flat design so that this isn't an issue. When you're at your imgur page, and you click on an image, one of the options on the right will be the "BBCode" entry: (img)http://i.imgur.com/whatever.png(/img) (except brackets instead of parentheses). That's the one you want to copy for embedding on boards like this.
  13. Back in the old souposphere days, here's how I launched my huge 600-ton rover: Basically, the rover itself was close enough to symmetry on both axes that a mounting point under the center connector would stay balanced. The huge (12000-ton) stack of rockets below the rover was an SSTO launcher (fully recoverable, other than the fuel of course), and once in orbit the skyhook on top would draw fuel from the rover's tanks for the rest of the trip. (After landing on Mun and refilling all of the fuel tanks, the skyhook detached and flew up to Mun orbit to act as an emergency fuel depot.) With th
  14. It's doable. Back in olden days (0.23ish), I'd send this 300-ton rover to Mun: It was a mobile Kethane miner, using a number of parts from other mods. But, the wheels were stock, so it'd work for your contract. The downside was that it was only designed as a 1-man rover, but had the capacity to hold far more. I tweaked the design a bit, but I did this in three or four separate versions so I know it's workable. I later switched to even larger rovers, and that necessitated the use of caterpillar treads from a mod: That's a 600-ton megarover in the background (default crew of 3, but can hold
  15. If you're going out to Jool's moons for something like this, just forget the solar panels altogether. They're really expensive, but go with RTGs; one RTG can offset the drain from that scanner, although it'd take 12 to produce enough electricity to keep an ion going at full thrust. Realistically, I'm planning my ion probes to use four of the things and run at 33% thrust once I'm near Jool. If you're only using this probe to scan each moon once and then leave, you could even do it with fuel cells, but I prefer probes that can stick around to fulfill science contracts as well so that's not re
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