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    Capsule Communicator

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  1. The artwork and sound design is really cool! The game is super dressed up I love it. -RC
  2. As long as it works for full release I'll be happy. It's been a long wait but we'll get there someday. -RP
  3. I'm sure something similar could be used as a swash plate. However, helicopter rotors are under some serious load. They have to support the entire weight of the helicopter (lift) and stay together when rotating super fast... And then the blades have to tilt and steer in various directions... This grid fin mechanism is no where near strong enough neither can it spin. I tried to make something like that once but never got any far. Maybe with the right amount of struts... (I too would love to see a proper stock helicopter with a swash plate, I'm sure there is a way!) -Rocket
  4. Because I wanted grid fins... https://gfycat.com/SophisticatedVerifiableHeron Unfortunately they don't make any lift... But that's ok I was going mostly for looks. Does anyone know how to make control surfaces operate inside a fairing? I would love it if the the grid fin actuators could be hidden inside an interstage. -Rocket
  5. Today I launched my Kerba rocket, a replica of ESA's Vega. This is a cheap rocket good for putting small payloads such as satellites or science experiments into LKO. Liftoff! There is always a worry that the main booster will explode with these designs because of the seven SRBs stuffed into the first stage. The Kerba broke the sound barrier very quickly. This kind of rocket takes some skill to fly correctly, especially when aiming for a specific orbit. After separation, the first stage was pulled back by six seperatrons. Second stage ignition was a bit shaky. The rocket has little control authority due to a lack of thrust vectoring and roll control being provided by the upper stage. The rocket coasted toward the AP for a moment before igniting the third stage. The fairing were supposed to jettison shortly after third stage ignition, however this was delayed due to a "software issue," causing slight under-performance. This was resolved before third stage engine cutoff Regardless, the 1.5 ton dummy payload was successfully delivered to a 160 km orbit. -Rocket
  6. I launched my Ariane 5 replica for the first time. I had tested the boosters prior to this however the main rocket stack had never been tested in flight before. This was the first attempt. Liftoff! The roll control was extremely sluggish. IRL the boosters are supposed to gimbal, however in KSP my only option was clipping small control surfaces in the boosters, which were not as effective as I had hoped. After flying a very steep trajectory, the booster separated. Speed at booster sep was very low... Ariane 5 has a both a low thrust core stage and upper stage so this was a race against gravity. Fairing Sep. The payload for this flight was a 36 ton orange tank, though I'm pretty sure this rocket can lift more. Maybe 50 tons. The core stage actually had more than enough delta-V to reach orbit and beyond. But stage 1 flight was cut short when I accidentally hit spacebar. The upper stage reached Mun orbit before running out of fuel. If the core stage didn't leave unexpectedly this would have reached Duna. -Rocket
  7. I found out my New Jeb first stage (New Glenn replica) glides surprisingly well. -Rocket
  8. Someday I will build a rocket... but not today. -Rocket
  9. Absolutely! This is a New Glenn replica. -Rocket
  10. Today I'm gonna assemble a rocket... The hard way. -Rocket
  11. Thanks. I have to admit the orientation of the diagonal beams looked a bit odd to me when I was building it, but I was mostly going for look and low part count. That's how I ended up with the single diagonal beams in 4x radial symmetry. I'll look into adjusting the design as long as it doesn't increase part count. The pad is already 200 parts and the rocket is maybe 500. -Rocket
  12. I landed my rocket on the VAB. -Rocket
  13. Hello again! I have another update for everyone (again?)! Very significant progress was made! First, a prototype of the crew access arm was installed on the previously mentioned launch tower. Mike Kerman trying out the access arm. The arm is able to rotate outwards however it is not fully functional yet. I also once again attempted to integrate an upper stage to the booster using the VIF (Vertical Integration Facility). The upper stage was lifted to the top of the build to allow the booster stage to move in. The VIF doors have been upgraded so that they can dock in the open position, allowing them to survive reloads. Mike Kerman drove the transporter into the hangar. Then began the dramatic process of lowering the upper stage onto the booster. In order for this to be successful both pairs of Jr. docking ports must latch and be properly aligned. It was at this point that I very slowly lowered the gantry crane, carefully maneuvering it with its four vector engines. Docked?! Docking confirmed! Upper stage is now integrated! The New Jeb Rocket stands proud with its upper stage properly attached. Afterwards, the gantry crane moved back to the top of the VIF, reset the horizontal crane to the front of the hangar, and lowered back down. At this point, the fairing would be rolled into the VIF and attached to the crane so it too could be placed on top of the New Jeb, but that will be for later. Next time: Hopefully integrating an entire stack and rolling out to the pad. -Rocket
  14. Hello again! Today I have another quick update on my vertical integration project for you all. I began construction on the launch pad from which the New Jeb will launch from. The New Jeb's transporter will roll the rocket onto the pad, where it will dock to the structure. The pad is designed to help the transporter withstand the immense weight of the fully fueled rocket. I will probably make use of auto-strut to fully secure the pad base to the booster. The pad is also heavy enough (700+ tons) to prevent the rocket from accidentally lifting the entire thing of the ground. I was only able to test the integration of the booster stage alone because I have yet to actually assemble a complete rocket. Nonetheless the transporter successfully latched to the pad base. Mike Kerman checking out the pad to make sure everything is safe. Roof is safe! MIke Kerman proceeded to leap off the roof insisting that the rocket stage required further inspection. This is where the upper stage engine would be if I could actually get it integrated properly... I also started considering ways to fuel the rocket prior to launch. So far I have come up with this fuel tank, which would be connected to the launch pad. The New Jeb needs at least 12 Kerbodyne tanks for fueling. Unfortunately this pad tank only has 9 of those, which means the pad would need 2 tanks. -Rocket
  15. Today I have a very quick update for you all. I noticed that despite the huge wing strakes, the New Jeb was very difficult to maneuver during descent. Particularly, roll control was an issue. Whenever the rocket pitched "up," the lifting forces of the wings were so much that the vehicle would roll uncontrollably, which caused it to spiral downwards, negating the promised cross range capability of the wings. I added the big shuttle control surfaces (the 2nd largest ones) which fixed the problem. The extra control authority along with higher actuation speed keeps the booster under control easily. I eagerly put this to the test to see how accurately I could land it at a target. I aimed the camera directly downward so I could see precisely where the booster was flying over. That along with the navball targeting enabled me to guide the rocket straight in. This cropped imaged shows a close up of the fins in action. They are clipped in to keep true to the proper look of New Glenn's fins (this craft is a replica so I am making few compromises on the looks). Stay on target! The rocket is able to make surprisingly aggressive maneuvers with those wing strakes, but that is not needed here. I imagine the booster could alter its landing spot by several kilometers with just the wings alone. Landing burn always starts at 2 km. However I will probably lower this because the booster now descends at slower speeds due to the wings. I will continue work on the VIF in the coming days. There are several hurdles I have yet to overcome. Namely vertically integrating stages safely, especially without angering auto-struts, will be interesting. -Rocket
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