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Posts posted by Sabastian

  1. Another issue I'd like to bring up:

    Probe Cores

    Early in the tech tree, the player gets access to the Stayputnik. "Great!" the player thinks. "I can use one of these for a one-way Mun shot!" The issue I've run into is that the Stayputnik apparently overheats and explodes during launch. I use the word "apparently" because there isn't actually any feedback to the player that overheating is happening. In my experience, the Stayputnik tends to just 'Pop!' around ~35k km with no warning and no re-entry effects observed.

    Obviously slapping a spherical probe core on top of a rocket isn't an optimal solution, but the issue here is that the player is left with no other alternative. Protective fairings are a long way down the tech tree, and the Stayputnik won't fit inside the small storage bay that we get early on. Additionally, the game doesn't allow you to place the small nose cone on top of the Stayputnik (What's the point of that nose cone, again?).

    So the two issues I see here are:

    1) Inconsistent / Lack of feedback to the player with regard to part heating.

    2) The tech tree presents problems which the player cannot solve with the given tools.

    For what it's worth, I was able to get my probe into orbit by throttling back and using a steeper accent trajectory, but I only knew to do that from reading the forums and understanding the idiosyncrasies of the new aero model.

  2. I usually just try and keep the g-meter out of the red zone during reentry. A pe of around 10km usually works pretty well even when coming in from interplanetary trajectories. For the purposes of role playing, I typically assume that the kerbonauts are wearing g-suits for reentry and can therefore sustain up ~10g's for short periods of time. As was the case with the Apollo missions, skipping out of the atmosphere is not an option in my space program.

  3. I have a couple "house rules" for my missions:

    1) Pods can only house one half of their full capacity for long term missions. The number gets rounded down in any situations involving half-Kerbals. IE, the Mk1-2 can only house 1 kerbal for interplanetary travel since cutting kerbonauts in half outside of missions was deemed to be "wasteful" by upper management. Engineering is still in the process of looking up the definition of "wasteful." The hitchhiker can therefore house two kerbals on long flights. This tends to work out well for your standard 3-crew mission where the extra half-kerbal worth of space can be used for extra snacks.

    2) Lander cans don't have heat shields, and are therefore not suitable for returning to Kerbin.

    3) Rockets should look plausible. I am not Whackjob, and more importantly, I don't have Whackjob's CPU. Plus, I like building stuff in orbit. It's fun.

  4. Heh - until this morning, that wasn't a bad summary of where I was at. :) The last chapter was rather like the Moho 1 flight - a lot of the story had been leading up to that point and since then I've been in a 'OK that's done - now what?' frame of mind. I knew where I was going but was floundering around trying to figure out how to get there.

    After a burst of creativity this morning though (helped in no short measure by the enthusiastic comments here), I've got a rough sequence of events for the kermol story arc that I'm pretty happy with. I certainly don't plan to stick to it at all costs but I find it helpful to have something to kick-start the writing again. Of course, the kermol arc is just one of several - much pondering required on the others still. :) But yep - I'm pretty stoked at the moment!

    Glad to hear it, KSK! Eagerly awaiting the next chapter!

  5. Has anyone considered 3D printing a bunch of KSP parts, so you can assemble your own ship from the parts, sort of like Lego?

    I was just thinking this as I watched the Lego Movie last night! I think it'd be easy to make things attach in line, but radial attachment could be a bit tricky. I would buy the crap out of a set of buildable Kerbal rocket parts though. Let's make it happen!

  6. The science lab would be of use if:

    -- all processed experiments are automatically stored on the lab, which then resets the experiments

    --the processed results can be transferred to another vessel and thus returned for full points

    Until this happens, the science lab fails as a collection point for returns.

    You can EVA a Kerbal out to collect the experiments, store them in a command pod, then use the lab to clean up the experiments. Return the command pod for 100% science!

  7. So... with the exception of new probe parts, this pretty much happened. Thanks Squad!

    EDIT: Actually... not sure why things like thermometers have a transmitted Science cap.

    Yes, I amazed while reading the original post at how much of it found its way into 0.23. I would really love to see a camera part though. Just think about how the history of spaceflight has been defined by photographs like this one:


  8. I was just thinking about having a camera this morning! Pictures sent from spacecraft have been hugely important throughout the history of spaceflight. Consider this picture from Luna 9:


    My idea for a pair of camera parts goes like this:

    Parts: Basic Camera and Panoramic Camera

    The basic camera would be a small, radially attached part that would provide small, black and white pictures of whatever it was pointed at. It would be available fairly early in the tech tree (about the same time as the first probe cores)

    The panoramic camera would be a larger, 1.25m part about half the height (but the same mass) of the science module and would take larger, color pictures.


    Cameras would operate like crew reports. They would be reuseable and provide 100% transmit value. The panoramic camera would provide the same amount of science as a crew report, and the basic camera would provide half the science of a crew report. The only difference between a crew report and a picture from a science perspective would be data size; pictures would be roughly double the amount of data of a crew report and therefore require more power and time to transmit. For those concerned with cameras replacing kerbonauts, remember that cameras cannot provide EVA reports or take surface samples.

    The player would be shown the picture in the science dialogue box and be given the option to discard, transmit, or keep the photo. Photos would be saved to the screenshots folder.

    I think this would be a really great gameplay addition. Just imagine the thread in the forums filled with grainy, black and white "first photos!"

  9. Make sure you build your space craft with a TWR of higher than 1 and a little more than 7500 m/s delta-v. You can double the delta-V if you want to return, so make sure you can land your ship halfway through your delta-V. Also you don't need as much thurst to get off of duna to return.

    Scratching my head a bit with the "double the delta-v to return" statement. Getting into Duna orbit from the surface takes ~1400 m/s and a transfer back to Kerbin is ~605 m/s.

    So in total we have:

    Kerbin Orbit: ~4500 m/s

    Duna Transfer: ~1050 m/s

    Duna Orbit: ~680 m/s (or ~0 if you use aerocapture)

    Deorbit / Landing (with chutes): ~300 m/s

    Return to Kerbin: ~2050 m/s

    All told, if you use aerocapture and parachutes, you can do the trip with 8 km/s dV and have fuel to spare.

    Some other words of advice:

    - Use drogue chutes! Duna's atmosphere is much thinner than Kerbin's, so you will still be moving quite quickly when your main chutes fully deploy. Spontaneous lander disassembly may result!

    - If you're having trouble getting your rocket into Kerbin orbit, it may be because you're wasting too much dV early in your launch. Try to keep your velocity under 100 m/s until you reach 3 km altitude, and under 200 m/s until you reach 10 km.

    - Another common issue when putting large loads into orbit is using an accent profile that is too steep. Remember, the key to getting into orbit is getting up to orbital velocity, not just getting up to orbital altitude. Start your gravity turn early (8km is not too low to start a gradual turn), and don't be afraid to have the nose of your rocket pointing below to the horizon during the later parts of the accent.

  10. I definitely know that feeling. Back in 0.18 I built this 3-man Saturn V replica. I was so sure it would fail that I flew it in my "Simulator" save file to keep my "real" crews safe from harm. I didn't spend any time figuring out delta V or TWRs or any of that; just slapped it together in ten minutes just by what looked right. I didn't expect to make orbit without some explosion or staging mishap doing me in, but to my complete astonishment, I ended up flying a textbook Apollo moon mission. I wish my luck was always that good!

  11. I'm not an astronaut, but I do fly regularly as a private pilot and for my job as a flight test engineer. I've been in love with both air and space flight my entire life, and even though I was through college and grad school before I even discovered KSP, I still get an incredible amount of enjoyment out of the game. I've gotten a couple of my aero-engineering friends to check it's like Legos for nerds :-D

  12. Reading your entries makes me feel like I'm dining at a fancy restaurant: You are the chef who spends hours meticulously crafting your recipe, adding a pinch of salt here or a little cumin there, finally plating your creation and sending it out into the world... And I am the patron who gobbles it down it five minutes and wonders aloud when dessert will be served.