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About KevinW42

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    Spacecraft Engineer

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  1. If you’re using the counterweight method, Kerbal Engineer is really helpful for that. Once you’ve added fuel and an engine it will show a value for thrust torque. Then fine-tune the positions of things until thrust torque is 0.
  2. And if you’re already in a low orbit, it may be cheaper in some circumstances to go into a highly elliptical orbit, do your plane change at the apoapsis, then re-circularize.
  3. The challenge is simple: Starting from a low Jool orbit, how deep into the atmosphere can you dive before making it back up to LJO? Rules: The challenge begins in LJO, how you get there is up to you. You can even use the cheats menu or Hyperedit if you wish, though obviously neither of these are allowed after this point. If you do launch from Kerbin, you're welcome to show off your launcher, though this won't your submission's placement. Your craft must carry at least one kerbal, and all kerbals must make it safely back to orbit. Kerbals must also be inside of a command pod, no command chairs allowed. Minor part clipping of things like wings and structural elements is allowed, but clipping things like engines, fuel tanks, or command pods into each other or using exploits like reversed nosecones will be considered cheating. Reentry heating must be set to 100% or higher You must include video or screenshot evidence of your attempt in your submission. This should include your craft before descent including your mass, your craft at lowest descent, and your craft after returning to orbit, again showing mass. Entries will be ranked based on lowest altitude achieved. Entries within 500m of each other will be considered tied. Ties will be broken based on a score consisting of (Ending mass/Starting mass)*Number of Kerbals*10,000 (removing score aspect because of potential for contradictions with 3 close entries) There will be separate leaderboards for those who use stock props vs those who don't. You may enter more than once, but only your best entry will be counted Mods: Making History is allowed Visual, informational, and autopilot mods are allowed (eg scatterer, KER, Mechjeb) Mods that add parts are not allowed (unless it's just a simple slap on part that enables the functionality of an allowed mod, like Mechjeb or PWB Fuel Balancer) Anything that alters physics, atmospheres, or planets is not allowed Leaderboards: Standard: @KevinW42 16,844 . . . . . . . . . Stock Props: . . . . . . . . . . Sample entry: Didn't get as low as I had hoped since my rocket broke in half during descent. Might try again later. Minimum altitude: 99,921m Start mass: 491,982 kg End mass: 6,458 kg Number of Kerbals: 3 Score: 394 It's later now and I tried again. Moving all the reaction wheels and batteries to a detachable pod on the back really helped with the bendiness issue as well as saved a bit of mass for the ascent portion.Still had to spend a lot of time fiddling with autostruts to get the whole thing stable though. I managed to get down to 16,844m where the pressure is approximately double what it is at Eve sea level and even Vectors and Mammoths barely get any thrust. (Someone please reply so I can put my entry in a separate post, lol)
  4. In light of the recent announcement of the improvements being made to maneuver nodes, I thought I'd pitch a couple other ideas I'd been thinking about. First, the ability to rotate a node without changing its total dV. This could be useful if you're performing a maneuver using all the remaining dV of a stage, like if you're trying to reach a target periapsis for reentry while also reducing your velocity as much as possible. Could also be useful for SRB-only challenges. Second, the option to have the maneuver node handles orient to the post-burn orbit rather than your current orbit. This would allow easy planning of plane-change maneuvers that don't change your Ap or Pe using only the normal handles instead of having to fiddle with both normal and retrograde.
  5. Wow! This looks super useful, I can't wait for this update.
  6. About a week-ish in the demo. I was definitely following the ‘moar boosters’ school of design so most of that time was just getting that darned behemoth into orbit without it just wobbling itself into pieces. Once I got to orbit though I landed on my first try, but tipped over when I got there. I did a successful return on my second try.
  7. If you're not averse to using the cheats menu there's an option to show biomes in there. If you turn that on they'll all be highlighted when you're in map view.
  8. You can view the drag produced by individual parts in flight by opening the alt+f12 menu and going to the physics -> aero section. There should be an option called something like "show aero data in action menus". If you turn that on then right clicking a part while you're flying will show you the exact amount of drag it's producing. And someone else may have a better answer for this part, but if I understand correctly the problem with Mk2 parts is that even though they seem to have good drag values on paper, the actual drag shoots through the roof as soon as they become angled even slightly relative to your direction of travel.
  9. Speaking of altimeters, it bugs me that after all these years the IVA altimeter still uses the wrong hands for the 100, 1,000, and 10,000 meter indications.
  10. I had already been playing the demo, so I took my existing (MASSIVELY over-engineered) Mun rocket and landed it on Minmus. After that I made an ion powered probe and launched it haphazardly into interplanetary space. While messing around with my orbit I happened to get a lucky Jool encounter, so I captured into Jool orbit and did flybys of Vall and Laythe.
  11. In addition to what other people mentioned, the Mammoth is based on the SLS first stage (which is basically just a cluster of four Shuttle main engines) Mastodon - F-1 engine used in the first stage of the Saturn V Skiff - J-2 engine used in the second and third stages of the Saturn V Wolfhound - Service Propulsion System used in the Apollo spacecraft Bobcat - LR87 from the first stage of the Titan II used in the Gemini Program Cheetah - LR-91 from the second stage of the Titan II Kodiak and Cub - the RD-107/RD-108 main engines and the vernier thrusters respectively from the Soyuz rocket
  12. I was trying to return from orbit but forgot that I was still controlling my spaceplane from the docking port in the payload bay instead of from the cockpit so I accidentally burned prograde instead of retrograde. Fortunately I had just barely enough fuel and monoprop left after I figured out what was happening to get my pe down to 40km and was able to salvage the reentry.
  13. Today I finished my first SSTO capable of delivering anything more than a tiny satellite to orbit.
  14. Also, Instead of going to a higher circular orbit, you should use an elliptical orbit and only raise your apoapsis, leaving your periapsis at your current altitude. You'll save some dV by skipping circularization and on the plane change itself as well since you'll be moving slower.