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About phidauex

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    Bottle Rocketeer
  1. Great mod, thanks! Used it this morning for the first Duna transfer in my new career save, and it worked perfectly. I like it more than some of the other transfer calculators, because I don't always want the most "optimal" - sometimes I'm willing to give up dV for a better date, or a shorter travel time, and having the full surface plot really makes that easy. No noticed performance issues on 32bit KSP, Win 8.1. My install is heavily modded (right up to the limits of 32bit). If I were to make a small suggestion, it would be to include more info in the "copy transfer properties" button, such as the dV needed, or to have it call Kerbal Alarm Clock to set an alarm 1d before the selected transfer window.
  2. Just wanted to say thanks for the LT versions - designing the lifter is my least favorite part of the craft-building process, and these ones fit in nicely with a career game - as soon as I researched the last required technology they just automagically appeared in the subassemblies loader, and lifted as promised with no fuss. I'm particularly pleased about the low part counts - every part matters with lag when lifting 300+ part craft. Thanks!
  3. All the talk of trying to "story away" the lack of genders is just silly - what matters is people's first impression glancing at the characters, which is overwhelmingly that they all appear male, with male names. Kerbals may be aliens, but humans are still humans, and WE are the ones playing the game. Study after study shows that implicit biases strongly impact people's behavior. Explicit biases are ones you know you have, implicit biases are ones that you have, but that you don't think you have (or actually think you have the opposite). These implicit biases are affected, with no conscious control, by images that you see around you, and these changed biases measurably change your behavior. You don't realize that it is happening, which is why they are so insidious. Spend some time playing with the tools at Project Implicit, a Harvard research project that has been running for many years exploring this phenomenon: The point is that by showing only male characters, you aren't making people think "Oh, only boys can do space", because that is an explicit bias. You ARE changing their implicit biases, which impacts their future behavior. By adding different kinds of characters you aren't being "PC" (which means being nice just to make people feel better, but without actually doing anything useful), you are making sure that everyone who plays the game gets the same feeling of personal satisfaction. It isn't about pandering to any political group, it is about using research to make your games more fun and successful for a greater number of people.
  4. It makes sense that the solution wouldn't be a true inverse square law, because photovoltaic cells don't respond linearly to irradiance - they have a linear range where their output is proportional to the irradiance, but at very low and very high levels they respond non-linearly. I'm not sure what you'd call the resulting curve, but it would be something of a "damped" inverse square law. Thermal effects will also start to affect panels - heat drops cell efficiency quickly, and without big heat-sinking a module near Moho would be suffering from large drops in efficiency (despite all the extra light).
  5. Yes! I found the comment wondering if a physicist would be "appalled" at the physics implementation in the game hilarious. As if physicists just walk around all day scoffing at everything they see everywhere. Usually physicists are the ones playing with games and toys, not scoffing at them due to "imperfect" models - physics has a proud history of fun-loving forebearers (Feynman is an obvious example). I would have LOVED to have KSP when I was learning physics the first time around. I've taken whole tests about things like orbital mechanics and delta-v (and passed them), but have to say that I haven't really conceptualized what it MEANS until playing KSP. I hear, I forget. I see, I remember. I do, I understand. And even the inaccuracies are a place for education - once you get used to the model as it is, then you could have a whole additional lesson on "how would this be different if the model implemented aerodynamics differently? Or why is it that a patched-conics model can't approximate lagrange points?" Imperfection is a fact of life, and can be learned from as easily as perfection. -Sam
  6. (First post!) This weekend I finally rescued my first Munar mission. The funny thing is that they didn't even get close to the Mun, and my overly ambitious group of three Kerbals (Captained by Mitmal) was stuck in an interplanetary escape orbit, with no fuel, no RCS, no batteries, and no power. I almost terminated the mission, but then decided to just let it roll. About 1 Kerbin year and many successful Mun missions later, the space program was doing much better, and finally decided to rescue poor Mitmal and his crew. I built a lander system with a crew capsule and a lander capsule, docking systems, parachutes, solar panels, and enough fuel to land back on Kerbin under rocket power (or chutes). After a test flight determined it fit for landing, I sent it out (Piloted by a solo Jeb, naturally) on a NERVA engine to collect Mitmal and team. After many days, it finally made rendezvous with the drifting capsule, and I transferred everyone over by EVA. One last push from the NERVA engine sent the now-empty capsule tumbling off into the dark. PROBLEM. I don't have enough delta-v to get back to Kerbin. Maybe I could have waited a few years for things to align again, but instead I decided to try to gravity boost off of Eve. Realized too late that I didn't have enough fuel for THAT, but was already headed toward Eve. I adjusted to an aerobraking altitude of 72km, and made 3 aerobraking passes to get into a stable orbit at 1,000km x 120km. The "rescue" was a partial success - I had brought Mitmal and crew out of their tumbling coffin of death, and into a functioning spaceship. It only had 900 d/v, not enough to get home, but still enough to move around a bit. It also has power, some extra crew space, solar panels, and a proper docking system. So still stranded, but like, less stranded. Then I built the second recovery ship - an unmanned recovery tug, powered by two nuclear engines, and with 9000 d/v available from LKO. It even has fore and aft docking clamps, docking assist lights, spare monopropellant to refill the payload vessel, and cool spiderweb struts. Finally got it into orbit, and got it into Eve orbit. Burned way more d/v than I had expected in order to plane match, but finally made connection to the original rescue ship, docked it, and started hauling home. After a few 20 min burns I was back in a Kerbin transfer orbit. Directed into a 42km aerobraking orbit, and made 4 aerobraking passes to slow the ship down. Disconnected, leaving the tug in orbit for later (with 800 d/v to spare), and dropped in for smooth landing next to KSC. The poor dudes were happy to be home, but of course Mitmal is signed up for the next manned mission! Novapunch and Mechjeb were used, though I mostly used Mechjeb for informational panels and some transfer planning. -Sam