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About Alchemist

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    PowerTech Chief Engineer
  1. And we have landed! - Hm, weren't we supposed to use another craft? - Whatever. This one is better - Yeah, right. Was anybody counting the reloads? - But now we found the proper way to land it here! And with much less mess than initial version. - Guys, I don't want to spoil the fun, but the ISRU rig is not in the shuttle this time. - Oops, another reload OK, enough messing with the shuttle, here's the actual lander. And quite reliably doing its job here, unlike an aircraft with barely any air to use Why is the terrain so ... whitish? It had enough fuel (and it even was loaded only by 2/3!) for 90 degree plane change (overshot the actual pole a bit, but it looked like the Kraken made a nest there). But for the return to the station we'll have to hop to some more equatorial location first (well, haven't somebody requested a reusable lander?) Unfortunately, the small ISRU converter is not that good (was considering taking the large one, but the total size went a bit through the roof payload bay) so it may take a while. Not that we have a window for return trip anywhere soon anyway. P.S. Actually it takes just couple days (Duna days, not Kerbin) to refuel, even if the panels can't support everything at full power. Not that long, if you don't try to refuel entire HRO.
  2. Show off your awesome KSP pictures!

    #STS challenge
  3. What did you do in KSP today?

    My shuttle brought a lander to the station. The lander required some assembly work, as you may have noticed
  4. There's a little issue about docking a shuttle to a station - the shuttle may turn out larger than the station and then it's difficult to say who is docked to whom
  5. Some leaked orbital testing footage. Guess what this is all about... And all of this didn't want to fit into HRO-M too well. But then HRO-M03 has slightly longer bay due to the ramp. At least these parts have no issue with getting out of the bay. Still need to work on couple small things - satellites got damaged when I tried to release them
  6. Это про недостачу потребляемых ресурсов - если не смог получить даже этого количества, то глохнет, иначе идёт на заниженной тяге. Разумеется, это про ситуации, когда ресурс чем-то генерируется - хотя бы те же воздухозаборники для ВРД. А с ракетным двигателем всё просто: топливо кончилось, движок заглох, пора сбасывать ступень - доступное топливо резко падает в ноль и этот параметр ни на что особо не влияет. Если только не заниматься производством топлива на лету
  7. Maybe as alternative options to STS-2a? Because as far as the shuttle flying part goes, there is not that much difference (unlike further missions that do increase requirements for maneuvering the orbiter) - get to parking orbit, deploy the payload, return to Kerbin. But alternative payload options are really interesting The badge requirements could be for Pilot just to get the probe in desired orbit, but for Commander to use the advanced maneuvers (aerobraking or gravity assists). Yes, STS-2a could really become a list of possible destinations for the payload (with possibility to expand if somebody designs a good mission). Something like this: KSO - at least 2 satellites to stationary orbit. Commander badge: at least 3 equally spaced satellites deployed with spin-stabilization Mun - ? Sun - polar orbit. Commander badge: use Jool slingshot Eve - polar orbit. Commander badge: use aerobraking to get into near-circular low orbit Moho - ? Maybe just flyby for Pilot and orbit for Commander (+ possibly Eve slingshot) Duna - ? Maybe could involve a rover Jool - put main craft in orbit and drop an atmospheric probe. Commander badge: use slingshot(s) around inner planets, perform flybys of at least the larger moons of Jool. And then there could be Probemaster badge for completing at least 3 or 4 of these destinations (separately or together) + STS-3
  8. As the one who made this (yup, 100% flown by kOS - replicating the way the real flight went), let me give some thoughts: In any case the question is never about fully manual flying of something this complex (we do have stock SAS!), it's about how far and in what way it should be allowed to step beyond this SAS functionality In the current form (unlike the very first version of the challenge) this progression of missions can be considered to be more of the engineering than piloting challenge. Including the challenge of building something you can reliably fly manually and/or with relatively simple automated/semi-automated tools. Heh, I still consider myself not that good of a pilot. Even after this insanity. And a few others. It's more like HRO is the overengineered masterpiece optimized to work with my piloting capabilities. This brings us to the true point behind this kind of rule - excessively versatile externally designed autopilot capable of handling even a very poorly designed shuttle basically negates both engineering and piloting challenge. Haven't touched MJ for quite a while (once took part in a challenge where it was kinda requirement - got fed up with designing for this smartS thing, decided it's more fun to design for my skills... or to design the autopilot as well), but as far as I remember its arsenal varies from simple semi-automatic assistants to that very level of doing half the mission in couple clicks with almost any craft. But there is also another aspect greatly amplified by the very nature of asymmetric craft, especially given many of us use keyboard - combination of large control deflection necessary for balancing with only small input needed for course adjustment. I'd say I don't mind any control assist system (whether it is plugged into stock SAS or uses similar-level control override) as long as the navigation input is either manual or follows a simple formula/profile (preferably, adjustable on user's end). And to be fair, apart from this sensitivity issue, ascent profile of a vertically launched shuttle doesn't differ much from that of a regular rocket. For ascent I really don't mind some simple guidance/assist, since nobody pilots that manually IRL anyway and specifics of such asymmetric launch configurations go way beyond Kerbal-style full manual piloting. Besides, the main engineering challenge for this part is still here no matter the autopilot - if you don't balance it properly across the entire range of fuel levels, it will flip no matter what. By the way, my Energia-Buran replica can go all the way through ascent with just switching between hold attitude and prograde SAS modes, HRO (with more STS-like engine configuration) requires just a little initial nudge to start pitching in the right direction. At least if there is no need for doing something serious with roll. but any course adjustments are done by pulling against prograde SAS - which is not the best idea with higher thrust vector deflection. A little bonus: quickly made Space Shuttle replica, inclined orbit launch and me totally not used to flying something like this without halved framerate - one big mess of a launch. Well, a legit reason to send a rescue mission, isn't it? Plus, I think there would be no real objections for using ascent autopilots to optimize performance needed for difficult missions, if it is already demonstrated that the spacecraft (with similar payload mass) is quite controllable during ascent using simpler means. Landing, on the other hand, is exactly the part with a serious navigation (especially if you aim for KSC or any other location) and piloting challenge (plus, of course, the engineering challenge to make it controllable. I said controllable, not barely getting out of corkscrew flat spin 200 m above the ground!!! Been there, flew that. Do not recommend). This is definitely the part where it's better to be careful with allowances. I'd say, piloting assistance (like keeping/limiting AoA or some smart smoothing of control inputs) could be allowed, but no automated third-party landing navigation. It's also rather interesting how this rule turned around from "no autopilots except couple standard solutions" to "no autopilots in atmosphere except self-made" Another thing to consider about allowing autopilots: what would the real crew do if if automatics failed at the particular part of the mission? If it's immediate switching to abort sequence, then maybe this is the part best given to autopilot. If it can be salvaged in manual mode - the cosmonauts would get trained for doing this operation in full manual. Russian rule for this is "the spacecraft should be capable of doing its mission fully automated the crew should be capable of taking manual control at any point".
  9. You are allowed even to totally design a new shuttle from scratch in the middle of progression. Especially if it turns out that another mission is just plainly too much for the current design. For example, I started it with Energia-Buran replica that (with some minor tweaks and improvements along the way) turned out capable of everything up to station assembly and Duna station deployment. But for asteroid recovery I totally designed much larger vessel, couple variants of which were used for the high-end missions (and some more variations for bonus stuff like redoing low-tier missions in some fancy ways)
  10. Well, without a clear example of something that might be the other half (especially if it's something easy to disguise as a human) such conclusion is not too obvious even if referred by Krakens (and for them all people must fall into one of 2 categories: either worthless ants or annoying abominations). As for things like top-level technical talents (and those can be quite amplified if you happen to end up in a family with quite some skills and resources) or making friends with paranormal beings and aliens much easier than with regular humans - those don't seem too strange to me at all... maybe I'm not fully human either...
  11. Yeah, HRO was designed to be the kind of large overengineered overpowered all-purpose shuttle (OK, not as overbuilt as some other entries for interplanetary missions, but turned out to be quite optimized for such scale missions). So when you take two of them at once - this is what happens. Of course the very description of Laythe mission left no doubts about using HRO-M03 with the mining base in the payload bay, but necessity to have the second vessel, capable of refueling at minor moons, quickly escalated into "well, this configuration should be capable of visiting at least Vall" I think for Mun STS-2-4 I'll have to try flying them there and back without ISRU - at least this way there is some challenge That rule basically means not to do this (yes, that's what caused the rule to be explicitly put in there ) - just don't fly up to orbit and back in one piece. And this is the very orbiter that when launched in shuttle-style configuration got several high-end badges... pretty much the full batch of high-end badges, if you count in the landing-optimized version with cargo ramp. So, basically, it's not an issue that the orbiter can do SSTO (well, for Laythe mission it's almost a requirement, unless you do something way more complicated), it's just the question of it not being launched as SSTO
  12. Ok, here is my report for the STS Jool-5 Full report here:
  13. The Ultimate Jool 5 Challenge!

    And here I go with the conclusion of my mission with the shuttles KSP version: 1.2.2 Level 3, ISRU (took 3 mining rigs, left 2 on Laythe), but no nukes mods: only kOS, and I didn't even use it for flying Launches: 2 (2 shuttles) Landers: 2 shuttles (4 crew each) Return to KSC: 2 shuttles Additional vessels (all carried by the same shuttle): hydrofoil/hydroplane (circumnavigated Laythe and left there), mobile mining base (left on Laythe), 2 mapsats (for Laythe and Tylo) Full report here:
  14. Landing sequence Heat it up! Now just navigate to KSC And looks like we've bounced a bit too high Yeah, overshot Finally turning around Well, jets are mostly meant for this Touchdown! First, aerobrake on the other side of the planet Overcompensated the inclination a bit, but the speed is perfect And the second reentry Too high, too fast, too good at gliding Overshooting again Or not and... Touchdown!!! And mission complete!!!
  15. Back to Bop Didn't even refuel fully, but since we didn't spend too much fuel on the way here, I just decided to take the next option for aligning transfer with plane intersection OK, maybe the fuel budget is going a bit tight if this transfer is done without a slingshot... But we seem to have quite enough left for landing Let's meet with other shuttle Can we join? Transfer to Kerbin Fully fueled, and with a good ejection angle - time to go home And going for ejection straight away And maneuver around Jool And couple years later... Of course, we can't really aerocapture like this (besides, it's a bit way too fast), so... And now the remaining task is quite the trivial one for these shuttles