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    Bottle Rocketeer
  1. You really don't have to be very exact in order to complete the satellite missions. If the two orbits just look pretty close when you eyeball it, the contract will complete just fine. So, as others have said, it isn't your precision that's the problem. You're probably just going the wrong direction.
  2. That's funny. I end up starting new games a lot because I think the early game is so much fun now, especially in hard mode. You actually have to do a little strategic planning about which buildings to upgrade when. And it's kind of fun to have to get around without maneuver nodes or to build your rockets with weight and part count constraints. I like the puzzle aspect of it. It's during the grind to 6,000,000 to unlock the level 3 science center that I get bored and want to start over.
  3. Well, then. I may just reconsider Vall. I'm heading to Jool right now, so I think I'll stop by. The couple of times I've been there I wasn't very impressed, but I'll give it another look. Oh...And thanks for taking the time to read my entire lengthy post.
  4. I usually end up staying up way too late because I underestimate how long it takes to do things in KSP. "Oh, just a quick mission to Laythe, and then I'll head to bed." But I usually finish my KSP time feeling satisfaction and like I accomplished something. The only exceptions are when I kill Jeb somehow, and then I feel a deep sense of loss. But I play in hard mode without saving, so I'm usually pretty careful not to send Kerbals on any missions that are too terribly risky.
  5. I have been thinking a lot lately about my own risk tolerance level, and while I am playing KSP I naturally start to ask myself whether or not I would actually be willing to fly on some of these missions I send my Kerbals on. Pretending that I am a Kerbal in the stock game and that I have no needs for anything (food, air, water) that cannot be provided in infinite supply by my command module or my space suit, and assuming that I can time-warp at will in order to avoid years of lonely boredom in transit to another planet, would I really be willing to risk my life on any of these missions I send my Kerbals on? Just how far do I trust my own piloting and navigation abilities (without quick-save and do-overs, and without MechJeb). When I first started playing the game, the answer would have been an obvious "no" to all missions. But as I've learned to play the game better and started to get a feel for what kinds of things are likely to end tragically and what things are relatively safe, I've decided that there really may be some KSP missions that I feel confident enough about to risk my life on. Of course, it depends greatly on the mission profile. So, here are the missions that I think I could risk my life on and the missions I would have to turn down. What are yours? 1) Landing on Minmus: YES! Assuming I use a fairly simple craft that has already made several successful unmanned landings on Minmus, I would do this one in a heartbeat! To be able to fly around that amazing landscape with a jet pack would easily be worth the risk of getting there. Landing on Minmus is a breeze, so there isn't much to fear there. My only real concern would be about something going wrong on launch. Which brings me to: 2) Any launch involving solid boosters: HECK NO! Regardless of whether or not they make the launch more efficient, there is no way I'm getting within 10 miles of one of those trash-cans-of-boom. I have found that the odds of a catastrophic launch increase substantially when I introduce a rocket that I can't turn off. With a liquid-fueled rocket, even if the launch goes haywire for some reason, I'm relatively confident that I can shut everything down, decouple my command module, and parachute to safety. With the solid fuel rockets (even with the bug-fix that keeps them from spinning into my core), if anything at all goes wrong in the launch, I can pretty much kiss my Kerbal life goodbye. 3) Any launch involving an overly-complex rocket monstrosity: No again. Simple rockets...I could possibly trust with my life. But anything that requires asparagus staging or boosters on boosters...no thanks. 4) Landing on the Mun: Probably not. Given my landing history on the Mun, statistically I'll *probably* be okay. But I've crashed and burned enough on the Mun that I would probably chicken out before the landing and head home. 5) Landing on Gilly: Absolutely. In fact, you are probably safer on Gilly than you are staying home on Kerbin. If you trip on Gilly, it would take 5 minutes to hit the ground. I would just have to stay far away from that freaky seam in the planet that spells instant death to those who explore it. The only somewhat scary part would be aero-braking over Eve, but if I choose a conservative altitude, it'll probably be just fine. And I would have a chute on my lander anyway for the return trip home, so if I did get sucked in to Eve, I would probably survive, but I would probably never get home. Which brings me to: 6) Landing on Eve: Nuh uh. The odds of me hitting one of those tiny high-altitude targets on the first try is next to nil. Although...considering I have infinite time and stamina I could theoretically hike or swim across the planet to climb a peak and be rescued. But...nah. 7) Landing on Moho: Nope. If I build a rocket with enough Delta-V to get myself to Moho and home again, it's probably not a rocket I would feel safe even sitting in on the launch pad. 8) Landing on Duna: A hesitant yes... I would have to really sike myself up for this one, but I would probably go for it. My landing success rate on Duna is pretty good, but there are just so many things that can go wrong in that landing...chute deployment tearing the ship apart...thrusting too hard during the powered landing which inadvertently cuts the chutes...coming in at an altitude where the atmosphere is too thin. But if I tested my ship with a couple of unmanned missions first (just to verify that my parachute placement didn't tear the ship apart on deployment), I think I could risk my life on it. 9) Landing on Pol: YES! YES! YES! In fact, this would be my first destination. I would land on the side that always faces Jool and I would lie on my back on one of the summits of Pol and gaze up at the sky. I would use my time-warp super power to make Jool oscillate through the sky like a giant yo-yo, and I would lie there and watch the other four moons in their never-ending cosmic dance. Then when I needed some activity, I could fire up my jet pack and orbit the planet. The scary parts of this mission would be aero-braking over Jool or possibly getting an accidental encounter with Laythe or Tylo that caused me to waste a lot a fuel. But as long as I choose a conservative altitude to aero-brake, the most likely negative outcome is that I would just run out fuel and have to be rescued. But if I'm the one floating around in space and I'm running the space program, I can always make sure a rescue mission is next on the launchpad. 10) Landing on Bop: Yes. Very safe to land on, much like Pol. Except the absence of flat spots on Bop kind of weirds me out, so I don't think I would want to stay there very long. I would always be feeling like I didn't have my V8 today. 11) Landing on Tylo: Never in a million Kerbal years. That moon is just giant death trap. 12) Landing on Laythe: I probably shouldn't...but IT'S LAYTHE! It's even-money odds that I miss my target and land in the ocean. And even if I miss the ocean, it's even-money odds again that my lander rolls down a slope and is permanently disabled. But even knowing all that, I still might be tempted to take my chances and go for the beach vacation. Of course, by day 7 of swimming for land (with my infinite stamina), I'll probably be rethinking the whole decision. 13) Landing on Eeloo, Dres, or Vall: No, thanks. They just don't make the cut in the risk-reward analysis. I would probably make it there and home okay, but the landings aren't a cake walk. And why would I want to go there anyway? 14) Anything involving rovers on any planet: Not for me. I have never yet had a rover-driving experience that didn't end with a ball of explosions tumbling across the terrain. (Then again, maybe I just always play with my rovers until they crash. So, maybe that's the only way a rover session *can* end.) Anyway, I'll drive them remotely, but I'm certainly not getting in the seat.
  6. Yeah, I didn't think I remembered this being hard, but I tried it real quick just to make sure. It's just an Mk1 module with a parachute, 9 of the FL-T200 tanks, and the LV-T30 engine. There's even enough fuel left in the tank to bring it back down again. You can also add one booster at the bottom and then use a little "thermo-decoupling" to overheat the booster and blow it up just before it runs out of fuel. That extra boost can get you over 500k Ap and 90k Pe to meet some of the other challenges. I'm curious about a few things, though. How are you supposed to plant a flag without upgrading any buildings? You have to upgrade the astronaut complex in order to be able plant a flag. Also, what counts as a "safe" landing? As far as I'm concerned, any landing my pilot can walk away from is a "safe" landing. Also, do I get an extra point for flying the mission while holding a baby? Suborbital Trajectory (out of atmosphere): +1 Part Count (less than 30 parts): +2 Orbit: +5 OVER 90,000! (both Pe and Ap): +1 Mix and Match (Both SRB and Liquid Engine): +2 Safe Return: +2 SPEEEEEEEEEED! (Re-entry over 2000 m/s): +1 How? Just How? (Apoapsis over 500,000, must be in orbit): +1 BadS (Land with a BOOM! a.k.a a part explodes): +1 Total: 16 points
  7. Yup. I verified that it wasn't just the thermometer bug. Even if I am able to click the Log Temperature button while I'm in the designated zone and above the designated altitude, it doesn't fulfill the contract conditions if the thermometer reads "Temperature scan can't be done right now" Oh, well. I guess I'll just lose that one (and be careful not to take that contract in the future).
  8. My contract requires me to take a temperature scan of a certain point on Gilly above 7000m, but the thermometer doesn't work at that altitude on Gilly. It just says "Temperature scan cannot be done." Is it possible to get contracts that are impossible to complete according to the rules of the game?
  9. Wow, thanks! It's so good to hear that I'm not the only one this is happening to...and even better to hear about a fix for it.
  10. A typical way I gather science is to periodically pop Jeb out of the command module, get an EVA report, collect the data from various scientific instruments mounted to the command module, and then get back in the module again. I just grabbed the 0.25 update a few days ago, and I am now having serious problems with this that almost make the game unplayable for me. Whenever my Kerbal goes EVA from the Mk1, instead of clinging tightly to the hatch ladder like he always has in the past, he either gently floats away from the hatch or is flung violently into space. Then I have to navigate him back to the hatch again. I also have serous difficulties getting my EVA'ed Kerbal back to the hatch, and I am hoping someone can help me with this. Suppose Jeb has floated half a meter away from the hatch and I just need to inch him forward a bit to get back in the pod. I haven't figured out an easy way to do this. As soon as I hit R to turn on his jet pack, the Kerbal suddenly reorients himself to face some arbitrary direction (which usually moves him farther away from the hatch in the process). If I recall correctly, in previous versions pressing W would move him "forward" with respect to the current camera angle. So, I used to be able to just point the camera in the direction I wanted the Kerbal to go and tap W to orient him in that direction. But the game doesn't seem to be working that way anymore. Instead, it seems that there is some kind of absolute orientation now that is independent of the camera angle, and the WASD keys move the Kerbal relative to that absolute orientation. Because of this, I usually have to navigate my Kerbal back to the hatch using this unnatural orientation. This means that when he eventually gets back to the hatch he is usually facing an odd direction. Then, as soon as I press F to grab the hatch ladder, he flings himself around and flies off into space again. I thought it might have something to do with having obstacles close to the hatch, but it still does this even if I only have an Mk16 parachute on the top of the pod. Has anyone else experienced these issues, and what do I do about it? Jeff
  11. False. (But, apparently, even Google doesn't know what rocket cancer is, so I don't feel so bad.) The user below me will answer "false"
  12. If you are using engines with thrust vectoring, you don't typically need the winglets. However, if you are using those LV-T30 engines and solid boosters, you really need winglets because none of your engines gimbal to control your direction.
  13. Oops. So, what rocket design did you end up using? How much fuel do you have left? How far back is your latest save? And most importantly, how many tries did it take to land that thing?
  14. I agree with How2FoldSoup. What you are doing might make sense if you were designing a refueler and if you were trying to get into orbit with a bunch of extra fuel. But that rocket is way too big for going to the Mun. It looks to me like your entire second stage is probably unnecessary. Here are my suggestions: 1) Eliminate the second stage. Your tri-adapter first stage with those three extra boosters is plenty to get you into a circular orbit around Kerbin if you aren't trying to lift that heavy second stage. I can't really tell from the picture, but I'm guessing you used LT-V30s for your first stage. That's what you want. 2) Lose all of the winglets except for the three at the very bottom. Neither your boosters or the LT-V30 are have thrust vectoring, so you will need those bottom winglets to keep you going straight during takeoff. However, just those bottom three are enough. 3) Lose all of the struts except for just one set of struts at the very bottom of the craft that connect your three main fuel tanks together. A lot of people say you can't have too many struts, but they weigh 0.05 each. That can add up fast if you have a lot of them. Add struts only to correct a seen problem. If your rocket doesn't wobble on the launch pad, you probably don't need any more struts. 4) Lose the RCS system. It's heavy and you don't really need it for a Mun landing mission. They are mainly valuable for docking. This modified version of your rocket is small enough that you don't even need any reaction wheels. The command module itself has enough torque to maneuver your craft in space, and the winglets can keep it under control during ascent. Here's what your rocket looks like after making these modifications: I was able to fly this to the Mun and back, so I know it works. Good luck. Jeff
  15. Personally, I think 2 nukes is too many for most missions. If you add another nuke you get twice the thrust and consume twice as much fuel. The extra thrust doesn't really buy you anything in space (unless you just can't stand the long burn times). However, bringing the extra nuke adds a LOT of extra weight to the launch. I would prefer to just have one nuke and be patient. Even if you can't get up enough velocity to hit Kerbin escape velocity on your first pass around the planet, you can just burn again on your second pass around the planet and still get about the same Oberth effect because you would be burning at the periapsis the second time around. Anyway, I've never built a craft big enough to require more than one nuke, but maybe there is a good reason to do it for very large crafts.
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