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    Orbital Mechanic

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  1. Wow, just saw that this mission was anointed a ToTM for July... what an honor! Thought I'd add a few more hints to help ease some of the potential difficulties. Don't read them if you want the maximum difficulty in this challenge. Let me know if there are other challenging areas I should address, or if you encounter things that look like bugs.
  2. Yes, I've achieved orbit several times. Do about a 70 degree gravity turn right after clearing the tower and then don't touch the controls until you need to stage. Over-fiddling with the controls always seems to do me in. Use care in staging if you are not aligned exactly prograde, since the ejected boosters may collide. If you cartwheel after staging, you can still recover and make orbit with a little quick work and careful restorative burns. The air should be thinning rapidly after a cartwheel or two, allowing the remaining rocket motors to have plenty of control authority relative to the awful aerodynamics. After all, Jeb was never afraid of a little atmospheric tumbling! There is actually plenty of fuel for a sub-optimal launch trajectory (within reason), so you can bias your ascent to be more vertical (to reduce the staging cartwheel tendency) at the expense of then having to a bigger lateral burn later on. Hope this helps. Let me know if you're still having trouble.
  3. Felt like we needed more humorous missions, so I came up with this: Jeb's lost in space and presumed dead, so we've built a giant 300-ton statue in his memory. We just need you to take it to Duna for us. Land it upright on the special pedestal we've built at Duna's north pole for maximum points, or anywhere nearby for partial credit. The statue is waiting for you at KSC on top of a ridiculously large launch vehicle. It flies like a pig, but with the gentle touch of a skilled pilot (or perhaps the repeated touch of quicksave/quickload), it will reach low Kerbin orbit with fuel to spare. And if you don't get the launch quite right... well, who doesn't love a massive explosion with parts scattered everywhere? After you get the statue into Kerbin orbit, you'll have a million funds to build a Duna interplanetary tug and all the landing apparatus you'll need to get it safely down at Duna. (The statue was thoughtfully festooned with lots of docking ports to allow you to attach things to it easily.) Build and attach whatever you think you'll need, but be frugal to earn max bonus points. This mission will test all your Kerbal skills: piloting, spacecraft design, docking, re-entry, precision landing, and efficiency. It's a serious challenge. Building in extra performance margins to your spacecraft (extra fuel, extra maneuverability, extra solar panels, extra snacks...) will make your job easier and more fun. Ways you can fail: break the statue, land it farther than a reasonable hike from Duna's north pole, or run out of money. Mission here: https://kerbalx.com/missions/61 I have play-tested it, but it's complex with 72 nodes, so I may have missed something. Please let me know if anything is broken. I don't have a huge amount of time these days but will attempt to fix things when I can.
  4. Setting aside all kinds of gratuitous sandbox mode mayhem, in career mode (hard settings, with perma-death) I once forced a Kerbal to abandon ship in order to make room for another Kerbal who had to be rescued as part of a contract. They attempted to hang onto an external ladder during re-entry and we attempted to keep them mostly rotated away from the worst of the flames. We still haven't been able to completely clean their charred, disembodied fingers off the hatch exterior.
  5. I saw a tangentially related post to this bug, but it wasn't exactly the same, so I'll risk a fresh post here: Just tried Mission Builder for the first time. Had my spacecraft on the lauchpad and realized I needed to modify it, so I did the usual "Recover Vessel" from the top of the screen (i.e. I did NOT revert -- I am used to playing Hard Mode where you don't have revert option anyway). Recovery dumped me into the usual Space Center view, but -- and here is the problem -- all facilities were locked. Could not get back to the launch pad, could not enter VAB, etc. Only choice is to restart the game. This can't be right. Edit: I was playing the very first canned mission where you have to build a sounding rocket that goes to 5000m. More Edit: So eventually I selected "Restart Mission," at which point the game just hung with the usual corner loading graphic spinning endlessly on a black screen. So something's broken. Mac OS FWIW. The tangentially related post (which dealt with revert rather than recover) is this one:
  6. Update to my earlier post. Using "-force-opengl" (with a single dash rather than double dash) did not work either. Still got a hang at "Loading Asset Bundle Definitions". However, I found a suggestion on another thread to try copying the entire KSP folder to the root level of the HDD and launch from there. That did work for me.
  7. The --force-opengl command trick does not work for me under OSX High Sierra on a late 2013 MacBook Pro. Cannot figure out how to attach my system log and ksp log to this forum (per Badie's request)... happy to do so if anyone can tell me how. Didn't want to bombard the forum with all the raw text.
  8. [edit... big necro... apologies!] I don't have a screen shot, but I once I got a contract to redirect a Class E asteroid into orbit around Gilly. It was worth several million funds IIRC, on Hard Mode to boot where the payouts are all cut significantly. I accepted it because I love the challenge (and payout!) of really hard contracts... would much rather stew over how to achieve something clever then sit around grinding out a bunch of tedious cheap contracts. Anyway, I found a Class E asteroid that was incoming on a reasonably close trajectory to Kerbin, and I steered it into a double-flyby of Kerbin and the Mun that essentially reversed its direction relative to Kerbin. This caused it to slow down considerably relative to the Sun after it left the Kerbin SOI, which dropped it into an orbit near Eve. From there it was just some minor course correction work (and a few orbits waiting for a sufficiently good encounter). But the double flyby saved me several hundred delta-V, which matters a lot when you are trying to drive a Class E asteroid around. I think the total delta-V I actually spent in the form of rocket fuel was under 100. Screen grab of my double flyby reversal maneuver that made it all come together. After that contract, I had enough funds to unlock the rest of the space center upgrades and do pretty much anything, so I declared the game "won" and stopped playing for awhile.
  9. Another interesting one. It was a mega-funds contract to get a Class E asteroid into orbit around Gilly (Eve moon). I nudged the asteroid into a two-body flyby of Kerbin and the Mun that pretty much reversed its direction relative to Kerbin, which slowed it considerably relative to the Sun and brought it very close to Eve. I probably spent an hour tweaking this maneuver node to get it just right.
  10. Not all that crazy, but a pretty picture. This was a low-dV capture into Ike orbit that was facilitated by a double flyby.
  11. Two highly negative dV margin situations worth noting, both in Hard career mode a year or more ago. And not surprisingly, both happened when I was playing without a dV calculator (which I sometimes do to make the gameplay more seat-of-the-pants and exciting). First situation: My Duna surface return vehicle was underpowered and didn't have enough dV to reach orbit. Jeb (we will assume it was Jeb; who else?) had to abandon ship in the upper atmosphere at sub-orbital velocity and use his EVA pack to finish getting himself into orbit. This was in the days before EVA Kerbals had the navball, so the real trick was coordinating the rendezvous with his driverless orbital vehicle that couldn't maneuver because there was no way to command it without Jeb aboard. Ultimately Jeb got there and it all worked out, but there was a lot of tedious orbiting trying to line up the rendezvous on very limited fuel and no nav ball. The other, more dramatic one was getting Valentina home from Duna, in an earlier version of KSP before heat damage (more on this later). She thought she had enough gas for a quick detour to the nail salon on Ike on the way home, but, surprise, she didn't. Fuel pooped out midway through the Duna/Ike departure burn. She had to bail out and finish the departure burn back to Kerbin with her EVA pack and then navigate interplanetary space for a year or so with only the company of her spacesuit. Worse, I had no funds to launch a lifeboat to come get her... I had burned up all my funds on her Duna mission. So she valiantly plunged directly into Kerbin's atmosphere (pre- heat damage) and then used the helmet-first landing trick to survive hitting the ground. Against all odds she got home alive, toting a fair amount of science, and earned me enough mission success funds to keep going.
  12. It was just commentary from the peanut gallery. Would love to see someone do something along these lines, though!
  13. Nice! Added to leaderboard. But... why air inlets on an Eve lander?
  14. The Cow that Jumped Over the Mun Some time ago, in what I consider to be one of the best KSP missions of all time, a user named Phredd Pewter sent a giant cow named Bessie to the Mun. I'm not sure if Bessie ever successfully landed there, but she certainly got close. I can't think of a more appropriate entry for this challenge. (Repost of Phredd's Imgur album below.)
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