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    Planetary Scientist

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  1. Why is this hard. Are you worried about having it powered on the night side or something?
  2. Thanks sincerely for the truss and bare versions of the Skipper -- one of my favorite engines!
  3. The sheer awesomeness of the level of exploration indicated by this video can not be overstated!!
  4. Thanks @IonStorm for the shout-out. I'm not an Aerospace Engineer. I'm a Planetary Scientist. So I help to design robotic missions to other planets at the front end, and to use the data from them at the back end to learn new things about planets. I work with the engineers who actually do the designing, providing requirements, and evaluating their ideas for whether or not they can answer our questions. In the end, then, I write the first section of a giant Discovery or New Frontiers mission proposal and contribute obliquely to the rest. What this means in the end though is that while there are some jobs designing rockets, there are many more for engineers designing payloads. Planetary missions, helioscience missions, astrophysics space telescopes, Earth-observing satellites. And that's just within NASA's Science Mission Directorate. There's also designing crewed vehicles and their support, communications satellites, LEO constellations, GPS systems, and the like. So there can be more to rocket science than the first 8 minutes of fire! I myself have always known that I wanted to study planets, since I was like 4 years old. And yeah: it's awesome! There are always those parts of the job that are less fun, like planning your budget from now until 2038 and answering an endless stream of email. But I don't think that there's a way out of that. Your first step is to get an undergraduate degree in an appropriate major. Engineering works. Elon Musk majored in Physics, though, remember, which I think gives you a better sense not just of how to build things but rather of what things haven't been built before but COULD be built. I was an Astronomy major, which ended up being nearly indistinguishable from a physics major. From there you can get a better sense of what to do next, but it's important to spend your time as an undergrad seeking out opportunities, be it at NASA, or private companies, or other universities. Get a sense for what your job would actually be like, and then figure out whether you want to do a mid-course correction. I grew up in suburban St. Louis, Missouri myself, so there's no impediment for contributing no matter where you're from so long as you've got the background! Good luck, and let me know if you have other questions. Presentation skills -- or more broadly communication skills in general -- are a critical component to this work. They say that a bad idea, brilliantly presented, will still eventually fail owing to its inherent challenges. A brilliant idea, poorly presented, however, will fail immediately.
  5. @vyznev : impressive; most impressive. Indeed you are powerful, as the Emperor has foreseen. I'm tempted to declare you the winner right now; but I'll give it a day or so to see if anyone can optimize further (which looks awfully hard!).
  6. Rocket in my Pocket, qzgy, PrvDancer85: Awesome guys! Thanks for getting us started!!! These look hard to beat. I wasn't sure anyone would get under 500kg, but it's already blown away. Sweet!
  7. As part of our own Munar X-Prize, this challenge is to build the smallest (either least massive, or cheapest) Mun lander. Inspired by the tiny Earth's Moon lander built by the Israeli firm SpaceIL, originally for the X-Prize, your job is to build a Mun lander. Because the SpaceIL "Sparrow" lander is riding piggyback as a secondary payload on a commsat mission, you must build a mission that: starts in low-Kerbin orbit, with both periapsis and apoapsis less than 100km, lands on the Mun, has a payload of a science thermometer transmits its data back to Kerbin Prizes will be awarded for the lowest-mass lander, and separately for the cheapest lander that you can build. Good luck; we're all counting on you. Lowest-Mass Landers: Cheapest Landers: 1: 187kg vyznev 1: 1748 vyznev 2: 334kg sturmhauke 3: 365kg PrvDancer85 4: 487kg qzgy 5: 912kg Rocket in my Pocket 2: 1985 PrvDancer85 3: 2465 qzgy 4: 3144 Rocket in my Pocket 5: 4104 sturmhauke
  8. I have an entry for you. This one's a bit different because, as you see by the dates on the imgur album, I flew this mission 2 years ago. I'm the Deputy Principal Investigator of the Dragonfly NASA proposal, and while I and my colleagues were in the planning stages developing the mission, I ran a Kerbal version. I've been obsessed with Kerbal Space program for many years now... As you can see in the album, we hadn't yet decided on the final design for Dragonfly then. So it's got 6 rotors and 6-fold symmetry instead of the rectangular box central design in the main image there. This is also long before we settled on "Dragonfly" as the name for the mission, so it's just a Relocatable Lander. Anyway, thought you guys might get a kick out of this! - Jason W. Barnes Deputy Principal Investigator Dragonfly New Frontiers Proposal
  9. Doesn't work with 1.3.1 as is, just FYI. This is a critical mod if you don't want to wait 25 minutes until your Duna window!
  10. Well, I already stated above that landing on a barge is just fine. How's this: water landings okay so long as the engines never get submerged. So you can land upside down, or have a bunch of empty fuel tanks below you to float on, or whatever you come up with.
  11. Because nothing that ever lands in seawater can ever really be used again. And the Shuttle SRB's are a case in point: the amount of refurbishment that they needed was so excessive that 'reuse' didn't end up saving any money. Once you drop a liquid-fueled engine into that it would be trash!
  12. Aaaaand Manley appears to be the first entry. Nice!
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