Streetwind

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  1. Both in the editor and in flight, you can click on each individual stage in the staging list (or the total dV readout) to pop out the expanded stage view. In this expanded view, you can see the remaining burn time for each individual stage, which you can add up to get the total burn time of your entire rocket. In case you do not see it there, go into the editor and pull up the configuration of the dV tool to enable it.
  2. Generally, tanks storing the liquid fuel/oxidizer combination used for rockets all have the same mass fraction. For example: all 1.25m FL-T tanks have a mass fraction of 9 (meaning 8 tons of fuel for every 1 ton of dry mass). The 1.875m FL-TX tanks also have a mass fraction of 9. As does the 2.5m Rockomax X series... and the 3.75m Kerbodyne S3 series... and even the 5m Kerbodyne S4 series. If you look at different fuel types, then you start to see differences. For example, the three tanks in the FL-R monopropellant tank series all have different mass fractions (5, 7, and 8.5, resectively). The liquid fuel fuselages used in aircraft also do not always follow a consistent pattern. To determine the mass fraction, simply divide the full weight of the tank by its empty weight.
  3. TL;DR: It may feel like you're winging it, but as it turns out - it's largely the way things work. If you really want to skip making mid-course corrections, you can employ an external tool to precalculate a ballistic transfer for you. - - - - - - - - - - - - Eve's orbit is inclined compared to Kerbin's orbit. Eve's orbital period is different from Kerbin's. Even the eccentricity differs, although not by much. But, to put it in highly unscientific terms, these differences are not "the same", not "in sync". As in, If you fly transfers at various recurrences of the correct phase angle, then you will not always have the same transfer with the same plane change to do. Each time the planets line up in the correct angle, the alignment of orbital planes and parameters will be different. This means there is no magical solution to the way you should do your Kerbin departure burn that works in every case. You literally have to find a new unique solution each time. As far as matching inclination directly through your Kerbin departure burn Kerbin goes - the general rule of the thumb is "you cannot". There are special alignments where it is possible, but outside of them, it flat-out doesn't work. If you think about it for a moment, the reason becomes clear. Where do you normally do your mid-course corrections again? The ascending/descending node, I hear you say? Yes, that is the correct spot. At these points (or rather, along the axis that goes through both of these points and the parent body), the orbital planes intersect. So you can go from one to the other. If you are not where they intersect, you cannot go from one to the other. Any attempt to do so will invariably lead you to go into a different orbital plane instead (even if only slightly different). Try and imagine it in your head - two paper discs stuck on top of each other at an angle, intersecting along a line. And you can only travel along the rim of any given disc. This means that, in order to match inclination with Eve's orbit directly with your Kerbin departure burn, Kerbin itself needs to be at AN or DN with respect to Eve's orbit. Then, and only then, this maneuver works. You'll simply be folding your normal AN/DN course correction into your departure burn. Of course, since the difference in orbital periods, inclinations, and eccentricities are not "in sync", Kerbin won't do you the favor of being anywhere near the AN/DN on most phase angle matches. People still use the so-called "apoapsis transfer" to go to Moho, because a Hohmann transfer to Moho is the single most dV-expensive and precision-dependant transfer you can make in stock KSP, and most people would rather have a cheaper and less finnicky option even if it takes a few years longer to arrive. For Eve though, which is already one of the cheaper transfers to other planets, this seems unpractical. You can, however, still typically get a direct Eve encounter from Kerbin orbit anyways. The lack of sync just means that this will be fairly easy to do for some opportunities, and fairly hard for other opportunities. The next thing you need to understand is that, by being in Kerbin orbit, you are also in solar orbit, because Kerbin itself is in solar orbit. KSP does a bit poorly at representing this fact, due to the way you can only be in one sphere of influence at a time. But orbital mechanics won't let you cheat either way. Try launching a spacecraft into a perfect 90° polar Kerbin orbit. Now make a retrograde escape burn like you normally would when going to an inner planet like Eve. What's your inclination around the sun going to be like? 90° too? Hah, not even close. It's likely going to be less than 9°, even. The maximum solar inclination you can achieve by leaving Kerbin is the inclination of the upper (or lower) edge of Kerbin's spherical SoI with respect to Kerbin itself. 84,159,286 meters above Kerbin's own solar orbit. You cannot go any higher without a plane change in solar orbit. And most of the time, you will be far lower than that, even when leaving Kerbin from an inclined orbit. This means that, in order to attain even a few degrees of solar inclination through your Kerbin departure burn, you'll need a highly inclined departure orbit. And these things are... uncomfortable. For starters, doing plane changes in low Kerbin orbit is so expensive that you'd be spending far more dV trying to enter that inclined orbit after launching into an equatorial one than you would save by not making a course correction in solar orbit. No, in order to make this worth the effort, most of the time you'd have to launch directly into the inclined orbit. This also costs more dV than an equatorial launch, because you're not getting the full eastward rotation bonus; it's difficult to fly, since you need to actively steer rather than just letting the rocket fall over towards the east; and it's even more difficult to time it right. In contrast to an equatorial orbit, which has most of its orbital parameters nulled out and irrelevant, an inclined orbit needs to be inclined correctly. Not just the correct amount, but also the correct direction: the so-called longitude of ascending node (LAN). To get this one right, you have an instantaneous launch window - you need to launch at exactly the right time of day, when the launch site is directly under where you want your inclined orbit to be. You may or may not have some practice with this kind of launch window through exploring Minmus, where you can launch directly into a 6° Kerbin orbit in the moment where the launch site passes under Minmus' AN or DN with respect to the equator, and save yourself a plane change that way. But, in contrast to Minmus, here you have Kerbin's motion around the sun to consider. That means that for any given LAN value you select, the interplanetary transfer window is strictly speaking also an instantaneous window. If you wait too long past your opportunity, your laboriously achieved inclined departure orbit will slowly drift out of alignment with Eve's orbit. That, anyway, is the "perfect" solution. An instantaneous launch window leading directly into an inclined departure orbit for an instantaneous transfer window that's been precalculated to represent the total trip dV minimum for this particular, unique planetary alignment. And if you're now sitting back and going "that's way too complicated", then at least 95% of the playerbase will eagerly agree with you. Heck, even most third-party navigation tools agree, too Even Alexmoon's mighty Transfer Window Planner, which I absolutely recommend to each and every player, makes the default assumption that your departure orbit is perfectly equatorial and perfectly circular, because deviating from that assumption makes the calculation so much more complicated and the execution ingame so much more prone to imprecision. And it can still compute you ballistic (no course correction) transfer windows to Eve for every phase angle opportunity. You may ultimately be paying a few percent of extra dV to fly these... but considering how effortless it is to go around the stock system, that's honestly negligible.
  4. The hotkey is the same as on a spacecraft: press R. You will be able to see on the navball that the RCS icon will light up. The Kerbal also visibly grabs hold of their jetpack handles. Be patient and gentle with your inputs. Brief taps of the keys. If you hold them down, you will accelerate fairly quickly. And then when you're not sure what buttons to press to stop, you can end up flying away from your ship and get stranded in orbit. And keep in mind that when you reorient the camera, the Kerbal will reorient itself to face in the camera's new direction the next time you press any button. This catches people off guard a lot when they try to learn the controls.
  5. There is (or at least used to be, haven't checked in a while) a mod called BetterTimeWarp, which lets you configure things like 10x physics timewarp. Five and a half minutes is far more bearable than 55 minutes. But generally, I'd plan my ship and my mission in ways that avoid such huge burn times, even when I am using electric engines (which I frequently do). Are you going into retrograde solar orbit or something? If yes, reconsider picking up such contracts in the future, they're pretty much never worth the effort to pull it off. If it's a normal, prograde solar orbit though, then you don't need to burn 55 minutes to get there. You just need to wait for the transfer window - the same as if you were going to another planet.
  6. "Input locks" means that KSP thinks something is happening for which it needs to prevent the player from pressing keys. Therefore the game "locks the input" and you can no longer do anything. It normally does this during loading screens, for example, and then restores control to you when the scene has loaded. But sometimes, KSP may falsely believe that your input should be locked, or it fails to restore control. To check if this is happening, go to the debug menu (Alt+F12) and look into the tab named "input locks". There should be a button to clear all current locks. Press it and see if it changes anything.
  7. Rocket construction is a skill that requires practice. If you do it wrong, then sometimes even adding more fuel doesn't actually do anything. Additionally, piloting is a skill that requires practice. A skilled player might land on the Mun with a rocket that a newcomer might barely wrestle into orbit. KSP is a difficult game with a big learning curve. But we're always happy to help out. Just try to be as precise as you can with the questions you're asking, because sometimes, it can be difficult to tell what's going on on your screen from just a few sentences of text.
  8. Gigameters. As in, a billion meters. 1m = 1 meter 1,000m = 1 kilometer 1,000,000m = 1,000 kilometers = 1 megameter 1,000,000,000m = 1,000,000 kilometers = 1 gigameter The stock KSP altitude meter at the top of your screen (when in flight) uses these same units, by the way. They are standard SI units. I'm not fluent in that language and haven't personally used the planner before, but I'm guessing that slider is for mean distance from the sun.
  9. @Rustdog As an additional help - in the editor, during construction, you can configure the dV helper tool to use a different celestial body's values for computation. For example, you could set it to Eve to figure out how your engines fare in the thick atmosphere, or even just to the Mun to figure out your Mun-relative TWR.
  10. The main distinguishing factor between comets and asteroids is the orbit. Both appear as unidentified objects. But when you track one, and see its orbit, you will instantly be able to tell if it's a comet (very eccentric orbit, coming close to the sun and then swinging out to Jool or beyond) or an asteroid (generally hugs the orbit of a planet fairly closely, sometimes has direct encounters with said planet).
  11. Isn't the red color a result of the ablative nozzle on the RS-68 though? Other hydrolox engines like the RS-25 or the Vulcain II do not have this kind of red-hued exhaust.
  12. Depends entirely on the individual case. You can make a plume with the stock method that is reasonably performant, and another plume that looks very similar but slows the game to an utter crawl with just a single engine running. This mod is not made to improve performance of engine plumes in general. It is made to enable creation of plumes with a certain look and feel which is hard to create with the stock system without going completely overboard in performance-killing particles. If you have a stock plume of, say, the Terrier engine - that one is so simple and basic, a Waterfall plume replacement might in fact use (very slightly) more performance, not less. But you'd also get an extreme improvement in visual fidelity. Meanwhile, the electric and nuclear engine plumes in Nertea's mods, those can achieve their intended looks much more cheaply with Waterfall than when using the stock system.
  13. As for ingame - there is no danger of leaving things extended during burns, unless the extended thing extends in front of the nozzle of one of your engines. Then yes, you should probably retract that before activating the engine. Solar panels and antennas may snap off inside an atmosphere, but never in the vacuum of space.