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I’ve been happily messing with KSP for several years now, regularly returning to start a grand new campaign with a slew of interesting mods. For one reason or another (real life, .exe instability, mod quirks) I’ve tended to hit a wall shortly after going interplanetary in previous attempts, but with the (relatively) recent arrival of the 64-bit client on Windows and a more mature crop of mods I’m gearing up to try once again. I intend keep a diary of sorts here, in part to motivate myself and in part to act as a sort of tutorial to others who are interested in playing with similar setups but are unsure how to bolt all the pieces together and convince them to play nicely. Situation I’ve chosen to start these reports a little way into the campaign, as there is already a wealth of material covering the first steps of a campaign. I have just unlocked the first KSPIE technologies, Nuclear Propulsion, Nuclear Power and Advanced Electrics. These nodes contain the earliest nuclear engines, reactors and beamed power parts respectively. There are currently small ‘Tortoise’ rovers carrying basic science equipment on both the Mun and Minmus (BonVoyage is my new favourite toy) crawling around doing science. In addition, the ‘Makellan’ series of early SCANSat satellites remain in orbit around Kerbin and its moons to act as makeshift communication satellites until more permanent infrastructure is in place despite having served their original purpose of mapping the surface. Going into month 5 (I’m working with 30-day months), there are two main projects I’m planning to work on. First and foremost, deployment of some lightweight interplanetary probes powered by the recently developed CANDLE engine in time to catch transfer windows to the Urlum and (possibly) Neidon. This might also require the deployment of a dedicated communications network around Kerbin to ensure continuous connection. RemoteTech's Root model (under which antennae can communicate at a range equal to the square root of the product of their individual ranges) means you don't need much of a network to get out to the moons provided you use the flight computer to make sure you don't miss your capture burns. Due to the immense range of the ground station at KSC, probes can maintain a connection for about 50% of the time. I am going to have to put at least a simple network around Mun in order to explore the far side with the munar Tortoise rover though. Secondly, and perhaps more interestingly in the long-term, development and deployment of a basic beamed power infrastructure around Kerbin, with the aim of using thermal receivers to launch lighter payloads to orbit more cheaply than currently possible. This is going to involve a fair amount of experimentation to find a sensible arrangement (I haven't messed with this area of KSPIE since it was reworked), but that's part of the fun, right? Mods My CKAN list currently shows well over 100 mods installed, before counting my personal tweaks and a few older mods that remain compatible despite their protestations to the contrary, so I’ll just provide the highlights here and leave the full list in a spoiler below. Interstellar Extended by Freethinker et al. I’ve loved the idea of this mod ever since I got it way back when Fractal was still developing it, and I’m looking forwards to playing with the new toys that have been added in the mean time. This is the mod I think people might find most interesting when covered as a tutorial, since the existing documentation is either scant, obsolete or simply absent. RESCALE 6.4x by Galileo Or more accurately a very slightly tweaked personal version that produces a Kerbin with a 12-hour day and a 540-day year. It makes orbiting a little more interesting and gives all those beefy advanced drives from KSPIE something worthwhile to do. MKS (and most of the rest of the USI suite) by RoverDude This has just gotten more and more enticing over time, and the integration of Extraplanetary Launchpads and Ground Construction provides some interesting possibilities for a budding space program. I’ve recently switched over from TAC-LS after finding it doesn’t mesh particularly well with Kronometer and after learning USI-LS now has habitation timers. Monthly Budgets by severedsolo I’m a sucker for strategy games and this mod provides both a pleasant bit of medium- to long-term planning and reduces the necessity of grinding contracts for funds. I have it set to decay reputation each month and have Play Your Way (Galileo) set to provide reputation with gathered science. The intention is that as I clear out Kerbin and its moons, I’ll need to set up other revenue streams (munar/asteroid mining operations perhaps). Kerbal Construction Time by magico13 This mod actually makes a campaign feel like a grand undertaking as you watch your space program grow over time. The broad customisation options don’t hurt either. SETI Rebalance & Unmanned before Manned by y3m0 I like what this set of mods changes about the game generally, and have had an interesting time with the new custombarnkit settings in the recent version. RemoteTech 2 by neitsa et al. Mostly because I haven’t dived in to learn the ins and outs of CommNet, and from first impressions RemoteTech is more intuitive and I’m already used to it. I have it configured so extra omnidirectional antennae do increase range and am using the Root range model. In addition to the above mods, the main other factor altering gameplay is a tech tree plugin of my own design that massively increases the cost of the more advanced tech nodes and adjusts the science available on each planet. At time of writing, the final tier of KSPIE technologies cost 100,000 science each. The intention is to force me off Kerbin and to avoid unlocking the entire tech tree with a few missions to the Mun and Minmus. Accompanying this are a variety of tweaks to where parts appear on the tree so I don’t, for example, need to finish a Joolean tour before being able to unlock thermal rocket nozzles. Full Mod List
I have been toying around with different long range rockets in the Interstellar mod, and i just cannot for the life of me find a comprehensive guide to the different types of fuels and how they interact with the engines. I have seen notated here and there in the forums that things like Hydrazine provide extra thrust? But i also see some places that Hydrogen is used often for first stages, and most engines have "higher base isp" for Hydrogen; yet, when i compare hydrogen to LiquidFuel for example, i come out with FAR less dv according to KER. Unfortunately, i cannot find a definitive explanation and comparison between the types of fuels, and the Interstellar wiki seems to come up short. I have schooling experience with liquid water reactors, and i enjoy learning about high tech systems and the physics behind how they function, but like i said earlier. Just having trouble finding some kind of write-up with the niche uses of each type of fuel. OBVIOUSLY they would have a use if they exist in the game...right?
The X, Y, and Z series are Xperimental SSTOs. They are heavy, sometimes a little unstable with the older crafts, but they have a much more massive range and capacity than any other SSTO. THIS REQUIRES THE EXCELLENT KSPI- Extended mod by Freethinker (and its requirement, Tweakscale) And: Near Future spacecraft, Solar, and Construction. USI-LS and Konstruction also present (I'll try to edit it out later ;_;) Guide to the class: X: Fission powered. Early craft, requires maximum tech in fission reactors, heavy. Usually LKO transporters. Y: Fusion powered. Requires maximum tech in fusion reactors. Usually heavy LKO cargo SSTOs Z: Antimatter powered. Expensive, godly SSTOs. Grand tours, huge delta-v, massive payloads to orbit. Now, let's begin. X Series X-5 Desc: The first succesful heavy SSTO, but certaintly not the first entry in the X series. With impressive TWR and delta-v to spare, it can take just about anything that fits in its cargo bay to LKO. 1: Toggle engine 3: Switch propellant Download X-6 The Succesor to the X-5, the X-6 features an extended range and cargo bay, making it ideal for carrying moderate payloads to orbit. It is still used today by some agencies as a passenger aircraft, provided the cargo bay is refitted. 1: Toggle engine 3: Switch propellant Download X-7 The X-7 is a hastily put together interplanetary craft, primarily designed for minums. It tanks that are jettisonable, which means it's not entirely a SSTO anymore. Its down-facing cargo bay makes it ideal for deploying rovers. 1: Toggle engine 3: Switch propellant Download The X-8 was the last of the X program, designed to be interplanetary, even to Duna. With a large cargo bay, and closed cycle gas core engines, it was also designed to refuel itself, if you equip drills. Otherwise, it makes a good long range cargo carrier. It also features a thermal electric generator, allowing the ship to run for a long time. 1: Toggle Ramjet 2: Toggle Gas core engines 3: Switch propellant Download Y Series Y-4 The Y-4 was the first succesful fusion SSTO. Capable of carrying 100 tons to LKO, half its weight, it then detaches its wings to safely fly back to the KSC and be mostly re-used. The Y Program is still greatly under development, with more focus on the Z series 1: Toggle engine 3: Switch propellant Download Z-Series Z-2 The Z-2 was the first antimatter spaceplane, with fantastic results. Despite its small size, it packs a massive 10 km/s of delta-v, meaning it's possible to do a return trip to laythe, if your kerbal is willing to sit in the cockpit that long. 1: Toggle engine 3: Switch propellant Download Z-3 The Z-3 was the first warp-capable spacecraft, and with a magnetic nozzle, a long range. However, due to the sheer antimatter usage of the plasma core, collecting antimatter from Jool will be a top priority. 1: Toggle turbojet 2: Toggle magnetic nozzle 3: Switch propellant Download Z-4 The Z-4 Utilized an antimatter initiated fusion reactor, giving the antimatter a much longer lifespan, allowing for long term missions. With a D-T drive and plenty of cargo space for habitation and drills, this ship is technically capable of a grand tour. However, difficulty on landing on Duna and difficulty taking off from planets meant the Z-4 never did. 1: Toggle ramjets 2: Toggle D-T Vista 3: Switch propellant Download Z-5 Still WIP. Z-6 The Z-6 is the pinnacle of engineering. With communication, refuelling capability, long term fuel storage, cargo space and most importantly, a VTOL system, the Z-6 is capable of a grand tour of the solar system, and any others. Note that the VTOL system is configured for Kerbin takeoff, and thrust will need to be limited during the voyage. 1: Toggle ramjets 2: Toggle D-T Vista 3: Switch propellant 4: Toggle Plasma wakefields 5: Toggle VTOL Download Z-7 The Z-7 is very similar to the Y-4, except antimatter powered. Using 1 gram of antimatter, it's expensive to run (100,000 funds) but it can easily take up to 500 tons to LKO. 1: Toggle engine 3: Switch propellant Download It's been a long time since I've shared a craft on these forums (I think it was 0.15, a B747), so report any problems or feedback here. Cheers!