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Von Braun Station. Part-friendly docking hub... now for 1.04!


Rune
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Yup, rings are cool. They never go out of style. Plus, all those fuselage segments make for a very big fuel reservoir, if you care to select them all. If not... you know, rings. Because we can and they look pretty.

uyZ2AVU.png

Just like before, every care was taken to minimize part count while building something truly massive. At launch it goes over 200 parts on account of it being so darn big, even though it launches (mostly) empty. But once you finish insertion you are looking at a much more manageable 135, and that's with all the extras! Included in your file, you get to orbit the main 95 parts ring, plus a 16 part science module (every experiment there is, plus the lab to analyze them and probe controls), a 12 part observation pod/light tug (can dock anything with a port and provides an alternative control spot), and two 11 part drive pods (reposition those with the cuppola pod, they can draw fuel from any of their ports). Not included in the file you get, you can see a few greenhouses for the USI mod and a KIS container, but pay them no mind, consider them dead weight that you won't have to bring up.

So how do you launch this behemoth in a realistic atmosphere? Simple, with a lot of care, and some imaginative strutting:

xwClwCG.png

Note that I'm launching with a couple of non-stock additions as I said, so you will have more margin for insertion, so much so that you might be able to circularize on the upper stage (and in this case, it is a truly upper stage, as in, it's the thing most "up" in the rocket xD). I wouldn't, and instead I would empty the leftovers into the station's tanks as you reach your ~100km apoapsis form an almost-orbital trajectory with a low point still in atmosphere. The nukes might be boring (leave yourself time!), but they are very efficient. This could self deploy to anywhere, after a few refueling flights. TWR will be awful when full, but you can copy the Drive Pods as a subassembly and lift up a few more to put around the ring when you refuel it, they will draw fuel just fine and look cool as boop. Remember to also remove the extra bracing with "abort", like you see on the album, to avoid space littering.

IMGUR ALBUM:

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DOWNLOAD:

http://www./download/abjck73qcskq8bv/Von+Braun+Station+MkIV+%28Stock%29.craft

Rune. Lots of remakes lately...

Edited by Rune
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Nice and clean design. Not the usual clip-o-doom stuff that goes on with ring stations. And i like the relatively slim ring in relation to the station diameter.

Sometimes i miss shiny bolted silver rocket parts in KSP for a nice fifties style rocketplane...

[edit] I´d still like to see a station like that, constructed out of docked modules... need to think... [/edit]

Edited by Frank_G
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Nice and clean design. Not the usual clip-o-doom stuff that goes on with ring stations. And i like the relatively slim ring in relation to the station diameter.

Sometimes i miss shiny bolted silver rocket parts in KSP for a nice fifties style rocketplane...

[edit] I´d still like to see a station like that, constructed out of docked modules... need to think... [/edit]

Thanks! I've long tried to put as many different things flying together in my games as I can, so all my VAB-fu these days goes into building clean and big, but with the least amount of part possible. I'm getting good at it!

Beauty of a ring! I have not taken a stab yet at ring stations... Maybe it's time.

Of course! I mean, the 50s demand that every kerbal experiences the joy of puttying a round thing to make circles around another round thing.

Rune. Those were the days, man. VTOL rocketships, nuclear engines... sigh!

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At last! *begins to cry*. The VB Station in 1.0! My GOD I have been waiting for this! *Wipes tears from eyes* (shy voice) Gimme...

Ill try to upload a few pics of what I do with it, but no promises till I can get it all done and dusted. I'd love to make an Ike station with it but last time anything went near that thing, singe 5x timewarp blew the cabin off. Then switching vessels stuck it back on. Then I EVA'd my Kerbal. Got put on escape trajectory from whole Duna system. Glitches, eh? Second thoughts, screw Ike, I knew something was wrong when the EVA report said (or at least hinted at) the Magic Boulder zipping past. Low Eve orbit it is then!

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Yop !

Looking very nice in LKO , you'r still a great builder :)

Like to have something like that on Jool's sub-system !

GJ !

Thanks! And you know, she is perfectly capable of putting itself on Jool, if you fill up on liquid fuel for the ejection there. And as long as we are at it, one single Longsword can probably lift up enough liquid fuel for that. Good luck, and remember that you don't have to do the ejection in a single go, you can go around and continue next orbit! The prograde autopilot should keep you making a halfway-efficient low-thrust burn if you limit them to ~3mins before and after the desired final ejection periapsis, and in a couple of those you are on an escape trajectory.

At last! *begins to cry*. The VB Station in 1.0! My GOD I have been waiting for this! *Wipes tears from eyes* (shy voice) Gimme...

Ill try to upload a few pics of what I do with it, but no promises till I can get it all done and dusted. I'd love to make an Ike station with it but last time anything went near that thing, singe 5x timewarp blew the cabin off. Then switching vessels stuck it back on. Then I EVA'd my Kerbal. Got put on escape trajectory from whole Duna system. Glitches, eh? Second thoughts, screw Ike, I knew something was wrong when the EVA report said (or at least hinted at) the Magic Boulder zipping past. Low Eve orbit it is then!

Well this one is very glitch-free, so enjoy! :)

Though full disclosure, a really, really long burn the other day (+10mins) told me that I "might" want to redesign the nuke pods. She can handle the two in there with the big radiators without issues (I got it radiating as much as the nukes gave out by the end of the burn), but the probes in the nukes get really, really close to blowing up (I used a part with poor thermal performance, so it's only my fault really), and I have a feeling it would end up badly if you added more without them having integrated radiators. Still, I imagine I will be able to correct the problem, then release a new MPS with the 1.04 Klaw and Drive Pods.

Rune. I just found out about KER's thermal window. Some heavy thermodynamic engineering ahead! :)

Edited by Rune
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Okay! After a bit of work (and a rarity for me, no hyper edit OR cheats) I did this! The orbit is very exact I know, but its off by a couple of 1000 and its only perfect like that because I HATE inclined and imprecise orbits. Either way, show it some love, the VB2 Station!

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That surface base is the one shown near the pole on the Tracking Station Map. There are a few drilling rigs behind the Kerbal.

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Okay! After a bit of work (and a rarity for me, no hyper edit OR cheats) I did this! The orbit is very exact I know, but its off by a couple of 1000 and its only perfect like that because I HATE inclined and imprecise orbits. Either way, show it some love, the VB2 Station!

http://imgur.com/a/H2iaU

That surface base is the one shown near the pole on the Tracking Station Map. There are a few drilling rigs behind the Kerbal.

Pretty! That Spatha is not taking off again without infini-fuel (and even then, it'll be a looong climb), but it's awesome to see this kind of stuff! I doubt I have any of these on Eve soon. So much to do on kerbin with E-class 'roids my new Sentinel is picking up! And I have contracts for Duna and a launch window for Jool on the horizon...

Also, I think I fixed the issue with the drive pods, you can recreate the fix or wait for the MPS with the new Klaw and Drive subassemblies in it. Basically, they have no probe core now to overheat, and rely 100% on service tugs to be repositioned. Plus, without RTGs they cost less than half. And the radiator panels actually help the looks, while only raising part count to 8! I also shaved the cost on the Klaw pods by going battery-powered (210 charge, with half of it reserved, can last you a lot of orbits), adding a single part in the process. The combo is just 20 parts, and a Klaw can service any number of Drives of course, so the more you use them, the better part efficiency you'll get.

ZQGcUNZ.png

Rune. Those radiator panels are awesome.

Edited by Rune
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Pretty! That Spatha is not taking off again without infini-fuel (and even then, it'll be a looong climb), but it's awesome to see this kind of stuff!

I got a plan for that. It's not complete yet, but I've almost finished a custom adapter that can carry fuel between the low down mining rig and the high(er) Spatha. Also, my Spatha is retrofitted with a fuel tank that carries ore, along with storage space for the 3 fuels it creates. Having said that, when attempted pre-mission on Eve to test its abilities, it has a tendency hinder its orbital capabilities. Along with the fact I've never actually docked a vehicle in orbit (saying that, I have, but I just can't do the orbital matching stuff), and the fact it'll take me AGES to refuel the VB2 for its return to Kerbin, this could prove to be a little tricky. More screenshots on the way, I guess.

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Alright! After substantial fuel loading, I refuelled the Spatha and filled its tanks. And boy was it close. I had ended up burning through ALL of the ships main tanks, and had to switch to the cargo. In the aftermath, I was left with enough fuel for a 3 second burn. Boy was that close. Thank god for F5 as well, I messed up a few of the encounters with the VB2. Here's the documentation (I sound so professional) of the approach. No screenshots of fuel loader or take off/accent, I was a little distracted by the VB2 going out of range.

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Alright! After substantial fuel loading, I refuelled the Spatha and filled its tanks. And boy was it close. I had ended up burning through ALL of the ships main tanks, and had to switch to the cargo. In the aftermath, I was left with enough fuel for a 3 second burn. Boy was that close. Thank god for F5 as well, I messed up a few of the encounters with the VB2. Here's the documentation (I sound so professional) of the approach. No screenshots of fuel loader or take off/accent, I was a little distracted by the VB2 going out of range.

http://imgur.com/a/kGdqy

Say what? In what universe can a SSTO (that wasn't built for that) can take off from Eve and make orbit? What kind of sorcery is this! I mean, airbreathers don't work, orbital speed is higher than kerbin, the atmosphere is like a gazillion times denser... :confused:

Rune. Usual dV figures are 10km/s or so, and that's impossible to single-stage in stock KSP!

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Say what? In what universe can a SSTO (that wasn't built for that) can take off from Eve and make orbit? What kind of sorcery is this! I mean, airbreathers don't work, orbital speed is higher than kerbin, the atmosphere is like a gazillion times denser... :confused:

Rune. Usual dV figures are 10km/s or so, and that's impossible to single-stage in stock KSP!

Well, it wasn't COMPLTELY unaided. I made an SRB rig the did a bit of VTOL workings, and it was over 20 tries before I did it, but i'd say that it counts. I'll see if I can get screenshots.

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Right then. Here's the screenshots. I only got pics of the MK1 rig, the final had a lot more fuel. Normally I wouldn't do this, it was beyond impossible to do without some sort of cheats. At this point I gave up on being legit and just used hyperedit to get it there and docked. At this point, I turned cheats off, and began the ascent. The rig is incredibly unstable and the 20 tries I mentioned were me failing to correct course or the rig flipping and powering into the ground at a substantial speed. Luckily, I managed to do it in the end, albeit with a little help from hyper edit to get the rig to the shuttle in the first place. Here's the pics then;

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p.s I may have used unbreakable joints... im not very legit now, but I certainly am stubborn...

Is it OK if I play KSP with cheats enabled all the time? It's funner but less satisfying...

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Right then. Here's the screenshots. I only got pics of the MK1 rig, the final had a lot more fuel. Normally I wouldn't do this, it was beyond impossible to do without some sort of cheats. At this point I gave up on being legit and just used hyperedit to get it there and docked. At this point, I turned cheats off, and began the ascent. The rig is incredibly unstable and the 20 tries I mentioned were me failing to correct course or the rig flipping and powering into the ground at a substantial speed. Luckily, I managed to do it in the end, albeit with a little help from hyper edit to get the rig to the shuttle in the first place. Here's the pics then;

http://imgur.com/a/trgCj

p.s I may have used unbreakable joints... im not very legit now, but I certainly am stubborn...

Is it OK if I play KSP with cheats enabled all the time? It's funner but less satisfying...

Wow. That's a way to get out of a high gravity planet alright... if I was to do something that insane (kudos for it, BTW!), I'd build something that is docked like you show (only maybe driving, and secured with KAS struts), but then tilts over to VTOL in the Longsword's long axis with some sort of crazy SRB uprighting mechanism (discarded at launch). Clearly that thing is making the aerodynamics of the SSTO work against you!

Rune. But hey, it is still impressive!

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Clearly that thing is making the aerodynamics of the SSTO work against you!

Rune. But hey, it is still impressive!

Tell me about it. Parts of the wing actually BLEW OFF in a few attempts. It was mainly launch, f5, repeat until I got lucky enough to get an encounter with my station, with fuel to spare.

It's made me think though: Maybe I could try and get your other ships off the surface of Eve with NO assistance, but refuelling. The Longsword stands a good chance, given the higher fuel capacity. Just so long as I used that up, it'd work amazing (lets hope so).

I'll get right around to testing it.

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Tell me about it. Parts of the wing actually BLEW OFF in a few attempts. It was mainly launch, f5, repeat until I got lucky enough to get an encounter with my station, with fuel to spare.

It's made me think though: Maybe I could try and get your other ships off the surface of Eve with NO assistance, but refuelling. The Longsword stands a good chance, given the higher fuel capacity. Just so long as I used that up, it'd work amazing (lets hope so).

I'll get right around to testing it.

The tyranny rocket equation is against you there, I'm afraid. Diminishing returns and all that, and it has nowhere near the TWR. It'll probably top out at 4-5km/s. A couple of powerful boost stages are the only way of making it out of that hell! But NuAero makes me want to try with reusable glideback stages and a HOTOL rocket profile, maybe now that low TWR winged designs kind of work you can get a somewhat-practical reusable Eve launch architecture (using Flight Manager for Reusable Stages, of course). I'm thinking a TSTO, serially staged rocketplane with 4-5km/s on each stage, perhaps circularizing on the kerbal's backpack, and both stages being good gliders either together or apart. The first stage is going to be a monster, tough...

Rune. What's the dV budget now from sea level, something like 10km/s?

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I guess it is. dV from sea level is 10km/s I think. It changed in the last update, making it slightly easier by taking off 400m/s dV requirement. The model I have screenshots of is the mk 1 - it's just the basic rig design which I edited over time, making mk 6-7 (can't remember) the one to achieve orbit. Problem is, I started tinkering, launching, repeat and forgot to save a lot of it (at least anything that works, I got mk2 but that's a straight downgrade) until I got the perfect design, then took it straight to Eve and tested it. When it worked on Kerbin with an orbit over 200,000m, I sent it to Eve and it only made it once out of several attempts. This design is just so impractical, I'd never use it. I only made it because I was so stubborn to make it work. I'm working out a new method to do fuel transfers - TBH a Gilly mining rig would be easiest, and putting the station into orbit of Gilly would make it even easier (I think I'll do that). Haven't checked Gilly's resources yet though, although I doubt getting to a good spot will be too taxing.

But hey! If even that fails, I've got a crew transport in orbit of Eve that has enough fuel to return to Kerbin - all else fails, I'll transfer the fuel from that (not use it, it's incredibly inefficient).

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Current Eve Delta-V is 7500m/s , the main problem is the new aero makes pushing through the air quite a challenge, it has to be streamlined, it has to be slow, a low TWR for a plane is not so bad, but you need to burn a looooong time. Suicidal Insanity had a plane that almost made it, if he had of launched from the tallest mountain he might have.

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I was toying around with the idea yesterday for a bit... I think the spikes are your friend:

ABQ4S23.png

Not even flight-tested on kerbin yet, but I think that's the way to go about this. And launch from a slope. The CoL/CoM took some figuring out, but with a delta and the big engines (and the ratio of stages), the CoM stays in front of the CoL at all times, and both stages empty should have what I expect will be very good gliding characteristics if I know anything about KSP. That is a LOT of engines, though. Looks like something Von Braun would have come up with! :)

Rune. A high slope. But I guess you could truck it empty up the mountain.

Edited by Rune
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Permission to say 'Wow'.

That is amazing! Not picking fault or anything, but I bet it's impossible to land. The way I'd go about it, is land it in two parts, dock it on the ground, re-fuel with chosen method, then take off again. If I were to do it (again NOT PICKING FAULT!!!), I'd try to make it more compact. I bet the front wobbles like jelly on a Saturn V. That, or strut it up. But I guess you wouldn't be able to re-strut it again without certain mods. Still, I really like it! I wasn't expecting such a hard task to look so rational, even for someone as good as you.

You are going to have trouble docking that in space though. It'd be hard to incorporate an RCS system on something like that - like you said, diminishing returns. And allow me to quote you and say "Kudos for trying!"

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Permission to say 'Wow'.

That is amazing! Not picking fault or anything, but I bet it's impossible to land. The way I'd go about it, is land it in two parts, dock it on the ground, re-fuel with chosen method, then take off again. If I were to do it (again NOT PICKING FAULT!!!), I'd try to make it more compact. I bet the front wobbles like jelly on a Saturn V. That, or strut it up. But I guess you wouldn't be able to re-strut it again without certain mods. Still, I really like it! I wasn't expecting such a hard task to look so rational, even for someone as good as you.

You are going to have trouble docking that in space though. It'd be hard to incorporate an RCS system on something like that - like you said, diminishing returns. And allow me to quote you and say "Kudos for trying!"

It's a blueprint just to see how crazy the idea is, not even strutted or with electrical sytems. In no particular order, semi-planned engineering issues I may or may not have a way around:

Land docking this. If I fiddle with the wheel height enough, I could work it out so it happens on even ground on its own. The pushing would be done with another Klaw-equipped vehicle, to keep all that equipment away from the ship to save weight.

Space docking this. Not required. After all, by allowing fuel to flow to the first stage, this is more than capable of SSTOing Kerbin for transport to Eve in one piece. And since the "payload" is one lone kerbal, he can EVA when he is safely on the orbital target. If need be, Klaw Pods can handle it in vacuum, and keep the docking systems (port included) out of the ship to save weight.

Landing this. Empty, it should glide like a feather, whether in one piece or two. Especially in Eve's soup. I predict very low landing speeds. So land a refuelling system and you are done. The new aero systems means you probably have the crossrange to glide back to the launch site the first stage.

Taking off. A bit more dubious, since you can't see it but wheel clearance is ..... Plus the neck. I think this would need a suitably placed "ramp" (mountain) to take off.

Rigidity of the joint. You have me there. As it is, that's going to be a wet spaghetti as you say. Empty it might fly since both parts have similar wing loadings and full control surfaces, but even then it's doubtful. So, two options: messing around with other docking ports, adding weight, complexity and drag. Or go with a light mod, and use KAS+KIS to secure it firmly with reusable struts. You have to use the flight manager for reusable stages to use it anyway... I just had the most awesome idea to both minimize drag and increase the rigidity of the joint by a lot. I even used some crude off-my-head structural analysis that tells me it should resist bending well! Basically, if I put two tail booms (teh longer the better, and they can be made out of fuel tanks) in the orbiter, that join the booster considerably behind the main docking port at both sides... it should allow very little bending, since such a thing on any port would cause displacement on the others. Plus, I shadow the booster's second row of tanks for more streamlining. See:

opQvJvm.png

So all in all, this needs a crapton of support infrastructure, is very impractical (if you can't glide back the first stage, good luck trucking it for hundreds of kms in Eve), and to actually pull off, you need mods in the first place. But it really sounds like a nice challenge...

Rune. Almost RL difficulty, with the crappy engine isps!

Edited by Rune
A pictue is worth a thousand words
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  • 2 months later...
Pretty! That Spatha is not taking off again without infini-fuel (and even then, it'll be a looong climb), but it's awesome to see this kind of stuff! I doubt I have any of these on Eve soon. So much to do on kerbin with E-class 'roids my new Sentinel is picking up! And I have contracts for Duna and a launch window for Jool on the horizon...

Also, I think I fixed the issue with the drive pods, you can recreate the fix or wait for the MPS with the new Klaw and Drive subassemblies in it. Basically, they have no probe core now to overheat, and rely 100% on service tugs to be repositioned. Plus, without RTGs they cost less than half. And the radiator panels actually help the looks, while only raising part count to 8! I also shaved the cost on the Klaw pods by going battery-powered (210 charge, with half of it reserved, can last you a lot of orbits), adding a single part in the process. The combo is just 20 parts, and a Klaw can service any number of Drives of course, so the more you use them, the better part efficiency you'll get.

http://i.imgur.com/ZQGcUNZ.png

Rune. Those radiator panels are awesome.

Sorry for replying to an old post like this, but how did you manage to attach the radiators to those nuclear engines?

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Yup, rings are cool. They never go out of style. Plus, all those fuselage segments make for a very big fuel reservoir, if you care to select them all. If not... you know, rings. Because we can and they look pretty.

http://i.imgur.com/uyZ2AVU.png

Just like before, every care was taken to minimize part count while building something truly massive. At launch it goes over 200 parts on account of it being so darn big, even though it launches (mostly) empty. But once you finish insertion you are looking at a much more manageable 135, and that's with all the extras! Included in your file, you get to orbit the main 95 parts ring, plus a 16 part science module (every experiment there is, plus the lab to analyze them and probe controls), a 12 part observation pod/light tug (can dock anything with a port and provides an alternative control spot), and two 11 part drive pods (reposition those with the cuppola pod, they can draw fuel from any of their ports). Not included in the file you get, you can see a few greenhouses for the USI mod and a KIS container, but pay them no mind, consider them dead weight that you won't have to bring up.

So how do you launch this behemoth in a realistic atmosphere? Simple, with a lot of care, and some imaginative strutting:

http://i.imgur.com/xwClwCG.png

Note that I'm launching with a couple of non-stock additions as I said, so you will have more margin for insertion, so much so that you might be able to circularize on the upper stage (and in this case, it is a truly upper stage, as in, it's the thing most "up" in the rocket xD). I wouldn't, and instead I would empty the leftovers into the station's tanks as you reach your ~100km apoapsis form an almost-orbital trajectory with a low point still in atmosphere. The nukes might be boring (leave yourself time!), but they are very efficient. This could self deploy to anywhere, after a few refueling flights. TWR will be awful when full, but you can copy the Drive Pods as a subassembly and lift up a few more to put around the ring when you refuel it, they will draw fuel just fine and look cool as boop. Remember to also remove the extra bracing with "abort", like you see on the album, to avoid space littering.

IMGUR ALBUM:

http://imgur.com/a/Lyhzk

DOWNLOAD:

http://www./download/abjck73qcskq8bv/Von+Braun+Station+MkIV+%28Stock%29.craft

Rune. Lots of remakes lately...

The first picture in the small Imgur album, the small shuttle, can I get the craft file for that? It looks pretty darn awesome

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