sciencepanda

SpaceX Autonomous SpacePort Drone Ship (ASDS) [1.2.X]

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The mod you've all been waiting for!!! Well, all the SpaceX fans at least.... The ASDS!!!! SpaceX has publicly show off it's unique recovery platform since November 2014, and has attempted 2 landings on it so far (CRS-5 and CRS-6)... should be 4 attempts, but 1 attempt was aborted due to bad weather at sea (DSCOVR), and the other never got a chance since the rocket exploded (CRS-7).. Anyway, it's about time we had an ASDS in KSP... So I made one. This is my first mod, so this has been a great learning opportunity for me. I hope you all enjoy this mod, and may your landings be successful..... or not, I gave the ASDS a high crash tolerance, so don't worry about crashing into it.

Download:

SpaceDock

Highly Recommended:

I highly recommend you add MechJeb 2.0. While the mod will still function without Mechjeb, it is very difficult to land on ASDS.

How to use:

Without MechJeb: When landing your rocket on the ASDS, land as close to dead-center as possible. Any off-center force will cause the ASDS to roll, and drop your rocket in the water. The default S.A.S does a poor job of counteraction this motion.

With MechJeb: With the ASDS in water, use the Smart A.S.S. function, and activate Surface>Up. This keeps the ASDS in a stable landing configuration. Otherwise the ASDS will roll as mentioned above. When landing on the ASDS, switch to the ASDS and reactivate Surface>Up. This will refresh MechJeb and remind it to keep the "Up" attitude. If you forget to refresh MechJeb, it will default to off and the ASDS will roll over on landing. After refreshing MechJeb, simply land your rocket. Simple as that.

This is my first mod, so I would not be surprised if there are any bugs. If you find any, please let me know. I appreciate any feedback or advice.

License:

All rights reserved.

Edited by sciencepanda

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Nice!...I had started using FRMS mod in 0.90, but havent gotten to the point of really needing it yet in 1.0.4...Cant wait to give the ASDS a try with FRMS...They should complement each other well... :)

Flight Manager for Reusable Stages:

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/80292-0-23-5-Flight-Manager-for-Reusable-Stages-%28FMRS%29

Edited by Stone Blue

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FMRS looks awesome. Much better than what I do right now... What I did was install BD-Armory and edit the config file to change the physics range so Mechjeb is still in control of S2 and Dragon as I pilot S1 to the ASDS. Works pretty well. I've piloted the S1 back to the launch site and to ASDS, and MechJeb has gotten Dragon to orbit every time.

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^^

Nice to hear MJ is working that way for you...But I've been using MJ since I first started playing in 0.17...I still am not fully comfortable leaving MJ in charge of anything but parked crafts... lol Had way too many MJ mishaps in the past when leaving it at home by itself, and me not there to babysit it, and stop it when it starts some whacky, uncontrolled maneuver...lol

So, yeah, thats why I picked up on FRMS for recoverable stuff...Up to that point, I wasnt even considering reusability...

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If you want I can record and upload a video at some point...

- - - Updated - - -

I should probably point out that all tests with F9 have been done in 0.90, since The SpaceX mod is not updated for 1.0.4

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Yeah, video would be nice...Would be kewl to see an F9 successfully recover, since SpaceX hasnt been able to do it themselves yet... ;)

HOPEFULLY, attempt #4 coming up this December will finally be it... :thumbsup: Here's hoping anyway... :)

And yeah, its too bad the SpaceX mod hasnt been updated yet...Hope it doesnt end up dying off...Though I'm sure if it does, SOMEONE will start the concept again, as its the best real-life commercial program going right now...

EDIT: Oh, and I just got to thinking... It would be kewl to have a Contract Pack for Contract Configurator made, based on stage recovery and reusability...Would go GREAT with ASDS & FRMS, I'm thinking... ???

Contract Configurator

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/101604-1-0-4-Contract-Configurator-v1-7-6-2015-10-09

Edited by Stone Blue

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I was so excited for the landing attempt on CRS-7.... The it blew up.... I was so disappointed... I'm confident they'll get it eventually.

If the SpaceX mod does end up dying off, I might consider redoing it myself... I already have an F9 modeled and everything on my laptop, but I'm new to unity and don't know how to do engines, control surfaces, or animations... I'll learn eventually.

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FMRS looks awesome. Much better than what I do right now... What I did was install BD-Armory and edit the config file to change the physics range so Mechjeb is still in control of S2 and Dragon as I pilot S1 to the ASDS. Works pretty well. I've piloted the S1 back to the launch site and to ASDS, and MechJeb has gotten Dragon to orbit every time.

Oh, no imo it's much better to do it in real time then with FMRS. But questions. As I've done that before in the past using BDArmory. Think I set a 300km load range. I had two issues however.

Was MJ successfully able to land the booster while the other flew to orbit?

My experience was rocky in the past ( like .20 I tried this ). Grasshoppers worked great. MJ hit the mark perfectly. However once I added a second stage it seemed MJ would bug out and fail completely to land at the platform. Hundreds of meters off.

Secondly... With an extended load range did you find your crafts vibrating really bad in any way?

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Oh, no imo it's much better to do it in real time then with FMRS. But questions. As I've done that before in the past using BDArmory. Think I set a 300km load range. I had two issues however.

Was MJ successfully able to land the booster while the other flew to orbit?

My experience was rocky in the past ( like .20 I tried this ). Grasshoppers worked great. MJ hit the mark perfectly. However once I added a second stage it seemed MJ would bug out and fail completely to land at the platform. Hundreds of meters off.

Secondly... With an extended load range did you find your crafts vibrating really bad in any way?

I don't trust MJ to land. I use MJ to get close, then switch to manual control for landing itself. Otherwise MJ lands about 100m-150 off-target.

Yes, when I switch back to S2 and Dragon, they're shaking like crazy, but fortunately a short time acceleration fixes that. I normally go to 5x and back to 1x. Fixes it just fine.

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See, thing is, with FRMS, you DONT have to use MJ, and can manually fly BOTH parts of the launch yourself...AND you dont have to stress out by trying to juggle back and forth between each part if you DO try them manually...

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See, thing is, with FRMS, you DONT have to use MJ, and can manually fly BOTH parts of the launch yourself...AND you dont have to stress out by trying to juggle back and forth between each part if you DO try them manually...

The thing is I like MJ, at least for launch ascent. But I do see the benefit of FMRS. I'll probably use FMRS for things like the Falcon Heavy.

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How did you get your ASDS out to sea? Hyperedit? What coordinates (in mechjeb form) did you use. Could you use the firespitter texture changing module to add a configurable name plate.

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Looks like its a very simple, single part, by the files in the .zip

But yeah, i guess that begs a good question: How do you launch/move it?

Also, I'm thinking it will be interesting on figuring out best location for a recovery...I know I will be using Kerbal GPS (Figaro) with it... :) I've been looking for good reasons to implement usage of a GPS network... :D

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/24646-1-0-Figaro-Global-Navigation-Satellite-System-Launch-a-Working-GPS-System

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It's a single part, that way you can put it just about anywhere.... How to get it on the otherhand, well there are plenty of ways to do that. HyperEdit is one way.... My way is a bit more interesting.... I'll upload a video later.

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FMRS is great, but there's significant more satisfaction doing it in real time. That's just me though.

Best way to determine location is pretty easy. Just launch an appropriate rocket and watch where the first stage drops. Then have the landing pad a few hundred meters back from that point.

As for getting the pad out there. Well you could rig it up with jet engines and float it out. Setup MJ and walk away. Or you can do it like me with a ridiculous rocket if your not very patient. Wish I had a picture of that... Thing.

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Here's how I figured out where to place it. IRL, after separation the first stage performs a "boostback" burn. Later on, this burn will allow the stage to return to land, but for now it just slows it down... So here's what I did. I launch, sep S1, flip 180 and do a "boostback" so that I basically drop straight down... and I land in the water wherever that trajectory happens to take me. Then I place the ASDS wherever that stage happens to land.

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Simulate the boostback. Why did I not think of that >.< Anyway I hope to give this a go next time I try stage recovery. There is one thing though. What if I wanted to land something larger? I wonder if SpaceY could use an ASDS.

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Hi All,

I was going to post a video of how I get the ASDS into the water, but FRAPS decided to quit on me. So instead I'll just explain it... The only reason I wanted to make a video is because it would be more fun. Anyway, all I do is add a few rocket engines to the underside. You may have noticed there are a few attachment nodes. There are 4 placed in the corners that I use to attach the engines to. Don't worry about fuel tanks, I just use infinite fuel to get it to the water. Also, you don't even need to worry about decouples. Just fly straight into the water. I few into the water at 800m/s and all the parts were destroyed except the ASDS itself.... pretty convenient cleanup!

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You know Elon musk joked about adding Merlins to the ASDS, just use those. This leads to a important science question: can a F9 catch a ASDS midflight while both are decending, then land on a second ASDS?

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Land an ASDS on an F9? Probably impossible. F9 is already really hard to control, I actually use vernier engines instead of RCS to add more control. Anyway, because of F9's size and shape I'd expect that landing ASDS on top would cause a completely loss of control. However, landing a F9 on an ASDS, while ASDS is in a stable hover.... That might be possible. I'll test both and report back... Although that may have to wait till tomorrow. Work today and school assignments tonight, classic Kerbal-killjoy.

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