Can I get some guidance from all you kerbals

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So, I Have had this product for a long time. I just recently started playing Kerbal. I am seeking to become better at Kerbal, but I just don't know where to begin. I want to be able to do the math, and really get into it and become quite the Kerbal Nerd, but I just don't know where i should begin. There are so many tutorials out there, I am a professional photographer, so I don't have the time to find the path or sift through the many tutorials out there. Can anyone give me some guidance where should I begin and the road I need to go down to be able to achieve this goal. So far all I am doing is simple mode and trial and error kind of not science path. But where I want to get to is, advance mode and beast science and math path. Any help, any kind of help would be greatly appreciated.

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I highly recommend the Scott Manley series of video tutorials. He can be slightly long winded at times but you will learn a ton. The first video is here.

To get really good at KSP, understanding the math, etc. there really is no fast road. You have to put in the time, watch the videos, read the shared knowledge here on the forums. You'll get there!

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Bandus is correct. Scott is great but just search KSP tutorials on YouTube and there is a wealth of excellent information.  Basically I learnt the basics there

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Hi LTPug,

I'm not quite sure what you're looking for, or how far you've come with KSP already. Can you build stable rockets for example or can you get to orbit reliably? Assuming that you can and that you're looking for a less trial-and-error way of doing more advanced missions in KSP, I can think of a couple of things that might help.

First - delta-V. Absolutely key to spaceflight, delta-V is the change in spacecraft velocity needed for any given manoeuvre, whether this be changing orbit or landing on the Mün. I don't know the details of how to calculate delta-Vs from scratch but fortunately there are a lot of pre-made delta-V maps out there for KSP. For example, on the KSP wiki

Looking at the map, for a basic Apollo 8 style flight around the Mün, you'll need a spacecraft capable of the following delta-V:

• 3400 m/s to get to low Kerbin orbit.
• 860 m/s to put your spacecraft on a trans-Munar trajectory.
• 310 m/s to brake into a low Munar orbit
• 310 m/s to get back out of Munar orbit and into a trans-Kerbin trajectory.

Total delta-V required - 4880 m/s. You could probably get away with slightly less - the map does assume a very low Munar orbit which isnt strictly necessary in this case.

The Wiki page also has some useful information about the Rocket Equation which lets you calculate how much delta-V your spacecraft is capable of. Now, deriving the equation might be tricky (depending on how good your maths is) but applying it is pretty straightforward provided you can use a scientific calculator (it  needs to be capable of handling natural logarithms or lns). And the really good news is that you don't even need to do it by hand, although you certainly can if you want to. Kerbal Engineer Redux (KER) is an extremely helpful add-on for KSP that gives the player a lot of useful extra information but at its most basic, it adds a delta-V calculator to the VAB. Which gives you all the tools you need for a more calculated way of playing KSP:

• Decide where you want to go.
• Look up how much delta V you need on the delta-V map.
• Use KER to check whether your rocket has enough delta-V to get where you want to go.
• Profit.

Hope this helps.

Edited by KSK
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^ Since last I checked, KER is not updated for KSP 1.0.5 (or maybe you just don't want to use it), here are some alternate means of determining delta-V:
- HyperEdit: Move the ship to a high orbit over the Sun, e.g. 100G (gigameters. This works if you type it in the box). Check your velocity (in this example it should be 3419.5 m/s), then burn all of your engines until you run out of fuel. Check your velocity again and subtract to get delta-V, then "Revert to VAB" and adjust the design as necessary.
- MechJeb allegedly has a dV readout, but as I've never used it I can't say for certain xD
- Burn straight up from the launch pad and see how high your apoapsis is. This is a really rough method and won't give you a number for your dV, but should give you a rough estimate of whether you're in the right ballpark. I haven't done this since 1.0 dropped, but historically a rocket that could reach 4500km going straight up could reach orbit using a gravity turn. Once you get better at flying, you'll probably abandon this method as gravity turns become straightforward and actual orbit tests become more practical (as I did).

Edited by parameciumkid
Derp
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8 minutes ago, parameciumkid said:

- HyperEdit: Move the ship to a high orbit over the Sun, e.g. 100G (gigameters. This works if you type it in the box). Check your velocity (in this example it should be 3419.5 m/s), then burn all of your engines until you run out of fuel. Check your velocity again and subtract to get delta-V, then "Revert to VAB" and adjust the design as necessary.
- Burn straight up from the launch pad and see how high your apoapsis is. This is a really rough method and won't give you a number for your dV, but should give you a rough estimate of whether you're in the right ballpark. I haven't done this since 1.0 dropped, but historically a rocket that could reach 4500km going straight up could reach orbit using a gravity turn. Once you get better at flying, you'll probably abandon this method as gravity turns become straightforward and actual orbit tests become more practical (as I did).

Seriously?  The devs literally gave us mass readouts and tweakable fuels in the VAB/SPH, there's no need to go through with this sort of nonsense.  OP wants math, give them math:
Tsiolkovsky rocket equation

THAT is how you calculate delta-V and it's quite simple using a calculator and the tools already present in the VAB/SPH, for straightforward rockets, at least.

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I want to thank everyone for replying, Where I am at is, I can get to space but never got into orbit, but however did bury Jed in the middle of the earth due to the velocity at which he hit. But I will take in all your guys wonderful input. Unfortunately classes are stating again for me on Jan 22nd. Going to be busy but as I have some down time I will work hard to get there. I would love to be able to communicate with someone if I have any questions or I can just post them here. Thank you all everyone. Its really nice to have found a wonderful community of enthusiast that are willing to teach and help out. Thank you again.

Scott aka Pug.

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7 hours ago, regex said:

Seriously?  The devs literally gave us mass readouts and tweakable fuels in the VAB/SPH, there's no need to go through with this sort of nonsense.  OP wants math, give them math:
Tsiolkovsky rocket equation

THAT is how you calculate delta-V and it's quite simple using a calculator and the tools already present in the VAB/SPH, for straightforward rockets, at least.

Or, the user could install Kerbal Engineer Redux or Mechjeb to give the numbers without spending tedious minutes/hours calculating what subbing some parts for others would give him.

I'll spend HOURS designing a single rocket to perfect, My last one, titled R6 is a .75m wide rocket capable of almost 9km/s of dV to get a simple satellite into an equatorial orbit from an 28 degree inclined orbit in a 3x rescaled Kerbin. It took me over an HOUR just to design a simple 3 stage rocket, switching out engines for other engines and trying to get the most out of what little I want to spend. That was with KER. Now imagine if I had to manually calculate EACH CHANGE 3 times over.... I'd probably still be at it.

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21 hours ago, Sovek said:

Or, the user could install Kerbal Engineer Redux or Mechjeb to give the numbers without spending tedious minutes/hours calculating what subbing some parts for others would give him.

OP "wants to be able to do the math".

I, and others, post link(s) to math.

This guy says "Don't bother with learning the math, just get MJ/KER and let it do it for you"

I weep at the state of these forums.

Edited by regex
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I you haven't yet managed to get into orbit then plunging into the mathematics is a little premature.

Many people who can get into space but can't acheive orbit aren't aware that the secret is traveling sideways really fast rather than blasting straight upwards. As soon as you lanch you should be leaning over slightly to the east and increasing the lean slowly as you ascend.

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12 hours ago, regex said:

OP "wants to be able to do the math".

I, and others, post link(s) to math.

This guy says "Don't bother with learning the math, just get MJ/KER and let it do it for you"

I weep at the state of these forums.

He also states he wants to get into orbit and doesn't have a lot of time to spend on KSP.  Yet you insist on suggesting playing KSP in the absolute slowest way possible.  To get into orbit you need:

1. >3000 m/s delta-v (the higher the better if you haven't done it before.  Also make sure your TMR is at least >1.0 or you won't take off.)  KER/MJ will let you know this as you build your rocket.

2. A reasonably good idea of your orbital trajectory.  Head up and gradually point East (90 degrees on the navball).   Make sure any tutorial is from after 1.0.4 (or at least 1.0.0) as the aerodynamics have changed enough that the previous "force your rocket to make a quick turn" just isn't going to happen.

3. A reasonably stable rocket.  Use fins on the bottom and some means of control (typically the capsule will be enough, if you have even basic fins on the base).  Bigger rockets will have bigger problems, but getting to orbit shouldn't require anything too fancy.

If you watch Scott Manley's excellent tutorials, I'm sure he will go over the rocket equation.  He will then suggest using KER or MechJeb as the way to quickly determine what the delta-v of your rocket is.  Knowing the rocket equation helps.  Manually calculating the rocket equation each time you change a rocket is going to use up OP's playing time quickly.

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If you don't have time to spreadsheet it, then yeah, MechJeb's little delta-V window and a passable delta-V chart are your friends. KER does seem a bit broken at the moment in 1.05, for me at least. Or just do what I do and over-engineer everything ridiculously.

Yes, I once left what was intended as a LKO stage orbiting Duna. I am a bad person who SWAGs everything.

If you DO want to do all the math, @regex gave the perfect link, above.

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On 1/6/2016 at 8:39 AM, wumpus said:

Knowing the rocket equation helps.  Manually calculating the rocket equation each time you change a rocket is going to use up OP's playing time quickly.

If you want to know the math you run the equation manually.  When you're sick of doing that you move on.  When giving advice what you don't do is tell someone to get an automatic calculator if they want to learn math because they won't learn math.

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If you just need to reach orbit there's a simple-but-wasteful way: Launch straight up and burn until your apoapsis passes 100km, then cut throttle. When your rocket passes 30km altitude, the air's thin enough not to matter, so rotate the rocket to point sideways facing due east. Now burn until your periapsis passes 70km, and you'll be in a sloppy but usable orbit.

This technique costs about 15% more fuel than doing it with a graceful slow turn, but it gives you a starting point to practice from to learn to do it better.

And MechJeb is truly an amazing tool for learning. You can use it as a crutch to avoid learning, or can watch what it does when and learn from it. Your choice.

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The process of using math in KSP for fun 'n' profit, or "How to succeed at KSP without really trying".

Step #1: Learn orbital mechanics. To get where you're going, you must be able to quantify what it takes to get there.
@OhioBob is the resident zen master of this dark art, and can lead you on the path. I recommend starting here: http://www.braeunig.us/space/orbmech.htm

Step#2: Learn how to design a rocket to meet your needs. There's lots of people who can chime in on this, and @Foxster has a good tutorial on this. http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/128838-how-to-build-a-rocket-ship-for-a-mission/

Step#3: Learn how to reverse the rocket equation to mathematically optimize your stages. I'm kind of the go-to guy on this subject, and here's the tutorial: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/122722-how-to-mathematically-design-stages/

This can be short-cutted somewhat by using DV maps, transfer window planners, MechJeb/ KER, and Meithan's engine optimizer... but there will always be gaps in your understanding (and thus shortfalls in your designs) until you're doing it all on your own.

Best,

-Slashy

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The Drawing Board is a good, thoughtfully compiled set of links to tutorials and generally helpful information. Start from the top, or browse the index in the first post to find something more specific to your needs.

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On 1/5/2016 at 1:38 AM, Sovek said:

Or, the user could install Kerbal Engineer Redux or Mechjeb to give the numbers without spending tedious minutes/hours calculating what subbing some parts for others would give him.

I'll spend HOURS designing a single rocket to perfect, My last one, titled R6 is a .75m wide rocket capable of almost 9km/s of dV to get a simple satellite into an equatorial orbit from an 28 degree inclined orbit in a 3x rescaled Kerbin. It took me over an HOUR just to design a simple 3 stage rocket, switching out engines for other engines and trying to get the most out of what little I want to spend. That was with KER. Now imagine if I had to manually calculate EACH CHANGE 3 times over.... I'd probably still be at it.

Being an aerospace engineering student, I thought it would be good to practice in ksp. After planning a manned single launch to duna (with a 140ton payload I might add) I was exhausted from all the math. It was good pratice, but I promptly installed KER after.

Edit: To put it into perspective of what I was trying to do, For practice I decided that using maneuver nodes would be off limits. Meaning I attempted to calculate my burns/maneuvers. I won't do it again unless it's the real world. It was just too much to enjoy playing a game.

Edited by DrMarlboro
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I'm a complete moron at this game but was able to get into orbit around Kerbin and visit Mun and Minmus. I had to use Mechjeb finally to figure out the Delta V stuff after the Orbit and the two moons. And I still am not really good at this game. All of my ships all look essentially the same and then I see the models other people use and think, wow.

I have found that if I am within 200 or so of the docking station, I'm pretty good at that and guiding it in without any help with aiming it right. That is about the extent of my skill.

And if I can do it, I know you can.

Edited by joekidd1992
Clarification

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