Spaceboot5

[Survey] How organized/professional is your space program?

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Hi everyone,

After a break of about 4-6 months from playing the game, I've started up again. However, this time around, I've set myself up with the goal of making my space program professional (because why not). The last few times that I played, every mission was met with a custom build. Now there's nothing wrong with that, but this time, I wanted something resembling a real life space program, with a family of different SLS which are re-used depending on the payload.

Clearly Squad has done a good job of allowing you to do both options, but here I'm just wondering what the proportion of users are like. To answer this question, I've set up a little survey. Not sure how popular this will be, but here goes anyways.

Click for survey

Click for results

 

NB: I've also posted the same link in r/kerbalspaceprogram 

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Early game I build each rocket for it's mission.  Then begin to re-use designs although every new tech node changes those designs.  In the end-game I save successful designs as sub-assemblies, noting the maximum payload to orbit or to Mun or wherever.

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Pretty much the same as Matt77. I usually start a new career with a new KSP version, or once I move to modded vs unmodded on a new version. The differences tend to be enough that I either cannot use previous career-craft anymore, or simply don't trust them to work the same way, so I start from scratch.

Early career is mostly dedicated to learning to work with the new quirks. As career progresses, I start building up a set of subassemblies and lifters that get reused and or iterated on through the rest of the career.

 

I do treat my space program as having an experimental 'hobbyish' side too: I give my Kerbals the freedom to work on their own special projects and contraptions. Sometimes that results in surprisingly new ways to achieve results. When not, it's a way for them to goof off and destress and ..well, whatever Kerbals need when they're not all work work work.

Edited by swjr-swis

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I reuse craft as much as possible. I'll build the first sls and then in its description I'll put "can be launched with 0-4,6,8 SRBs or LFRB type:(whatever gen liquid booster I have built). When it comes time that either the rockets I have can't get where I want to go, or my payload has become to large, 2 new rockets for probes, and manned missions and give them the same booster denotations. 

For instance, I have the DPLS (duna probe launch system) which can deliver a 20-40 ton probe to duna, and has in its description "can be launched with 0-2 LFRB type 6." 

Doing it this way is both realistic, and puts constraints on the craft that I build. Occasionally I will commission a custom launch vehicle but it has to be approved by a committee. That committee being a quarter. I've found it to about as consistent as any real committee out there.  

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Playing through a hard career myself I can definitely see where you're coming from. Unfortunately as I discovered to unlock my ultimate dream launch vehicle family requires unlocking pretty much the entire tech tree, by which time the low cost per ton to orbit is no longer a big issue since presumably I'll be rolling around in roots anyway.

But yes several cheap launch vehicles for common jobs does help. I have four vehicles that I've spent some time on to optimize for cost (the cost all include the launch vehicle):

  1. A craft to rescue Kerbals in LKO, $7000 a pop
  2. A three man workhorse space taxi, capable of entering orbit around Mun/Minmus and dock with the station there and return back to Kerbin all without refueling, cost $33,000. This is my bread and butter craft that I use for everything, think Soyuz or Apollo CSM.
  3. LFO tanker (and a LF only version, for my new atomic lander), for refueling any of the three space stations around Kerbin/Mun/Minmus. $40,000 per launch. For Mun and Minmus I dock the tanker to the LKO station first to fully fill the tanks before heading out.
  4. Satellite launcher to grab all the satellite contracts, can place satellite anywhere in Kerbin SOI. $8000 per launch.

The other stuff like space station modules or SENTINEL IR space telescopes tend to get custom launch vehicles. Some jobs like small modules can reuse the LV from above so I reuse them, otherwise I don't sweat it since the custom jobs are rare enough that it's not worth my time to fully optimize the launch vehicle design.

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Wait... you mean... that... you can build stuff in the VAB? I thought it was just used to load up my Space Shuttle/Kerouz/Adventurer/LT-1 Nerv. (Depending on the mission). 

But seriously, I like to keep my Space Program nice and professional, and constantly re-use craft, only making new ones (with some exceptions) if the one that already fills it's role is incapable of a function that the new one will have, or if I don't have a craft already assigned to that role.

I've been flying some craft, like my Space Shuttle for months now and have become skilled at flying them, that's another bonus of re-using craft, you get used to their controls and strengths and weaknesses and are capable of flying them more efficiently, easily, and skillfully than if it was fresh from the design phase.

-Dolphin. 

Edited by DolphinDude3

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I use standard rockets for most jobs, but I tend to upgrade them ever so often as the tech tree advances. Right now I have two important craft: The 125T LKO rocket "Mule" and the 4 kerbal SSTO rocket "Ratatorsk". I know I need something cheaper around 30T and 60T, but the Mule carries fuel to my stations in the Kerbal system. Personnel and science get carried by the shuttles "Sleipnir" (4 kerbal chemical 1800 dV) and "Heimdal" (1 kerbal nuke 4000 dV, also used for rescue missions).

Outside the Kerbal SOI I custom build the entire mission, as they are until now one off adventures by probes. This will change if I advance much further.

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As a progress through career mode, I come up with a series of stock lifters for various payload weights and technology levels. 

Once I have a rocket capable of hauling 50 tons to orbit, or hundred tons to the Mun, I save that as a sub assembly.

I also name these rockets in reverse alphabetical order, the first ones being the Z series, so my newest best lifters are always the top of the list.

 

 

I’m also still in my quest to build a totally reusable land-anywhere in the solar system lander.

So I guess that means yes.  Pro.

Edited by Brainlord Mesomorph

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I have two rockets to launch all of my space station modules and derivative of that rocket for inter planetary missions. So I use the same rocket a lot.

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A bit of both.

I start a new career every time they release a new version, and given that I don't have as much time to play as I'd like, this means I spend very little time with a fully unlocked tech tree, so tend to scratch build most things as there's always some new technology since my last build.

Having said that I'm using ScanSat and RemoteTech, so I have some standard designs for scanning or communications satellites, and associated launchers that I launch several times (currently have 8 identical communications and 3 identical scanners in space), and I usually reuse the same vessel for early Kerbin orbit rescue missions and tourist trips.

Once I've unlocked the tech tree I've dabbled with SSTO spaceplanes as tankers or crew shuttles to LKO, and SSTO rockets to LKO with different upper stages.

 

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Naming rockets in reverse alphabet order is a really smart idea. Thanks for the unknown tip. 

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I generally build a launcher specifically around each payload (though almost always to the same general pattern, so it's probably high time I start just saving the common trends as subassemblies)... but I do like to set things up so that once I'm in orbit I'm using existing infrastructure as much as possible. As a general rule I put Orbital Command Stations (lab, crew quarters, fuel storage, two- or three-person lander) around Mun and Minmus, one each, as soon as I have docking ports and enough science experiment tech to make it worthwhile, plus a large fuel depot and a "Starbase Alpha" (hotel, science clearinghouse, and docking hub) in LKO--and a few small nuklear-powered tugs and skiffs to move cargo and crew from one to the other. Once it's all in place, the only things I have to launch on a regular basis are standardized rockets or spaceplanes (depending on my mood) to move crew up to Starbase Alpha and back down to the Space Center. (Extrakerbestrial spacecraft are special cases to be dealt with on an individual basis--small individual probes for uncrewed one-way-trips; huge interplanetary motherships for taking crew and lander to where no kerb has gone before.)

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I use pretty much only one SLS, with very slight variations. It's got way too much delta V (but when is having too much ever a problem?) so I'm able to use it for all of my missions (orbital, mun/minmus, interplanetary, etc). Only sometimes I change the launcher when the payload seems too small in comparison.

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I have a probe orbiting the sun named 'Swiggity Swooty coming to get that science'. That's gives you an idea of about how 'professional' my space program is.

In my previous career I launched the Duna And Ike Planetary Exploration and Reconnaissance Satellite or DIAPERS.

Yeah...

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kOS has been very helpful in increasing the 'professionalism' of my program. I have developed classes of vessels for different tasks and then automated much of the launch and early portions of each mission through scripts I have written.

kOS also helps with improving designs or adding new technology since I have a consistent launch process and minimize the variables involved in testing :)

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