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# Wiki info vs in game info? Where how?

## Question

I've been looking into how to math launch windows for the different planets (and back). Using the T equals pi times suare root of "a" cubed over gravitational parameter (I don't know how to type equations, at home I have a chalk board and a TI 83 Plus). For those familiar, I've found the math easy. No problems there. What I'm having trouble figuring out is where all the numbers are in the game. A given planet's apoapsis, periapsis, and semi major axis are all there in the wiki, but whenever I'm in the tracking centre or the map screen, I'm only seeing apo and peri for objects and simple blank orbit drawings for planets, moons etc. If I click to focus Duna for instance, I can see info given like its current altitude and physical properties, but nothing pertinent to the equation at hand. Is there anywhere in the game that these numbers in the wiki are coming from? Is there more math involved to work out those values from what little is given on the info page in the tracking centre?

As an aside, I'd really hoped to play the game as is. I showed up really really late to the party and I'm a little sad to see that the math hayday has passed and everything is now all in wiki pages, and self calculators and mods. It would've been really fun to just be figuring this all out.

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48 minutes ago, TouchyHands said:

Believe it or not, I could not at all see the apoapsis or periapsis on the info panel. What you're describing is something I understand, but cannot see from the info panel. There are things like Equatorial radius but nothing about altitude or orbit from what I see on there. So other than the wiki, it's as if the numbers to do the work simply aren't available.

You're correct, the info panel gives the physical characteristics of the body but no orbital information.  However, it does give the gravitational parameter (GM) of each body.

Although there are some mods that will give semimajor axis from inside the game, I don't know if there is a way to do this in the stock game.  However, I'm sure the numbers in the Wiki are correct because I've checked them.

(edit)

One mod that gives the orbital elements is Hyperedit.

If you want a mathematical way to compute semimajor axis from information given in the game, just click on a planet and note its velocity and altitude.  You can then use the Vis Viva equation to compute the value of a, though the precision of this method is limited by the precision of the input variables.

Edited by OhioBob
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First of all, welcome aboard!

For formula, T=pi*sqrt(a^3/mu) is the common way to type it (not implying any correctness, just translating what you wrote)

Planets have an info panel when the info icon is clicked. There are some more information. Although SMA can be inferred by the average of Ap/Pe then add the radius of Sun (which is available in the info panel of the Sun, I believe)

Other than those - you probably need to write a mod or something to grab the value. A lot of other information (inclination, arg of periapsis, current phase angle, etc.) is available publicly via code, but not shown onto the UI.

But hey, how do you know the numbers on the wiki are correct? You still have a chance to calculate yourself, just to verify those numbers.

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3 minutes ago, FancyMouse said:

For formula, T=pi*sqrt(a^3/mu) is the common way to type it (not implying any correctness, just translating what you wrote)

There's no reason on this forum to type a3 as a^3; you're just exchanging readability for laziness.

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Believe it or not, I could not at all see the apoapsis or periapsis on the info panel. What you're describing is something I understand, but cannot see from the info panel. There are things like Equatorial radius but nothing about altitude or orbit from what I see on there. So other than the wiki, it's as if the numbers to do the work simply aren't available.

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2 hours ago, TouchyHands said:

…As an aside, I'd really hoped to play the game as is. I showed up really really late to the party and I'm a little sad to see that the math hayday has passed and everything is now all in wiki pages, and self calculators and mods. It would've been really fun to just be figuring this all out…

Finding out the numbers is only half the job (the "science" half), and as far as I'm concerned, is the less-interesting half. Leveraging that information to efficiently and effectively plan your ships and missions (the "engineering" half) is where the real skills are.

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1 hour ago, OhioBob said:

If you want a mathematical way to compute semimajor axis from information given in the game, just click on a planet and note its velocity and altitude.  You can then use the Vis Viva equation to compute the value of a, though the precision of this method is limited by the precision of the input variables.

Thank you very much for this. It's exactly what I'm searching for. I feel like the line between what's in the game and what's in the wiki and mods is growing without any steps to trace. It's a shame because this game presents a great opportunity to learn and use these mathematical formulas in a rewarding way.

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9 minutes ago, TouchyHands said:

Thank you very much for this. It's exactly what I'm searching for. I feel like the line between what's in the game and what's in the wiki and mods is growing without any steps to trace. It's a shame because this game presents a great opportunity to learn and use these mathematical formulas in a rewarding way.

Yeah the devs are a bit stingy with information, much to the chagrin of many of us. I understand the basic idea, that tossing a billion numbers at a new player is a sure way to scare them off, but still having the information SOMEWHERE in the game is a far cry from puking it all over the screen.

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16 hours ago, TouchyHands said:

Thank you very much for this. It's exactly what I'm searching for. I feel like the line between what's in the game and what's in the wiki and mods is growing without any steps to trace. It's a shame because this game presents a great opportunity to learn and use these mathematical formulas in a rewarding way.

If you decide to perform these calculations for yourself, just remember that the game gives you the planet's altitude, while the Vis Viva equation takes radius.  Be sure to add to the altitude the radius of the sun, which is 261,600 km.

I too find it a little aggravating that these numbers can't be easily found in the game.  It seem like something that should be readily available.  After all, pre-space age Kerbals would know a lot more about the orbital characteristics of these bodies than they would about their physical and atmospheric characteristics.  Yet the information they would know best is the information we're not given.  I hoping that maybe some of this data is included in the upcoming KSPedia, but I have my doubts about it.

Edited by OhioBob
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18 hours ago, TouchyHands said:

As an aside, I'd really hoped to play the game as is. I showed up really really late to the party and I'm a little sad to see that the math hayday has passed and everything is now all in wiki pages, and self calculators and mods. It would've been really fun to just be figuring this all out.

I can't find any deltaV maps for the new horizons mod (at least I wasn't able to find one with my google-fu), you could get that one, go to town and have fun calculating all the deltaVs, and then share your results

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On 3/22/2016 at 10:59 AM, Noobton said:

I can't find any deltaV maps for the new horizons mod (at least I wasn't able to find one with my google-fu), you could get that one, go to town and have fun calculating all the deltaVs, and then share your results

Dang... Lemme get to Eve first lol. Thanks though. I'll be into that one soon.

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