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[WIP][1.3] Modular Pod Extensions


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The lab is slowly taking shape.

UaWxWUo.png

I've been a bit stupidly busy at work, so haven't had a lot of time to sink into this just recently.

I'm still vaguely working at rethinking the basic crew module to include a section for control.  I'm not quite sold on any arrangement just yet.

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Updating to 0.7.

I want to polish the Rombus Style engine a bit more before calling it 1.0.  And probably come to a decision on the crew interior, and at least give the Lab interior a basic texture.

Functional interiors for the Crew and ScienceLab parts.  Although I don't consider them complete, they're fairly usable and aren't obviously wrong.  I'm working on a forward facing alternative to the crew arrangement in the crew pod, but that's not part of this, and I haven't decided which way to go yet.

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Cleanup of textures and meshes for the fuel tanks, both dual and mono propellant.

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Added some very early stages of texturing of the Rombus style engine.
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Added more props, which feeds back into that first note of more functional interiors.

 

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I've had a thought about the crew cabin. Perhaps a good idea could be to make a forward-facing cabin that can act as an independent command pod (or maybe as a probe control point like the more advanced probe cores), and another cabin part that serves as a habitat and perhaps seats a few more kerbals at the expense of not having autonomous control.

The second thing could potentially lead to a sort of soyuz-like system, wherein there is an orbital module, separate from the command pod, that gets jettisoned before re-entry. Or it could be good for station modules.

Edited by eloquentJane
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Another thought on the crew cabin could be to make it with what are obviously orientation-switching seats: A bit of prop work, but having it look like the seats switch configuration from 'thrust' to 'use' would be interesting...

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I've done a bit of testing today and found that it's possible to create very cheap reusable launch vehicles using the toroidal aerospikes.

JOFrDbT.jpg

I don't know why that fuel tank looks so blue, it should be a similar shade of white to the pod.

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Landed the booster, then circularized the crew pod.

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Re-entry went well, and so did landing. I'll have to start making more of these.

7K7ELRV.jpg

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6 hours ago, DStaal said:

Another thought on the crew cabin could be to make it with what are obviously orientation-switching seats: A bit of prop work, but having it look like the seats switch configuration from 'thrust' to 'use' would be interesting...

Yeah I thought (am thinking) of that.  I did that for the MEM ascent module, because that's what Rockwell's plans were.  So the idea was there, the issue is, the upward facing seats then rotate and face inside, which looks a bit dicky.  Not that they would rotate, this being KSP, and I'm not mental enough to try to code something like that.  In the MEM, it's a much smaller pod, so when the seats (in your imagination) rotate around, there's windows right there.

I'll take a look at a rotation suggested seat prop.  It should include a console that "moves" with the seat as well.

9 hours ago, eloquentJane said:

I've had a thought about the crew cabin. Perhaps a good idea could be to make a forward-facing cabin that can act as an independent command pod (or maybe as a probe control point like the more advanced probe cores), and another cabin part that serves as a habitat and perhaps seats a few more kerbals at the expense of not having autonomous control.

The second thing could potentially lead to a sort of soyuz-like system, wherein there is an orbital module, separate from the command pod, that gets jettisoned before re-entry. Or it could be good for station modules.

I'm actually thinking just the one crew pod, but including the control into it.  The space in the thing is pretty massive.  I put those screens up because when I started arranging seats, it started looking like a cinema to me.  And I can't imagine a space agency creating a plain crew area of that size without adding a secondary set of controls.  So, the more I think about it, there should be control facility.

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9 minutes ago, TiktaalikDreaming said:

I'm actually thinking just the one crew pod, but including the control into it.  The space in the thing is pretty massive.  I put those screens up because when I started arranging seats, it started looking like a cinema to me.  And I can't imagine a space agency creating a plain crew area of that size without adding a secondary set of controls.  So, the more I think about it, there should be control facility.

Having it be a probe control point too might be a good idea. That way there's no need for the very large probe cores on the spacecraft. I can see this sort of thing becoming rather useful for large interplanetary transport vehicles.

Also, I've found something of an issue with the aerospikes, and that's that their diameters are slightly less than 3.75m. This causes aesthetic difficulties, which I have to remedy when using the aerospike on an upper stage by placing it inside a fairing and adding some unnecessary mass.

Edited by eloquentJane
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37 minutes ago, eloquentJane said:

Having it be a probe control point too might be a good idea. That way there's no need for the very large probe cores on the spacecraft. I can see this sort of thing becoming rather useful for large interplanetary transport vehicles.

Also, I've found something of an issue with the aerospikes, and that's that their diameters are slightly less than 3.75m. This causes aesthetic difficulties, which I have to remedy when using the aerospike on an upper stage by placing it inside a fairing and adding some unnecessary mass.

Yeah, I know the aerospikes are out.  I'm not 100% sure when they became mismatched, but they clearly are.  Also, some (not all) of the ladders aren't functioning, or are partly functioning.  And I keep meaning to but keep forgetting to add reaction wheels to the service module.  And electrical storage to the crew module and the science lab.

Re: Probe cores.  I fully intend to add the probe core module to any unit with control.  It's hard to imagine a crewed craft that can't at least do some autonomous maneuvers.  And a short range antenna.  For similar "I can't believe it wouldn't be there" reasons.

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8 minutes ago, TiktaalikDreaming said:

Re: Probe cores.  I fully intend to add the probe core module to any unit with control.  It's hard to imagine a crewed craft that can't at least do some autonomous maneuvers.  And a short range antenna.  For similar "I can't believe it wouldn't be there" reasons.

I can see why the probe control point isn't integrated into the stock command pods, since they're really designed for crew transport missions primarily. Your pod extensions allow for more versatile upgrades to the common mission potential of the pods however, which is why it seemed like a good idea to me.

Additionally, perhaps if you're going to integrate a short range antenna it could include an animation for it extending from the pod? I think this would definitely be a nice feature if it could be integrated (since everyone loves animated parts). Also, which parts are you considering adding the antenna to? I think the command pod, the science module, and the service modules could benefit from it, though the fuel tanks and service bay probably don't have as much of a need for one (at least for what I could imagine those modules being most useful for).

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10 minutes ago, eloquentJane said:

I can see why the probe control point isn't integrated into the stock command pods, since they're really designed for crew transport missions primarily. Your pod extensions allow for more versatile upgrades to the common mission potential of the pods however, which is why it seemed like a good idea to me.

Additionally, perhaps if you're going to integrate a short range antenna it could include an animation for it extending from the pod? I think this would definitely be a nice feature if it could be integrated (since everyone loves animated parts). Also, which parts are you considering adding the antenna to? I think the command pod, the science module, and the service modules could benefit from it, though the fuel tanks and service bay probably don't have as much of a need for one (at least for what I could imagine those modules being most useful for).

Definitely the science lab and crew module.  Probably the service module as well (it's pretty much a bundle of everything module).

I'm not 100% sure I can add multiple animations on a single part.  So the science module might not be able to have an animated antenna.  Which is why the windows don't light up.  And adding an animated antenna might similarly drop the ability to have the generic animation module light the windows on the crew pod.  That said, the impression I have that I can only have one GenericAnimation module is based on one incomplete test on the science module that I keep meaning to try again more rigorously to verify if I just stuffed my animation or if there really is a limitation.

Dammit, was looking at the forums to update things on the Aeroplug engine sizes.  Then got distractified.

What seems to have gone on, is the ablative surface aeroplug/heatshields are completely erroneously 1.75m radius, which is only 3.5m.  I blame beer.  This isn't helped by the stock parts being slightly over-sized, but I suspect the 1.88m radius vs 1.875m is a much smaller effect that wouldn't be noticed.  And then the ROMBOID engine is necked down at the top as well, making it's connection surface even smaller. 

ClIYrhp.png

Fixed up, it now looks more like;

IRnPy3F.png

I'll fix up the others next, and then try adding an animated antenna to a part.

 

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OK, multiple AnimateGeneric modules do work fine.  BUT, all the deployable antennas use a creatively named module, "ModuleDeployableAntenna".  Which doesn't seem to work in conjunction with any of the ModuleAnimationGeneric.  There may be a way of tying the antenna use to a generic animation module though.

This also means the window lights on the science module don't work because I stuffed the emissive animation.  So I should look closer at that again.

The service module now has a working antenna (albeit untextured).  The science module has an antenna, but deploying it and using it are disconnected.

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OK, quick bit of muckin about, and the science lab now has three functioning generic animations;

1kPvAdR.png

(And I should add at least basic textures to the antenna)

The antenna animation is still not linked to the antenna use.

Resizing the aeroplug heat shield and attaching it to the Size 3 pod base has suggested I may have had a plan in making it the old small size;

PgQ2OMt.png

So, I'll make a micro-fairing mesh between the pod base and other size 3 parts.  It should assist with attaching size 3 fuel tanks and so on as well.  I'm just hoping the normal fairing module (ModuleJettison) will behave how I think it will.

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0.8 released.  It's basically a small quality of life update.  The micro-fairings are included.  The antenna is included (no, I haven't really finished with the unfolding animation, etc, but it currently functions, so meh.  Although it's plain old too hard to see, so it needs some adjustment.)

The service module FINALLY got the long forgotten reaction wheels.

Science lab animations no longer block each other, so the cabin lights work, the door works and the antenna works.  (the only issue with the antenna was I had the wrong indexed module for DeployFXModule).

Some more progress on texturing the romboid engine.

There's a chair in there.  But it's not in use.  I am working on the revised layout for the crew module, and it will get updated before 1.0, but at the moment it's a half hidden, half functioning thing.

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And 0.9.  Mostly just internal spaces, prepping for a 1.0 release.  This includes the revised crew unit with crew facing upwards.  Two seats are designated pilot seats and have an instrument panel that's not finished.  The redesign has killed the UV unwrap of course.

MOAR modules on the science Lab.  ISRU and fuel cell modules plus some small storage tanks for ore and propellants.

 

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I've collected my current status and called it "release", aka 1.0  (hey, it works for major software vendors)

There's a new release thread over at

For anyone who has been following the progress, the changes this time are further work on IVAs (still not happy with them, but the crew pod is getting close to done) and adding a 3.75m to 5m fuel tank part.  And I haven't done up a 5m heat shield, so I'm not sure it'll be awfully useful just yet.

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Great parts, thank you very much for them!

They really make a self-sufficient complete set of expeditionary capsules for orbital ships and landers.

 

If I may suggest, if take this part as a prototype, reverse it 180° and put inside a small habitat with KIS cargo, engines, fuel tank, solar panel, communotrons, docking node and parachute, this would allow to create a multi-use two-capsule ship.
 

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To illustrate the idea:

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Also, such service capsule could be used with any other crew module or a spaceplane.

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Thank you for creating this awesome mod!  I currently am testing the science lab, and have discovered a bug, I think.

When the science queue is full in the laboratory, and ready for transmit, I right click on the module, and select 'Transmit Science'.

The added stock Communotron-88 extends, transmits, but the science in the lab stays in the module.

I can't figure out how to clear out the science accumulated in order to keep researching.

My Dres orbiting laboratory is still stuck with 500 science and no way to transmit the science to the KSC

I'm using 35 other mods as well, so I will test this on a fresh install of KSP 1.2.1 and just the ModPods soon.

Keep up the good work!

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, kermit kerman said:

Thank you for creating this awesome mod!  I currently am testing the science lab, and have discovered a bug, I think.

When the science queue is full in the laboratory, and ready for transmit, I right click on the module, and select 'Transmit Science'.

The added stock Communotron-88 extends, transmits, but the science in the lab stays in the module.

I can't figure out how to clear out the science accumulated in order to keep researching.

My Dres orbiting laboratory is still stuck with 500 science and no way to transmit the science to the KSC

I'm using 35 other mods as well, so I will test this on a fresh install of KSP 1.2.1 and just the ModPods soon.

Keep up the good work!

 

I'll have a look when I get home.  I stole various module definitions in relation to Science!, but I can't remember ever transmitting anything but crew reports when I was testing.  (super thorough quality assurance framework!)

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I know I've seen similar issues with the science lab in KSO - apparently the science lab stuff is sensitive to the order of the part modules in the file, to some extent at least.  (I won't say I understand what was going on, or the solution they talked about, just that they've dealt with a similar issue in the moderately recent past.)

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4 hours ago, DStaal said:

I know I've seen similar issues with the science lab in KSO - apparently the science lab stuff is sensitive to the order of the part modules in the file, to some extent at least.  (I won't say I understand what was going on, or the solution they talked about, just that they've dealt with a similar issue in the moderately recent past.)

I'll take a peek over at that topic collection of topics and threads going back years.  Thanks

Edited by TiktaalikDreaming
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8 hours ago, Kombat engineer said:

New parts ideas. Add size 2-3,3-4 heat-shields and decouplers.

Size 4 heatshields and decouplers will be included.  But, for the record, stock has size 3 versions of both.  Or, by decoupler, did you mean "adapter/decoupler"?  That'd be in my roadmap as "Simple adapter".

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I've been working on some decouplers.  I'll be doing two types.  One will be the classic KSP short decoupler that's basically like the Size 3 decoupler, but a tad shorter.  The other was because I was messing around decided it'd be handy.  It's a cage type interstage like the Russians used.  It has the advantage that you can then add surface attached engines on the aft of your pod, and then a separator that's attached to the bottom node.

I still need to test the collider set-up for this.  Non-concave colliders and all that.  So there may end up being a minimum safe distance from the edge to put engines etc.

But, it should look a bit like

gX7nvn4.png

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