omelaw

do you have any maintained stations in sun's orbit?

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I've seen this contract pop up from time to time, but I couldn't see any good reason to build one.

But recently I needed an excuse to test out some new station builds so I picked it up.

Currently Ive got it sitting just outside kerbin's soi in as close to the prograde direction as possible. I think there's just 1-2 seconds of difference in their orbital periods and no captures on the current orbit . I've got 207 days to apoapse where I'll try to match their orbits precisely.

But it's a silly ship that no one will ever use. Poor Newpond is gonna be lonely out there. 

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I do it sometimes, just to do it. But the hassle of resupply means that I only ever use single-launch stations, and the Kerbals are, unfortunately, usually doomed to eternity away from home.

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16 minutes ago, kball said:

I've seen this contract pop up from time to time, but I couldn't see any good reason to build one.

But recently I needed an excuse to test out some new station builds so I picked it up.

Currently Ive got it sitting just outside kerbin's soi in as close to the prograde direction as possible. I think there's just 1-2 seconds of difference in their orbital periods and no captures on the current orbit . I've got 207 days to apoapse where I'll try to match their orbits precisely.

But it's a silly ship that no one will ever use. Poor Newpond is gonna be lonely out there. 

Does Newpond have an AI drone core or two to keep him company?  Then he could be like Sam Rockwell from the movie Moon or Bruce Dern of Silent Running.

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If you've got a good relay dish on it, you're stylin' and smilin'!

(and one good patient kerbal)

 

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I don't run such stations but i like the missions because they pay for sending stations to other planets.

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23 minutes ago, samstarman5 said:

Does Newpond have an AI drone core or two to keep him company?  Then he could be like Sam Rockwell from the movie Moon or Bruce Dern of Silent Running.

 

Or… Dave in 2001: A Space Odyssey :o

He does.

"Open the pod bay doors, HAL"

 

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25 minutes ago, DocMoriarty said:

I don't run such stations but i like the missions because they pay for sending stations to other planets.

That's a good point. I only just recently sent out my first interplanetary station. I'll keep that in mind for the future.

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1 hour ago, kball said:

 

 

Or… Dave in 2001: A Space Odyssey :o

He does.

"Open the pod bay doors, HAL"

 

This is actually a secret motivation of mine for including AI Drone Cores (I like drone over probe, ok?) with kerballed missions.  And not because of the thought of the AI going paranoid.  But that the AI would be there to finish the mission if all the kerbals were lost.  Of course now that requires some extra preparation.  It might be time to add an additional part to the top of the tech tree for an AI core that is autonomous.  Sentient, even.

Then maybe the concern for a paranoid AI would be tangible.  "I can not allow you to do that, Jeb."

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I have one in very low solar orbit with a few scientists who are smart and have very high courage cause I'm sure as hell not living that close to the sun for thirty years.

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14 hours ago, omelaw said:

well, there is nearly no reason to do so, but...

I actually like to keep a science station so it will be in an orbit where the PE is near Moho and the AP is near eeloo. But that thing got jools help to crash into the sun.

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16 minutes ago, 322997am said:

I actually like to keep a science station so it will be in an orbit where the PE is near Moho and the AP is near eeloo. But that thing got jools help to crash into the sun.

I hope you don't put any Kerbals on that deathtrap!

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On 12/26/2016 at 10:03 AM, kball said:

I hope you don't put any Kerbals on that deathtrap!

It's ok, they'll have about four years notice before they all die, so plenty of time to send that last voice message home.

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I've been toying with the idea of putting a station into a solar orbit between Duna and Jool to serve as a waystation and fuel depot for large missions to the outer solar system (Or between Eve and Dres for the inner solar system).

The practicality seems a bit dubious though. I can't think of a good reason not to just use Duna as the rest stop if I'm really going to do that, and it's kind of a waste of fuel anyway. Mostly I just want a deep-space asteroid station for the heck of it, and a reason to go there.

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The only time I would put a station into Kerbol orbit is if I had a contract to put the station in orbit around a different planet.  Need to send it there somehow!  If I have another contract to put a station with similar requirements into Kerbol orbit, hey, extra money for the same thing, why not?  

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2 hours ago, Opus_723 said:

I've been toying with the idea of putting a station into a solar orbit between Duna and Jool to serve as a waystation and fuel depot for large missions to the outer solar system (Or between Eve and Dres for the inner solar system).

The practicality seems a bit dubious though. I can't think of a good reason not to just use Duna as the rest stop if I'm really going to do that, and it's kind of a waste of fuel anyway. Mostly I just want a deep-space asteroid station for the heck of it, and a reason to go there.

I agree, it would be fun to have such a station.

But, and I'm still pretty new to all this, as far as I can tell there's almost never a good reason to have an interplanetary rest stop, assuming fuel is the only resource you're managing.

If it's a station in Solar orbit, then conceivably you could fuel up for your insertion burn, but to make it worthwhile, the station would have to lie precisely on your transfer orbit and not have too much relative dV. Slim chance.

If the stop is at another planet, then the fuel spent to stop there and then get going again would presumably nullify any gain.

I'd love to hear if anyone has any practical use for a transfer station of any kind. If we imagine a futuristic space faring species, would they ever use such a thing? I guess the only reasonable places for transfer stations are at boundaries between inertial reference frames? Surface | orbit; planetary SOI | solar system; system | interstellar space. But does that even make sense? The reason a lot of people don't do this in KSP, or so I've heard, is that it often means a much longer wait for the appropriate ejection angle. If you need a prograde ejection, and your station is currently traveling retrograde, you would have to wait half an orbit. For an interstellar transfer station this would presumably be exacerbated. Perhaps you would have to have a dozen or so stations, so any wait for ejection wouldn't be too long, and when planning your trip, you'd stop at the one that was arriving at your ejection angle soonest.

Can anyone with more astrophysics expertise expound on this?

 

Edited by kball

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maintained? No.

Occasionally, I'm getting such a contract. I build something to the specs, maybe even make it look semi-good, then strap a medium tank and a Poodle, put it on a big, cheap booster, verify that there's no crew on board, launch vertically, burn until out of fuel, then switch back to control center. Then reap cash a couple days later.

Oh, and invariably, I name it "Dumb Station".

 

Two careers ago I had a crewed Sentinel telescope station, with a laboratory. Ran out of science half a year later, had to organize retrieval for the scientist.

Edited by Sharpy

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3 hours ago, kball said:

Can anyone with more astrophysics expertise expound on this?

Sure can! But until they respond, I'll chime in. :wink:

You've forgotten perhaps the biggest non-starter for such a thing: no gravity assist on arrival or departure. Normally a rendezvous means of difference of ~100 or so Dv, if the orbits are both LKO. If both the intercepting craft and the station are in Solar orbit, the problem is exacerbated. 

And then you have to "eject" from that rendezvous towards your destination without the "free" velocity you gain from orbiting a planet or moon. So all in all, you have probably spent more fuel (and time) simply to complicate your mission.

Generally, the most efficient methods are either refuel in LKO, or go direct from the launch pad - highly dependent on your play style. Rarely, some efficiency or economy can be gained from moon (Minmus, Ike, Gilly, etc.) refinery refueling. 

But... This is Kerbal, and it's nice to do the thing because ya can. My first serious play through after the career update saw me maintaining a solar station just outside Mohos neighborhood. I role played it as an observatory for solar flares. I wasted so much fuel sending hitchhiker cans full of "food". 

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It might be worth having stations in solar orbit if you are playing with mods that impose steep life support restrictions. You could do something like a Mars Cycler if you have lots of mass (living space, greenhouses etc) that you need to provide for the journey but don't need once you get there.

I have no idea how to go about finding the correct orbit for a cycler though.

Edited by tomf

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39 minutes ago, tomf said:

It might be worth having stations in solar orbit if you are playing with mods that impose steep life support restrictions. You could do something like a Mars Cycler if you have lots of mass (living space, greenhouses etc) that you need to provide for the journey but don't need once you get there.

I have no idea how to go about finding the correct orbit for a cycler though.

That's exactly the sort of thing I was curious about. Thanks for sharing!

Here's a good illustration of the Aldrin Cycler. You'd probably have to execute a burn prior to every Kerbin encounter to get the correct exit orbit

 

Edited by kball

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Dug up an old thread discussing these: 

And an old challenge:

 

Edited by kball

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19 minutes ago, kball said:

Dug up an old thread discussing these: 

And an old challenge:

 

Both good reads. I wonder what a small planetoid, edited into such an orbit, would act like. The on-rails behavior would assuage concerns expressed in that first thread, but the need to correct course due to Duna orbit eccentricity, as mentioned in the second thread, might not be helpful :/ 

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Yes, I have one station currently orbiting the sun. In a few years, a maneuver node has to be executed to bring the station back into Kerbin SOI. Because I kinda forgot that there is some personnel on it. I still don't know how to brake the station but this is a problem for the future. The station's design is way outdated and is way to clumsy for operational use.

Another two stations are orbiting Kerbin but without any Kerbals on them. I don't know what to do with them but I don't want to de-orbit them. The only useful station I have is a equatorial station that serves as a hub for travel to Minmus or the Mun.

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I have none.

However, I have thought about placing stations in orbits close enough to Kerbin and synchronised to Kerbin for this reason. Apart from very low or very high orbital science platforms, I can't really think of another sort of location that would be interesting enough to bother with.

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