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Delay
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Hi!

I recently got Kerbal Space Program for Steam, and I absolutely love it. So I thought: why not create an account here?

There's still a lot for me to learn (obviously, I just started), but I'd say I'm moving along nicely. I went out as far as Minmus for both science and contracts (I play career mode), but I have difficulties with landings on Mun.

Typical delta-v problems; I can land, but returning becomes really hard. There's no fuel left, although I can orbit minmus and mun in one mission with it. Also, the lander really likes to fall over to the ground, but longer legs should fix that issue, right?

I also tried adding a stage between the first stage and my lander. All I can do with it is circularize the orbit (80km) and a tiny part of the transfer orbit. I still only have half the fuel in the lander when I arrive. I look forward to leaving kerbin behind to explore the rest of the solar system one day, but so far I can't achieve that. Well, I did it once, accidentally.

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Hi Delay, and welcome to the forum. :)

For landers, wider is better. Makes them more stable and less likely to tip. Example: 

xDlgCqu.png

If you want your ship to go farther, add to the bottom rather than the middle or top. Everything you add above the lowermost stage has to be carried around for a while, drecreasing the range of the existing stages. 

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2 hours ago, Delay said:

Also, the lander really likes to fall over to the ground, but longer legs should fix that issue, right?

 

2 hours ago, Vanamonde said:

For landers, wider is better. Makes them more stable and less likely to tip.

 

A good way to visualize it is to imagine a vertical line running up from the ground through your landing leg. As your lander starts to tip, it will pivot on the landing leg. As long as your lander's center of mass doesn't cross your imaginary line, you're okay. If your COM ever crosses that line, you are going to tip over. A wide lander with a low center of mass can survive a severe tip. A tall lander with a high center of mass doesn't have to tip very far at all before it is doomed. 

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Also obviously, try to land someplace that's as flat as possible.  For Minmus, this is easy enough as there are huge areas that are perfectly flat.  For the Mun, it's a little bit harder, but there's still plenty of good landing spots.  And even a 10 degree slope is fine with a decent lander.  Using KER might also help since it can tell you what the slope of the ground beneath you is, along with some other useful info like time to impact and what height to begin a suicide burn from.

I'd definitely suggest practicing on Minmus first since it's a lot more forgiving and then once you get that down, try the Mun next.  It takes a lot of practice, but you'll get it eventually. 

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I'll try landing on Minmus. Still have some contracts there, anyway. And I'll try to spread the landing legs out more, too.

I've just unlocked the 2.25m fuel tanks and engines. Maybe thay can get me just a little further.

Just one more question: I tried to calculate the Delta V for stage. Instead of >4000m/s, I only got around 1200 to 2000.

I'm sure I'm calculating the dry mass incorrectly. I came up with  "md=mw-(5*LF+5*LO)". LF is the fuel and LO the oxidizer. I take what I assume to be the current mass (from the map view window) of 6.18t.

 

Edit: I found the error. I didn't convert the craft's mass from tons to kilograms. 411m/s made more sense.

Edited by Delay
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Despite some rocket flipping (even with 4 wings), as well as other setbacks, I'm making good progess. I managed to land on Minmus with some fuel left (ironically by removing a tank). I sent 5 (not relay) satellites in geostationary and polar orbits, one of them has been relocated twice and I rescued a kerbal from Minmus orbit on the second attempt (the first one made its way to interplanetary space).

Now, I'm building a space station for a contract (and because I wanted to). I need 4000 units of fuel in the station. Do docked tanks count there? Or does the root part have to have that much fuel?

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30 minutes ago, IncongruousGoat said:

Docked tanks count, don't worry. Although, try not to lose money on this one. 4000 units of liquid fuel is a lot, and in my experience shipping that kind of mass to LKO often costs more than the contract pays in the first place.

You could also send up empty tanks though along with sending an ISRU rig to Minmus and using that to fill the tanks.  May or may not be cheaper initially that way, but if you're building a station anyway, you'll eventually probably want to be able to use it for refueling like that, so might as well take a contract for it.

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13 hours ago, Hodari said:

You could also send up empty tanks though along with sending an ISRU rig to Minmus and using that to fill the tanks.  May or may not be cheaper initially that way, but if you're building a station anyway, you'll eventually probably want to be able to use it for refueling like that, so might as well take a contract for it.

Well, sure, towards the end of career mode, when you get that kind of tech. I'm talking before then.

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19 hours ago, IncongruousGoat said:

Docked tanks count, don't worry. Although, try not to lose money on this one. 4000 units of liquid fuel is a lot, and in my experience shipping that kind of mass to LKO often costs more than the contract pays in the first place.

That's a relief. And I have around 4 million funds, so I can spend some without fearing bankrupty.

I'll probably use the full tanks for refueling (Mun, here I come!) and once they're empty, they'll burn up in a

re-entry. The station has a FLT 400 on it. They don't have docking ports other than the one in use, and I want to expand the station.

18 hours ago, Hodari said:

You could also send up empty tanks though along with sending an ISRU rig to Minmus and using that to fill the tanks.

That sounds good, but I'm not that far in the tech tree yet. Defenitely something I'll consider.

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When you are landed on Mun, if you wait until your ship is on the far side on Mun opposite Kerbin and launch into a clockwise orbit, your ship is actually pointed retrograde to your orbit around Kerbin. The idea is to lower your Kerbin orbit to around 30-20 km and use the atmosphere to take you to your landing. It can save a lot of fuel.

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I just want to "share" the formulas I came up with, in case I made a mistake, or there are better formulas. But giving things a go is more satisfying than just looking it up, so let's start:

TWR=F:(ma)--force is in kg, rather than newtons (F:a)

TWR (2gs for thrust limiter in %)= 1:(TWR)*200--found by messing around with values

dV= Rocket Equation--How do you find such a formula?

md=mw*1000-(p1*f1+p2*f2)--p is fuel density, f is the liquid. Monopropellants like Solid fuel don't have p2 and f2

p=(mw*1000-md*1000):f--Same as above. Only works for monopropellants

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Welcome to the forums!

A little bit of shameless self-promotion, but I have just started making tutorial-oriented videos for KSP. I have a series of dedicated tutorials named Kapsules and I separate my series between building and executing the missions.

Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXjzJXurqJJWQB9fNll2W_w

Reference post here on the forums: 

 

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On 22.1.2017 at 5:44 AM, Ohm is Futile said:

A little bit of shameless self-promotion

That's okay. I'll take a look at it.

Landing on Minmus works fantastically now.(ignoring my own stupidity at times). I now have a different problem: I have too much fuel. I decouple the transfer stage just moments before landing with still around 400m/s inside. I'm well equipped for the Mun, I'd say.

It even led to an hilarious catastrophic failure. I was landing a probe with a Tourist in it. I accidentally decoupled the tank too late, and after it hit the surface, it came back up and destroyed the engine! I had to load a save from a while back and repeated the mission, this time sucessfully.

I'll replace the FL-T800 with a 400.and I'll use three boosters, rather than four. That should help.

 

Edit: After another sucessful landing on Minmus, near the first one, I attempted to land on the Mun. I'm proud to say that it worked on the first try with around 31 units (perhaps liters?) of fuel left. I got 525 Science that I, of course, spent on new parts like the Mk1-2 command pod. I also upgraded the tracking station to level 3, so ARM is now a concern (can you do goo, atmospheric, surface sample etc. experiments on an asteroid?). Hopefully the three bodies still have enough biomes to get science for new measuring devices.

by the way, how can I get a rover onto another body's surface? I can't assemble it on the scene, right?

Edited by Delay
Completing/ Updating
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I'm so used to the 1.25m parts at this point that I can't get good 2m part rockets. :D

Since I upgraded the tracking station to show asteroids, I've been tracking two of them. The first one, a class A, is about to arrive.

Meanwhile I'm mostly doing contracts. Tourists really like to land on big rocks in space now. And this is where the problem from above starts: missions with only one person work really well, but they are just inefficient now. Over three tourists want to land on Minmus, doing them in one or two missions is less time consuming and less confusing in comparison to 5 individual missions.

Are there any tips specifically for >1.25m rockets? Mine easily weigh over 70 tons and a transfer orbit to Minmus is all I get out of them.

Lastly, I now have 13 satellites, 6 of them are relay ones. Kerbin is a lasershow when I switch to "Network" connection.

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14 minutes ago, Delay said:

I'm so used to the 1.25m parts at this point that I can't get good 2m part rockets. :D

Since I upgraded the tracking station to show asteroids, I've been tracking two of them. The first one, a class A, is about to arrive.

Meanwhile I'm mostly doing contracts. Tourists really like to land on big rocks in space now. And this is where the problem from above starts: missions with only one person work really well, but they are just inefficient now. Over three tourists want to land on Minmus, doing them in one or two missions is less time consuming and less confusing in comparison to 5 individual missions.

Are there any tips specifically for >1.25m rockets? Mine easily weigh over 70 tons and a transfer orbit to Minmus is all I get out of them.

Lastly, I now have 13 satellites, 6 of them are relay ones. Kerbin is a lasershow when I switch to "Network" connection.

Use asparagus staging. It drops weight for boosters and engines alike. Solid fuel also has a high twr

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4 hours ago, Benjamin Kerman said:

Use asparagus staging. It drops weight for boosters and engines alike. Solid fuel also has a high twr

Good advice, but you shouldn't need that near or within Kerbin's SOI.

 

4 hours ago, Delay said:

I'm so used to the 1.25m parts at this point that I can't get good 2m part rockets. :D

Since I upgraded the tracking station to show asteroids, I've been tracking two of them. The first one, a class A, is about to arrive.

Meanwhile I'm mostly doing contracts. Tourists really like to land on big rocks in space now. And this is where the problem from above starts: missions with only one person work really well, but they are just inefficient now. Over three tourists want to land on Minmus, doing them in one or two missions is less time consuming and less confusing in comparison to 5 individual missions.

Are there any tips specifically for >1.25m rockets? Mine easily weigh over 70 tons and a transfer orbit to Minmus is all I get out of them.

Lastly, I now have 13 satellites, 6 of them are relay ones. Kerbin is a lasershow when I switch to "Network" connection.

I suspect you are trying to bring too much into orbit at one time. Trimming down the mass of your top stages will exponentially reduce the needs of the rest of the rocket.

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Well, ARM has started out well for me. I messed up the first encounter completely. The next encounter (class E asteroid) also doesn't look that good. It really hard to catch an object on a hyperbolic encounter AND with a rocket that's fighting against its purpose!

Curse you, 2.5m parts!

Edited by Delay
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I'm starting to feel comfortable with 2.5m rockets after all. I guess the problem delay in the way I designed rockets: "It'll have enough fuel, now worries", rather than actually building with dV in mind. ARM will wait until I have the Mainsail.

Admittingly, I looked up the biomes of Minmus, but I'll go to the poles to get enough science for new experiments. While revisiting Minmus and Mun these device, I should also get enough for the mainsail.

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I catched an asteroid!

Ok, it wasn't the class E (it was a class C)that flew by at the same time. But that asteroid was pretty much in a stable orbit already. It's really weird to have an addtional 81 tons to move around :/.

I also got my first science from interplanetary space. I sent a sounding rocket to the end of Kerbin's SOI, in the hopes of new science. Of course not, so I gave it that extra push to escape Kerbin. I managed to (intentionally) destroy the probe in the atmosphere afterwards.

And I have landed a 2.5m rocket on Minmus and lift off again... with fuel left. Duna (or Eve) is not that far away anymore.

Side note: I've just noticed there is an extra area dedicated to missions done in the game. I hope it's okay if I continue to use this thread to update on my progress.

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I haven't done an asteroid mission in a long time. I should do that again. 

Congratulations on yours. 

Quote

Side note: I've just noticed there is an extra area dedicated to missions done in the game. I hope it's okay if I continue to use this thread to update on my progress.

Be brave. Post on the full forum. Add pictures. :D 

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The LV-N engine is quite a bit heavier than the others, but is more than twice as fuel efficient as anything but the dinky ion engines. So it's good for large burns where it will save more in fuel mass than the engine itself masses. So it's the best choice for long trips or big ships. 

I'm still getting used to the antennas myself, and remember the update status of your tracking station figures into it, but I believe that antenna can reach Duna. 

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