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I work in aircraft maintenance, and it always fascinates me, how engineers have solved problems of detecting how fast, how high or in which direction an aircraft is moving.

In KSP even debris knows exatly it's speed, altitude and a lot more of it's trajectory parameters. But in rocket science, knowing where your craft is going is one of the big challenges.

It would add a nice extra insight into rocket building, if a player needs to "invent" speed-o-meters, altimeters or say compasses. This could be implemented in certain probe cores have different sofisticated flight data aquisition or radar tracking can be unlocked by upgrading the tracking station, etc.

I don't even know if this is an idea, that would add playability to KSP or if anybody else likes it.
Or is there even a mod that already supports my idea, I didn't find anything like it.

Thanks, for your consideration.


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KSP already hides vital information from the player in early career and in general.  You would just be making the game even more artificially difficult in the time when it should be at it's easiest.

I've said it before, KSP's difficult should come from reaching the next planet, not putting up artificial barriers in front of the player.

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I doubt it would "add playability" (because it would increase the number of things you have to unlock, and increase player task load), but it would be a spiffy addition to a "historical progression" type tech tree.  Instruments like pitot tubes, barometric altimeters, variometers, gyrocompasses (I think we should reasonably assume magnetic compasses predate the Kerbal Space Age), artificial horizons -- wait, what would the nav ball look like?  It's essentially an aircraft style artificial horizon with internally projected markers for prograde, retrograde (from velocity vector), normal, anti-normal, radial-in, and radial-out (plus target and anti-target if target mode is on).  A lot of those markers would depend on things that a space program that starts as primitive as "small solid rockets and basic fins" might not have yet (inertial navigation was invented for Gemini, as I recall; didn't exist yet for X-15 and Mercury).

Artificial horizons predated Mercury (came along in the 1950s, as I recall), but if you have an "airplanes first" progression you might need to unlock that level of gyro technology.  If you were going to start without altimeter, airspeed, turn-and-bank, and rate-of-climb (the so-called "basic instruments" that still operate in a total electrical failure) you'd be back to wire-braced biplanes of pre-WWI technology -- top speed 30-35 m/s, altitude ceiling of 2-3 km, flight endurance an hour or at most two.  You'd certainly need propellers and combustion engines to play in that era -- or a retcon that had the 1910 Coanda jet engine actually work without burning up his airplane.

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