Clipperride

A(nother) Brave New PS4 World - The Continuing Story

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Playing my previous save last night (see Here) I noticed, after unlocking some of the higher performance aircraft parts, that my Kerbal weren't suffering any ill effects from the high G loads my erratic flight generated.  In my haste to start a new game after downloading the Enhanced Edition, I hadn't gone into the advanced settings to turn on the options I usually use. So, time for a new game! Yey!

A productive morning has seen me launch high altitude sounding rockets (well, not exactly as Jeb was strapped, kicking and screaming into the capsule - thought he was Badas$=true!) then into orbit followed by Mun and Minmus Fly-bys.  The only problem I'm having so far with the console version is that I have to wait until the rest of the household retires for the night before I can play again!

I plan to make a very simple runaround vechile to hoover up the science points available at the different buildings of the Space Centre, which will give me the last tech tree node I need for a fully fledged landing mission.  After visiting each of the biomes on the Mun and Minmus, I plan to set up an orbital laboratory complete with separate landing craft to re-visit each biome and take the reduced science point totals back to the lab for processing.

Once the tech tree is all unlocked, it will be off to Duna.  I've landed robotic craft there (no need to worry about getting back home) before on the PC, but have never sent a crew.

I'll keep adding to this thread to keep a record of the Programs achievements and failures, but please feel free to leave any comments.

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Unless it's different in Enhanced Edition, you can change these settings from the pause menu under Settings -> Difficulty.

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15 hours ago, NCommander said:

Unless it's different in Enhanced Edition, you can change these settings from the pause menu under Settings -> Difficulty.

Cheers for the info, although I'm happy to start afresh now I have gotten used to the controls.  In some respects it's actually easier than on PC!  It's easier to move just one axis when in the VAB or SPH, you can hold a constant amount of yaw, pitch and roll during ascent and the radial menu's make choosing most commands as easy as on a keyboard.  The only place I sometimes struggle is when trying to select a Kerbal on EVA whilst still clinging onto the capsule.  Even that is fine now I know to zoom in.  The learning curve isn't that brutal, especially when compared to the game itself.  As long as the remaining bugs are patched I'll be very happy.

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Having managed to bag the big TV early this evening, I'm almost back to where I was when I restarted yesterday! A bit of Biome hopping on Minmus, + 300 science points for driving round KSC in a small capsule on wheels and I'm about ready to move on to the orbital Labs.

Jeb had a near miss on the first Minmus landing "shake down" mission.  The designers had skimped a little too much on propellant and the landing stage ran out of juice ~300m from touch down, on one to the flats.  With outstanding level headedness and demonstrating an impressive level of mastery of the new control layout, he quickly staged, toggled the "Point Retrograde" command off and headed straight back to a safe orbit.  After some tweaking, Bob flew the next, successful, biome hopping mission.

Great game.... ;-)

Space Program Log (Additional)

It may be late, but there is now a fully crewed laboratory orbiting 250km above Minmus, with uninterrupted communications provided by a single relay satilite orbiting at the same altitude, but on an inclined plane.  The lab has 4 docking ports for the lander as well as additional parts as I unlock them.  Service missions will carry extra fuel to keep the labs tanks topped up so it can refuel the lander after each trip.  Although not really necessary, I'll add a mining operation at some point to make them self sufficient.

Launching my first larger payload and the console version seems to cope well.  I'm also enjoying the variable control of a controller compared to tapping the "a" & "d" keys. 

Edited by Clipperride
Additional

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The mission to rebuild what I had in my last PC game of KSP continues.  I also now remember why I used to shut down the main engines on a vessel that is on the final stage of docking!

Now I have access to the chunkier 2.5m parts, I built a new lander for Mun and Minmus exploration.  The extra fuel available when visiting Minmus will be transferred to the orbital lab in preparation for its dedicated lander.  The lab crew have also been muttering something about a "return vehicle", which I guess we will need to look into at some point.

After a successful landing on Minmus, the GL (Generic Lander) called in at the orbital lab to pass on some data for them to get to work with.  I've done a "Gemini" style rendezvous in LKO with the first vessel I had that was capable of reaching orbit, (carried out some station keeping with the two ships a couple of metres apart) just to see of I could remember how to do it.  Now, with docking ports available and fitted, it was just a case of lining things up for an actual docking.  A lucky/carefully judged lift off from Minmus meant the lander was within 1km of the orbital lab at apoapsis. All went well until ~25m away when I, for reasons unknown, fired the main engine at full throttle, destroying most of the lab and some of the lander! (Revert & remember to save the game after landing!?!)

Following a repeat of the above, docking was a success, the lab, however...  Sadly the solar arrays aren't up to the energy requirements of processing data.  On the plus side, extra docking ports where added to the lab, so small probe based extensions could be added on as solar panel and communication dish technology improves.  After dropping off some of the science results at the lab, the crew undocked for an uneventful trip home.

I'm liking the PS Trophy system as it gives me goals to aim for, without playing career mode.  I noticed that only 2.4% of players have docked so far!  

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Tonight saw the program entre into a slightly more mature phase, with launches at fairly regular intervals and featuring two main launch vehicles.  The Generic Lander continues to bring back valuable science from Minmus and the lower two stages have been designated the GL Lifter, which is scheduled to lift the Mun orbital lab and, eventually, Science Lab Rover.

The original, MK1 lander provided the imaginatively named Light Lifter, which has already carried two small extensions (Extension 1 & Extension 2 - see a theme developing?) for the Minmus Orbital Lab.  The first took some extra solar panels and the second a more powerful communications dish.  The station has a distinctly cobbled together vibe about it.

Jeb has been lobbying to be part of the first Kerbaled mission to Duna.  In the past, it has been customary to send newer recruits on such risky missions whilst saving the original four for safer prospecting and rover tasks.  I suppose, sending him, would up the ante on wanting a safe return, although don't let the new recruits read this!!

We shall see....

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Very nice! I'm liking this, keep it up @Clipperride

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Thanks @kerbalstar it's nice to get some feedback, especially as you're engaged in such an epic mission!

I thought I'd add a couple of pics to add some colour to these reports.  First of all we have the Minmus Orbital Lab with the GL (Generic Lander) already docked.

ArLPz9M.jpg

 

Spoiler

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Spoiler

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The other two, hidden in spoilers for those who don't like too many images, show the GL in action as it approaches Minmus and the final shot shows a close up of the Solar Panel and Communication Dish Extensions, along with a docked GL in the background.

I also completed my first Mun landing mission since restarted the game.  I'll add the details of that nail biting encounter tomorrow!

Edited by Clipperride

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Thanks! Looks nice. Looking forward to seeing more pictures @Clipperride!

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Jeb refused to take part in the first Mun landing after a heated argument over the naming of the mission.  After declaring that "GL IV" was a "boring and stupid name", Jeb proposed the call sign "The Amazing Jeb and his Flying Caboodle".  Following an intervention from Mission Control, Jeb and the rest of the crew were replaced at the last minute with new recruits from the "Suicidal Tendancies" intake of astronauts.  Jeb, however, maintains he left before being pulled from the mission.

The landing was a little more tentative than planned.  When playing on the PC, I relied on the Better Burn Time mod when on the final approach to a Munar touchdown.  I had taken the precaution of adding a probe core so the crew would have access to KerbNet, which gives the elevation of the ground below.  I'm not sure if I added the wrong core, or if the crew where pressing all the wrong buttons, but they were unable to get the required data.  Thankfully the sight of the Landers shadow helped in the final descent.

After a complete set of science experiments were conducted, samples taken and flag planted, it was time to head home.  Mindful of the lower then expected propellant margins, a parking orbit of 31km was established before the burns to leave the Mun SOI and finally to set Periapsis at 34km when re-entering Kerbins atmosphere.

As soon as I had hit Time Warp to speed up the return journey, I noticed the camera, set to automatic, suddenly swung round in exactly the same manner as it does when changing from an orbital to a sub-orbital trajectory.  The crew quickly dropped out of "time warp" and checked the map.  Sure enough, their trajectory was now sub-orbital and the fear at Mission Control was that they would either fry on re-entry or pass out from the high G loads.  The main Poodle™ engine was fired for a few seconds as the last of the fuel and oxidiser was burnt, which resulted in a Periapsis of 11,000m.  Someone on the ground then realised that, as the Generic Lander was designed to dock with an orbital laboratory and only the docking port had been removed for this mission, the craft still had plenty of RCS propellant left.  They were therefore able to soften the re-entry angle, with a Periapsis of 35,000m!

Tea and medals were handed out to all concerned, although the after party was slightly spoiled by the exploits of a very drunk Jeb.  Sadly, common decency prevents me from describing those details here.

 

Propellant Situation Before The Mysterious Time Warp Wobble Set In.

oMFcHR6.jpg

Edited by Clipperride

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I had my first real battle with the PS4 controller this evening.  Having swapped out the probe core and replaced it with a model that does provide the elevation of the ground directly below, I attempted some further Mun landings.  The first two went well, with close to 1000 science points returned. 

The next two attempts fell foul of the tendency for control to become locked on the KerbNet window, preventing the crew from doing important tasks such as fire the engine to break before hitting the surface.  In future, the crews will be instructed to kill their horizontal speed at ~10,000m, then consult KerbNet to find the elevation of the landing site, then they will turn it off and forget they even have it for the rest of the descent!

Further reports to follow....

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This weekend has seen some controversy at the space port after Jeb's Media Agent released the following picture to the Kerbal Associated Press Corp.  

Fae4Mmp.jpg


It was issued along with a statement claiming Jeb and his machanic Bill has flown to space and back in the programs first jet powered space plane.  Although not quite capable of orbital flight, the image clearly shows the pair at an altitude of over 113,000m which is indeed above the internationally agreed 70km mark, where space is officially said to begin.

However, several Kerbals took to social media to question the authenticity of the claim.  Close examination of the vessel shows it is powered by two J-X4 "Whiplash" Turbo Ramjet Engines. Critics were quick to point out that these engines will cut out due to the lack of oxygen at around 26,000m and their thrust drops to 0KN by Mach 5.  Further doubts on the facts as Jeb told them surfaced once the picture was enlarged.  Three stubs on the wingtips looked suspiciously like the remnants of the TT-38K Radial Decoupler, suggesting the use of additional propulsion.

The whole thing came to a head on Sunday when a second picture from the flight was made public.  

7cC6q8G.jpg


It was taken by a member of the ground crew on their mobile phone and clearly shows two BACC " Thumper" Solid Fuel Booster attached to the wingtips!  A flight plan, seen by this reporter, indicates that the Whiplash engines were used up to to an altitude of 26,000m and then the Thumpers boosted the speed and altitude making the original image possible.  Jeb was unavailable for comment when I reached out to him earlier today.

Edited by Clipperride

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2 hours ago, Clipperride said:

It was taken by a member of the ground crew on their mobile phone and clearly shows two BACC " Thumper" Solid Fuel Booster attached to the wingtips!

Heheh :)

BTW, glad to see some pics in this thread.  I was beginning to wonder if that was possible on the console version.  But it's been an interesting story without them.

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Thank you @Geschosskopf :wink:.  Whilst it's easy to take screenshots on the PS4, it took me a little while to work out how to get them onto my tablet and then onto the forum.  I now send them to a friend via PS Messenger (who doesn't play KSP, but he's kind enough to put up with multiple pics being sent to his account) then I use the Messenger app on my tablet to save the images.  After that I can upload to Imgur and post here as normal.

PS you have to love autostrut for this "unconventional" builds!

Edited by Clipperride

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Just a quick update tonight (one issue with playing KSP on console is access to the TV, when others want to watch something!)

I realised something was missing from the Minmus Orbital Lab.  There is no spare room for shuffling Kerbals about when changing crews, unless you leave them hanging about in space. As the original crew were starting to gibber and drool uncontrollably, I thought it was about time to address the issue.

Based around the PPD-10 Hitchhiker Storage Container, a robotic supply vessel was dispatched to fill this need.  The first attempt was fatally flawed due to a lack of reaction control wheels.  This meant firing the RCS thrusters to position the ship during the final phase of docking.  As this can often lead to some residual velocity (especially if you haven't placed the thrusters in quite the right place) the whole thing bounced about and eventually damaged the station.  After this simulation (ie I reverted to the VAB) some beefy looking giros were retrofitted and we tried again.

Docking seems a little trickier on console than I remember it being on PC.  I'm used to lining up and approaching at 2-3m/s until the magnets around the docking port are close enough to do their job.  I tried this approach a couple of times, but bounced back each time.  Slowing the final approach to just 1 m/s seems to be what was needed and the habitation facility (aptly named Extension 3) is now in place.  I also added an upgraded communication dish and some of the largest solar panels, which means Extensions 1 & 2 are now redundant and can be drained of their propellant and cut loose.  The advantage will be, with only one of the four docking ports now taken up with Extension 3, returning Landers and resupply missions will have a better chance of one of the ports being in a suitable position without too much faffing about.

Pictures to follow.......

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55 minutes ago, Clipperride said:

I'm used to lining up and approaching at 2-3m/s until the magnets around the docking port are close enough to do their job.  I tried this approach a couple of times, but bounced back each time.  Slowing the final approach to just 1 m/s seems to be what was needed and the habitation facility (aptly named Extension 3) is now in place.

The funny thing is that I never can consider going faster than 0.75 m/s when docking. In fact, my average speed for docking is about 0.25 m/s. I guess I'm a bit slow when docking. 

Well, I make sure I never miss!

Happy Explosions!

 

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12 hours ago, Alpha 360 said:

The funny thing is that I never can consider going faster than 0.75 m/s when docking. In fact, my average speed for docking is about 0.25 m/s. I guess I'm a bit slow when docking. 

Well, I make sure I never miss!

Happy Explosions

I wonder if playing on a laptop that was only just able to run KSP made a difference when docking?  When playing on the aged laptop, as soon as the game needed to render the station as well as the docking vessel, the timer would always be yellow rather than green - and would already be yellow if the visiting craft was of any real size.  So, basically, I was often playing in "slow motion" with 1 second on the MET being around 1½ seconds in real time (I checked it against my watch a couple of times!).  I think that could have made docking more forgiving when approaching at 2 or 3m/s.  I will be making all my final phases of docking slower in future. :)

Stay tuned to discover the reason behind Jeb's recent disruptive behaviour!

Edited by Clipperride
Didn't proof read the post properly!

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Now that Extension 3 is in place at the Minmus Orbital Lab (see image below) it was time to free up the two docking ports that had played host to Extension 1 (Solar Panels) and Extension 2 (Communication Dishes)

kVKzFI0.jpg

As the automated probes had been drained of fuel, they both used the RCS thrusters to move to safe distance.  Mission Control decided to see if the probes could be brought down to the surface of Minmus, using just the RCS thrusters and the remaining Monopropellant.  Extension 1 ran out of fuel just a couple of metres from the ground, but thanks to the weak gravity, it survived the drop.

oIpClb0.jpg

Things were looking good with the second landing attempt however, at around 2,000m the probe core lost line of sight with the relay satilite and all attempts to reconnect with the probe were to no avail.  A small crater now marks the final resting place of this mission.

Edited by Clipperride

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Not too much to report today.  The focus has been on gaining more science data to help the R&D people in their search for ever more powerful stuff equipment.  This has been achieved with further Mun landings as well as the continuing work of the Minmus Orbital Lab.  With over 1000 points to spend on research, there was much discussion about whether to go for some heavy lift rocket engines and tank or the Rapier engine.  Taking note of the successful launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy, which grouped 27 smaller engines, it was decided that the immediate lifting needs could be met by "strapping on more motors!", so the Rapier was researched and developed.

The first flight of the new jet was a resounding success, with a single orbit of Kerbin and a landing that was within a short drive of the launch complex.  Despite his ongoing disciplinary hearing, Jeb was allowed to take control - mainly due to a sponsorship deal with his family's junk yard.

KeXrs0K.jpg

Next will be a crew rotation mission to release the crew of the Orbital Lab - after more than 150 days in space.

Edited by Clipperride

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Today saw the return of scientists Mitmin and Hedbo after a 173 day stint on the Minmus Orbital Laboratory.  Their replacements, Johnfry and Nedbo are now working hard, generating valuable science data for Kerbalkind.

In other news, the development of the Rapier engine saw the first in a new class of space plane undergo initial testing.  "Lill Bug", named for it's rather diminutive size, uses a novel launch system which is designed to help the Rapier engine reach optimal speed as soon as possible.  Once again the Jeb family sponsored the flight, although Jeb himself was unavailable to take command.  Val did a wonderful job of the single orbit mission and was the first Kerbal to land her space plane back on the Launch Complex runaway.

dY4RZrY.jpg

And

ysBTd9R.jpg

Edited by Clipperride

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1 hour ago, Clipperride said:

In other news, the development of the Rapier engine saw the first in a new class of space plane undergo initial testing.  "Lill Bug", named for it's rather diminutive size, uses a novel launch system which is designed to help the Rapier engine reach optimal speed as soon as possible.

Yup, that's pretty novel, alright :wink: 

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Hehe @Geschosskopf - the newer version accelerates the plane to close to Mach 1 by the end of the runway!  Makes taking off from an aircraft carrier look like child's play.

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33 minutes ago, Clipperride said:

Hehe @Geschosskopf - the newer version accelerates the plane to close to Mach 1 by the end of the runway!  Makes taking off from an aircraft carrier look like child's play.

Double points if you can get the sled to jump from the runway all the way into the water :) 

 

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After the successful test flight of "Lill Bug", some small adjustments were made to make a longer flight possible.  The front MkII to 1.25m adapter fuel tank was replaced with the longer variant, a liquid fuel drop tank was added to the cockpit roof and the launch sledge was upgraded with a second SRB.  

Lill Bug Heavy On The Runway.

I4HYkjR.jpg
The drop tank provides fuel to the Rapier engine during its air breathing ascent up to ~25,000m.  As soon as the switch is made to "closed cycle", the roof tank is jettisoned for the last push to an altitude above 70km.  For this flight the small cargo bay was equipped with a TR-18D Stack Separator attached to a FL-T200 + FL-T100 Fuel Tank combination.

The flight plan called for Jeb, along with his preferred engineer Bill, to achieve orbit, demonstrate a few maneuvers and then return to the Space Launch Complex.  However Jeb had other ideas...........

lTzzQu3.jpg

Edited by Clipperride

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2 hours ago, Clipperride said:

However Jeb had other ideas...........

This is why it's always a good idea to let Jeb kill himself early on :) 

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