AlphaMensae

[1.3.1/1.7.x] Modular Launch Pads v2.0.0: Beyond launch clamps: Create a whole launch facility with mix-and-match parts [30 July 2019]

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@Zorg That's a great use of the towers...and something I never actually thought of (and I think you have it the other way around). :D

I could easily add a flat-faced version of the top to the Atlas V tower to make it better to use with swing arms (the real Titan III tower used drop hose umbilicals).

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@AlphaMensae wait what did I get wrong? I'm not much of a connoisseur of launchpads, never had much interest in them until I came across your mod, which has only just recently gotten me started on reading up/looking up pictures :P

I actually discovered the drop hose parts after I took those screens, going to modify the pad for the next launch.

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@Zorg Oops, my mistake, I misread what you said about the Atlas tower being used as a Titan tower...had it mixed up...deep! :D

 

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@Zorg

I've put a revised Atlas V tower on the Github, this one has non-angled variants for the three heights, better for use with swing arms (if deviating from IRL, but so what ;) ); the alt versions come after the standard angled ones.

And thanks to your creative use of the towers to make a Titan III tower, I now don't have to make one. :D 

In fact, now that I think about it, the Atlas V tower does bear a similar design to the angled facade of the Titan III tower...might have been done as a tribute to the Titan III, since Atlas V launches from one of the old Titan III ITL pads.

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7 hours ago, AlphaMensae said:

@Zorg

I've put a revised Atlas V tower on the Github, this one has non-angled variants for the three heights, better for use with swing arms (if deviating from IRL, but so what ;) ); the alt versions come after the standard angled ones.

 

Nice! I had a very quick look before heading out for work. It might not be an exact historical part but I for one plan to use it with some fictional/alt history rockets. Its a really good looking part.

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Love the new updates!  That atlas V thing is cool and take a bit of time off your hands!  When you get all these NASA towers done, are there any plans do all the physical pads?  Heck we could have our very own Boca Chica someday! :D

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1 hour ago, lextacy said:

Love the new updates!  That atlas V thing is cool and take a bit of time off your hands!  When you get all these NASA towers done, are there any plans do all the physical pads?  Heck we could have our very own Boca Chica someday! :D

Thank you!

What I'm making are actually launch clamps (very fancy ones) and towers with animated parts; for the the pads proper, you'll have to use the KSC Extended pack by @damonvv and @Omega482 for Kerbal Konstructs, this adds various real launch pad statics and associated extras.  It of course has the LC-39 A and B pads, which work very well with my Saturn and Shuttle launch bases. :)

 

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Posted (edited)

Due to false alarms about some MLP parts being produced by a dev version of a new B9PS floating around, I took the opportunity to revise the Shuttle RSS. There's now only two variants now, "Stock Pad" and "LC-39 Pad".  The only difference between the two is the height of the support legs, with the LC-39 pad variant having shorter ones for use with the LC-39 pad static found in KSC Extended and Tundra Space Center.

The now-removed third variant-the Alternate one-was the same as the "Stock Pad" one, it just had a taller hinge pin footing so it would extend down into the sloped side of the stock pad when the FSS base was in the alternate position.  So I just made that longer footing version the only one for the stock pad RSS variant.

Additional:

The merging of the three General Launch Bases into one is not going to be a real quick job.  I have to standardize the number of exhaust opening sizes and shapes between the three base frame types, which means adding a bunch more to the Mini and Small ones (now called the Small and Medium) and removing the smaller ones from the Large type. I'm also remaking them to use deploy limit-adjustable hold-down supports.

Edited by AlphaMensae

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I've completed the merge of the general launch bases:

 

It's on the Github now.

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And some updates:

I have removed the largest size variant from the General Launch Plate so it can be used with some of the smaller pads in KSC Extended. KSP uses the largest mesh in a .mu (even if it is disabled via mesh-switcher) when figuring out if a part or craft is too big for a launch pad; this fact has made the newly-merged General Launch Base unusable with the stock tier 1 pad and many of the KSC Extended pads. The General Launch Plate is an alternative for those pads, it's largest variant is 10.78m square. I'm also going to merge the two American Launch Stands into one part, making the rectangular one a square shape, and keeping it tiny so it can be used with any pad.

Also, I also removed ModuleDecouple from both the Launch Plate and Launch Base .cfgs, as it was not needed for a launch clamp; a remnant from something else that I forgot about.  It will be removed from any other of my launch clamp bases as well.

All the updates are on the Github.

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I'm now merging the two types of American Launch Stands into one. It's mostly under-the-hood stuff in Unity, but I did add a square frame to the rectangular variant so it can be rotated, and I'm making the side clamps wider.

The optional hold-downs will now have just one starting position, and be adjusted as needed with a deploy limit slider.

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Posted (edited)

I've finished the merge of the American Launch Stand, it's now on the Github's AlphaDev branch.

 

The internal name of it and the separate version of the integrated service pole have been changed, part of an ongoing process in which I'm adding "AM_MLP_" at the front of all the internal part names.

The .cfgs are the same, as the old versions were overwritten with the new ones, and the separate rectangular stand has been removed from the Github.

Also, the older separate General Launch Bases have now been removed from the Github.

Oh yes, next up to be done are the v2 hold-downs!

Edited by AlphaMensae

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I should say this again: the rectangular shape for the American Launch Stand was designed mainly for the BDB Atlas, and can not handle full triple-core rockets...unless they're 0.3125m or 0.625m cores...or find/Tweakscale some SRBs in 0.3125m/0.625m size for use with 1.25/1.5/1.875m cores. :D 

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Posted (edited)

I did the installation steps, but I only see one launch pad and two or three add-ons for that launch pad. I have to download the other ones separately?

Edited by Zerolera

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2 hours ago, Zerolera said:

I did the installation steps, but I only see one launch pad and two or three add-ons for that launch pad. I have to download the other ones separately?

Yes, all the new things for version 2 are on the GitHub in the AlphaDev branch.

You have to download the repository as a .zip

 

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I've been working on the v2 general hold-downs, and have 3 of of the 4 major types done: side-arm, drop-arm and vertical bolt.

Side-arm one is a small simple sideways-retracting arm with a clamp pad at the end.

Drop-arm is a larger version of the side-arm, but the arm drops down after the end connectorr retracts.

Vertical bolt has three sub-variants, all have a downward-retracting bolt:  a retracting bracket arm type, a fixed tripod stand type, and a flat type.

Still working on the 4th type, the big retracting side clamp: one variant is a larger version, in three sizes, of the clamp included in the American Launch Stand; the other will be an even bigger I-beam type that will be more like the Soyuz hold-up arm.

A preview image showing the three main types with variants and/or sizes/colors:

4Sy2U79.png

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New general hold-downs are completed and now on the Github!

0o9xEA2.png

 

I decided to separate the different styles into their own part, as I came to conclude that B9PS should be used for size and color options for one part, not to siwtch between entirely different parts (it's like having one part be a fuel tank and an engine).  This way each hold-down style is visible in the part window.

The Saturn V and Saturn IB hold-downs are also being reworked, the last of the original MLP Saturn parts to be redone. The Saturn V one was completely remade (only reusing the mount mesh), while the Saturn IB hold-down is the one from the Saturn Launch Stand, made separate and given a different appearance to match that of the new Saturn V hold-down.

The patch file to add surface attach to the old hold-downs has also been updated to hide those parts as well.

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Updated the patch to hide the old hold-downs (and the v1 Saturn TSM), as "category = none" needed to be added to actually hide the parts in the editor; TechHidden = True only hides them in the tech tree.

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More things!

First, I've completed the remake of the Saturn V and IB hold-downs:

ZtrV5vw.png

The Saturn IB hold-down now has the rotating blast hood and latch-arm-block-thing that its big brother has.

These are now on the Github, in a new sub-folder under AlphaDev: v2_Saturn_Shuttle, with an Assets and v2_Saturn and v2-Shuttle folders. This is a new folder structure I'm putting in for thee v2 Saturn and Shuttle parts, and these are the first parts to use it. The others will be moved later.

Second, I expanded the patch file (originally to add surface attach to v1 hold-downs) to now hide all the v1 Saturn parts, and some of the AlphaDev v2 parts (the Saturn base inserts and all the bases that used them); only the 2C version of the Saturn base (the integrated one) will be kept.

*** These older dev parts will be removed in a later update. ***

Third, I fixed a partial cause (I think) of the v2 Saturn arms resetting when staged with Animated Decouplers:  In the process of renaming the .cfgs for the arms, I left I copy of the BDB arm in the folder.  I removed it, and now the general Saturn tower arm works with Animated Decouplers; the Saturn one still resets.  Urrrrrgggghhhh...  I will note that manually retracting the arms first, then toggling them back to the extended position, makes staging them work fine.

But.......I'm going to rebuild the v2 Saturn tower arm. I was going to do this anyway, to combine the two styles into one part (the general variants will lose the 1.875m and 2.5m sizes), but I'm hoping that making a new part will fix the AD problem.  All the other parts work fine with AD.....

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Latest update: 

Revised the Saturn V Tail Service Mast that I had already partially revised last year; this time I completed the mesh optimization I had started and revised the textures and meshes a bit.  It's on the Github now.

The two new Saturn hold-downs and TSM:

I should also note that all the new general and Saturn hold-downs and TSM can be animated by either staging or action-group/manual.

Next thing:  Taking a break from the Saturn revisions to modify the general fallback tower. It's going to have height options, a switchable mount/base type so it can fit on smaller launch bases, and a black color option for use with Electron-type rockets.  However, it's going to lose the manual 1-step retraction method--this will be reserved only for the Animated Decouplers staging method.  Manual/action group retraction will be the present 2-step method.  The drop umbilicals will also be removed to simplify the design.

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Forgot to add that the new Saturn TSM is also a new part, with a new internal name. Instead of overwriting the existing one, I made a new .cfg and hid the other one.

Just another early heads up notice: When AlphaDev is merged into ModularLaunchPads, none of the old stuff from v1 and AlphaDev will be carried over. The v2 folders though are all different, so they can co-exist with the v1 folders, allowing saves and craft files to be changed; the old parts will be hidden.

 

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New revised full-sized general fallback tower is done and on the Github:

 

Yes, there are some changes ;) 

Additions:

  • There are now 3 shorter and two taller height options plus the default height (sized for the Tundra Exploration Falcon 9 i.e. the Ghidora 9).
  • The tower base/mount has three width options, the default full-width one, a slimmer version of the side trusses, and a compact version without any side trusses.
  • There is now a black color option.
  • The upper clamp now has a smaller 1.875m size option.

Subtractions:

  • The 1-step retract method is now only done via staging, there is no manual toggle for it.  The manual/action group method is the 2-step retraction (partial then full fallback).
  • There are no drop umbilicals, they have been replaced with shorter fixed versions that can be toggled off and moved down (as a group) via deploy limit slider. 

It's "Full Size" because it is a new part (old one has been hidden in the hide parts patch) and I'm going to make a separate shorter, smaller version, suitable for use with the Tier 1 launch pad. :) 

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Baby strongback! ;)

That is, the new small version of the fallback tower is done and now on the Github; the full-size one had some .cfg changes too.

8BlAk6H.png

Shown is the full-size one at minimum height and the small one at maximum height.

The small one has 5 height variants and 3 upper clamp sizes.

One small thing I forgot to mention is that the hinge mounts have also been raised a small amount, in order for the bottom bar of the tower base to clear the medium-sized general drop-arm hold-down.

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Next up is the last major thing to do for v2: the Soyuz stand/base remake.

Both will be launch clamps, and I might make them one part, with options for the core stand or full base version.  The full version's frame and deck will just be an extension of the core part, so it makes sense in that regard to combine them.

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