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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While working on the Saturn tower revamp and other "phase 1" stuff for v2.0, I'm also starting some preliminary planning for the shuttle pad.

Well, here is the very first raw check-out test of the Saturn launcher base with the Cormorant Aeronology shuttle stack:

oOv60Mb.png

 

Much like the real one, extensive modifications are going to be needed. :)

And I added a size 5 noce to the main ET, though final position of it is still to be determined.

 

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Now have the new switchable Saturn tower modular section working, with only 2 sizes so far (1 and 2 floor).  It's a start. :)

The mount rail for the swing arms is different too, it's now based on the actual one, basically a box-truss.  It's a separate object, joined with the tower section in Unity, as it made for a less complex UV Mapping process.  Also because I had forgot to put it in the first few times I did the UV mapping, so I said screw it, I'll add it in Unity. :D

 

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Now with the 3x floor height:

The mount rail for the swing arms is a bit more inside than before, and actually more replicates the actual position, as the tower is now a true 64% scale of the real one's width (and was square-sided as well).  The original tower sections were a bit wider, based on visual estimation.

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Excellent, we can construct additional pylons!

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The current 3-height WIP version now with the equipment box detail:

 

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And now it is done, with all 12 heights put in.

Plus the elevators in the tower base are animated now, and they are also independently switchable, and when "off" a plug is put in the hole in the launcher base.

 

Next up:  the new crew access section, top section...and the swing arms. :)

 

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Version 1.3.3 is now on Spacedock!

Well, I thought I was done with v1.3, but a few more issues have cropped up, mainly things  not working the way they were supposed to. So I've fixed them and the update--v.1.3.3--is now on Spacedock.

Changelog:

1.3.3    > Revised elevator in the Saturn Tower bases, now the four height positions will arrive at the bottom at the same time, and will go up at the same time.

    > The Saturn Milkstool can now be changed to the red color (Overlooked that I never updated the folder for the textures to the release one from the dev folder).

    > The Russian Launch Stand can now actually output LF/O to fuel first stages or a single stage rocket.  Other fuel resources can be outputted with the separate fuel arms.
      The electric charge generator is now always active.

    > The Soyuz Launch Pad Base can now actually output fuel resources when using the fuel arms from the Russian Launch Stand (fuel crossfeed had been left to 'False'' and never changed).
      The railings can now be switched off if desired (special request).

    > Added the Russian Launch Stand's Crew Tower to the custom category (just an 'oops').

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New crew access section for v2.0:

PwbZmaU.png

upLHIIc.png

 

Like the real one, the crew walkway starts at the back exit, and wraps around the side.  New crew arm will follow.

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New crew arm and white room:

Spoiler

ZaLy5Vk.png

 

Spoiler

JMzdjML.png

 

Spoiler

Lnk6wom.png

 

Spoiler

pZ2KsOW.png

 

Last thing to do with it is to make the white room switchable between 1.875m, 2.5m and 3.75m command pods.  The default is 2.5m (BDB Apollo CM) and that what it was designed for, but the other options will be available too.

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Also coming in v2.0: retracting umbilical connectors for the Saturn tower swing arms.  Basic WIP demo:

 

That is also the first of the new General-type arm, with simpflied construction and a variety of switchable arm sizes and umbilical types.

The existing swing arms will be reserved for the Saturn V and IB, and only come in 3.75m/4.25m and 5.625m/6.4m sizes.

Update:  Revised retraction animation, now with a short bounce:

 

Edited by AlphaMensae

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The set of switchable umbilical+pipe arrangements are done for the new general-type swing arm, and the 1.875m/2.5m sizes are done (they share the same arm core object).

 

Now just have to build the other arm sizes...lots of copying then editing in Unity involved :)

 

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The Russian Launch Stand is causing quite a lot of issues for me. Most of the time, the launch clamps (the four big ones) will be in the position where the rocket is held before launch. But then, when I put the rocket on the pad and load it into the game, the launch clamps will be shown as retracted, and even when staged the rocket will be stuck to the launch stand and unable to take off. Am I doing something wrong?
@AlphaMensae

Edited by InfiniteAtom

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1 hour ago, InfiniteAtom said:

The Russian Launch Stand is causing quite a lot of issues for me. Most of the time, the launch clamps (the four big ones) will be in the position where the rocket is held before launch. But then, when I put the rocket on the pad and load it into the game, the launch clamps will be shown as retracted, and even when staged the rocket will be stuck to the launch stand and unable to take off. Am I doing something wrong?
@AlphaMensae

Sounds like it's the root part, as having it as the root part (by placing it first) breaks it and it won't work like the way you described.  This is caused by it being a launch clamp, but since it's node-attached, it's easy to have it be the root part.

Just reroot to another part.

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40 minutes ago, AlphaMensae said:

Sounds like it's the root part, as having it as the root part (by placing it first) breaks it and it won't work like the way you described.  This is caused by it being a launch clamp, but since it's node-attached, it's easy to have it be the root part.

Just reroot to another part.

Thank you for your help. I'll try that.

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Have started work on the Saturn V-specific revamped swing arms, first up is Arm 7, the S-IVB Forward arm, which also has a connector to the LM, which made it a bit more complicated.

It's greatly simplified from the real one, which had the umbilical rotate partially (with bending hoses) and the LM plug was basically yanked out and then flopped around.  Much too complex for me, so it's been "tamed". :)

I've also started to settle on the plans for the additional launch pads for v2.0.  There's going to be the shuttle pad of course, and a new smaller general-type modular pad (that may be a launch clamp type) for Atlas V (with modular tower), Falcon 9/FH with animated strongback (can't be modular, but will have alternate sizes), Delta II (also with modular tower), Gemini (with its retracting crew elevator), Mercury (both Redstone and Atlas) and all kinds of smaller rockets.

The American Launch Stand that I had been working on previously will become the small Saturn pad, with a smaller-width tower; it's already partially based on the original LC 34 and 37 for the Saturn I/IB.  The tower arms will be center-mount, and both swing and drop types will be included.

There will also be a simple Redstone/Jupiter type launch stand that will be for smaller unmanned rockets.

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Now have the new Arm 8 (Service Module) done, this time it's not just a reuse of an existing arm....

 

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The new arm 6, the S-IVB Aft one, is done.  This one departs a bit more from the real one than the other arms, as it was quite complex, with all kinds of curving hoses and cables and other stuff that would have been way too complicated to recreat, so I distilled it down to something simpler.

The yellow assembly at the front of the arm is a stylized reprensation of the extension platform for the pad workers.

Edited by AlphaMensae

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And then revised the umbilical end of the arm, doing some comprimise to bring in a couple of elements of the real one

wZL4CmD.png

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The new arm 5, the S-II forward arm, is done

The animation got a bit more fancier... ;)

 

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@smotheredrun Thanks!  Been making good progress on the new Saturn V arms.  Well....until the current one I'm working on, arm 4, the S-II intermediate arm, or the "big boy" as I've taken to calling it.  I knew this one was going to be complicated, as it has two umbilicals, the upper one being the LH2 fill and drain hose, which has this big mast for retraction.  It took a while, but I finally got an acceptable animation for it:

The rest of the arm will follow. :)  The key to that hose retraction was realizing that the "retraction line" object needed to stay fixed, and not moved or rotated.  So it is simply rescaled to match the rotating hose object.

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Now have the bottom umbilical finished:

Now to add the inlet hoses/pipes.

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This is quite impressive. Just to inquire will modern rocket pad styles other than soyuz be added into this pack at some point in the future?

 

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19 hours ago, Uace24 said:

This is quite impressive. Just to inquire will modern rocket pad styles other than soyuz be added into this pack at some point in the future?

 

Thank you!

Yes, other modern/current pad structures will be coming.  Not as individual pads, but using a new general smaller pad base that can have different towers/strongbacks attached to it.

A note to all:  Dev work is going slow right now due to real life issues that have resulted in my left forearm/wrist being in a splint.  It's hard to do computer work with such a thing on, so I limit it to short periods.

Edited by AlphaMensae

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