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[1.8.1-1.12.x] Modular Launch Pads v2.5.3: Launch clamps evolved: Real-style launch bases and towers [15 May 2022]


AlphaMensae
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On 2/7/2022 at 10:18 AM, m4ti140 said:

 modular launch pads completely throws off delta-V calculations in mechjeb,

Yes i have this too, to be precise, the deltaV values in the left bar fluctuate constantly by +/- 1000 m/s

And some other problems:

  • When I do "Revert to launch" it very often happens that the base on which the rocket is standing is suddenly crooked.
  • When time-boosting for a rendezvous launch, the rocket starts swaying abnormally (does not happen with the Squad launchclamps)
  • Just a trifle: the crew platforms have no trigger to automatically fold them in at takeoff

Unfortunately, all of this prevents me from using the mod more often, even if I enjoy building a nice launch platform, it's no use to me if I can't start properly anymore.

Edited by MaikC
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@AlphaMensae It's a shame you're done with this mod. It really is a great mod. I hope you can find the drive to come back to it someday or find a worthy modder to adopt this mod. 

Anyway, just dropped by to show off this little custom tower I made.  Was going to actually request a few extra nodes to support Saturn Multi-Body so I didn't have to use plates, but seeing as you're done, I won't bother you. 

ks2CHgB.jpg

onf3ZSW.jpg

Edited by GoldForest
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1 hour ago, GoldForest said:

@AlphaMensae It's a shame you're done with this mod. It really is a great mod. I hope you can find the drive to come back to it someday or find a worthy modder to adopt this mod. 

I've completed everything I had set out to do for version 2 and the updates:  Saturn revamp, Shuttle addition, General Bases and Towers addition, the historical lauch stands series for the revamped BDB historical rockets (which culminated with the Delta IV stand since Zorg had to go and make a BDB Delta IV :P ) and the launch rails. That's all cared about, and now that it's done, I'm burned out on modding and even KSP; I haven't even booted up KSP since making the launch rail demo video. I'm even losing interest in KSP 2. So anything that wasn't put into version 2 was simply never going to happen in the end.

As for extra nodes, you're free to add them yourself. I have very low interest in non-historical rockets, all the paper concepts and other never-weres, besides the rectangular holes I put into the Saturn V Launch Base.  If it didn't actually fly (and more than once) and thus leave a photographic/video record, I wasn't interested.  I had also started linking MLP to the BDB historical rockets, so anything outside that I didn't carte about either, aside from the Soyuz since it has had such a long life and an iconic launch pad, something close enough to a launch platform as to be doable in MLP,

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Modular Launch Pads is amazing, so thank you so very much for it! Totally get the burn-out - I'm a long time professional gamedev, it's pretty rare to enjoy playing the game I've worked on (there was one exception). Go play something totally different, or just go do something totally different, but just know that MLP is a truly amazing accomplishment. You probably don't hear that much, but I've worked with very talented people and you'd fit right in. I'd be totally unsurprised if you work at some AAA game studio (you could with this in your portfolio).

MLP is amongst the first few mods to install when I come back to KSP - I love to have this and Nasa Countdown clock and do all the proper staging of towers, umbilicals, arms, those spark lighter thingies, and rockets throttling up. I mean... that's the best bit. Usually after that everything blows up anyway... :-)

Edited by 610yesnolovely
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I just updated MLP v2.3 (it's v2.3.2) by adding new craft files for the BDB v1.10 revamped Saturn IB and Saturn V; they're titled "BDB New Saturn xxx". The old craft files were kept and renamed "BDB Old Saturn xxx".

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Posted (edited)

And another update uploaded, this one is v2.3.3

Changelog:

  • Added black extension to the base of the Thor-Able Fallback Tower. The tower still attaches at the original node on the base; the extension has no collider and is meant to fill in any gap if KSP puts the tower slightly above the launch pad surface.
  • Added black extension to the base of the Saturn Tail Service Mast. The TSM still attaches at the bottom of the main white structure; the extension has no collider and allows the mast to be raised up a bit to align with the umbilical plates on the new BDB Saturn V engine mount.
  • Updated BDB New Saturn V MLP v2.3 craft file with properly aligned Tail Service Masts.

Sometimes KSP puts the Thor Launch Stand higher than it's supposed to be, leaving the Thor-Able Fallback Tower slightly above the pad surface. The base extension fills in the gap, and should be mostly below the floor of the VAB

Wit the BDB Saturn revamp, Cobalt added the umbilical connector plates for the Saturn V tail service masts, and it turned out I underestimated the height of the TSMs by a little bit (or maybe it was the too undersized old BDB Saturn V). :D The base extension for the TSMs allows the mast to be raised up to align with those plates on the S-IC engine mount, and I've updated the BDB New Saturn V MLP craft file with properly aligned TSMs.

Edited by AlphaMensae
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  • 2 weeks later...
12 minutes ago, Adam-Kerman said:

I remember there being arms that could have staging disabled, which I don't see currently

so what happened?

 

Probably due to the switch to NathanKell's Staged Animation, which uses some of the core code of Animated Decouplers but doesn't  use or need the decoupler module, so there is nothing to disable.

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Man, as I get further and further into my History of Spaceflight attempt #4, I'm gaining more and more appreciation for the work you've done on these launch pads and how well you can kitbash them to fit other towers through the years.  That said, I do miss not having an LC-34 service tower look-alike.  Not the big over-hang structure, the launch service tower itself.  The angled back look is something I've seen in several places, including on several Vandenburg pads and being able to have a similarly-designed one that is (initially) in Saturn Scale that can be shrunk to smaller sizes as needed to fit like Atlas and Thor/Jupiter, would be really cool.

Just a wish should you ever decide to add something else.  Mainly just another love of your addon post. :)

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11 hours ago, CAPFlyer said:

Man, as I get further and further into my History of Spaceflight attempt #4, I'm gaining more and more appreciation for the work you've done on these launch pads and how well you can kitbash them to fit other towers through the years.  That said, I do miss not having an LC-34 service tower look-alike.  Not the big over-hang structure, the launch service tower itself.  The angled back look is something I've seen in several places, including on several Vandenburg pads and being able to have a similarly-designed one that is (initially) in Saturn Scale that can be shrunk to smaller sizes as needed to fit like Atlas and Thor/Jupiter, would be really cool.

Just a wish should you ever decide to add something else.  Mainly just another love of your addon post. :)

I decided very early on that I wasn't going to make the LC-34 tower. It's an unsymetrical tapered nightmare that simply doesn't fit with the rest of the MLP parts, which are made out of symetrical modular sections and 90-degree angles. The milkstool leg trusses were bad enough, and the Thor-Able Fallback tower was a weeklong exercise in extreme tedium to make; more than once I stepped aside and wanted to quit. After that I declared "No more tapered towers ever!"  And frankly, I just don't about the Saturn I or LC-34 beyond the launch stand I made. I only ever cared about the Apollo Saturn IB on the Milkstool.

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Fair enough.  I understand the desire with the milkstool, I just feel that since only 4 Saturn IB launches were from the Milkstool, it was leaving out a large portion of the Saturn program since both LC-34 and LC-37B had the same tower design, hence the wish.  But I also understand that it's not as "mix and match" available as the others.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A quiet v2.4.0 release is now on Spacedock and GitHub (GitHub was a few days ago as Spacedock was having update problems).

Changelog:

*    Added additional height variant, front wall options and umbilical attach nodes to the Mini General Crew Elevator Core.
*    Added new Mini Crew Walkway, a stripped-down short version of the Mercury-Atlas Crew Walkway, designed for the Mini General Crew Elevator.
*    Retitled the crew elevators and crew arms to a standard scheme so they will be grouped together in the CCK category in Simple Mode.
*    Retitled the General Service Tower parts to add "General" at the front so they will be grouped together in the CCK category in Simple Mode. 

Decided to give the Mini Crew Elevator some upgrades after I saw NathanKell use the Mini General Crew Elevator for his Mercury-Titan craft. This is the kind of thing I actually don't mind doing. What I really don't like doing anymore is make replicas of real things. I'm so tired of studying photos and diagrams, of being constrained by reality. :D  I had much more fun with the General Bases and Towers, when I can free-form design, and I like how one thing in particular from that group--those super-sized alt-Soyuz clamp arms--is used quite a bit. :) 

One thing I've wanted to do is tro restructure the General Launch Bases by adding a smaller and larger size, and to reduce the amount of overlap between them, so each base will have a specific range of rocket sizes it can accomodate. This is something that might actually happen over the next year. :) 

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Posted (edited)

The restructuring and partial revamp of the General Launch Bases has long been on my mind. First, I'm going to add two smaller size bases, the Micro and Mini ones. The existing ones will be far more restricted in exhaust hole sizes. One thing I've noticed is that people like to put the tower on the base itself, which isn't surprising since these bases are sort of mobile launch platforms. So rather than trying to cram as many exhaust hole sizes in a given frame size, there's just going to be a few, with the maximum size being small enough to leave plenty of room on the deck for a tower. Another thing is taking the experience with the Titan III Launch Stand and some of the other launch stands, and get away from the basic launch clamp template for some of the bases.  This mean adding optional railway wheels like the Titan III stand to indicate it really is a mobile launcher. :D 

So here's a preliminary lineup for the restructured bases:

Micro Launch Base: "inspired" by Rocket Lab's Electron mount, a small block-style base for Electron-class rockets; 1.25m and smaller, though 1.5m ones could work. Just one hole width, with square, short rectangle and long rectangle shapes. 

**EDIT**  Did some preliminary blocking out, and will probably get rid of the long rectangle shape. It's just too big to keep the base as micro-sized, but will know more once I build out the rest of the deck and compare it with the current Small base.

Mini Launch Base: Tall block style on wheels, "inspired" by ISRO's PSLV mobile base, and got the idea when Dylan Semrau made the PSLV in the Chrayol mod; for 1.875m rockets, but may increase that to 2.5m if it doesn't make it too big. One or two hole widths, depending on how it goes, along with the three shapes.

Small Launch Base:  Wheeled mobile launcher for Atlas V class and (maybe) ULA Vulcan class, so 2.5m - 3.5m with the three shapes. That's it, nothing bigger, or it will shrink available deck space too much.

Medium Launch Base: May add optional wheels, and restrict it to a size range centered on 5m rockets, with perhaps three hole widths.

Large Launch Base: Eliminate the extended deck and make the overall size a bit larger. Size range centered on Saturn V-class rockets with a max of two small side boosters.

Extra Large Launch Base (or Super Size?): This will take over the rocket sizes that the extended deck on the cuurrent large base was made for and them some. It will be BIG, and will extend past the stock tier 3 launch pad static and will require an LC-39 pad to keep the support columns on the ground--but it might be bigger than even that :D There will be the usual leg extensions to reach the actual ground. It will be big enough to handle monstrous Saturn MLV types like a Saturn V with 4 AJ260 SRBs and the Saturn tower, while keeping the exhaust hole centered.  I'll give it some Saturn launcher styling like the vertical stringers to make it look like a supersized Saturn Mobile Launcher.

Edited by AlphaMensae
Updated Preliminary Micro size plans
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5 hours ago, xD-FireStriker said:

wondering, is it possable to have a seat attached to the moving part of the elevator? 

You need Animated Attachment for that to work, and it does.  Bad thing is that mod will mess up many of your other parts and screw up your craft unless you delete its config file in its folder.

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8 hours ago, xD-FireStriker said:

wondering, is it possable to have a seat attached to the moving part of the elevator? 

I've thought about the elevator situation a lot. Imho, KSP essentially broke their usefulness. You can't move more than one kerbal at a time, and even then you need to keep the kerbal moving so they don't fall through the floor. The "benefit" of bringing kerbals out to the launch pad apart from the craft is probably RP-only, for filming and whatnot, but I think there's a solution that would work for me. It's already mostly implemented, too ... the airlock method. For example, load 3 kerbals into the airlock at the bottom of the elevator, and transfer them up to one where the crew arm is. I don't need the 30 second ride of terror, I don't want to film Kerbals walking in circles anyway. I just need a way to get Kerbals from the ground up to the crew arm.

This is the first time I've written this down so maybe it's not even feasible. Just a thought.

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4 hours ago, OrbitalManeuvers said:

I've thought about the elevator situation a lot. Imho, KSP essentially broke their usefulness. You can't move more than one kerbal at a time, and even then you need to keep the kerbal moving so they don't fall through the floor. The "benefit" of bringing kerbals out to the launch pad apart from the craft is probably RP-only, for filming and whatnot, but I think there's a solution that would work for me. It's already mostly implemented, too ... the airlock method. For example, load 3 kerbals into the airlock at the bottom of the elevator, and transfer them up to one where the crew arm is. I don't need the 30 second ride of terror, I don't want to film Kerbals walking in circles anyway. I just need a way to get Kerbals from the ground up to the crew arm.

This is the first time I've written this down so maybe it's not even feasible. Just a thought.

That's why I stick with KSP 1.8.1, as Squad ruined KSP for me after that.  For my own use, I'm restoring the elevator cars to a faster speed.

But for MLP releases,  starting with 2.4.1, I'll add an invisible hatch to the elevator cars, that's a great idea

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Did some testing of the elevator car hatch with the Mini General Crew Elevator, and got it working in both directions:

The bottom of the elevator car does need to be above the walkway of the crew arm, or the "hatch" will be obstructed. I can minimize the distance by adjusting the vertical height of the hatch collider, but better err on the side of caution.

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Now I'm thinking that since I'm adding the elevator hatches, I can go ahead and speed up the cars again as they don't need to move so slow anymore.

Apologies to anyone who still tries to use the elevators as intended.

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Posted (edited)

And this will now be v2.5, as the hatch additions and speed adjustments are more than just a few tweaks :) 

The  general and launch stand crew elevators are done. The Gemini one was a little tricky, and I finally got one hatch collider to work at both the top and bottom, but then decicded two would work better, as top egress and bottom egress are in different directions, so the two colliders face in opposite directions.

Edited by AlphaMensae
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