• 0
TurboBilder

How do I build a Space shuttle

Question

I have ben trying to build shuttles for some time now and I cant get it to work and I need sone help 

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

18 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 1

Come on guys, if someone wants to build a shuttle, let's help him build a shuttle!

What others have said is correct, though. Shuttles are tough to build well, and often less efficient than easier means of getting things to orbit.

The best thing to do, which is how I built my shuttle that gets to orbit very easily, is to angle the 3 engines on the shuttle to move through the center of mass with only the external tank attached. With the booster(s), I found using 4 kickback solid thrusters on each side had enough thrust to offset the added weight. I've posted a couple of screenshot examples below. That purple line at the bottom is the 'Center of Thrust'. As long as that points through your 'Center of Mass', it will fly without flipping (for example, I have to hold a 15° angle above prograde to actually be vectoring through prograde). I don't have it shown with screenshots, but the little sidepod engines (Orbital Maneuvering System - OMS) angle through the shuttle's Center of Mass without the External Tank and Boosters.

bo559Wx.png

0gSbO2T.png

You may have to adjust how high or low the external tank and/or boosters sit to get the thrust correct. If possible, I'd recommend a mod used in the editor, called RCS Build Aid. It adds extra markers along with the Center of Thrust, Mass, and Lift markers already there so you can see rotation that your engines will cause. It also allows you to see both CoM with full tanks and with dry tanks, and tells you where the average is so you can base it on that.  RCS Build Aid

Edited by MaianTrey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1

I'm going to go against @Vanamonde and recommend that you cut your teeth with a  Shuttle until it works. If there's one thing thats going to teach how to make the most out of the Editor and the parts available to you, its building a functional Shuttle.

Even though I'm a veteran player and use mostly mods nowadays, I can tell you the most difficult part about emulating the real Space Shuttle is actually flying it moreso than building it. While the two go hand in hand, generally you're going to hit a functional craft before you figure out how to pilot it. 

But here are some tips I think will help you:

1. Don't try to emulate the real Shuttle, at least at first. Reason being is that when you hit the point that you're emulating how the real Shuttle flew, at your experience level you're not going to realize that you've gotten to this point.  Instead, build a shuttle, but build however you need to get it into orbit. Stick it on top of a rocket. Strap boosters to the actual fuselage rather onto an external tank, etc.  

2. First step should always be, decide what you're going to do with your Shuttle, and design to that purpose.  It'd be easier to make a crew shuttle more than a cargo or crew/cargo shuttle for instance. If you want to build a space station with it, figure out how big you want your modules to be, and that'll decide the size of your Orbiter.  Absolutely no reason to overbuild your shuttle. 

3. Next step should always be, get your Orbiter (the actual spaceplane part) perfect. Try to fly it in atmosphere and see if it handles. Once you get the Orbiter down, developing the actual launch stack will be much easier on you as wonky characteristics from a not yet well done Orbiter won't mess with the stack. Its also wise to make a decision if you want to go for a Glider or a powered craft.  Powered crafts will simplify reentry and landing, but gliders will be lighter and easier to build.

4. Once you have a launch stack going, build it and fly it at LEAST a million times before you make a tweak. Not literally, but you get the idea. The reason being is that you need to be careful about the edits you make until you have a better understanding of what those edits might do. During these test flights, pay close attention to how it flies, and in particular try to locate what might be causing undesired behavior.  If your shuttle can't hold a vector (IE, stay where you point it), then you either have too little SAS or too much gimbal in your engines. or both.  If its drifting to one direction too much in otherwise stable flight, then its a balance issue. 

5. If you do want to emulate the real shuttle, then take these next bits as the default for yours:

  • Set your SSME's (Orbiter's main engines) gimbals to have Yaw and Roll turned off, and ensure their gimbal limit matches the limit on your boosters. 
  • Rotate the entire stack so the top of the orbiter faces East (IE, the door of the VAB). This will make it easier to start your gravity turn, as rolling the Space Shuttle stack is very hard to do without throwing the flight out of wack. 
  • If you can, turn off the control surfaces on your Orbiter until you're ready to reenter. The real shuttle only sort of utilized the Orbiters CS' during launch, and ultimately in KSP (stock at least) don't have the ability to control them enough to make it so they don't mess with the flight. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Hello, and welcome to the forums!  :) 

Moving your post to Gameplay Questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
34 minutes ago, TurboBilder said:

I have ben trying to build shuttles for some time now and I cant get it to work and I need sone help 

 

Thanks!

It took me two years of studying other designs and downloading other shuttles off Kerbak X to finally understand the basics.

I know that shuttles are neat but as for efficiency, they're not. You'd be better off with a good SSTO craft or just use moar boosters to lift cargo up. I'm not trying to put you off, but trust me, it's a difficult process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

space shuttles are deceptively hard, especially STS style ones because of balance and center of lift issues.  If you post some pics of your designs, maybe we can give you some pointers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

My advice would be not to try. It's one of the harder things to do in the game, and there's no real benefit except that it looks like a real world craft. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
3 hours ago, Vanamonde said:

My advice would be not to try. It's one of the harder things to do in the game, and there's no real benefit except that it looks like a real world craft. 

I gotta say BOOOO! to this. 

 

2 hours ago, MaianTrey said:

Come on guys, if someone wants to build a shuttle, let's help him build a shuttle!

That's the spirit!

 

BUT... as mentioned, shuttles are very hard to get right.  I've done it, and got it to work (most of the time).  But I have no interest in doing it again.    But being a new player (Assuming so from post count of 1, but I may be wrong), there are a lot of other fundamentals in spacecraft design you should work on first.   Once you feel you can build anything and get it to space, then attempt a shuttle. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

When I say not to build a shuttle, I am not trying to discourage him or her. I am saying a shuttle is so hard that veteran players struggle with it,  so it's likely to be horribly frustrating for a new person to the game like OP. My advice is to do easier, funner stuff until you get a better feel for how the game works, and then turn to the more difficult game activities like shuttles. But it's just advice and not meant to be discouraging. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Gonna weigh in here because I remember just how much there was to learn just to launch a regular rocket. If you've not yet built rockets it would be worthwhile to start there.

I'm only suggesting this because it's easy to get overwhelmed at first and a Shuttle system requires some really advanced building / flying techniques. Better to learn those techniques in small steps because otherwise you won't know enough to determine what went wrong in a complicated system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Thanks everyone this has really helped and just to clarify I’m not too new to KSP this is just my first post. have 250 ish hours in the game that’s why I want to make a shuttle because I’ve done a lot of the other things to do in the game

Edited by TurboBilder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
10 hours ago, TurboBilder said:

Thanks everyone this has really helped and just to clarify I’m not too new to KSP this is just my first post. have 250 ish hours in the game that’s why I want to make a shuttle because I’ve done a lot of the other things to do in the game

Then try to build one.

What's the worst that can happen?  ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
On 4/27/2018 at 11:34 PM, MaianTrey said:

The best thing to do, which is how I built my shuttle that gets to orbit very easily, is to angle the 3 engines on the shuttle to move through the center of mass with only the external tank attached.

What MaianTrey said, but additionally...

-The external tank needs to be positioned and the flow priorities set so that the CoM falls along the thrust line back toward the engines as the fuel drains.
-The SRBs need to be offset toward the orbiter a bit so that they thrust parallel to the CoM instead of the center of the tank.
-The OMS engines need to thrust through the orbiter's CoM.
and finally...
-You will have to learn how to fly it. Because thrust isn't through the centerline of the cockpit, the entire LV flies "crooked". Roll and yaw become effectively swapped and reversed, with little opposite yaw inputs required to induce roll corrections and opposite roll inputs required to arrest yaw misalignments. It's a very weird way to fly and takes some getting used to. I have heard that adding a probe core that has been pitched down and then controlling from there during launch will alleviate this problem. I haven't tried it myself.
 

 I used to have a handy series of pics demonstrating these techniques, but my Photobucket ate my homework :(

Shuttles are a difficult but fun design challenge. When everything is lined up *just right*, the vehicle's behavior remains constant throughout the launch with no pitch moment tendencies.

Best,
-Slashy

Edited by GoSlash27

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

There are shuttles. And then there are shuttles.
The 'classic' STS style shuttle is notoriously difficult as others have correctly mentioned. Asymmetric weight, thrust lift and drag. Asymmetrically shifting weight and thrust. The list of issues is pretty long. But that doesn't mean you can't make it easier (and more interesting) by thinking outside the box. There are at least six different shuttle styles I can think off at this moment:

  1. The 'Classic' STS. Difficult but reliable. A Buran style STS would be easier as it also has engines under the external tank.
  2. The 'Sandwich'. Basically the classis STS but with two external tanks. One dorsal and one ventral, sandwiching the shuttle.
  3. The 'Reverse Sandwich'. Two shuttles on opposite sides of a shared fuel tank.
  4. 'Dynasoar/Hermes/Klipper/Dreamchaser'. A small shuttle mounted on top of a regular rocket. However too much wing/drag near the top can and probably will cause problems.

    And now for my two personal favourites:
     
  5. The 'SSLS: Stable Shuttle Launch System'. Instead of mounting the external tank on the shuttles ventral side it is mounted on the nose. CoM and CoT stay inline with each other. Heavy parts at the top, draggy parts near the bottom.
    screenshot0.png
    This link will explain exactly how it all works.
     
  6. The 'Hollow Rocket'. The carrier rocket is recessed to accommodate the shuttle bringing the CoM closer in line with the CoT.
    screenshot6.png

Think out side the box. Break conventions. Experiment. And do NOT be afraid to fail because I guarantee you, sooner or later you will!

Edited by Tex_NL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Here it is! The Helios. My first completed Space shuttle. It can reach orbit and has a built in science lab and multiple experiments  can hold 6 kerbals. thanks for the feedback everyone!

https://imgur.com/oAveHiZ 
 https://imgur.com/bYv9SO2 
 https://imgur.com/6Mb0fZx 
https://imgur.com/jKew4mE 

 

Edited by TurboBilder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

If you can fix the links you only need to post the https://imgur.com/oAveHiZ  part.

Looks like a good start but i have to say you need to fix those wings, i think the rest is fine but you definitely need to rework on them.

Are you using autostruts as well?

(Also neat logo :D )

Edited by Boyster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, TurboBilder said:

Here it is! The Helios. My first completed Space shuttle. It can reach orbit and has a built in science lab and multiple experiments can hold 6 kerbals. thanks for the feedback everyone!

Album https://imgur.com/oAveHiZ will appear when post is submitted
Album https://imgur.com/bYv9SO2 will appear when post is submitted
Album https://imgur.com/6Mb0fZx will appear when post is submitted
Album https://imgur.com/jKew4mE will appear when post is submitted

 

If you just post the image link https://i.imgur.com/oAveHiZ.jpg, after a second, the forum turns it into an image, like this:

Spoiler

oAveHiZ.jpg

Then you can highlight your images and put them into a spoiler box (which is what I did) if you have more than a few.

Edited by MaianTrey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
20 hours ago, Boyster said:

 

Are you using autostruts as well?

(Also neat logo :D )

Yes I am using autostruts because I was wasn't going to strut everything together 

Edited by TurboBilder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now