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Hummingbird Aerospace

Question on how to go interplanetary?

Question

I am relatively new to KSP, but I cannot really grip on to the point of the whole game: leaving Kerbin. I have seen other people get to the Mun with miniature SSTOs and RT-10 “Hammer” boosters but I cannot get anywhere at all. I am okay at constructing rockets, but I think it is a piloting problem. Any suggestions or tips are welcome.

Thank you,

An Imperial-II Star Destroyer near you.

 

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To get to the Mun, you don't need any complicated tutorials, or mods, or DV readouts, especially when you consider it a piloting error.

Mun is easy:

1) Build a ship you think should get to the Mun.

2) Get into a ~80km circular orbit.  Little higher or lower, OK.

3) Point Prograde.  With low level kerbals, you'll have to do this manually with SAS assist on.

5) Wait till the Mun is half risen above the horizon.

file_606670_rogue-one-teaser-trailer.jpg

(Appropriate Image I thought, given the user name)

6) Burn

7) Watch the map till you get an intercept.

8) Profit.

 

Now, if you have Maneuver nodes enabled, you can just create one so it gets you to the moons altitude, then click and drag it around till it gets a good encounter. 

 

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7 hours ago, Imperial Star Destroyer said:

... but I think it is a piloting problem.

Well. No offence intended but to be honest it is most definitely a piloting problem since going to Mun and Minmus is extremely easy. Once you know how of course.

I could go into all the details but since others have already done that on both YouTube and the forum hundreds of time I won't bother. Best advice is to search for and read/watch those tutorials. Scott Manleys YouTube tutorials are one of the better ones out there. They might be slightly outdated but the theory behind them hasn't changed. You might want to start there. (In part 12-13 he goes to Mun. In part 14-15 Minmus.)

 

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Get Kerbal Engineer Redux. It will show you how much Dv has every stage of your rocket.

With its help, design a rocket with a first stage with a swivel (around 1500-2000 dv), and a second stage with a terrier (same dv). Add solid boosters.

Add tail fins to ease piloting. You want most of your mass as up as possible, and most of your drag as bottom as possible (like a dart or an arrow)

Try to stay in 1.5 - 2.5 TWR for first stages (once in space it is not so important)

People uses around 3400 dv to orbit. Newbies like you and me will use more than 4000.

About piloting, put sas on, full throtle, launch! Put sas aiming prograde if you have the option, make a small turn east (right or the screen) and try to keep turning so that you are at 45 degrees around 10000. With KER or changing to map view, watch your apoapsis, when it reaches 70000, stop engines for a while. If you can put maneuvre nodes put one on apoapsis increasing prograde until you see a periapsis over 70000 and execute it. (If you have not nodes, just open full throtle 30 seconds before apoapsis, until periapsis appears and gets to 70000.

You are in orbit now. If you have 1000 dv left you can go to mun :)

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Upgrading the tracking station so that you can see the patched conic of your intercept may also help.

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On 5/6/2018 at 5:40 AM, Imperial Star Destroyer said:

I am relatively new to KSP, but I cannot really grip on to the point of the whole game: leaving Kerbin. I have seen other people get to the Mun with miniature SSTOs and RT-10 “Hammer” boosters but I cannot get anywhere at all. I am okay at constructing rockets, but I think it is a piloting problem. Any suggestions or tips are welcome.

Well, broadly speaking, there are two categories of problems that can stop you from accomplishing what you're trying to do in KSP:

  • Design problems, i.e. the ship's not built in a way that will let it accomplish the goal.
  • Piloting problems, i.e. the ship's not being flown in an efficient way.

You may be having either or both of these problems-- and each one of those "problems" could actually be any one of a very large number of potential issues.  So it's really hard to give any practical advice without knowing more about what you're running into.  It's kind of like this:  imagine if you walked into your local auto mechanic's store, without your car, and said to the guy "Hi, my car won't go, what's the problem?"  He's gonna need a little more information than that.  And he'll probably want to look at your car.  ;)

So... just to get the ball rolling, could you post a screenshot of your ship, along with a description of what you're trying to do with it?  That would allow us to see at least whether you've got a reasonable "tool for the job"-- and make suggestions if there are any issues with your ship design.  Once we've got that straightened out, we could move on to the piloting aspects.

To post a screenshot, just take one in-game (via the F1 key; it gets saved to the "Screenshots" directory of your KSP install), then upload that to some third-party image sharing site such as imgur, then copy the URL of the image and paste it here.

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On 5/6/2018 at 10:20 PM, Gargamel said:

 

file_606670_rogue-one-teaser-trailer.jpg

(Appropriate Image I thought, given the user name)

 

Ha!

@Snark Thanks for the help but i think i got it.

Edited by Imperial Star Destroyer
oopsie! forgot to add last bit... c'mon why did i press enter?!?!?!?

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2 hours ago, Imperial Star Destroyer said:

Ha!

@Snark Thanks for the help but i think i got it.

It  will  be  second  nature  soon  enough.

The  hardest  parts  of  this  game  imho  is  making  your  first  orbit, and  getting  to  your  first  celestial  body, after  that  you  can  do  it  with  your  eyes  closed

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4 hours ago, putnamto said:

after  that  you  can  do  it  with  your  eyes  closed

Especially if you use MechJeb. 

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20 hours ago, Gargamel said:

Especially if you use MechJeb. 

whats wrong with using mechjeb, if i want to hohman transfer i can just click hohman transfer instead of clicking and draggin the stupid man nodes. damn things are wonky at best for me. 

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9 hours ago, putnamto said:

whats wrong with using mechjeb, if i want to hohman transfer i can just click hohman transfer instead of clicking and draggin the stupid man nodes. damn things are wonky at best for me. 

It was a joke.   I love my MJ, and would have to relearn a couple things if it was taken away. 

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43 minutes ago, Gargamel said:

It was a joke.   I love my MJ, and would have to relearn a couple things if it was taken away. 

i just hate the manuever nodes, hate em with a passion.
 

accidently click radial instead of prograde or retrograde all the dang time, and it really infuriates me that you cant undo the changes. and fine tuning is crap. i drag to far prograde and it zooooooooooms, but then when i try to go back it moves like a snail.

sorry, im rambling. ignore me lol.

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Just now, putnamto said:

i just hate the manuever nodes, hate em with a passion.
 

accidently click radial instead of prograde or retrograde all the dang time, and it really infuriates me that you cant undo the changes. and fine tuning is crap. i drag to far prograde and it zooooooooooms, but then when i try to go back it moves like a snail.

sorry, im rambling. ignore me lol.

Learn the MN, fly the MN, Love the MN.   or is that the Navball??

Gotta learn em, gotta be at least comfortable with them.  There's stuff MJ won't do.   And it does have an undo button, it's called delete.  Sometimes it's just easier to start over with a MN and apply what you learned messing around with the first one to make it cleaner. 

There's mods that allow for better use of the MN gui, but I don't use them, but someday I will. 

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2 hours ago, Gargamel said:

Learn the MN, fly the MN, Love the MN.   or is that the Navball??

Gotta learn em, gotta be at least comfortable with them.  There's stuff MJ won't do.   And it does have an undo button, it's called delete.  Sometimes it's just easier to start over with a MN and apply what you learned messing around with the first one to make it cleaner. 

There's mods that allow for better use of the MN gui, but I don't use them, but someday I will. 

oh i know how to use em, they just frustrate me.

would be cool if i could make a man node, then a little window would pop up with just a circle with pro/retro/radialin/out/and the other blue one i rarely use, then just click and drag them in the static window. i thought i saw a mod like this a few months ago in a video, but i was unable to find it after that.

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6 hours ago, putnamto said:

and fine tuning is crap. i drag to far prograde and it zooooooooooms, but then when i try to go back it moves like a snail.

You are using manoeuver node wrong. As you realised, pulling a button to increase velocity has more effect than pushing. But you are not using it to you advantage. If you want to fine tune, youd should always be pushing rather than pulling, eg. using the retrograde button to increase your prograde velocity. You should also use a mouse wheel for fine increment. You can be precise up to fractions of a m/s using stock nodes, more precise than practically needed.

 

 

Manouever nodes are underrated, there is a huge amount of things people do with mods which can be done with manoeuver nodes. On the top of my head :

  • Hohman transfer window (with dummy crafts)
  • Suicide burn
  • direct injection (with dummy craft)

What is somewhat lacking IMO is the inconvenience of changing the timing of the MN, for both small and very large time increment.

Some modes that improve MN gui are :

https://spacedock.info/mod/1087/Maneuver Node Evolved

 

The first one is better IMO.

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3 hours ago, Kesa said:

You are using manoeuver node wrong. As you realised, pulling a button to increase velocity has more effect than pushing. But you are not using it to you advantage. If you want to fine tune, youd should always be pushing rather than pulling, eg. using the retrograde button to increase your prograde velocity. You should also use a mouse wheel for fine increment. You can be precise up to fractions of a m/s using stock nodes, more precise than practically needed.

 

 

Manouever nodes are underrated, there is a huge amount of things people do with mods which can be done with manoeuver nodes. On the top of my head :

  • Hohman transfer window (with dummy crafts)
  • Suicide burn
  • direct injection (with dummy craft)

What is somewhat lacking IMO is the inconvenience of changing the timing of the MN, for both small and very large time increment.

Some modes that improve MN gui are :

https://spacedock.info/mod/1087/Maneuver Node Evolved

 

The first one is better IMO.

i tried using the mouse wheel, that was irritating to. 

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59 minutes ago, putnamto said:

i tried using the mouse wheel, that was irritating to. 

You definitely did not give a try of pushing the retrograde vector back to increase prograde velocity, I don't know if I explain the method well, but I encourage you trying it.

 

You got to be patient and methodic with mouse wheel. You got to be patient and methodic anyway, even using one of the mod I provided a link for.

The method is dichotomy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_search_algorithm) which is trial and error but in the fastest possible way.

 

Using mouse wheel, you have to be aware that you can't just roll a little bit when trying to be precise. The control allows you to be precise down to the few hundredth of m/s but still allows to roll a to hundreds of m/s in a couple of seconds, so you can't expect it to be linear, and it is not : rolling three increments at once modifies the speed much more than three times rolling one increment at once do. So typically, you roll by three increments in one way, the first time you overshoot, correct the other way with two increments, and then one increments. If you don't have increments on your wheel, then yeah, I don't think wheel is an option for MN

Yes you do have to count the increments, and no it is not as much hassle as it sounds. The hassle comes from the binary search, which you have to do in any case. I actually find mouse wheel faster than MN Evolved, even though a bit less comfortable : whatever arithmetic base use the stock mouse wheel control is closer to 2-3 than the base 10 used in mods and thus more practical for binary searchs.

The alternatives to performing a binary search down to the max precision you can get are :

- being less precise (a genuine option, precision to the hundredth of m/s, while being cool, is not that much beneficial over precision to the 1 to 10 m/s or so + correction burns)

- somehow computing the required velocity (and writting it down with a mod, or even executing the manoeuver directly)

- having the manoeuver plotted/computed/executed by a script (the downside are that the script may not exist, and that you don't understand it unless you wrote it ; I do understand Hohman transfer but could not do it the way Mechjeb does it)

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hmm, didnt understand the wheel thing at first, thank you.

i had the problem of it going at a set speed forward, but then i shoot to far and try to reverse and its painstakingly slow.

why would they code it so that one direction on the wheel goes in bigger increments than the other. 

or maybe i just need a new mouse lol

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7 hours ago, putnamto said:

why would they code it so that one direction on the wheel goes in bigger increments than the other.

I think it's intentional. It feels very weird at first, and is quite annoying when trying to cancel a big overshoot, but it gives a wider range of steps overall, allowing fine tuning by using the "reverse" direction.

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On 6/12/2018 at 10:25 PM, Kesa said:

You are using manoeuver node wrong. As you realised, pulling a button to increase velocity has more effect than pushing. But you are not using it to you advantage. If you want to fine tune, youd should always be pushing rather than pulling, eg. using the retrograde button to increase your prograde velocity. You should also use a mouse wheel for fine increment. You can be precise up to fractions of a m/s using stock nodes, more precise than practically needed.

 

 

Manouever nodes are underrated, there is a huge amount of things people do with mods which can be done with manoeuver nodes. On the top of my head :

  • Hohman transfer window (with dummy crafts)
  • Suicide burn
  • direct injection (with dummy craft)

What is somewhat lacking IMO is the inconvenience of changing the timing of the MN, for both small and very large time increment.

Some modes that improve MN gui are :

https://spacedock.info/mod/1087/Maneuver Node Evolved

 

The first one is better IMO.

Yeah, one thing I'm missing with principia is the majesty of stock maneuver nodes

With mouse wheel could literally alter interplanetery orbit within 100m accuracy and darn stable.

Same here only problem with stocko nodes is drag to timing.

Edited by recursive_mouse
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