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[WIP] mini reentry pod aka escape pod


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Initial Release Candidate available via SpaceDock;

https://spacedock.info/mod/1885/KOOSE

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UWbl8fx.png

There's a couple of outstanding issues, but they're not really going to alter anything that's already built.

I don't really have a name for this yet, it's based on a minimal sized apollo shaped reentry vehicle, and inspired by things like the MOOSE.  It is not however the moose, although my working title is KOOSE.  Also triggered by discussion over in the thread for the space taxi I'm working on. 

So, the size is set by the size of a reclined seated kerbal.  Then the size of a rounded based cone to fit around said kerbal.  It shall come with a built in docking node, a detachable heat shield (heat shields really need to be separate parts if the shielding isn't supposed to be all over), and hopefully a built in chute.  I'm going to use RCS as the only thrust supply, as they don't use the staging system.  Each part can only have one staging action, so if I build in a chute, I can't use solid rockets (solids would normally be the preferred de-orbit technique for this sort of minimal craft).

I may or may not include a specialized set of docking nodes that will provide a shroud/cradle for the escape pods.  I need to see the stuff in game with and without before putting too much effort into something like that.

So, 3OcttjO.png T4kiOXt.png

That's a match for the docking port junior.  Placed radially around a 1.25m (size1) part, you'd fit 6 of these and it'd be slightly more than 2.5m total diameter.

Development versions will be on github;  https://github.com/TiktaalikDreaming/KOOSE/releases

EXXXlWX.png

 

 

 

 

Edited by TiktaalikDreaming
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Cool. I built something familiar with struts, heatshield, ant engine and command chair. Just for lko re entry for Kerbals. But part count get high very fast with multiple of these. 

I definitely would love to send up 6 off these. Cheap and time saving way get Kerbals home from orbits

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Nice to see it's got traction in your head.  ;)

Some design thoughts, based on playing around with @steedcrugeon's REKT:

  • You could if you really wanted add in some conformal solid-rocket de-orbit engines, but regardless you really need RCS for clearing the vessel you've just escaped from, and then re-orienting to a reentry profile.
  • Think about the 'design altitude' of these - How high an orbit do you expect to be able to return safely in them from?  REKT tends to work well in LKO, but barely has the d/v for more.  These to me look like they should be able to handle 'low high orbit' - the 250-500Km range where things are still 'close to Kerbin' but count as 'high orbit' for science recovery - which I find is a useful place for a station.  But note that the pod will need appropriate d/v, EC, and ablator for returning from that altitude.
  • Control - they need a probe core, so non-pilots can use them.  Which means EC - but see above.  How long does it take for the pod to detach, enter the atmosphere, and reach parachute height?  It needs enough EC to last.
  • All of the above assumes you're somewhat near Kerbin - or maybe Duna, Eve, or Gael or something.  Do you want a deep-space version?  You could swap the heat shield with a life-support pod + solar panel.  How about an airless world pod?  Those need a *lot* more d/v - the REKT can barely squeak to a Minmus landing on it's own.  (REKT also has a cryo-pod, which is interesting - but Deepfreeze's EC requirements cause some issues.
  • I loved the docking nodes you showed in other thread.  If you go for them, it'd be nice to think about outer diameter.  (Though it sounds like you are.)

Another quick thought: You could add the de-orbit engine to the heat shield.  Have them poke around the edges, and it would keep flexibility and staging correct.  (I'll admit I'm thinking the base pod and some bottom extensions at this point - heat shield for atmospheric, emergency life support for deep space, and possibly a lander of some sort for airless worlds.  The last would be the hardest to design and balance.)

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7 hours ago, DStaal said:

Nice to see it's got traction in your head.  ;)

Some design thoughts, based on playing around with @steedcrugeon's REKT:

  • You could if you really wanted add in some conformal solid-rocket de-orbit engines, but regardless you really need RCS for clearing the vessel you've just escaped from, and then re-orienting to a reentry profile.
  • Think about the 'design altitude' of these - How high an orbit do you expect to be able to return safely in them from?  REKT tends to work well in LKO, but barely has the d/v for more.  These to me look like they should be able to handle 'low high orbit' - the 250-500Km range where things are still 'close to Kerbin' but count as 'high orbit' for science recovery - which I find is a useful place for a station.  But note that the pod will need appropriate d/v, EC, and ablator for returning from that altitude.
  • Control - they need a probe core, so non-pilots can use them.  Which means EC - but see above.  How long does it take for the pod to detach, enter the atmosphere, and reach parachute height?  It needs enough EC to last.
  • All of the above assumes you're somewhat near Kerbin - or maybe Duna, Eve, or Gael or something.  Do you want a deep-space version?  You could swap the heat shield with a life-support pod + solar panel.  How about an airless world pod?  Those need a *lot* more d/v - the REKT can barely squeak to a Minmus landing on it's own.  (REKT also has a cryo-pod, which is interesting - but Deepfreeze's EC requirements cause some issues.
  • I loved the docking nodes you showed in other thread.  If you go for them, it'd be nice to think about outer diameter.  (Though it sounds like you are.)

Another quick thought: You could add the de-orbit engine to the heat shield.  Have them poke around the edges, and it would keep flexibility and staging correct.  (I'll admit I'm thinking the base pod and some bottom extensions at this point - heat shield for atmospheric, emergency life support for deep space, and possibly a lander of some sort for airless worlds.  The last would be the hardest to design and balance.)

Thanks for all that. I hadn't thought of a probe core for instance.  I feel I should respond to this when not on mobile. Pretty hard to do the quote editing it deserves.

But I'm pretty much convinced I should do a ring of SRBs as a part that fits inside the max diameter, for more serious deorbiting. Maybe a few sizes. For ablator, I'll just have a default that's lower than Max and make it configurable.

I'm actually mostly musing about how to place the chute. I was originally intending one either side of the Kerbal. But two chutes in one part are a pain and a single cute of top the side would be a fast track to problems for our intrepid Kerbal. So I'm thinking advice the head.

Which leads me towards a more exposed look, with bits n bobs. Which will be good as the capsule looks a bit boring so far.

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2 hours ago, TiktaalikDreaming said:

But I'm pretty much convinced I should do a ring of SRBs as a part that fits inside the max diameter, for more serious deorbiting. Maybe a few sizes. For ablator, I'll just have a default that's lower than Max and make it configurable.

Sounds good to me.  ;)  Ablator is rarely a concern, really.  (Though it would be 'realistic' to not have more than needed, as mass savings.)  D/V and EC are the main limiters I've found using REKT and USI's escape pods.  (Less so on USI - the pods are more expandable, though they don't look as nice and are harder to use, especially in conjunction with CLS.)  Figure you need at least enough EC for a full orbit at the top of the design altitude.  (Which will give a bit of margin.  On the other hand, some LS mods also use EC per Kerbal...)

2 hours ago, TiktaalikDreaming said:

I'm actually mostly musing about how to place the chute. I was originally intending one either side of the Kerbal. But two chutes in one part are a pain and a single cute of top the side would be a fast track to problems for our intrepid Kerbal. So I'm thinking advice the head.

Which leads me towards a more exposed look, with bits n bobs. Which will be good as the capsule looks a bit boring so far.

I like the exposed idea - even having a couple of (red?) parachute packs entirely outside the 'main' pod profile - as long as they fit within the cradle.  (These pods will be awesome with a cradle, IMHO.  I can almost see them launch from a nearly-sleek ship...)

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23 hours ago, DStaal said:

Sounds good to me.  ;)  Ablator is rarely a concern, really.  (Though it would be 'realistic' to not have more than needed, as mass savings.)  D/V and EC are the main limiters I've found using REKT and USI's escape pods.  (Less so on USI - the pods are more expandable, though they don't look as nice and are harder to use, especially in conjunction with CLS.)  Figure you need at least enough EC for a full orbit at the top of the design altitude.  (Which will give a bit of margin.  On the other hand, some LS mods also use EC per Kerbal...)

Good points on both... but you'd have to account for the fact that some people run higher entry heating. Deadly Reentry could have more added by way of MM. Similarly, perhaps you can make the LS patch to add more EC when there's an active LS mod, just like it would add the LS consumables specific to that mod.

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OK, this is probably pre-alpha, but one part, the main pod, is partly, half, quasi in-game.  So I've started syncing my progress on github.  Also, not sure whether anything works, as my PC has started misbehaving and I can't get KSP (or any other game) to run for more than a couple of minutes. 

But github progress (not packed) at https://github.com/TiktaalikDreaming/KOOSE

There are actually mu files for a heat shield and the basics of an IVA, but no part config.

Now, the other reason for syncing config on github is now I can go test this on the olde (technically 5 years younger than desktop) dodgy laptop.

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So, DqlmnX1.png

textures obviously at a very early stage. 

Things I didn't expect but could have checked earlier;

The base is almost the same size as the Mk1 pod (although the pod itself is a lot smaller).

The staging icon config I stole from the docking port config should really be for chutes.

And, my very quick guess at chute config did't work.

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17 hours ago, TiktaalikDreaming said:

Also, not sure whether anything works, as my PC has started misbehaving and I can't get KSP (or any other game) to run for more than a couple of minutes. 

use to happen to me a lot my use of an excessive amount of mods permanently broke the game

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1 hour ago, guesswho2778 said:

use to happen to me a lot my use of an excessive amount of mods permanently broke the game

This is more like the pc is dying. All games, or anything that stresses it out. Whole pc shuts down. It's a seven year old pc, so a bit of adding is to be expected.

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1 hour ago, guesswho2778 said:

ahh didnt see that

 

Fair call. I'll get it sorted, just makes modding a bit frustrating. I had been planning on a pc refresh, but I was planning for a month or two from now. Clearly Murphy has been looking at my timelines.

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eqUFGx3.png

Chute now "works"

It's still slightly too small.  For genuine Kerbal Out Of Space Cheapest simulation, you could use the existing chute to slow you down enough to jump out and do a Gagarin.

Added a hatch and ladder, but haven't tested.

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VHipcyb.png

I managed a quick test and now the chute is too big. :) The joys of tuning. I'm also going to try some funky chute deployment trickiness, which I'm very much uncertain if it'll work with the parachute module.

I also want to get the IVA into the game, but it's something that's hard to work on with systems that I can't install unity or the game on. Mostly because this started with the IVA and it's super cosy.

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For the interest, I downloaded a copy off of Github, and tried it out.  Launched to low-orbit (80km), and returned.

Thoughts:

The combination of unbalanced RCS and no reaction wheel makes it extremely hard to keep oriented.  My de-orbit burn ended up being done in ~5 pieces, as I had to re-orient between each one.

I did run out of monoprop - but only after I'd reached a return orbit.  A bit better flying and it might not have been a problem at all, even from a higher orbit.  (But note this capsule is hard to fly at the moment...)

The capsule (plus stock 1.25 heat shield) oriented itself pretty well on re-entry.  Which was good, since I was out of monoprop.

On the other hand, I *barely* had enough EC to deploy the parachute, and I deployed at a higher altitude than my personal preference.  From a higher orbit, I'd be seriously worried.  Perhaps a bit larger batteries?

The parachute obviously needs work.  (I didn't actually manage to land - as the parachute summoned the kraken and put me on an interstellar trajectory.)

I used about 25 units of ablator on reentry - though that was a shallow reentry from LKO.  Still, even from reasonable high orbits 50 units should be plenty, I'd think.

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16 minutes ago, DStaal said:

For the interest, I downloaded a copy off of Github, and tried it out.  Launched to low-orbit (80km), and returned.

Thoughts:

The combination of unbalanced RCS and no reaction wheel makes it extremely hard to keep oriented.  My de-orbit burn ended up being done in ~5 pieces, as I had to re-orient between each one.

I did run out of monoprop - but only after I'd reached a return orbit.  A bit better flying and it might not have been a problem at all, even from a higher orbit.  (But note this capsule is hard to fly at the moment...)

The capsule (plus stock 1.25 heat shield) oriented itself pretty well on re-entry.  Which was good, since I was out of monoprop.

On the other hand, I *barely* had enough EC to deploy the parachute, and I deployed at a higher altitude than my personal preference.  From a higher orbit, I'd be seriously worried.  Perhaps a bit larger batteries?

The parachute obviously needs work.  (I didn't actually manage to land - as the parachute summoned the kraken and put me on an interstellar trajectory.)

I used about 25 units of ablator on reentry - though that was a shallow reentry from LKO.  Still, even from reasonable high orbits 50 units should be plenty, I'd think.

Yeah, the rcs setup needs work. At the moment the sideways rcs unbalances it, and I'm not sure if I can add the same setup under the kerbanaut's head. I suspect it needs slightly more oompf as well. I was just going to go with the forwards facing rcs, but then there's no roll control. And I nerfed the ISP to partly simulate not wanting to have nasty toxic hypergolics in such intimate proximity to people.

EC. Are you using a life super mod of some sort? When I've been testing, I don't have anything using it. But I haven't really looked at that yet anyway. Same as I haven't added a small prove core yet.

there is definitely going to be more work needed on that parachute.  :)  It behaves pretty strangely. I'm not sure I'll be able to keep it as the same part as the pod yet.

Recently I've been working on how to get a ring attachment for deorbit solids. I'll make a few sizes and make it adjustable. It's been slow going though. Just not enough time at a pc that works. Rec leave time approaching for me though. :)

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Yeah, if you haven't had anything using it, know that USI-LS uses EC.  ;)  I thought to mention that when I was planning the post, but forgot to put it into the post.

You could mostly balance the RCS by adding thrusters near the edges of the side cutouts.  (Or completely balance by moving the current roll control thruster inward to the side cutouts as well.)

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Seems there's heaps of space near the kerbal head;

rqc42j0.png bsLxPpT.png

 

Adding in a second set of matching roll RCS that should balance it out.  But it's only in Blender until I can get to my home PC long enough to open Unity etc.

So that *should* balance things out.

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2 hours ago, MaverickSawyer said:

Hmmm. For something that small, you don't need RCS thrusters that large, do you?

They aren't actually all that large.  And IRL, it's quite possible that the price increase (miniaturization) of going smaller wouldn't be worth it, especially as there may well be a reliability/maintenance question as well.

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2 hours ago, MaverickSawyer said:

Hmmm. For something that small, you don't need RCS thrusters that large, do you?

I'm my mind, they're cold gas thrusters using a longer vacuum nozzle to compensate for the decreased ISP. But also, I wanted an exposed set of bits, and smaller nozzles wouldn't have been as visible. And, they are also there for extra delta v for deorbiting if needed, so that can lead to larger rcs.

The thrust is actually pretty pathetic on the part at the moment. And considering they're using stock fx, it looks like they should provide more oompf.

all of that said, I am tempted to make the four rotational rcs smaller and give them less power than the forward facing rcs.

But, as dstaal mentioned, they're not all that big. The pod is just small.

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