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M_Rat13

The fuel highway rough idea (edit: more like hub)

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13 minutes ago, 5thHorseman said:

Other than the benefit of the Oberth Effect, the two are the same.

Is there a mass savings? Yes. Is it worth the effort? Well, that's up to the player.

What I'm trying to save is size, and also stop waste

Instead of using a humongous craft that likely requires multiple stages unless you are an SSTO god (although those are even bigger), that you then have to ditch back at Kerbin, you have smaller tug style craft you can refuel at multiple places, shuttling Kerbals around the solar system.

Yes, total delta v is more, but the goal is that a single delta v burn is smaller. Purely hypothetical, but say you can do two 1k m/s burns rather than one 2k m/s burn. Suddenly, your craft is a lot smaller.

Also, as I said, you aren't just throwing your craft away at the end, or trying to land a cumbersome SSTO. Interplanetary craft can just stay in space for the next mission, and all you really need to do is bring new kerbals or new equipment into space, in vehicles designed just to get into orbit.

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1 hour ago, 5thHorseman said:

Well, that's up to the player.

Yep. Specifically, the design principles he wants to apply to his craft :)

50 minutes ago, M_Rat13 said:

Also, as I said, you aren't just throwing your craft away at the end, or trying to land a cumbersome SSTO. Interplanetary craft can just stay in space for the next mission, and all you really need to do is bring new kerbals or new equipment into space, in vehicles designed just to get into orbit.

So, you also have re-usability in mind. That's good.

I've done what you have in mind, in two subsequent playthroughs. It does keep size to a manageable level, among other things. Is it worth it? Like @5thHorseman said, it's up to the player. Was it worth it for me? Obviously yes :) 

Edited by Atkara

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3 hours ago, 5thHorseman said:
4 hours ago, Atkara said:

@Tyko, I don't think he wants to place refueling infrastructure in interplanetary space. He's talking about hopping from planet to planet.

Other than the benefit of the Oberth Effect, the two are the same.

Is there a mass savings? Yes. Is it worth the effort? Well, that's up to the player.

Agreed, it's actually potentially worse going planet to planet because you have to pay DV to circularize and then additional DV to break out of the gravity well.

Direct Route: It takes about 1000DV to leave Kerbin SOI and another 1000 for Jool encounter = total 2000DV

Stop for Gas: If you want to swing by Duna on the way you're going to spend:

  • 1000DV to leave Kerbin SOI
  • 650DV to get to Duna and circularize (you could potentially aerobrake, but then your craft has to be built to withstand those forces which adds weight/complexity)
  • 650DV to leave Duna SOI
  • 1000DV to get Jool encounter.

You have to carry less fuel for each leg of the trip since you only need fuel for 1650DV,  but each leg costs  ~1650DV each.  @M_Rat13 - so it's not 1k + 1k = 2k...

Your total DV cost went from 2000 to 3300 and you've added a lot of complexity to your mission - both in infrastructure and mission planning.

 

(NOTE: below I've rounded off some numbers, but it illustrates the point. If I totally screwed up my math please let know  :)  )

Edited by Tyko

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Oh...by the way...was just thinking further and by stopping at Duna you're also adding a lot of time to your mission. It's counter-intuitive, but because of the way Hohmann transfers work you're probably adding at least half a year to your journey - going from Kerbin to Duna will take you to the far side of the Sun, then you'll have to wait for a Duna to Jool transfer and go back around the Sun a second time.

Edited by Tyko

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2 hours ago, M_Rat13 said:

Yes, total delta v is more, but the goal is that a single delta v burn is smaller. Purely hypothetical, but say you can do two 1k m/s burns rather than one 2k m/s burn. Suddenly, your craft is a lot smaller.

If you're willing to do that, though, a better savings can be gotten by using gravity assists. By going to Eve first, you can - with a similarly ridiculous (though different) amount of work get anywhere in the system. And you don't have to slow down first so it's even cheaper.

Note I'm not saying not to do it. I'm saying it's a lot of work. It may be fun work, in which case do it. :)

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1 hour ago, Tyko said:

Agreed, it's actually potentially worse going planet to planet because you have to pay DV to circularize and then additional DV to break out of the gravity well.

Direct Route: It takes about 1000DV to leave Kerbin SOI and another 1000 for Jool encounter = total 2000DV

Stop for Gas: If you want to swing by Duna on the way you're going to spend:

  • 1000DV to leave Kerbin SOI
  • 650DV to get to Duna and circularize (you could potentially aerobrake, but then your craft has to be built to withstand those forces which adds weight/complexity)
  • 650DV to leave Duna SOI
  • 1000DV to get Jool encounter.

You have to carry less fuel for each leg of the trip since you only need fuel for 1650DV,  but each leg costs  ~1650DV each.  @M_Rat13 - so it's not 1k + 1k = 2k...

Your total DV cost went from 2000 to 3300 and you've added a lot of complexity to your mission - both in infrastructure and mission planning.

 

(NOTE: below I've rounded off some numbers, but it illustrates the point. If I totally screwed up my math please let know  :)  )

The planet to planet thing was my bad logic. I'm no pro at this game. That's why I see now it's more a hub project than a highway.

By this I mean you pick a route that requires smaller burns than just one big burn. For your example, it's probably best to refuel at Minmus, then go to Jool. You'd also have a refueller somewhere in the Jool system, so you just need enough fuel to either get back to the Minmus refueller let's say, or just straight to Kerbin, as it would be wise to put a space station in Kerbin orbit also.

Edited by M_Rat13

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17 minutes ago, M_Rat13 said:

The planet to planet thing was my bad logic. I'm no pro at this game. That's why I see now it's more a hub project than a highway.

By this I mean you pick a route that requires smaller burns than just one big burn. For your example, it's probably best to refuel at Minmus, then go to Jool. You'd also have a refueller somewhere in the Jool system, so you just need enough fuel to either get back to the Minmus refueller let's say, or just straight to Kerbin, as it would be wise to put a space station in Kerbin orbit also.

Yea, for sure. There are a lot of ways to structure this. It all depends on what you want to optimize for. If you'd have fun building a series of waypoints the go for it - there are many that would argue that NASA's plan for a lunar gateway isn't optimal too, but it fulfills other goals, so they're doing it anyway :)  

Some different ways to slice and dice:

  • Direct flight from Kerbin LKO to Jool - this offers simplicity and lowest number of launches but you're going to need more fuel
  • Fuel your ship in LKO - launch your Jool vehicle with empty tanks and fuel it there either with additional launches or from fuel gathered from Mun / Minmus / Asteroids - this is great for larger ships because it's already tough enough to get the big ships launched without having to lug up all the fuel onboard too
  • Fueling station at Mun or Minmus - lots of infrastructure to set up and it's harder to get a good launch window, but it's a fun project and if you time it right you can get a relatively cheap transfer

Good luck!

 

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33 minutes ago, Tyko said:

Yea, for sure. There are a lot of ways to structure this. It all depends on what you want to optimize for. If you'd have fun building a series of waypoints the go for it - there are many that would argue that NASA's plan for a lunar gateway isn't optimal too, but it fulfills other goals, so they're doing it anyway :)  

Some different ways to slice and dice:

  • Direct flight from Kerbin LKO to Jool - this offers simplicity and lowest number of launches but you're going to need more fuel
  • Fuel your ship in LKO - launch your Jool vehicle with empty tanks and fuel it there either with additional launches or from fuel gathered from Mun / Minmus / Asteroids - this is great for larger ships because it's already tough enough to get the big ships launched without having to lug up all the fuel onboard too
  • Fueling station at Mun or Minmus - lots of infrastructure to set up and it's harder to get a good launch window, but it's a fun project and if you time it right you can get a relatively cheap transfer

Good luck!

 

Exactly. I'm just looking at the cheapest burns, while also making it cheaper to get back if a refueller is at my destination.

As others have stated, it is cheaper to get to Moho from Kerbin than Eve, due to burns being more efficient the further from Moho you are (if I have that right), so the optimal journey might be something crazy like go to Duna orbit to meet the Ike refueller, then fly to Moho that way. Have I got that right?

Edited by M_Rat13

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On 3/21/2019 at 7:07 PM, The_Cat_In_Space said:

What about having a huge refueling ship in orbit around a planet and having small mining ships to create fuel, to keep it infinitely fueled? Having land bases can be difficult and in only one location it can be hard. That's just my idea, I might actually construct one tonight to see the feasibility of it

Yeah, that's absolutely feasible, and my preferred way to do exoplanetary refueling.  You lose a little efficiency by carrying the converter from orbit to the surface and back, but I find it's more than made up for by the convenience of not having to precision-land, the ability to refuel directly from your mining rig to a target craft, etc.

Back to the original question, I'm pretty skeptical of waystations at the other planets for the reasons discussed above -- it adds grindy gameplay, takes a ton of in-game time, you don't really save much (if any) delta-v after factoring in the cost of getting into and out of your waystation orbits, as well as the Oberth losses.

However, I am a fan of refueling at the Mun or Minmus before leaving the Kerbin SOI.  This is a lot simpler to set up, reduces the total delta-v your ship needs, and can reduce fuel costs by excrementsing to free ISRU fuel. 

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38 minutes ago, Aegolius13 said:

Yeah, that's absolutely feasible, and my preferred way to do exoplanetary refueling.  You lose a little efficiency by carrying the converter from orbit to the surface and back, but I find it's more than made up for by the convenience of not having to precision-land, the ability to refuel directly from your mining rig to a target craft, etc.

Back to the original question, I'm pretty skeptical of waystations at the other planets for the reasons discussed above -- it adds grindy gameplay, takes a ton of in-game time, you don't really save much (if any) delta-v after factoring in the cost of getting into and out of your waystation orbits, as well as the Oberth losses.

However, I am a fan of refueling at the Mun or Minmus before leaving the Kerbin SOI.  This is a lot simpler to set up, reduces the total delta-v your ship needs, and can reduce fuel costs by excrementsing to free ISRU fuel. 

As I explained to the person you are responding too, it's probably 'better' carrying an asteroid with you, as then you are carrying your fuel supply.

And a lot of people seem to have refuelling bases on Kerbin's moons, so at least we all agree on that part. However, you still also have to take into account that having a refuel ability at your target destination will help with getting back to Kerbin, or even if you wanted to visit multiple places in a row. 

Obviously, at that point you'd want to plan the optimal route.

Also, it helps with landers, in certain places, as you could have a space station in orbit of the planet, with a lander on it, which would then be able to refuelled. It would have to be an SSTO Lander though, so at places like Eve, it'd be....interesting. But, Ike and Gilly are perfect places to mine to fuel their respective landers. 

I also think the Jool 'system' benefits most from this now hub system, as you can move around and stay in system, simply moving between craft and stations. It'd also be really fun working out the flight plans in system, while most of the time not thinking about Kerbin.

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6 hours ago, Aegolius13 said:

Back to the original question, I'm pretty skeptical of waystations at the other planets for the reasons discussed above -- it adds grindy gameplay, takes a ton of in-game time, you don't really save much (if any) delta-v after factoring in the cost of getting into and out of your waystation orbits, as well as the Oberth losses.

Expanding around the solar system will always be a grindy business, as you're one guy, doing everything. Oberth losses are not something I ever worried about though, since with the system up and running, what counts is the fuel your craft is designed to carry -and that fuel is for free. And if you play career, well... what's better than being already where the 'x' contract wants you to be? 

That been said, I won't stop e.g. at Duna on my way to Jool, if I don't have to. If I do (which was the case for a specific spaceplane I was sending to Laythe that couldn't make the trip), the infrastructure is there, servicing incoming/outgoing flights and fulfilling contracts.

It's a grindy business -but seeing it working, is magnificent.

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Here's a real flight challenge for you:

Plan a flyby of a planet and have a fueling tanker in orbit around the planet. As your ship is flying by have the tanker accelerate to match course, dock with your ship and refuel it. Not sure what happens then, probably discard the tanker once it's empty

This is just a crazy idea....

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One method I found to work very well is to go to minmus to top up you ship then drop down to 100 km above kerbin to do the escape burn here, you now start with 900 m/s spare dV who also give you more of the oberth  effect.

Its a bit complex to set off, recommend having an satellite in low orbit, plan the burn on this and then target you ship to satellite and line up you Pe at the burn point, then set up the burn to planet. Also work well from the Mun who make this work with less time to set up. 
To simplify stuff a bit you can enter an high orbit around kerbin, just outside kerbit orbit, then adjust this orbit so your drop point so you intercept the satellite at its burn point.

Going to Duna or Eve the burn you need at Pe is small if you go for minimum cost. 

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24 minutes ago, magnemoe said:

One method I found to work very well is to go to minmus to top up you ship then drop down to 100 km above kerbin to do the escape burn here, you now start with 900 m/s spare dV who also give you more of the oberth  effect.

I've done this as well and it basically means you need to build your ship to reach Minmus with empty tanks. If it can do that, it can probably get anywhere.

It is a pain to execute. Fun to learn how, but loses its shine after you've done it a few times.

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3 hours ago, Tyko said:

Here's a real flight challenge for you:

 Plan a flyby of a planet and have a fueling tanker in orbit around the planet. As your ship is flying by have the tanker accelerate to match course, dock with your ship and refuel it. Not sure what happens then, probably discard the tanker once it's empty

This is just a crazy idea....

I would never, ever meet an incoming object, (craft or asteroid) at it's periapsis, if that's what you mean. I'd do it just as it enters the 'x' planet's SOI -specifically, I'd be where the SOI transition occurs, when it occurs- in order to have enough time to do what I intend to do with it and in the case of a passing craft, separate and get back into a stable orbit once done.

Edited by Atkara
typo

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1 minute ago, 5thHorseman said:

I've done this as well and it basically means you need to build your ship to reach Minmus with empty tanks. If it can do that, it can probably get anywhere.

It is a pain to execute. Fun to learn how, but loses its shine after you've done it a few times.

I tend to use it on large ship flying an faster and more expensive route. but its obviously nice for sending bases and other heavy stuff, you can use an tug to lift it to Minmus or mun. 

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1 hour ago, Atkara said:

I would never, ever meet an incoming object, (craft or asteroid) at it's periapsis, if that's what you mean. I'd do it just as it enters the 'x' planet's SOI -specifically, I'd be where the SOI transition occurs, when it occurs- in order to have enough time to do what I intend to do with it and in the case of a passing craft, separate and get back into a stable orbit once done.

Interesting...wouldn't the DV cost be higher? you have to burn enough to be on a reciprocal course, so just as much as if you burned at incoming craft's PE. Then you have to meet it and burn to match the incoming craft - essentially reversing course. Or am I not doing it right?

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1 hour ago, Tyko said:

Interesting...wouldn't the DV cost be higher? you have to burn enough to be on a reciprocal course, so just as much as if you burned at incoming craft's PE. Then you have to meet it and burn to match the incoming craft - essentially reversing course. Or am I not doing it right?

Haven't sat down to run it by the numbers and I've always done it on incoming asteroids. The benefit (a very important one, in my opinion) is that by doing it this way, time is on your side.

Edit: Let me add something else here. You do burn ~950m/s to get there and as the target object does it's SOI transition, you're essentially standing still, related to it. But the target object also has a lower velocity than what it would at it's PE. I don't think the total dV cost changes a lot -like I said, I've never sad down to run it by the numbers. But you've got time on your side and in the case of asteroids, you'll find them being a lot easier to handle out there, than deeper into the planet's gravity well, which is also a big plus.

Edited by Atkara

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So while I've figured out that from an efficiency point of view, you just want a refuel spot at Minmus/Mun, and at your destination (for the return trip), I still have a couple of interesting thoughts I haven't seen answered.

If it's better to be further from Moho for maximum efficiency, how efficinet is it to make the burn from Duna's orbit to Moho? Which would then also be able to take benefit from an Ike refueller.

Also, is there any benefit to having a self contained system at Jool, to where all you need to bring in is new equipment and Kerbals, as everything else could be maintained at Jool, mining fuel from within system.

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48 minutes ago, M_Rat13 said:

If it's better to be further from Moho for maximum efficiency, how efficinet is it to make the burn from Duna's orbit to Moho? Which would then also be able to take benefit from an Ike refueller.

Based on the launch window planner, it looks like it takes more delta-v to get to Moho from Duna, as compared to a direct transfer from Kerbin -- even before factoring in the trip from Kerbin to Duna.  But I've found it's easy to end up using a lot more delta-v than expected on Moho trips due to the very finicky plane change, so it's possible Duna would be a little more lenient in this regard.  

Personally, I would not attempt a Kerbin-Duna-Moho transfer for another reason -- in-game time.    I believe Kerbin-Duna has the most infrequent launch windows in the game, since the planets have pretty similar orbital periods.  And then you've got a substantially slower journey on top of that.  Whereas one of the few conveniences of travelling to Moho is that you get launch windows all the time (whether you're going based on phase angle or using the alternate method of leaving at the ascending/descending node), and the transfer time is quite short. 

.  

54 minutes ago, M_Rat13 said:

Also, is there any benefit to having a self contained system at Jool, to where all you need to bring in is new equipment and Kerbals, as everything else could be maintained at Jool, mining fuel from within system.

I guess it depends on what you're trying to optimize.  It would, of course, take some gameplay time to set up infrastructure at Jool.  But is that "work," or is that the kind of stuff you're planing the game to do?  Depends on the person.  Whether it saves funds in the long run probably depends on how many missions you're expecting to do at Jool, but I imagine it has the potential to with repeat visits.  If this sounds like an interesting endeavor to you, and you have the funds/science (assuming career), no reason NOT to do it.

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2 minutes ago, Aegolius13 said:

Based on the launch window planner, it looks like it takes more delta-v to get to Moho from Duna, as compared to a direct transfer from Kerbin -- even before factoring in the trip from Kerbin to Duna.  But I've found it's easy to end up using a lot more delta-v than expected on Moho trips due to the very finicky plane change, so it's possible Duna would be a little more lenient in this regard.  

Personally, I would not attempt a Kerbin-Duna-Moho transfer for another reason -- in-game time.    I believe Kerbin-Duna has the most infrequent launch windows in the game, since the planets have pretty similar orbital periods.  And then you've got a substantially slower journey on top of that.  Whereas one of the few conveniences of travelling to Moho is that you get launch windows all the time (whether you're going based on phase angle or using the alternate method of leaving at the ascending/descending node), and the transfer time is quite short. 

.  

I guess it depends on what you're trying to optimize.  It would, of course, take some gameplay time to set up infrastructure at Jool.  But is that "work," or is that the kind of stuff you're planing the game to do?  Depends on the person.  Whether it saves funds in the long run probably depends on how many missions you're expecting to do at Jool, but I imagine it has the potential to with repeat visits.  If this sounds like an interesting endeavor to you, and you have the funds/science (assuming career), no reason NOT to do it.

I see your point. Going anywhere else but direct means getting a launch window, so it'll also be slower, and not really made up by the savings. 

Also Moho is a pain for refuelling there, due to heat. If I was planning this all out, it sounds like I'd 'conquer' Kerbin, then Duna, then Dres (direct route), then Moho?, then Jool, then Eeloo, then try to figure out Eve, due to lander problems.

As you said, it's more something to do, rather than purely the 'best' way of doing it.

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4 minutes ago, M_Rat13 said:

Also Moho is a pain for refuelling there, due to heat. If I was planning this all out, it sounds like I'd 'conquer' Kerbin, then Duna, then Dres (direct route), then Moho?, then Jool, then Eeloo, then try to figure out Eve, due to lander problems.

As far as difficulty goes, and this is all my opinion, I'd say (each is roughly ordered within their category easiest to hardest):

  • Easy
    • Kerbin/Mun/Minmus
  • Intermediate
    • Duna/Ike
    • Dres
    • Gilly
  • Advanced
    • Eeloo
    • Moho
    • Jool/Pol/Bop/Vall/Laythe/Tylo
  • Expert
    • Eve

Some things may be easier for others than they were for me. I bet some would put Laythe before Vall, say. Or split Pol and Bop from the rest of Jool and put them up in Intermediate or earlier in Advanced. I mostly kept Jool as one because a "Jool 5" attempt is a pretty common thing. Also, this is the order for a round-trip. I'd consider the hardest flybys to be Intermediate, and the hardest land-it-and-leave-it missions to be ... hmm probably Intermediate as well.

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15 minutes ago, 5thHorseman said:

As far as difficulty goes, and this is all my opinion, I'd say (each is roughly ordered within their category easiest to hardest):

  • Easy
    • Kerbin/Mun/Minmus
  • Intermediate
    • Duna/Ike
    • Dres
    • Gilly
  • Advanced
    • Eeloo
    • Moho
    • Jool/Pol/Bop/Vall/Laythe/Tylo
  • Expert
    • Eve

Some things may be easier for others than they were for me. I bet some would put Laythe before Vall, say. Or split Pol and Bop from the rest of Jool and put them up in Intermediate or earlier in Advanced. I mostly kept Jool as one because a "Jool 5" attempt is a pretty common thing. Also, this is the order for a round-trip. I'd consider the hardest flybys to be Intermediate, and the hardest land-it-and-leave-it missions to be ... hmm probably Intermediate as well.

Well I'd like to set things up planet by planet. So obviously, Kerbin and it's moon's are first. Then, Duna/Ike. Next would likely be Dres, as it's just a further away Mun. I put Moho after that becuase it requires less, albeit a heat resistant, setup. I then clump Jool and all it's moon's together, which is a big project, but easier than the last two (also might come in handy for next step). After that, I'd probably use Jool as a staging point to get to Eeloo. That place is a pain to get to either way, even if the set up would be similar to Dres. Using Jool as a jumping off point would just mean my maximum burn would be less. Finally, I'd figure out Eve, as the lander would have to be an SSTO, which I see as the most difficult part. Of course Gilly is easy, but as I said, I'm clumping stuff together, and it's clumped with Eve.

Hopefully this all makes sense.

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10 hours ago, M_Rat13 said:

Well I'd like to set things up planet by planet. So obviously, Kerbin and it's moon's are first. Then, Duna/Ike. Next would likely be Dres, as it's just a further away Mun. I put Moho after that becuase it requires less, albeit a heat resistant, setup. I then clump Jool and all it's moon's together, which is a big project, but easier than the last two (also might come in handy for next step). After that, I'd probably use Jool as a staging point to get to Eeloo. That place is a pain to get to either way, even if the set up would be similar to Dres. Using Jool as a jumping off point would just mean my maximum burn would be less. Finally, I'd figure out Eve, as the lander would have to be an SSTO, which I see as the most difficult part. Of course Gilly is easy, but as I said, I'm clumping stuff together, and it's clumped with Eve.

Hopefully this all makes sense.

The toughest ones for me are Moho and Dres

Moho is tough because as you drop towards the sun you pick up a huge amount of speed that you'll have to cancel out to achieve orbit. Moho has a pretty small SOI too, so I've actually been burning retrograde to enter Moho orbit and flown right out the other side of its SOI before I could slow down enough. Lesson learned: make sure you have a decent TWR. Usually my interplanetary craft have .5 or less TWR because you don't need a huge amount of thrust. For Moho I'd pack more.

Dres is difficult because it has a really small SOI too. This makes it harder to get an encounter. Trick here is to get as close as you can then do a mid-course correction to refine your intercept.

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4 hours ago, Tyko said:

The toughest ones for me are Moho and Dres

Moho is tough because as you drop towards the sun you pick up a huge amount of speed that you'll have to cancel out to achieve orbit. Moho has a pretty small SOI too, so I've actually been burning retrograde to enter Moho orbit and flown right out the other side of its SOI before I could slow down enough. Lesson learned: make sure you have a decent TWR. Usually my interplanetary craft have .5 or less TWR because you don't need a huge amount of thrust. For Moho I'd pack more.

Dres is difficult because it has a really small SOI too. This makes it harder to get an encounter. Trick here is to get as close as you can then do a mid-course correction to refine your intercept.

So is Jool actually easier? Granted, you have to figure out lander designs for each seperate moon (well, it's more a time sink, although Tylo will be a challenge-ish), but I guess getting an encounter is easier.

Then it'd be Kerbin+moons, Duna/Ike, Jool+moons, Dres, Moho, Eeloo, Eve/Gilly. Unless of course you think an Eve SSTO lander is easier than plotting courses to the three planets before it.

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