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Space Nerd

Advice on building a space plane?

Question

I'm trying to build a dream chaser analog,so I built a small space plane, drained half of the fuel, and used set orbit to bring it to lko.

Then I burned retrograde to lower my pe to 30 km, and did a prograde reentry.

At first everything went well, only some minor heating problems, but nothing exploded.

Then it slowed down too slowly (over 600m/s at 7km), I tried using bigger wings, but it didn't help.

Can anyone help me?

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Is your reentry precisely locked on prograde all the way down? And what's wrong with being at 600m/s at 7km altitude? That's a perfectly nice speed for that altitude for a spaceplane.

 

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I slightly point it up when reentering.

I afraid it's going to crash(it's sort of nose diving).

Edited by Space Nerd

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Now I'm building a rocket to get this into orbit, my design keeps failing, any advice on that?

ps.I can't add my screenshot

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More than likely, your wings are adding asymetrical lift to your rocket. Try using an X-style wing configuration, and add large tail fins to the rocket to bring your center of lift behind your center of mass.

You may also want to have the whole thing take off as a spaceplane. It may actually be easier to make a small SSTO since the aerodynamics will be more consistent.

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On 8/14/2019 at 1:42 AM, Space Nerd said:

I slightly point it up when reentering.

I afraid it's going to crash(it's sort of nose diving).

So, point it up more, then.  If you don't want it to nose-dive, then just pitch up, right?

Is the problem that you can't point it up?  i.e. you're holding down the S key to try to pitch up, and it just won't pitch up enough?  If that's the case, then it likely means you've designed your craft without enough pitch authority on its control surfaces, which in turn indicates a design issue (with their size, placement, and settings).  Could you post a screenshot of your craft while it's re-entering?

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I fixed the reentry problem, now I'm trying to build a working launcher for it.

10 hours ago, Space Nerd said:

I put it inside a 5m faring, it's the rocket lifter that's keep failing.

 

 

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Can you help explain "how" your rocket is failing? Is it just sitting on the pad? Does it flip over during flight? Something else?

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If you have a lot of weight above the fairing base and the fairing base itself is small, you can try making that section stronger by adding some struts or using a larger fairing base. 

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10 hours ago, Space Nerd said:

When doing a gravity turn, the faring base just  'snips' off.

How sharp is your turn?  Are you doing a degree or two pitchover at the start, or shifting 90 degrees in one go?

What size decoupler are you using?  If it's a tiny one, it might be getting overwhelmed.

How is the clearance between the payload and the fairing?  If something collides into the fairing, bad stuff can happen, though I wouldn't expect the fairing base to fall off.

You might want to try autostruts.  E.g., autostrut the fairing base to the heaviest part (which will probably be something in the booster),  and autostrut something in the booster to the root part (which should be in the plane).

A screenshot would also help diagnose the issue.

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