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SSTO's and reusing them


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Well

I like to Build SSTO's that can manage to enter Orbit with some Payload and Land them afterwards (with more or less Success)

I'm missing some useful possibility to Fuel and Reload a previously landed SSTO. Open Cargo Bay and put new stuff in and start Again.
Whats the Pojnt in being able to Build fine SSTO's if i can  only reload or refuel with Mods ?

As i like to play plain Vanilla often i have not come over any easy way to do it. Only things that involve the risk of the Kraken showing up.

If someone has done stuff like that, im open to any suggestion.

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Refueling on the ground is not quite possible in stock unless you're a king at messing with landing gear settings to make a docking port in the cargo bay be at just the right altitude for the tanker to touch it. Same with payload loading.

Refueling in space, prior to coming down for the next launch, is easy.

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What's wrong with Recover + Launching the same vessel ? That's basically it (plus it covers the maintenance, checks up and doing stuff such as repairing the heat resisting parts that might blow up in flight changing used parts with new ones, vacuum cleaning to get rid of snacks crumps stuck into flight controls).

Launching a crft is not necessarily building a new one from scratch, you can view it as reusing the craft you previously recovered.

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Posted (edited)

Well, i think i was not specific enough in my request. I have to add a disclaimer:

If anyone feels the need to answer with 'why not recovering that thing' he should carefully read my Question.

I just DONT want to recover the Ship. I want to reuse it.

(and as a sidequestion, did anyone ever mastered all aspects of the Game without ever using recover ?)

[and if i think long enough about it, that could be a good Challenge]

Edited by Sirad
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If you have Breaking Ground, you can make a ground support vehicle with pistons and/or hinges, for refueling and reloading. If not, it's still possible but you will have to design your SSTO and ground support vehicle more carefully so that things line up correctly.

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37 minutes ago, Fraktal said:

Refueling on the ground is not quite possible in stock unless you're a king at messing with landing gear settings to make a docking port in the cargo bay be at just the right altitude for the tanker to touch it.

Yap. Refueling is one of the Things i solved Via your suggestion already and Via using the Claw. There is a way for that. But Maybe someone else found out better ways ?

1 minute ago, sturmhauke said:

If you have Breaking Ground

Thats an option. But that wouldnt be pure Vanilla. I Found a Video somewhere Long time ago in the net where someone has used the Docking Ports as 'chains'. Maybe if im mentally strong enough i try that one. Hanging the load onto that Chain and then shove the ship below it until the Load tummmmmbles into the Bay. (Or Krakens off) I feel my Hair is growing white just by the thought of it....

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Ah the joys of "realistically" refuelling your vehicles.

In my Kerbin Sorta Circumnavigation I used this, the Juice Moose for a while to hook up to my tanker planes (Juice Gooce), which in turn flew out to the boat that I was sailing around the planet in.

It had enough capacity to fill a couple of tankers, but it too needed refuelling, courtesy of Recover/Launch. I used it a few times but in the end couldn't be bothered, when recovering the tankers and relaunching them was so much easier. Important given that the boat was fuelled over 60 times to get around the coastline.

ORrTx5S.jpg

Hello there friend... nothing to fear.

goK6X4m.jpg

Edited by purpleivan
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@Sirad  I do get your point.  But (when  landing at KSC anyway) landing, recovering and then launching a 'new' one is not really much different to landing, wheeling it into the hanger out of sight, giving it a service, filling the tanks and wheeling it out to the pad again.

That said, I do see the 'fun aspect' of actually refuelling.

Conspiracy theorists could claim SpaceX don't actually relaunch, they just paint the same number on the side of a new one and pretend it's the one they landed a few weeks earlier, as we don't actually see the refurb process happening.

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In KSP, people primarily make SSTOs for the design challenge. They're really not very economical and actual re-use is almost impossible. 

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6 minutes ago, Vanamonde said:

In KSP, people primarily make SSTOs for the design challenge. They're really not very economical and actual re-use is almost impossible. 

Wait...what kind of hearsay is this!?:wink:

@Sirad Matt Lowne used a tanker a couple of his videos, maybe he has a craft file for that. As for re-using sstos...

Very difficult in stock.(without bg dlc) Can be done, but definitely difficult.

I know you said ‘no’ to mods, but you could also use kas. With that you can transfer fuel no problem. 

Edited by Lewie
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Just now, Vanamonde said:

In KSP, people primarily make SSTOs for the design challenge. They're really not very economical and actual re-use is almost impossible. 

I don't really agree about them not being economical, they're a core part of my space program transporting all crew and a lot of payloads (the only real limit on that is if it can fit in a cargo bay), and all they cost is the fuel (also, I find launching SSTOs to be much more laid back than rockets, my main cargo transporter needs 2 pitch adjustments to reach a 100km suborbital path, where as rockets need all that mucking about with gravity turns! ;) )

The re-use bit is more tricky, but definitely not impossible.  For one career I did a lot of my tourist and training missions using one SSTO that was refuelled on the tarmac. It's payload was crew so that's a bit easier; Just load crew into a "bus" with a claw and dock it with the SSTO and transfer crew, and same for fuel.  And the fuel was mined and refined at KSC, so it was a truly re-usable setup. The draw back was having a mining setup, fuel storage tanks and various ground crew craft parked around KSC all the time; made for a more laggy experience at the space centre. It did also get rather tedious transferring crew all the time and stock fuel transfers are also a pain. So eventually I gave up on that idea, but that SSTO had flown 10's of missions without being recovered.
Loading cargo into an SSTO on the runway is more of a problem and you need a good crane setup (more craft making KSC laggy). Loading cargo so it's properly centred can also be awkward. 

It's totally doable, the question is, are you playing Kerbal Ground Crew or Kerbal Space Program? If you want to spend the majority of your time refuelling and loading aircraft then great, but my feeling was, as much as I wanted it, it wasn't worth the time. 

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One way of fiddling with the height of a ground tanker that I've experimented with a bit which works with stock KSP is using aerobrakes on the undercarriage of a tanker. I can even drive an ISRU tanker into the hills west of KSC to mine the fuel. But docking can still be a PITA.

And as far cargo goes, I'm with katateochi on this. KSP is mostly about a space program, so ground crew functions are limited, and my headcanon has no problem imagining the vessel I'm launching is the same one I've recovered a bit earlier if it is the same design. No credits are lost if I recover it on runway, one can refuel it before recovery if one really wants to pinch every credit, mission timers can get reset anyway, real-world reusable craft need maintenance...

I see little point in spending too much time trying to work around software limitations if the result has next to no impact on gameplay.

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1 hour ago, Vanamonde said:

In KSP, people primarily make SSTOs for the design challenge. They're really not very economical and actual re-use is almost impossible. 

While it is certainly true that actual reuse like the op is talking about is nearly impossible without excessive levels of tedium, the economical argument for sstos is quite strong.

A typical expendable rocket can expect to cost about 1000 funds per ton delivered to lko

A cost optimized expendable rocket with srbs can expect to cost about 700 funds per ton to lko

A cost optimized reusable rocket ssto  can expect to cost about 300 funds per ton to lko

A cost optimized reusable spaceplane ssto can expect to cost under 100 funds per ton to lko (I've gotten as low as 60 funds per ton)

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5 hours ago, noname_hero said:

One way of fiddling with the height of a ground tanker that I've experimented with a bit which works with stock KSP is using aerobrakes on the undercarriage of a tanker.

Oh i so seldom rarely use the aerobrakes i nearly forgot about them, good hint!

Currently my design gets the cargo connected horizontally to the aft of the ssto via the large connector. Its not perfect now and does not fly self stable like a cessna.

If i master my self set goal i provide some pics

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This is where ultra-simple mini mods shine. I'd rather play vanilla than add all of kerbal attach mod to achieve refueling capabilities. Luckily dmagic made a bunch of spartan single-function mods, one of which adds a basic fuel hose for engineers to connect. I don't feel like it's "cheating". If you're ideologically set on pure stock, then I respect that, though.

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Well.

Since i discovered that my SSTO turns on ground slowly clockwise (never ehard of that the ground is so slippery) eve if i dont control it, there is no way of connecting my tanker to the plane because each time i line them up for docking ths plane is skying clockwise. It takes about half an hour to completely rotate the plane wether i have brakes on or not.

 

Possibly Kerbal tires are made of something else except rubber.

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It's a physics bug. Apparently it has to do with a bug in the wheel code, combined with simulation errors that add up when calculating movement of individual parts. 

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4 minutes ago, sturmhauke said:

It's a physics bug. Apparently it has to do with a bug in the wheel code, combined with simulation errors that add up when calculating movement of individual parts. 

Well i was suggesting something like that. I have given up on docking at ground level.

Maybe next update this is fixed.

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