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Interplanetary Landing for Complete Newbies


RoninFrog
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The steep learning curve of KSP means that most players never make it to orbit, and that only a tiny fraction of people who download the game ever make it out of Kerbin's gravity field.  People need help!  So I made this tutorial is about how to send a probe to the surface of Eve.

Here are the required skills:

  1. Be able to use these instructions to download this craft from KerbalX.
  2. Be able to open the craft in the VAB and click launch (not right away, though).
  3. Pretty much nothing else.  Here is a list of key bindings if you get yourself confused.  The helpful controls are in Flight Controls.

You don't have to use the NavBall; you don't have to use WASDQE at all; you don't have to make maneuver nodes; and you don't have to design a super complicated rocket.  I don't even say the word "transfer window".  Perfect for brand new players!

Following are the instructions.  Important parts are bolded for extra emphasis.

Spoiler

First, open the game and start a Sandbox game and then download the craft from KerbalX.  Enter the Tracking Station, and then time warp (see key bindings list) to Year 2, Day 160 - 1h, 10m.  Once you've done this, go to the VAB and launch the Eve for Noobs rocket, and then (once it loads) press T, Z, and Space.  Blastoff!  You can just sit back and watch for a minute and a half as the rocket climbs straight up into the sky.

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If you watch the greenish-yellow Liquid Fuel gauge on the left, you will see it going down.  When it gets all the way empty (the engine will turn off), immediately press Space.  The rocket will break in half and you will have another Liquid Fuel gauge.  Press Space again when it's empty.

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Once you've staged off the upper booster, you should be left with a probe looking like this after you right click the antenna (white cylinder) and extend it.  Press to switch to Map View.

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Zoom out until you can see the purple planet.  It's called EveClick on it and then click Focus View.  Zoom in on it until you can see your trajectory (a purple line) going by it.  Now it's time for the super tricky part.  Press R.  This will enable you to adjust your trajectory with the controls H, N, J, L, I, and K.  Try pushing various ones (probably H or N) until your Pe number going down.  Make it go down to within 1000 of 60,000 m.

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Time warp until your trajectory line turns blue.  Then, immediately stop warping.  Make sure your Pe number is still 60,000 (or make the necessary adjustments) and then press again to go out of map view.  Do you see all the red buttons to the left of the NavBall?  Click on the Retrograde (:retrograde:) one, and then click on your speed so it says Surface.  Your probe will move around a bit.

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Time warp until your altitude (top center) is at 120000, and then retract the antenna.  You are now ready for Eve atmospheric entry, which will begin when your altitude reaches 90000.  It will be scary and explosive, but you will survive as long as your antenna is retracted, the Retrograde button is green (not red), and your speed says Surface.  

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This is what atmospheric entry will look like.  Some little things on the heatshield will explode, but don’t worry because you don’t need them anymore.  Click on the blue water icon next to your altitude to measure from ground level instead of sea level.

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Once the probe has fallen to 10000 m, right click on the parachute button on the left and then deploy it. You will then drift safely, calmly, and slowly down towards the surface. Feel free to use time warp above 50 m.

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Once you’ve landed, deploy the antenna so you have signal to Kerbin. There are four science modules on the probe if you want to do some science. Congratulations on your first interplanetary landing!

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Edited by RoninFrog
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