Jump to content

What kind of launch vehicles do you like to use?


skrpt kddz
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have three basic launch types I do most of the time: asparagus-staged, SSTO, and refuel hybrid.  The former any old-school KSP player will recognize instantly (outer tanks feed one another and the central tank and are dropped when empty, all tanks have engines below them).  SSTO is fairly self-explanatory, and mostly reserved for light payloads.  The refuel hybrid is generally an underbuilt asparagus staged rocket that can only just get to orbit, but it gets refueled while in low Kerbin orbit so it can reuse that launch stage to go elsewhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mostly single-use multistage rocket based lifters for freight... because it's convinient... 

And Spaceplanes for crew transfer... Because I have a fleet of them.

(I currently play Science Mode.)

Edited by Rakete
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Primarily expendable launchers.  I used to use a lot of reusables, but got tired of having to land them.  The breaking point was after lofting a large set of craft for a Jool mission, I had 10 boosters to deorbit & land (I'd also forgotten 2 or so from prior missions). 

I use a fair number of spaceplanes for crew transfer as well - late career, I tend to build several good size ships to take crews back & forth to the other planets, and have spaceplanes to handle the crews at Kerbin (and Laythe)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rockets. Engine(s) at the bottom, pointy top.

Never bothered with spaceplanes since 1.0 dropped and my old design stopped working (as they more than often go all over the place during reentry and eventually blow up), they're useful only for crew transfers (like if I couldn't do that with normal rocket, only difference is capacity) and need too much maintenance during flight, mass balance and all that. And I'm terrible with anything with wings. 

Even hamburger style shuttle project isn't worth it despite the payload capacity, steering a falling brick to a safe landing in random place on the planet is uh. Nope.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rockets, usually with solids on the sides. Anything that doesn't reach orbit is lost because who cares even on Hard mode money is no object.

I have no real desire to use planes except in niche situations, and I have no desire to guide spent stages to the ground to save the pittance they are worth. I also have no desire to use a mod to make back that pittance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Superfluous J said:

Rockets, usually with solids on the sides. Anything that doesn't reach orbit is lost because who cares even on Hard mode money is no object.

Same here, except that I slap LF tanks on top of the boosters (hybrid asparagus).

Not really to save money but because it's such a funky setup ;)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For payloads under 35 tons and size of Mk2 and below, i definitely prefer spaceplanes. For anything above or for more spacious cargo, i use rockets. My own preferred limitations are pre-defined fairing types though.

All my transfer stages are pre-designed and come in two fairing versions - a profile fitting fairing and a slightly wider fairing. Launchers also come in different versions with a single configuration, strapped on SRBs or triple configuration, using two additional, identical rockets as LFO boosters. 

All launchers and transfer stages are tested and the results of long optimization phases. Their capabilities are documented in the vessel description and once the payload is ready, i can choose appropriately with a save launch and a go-to-orbit-today guaranteed. I haven´t touched the field of reusable rockets yet though... that might be a good field to explore in future designs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its always been rockets so far. Normally I follow a rough plan:

stage 1 - SRBs, 800-1200m/s. If the SRBs don't do quite enough TWR I'll light up the main engine too, maybe on a part-throttle. Its also "in the plan" to go full throttle for launch, then back it off once the TWR improves as fuel is burnt and the weight goes down.
stage 2 - nice and controllable, normal rocket engine(s)
stage 3 - to get into orbit or beyond.
stage 4 - sometimes I've added extra tanks which are later jettisoned for extra dV
stage 5 - if its a satellite, I've always used normal rocket fuel (not mono) and as small an engine as possible. If its 2 or more satellites, I've saved vertical length by installing bag tanks onto the side and/or 2 ant engines there too.
 

I've tried asparagus staging and I like it - often its possible to tweak throttle setting and/or SRB burn rate to achieve an ideal TWR and match the burn time too. A lot of the time it depends on the length of the SRB vs the 2nd stage, if its too long then the extra fuel needs to be attached to the side, which can't be good for drag.

Most of the time stage 2 is a single 'cylinder' but I've also experimented with 3 or 5 tubes, for really big rockets.

I've tried SSTO but it just seems inefficient, because you're taking an awful lot of empty fuel tanks and engines "up to the top of the hill".

Also if I can arrange for all the "to orbit" bits done in eg stages 1-3, then further stages can be much lower TWR and smaller/lighter engines. Sometimes the engine thrust vs fuel tank size looks a bit odd, with a really low TWR. The longest "injection" burn so far I've had is 12 minutes, although of course, some guys are using ion engines etc with hour-long burns etc. I've not tried anything else exotic like nuclear engines; or space planes (yet).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When playing the game, I tend towards asparagus staging for the to-orbit lift, with a tendency towards IRL design philosophies.  But, when I'm playing with the game it tends to be anything with a TWR greater than 1.5 and enough dV to get it there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends heavily on what size of solar system I’m using- for the stock system or similar scale I use a small-ish SSTO plane which can carry up to 25 tons per flight, plus KSTS to automate it because those flights are tedious; for JNSQ and similar scale I go for ‘recoverable’ boosters where possible, usually relying entirely on Stage Recovery to pick up the dropped boosters on parachutes and the larger core stages with propulsive landings (I did once land one of those large core stages myself so it’s theoretically possible, but with 8 huge 5m boosters attached to the side of my largest launcher (kiloton to JNSQ LKO!) that isn’t practical; for RSS everything is disposable right now, though most of my launches are for boring satellite contracts so the second stage doubles as the satellite and carried whatever payload the contract requires.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

on my nft/restock install I use just regular rockets, from angara-like to starship-lik to space-shuttle-like

on my jnsq install I just use historic rockets from bdb, tantares,... but usually no SSTOs (except x-33)

on my RO install I'm happy If I even get to orbit with a Proton with a 1 ton payload (I'm bad at RO)

on my gpp Install I only use OPT SSTOS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends on where I am in any said play through.....my standard lifter for medium payloads is a 2.5 upper stage with a poodle, and the big orange tank as the booster. (6/8 tweakscaled reliants for engines)  that or a Vostok recreation. For larger payloads....usually a Saturn V heavy. (Saturn V with extra mastadons, and slightly tweakscaled Saturn V tanks on the sides) I need to post a picture sometime. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've found a peculiar sweet spot of cost-effectiveness with the Thud engine:  A $30K rocket which carries 20 tons total mass to LKO.  That 20 tons includes the thuds, which help at lift-off and in orbit.  This reduction in dead weight makes a very nice combination.

refuge-class.jpg

Also, a pair of thuds on top of your rocket can control almost anything.

screenshot7.png

And 17 tons of fuel stuck to a pair of thuds can go pretty far.

moho-flyby.jpg

Edited by Corona688
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Corona688 said:

I've found a peculiar sweet spot of cost-effectiveness with the Thud engine:  A $30K rocket which carries 20 tons total mass to LKO.  That 20 tons includes the thuds, which help at lift-off and in orbit.  This reduction in dead weight makes a very nice combination.

refuge-class.jpg

Also, a pair of thuds on top of your rocket can control almost anything.

screenshot7.png

And 17 tons of fuel stuck to a pair of thuds can go pretty far.

moho-flyby.jpg

Your images aren't working for me, maybe you should upload them to imgur or something? It seems like you're trying to just upload them directly from your computer, which doesn't work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...