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Tiny unKerballed probe into LKO? Stability trouble over 25km.


Go to solution Solved by VoidSquid,

Question

I'm trying the Unkerballed Start tech tree along with the Career Evolution contract pack, all of which emphasizes flying unmanned probes for a long time.  My mod list is pretty short otherwise: OPM, EVE, KAC, Final Frontier.  It's been a while since I played KSP, but I can't believe the trouble I'm having getting an unmanned satellite into orbit.  I've managed suborbital flight and recovery fine.  I've upgraded the launch pad once, so I can use up to 18t.  I'm in Career mode on normal default settings.  I've got Thumpers unlocked and the Reliant and Swivel, but those rockets tend to end up too heavy.  Plus I'm short on cash.

So I've been trying engines I've never used before -- Spiders and Twitches, stacked on tiny little Oscar fuel tanks.  I'm trying to launch the first Octo probe.  For just 4 or 5000 funds, three stages with these little guys gets me 3600 delta V or so, which is pretty cool.  The Twitches have plenty of TWR to get off the launchpad.  It's all very cute and small!  I love the idea of putting teeny little sats like this in orbit.

Except that I can't fly the darn thing.  The first stage is fine; I easily get to 10,000m and can start a gravity turn, trying to keep speed under 300.  Those little Twitches have nice gimballing.  Plus I have the small basic fin on the bottom of stages 1 and 2, which makes the thing look like something out of Ray Bradbury.  (Sorry, I forgot to take a screenshot. I can post one tomorrow if need be.) The second stage, with Spiders, starts okay too, but I gradually lose control authority until the thing starts spinning.  Maybe I should try Twitches here too?  Maybe get rid of fins on stage 2?  I've tried putting the smallest reaction wheel below the octo, above it; I've tried multiple reaction wheels.  Maybe I need no reaction wheels at all, or to turn down torque on it?  One thing I haven't done is fuss with how fuel drains, because I can't remember how to do it.  Eventually the thing just starts spinning wildly and I lose control.

Any advice? Thanks in advance.

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