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How big will ships get?


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1 hour ago, Vl3d said:

Big enough to see in orbit from the ground.

That's a big assumption.

9 hours ago, jaf said:

with the recent release of ksp 2 episode 5

The parts won't fit inside the VAB so you will need to go into space to launch megaships.

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Considering that IRL you can "see" the ISS from the ground if you're in the right place and look up at the right time, I'm absolutely certain that we'll be able to see at the very least the interstellar-class vessels from the ground, and from that likely the orbital stations (hosting an orbital VAB) used to construct such interstellar-class vessels as well, since all the consumables for said gigantic interstellar-class vessels would likely have to be stored on the station before you "should" hit the launch button.
But I'm hoping that the game supports things much bigger than the "solar panels make it about as big as a football field (socccer or handegg, size is about the same for this purpose)" size of the IRL ISS.

 

And now for a tangent:
I did say "should" when I mentioned the launch button. Say the vessel is fully constructed, but it's being prevented from launching by a lack of the required consumables.
Just like with Extraplanetary Launchpads, you should have the option to launch any "fully constructed" vessel with any load of "resources that fit in tanks" from absolutely empty, to absolutely full
This gives the player more options of how they want to get a vessel operational.

Here's an example that seems to make sense to me:
Take an interstellar fusion vessel like the one shown in the most recent KSP 2 video. That takes a lot of usually-abundant metallic elements to make the structure, and likely great quantities of rarer elements to construct things like the fusion drive and radiation shadow shield. IRL, the places you find that kind of materials in a given Sol-like solar system (which is what the Kerbol system is, in miniature) are the inner rocky planets. So, you pick the planet with the most easily accessed metals and abundant solar energy in the Kerbol system, Moho, to set up your shipyard.
However, a problem arises. How do you fuel a fusion-driven interstellar spacecraft, when the nearest significant source of hydrogen isotopes of the scale needed is Jool itself?
Well, you could start with whatever small quantity of fusion fuel you've managed to create by sifting heavy water out of Kerbin's oceans (and ship via automated supply mission to the Moho orbital shipyard), but you're probably not going to have the patience to let that process fuel the vessel completely. And then there's the issue of it taking a lot of delta-V to get to Kerbol escape velocity from Moho's place in the solar system (since it's the nearest planet to Kerbol itself).
Say you can only manage to supply enough fusion fuel to get the interstellar vessel to one of the other planets in the Kerbol system, but that DOES put "Jool" on the table as a destination within reach.
Jool's a good choice, since it being a gas giant means there's hydrogen isotopes in extremely plentiful supply. You'd love to have built the interstellar vessel in Jool orbit, with ready access to those desperately needed hydrogen isotopes, but the abundance of the rarer metals just wouldn't support it.
However, you've thought ahead and sent one or more gas-giant mining vessels (stations? not sure) out to Jool (or built them in orbit of one of Jool's moons, resources permitting) in anticipation of needing this fusion fuel for the interstellar journey.
So the interstellar vessel is assembled and partially supplied in Moho orbit (likely full RCS fuel, life support consumables, and crew, but lacking a full load of propellants for the main drive).
Now maybe when designing this fancy interstellar capable fusion drive they had a thought about making it more useful when traveling between the planets of Kerbol or other stars.
To do this, they made it able to use more than just the standard configuration of pellets of ices of hydrogen isotopes, the configuration I'm thinking of specifically is a larger than standard pellet of Hydrogen ice (plain hydrogen) with a standard-size core of fusion fuel ice. I call this kind of pellet a "Afterburning ICF pellet", with the analogy to a fighter jet's afterburner being quite a good fit.
This has the effect of letting the drive "shift gears" from a low thrust high-specific impulse mode (standard pure fusion pellets), to a higher thrust, lower specific impulse mode (the larger pellets with a sheath of standard hydrogen around a core of fusion isotopes).
However, even with the Afterburning ICF pellets, this IS still a fusion drive we're talking about, so let's say that specific impulse doesn't fall below 50k seconds in vacuum.
So, when launching from Moho orbit, since the target is in the same solar system (distant tho it may be), instead of supplying it with pure fusion pellets, it is supplied with the Afterburning ICF pellets, which speeds up the journey and also reduces the amount of rare hydrogen isotopes needed to move the vessel from Moho orbit to Jool orbit.

I hope for a game complex enough that I have these kinds of options available to me, and perhaps I also hope for a game difficult enough that I occasionally have reason to resort to such options.
I don't want the answer to always be "just set up a supply route for it and it takes care of itself". Nothing is ever that simple.

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On 4/9/2022 at 2:37 PM, Vl3d said:

Big enough to see in orbit from the ground.

Obviously, IIS is not an point of light and this will be larger. 
Now how this will work in KSP 2 is another issue. 

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With the PC I built early this year, my new limitation is no longer part-count and size (though I gotta be careful to keep part count reasonable) but wobbliness.
What I'm more concerned about is how well huge ships will act under stress, how stiff they'll remain under off-axis thrust (even keeping gimballing to 1% on HUGE ships can induce enough torque to create a death wibble).

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Updated from Ep. 5, Im guessing this is 400-500m long, which by no means is the biggest thing possible. They seem to be hiding basically all the habitable modules atm, probably until they're ready for a colony tech reveal?

j9an6OU.png

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9 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

Updated from Ep. 5, Im guessing this is 400-500m long, which by no means is the biggest thing possible. They seem to be hiding basically all the habitable modules atm, probably until they're ready for a colony tech reveal?

j9an6OU.png

You're right. That's what was missing from all the interstellar and intrastellar ships. There's no crew sections or pods. The only pods seen are the old KSP1 parts, and one seemly from a mod.

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I wouldn’t be shocked if they’re still polishing those up. In my very limited experience making board games you tend to come in feeling pretty confident everything works until you start play testing, and then everything goes to hell for while as people start exploiting all the holes and pacing problems and broken mechanics become obvious, but then it settles down into something really fun and playable. This could definitely effect the slate of resource and habitation modules that end up shipping, and they’re probably wise to keep it under wraps until they’re at 99%. 

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44 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

I wouldn’t be shocked if they’re still polishing those up.  -snip- This could definitely effect the slate of resource and habitation modules that end up shipping, and they’re probably wise to keep it under wraps until they’re at 99%. 

Me neither, it does makes the ships look "off" when the pods are not included. But now we know that probe cores are still going to be a thing in KSP2. (I hope anyways.)

PS. I've done my fair share of adapting game systems and creation. I understand the feeling of frustration transitioning to fun once you get everything ironed out.

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Crew parts have been shown prior, particularly in early versions. I believe we get to see more in the larger craft orbiting Gurdamma.

On 4/12/2022 at 3:58 PM, Pthigrivi said:

Updated from Ep. 5, Im guessing this is 400-500m long, which by no means is the biggest thing possible. They seem to be hiding basically all the habitable modules atm, probably until they're ready for a colony tech reveal?

j9an6OU.png

This looks like a ship that has dropped off its payload.

In terms of ship size, we could very likely see ships stretching 1,000+ meters. Starships need to be gigantic. Especially if it's antimatter, crewed, or going to make a return trip.

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5 hours ago, Nazalassa said:

I mean interstellar KSCs on big spaceships OR spaceship-KSCs.

I honestly hope that we can have something like that. Even if it's limited to orbital VABs only (though, being able to launch rockets from a insanely huge vehicle in the surface of a planet sounds really cool too!).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Orion boosters are about the only thing I can think of that would have the sheer GRUNT needed to get an entire colony ship off the ground, assuming you could even launch it from the ground in the first place. And to get it out to where you'd need to fill it with supplies and propellants (since you'd still have to launch it empty), I'd probably go for either Z-pinch or just plain old beam-core D-He3 fusion drives (yes, multiple of them, I don't want to have to wait a long time for it to get where it's going before it sets off on its interstellar journey).

And as for "what launchpad?" well the answer and the question are one and the same.
"What launchpad?" indeed. I'd be launching it from the ocean if the game allows.

Do I think this is doing things the hard way? Yes. Do I think I should still be allowed to do it? Also yes.
However, if Orion drives can't be operated underwater (a reasonable compromise I suppose), and it needs a "zeroth stage" to get it out of the water, then I sure hope we get Sea Dragon scale parts, or just gigantic SRBs. Either would do me well enough I suppose, they don't need to perform that well they just need to put out a very high thrust for a short time.

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I'd say pretty large.

Even with KSP1, a vessel that can support perhaps a dozen kerbals and carry a decent amount of cargo on an interplanetary voyage stretches 70 meters across, and that's an interplanetary vessel that operates via hohmann transfer with ordinary NERVA's. So I'd imagine 50-100 meters being the FLOOR of sizes for even intra-system travel. Interstellar vessels will probably dwarf this.

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