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[1.12.x] ARCAspace EcoRocket for KSP


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An accurate ARCAspace EcoRocket mod for KSP

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I have been slowly working on this mod for KSP over the past week, which introduces the EcoRocket, ARCAspaces steam powered Green Rocket from Romania.

 

So far the mod features all of the parts to construct the current EcoRocket design on the ARCAspace website, and is accurately scaled to real life (although I would not recommend actually using this on RSS or something similar, it will not reach orbit no matter how hard you try)

 

Current features include:

  • All of the parts needed for One EcoRocket
  • Interchangeable Tank variants so you can choose between Flags, Logo, or Plain
  • Custom fuels "Heated Water", "RP-1" and "High Test Peroxide" to adhere to the goal of realism
  • Custom Waterfall plumes for maximum visual satisfaction

There is a lot of jank sadly with this mod, as it is my first time ever modding for KSP, so if you have any suggestions, bugs to report, or just words to get across to me, you can contact me through twitter, which is linked on my github page.

Download Links

GitHub: https://github.com/cmdrads/kspEcoRocket

SpaceDock: https://spacedock.info/mod/3050/EcoRocket

Also available through CKAN!

License: GNU-GPL 3.0

Dependencies:

Waterfall is an absolute requirement, while ReScale and Conformal Decals are highly recommended!

 

Edited by AaronDoesSpace
added License per request
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Hi and welcome!

18 hours ago, AaronDoesSpace said:

if you have any suggestions, bugs to report, or just words to get across to me, you can contact me through twitter, which is linked on my github page.

I have two suggestions, but no twitter.

  1. The moderators like to have the license listed in the thread OP, which it isn't currently. The SpaceDock entry says MIT, so if that's accurate, then just editing the OP to add "License: MIT" somewhere should address that.
  2. 18 hours ago, AaronDoesSpace said:
    • Custom fuels "Heated Water", "RP-1" and "High Test Peroxide" to adhere to the goal of realism
    Rather than creating your own custom resources, it would be nice to share resources with other established mods if possible. For example, there's Community Resource Pack; I don't know the details of what it contains, but I'd be surprised if there wasn't some RP1 and maybe even peroxide:
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Well with using the CRP you'd also be able to use LqdWater, tho that doesn't reflect the fact that it's incredibly hot water.

But I have a thought regarding performance of the hot water propellant. It should have terrible specific impulse but amazing thrust. Like, "under 100s" ISP in a vacuum, and maybe around 80s at sea level, and it shouldn't work that well on Eve either.

This is realistic, and it's that terrible specific impulse that is the majority of my main complaint about the whole "no toxic chemicals and very safe" aim of the ARCA rocket.

So why should it be terrible? Allow me to explain:
The problem is that you're trying to win an argument, but your opponent is the laws of physics.
In other words, if that steam coming out of that nozzle isn't at an extremely high temperature and pressure, say several thousand degrees C and several hundred bar, you're not gonna have the requisite performance to get to orbit, not even with 5 stages, let alone two.

And guess what, water at that temperature is NASTY stuff. Know what steam burns do to flesh? It's not pretty. Strip the meat right off your bones, and that's not even the superheated stuff, which is what this rocket better be using.

But that's not even the biggest problem with the ARCASpace use of steam. The biggest problem is that they aren't generating the steam in flight. No they're doing that on the ground. That means storing steam. And if you know anything about steam power you know how bad of an idea that is. Not only will the steam tank be weighed down by the need to contain incredible pressures (more than several hundred bar if you want to make orbit even with 3 stages), it will also be weighed down by the likely several tons of both heating elements and thermal insulation to keep the steam a gas while the thing is sitting on the pad waiting for launch.
So that mass fraction (one of the key performance criteria of a rocket stage) is gonna be TERRIBLE as well.

OK, so terrible ISP, terrible mass fraction, what do we end up with?

By my estimation, if you nerfed the numbers to convert from "IRL space program" to "KSP" suitable statistics (mostly extra dry mass), the thing won't be able to get 2 kilometers in the air before it runs out of fuel, and that's with no payload other than "more steam tanks" to the point that it has a 1.1 TWR.

The statistics are SO bad IRL, that in fact if you want this thing to be actually able to accomplish useful work in KSP, you're going to have to use the numbers "as-is", with no nerfs to account for Kerbin's smaller size. If you do that the thing ends up being "still worse than an SRB, but I guess you can do something with it".

In a much much shorter version, "Stored steam rocket = bad".

And that's why most people that have any background in aerospace are either politely holding their tongue (which IMO is a lie of omission), or they're saying the facts as they see them, which are "Either this thing is a scam or the person behind it has no idea how rockets work and wants to make one, and so made some incredibly bad design decisions".
Doesn't help that they guy running the thing formerly was working on a "cold fusion" reactor (and no I don't mean sci-fi cold fusion, I mean IRL cold fusion, you know, the kind that's been proven to be pseudoscience so many times that I ran out of fingers and toes counting).

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8 minutes ago, SciMan said:

This is realistic, and it's that terrible specific impulse that is the majority of my main complaint about the whole "no toxic chemicals and very safe" aim of the ARCA rocket.

True, water is an exhaust product, not a fuel. It'd be like filling your car's gas tank with carbon monoxide,  carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and nitrogen dioxide, and hoping to use it to drive around.

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3 hours ago, HebaruSan said:

Hi and welcome!

I have two suggestions, but no twitter.

  1. The moderators like to have the license listed in the thread OP, which it isn't currently. The SpaceDock entry says MIT, so if that's accurate, then just editing the OP to add "License: MIT" somewhere should address that.
  2. Rather than creating your own custom resources, it would be nice to share resources with other established mods if possible. For example, there's Community Resource Pack; I don't know the details of what it contains, but I'd be surprised if there wasn't some RP1 and maybe even peroxide:

License added, thanks for the heads up.

 

Also in regards to your comment on CRP. I have checked, and their fuels did not meet my needs

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6 hours ago, SciMan said:

By my estimation, if you nerfed the numbers to convert from "IRL space program" to "KSP" suitable statistics (mostly extra dry mass), the thing won't be able to get 2 kilometers in the air before it runs out of fuel, and that's with no payload other than "more steam tanks" to the point that it has a 1.1 TWR.

The statistics are SO bad IRL, that in fact if you want this thing to be actually able to accomplish useful work in KSP, you're going to have to use the numbers "as-is", with no nerfs to account for Kerbin's smaller size. If you do that the thing ends up being "still worse than an SRB, but I guess you can do something with it".

I have gone entirely off the numbers given by ARCA. Please understand that I am no fan of the rocket, and I fully agree with you. In fact, I kind of vehemently hate EcoRocket, I merely made this mod out of spite to prove that even using the numbers arca provide, the rocket is awful.

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14 minutes ago, Autochrome said:

Nooooo, why did you have to make one of the worst rockets ever designed...

I hate myself and ARCA, and I wanted to make my entrance into the modding scene as painful and full of irony as possible

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20 hours ago, SciMan said:

Well with using the CRP you'd also be able to use LqdWater, tho that doesn't reflect the fact that it's incredibly hot water.

Tried that, didn't work. LqdWater in the CRP is set us a Resource, not a Fuel, so it drains evenly across the entire vessel at once. This meant that the first stage engine would drain the second stage tank.

I couldn't fix this without changing the drain rules in CRP from ALL_VESSEL to Stage Priority.

 

Hence I made the custom fuel 

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1 hour ago, AaronDoesSpace said:

Tried that, didn't work. LqdWater in the CRP is set us a Resource, not a Fuel, so it drains evenly across the entire vessel at once. This meant that the first stage engine would drain the second stage tank.

I couldn't fix this without changing the drain rules in CRP from ALL_VESSEL to Stage Priority.

 

Hence I made the custom fuel 

Can't you set a FlowMode for the resource in the PROPELLANT node of the engine module which overwrites the flowmode in the resource definition?

Oh, and some other mod has a heated water resource I think - use the same name, density, and a module manager NEEDS statement to only have the definition when that mod is not isntalled.

You can do the same thing with RP1.

 

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