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Early Tech Engines


Superpluto126
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One of the Biggest Problems I had with KSP1 was the lack of low power, Low Thrust early Rocketry engines (1940-50's esq), Will There be more Low thrust Engines that are unlocked early, or at least very powerful but Fuel Burning small engines in KSP2?

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I think they'll start about where they started with KSP1.

KSP is basic concept-level rocket science that they need to sell to kids and adults alike. They will want to give you the tools (parts) you need to succeed in getting to space right off the bat (and orbit later), both to give the feeling of a win early on and a compelling reason to keep up the struggle of learning a difficult subject.

Struggling against poor tech is realistic but not fun for most people. The challenge of figuring it out with good tech is enough for beginners. Most of the sales will be to "novices," not dedicated fans. Some want more realism: There's RSS/RO for that. It has its moments, but sometimes it's too much work after a long day at work.

Also, they don't want people refunding because it's too hard in the refund window. Just pat them along to space for two hours so that's out of the way.

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A smaller size class still might be generally useful the full span of the game, sure yes bogging player down early game should be avoided but that is true of current KSP instead of random strange take temp here, here and contracts so you build a plane and then walk a bit.  small probe rockets could be used to teachify landing accuracy.

Late game your colony ship could then use them to set up a network of scanners and relays as you arrive in the new system. 

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7 hours ago, mattinoz said:

A smaller size class still might be generally useful the full span of the game, sure yes bogging player down early game should be avoided but that is true of current KSP instead of random strange take temp here, here and contracts so you build a plane and then walk a bit.  small probe rockets could be used to teachify landing accuracy.

Late game your colony ship could then use them to set up a network of scanners and relays as you arrive in the new system. 

I agree, KSP 1 never got a full line of .625m parts. We just got small engines and tanks for probes. Never got any large tanks or lifter engines in that size class. Maybe include some even smaller probe parts/tanks/engines to make micro probes and you can use .625m parts for a lifter.

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8 hours ago, mattinoz said:

A smaller size class still might be generally useful the full span of the game, sure yes bogging player down early game should be avoided but that is true of current KSP instead of random strange take temp here, here and contracts so you build a plane and then walk a bit.  small probe rockets could be used to teachify landing accuracy.

Late game your colony ship could then use them to set up a network of scanners and relays as you arrive in the new system. 

Agree, especially for probes and satellites.  But also for small landers on low gravity worlds. I tend to use the spark for my Minmus science lander, who small used the LEM cockpit, all relevant science equipment including the scanning arm and can carry spare parts for repair contracts. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Small diameter "lifter grade" parts are something I'd love to see. But then that might also require smaller still payloads.

I think a 0.625m rocket should be able to make it to orbit. But I don't know what I'd put on top of it other than a nosecone. I'd ideally like a 0.625m diameter payload fairing part, so I'd be able to put the payload in something to prevent it from having atmospheric drag on the way up, even if it doesn't need thermal protection.

So, an 0.625m high-ish thrust sea level engine (maybe 40kn thrust at sea level, ISP of... maybe 250s at sea level and 275 in vacuum, and under half a ton dry mass), an 0.625m vacuum rated engine (Spark is fine for this, but I'd really prefer a little less thrust and a little more ISP in vacuum, say 10kn and 335s ISP in vacuum, with maybe 0.075t dry mass since it's "less engine" than the Spark), longer 0.625m fuel tanks that share the Oscar-B's strangely high fuel capacity for its small volume, and of course the payload fairing like I mentioned. Might need a smaller diameter decoupler to go with that payload fairing as well, payload fairings don't like to work with a decoupler that's the same diameter.

 

But there's another category of "small rocket" parts that might be nice to have. Or maybe "not so small" rocket parts too.
SRBs that are optimized for use in vacuum.
IRL there have been many hundreds of satellites launched to geostationary transfer orbit that used a solid rocket motor to raise their periapsis most of the way to a circular geostationary orbit, with the satellite's own propulsion systems making up the rest of the velocity needed because these things need some real fine tuning to stay where they're supposed to be stationed and an SRB is ill-suited to that.

So, something like a Star-37 or Star-48v would be nice. Yes, I mentioned the Star-48v instead of another star-48 variant for a reason. It has a nozzle that is capable of thrust vectoring.
Additionally, perhaps some specific special variants of larger vacuum-rated SRBs could be complex enough to incorporate blow-out panels intended to be used as a thrust termination system? You still can't stop the SRB from firing, but you can stop it from providing meaningful thrust by opening the other end of the tube! Maybe also adjustable multi-pulse SRBs, for similar requirements where you want to precalculate where the burns start and end, but also useful for times where you don't want to use 2 or more SRBs with part loads of fuel in each one when you could save weight by using one larger SRB and dividing up the fuel by putting one or more high temperature burst disc(s) and additional ignition system(s) in the middle of it to split it into multiple smaller "segments" of SRB thrust.
Both of those things exist IRL, tho in general they're only used on ICBMs. Plenty of places where you could use them in a space exploration mission tho. You could use a thrust termination capable SRB to get a moderately precise transfer burn done to encounter the Mun, and then a multi-segment SRB to do the Mun capture burn as well as the de-orbit burn and braking burn, with liquid fuel only taking over on final descent.

We shouldn't be forcing players to learn that they need to spin-stabilize their small solid rocket motor stages or provide additional systems in the form of RCS for them, that seems like something that just adds more parts and reduces fun even tho it's realistic, and who's going to code in a "yo-weight de-spin system" into Kerbal when that's a thing that's hardly ever going to be used outside of some extremely specific situations anyways, realistic or not?

Edited by SciMan
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Apparently they're only planning about 600 parts (no word on if this is at launch, or over planned DLC as well), which is only about twice the KSP1 part count. Given that, and the fact it must include all of the new tech, plus colony parts, it's unlikely we will be getting tons of new part diversity. We will probably have to wait for mods for that.

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1 hour ago, TLTay said:

Apparently they're only planning about 600 parts (no word on if this is at launch, or over planned DLC as well), which is only about twice the KSP1 part count. Given that, and the fact it must include all of the new tech, plus colony parts, it's unlikely we will be getting tons of new part diversity. We will probably have to wait for mods for that.

Considering that it's confirmed that procedural wings and radiators will be in the game, there is a small chunk of KSP1 parts removed from the parts line up. If at least fuel switching is planned, there is another large chunk of parts removed too. So there are probably more new parts than we would expect. But overall, I'm not expecting too much variety with the part profiles.

But a tantalizing thought is that ~600 part figure isn't including a majority of the recycled KSP1 parts. How many truly new and unseen parts are there going to be?

Edited by shdwlrd
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On 9/22/2022 at 2:06 PM, shdwlrd said:

How many truly new and unseen parts are there going to be?

I'm guessing those go in the category of 'colony and mega-ship' parts.  Example: each of the road segments likely count as a part.  New science, resource extraction and power generation, structural members, etc... You can start eating up large numbers of parts with just that stuff. 

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