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Nerfherde

A rant about KSP

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Docking is not as hard as you think, i even practiced doing it back in v 0.11 when rcs was introduced i suggest you do what i did back then, take a ship up carrying a docking target (something like a couple rcs tanks and a docking port) with it and practice docking, moving further out each time until you get the feel for making maneuvers this will get you more comfortable with closing the distance once close.

In addition when you have a ship set as a target click your speed indicator to change it so it shows the relative velocity between you and your target this will make it easier to control your speed, note it will also put a target on the navball to help you point your ship directly at the target

if you haven't already learn how to use the maneuver node system with targets it will make meeting a target in orbit much easier, remember that if you are in a lower orbit then your target you are moving faster then it, a higher you are going slower, you can use this to close the distance.

Doing a rendezvous in space will take some time and many orbits to do, don't try and fly in straight lines think of it more as closing the distance on a fixed racetrack, take the inside line and catch up with them or take the outside and let them catch up with you.

The most important thing to remember is patience, don't over do your maneuvers or you'll be overshooting repeatedly, take things slow and steady :)

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i know how you feel. docking is hard but if you slow down and just inch it along you will eventually get it. as for getting to other planets i suggest watching some more tutorials and parcticing. P.S to get to the mun wait until the mun rises over the horizon when in a 100km orbit at a HDG of 90 deg.

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Don't feel bad, I play the vanilla game (no mods) and docking took a while to figure out. Here's what I do. First make your space craft and put an RCS tank on it. Then put 4 symmetrical RCS thrusters over the center of mass of the part of the ship that will be docking. Then launch to an orbit 25 km higher than the target. Make sure that your orbits Apoapsis and Periapsis are close to the same value on both spacecraft. Time accelerate until the spacecraft on the inner orbit is about 1" behind on the orbit map. Target the target ship. Then create a maneuver node somewhere ahead of your current position and pull the retrograde marker until the periapsis of your orbit crosses the target orbit. Click and hold on the big center circle of the maneuver node to move it around until the closest approach arrows line up at less than 10km( you may need to time accel a bit more to get it to line up. Then when the time comes do your burn and wait till your are at the point of closest approach. Then make sure "target" is dispaled in the velocity box and burn retrograde or prograde until it reads 0. Next burn towards the target "pink circle with dot" only going <20ms. Wait till the distance number starts to increase again and burn prograde or retrograde to reduce your relative velocity to 0. Rinse and repeat burning toward the target until you get within 200m, then right click all your engines and deactivate them. Congratulations, you have completed rendezvous.

Now for docking

Aim your ship in such a way that its orientation lines up with the target docking port. Activate docking mode (it may be helpful to reassign the keys here I use WSAD for sideways and shift/ctrl for prograde/retrograde. Note that it helps to be in chase view too) Use your rcs trhusters to line up closely with the target and approach very slowly (like .01 m/s) Try to get the target marker, the prograde marker, and the aim marker to line up with each other. You may need to momentarily switch back to staging mode to fine tune your alignment. It takes some practice and "for me" it is a very slow process, but it usually works (unless I forget to turn of the main engines and switch back to staging mode, which can be disastrous).

Hope this helps.

You will likely find refinements to improve upon this description as you learn as I probably missed a few things and my numbers may not be optimal.

Edited by wolfedg

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I've not read the entire thread, so apologies if this has been mentioned, but one thing that may make you think you're bad at docking, but is in fact a flaw with the game as it currently is, is that you can place a docking port and it not actually be valid. When you arrive to dock, if you find that you approach at a slow speed, but the arrival bounces back and needs RCS to keep shoving it back, or it swings off target after contact more than the length of the docking port as a very rough guide, the port isn't valid. What should happen is that the magnets engage and hold you in place whilst it lines up, and then grabs it's target... if you're not being held, drifting wildly off target or backwards... it's broken.

The way to ensure you've fitted it correctly is, when building your ship, keep mousing gently over the target spot. You'll see a small "leap" as it nudges into position with Angle Snap engaged, and then it's in the right spot. If you click it manually, even if you line it up perfectly, it won't necessarily be working. Angle Snap it into place to be sure.

Others may have mentioned a MechJeb approach. I just arrive, use [ and ] keys to swap between vessels, set both to control from the docking ports I want to use, set them to Target the opposite por, and then set them both on TGT+ to aim at the other port. Then I turn on the Docking Computer (Default, bottom left options) and swap to the second INS controls, and then just push W key to slowly travel forward aimed at the port. Let the magnets take over after a gentle kiss, and we're docked!

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Hmm, personally I found docking a piece of cake. My first dock was the first time I played the update.. was also my first SSTO flight. I flew the stock Aeris 4 (I believe it was that one) from the runway all the way up to a station in a 100km orbit and successfully docked. I generally just eyeball the final adjustments. A lot of people will say align the ship and station along certain axis but I just rotate my ship until it looks right and go for it. There's always quicksave/load after all :P

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For me pebblegardens Phoenix videos on docking was how I learnt and I've only had the game 3 weeks and can dock easily without aid now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5fHnNRbKME

Other tips:-

- Use chase camera for final approach.

- Make sure RCS thrusters are in line with centre of mass

- Set fine control with caps lock key

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I tried Mechjeb. Like Secondguessing said, its just like honey. Make you feel like WOW, i can do anything now. Well. Not me hehe.

Far from it. It can give you 1 degree of movement less to worry about. Such as align to port. Which can make docking a lot quicker and easier. I can do both manual and assisted, and find both as fun and engaging as the other.

PS, "chase view" is the view to be in for docking. It fixes a lot of your brains ability to track the movements.

Edited by Technical Ben

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All of the above, actually. I just cant figure out what is happening.

Ah, you might need to get your head around Delta-V maybe (the difference in speed between you and your target), moving carefully in three dimensions, and the way that being in a very slightly different orbit will cause you to `slide` relative to the other ship.

Also what Wilt57 said. Patience, Patience, Patience.

I find that docking manually takes about 2 hours from launch to dock if you are in LKO. If you are trying to do it faster then you are not being patient enough. Also try making a quicksave if you get further than you did before so that you can go back to if everything messes up.

Launch, quicksave, orbit, quicksave, match inclination with target, quicksave, get into an orbit about 10% further out than your target, quicksave, warp until you are close but still in front of your target, quicksave, make another maneuver node to slow down and get into the same orbit as your target timed to approach closely (less than 50km), quicksave, match velocity at closest approach, thrust toward target at a speed so you arrive in about 2 minutes (under 1-2km), quicksave, match velocity at closest approach, quicksave, thrust again to be within a couple hundred metres, quicksave, match velocity, quicksave, point docking node at target, quicksave, switch to target and point docking node at incoming ship, quicksave, switch back to ship, *turn off engines* *activate RCS* and start moving slowly (less than 1.5m/s) toward your target (assuming you are at least 40m away), quicksave, keep the yellow direction indicator inside the purple circle, quicksave often. Within 10-20m of the target ship go no faster that 0.2m/s and quicksave *very* often.

That is what is needed to dock manually. If you missed anything that is where to look for things messing up.

P.S. nice portrait khyron

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Sorry if I have repeated anything, just realised I read only the first page of 11...

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Far from it. It can give you 1 degree of movement less to worry about. Such as align to port. Which can make docking a lot quicker and easier. I can do both manual and assisted, and find both as fun and engaging as the other.

PS, "chase view" is the view to be in for docking. It fixes a lot of your brains ability to track the movements.

Really? I hate using chase view. It makes me feel sick, and it's easier to just move the camera around to check all the axis, for me, anyway.

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Really? I hate using chase view. It makes me feel sick, and it's easier to just move the camera around to check all the axis, for me, anyway.

The purpose of chase cam view when docking isn't for looking around, it's because chase cam is the only one that orients the view to your craft instead of to the world you're orbiting. So, the RCS translation controls always correspond to what you see on the screen (up is always up, left is always left, etc.). This eliminates the whole "now figure out what button I need to press to move that direction" issue.

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The purpose of chase cam view when docking isn't for looking around, it's because chase cam is the only one that orients the view to your craft instead of to the world you're orbiting. So, the RCS translation controls always correspond to what you see on the screen (up is always up, left is always left, etc.). This eliminates the whole "now figure out what button I need to press to move that direction" issue.

This can be important at times, especially if you have a fraction of a second to turn the right way or crash and you REALLY want to turn the right way first time...

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PS, "chase view" is the view to be in for docking. It fixes a lot of your brains ability to track the movements.

For me, chase view was the key to making docking consistently easy. I could do it before I started always using chase view, but it was always tricky because I ended up moving in the wrong direction at some critical point.

With chase view I never have to guess, and I never forget, which direction is which. I use a sort-of awkward, crossed-hands method when docking. My right hand always controls the 6 translational movement keys, and my left hand alternates between activating/deactivating RCS for rotational movement, and using the arrow keys to check on my X and Y axis alignment of the docking ports (for some reason I never liked using docking mode instead of staging mode). And even when you have the camera rotated to the side it's easy to keep track of which direction you need to move.

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going to other planets will come.... eventually. just build a nice ship, get into an orbit around kerbin then set your planet as target and us manuver nodes to get your cloest aproach really close, so you can get an encounter. then ggo to the encounter kill your velocity and fall into an orbit, its easy :)

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If you're really having that much trouble, well, as much hate as I know I'm about to get for this, you can always install Mechjeb 2.0.7 ... It has all the Autopilot features to do the transfers, rendezvous and docking maneuvers that you're having trouble with. I would honestly recommend installing it, watch how it does things and then try to do them on your own after you get the feel for what exactly its doing.

This. Just grab Mechjeb and make it do everything, and watch how it does it, then slowly just use it less and less, and for stuff you want to, rather than need to

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I honestly think if someone has real problems getting a rendevouz, the core issue will probably be not understanding orbital mechanics. Honestly if you don't understand the basics of how Orbits work and how they react to changes in velocity to different Vectors it can be very hard to get a rendevouz even with nodes. I'm probably not good at explaining that, but there are tons of Youtube videos about orbits and how to change them. It also helps to just play around with a small ship and watch what happens if you burn in a specific direction and certain points. I highly recommend Kerbal Engineer Redux or Mechjeb, so you can see the changes to you're orbit easier.

The most important basic stuff:

1. Higher Orbits are slower (you have a lower velocity, you take longer to get around the planet)

2. Lower Orbits are Faster (you have a higher velocity, you take less time)

3. Inclination to target should be at 0.0 degree (under 0.2-3 should be good enough).

4. Make sure that both ships move in the same direction (counter clockwise normally), else you never ever will get a workable rendevouz.

5. Get the orbit of the Target ship circular, matching ecliptic orbits is possible but harder (your have to match PE to PE and AP to AP, on a circular orbit PE/AP can be about anywhere on the Orbit)

Like I said I'm not that good at explaining those things with text only, but do yourself a favor and learn the orbital mechanics, it will make everything way easier.

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Well, I downloaded mechjeb 2.0.7. And it got me to EVE! By mistake i might add hehe. But at least I got to Another planet, through cheating.

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By mistake i might add hehe. But at least I got to Another planet, through cheating.

I hope it's by mistake, MJ don't send me to Eve each time I tell it to dock :wink:

Congrats anyway... Did you understand how this tool made to get you to Eve ?

Understanding is the key there, once you get the trick, you wont need MJ anymore.

Hey just a joke : send an other ship to Eve and learn how to dock down there :D

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This might have already been covered, but about 70% of the issues concerning docking (not rendezvousing--I had to stress this because I'm not sure if the original poster had issues with the rendezvous itself or the docking itself or both, and the responses seem to muddle up the two, instead of dealing specifically with rendezvous issues and THEN docking issues) has to do with the fact that the target is NOT "killrotted" (borrowing an Orbiter/MechJeb term). You will have "pulling-your-hair-out" sessions if you are attempting to dock with a structure thats rotating about a certain axis (or three axes is a nightmare). So it's important that before you dock, make sure both structures are absolutely killrotted. Then it's mostly translational controls after that. Another thing where MechJeb comes useful is...if you will initially undock from a stack, then turn around and dock again (a la, LEM docking and extraction maneuver), having to lock or killrot the entire stack first, before undocking/decoupling is a must...so that when you are sepped, all you need to do is press the retrograde button, and voila, your craft will now point to the opposite end, and all you need to do are very small and delicate/precise translational movements--rotational movements should be a non-issue by that time.

-RODION

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I hope it's by mistake, MJ don't send me to Eve each time I tell it to dock :wink:

Congrats anyway... Did you understand how this tool made to get you to Eve ?

Understanding is the key there, once you get the trick, you wont need MJ anymore.

Hey just a joke : send an other ship to Eve and learn how to dock down there :D

LOL, good one hehe.

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I second mechjeb but mainly as a learning tool. If you use it as an autopilot learn from it, then try to utilize what you learned from it.

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Hmmm. Well if you're having trouble, here is some tips:

1. Make sure you're using the nav ball. It makes the ship MUCH easier to control.

2. Because maneuver nodes don't penalize you in anyway, go into orbit (any orbit really) and just mess around with the node until you start to figure it out more.

3. Rocket design. You can be great at flying rockets, but if your rocket isn't up to par, then you won't be able to do much. Don't be afraid to download people's rockets from the forums or Space Port to help you get off the ground (pun intended) and learn how to build rockets.

4. Practice makes perfect... if you're practicing with the correct techniques. Continue to watch Scott's tutorial videos (I don't recommend watching his series to learn KSP as that is incredibly complex) and just practice what he does. Utilize saves to practice more.

5. Attitude. Don't put yourself down, don't play the game if you're mad, etc etc etc.

Hope this helps you.

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Houston, we have a hard dock. I never thought I would, but I did. Took all day, trying trying trying. Amazing. F5 and F9 are your buddies hehe. Seeing the magnet locks suck in the ships was an awesome sight. Now, maybe, just maybe, i can go to other planets. Woohoooo.... If i can remember how i did it.

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