Xeldrak

What did you do in KSP today?

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11 hours ago, Dan Kerman said:

Made my first Mun landing..  wasn't pretty as I had some lateral movement when I touched down so my craft is slightly askew but we made it! And a nice shot with Kerbal setting on the horizon.

Grats on hitting the milestone!  

Your craft being slightly askew... did you leave the SAS on?  If you have it on and set to stability, it will try to keep the nose pointing in the same direction unless you tell it otherwise.  Assuming it is just leaning a little, you can try turning the SAS briefly off, let gravity pull it into a normal vector relative to the Munar surface, then turn SAS back on once it is lined up since it has "recalibrated" the direction you expect it to keep pointing.

Edited by Fearless Son
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I continued on my 1.5.1 career, finally finished (temporarily) expanding my Minmus station, adding a lab module & finally bringing my engineer home.  Then I launched the first probes bound for Jool into LKO in preparation for the upcoming transfer window. I also got a nice fat tourist contract to Minmus & Mun that also allowed me to get a new engineer trained up in my seldom used 6-seat heavy lander. 

Docking the lab module with Minmus station.   I just need another fuel/power module and a greenhouse module and the station will be complete.  I'm hoping for an "Expand Minmus station" contract to randomly pop up to help with the costs of that, though.

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Val docking an Olympic MPV, sent to retrieve Kelrik after several months on the station.  His entire job was to weld the two docking ports after the first fuel/power module and the lab module had docked.  Budget constraints delayed the lab as well as his ride home.   Contrary to nasty rumors around KSC, it had nothing at all to due with me forgetting about the station & resident engineer. :wink:

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Launching a load of tourists & a trainee kerbonaut from the desert launch site

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Leaving LKO for Minmus. 

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Minmus landing.  I didn't realize two of the tourists still wanted a fly-by of the Mun, so after a quick flag planting for experience & a contract, off they went for Mun before returning home.

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Night reentry

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Edited by Cavscout74
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12 hours ago, Hotel26 said:

I built a UAV back in September.  It's called Skunk.  I pretty soon accidentally discovered it contained a genie...  I was so surprised, but I could never reliably conjure up the genie.

I got up at 5a this morning to discover the Magic Elixir -- and bottle it.  Skunk sustains flight at 30-31km at a speed of 2,187 m/s.

Here's the elixir:

It absolutely requires Atmospheric Autopilot to pull off this trick.  Great mod, btw!

I think the name of that elixir is LFO.

BTW, if you want to fly forever in that heat, do something like this to your nose (This requires that your plane can fly at or nearly surface prograde):

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This survived and got back into a safe orbit:

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Just done testing and re-summarizing my plane for this challenge :

At first it was made on 1.1 (And I still have my 1.1 install), now recompiled for 1.5.1 with a revamped design.

Edited by FahmiRBLXian
Ninja edit. Spelling error.
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I'm testing a small disposable rocket for quickly putting small satellite in orbit

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And going underwater

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1 hour ago, Xurkitree said:

I landed on the Mun for the first time!

In 0.13.3!

Nice job...I tried 0.13.3 and barely got into orbit. SAS in old versions is so annoying!

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7 minutes ago, RealKerbal3x said:

Nice job...I tried 0.13.3 and barely got into orbit. SAS in old versions is so annoying!

It's quite firm in how it points the craft, unlike modern SAS which thinks that only half gimbal is appropriate for a Learstar spinning out of control.

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48 minutes ago, RealKerbal3x said:

Nice job...I tried 0.13.3 and barely got into orbit. SAS in old versions is so annoying!

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I did use an hacked engine to get here because I just wanted to see how it looked liked - and the whole thing just collapsed after touch down.

Sigh...

As for the SAS thing, I just disable it to move, then lock it to pilot. Its kinda easy going to orbit now, considering its the old way of 'climb 10 km, pitch 45 degrees east' 

Edited by Xurkitree

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1 hour ago, V7 Aerospace said:

It's quite firm in how it points the craft, unlike modern SAS which thinks that only half gimbal is appropriate for a Learstar spinning out of control.

Thing is, it just locks the craft into its current heading, so you have to disable it to turn the craft.

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10 hours ago, FleshJeb said:

I think the name of that elixir is LFO.

LFO?  Low Flying Orbit?  :)

To explain a little further, if you put rockets on your heat-insulated vehicle, I guess you can fly at any altitude you wish...  so it doesn't seem very magical.

However, the problem is to enter the desired flight profile at the optimal angle of attack.  It's easy to get Skunk to fly at 30 or 31 km but, unless you fluke it, you will be "on the back of the power curve", with a high AoA.  The result is that you use power to hold position and burn through the very limited supply of oxidizer in a few, short seconds.  Typically, I knew this had happened because (apart from the nose-high attitude and high throttle setting!), the periapsis was negative.

Whenever I could got an altitude of 31 km with a periapsis of 31km, I knew I had the sweet spot.  The corresponding apoapsis of 36.6 km merely indicates that KER thinks I have excess speed as if I were in a vacuum.  And this excess speed simply indicates the excess required to compensate for atmospheric friction.

In this sweet spot, Skunk typically has enough oxidizer for 5 minutes flight time, at a very low throttle setting.  Then, with power off, it cruises in a shallow descent for much further, after which, the respirators kick back in once reaching 25.5km.

I have a small ablator in the nose.  On a typical spy mission surveillance flight, the ablator will lose material from 50.0 down to about 43 or so.  The ground techs replace it before every overflight.

Edited by Hotel26

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Last of the overnight shifts for this semester was last night; going to see if my coffee will be sufficient as is or if it will need to go recursive (you know, one of those days where your coffee needs coffee).
 
Finished up construction work on the Swamp Castle experimental Pathfinder outpost on Kerbin in the last 24 hours. The Pipepline mass driver was installed, and when it drained the outpost's batteries during initial testing, Bill and pilot Geofbles Kerman were sent out to the base from KSC aboard a Wisent 7 utility rover to install a trio of SAFER nuclear reactors. Delivery and installation was a success and the two kerbals returned to KSC - a grand total of six kilometers roved. In the meantime, a quick redesign of the Glass Cannon 7 orbital mass driver module took place, this one replacing the Gigantor solar panels with a quad of SAFERs (again with keeping the Pipeline supplied with sufficient power). The redesigned module was sent up to space station Kerbinport and affected a successful docking at its permanent position on Pier 5 and the Pipeline was brought on-line. Shortly thereafter the first successful shot between Swamp Castle and Kerbinport took place, a delivery of about 130 units of Liquid Fuel and Oxidizer and 800 units of Monoprop. Swamp Castle is now recharging its available supply of each of these resources. An important piece of my infrastructure is therefore complete, I'm happy to report this morning.
 
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The now-finished Swamp Castle outpost at sunrise.
 
Some of my infrastructure also reached Minmus yesterday, including space station Minmusport, a Spamcan 7 two-passenger monoprop lander, and yet another TBD 7a Pathfinder base-seeding rover, the last of which was put into a low polar orbit. Minmusport came in heavily inclined and it took most of the station's fuel reserve to finally get it into an equatorial 15 kilometer orbit. The Spamcan was able to affect a rendezvous and docking with the station earlier this morning, and afterwards the two craft separated long enough for station scientist Rodemone Kerman to EVA over, fulfilling a pair of Minmus Exploration contracts; Rodemone returned to the station and the Spamcan docked up once more, ready to conduct landing operations. The first of the Duna Exploration contracts, to conduct a flyby of the red planet, is now available.
 
After roving a total of eighty kilometers after three kerbolar days and with an ExoticMinerals gauge that refused to budge off the zero mark despite passing through three different biomes, and rather fed up with the whole business, I found a nice ore-rich spot on the Munar midlands for the TBD crew on Mun to start setting up the Piper Alpha refinery, making the decision to bite the bullet and mash go on Pathfinder's cheat button so that they could get on with their business. I'm not necessarily happy with this decision, but at least it means that the mission won't go completely to waste. I kept outpost engineer Gemlorf Kerman fairly busy with installing new modules as I printed them up and with the partial dismantling of the TBD rover (removing the two wheels that had broken off at landing, saddle tanks and cargo pallet after unloading all usable equipment). Piper Alpha's coming along at this point; I've just installed a nuke reactor unit there and I'll probably start uranium enrichment as soon as I can replace the existing fab lab with a bigger one and add an OPAL unit for oxygen storage). It'll probably still be a while before the base can begin its primary function as a surface refinery. Hoping I won't have to cheat too many more times before I get there.
 
With the equipment unloaded off the rover, I decided to attempt to go pick up engineer Sulan Kerman and bring her back to Piper Alpha, her wreck being just thirty kilometers off. The TBD rover departed Piper Alpha and started heading that way. Alas, the attempt failed - the rover flipped out of control with a mere three kilometers to go and crashed, ripping off the cab and cargo modules in the process and leaving nothing but the chassis and wheels. I still intend to install the necessary facilities at Piper Alpha to launch new craft from that point, so I will probably be making another roving attempt as soon as I am able to. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
 
With a mission to establish another outpost on Mun and in the hopes that I won't have to cheat next time, I ended my morning this morning with the launch of a Hellhound rover to Mun. It will arrive in a little over three hours. My intention is to land it in the region near the Armstrong Memorial. I'm hopeful that the mission to establish a base on Minmus will also prove to be more of a success than the one on Mun has been to date.
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Me being an insane person, I over-engineered a rocket that was needlessly large and heavy for a seemingly simple task (which I failed to do multiple times): landing on the Mun!

 

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On 12/12/2018 at 3:11 PM, Hotel26 said:

I built a UAV back in September.  It's called Skunk.  I pretty soon accidentally discovered it contained a genie...  I was so surprised, but I could never reliably conjure up the genie.

I got up at 5a this morning to discover the Magic Elixir -- and bottle it.  Skunk sustains flight at 30-31km at a speed of 2,187 m/s. 

Most spaceplanes I've flown (at least with rapiers) seem to have a high-speed/high-altitude cruise area in the 20-25km, 1800-2000 m/s range, still air breathing, using <50% throttle.  I've actually started aiming a little short on reentry since it's pretty easy to set up that cruise to reach the runway, rather than overshooting and having to turn around to land.  I haven't tried this in 1.5.1, since my career isn't even close to unlocking rapiers yet, but it worked great for me (on Kerbin & Laythe) in 1.4.5

On 11/21/2018 at 8:56 PM, Cavscout74 said:

Most of the spaceplanes I use have a sweet spot for cruising at 20-25km, ~1800-2000 m/s for the times I undershoot reentry.  Generally, I can set the Rapiers to 40-50% power in airbreathing mode, set the nose roughly on the horizon, and leave it alone till I get close enough to start my landing descent.   It's usually stable enough for physics warp, at least x2 or 3, maybe 4 if I'm feeling lucky.  I've actually started aiming for a slight undershoot just because that high altitude cruise is easier than overshooting & turning back to KSC.

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A specialized SSTO was needed to refit OCV-100 class corvettes.  Haven't decided on a name for it yet, but it's a Mk3 Rapid Lifter SSTO that can reoutfit all the station parts of an orbital command vessel.  It has a rather high 30° angle of ascent on liftoff that can be followed all the way to orbit.  The forward swept wings and large forward canard seem to work well in this respect, although it does seems a bit like the front and back of two different craft.  Will continue flight testing to see how it does on re-entry with minimal fuel and sans equipment.

Preview_SC-33.jpg

I might stream some flight testing tonight on Twitch while I tinker with it...

Edited by XLjedi
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Testing on cargo dropping...

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The situation is dire. The media has gotten bored of watching us send kerbonauts to low orbit without any new science data coming home. Mission control is almost broke. The engineering team is still proudly showing off their "reaction wheel" without really telling anyone what it does. The tracking station crew just point at their wallets when asked if they could do something to help guide a vessel. R&D are trying to throw paper balls into the bin from across the room. 

We need something to spark the public's imagination, but mission control can't risk sending up a kerbal, so we're going to have to strap something together with a Stayputnik and hope that the batteries will last...

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The astrophysics team suggested if we launched when Mun was rising, and just kept burning, the probe would probably get caught by Mun's gravity well. Probably. Well, that's going to have to be enough because we might not be able to afford a second launch.

On the morning in question, not only was Mun rising, but so was Kerbol, casting the shadow of an eclipse over the ascending rocket - but that didn't really matter since the R&D team is still mulling the concept recharging batteries using sunlight, and has yet to produce any results.

It was a tense wait during the transfer. The last intern had already gone home, before anyone realised she was the only one who knew how to work a slide rule, so mission control just had to watch the radar returns and watch for a telltale change of direction that would mean the probe had entered the Mun's sphere of influence.

Long story short, it did - and it even had fuel enough to apply the brakes and drop into an actual orbit rather than be ejected into interplanetary space. The batteries held out during transmission of 3 of the 4 science experiments, which we're pretty pleased with. The exciting photos of the Munar surface rekindled public interest, and mission control is optimistic that we can produce at least two more missions with current funding.

(But really, did 1.5 massively reduce incomes? Because I'm used to setting 50% and having loads; now I'm utterly penniless... Still can't afford the VAB upgrade, so I'm not entirely sure what to do next.

Also this was a horrible thing to pilot. With no SAS, ascent was largely ballistic with only very jerky control available from the fins. Went through several designs before finding one that didn't want to flip. Above 40km, spin-stabilisation gave me some help with keeping heading during the continued burn, but it was pretty wobbly even so. Not a thing I want to do often!)

Edited by eddiew
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My career first Jool probes departed Kerbin today.  Shortly thereafter, my Moho probe arrived and successfully entered Moho orbit.  Then I knocked out a pair of tourists.

Moho Pioneer probe shortly after entering orbit

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Tourist G-Chaser cabin descending after knocking out it's passengers.  The launch was just after dawn, and with the clouds I thought it was quite striking

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4 hours ago, adsii1970 said:

Testing on cargo dropping...

Now land in a soccer stadium, take off again, and then air-launch an ICBM. ಠ_ಠ

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I cheated to abandon and destroy my mobile base on Eve. I could have landed a rocket to lift the crew back into space (I've done that a few times before), but I wanted to give the Eve Crawler an heroic death. After three or four updates since it landed, it could no longer drive or gather science. Physics changes I guess. So I cheated it into Eve orbit, docked a retrieval craft with it, transferred the crew over, and pushed it into a suborbital trajectory and followed it down. Here are some snaps of its last ride.

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A real fish out of water.

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Docked with the crew return vehicle.

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The crew will ride home in a modified cargo bay. This is more mass efficient than a crew capsule, but less efficient than my usual strategy of packing crews in the 2.5 m cargo bays.

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I was busy watching the map during the deorbit burn, so didn't get pictures. Here is the return vehicle boosting back to a safe orbit.

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Atmospheric interface. This is the second time the Eve Crawler entered the overly thick atmosphere, but this time it doesn't have inflatable heat shields to slow it down.

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It started getting a little hot so I turned the radiators on.

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If I wanted it to explode more, I would have left the radiator off.

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It got so hot the wheels started exploding.

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Most of the explosions were too fast or my sluggish fingers to push the button in time.

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All of the wheels exploded.

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Then the mounting rails started to burn off.

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But it eventually slowed to a subsonic velocity.

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It performed what we in amateur rocketry call a "perfect lawn dart".

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Initial impact.

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And it's gone. At this point the game crashed, probably because all of the parts being destroyed. So I had to restart the game and deorbit it again. This time I didn't watch it die.

Edited by Zosma Procyon
Grammar
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15 hours ago, Cavscout74 said:

high-speed/high-altitude cruise area in the 20-25km, 1800-2000 m/s range, still air breathing,

Skunk will go to space (quite uselessly) but its mission is "surveillance UAV".  (So: not a space plane, but a spy plane.)

Skunk manages 1615m/s @ 22km for a draw of 0.58 kal/sec or 1660 m/s @ 24.7km for a draw of 0.22.  Closed-cycle draw at 31km is 0.42 OX + 0.34 LF (if my notes are correct).

However, its predecessor, the Q2, was discontinued after two separate incidents, over Kuba and North Kerbea, involving total loss of both  aircraft precisely because they were flying at or below 25km.

High Kommand thus commissioned Skunk for fast-response, maneuverable photo-reconnaissance operating between 30-35km altitude.  The challenge was to sustain flight in a zone that is conventionally only used for transition between the lower atmosphere and space.

That's all I am at liberty to tell you.

:)

Edited by Hotel26

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I didn't play too much yesterday on account of taking the time to try and catch up on sleep, but I still accomplished a few things. I spent a fair amount of time designing a variant of my Wisent 7 utility rover to handle a specific set of missions I've got at Mun right now; the idea is to get a remote launch pad up and running at the Piper Alpha refinery outpost on Mun and deploy one there, with the hopes of clearing up three close-by survey missions. Some of those involve low flight, so this variant has been given side thrusters - just enough to get it off the ground. Should be interesting to see if it works as intended.

The Pink Noise 7 communications satellite carrier probe reached its final position in a 60,540.3 kilometer equatorial orbit around Kerbin (it has an orbital period of exactly 74 days, which is why it's at that specific orbit) and released its side probes, earning the designation of Kerbincomm Golf at that point. The burns to position Kerbincomm Hotel and Kerbincomm India took place at that point; Kerbincomm Hotel will make its burn for final positioning in 49 days and 2 hours, while Kerbincomm India won't reach its final position for 98 days and 4 hours. When India reaches its final position, the Kerbin SOI communications satellite constellation will be complete and I can start looking into putting some stuff over Kerbol. Probably will wind up doing that ahead of time; a Kerbol constellation is liable to take quite a bit to get going...

I had launched a Hellhound 7 rover yesterday on a mission to scan the region near the Armstrong Memorial on Mun to see if the area would be suitable for a Pathfinder base. The rover made it to Mun and affected a landing 1.4 kilometers from the Memorial site.

Spoiler

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Piper Alpha had RareMetals, but no ExoticMinerals, both of which you need for the most efficient method of printing Pathfinder Equipment on site. This just isn't fair...

The investigation proved that the area isn't suitable, so I'll be doing some more regional roving, it looks like.

(Realized that particular screenie had the coordinates of the Armstrong Memorial in plain sight; some of you might still want to try and find it on your own, hence the spoiler shield).

Finally, the TBD 7a mission to Minmus was given the go-ahead to land at their intended destination in Minmus's Lowlands. To make the job of landing easier, a site for landing was selected six kilometers away in the Greater Flats, with the rover making an easy landing there. It was quickly discovered that the landing site on the Greater Flats was suitable while the originally surveyed site was not, so the crew turned around and went back to where they landed. Engineer Janbles Kerman began the process of unpacking the base from the rover; operations at the new site of the Deepwater Horizon outpost on Minmus commenced approximately half an hour after landing.

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A very nascent new design for Deepwater Horizon. Janbles is out there double-checking to make sure the initial setup is complete.

I'll be working to get some more facilities up at Deepwater Horizon in the near future; I've already been able to offload all the equipment from the rover and detach it from the base for independent operations. Shouldn't be too terribly long before I have a working refinery there. Piper Alpha has finally crossed that critical point where its starting to thrive, and I've only got a few more facilities to put in place there before I can look into adding a Pipeline mass driver for sustained operations. Really looking forward to finishing getting all this infrastructure set up so I can get on with making money...

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