Xeldrak

What did you do in KSP today?

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11 hours ago, Triop said:

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Tried replicating one of your cars for the hell of it on Friday. Couldn't steer the damn thing much past 25 m/s; always wanted to spin out and/or drive backwards. I assume I was using bad wheel settings. Any advice you can offer there?

 


Spent most of my weekend at TokenCon in Oklahoma City helping to run one of the vendor demo booths, so not too much accomplished in KSC since...well, since Thursday, actually. The tourist mission/rescue mission of the Auk IX I launched last week was a success, with scientists Huddos and Jaoly Kerman both successfully retrieved from LKO.

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Auk IX rendezvousing with Jaoly's Debris. <Insert stupid quip here>. 

The mission to rescue Huddos was specifically a junk-and-kerbal mission, so a Bill Clinton 7a grabber probe was launched to retreive Huddos' Hulk from orbit and successfully returned it about 50 klicks downrange of KSC. Engineer Philmal Kerman transmitted a crew report from the Piper Alpha refinery on Mun for contract, after which the refinery Deepwater Horizon and the accompanying Hellhound 7 rover craft both reached Minmus, and the Kerbin Echo probe was put into a high equatorial orbit over Kerbin for contract.

After that, I switched to my litterbox save for a bit and Jeb did some base jumping off of various buildings.

7PDXPaD.png
The skyway jump was not as interesting as Jeb's jump off the VAB, on account of by then I knew what I was doing and got the chute to actually open...

I also tried to get a Hellhound 7 rover to float. That didn't go so well.

Friday saw the actual landing of the Hellhound on Minmus.

XcA3PYO.png
The 'hound got an unintended encounter with Deepwater Horizon right about the time it was supposed to perform its de-orbit burn...came just a hair too close, if you ask me...

After landing, I named the rover Fwot and confirmed that the intended site in the Great Flats along the equator would be suitable for Deepwater Horizon, and so I sat the refinery craft down safely pretty much in the exact same spot it has occupied since v. 1.2. Performed the first recharge of the refinery just this morning, and since I had one of those "mine ore from Minmus and deliver it to Kerbin" contracts, I followed up the mining with putting a Con Job 7 craft out on the Runway for an easy √450k. 

Later today, space station Minmusport is scheduled to arrive (finally), so I'll have some docking and landing ops on the minty moon to perform, and at this point I've got a full batch of tourists ready to head to Mun. Jeb will probably be heading that group aboard Strange Cargo as well.


 

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I made a asymmetrical/lateral asparagus staged rocket using a self invented stage activated mechanical pivoting system for thrust re-alignment to gain Dv for a eve ascent rocket.
More importantly, I found out how to do this while keeping all the contents of the mechanism faired. The system itself only weighs 250kg so is especially ideal for airless world where the fairing isn't required like Tylo for instance.
In testing each booster stage can reach well over 2000m/s above sea level under its own thrust and is as aerodynamic as a typical one stack with nosecone and engine at the rear.

It's simple but complicated :confused: and 100% stock. This is how it looks like and I'm still quite some distance away from incorporating it in a finalized vessel. But I'm getting there.

1: Ready for lift off

tRP9c6q.jpg\\

2: Vehicle lifts off with the engines in their default position.

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3: A explosive bolt trigger via the staging system frees the mechanism and angles the engines.

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4: Of course in a actual design I will stage pivot one by one opposite of the dropped fuel tank rather then activating them all at once, otherwise the cosine losses make up for nothing I'd gained in Dv. The angled thrust will actually help me in the proper roll position during a actual ascent as it can contribute to radial Delta-V while staying on prograde.
The next picture is just for show :) 

Fe3JkEj.jpg

5: The reason the engines are angled is because they are on a decoupler spring which has fuel feed on so it can still drain fuel from the tanks.
Because the mechanism is decoupled the engine thrust angled them at a certain angle. The angle is tweaked by adding to the spring or moving the springs position.

6RTk8Tf.jpg

6: Getting the parts insid the fairing properly aligned is the greatest challenge. If they clip to far in the top fairing nasty things can happen. Luckily I figured out how the bugs are caused and Kraken type things seen on the picture below are completely avoidable.

jDfKFA3.jpg

It took me a week of continuous testing with many failures to make it work "properly"
But the result is here :) 

 

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Due to a glitch in the game a sudden an unexplained disappearance of Munbase Enterprise:

mrHxL9v.png

KSC decided to send Munbus 2 (upper right) back to Skybase to be outfitted for a recon mission:

Uezyvem.png

The Munbus diagnostics found no issues, but once it docked at the space station, the flight engineer stepped out to perform a visual inspection:

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Finding no issues, KSC launched a science lab up to Skybase. The Munbus series was designed to be highly modular, and the station crew took advantage of that to remove the central fuel tank and replace it with the science lab:

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KSC is currently preparing a tanker flight to refuel the Munbus for its important mission.

Edited by Angel-125

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6 hours ago, BadOaks said:

It's always a struggle to integrate a materials bay onto a lander without looking fugly, but I'm pretty happy with how this turned out!

I’ve seen some pretty impressive things done with the new structural panels, if you can tolerate the minor mass cost. :)

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Today the Valentina returned from Minmus.

screenshot163_zpsvq14godb.png

Wave at the KSC everyone!

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Here's the Val in frame with the Mun, Duna, and Urlum - DOE and OPM are awesome. With a low supply margin and no fuel after circularizing, a RT-2 supply craft launched early in the morning to the weary crew.

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RT-2 on approach...

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And docked! First fresh food for the crew in a while. And enough fuel to drop the orbit a bit lower to facilitate the next project - the KS-1 Valentina will be the support craft for the construction of the KS-2, once the crew is rotated. Verlan, Bob, and Kargard are quite ready to get off the ship for a while - they're just waiting for the finishing touches on the Vaquita crew transport.

Back on Kerbin, Lealong, Bill and rookie scientist Matdorf take off in a Kulan for a world tour of survey sites. First up is in the grasslands:

 screenshot169_zpshnaez2wx.png

I finally worked out most of the kinks in the rover-plane system, so Matdorf was able to roll out, get the survey data, and reboard without too much trouble. After using the interior winch to re-secure the rover, Bill had to break off the anchor, precluding another flight with the rover after disengaging.

Flying north, the crew took some aerial surveys before heading to just south of the ice shelf. It was dark, but Lealong landed without trouble and Matdorf drove out to the site. Since the rover could not be secured again, it was agreed that Bill and Lealong would fly back to KSC and a recovery team would get Matdorf in the morning.

About 20 km north of the KSC, the Kulan disappeared from local radar. An investigation the next morning recovered only one piece of the aircraft:

screenshot170_zpsapzl0bzr.png

The investigation determined that the Kulan crew set the altimeter to 500m, per approach settings, but didn't account for the MSL/AGL difference and hit the ground at about 630m MSL. Lealong and Bill were both veterans and slated for the next Valentina mission - they will be missed. 

 

 

 

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Welp, I'm back to KSP after a rather long hiatus and trying my luck at SSTO's/Spaceplanes. My Fenrir prototype can get into orbit just fine, but it does not like re-entry at all, Bill and Jeb had to bail out when it spun out of control on re-entry. Bill was saved by his parachute, but sadly I could just control one of them at a time so Jeb died when he hit the ground at too high velocity. Good thing he was revived by the god Revertus.

Orbiting Kerbin peacefully:

H8rfZ7n.jpg

Abandon ship!:

ikf6wub.jpg

 

It seems that either I'm doing something wrong or the Mk2 hull simply doesn't like re-entry.

 

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7 hours ago, capi3101 said:

Tried replicating one of your cars for the hell of it on Friday. Couldn't steer the damn thing much past 25 m/s; always wanted to spin out and/or drive backwards. I assume I was using bad wheel settings. Any advice you can offer there?

Yeah, forget about that car and download this one:

https://kerbalx.com/Triop/1-Buggy-1

It might not look like much, but it's a real race car. :cool:

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14 minutes ago, Mjarf said:

<snip />

It seems that either I'm doing something wrong or the Mk2 hull simply doesn't like re-entry.

 

Open that craft up in the SPH and then drain the fuel from it, and look to see where your Center of Mass is. I'd wager both of my non-extant dollars that as the fuel drains, the CoM is shifting to the point where it's behind your CoL. You can fly a craft like that if and only if you've got a good fly-by-wire mod installed, and even then you'll still have problems.

Going to be that, or you'll need to increase the height of your vertical stabilizers; in my experience, when a plane doesn't want to behave on re-entry, it's generally one of those two problems.

Can't say I'm much of a fan of canards anymore either, but if they help you get airborne, they help you get airborne. Not likely to be the problem in this case though.

Edited by capi3101

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1 minute ago, capi3101 said:

Open that craft up in the SPH and then drain the fuel from it, and look to see where your Center of Mass is. I'd wager both of my non-extant dollars that as the fuel drains, the CoM is shifting to the point where it's behind your CoL. You can fly a craft like that if and only if you've got a good fly-by-wire mod installed, and even then you'll still have problems.

Good point, I did actually check the COM with and without fuel and it's always in front of COL so that the craft is always front heavy to a degree. "Fly-by-wire mod" you mean one of those mods that allow the use of a joystick? I have a joystick, but it has too little control travel to be precise enough. The plane was stable until I tried raising the nose to slow down more, as long as the nose pointed pro-grade it was quite stable. I have close to zero experience with building SSTO's though. I'm currently working on a "wingless" design just to see how that works.

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25 minutes ago, Mjarf said:

H8rfZ7n.jpg

It seems that either I'm doing something wrong or the Mk2 hull simply doesn't like re-entry.

I note that you don't have any pitch control surfaces on the back of your wings.  I would recommend you add that because they can be a way of dynamically increasing your drag on the rear of the plane.  You need the drag low when you are ascending to orbit, but well-positioned drag becomes an assert on reentry, and the control surfaces are a good way of getting the best of both worlds.

I note the tail fins you have there too.  Those tails are good for general stability, but they tend not to exert much torque when yawing.  Replacing them with a fin that has a wider adjustable surface might help to keep it under control during a high-speed glide (like during reentry.)

Edited by Fearless Son

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2 minutes ago, Fearless Son said:

I note that you don't have any pitch control surfaces on the back of your wings.  I would recommend you add that because they can be a way of dynamically increasing your drag on the rear of the plane.  You need the drag low when you are ascending to orbit, but well-positioned drag becomes an assert on reentry, and the control surfaces are a good way of getting the best of both worlds.

I note the tail fins you have there too.  Those tails are good for general stability, but they tend not to exert much torque when yawing.  Replacing them with a fin that has a wider adjustable surface might help to keep it under control during a high-speed glide (like during reentry.)

It did have two big-s ailerons on the back in an earlier version, probably not a good idea to remove them then. I also experimented a bit with adding air brakes to the rear. Thanks for the input, you've given me some new ideas.

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1 hour ago, Mjarf said:

Good point, I did actually check the COM with and without fuel and it's always in front of COL so that the craft is always front heavy to a degree. "Fly-by-wire mod" you mean one of those mods that allow the use of a joystick? I have a joystick, but it has too little control travel to be precise enough. The plane was stable until I tried raising the nose to slow down more, as long as the nose pointed pro-grade it was quite stable. I have close to zero experience with building SSTO's though. I'm currently working on a "wingless" design just to see how that works.

No, I don't mean a joystick mod, I mean one that augments the stock SAS (which is actually pretty lousy if you want to plane a lot). The one I use is Atmosphere Autopilot; can't help but recommend it. Despite the name, auto-pilot is only one of its modes; I usually fly with it on manual unless I'm doing a long-haul survey mission on the far side of Kerbin. Also comes in handy for keeping craft steady during docking maneuvers, in my experience. 

As far as the stability problem goes, here's something to try; I vaguely remember ferram recommending this to someone on the FAR thread and it's applicable to stock air as well. In the SPH, with the fuel removed, take the root part and start rotating the plane along its pitching axis, and take a look at what the CoM is doing. At a high enough pitch angle, the CoM can go ahead of the CoL. If you can figure out about where that angle is, you can better avoid it with your designs.

I wouldn't worry about having experience; the fact you got a plane into orbit is already 3/4 of the battle.

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This is not supposed to happen: mission creep!

I've been using a Pegasus disaster rescue ship [pictured left] as a ground-based fuel tanker at Mawson Station to refuel my daily photo-recon flight over North Kerbea.

NiVrvAZ.png

But my Skunk spy plane [not pictured] drinks oxidizer as well, so I stretched Pegasus [pictured right] to carry OX and MP also.  Result flies higher, faster and carries more fuel, about which I am most pleased!  :) During flight testing, I clocked (a nearly empty) stretch Pegasus at 475 m/s @10km, drawing 0.35 k/sec.

[The very aft-most tank should be loaded with LF only for take-off -- or ELSE -- the control stick must be held full forward until rotation and even then, the nose must be held down while establishing the initial climb.  (A bit of fun for unwary Kerbals!)]

Edited by Hotel26

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2 minutes ago, capi3101 said:

No, I don't mean a joystick mod, I mean one that augments the stock SAS (which is actually pretty lousy if you want to plane a lot). The one I use is Atmosphere Autopilot; can't help but recommend it. Despite the name, auto-pilot is only one of its modes; I usually fly with it on manual unless I'm doing a long-haul survey mission on the far side of Kerbin. Also comes in handy for keeping craft steady during docking maneuvers, in my experience. 

As far as the stability problem goes, here's something to try; I vaguely remember ferram recommending this to someone on the FAR thread and it's applicable to stock air as well. In the SPH, with the fuel removed, take the root part and start rotating the plane along its pitching axis, and take a look at what the CoM is doing. At a high enough pitch angle, the CoM can go ahead of the CoL. If you can figure out about where that angle is, you can better avoid it with your designs.

I wouldn't worry about having experience; the fact you got a plane into orbit is already 3/4 of the battle.

Aha, so basically SAS on 'roids then? Your point about the COM and pitch angle is interesting, maybe my COM simply isn't far enough ahead of the COL. I also did the changes suggest by Fearless Son and it helped a little actually, it's less unstable on re-entry now. One problem I'm having now is heat actually, but that can be mended by using more heat resistant parts I guess.

 

I'm not frustrated here by the way, I'm having more fun in KSP than I've had in a long time. Seeing a huge and insanely expensive spaceplane go bonkers while Jeb is grinning as usual is fun. :D

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3 hours ago, Mjarf said:

Aha, so basically SAS on 'roids then? Your point about the COM and pitch angle is interesting, maybe my COM simply isn't far enough ahead of the COL. I also did the changes suggest by Fearless Son and it helped a little actually, it's less unstable on re-entry now. One problem I'm having now is heat actually, but that can be mended by using more heat resistant parts I guess.

Glad my suggestions are working.  As for the heat issue, is anything actually exploding on descent?  Because if it's not, then it should be okay.  Heat build-up is normal, but if you judge it right the gauge ought reach a state of equilibrium where it is really hot but is shedding heat at the rate it is adding it, and so long as nothing is actually exceeding its threshold the craft should make it down in once piece.

A counter-intuitive thing to suggest is that your entry angle might be too shallow.  Spaceplanes almost always take longer to slow down than spaceships or landers simply because they have a very low drag (measured by a front-on cross section) relative to their mass, they have to in order to make it to orbit in the first place.  Thus an angle of entry that would work for a returning crew capsule might take longer for a spaceplane.  The irony is that while an aggressive descent builds up heat faster than a gentle descent, the too-cautious descent keeps the spaceplane in that band of atmosphere that is thick enough to keep building heat but not thick enough to convect that heat away effectively, and takes longer to slow down so it has more total time to build heat.  This can be a... tricky balance to make.  

I will say that keeping the nose-up will help expose more of the surface area, increasing drag and helping the craft to slow down and thus get past the "heat barrier" faster (as well as distributing that heat across a wider area.)  Those flaps you put on the back of the wings?  You can set them to activate when you hold down the breaks, which will help the craft keep it's nose up even when the aerodynamic forces want to keep it prograde otherwise.

Not going to lie though, while getting to orbit is the most challenging part of spaceplanes, de-orbiting to a landing is the most risky part of them.

Edited by Fearless Son

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28 minutes ago, Fearless Son said:

Glad my suggestions are working.  As for the heat issue, is anything actually exploding on descent?  Because if it's not, then it should be okay.  Heat build-up is normal, but if you judge it right the gauge ought reach a state of equilibrium where it is really hot but is shedding heat at the rate it is adding it, and so long as nothing is actually exceeding its threshold the craft should make it down in once piece.

A counter-intuitive thing to suggest is that your entry angle might be too shallow.  Spaceplanes almost always take longer to slow down than spaceships or landers simply because they have a very low drag (measured by a front-on cross section) relative to their mass, they have to in order to make it to orbit in the first place.  Thus an angle of entry that would work for a returning crew capsule might take longer for a spaceplane.  The irony is that while an aggressive descent builds up heat faster than a gentle descent, the too-cautious descent keeps the spaceplane in that band of atmosphere that is thick enough to keep building heat but not thick enough to convect that heat away effectively, and takes longer to slow down so it has more total time to build heat.  This can be a... tricky balance to make.  

I will say that keeping the nose-up will help expose more of the surface area, increasing drag and helping the craft to slow down and thus get past the "heat barrier" faster (as well as distributing that heat across a wider area.)  Those flaps you put on the back of the wings?  You can set them to activate when you hold down the breaks, which will help the craft keep it's nose up even when the aerodynamic forces want to keep it prograde otherwise.

Not going to lie though, while getting to orbit is the most challenging part of spaceplanes, de-orbiting to a landing is the most risky part of them.

Your suggestions definitely helped. I did a major re-design and the latest prototype is actually partially self-stabilizing, so definitely more stable now. It can get into 100ish km orbit and re-enter the atmosphere with enough fuel to spare to fly back if I over shoot KSC. The basic fins I used for stabilizing went poof during re-entry so I definitely needed more heat resistant parts, I also ditched the aero brakes.

 

I went for a more "triangular" shape, with a bit more wing area, I also ditched the Rapiers and NERV's and combined Whiplash and Aerospikes instead:

cMAnEMg.jpg

You're definitely right about re-entry being the scary part:

pUziPeP.jpg

I wasn't able to land on the runway, but the grass field next to it is more even anyway:

Dcnu6NP.jpg

The front kinda reminds me of the Darkwing Duck plane. ^_^

Edited by Mjarf

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Today my pc isn’t working and well, it boots and then shows the log on screen but with no words and just a cursor so, I can’t play KSP but I’m getting a better computer than my potato pc and hopefully it won’t do the same thing.

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While the tanker flight prepares for launch, the crew of Skybase finished production of their tank farm and maneuvered it into position. Then they repositioned the drydock and recycled the outrigger tanks. By the time the tanker arrived, Skybase's crew even built the central truss segment and repositioned the Munbus onto the station's forward docking port. They were ready for their unexpected trip to the Mun:

qtNMuWo.png

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6 hours ago, Partperpart said:

Today my pc isn’t working and well, it boots and then shows the log on screen but with no words and just a cursor so, I can’t play KSP but I’m getting a better computer than my potato pc and hopefully it won’t do the same thing.

I'm sure it'll be awesome. :wink:

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Finally I found out what exact thing casues my game to screw up! In my mission control some mod splits contracts by category (which is intended), however when I double clicked the category button it sent me to SPH or VAB without being able to click anything, which left me only with only one option... Alt+F4. Which would be fine if the game didn't take 5-10 minutes to start up.

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