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Today I tested a standardized non-atmospheric lander on the Mun. Just trying to make my set of craft a little simpler. This thing has ~3300 m/s of deltav in a vacuum, but only 920 in Kerbin's atmosphere because of the poodle engine. Thinking of upgrading that to an aerospike and adding another fuel tank to try and make it work nearly everywhere. For getting to places farther than the moons of Kerbin, it's meant to dock to a transfer stage/kerbin reentry capsule with the shielded docking port at the top. Anyway, here's the crew all on EVA admiring it in low Mun orbit:



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On 3/2/2021 at 5:47 PM, StrandedonEarth said:

My career has (literally!) hit a fork ,and I can't decide which path to take....


My whimsically-named Mars Base had just arrived in a low Duna polar orbit. The fully-laden  Duna MinerRefiner soon passed under its orbital plane, just as the base was passing overhead, and launched into an intercept trajectory. With a little tweaking during the coast phase, a 0.0km intercept was created, closing at several hundred m/s. But due to confusion and indecision while setting up the rendezvous burn, um, well.... I was in map mode and suddenly the navball went crazy....


That expanding debris cloud in the background? Yup, that's what's left of both ships. the DMR core at center has shed about 90% of it's mass/parts, as well as two crew, But everyone survived! I now have five kerbals in two separate cabins on suborbital trajectories; I've proven that one can parachute back down and survive. The three base crew are in a decaying orbit (or would be if KSP modelled decay). But as per SOP, the crew quicksaved before lifting, and in a panic they saved again while screaming for rescue....

So now I have a choice: write off a contract or two and try to rescue these wretches, with the unique challenges that will pose (like trying to keep five freefalling kerbals somewhat together, or rendezvousing with wreckage in a decaying orbit). Or load the quicksave  (pretending Disby had a bad dream) and go out my mundane, routine career (launch, plot, burn, land, rinse, repeat) where disasters only happen in nightmares...

I think I may have to accept failure as an option this time and go rescue those poor wretches. I may have some vacant seats on some craft in the area, but not in polar orbit...

(we need a facepalm emoji, but this'll do) A04vgco.png

E: Funny how they can be all smiles when they're 120km above Duna on a suborbital trajectory with no engines.

Well, as it happens, the easiest solution for the Duna MinerRefiner crew was to bail out and jetpack their way into a stable orbit. Fortunately this mission launched long before jetpacks were optional. Bill was aboard the Mars Base and got out to push before remembering his jetpack was still inside the lander can, but he was able to grab it and push the cans containing Valentina and Freddo into a stable orbit above the soup.


Now all eight of them just have to hang out until the rescue fleet arrives. Next window leaves in about 600 kerbin days or so. I'll see what relics are still around, Duna has been kinda ignored over the Jool system

Edited by StrandedonEarth
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On 3/5/2021 at 12:40 AM, Sqoosh said:

Of course I broke a landing leg because I wasn't paying attention (I was hiding the UI for these screenshots!)

Or because you deployed the legs in the third most dangerous situation a spacecraft can endure :sticktongue:

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Note to self (and others maybe):

An outdated B9 part switch version can wreak havoc on your KSP install if you forget to update it.

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The Incremental Refinement Dept has been at work today -- on my Zephyr workhorse lifter.

wXv2S9K.png    Fine-tuning the weight & balance for easy return to KSC...  and "canning" the procedure for replay every time

hGkU8HG.png   Final descent rate is 9.8 m/s...  too much for the Rhino or fuel tanks -- but OK for the nose gear and tail fin

fTlUWI5.png   Inspection confirms full recovery.


I doubt it's rated for water landings, but when you can pinpoint your touchdown to within a hundred meters or so, who would want to land in water?

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Got into patching a bunch of my mods  - mostly Persistent Thrust and SystermHeat integration. Also buffed the end-game Far Future Tech engines to interstellar performance. Quickly threw together an interstellar ship in sandbox for testing.GFimlN6.jpg

Here it's finishing a breaking burn at Neidon from OPM, after only 45 days of travel from Kerbin.cFR2Yi7.jpg

With my buff applied (about x4 isp, or ~1/4 of "irl" performance from the atomic rockets website), I should be able to reach Nova Kirbani from Galaxies Unbound just over a year without any payload.

Can't wait to finally get to the interstellar stuff in my career save :D

Edited by Apelsin
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21 hours ago, flyingshark said:

Today I tested a standardized non-atmospheric lander on the Mun. Just trying to make my set of craft a little simpler. This thing has ~3300 m/s of deltav in a vacuum, but only 920 in Kerbin's atmosphere because of the poodle engine. Thinking of upgrading that to an aerospike and adding another fuel tank to try and make it work nearly everywhere. For getting to places farther than the moons of Kerbin, it's meant to dock to a transfer stage/kerbin reentry capsule with the shielded docking port at the top. Anyway, here's the crew all on EVA admiring it in low Mun orbit:




I use nearly the same design, but with 4 -LV909 Terrier, which provides high TWR on the Mün and around 2k delta-v for my Science Lander, that I use to make hops between my orbital outposts and the surface for Science sampling:



Outside of that, on February 8th, I built a Nano Base, but also wanted to build a slightly lager version that could give the possibility of expansion:

I finally found in the last days how to do it nicely:




Lastly, after discussing with another player on Facebooj, I built on my own version of the Jamestown base of For All Mankind, trying to follow this video:

I used the LEM landing engines of Bluedog Design, the Station Control Center of SSPE, the deployable solar panels (see second screenshot), the expansion slots, the rear structure, and it has enough delta-v to land by itself from low Mün orbit.



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After spending most of the weekend working on a new series of launch rockets, it just occurred to me that maybe using the most expensive type of fuel tank everywhere might not be the best idea. Further investigation has revealed that while a lightweight, high capacity balloon tank gives the best delta-V, it comes with a higher cost than a more traditional integral structure tank as well as a substantially longer build time; swapping balloon tanks to integral structures knocked about 500m/s in total from my current biggest launcher (out of a total of just over 9km/s, because RSS RP-1) but reduces the cost by about 20% and the build time by over a third once the tanks are tooled.

How exactly I’ve managed to get as far as I have without it all going horribly wrong is beyond me...

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Taking a break from debugging, I was wondering about something fun to do on this Sunday. 

So. that's the deal: do a leisure Kerbin circumnavigation journey using a hypersonic craft for 6 rich and bored tourists with more money than common sense. :P To make things more interesting, the circumnavigation  will be made from pole to pole instead of following the Equator.

Problem: doing it on Stock Kerbin is terribly easy.

Solution: 2.5x Scaled Kerbin. :)



This is Marco Polo Mark 2, for 6 tourists and one pilot to travel at 30K meters high and ~Mach 5. Built using Stock parts, TweakScale (on wings, wheels and control surfaces only).




We have some complications, however - using the FAT-455 wing solved my problem for lift and fuel space, but this thing can't withhold too much heat - so I can't sustain Mach 5 for too much time. The best compromise is rising the altitude gradually each time the vessel reaches near 1.500m/s - this prevent the part from blowing up due overheating at the same time keep a reasonable cruising speed. Had I access to a similar wing more resilient to heat, I would push for more speed.




The FAT-455 is also the reason I ended up using the gas guzzler Rapier instead of the sensibly more fuel efficient Whiplash - I need to reach higher altitudes in order to keep the FAT-455 wing cool at the desired cruising speed. Curiously, while testing both engines I ended up realising that the total fuel cost for the journey would be almost the same for both engines: the ideal cruising altitude and speed for each engine has approximately the same fuel consumption : between .57 and .67 units per second - the extra speed the Rapier gives ends up counter-acting its fuel consumption.





Heat management, however, is probably my worst problem. Perhaps some fins will help to dissipate the heat?

(pumping fuel to the FAT-455 wings helped a bit - Thermal Mass matters!)

The cruising speed is not bad (almost Mach 5!!), it took less than half an hour from take-off to overflying the North Pole. :)





But I probably should had take off on early morning - that should had prevent flying half the way at night...




On the other hand, the craft's attachments cluttered the view from the tourist's windows. Next iteration of this craft will need to tackle this down somehow - how I will do it without frying the tourists will be the problem here.




Interestingly, since I'm using RescaleContinued (and not the original Galileo88's one), the Kerbin's day is still 6 hours, and by chance the craft's approximate heading while overflying the South Pole is... Desert Airfield. Fact is that Kerbin's Atmosphere is not moving with the planet (as it happens on Earth), so while I was flying over the planet, it was still rotating - and after 1 hour and a half, KSP "drifted" to the right ~ 25% of the planet's diameter to my right. So in order to land on KSP, I would need to correct my heading by ... hum.... 9O° during the journey, that will take ~ 2 hours, so 90° / 2 * 60 * = ~ 0.75° to my right every minute to counter act the planet's rotation...







Mission Report

The mission was executed without any major mishaps, , but some opportunities for improvement were found:

  • Improvements on the heat management is needed.
  • The craft landed with a considerable amount of fuel left, hinting that we don't need the drop tanks used on taking off from KSP.
  • Since the Kerbin's Atmosphere is static, regular ~0.75° correction to the starboard each minute is needed to land on KSP on the next mission.
  • NavUtilities need to have the Dessert Airfield data fixed...
  • Early bird is not working on rescaled Kerbin.
  • Air-breaks are considered insufficient, as well roll authority on lower airspeeds.
  • Installing radiators for the crew cabin will be probably a good idea, as the crew and PAX cannot disembark until the craft is cool enough to avoid skin burns and the radiators will speed the cool down.
    • Such appliances would probably demand more powerful Electrical Generators
      •  ODFC will be probably a better choice for this.
    • For while, the crew will need to sing to keep the PAX entertained in the mean time. :)

Still a long way from something similar on Earth (Kerbin is ~1/10 the size of Earth), but yet way more fun than trying it on Stock Kerbin.

Complete Screenshots Gallery on my site.


Edited by Lisias
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More interstellar testing in sandbox, finally got GU to work well. A one-way trip to Proxima Kirbani took ~18 years at 2.5 million dV. BetterTimeWarp is a must for this stuff, otherwise it takes ages.  c3nkCvc.jpg

^Breaking burn at Proxima Kirbani.Io0Lp8c.jpg

Love the lighting in this system.

Edited by Apelsin
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Decided to try out RSS again after not touching it for about 2 years. Visuals are beautiful and the gameplay is fun and challenging, but my poor GTX 970 from 2014 is struggling (GPU core at 88% load and 99% memory), so I don't know how far I'll get. I might have to just save the mod folder and come back to it whenever I can finally get my hands on a modern card.



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Not exactly in KSP, but KSP-related (I'm trying to make this an engine some day)


('feedme' is the high-pressure turbopump inlet, I haven't joined it all together into one mesh yet)

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My interstellar cargo ship finally arrived to low-ish Drozhe orbit and released the four relay sats for local networking. You can see one of those hanging in the  background here. Next, the ship will be moved to lower orbit where it will wait for the ScanSat scan to finish (need a good, flat spot to setup a surface base, preferably close to equator)


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@BadOaks Drop some of the visual mods and reduce your textures/settings as low as you can tolerate, it can make a big difference to performance. When I tried to run RSS with every visual mod I could find and everything at maximum detail it caused me issues with running out of RAM (even with 32GB of it available!) but downgrading some visual mods, dropping others and turning stuff off for scatterer etc. brought the load down substantially and it runs much better now.

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Today we reached the next milestone in our exploration of Duna :




Just taking a small break, a few kilometers away from our destination.  Apparently it is called the 'Midland Canyon'.


So Jeb released the brakes, and punched the back engines to full using the terrain as a ramp to send us flying. Then switched to VTOL 4-engine mode to get us even more speed.

Then as we where flying, Bill triggered the parachutes for a 14m/s gentle drop down.  Jeb still kept the back engine burning to get us closer to "the spot" we want to land in.

Final approach at about 5m/s and . . .

. . . Touchdown !  This rover is a marvel, we think it even has enough dV to get us back to orbit and even Ike if we take off from one of Duna's peaks... wherever they are.


Bob did the usual science, sampled the ore concentration (8.38%), and planted a flag.  KSC decided to refuel the rover here & now while the sun is still high.


Basically it was a very bumpy road from the last milestone, totalizing 168km.  Next we're heading NW into what is supposedly an interesting crater (see first pic above, the crater is top-right at that angle). 

KSC also poked the newly named "Hephaistos Miner" which was last refueling on the Mün, and although their fuel tanks are full they are now fill the ore tanks to the brim, keeping just enough Thrust-to-Weight to allow them to dock back to the engine section... So they were not ready for their next leg (Minmus) either.

Another session is over... Thanks for Reading !

Edited by Francois424
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I've been away from the game for a few years - I bought the expansions but never really played with them.


I'm re-teaching myself the game the way I fell in love with it in the past - remaking historical missions and documenting my progress.   My save file is only using KSRSS, lite EVE visuals for that mod, and Kerbal Alarm Clock.  I know KSRSS isn't optimized for the current release but it is working so far.


I've completed Sputnik, Vostok (with parachute return), Mercury Redstone, Mercury Atlas, my first Gemini launch and my Mariner 10 launch (though I cheated and used an ion engine on Mariner because I've never tried to go to Mercury before and I expect things won't go as planned.  I'm not using any stock vessels but I may pull apart Acapella and use that to improve my old Saturn V designs.

Sputnik over Florida Vostok carrying Val to orbit BgA0w8_pVtCd0Z_ttNt2iRVz1dkpsPU2SJODSGP5W2Blop8R9B8hMSi2pGDJXoIors_pFJ1NBbFGxFf2QjssHbP3IF9WvbEnmBlYVJFk7XwZhO1tE7qSJv4jS3LqAOVQujIxT8dO

Once I get Mariner on its way out of earth's SOI my next plan is to re-learn how to ravenous with two Gemini missions before I work on Soyuz, the N1 and Apollo.


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On 3/6/2021 at 9:16 PM, Srpadget said:

About 1 1/2 minutes from the braking burn on final approach, Real Life(tm) intruded.  In the form of my cat doing his "I've got a hairball" dance.  *Right over my #2 laptop

My daughter's cat seems to have learned the significance of the spacebar in KSP.   He regularly sits in my lap and more than once has watched me playing KSP then "innocently" reach out with a paw & swat the spacebar, generally causing many explosions, which he seems to enjoy, along with a lot of cussing

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