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Associated Press of Kerbin, 3/12/21

The Kerbal Space Program regrets to announce the passing of one of it's pilots, Commander Valentina Kerman.  Commander Valentina was an accomplished pilot with the Kerbal Science Scouts before joining the Kerbal Space Program as an astronaut candidate. Commander Valentina, or "Val," as she was known to her friends, was returning from a routine climate survey in her personal Type 0 Scout plane when something apparently went wrong on landing.

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(Image: Commander Valentina in Dilbronin II, her personal Type 0 Scout airplane. Photo by Bob Kerman, courtesy of Walt Kerman, KSP Public Relations)

Gene Kerman, Flight Director for the KSP, had this to say: "Of course, I cannot comment on an ongoing crash investigation, but all of our hearts here at the Kerbal Space Center are broken at the loss of one of our most promising pilots. We will all miss her jokes and fun attitude. Excuse me."

A "high ranking" member of the Kerbal Space Program spoke with us on condition of anonymity: "It zeems zat Kommander Kermahn vas delinqhent in her approach ent lahnding czheqlist. Ze lendink geer vas never deployed before touchdown." (It was unclear to this reporter whether this Kerbal had put on this accent in order to try to ensure anonymity, but it would seem so, as the Kerbal insisted on meeting at three AM in a darkened car park, while wearing a trenchcoat and balaclava.)

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(Image: recovered still from Commander Valentina's helmet-mounted camera from her last flight, as she heads through the Truss Gap in the Rocket Mountains west of KSC)

When we talked to Jebediah Kerman, Val's fellow pilot was clearly choking back tears. "Just two hours ago, we were chatting and joking while doing the preflight inspection on her plane. She was doing her Wernher impression, and it had the whole ground crew in stitches.  It was so funny, that face with her laugh lines, putting on this gruff expression, that I just had to take a picture."

"I wish I'd taken it when she was laughing with us afterward. I'd rather remember her... well, you couldn't help but smile too, when she smiled."

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(Image: Commander Valentina jokes  with the ground crew during preflight checks. Photo by Jebediah Kerman, courtesy of Jebediah Kerman.)

Jeb seemed to become angry as he discussed the crash itself. "I just can't believe that she might have forgotten to put the gear down. She was such a professional! I don't care what Bill says, there had to have been some kind of mechanical failure! Uh, please don't print that?"

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(Image: the last recoverable frame taken by Valentina on her fatal flight.)

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I made two entries to the Challenge 'Starship: Kerbin to Kerbin'.  The challenge is to vertically launch a vessel from KSC, fly it to the Desert Airfield, and then land it vertically.   The idea is to mimic the flight profile of SpaceX's big flying grain silo.  

Here's a shot of the landing.  It was quite challenging.

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If you go to the link, you can see some of my failed attempts.

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Ziggy's Flight Itinerary:
Planetary Exploration
Navigator 1 to Duna
Navigator 2 to Jool
Navigator 3 to swing around the inner Kerbol System

Munar Exploration/Artemis Program:
Artemis IV to land via the Altair
Artemis V to test the Peregrine lander
Artemis VI to start Munar Base: Chandra

Kerbal Space Station:
Expedition 4-Descal and Sumund Kerman (Skeleton Crew, Leo Launcher)
Expedition 5- Trihat, Nelsy, Macald and Staming Kerman (Leo+Ganganyaan Crew Demo-1)
Project X:
[REDACTED] Kraken Drive Test β [REDACTED]

Hermes Phase 2 launches:
Hermes 12-Beagle 7 (30 degrees)
Hermes 13- HIB (20 degrees)
Hermes 14- Atlas V 421 (10 degrees)
Hermes 15- Helios (0 Degrees)

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 I tested a new 2 seater capsule and service module.

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I had a tourist on board. (The marketing department assured the customer that the opportunity to participate in this historic test flight was at no extra charge)

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And I finally rescued a pilot after collecting 3 engineers and 2 scientists on rescue missions.

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And happy landings were had by all.

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Today I went asteroid hunting in RSS. I found one...

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If you zoom in on this second picture you might spot a tiny white speck in the very centre- that's my probe. This rock is easily 3km wide, weighs 68.5 gigatonnes and it's a class E; which makes me very, very, VERY worried about those class H asteroids/comets/small dwarf planets I've been spotting out there.

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2 hours ago, PTNLemay said:

@jimmymcgoochie

Are the asteroids still movable?  Or does the mod put them on rails?  I can't imagine how much fuel it would take to move something that large.

It's probably movable, but good luck trying to shift 68.5 billion tonnes!

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I’ve been tweaking the Guppy.  Added more RCS ports.  The central ones were great for translation and long-axis rotation, but they were barely doing anything for the other axes of rotation.  The latest configuration feels very stable.  It can just about land and take off from Minmus, but it struggles if the fuel tanks are full.  I wish the stock game had a fuel vent option... The center of lift is nice and centered, but I’ve noticed that the nose is much more “draggy” than the rear, probably all that hollow volume.  But I don’t plan on flying in anything with an atmosphere so that’s fine.

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I also moved all the habitation modules further into the body of the ship, to make it feel more streamlined.  Unfortunately, that has obstructed the Mk2 cockpit’s hatches.  So while we still have two exits, the pilots lose their “escape hatches”.  Which seems... unsafe for a combat ship.

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Also, I think I found a configuration for the legs that works.  No more pistons, I went with actual legs.  The last adjustment was the forward facing engines.  As a combat ship I like the idea that it can decelerate without having to turn.  Just toggle the engine mode and quickly decelerate.  Oh, and for the sake of transparency, yes I am testing it using cheats.  I'd rather just reduce Kerbin's gravity than orbit-edit the ship over to Minmus.

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Haven't played much this last week, but my crewed interstellar ship has finally arrived to Drozhe low orbit.

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I've also mapped a pretty good spot for the local outpost: 0.1% avg. slope and 9% ore. Will send a lander there to check it out in person soon.

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4 minutes ago, ronillon said:

You mean this part? https://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/FTE-1_Drain_Valve

Nice ship, I wonder about the partcount though.

I knew I had seen one somewhere!  I couldn't find it in the tech tree so I assumed I had imagined it.  Or maybe that I had added one via a mod at some point.  Thank you.  Luckily it's a small part and the game now lets you add those on after the fact.

It's 140 parts, without any payload in the bay.  I built some homemade missiles and tried to stuff them in there, but those caused the game to lag quite a bit for some reason.

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Today I launched and docked together the two segments of a space station I'm sending to the Mun. Though if it doesn't make it out of LKO, I'll launch another to the Mun. 

The first launch consisted of the crew/science section and solar arm, but I don't have a screenshot of that on its own. It has the crew capacity for 13 Kerbals, (excluding the 8 mk1 fuselages in the docking arms) but I'm only sending seven, because that is the maximum that one the soon-to-be-launched Kerbin return vessels can carry. I'll try to have two of those docked at a time for safety reasons, and to make crew rotation easier.  Also, seven allows a primary pilot/engineer/scientist set, a secondary set, and a spare pilot. Is that enough reasons?

The second rocket launched the orange fuel tank, convert-a-tron, radiators and ore storage. Docking was uneventful, and the upper stage of the second rocket is (supposed) to take the entire thing to a low Mun orbit before detaching and deorbiting itself.  This picture was totally not taken the first time I launched this payload, before it spaghettified. :joy: The nice thing about this design is that more fuel storage can be added in future expansions. 

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Fully assembled:

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2 hours ago, flyingshark said:

The second rocket launched the orange fuel tank, convert-a-tron, radiators and ore storage. Docking was uneventful, and the upper stage of the second rocket is (supposed) to take the entire thing to a low Mun orbit before detaching and deorbiting itself.  This picture was totally not taken the first time I launched this payload, before it spaghettified. :joy: The nice thing about this design is that more fuel storage can be added in future expansions. 

What is that structure you have wrapped around the orange tank in the second picture?   It kind of looks like a fairing's interstage nodes, but not quite...

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16 minutes ago, PTNLemay said:

What is that structure you have wrapped around the orange tank in the second picture?   It kind of looks like a fairing's interstage nodes, but not quite...

It's the large stock I-beams attached end to end, and then bent out a little. It's just a frame for me to strut the payload to, to help stabilize whatever I'm carrying. It's mounted below the final decoupler, so it gets discarded with the transfer stage.  

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Sent a crewed lander to explore the area I've picked for my Drozhe output using ScanSat maps.

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The spot is indeed very flat (avg 0.3 deg slope) within like 70m of my landing site and has 9.68% ore concentration. It's very good for the mining/refueling/EL outpost, so the cargo lander with the base parts was detached from the interstellar cargo ship and sent to the surface at the location.

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Not bad precision, especially since I've apparently decided not to include RCS into the cargo lander design...

Can't bring myself to do the tedious task of setting up the initial base right now, though... will do it sometime later

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I prepositioned an un-kerbeled lander in Mun orbit.

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And Hilke goes to meet up with it and then try to get a Mun Stone.

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Spoiler

 Near the end of the Trans- Munner burn.

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We had a routine landing. Just the usual dodge the crater wall on final approach after you found your altitude was a little low. 

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And Mun Stone acquired!

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And she returns to a lovely sunset near the beach.

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On 3/9/2021 at 3:50 AM, Yukon0009 said:

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Thoughts when I saw this:

1: wow, that´s cool.

2: Oh god, how many hours?

3: I WANT ONE!!!

One weekend and 28 versions later:

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At one point late in testing and tweaking I forgot to put crew on board, so I wasted an absurd amount of time trying to remedy that. Made a lot harder by those scatterer waves.

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Not nearly as cool and sophisticated as Yukons Delta, but I´m still pretty happy with it. (And it´s really really quiet ;p)

16 crew max. Top speed around 22knots. Powered by 6 big fuel cell arrays. I´m thinking about making a nuklear version but it would need 80 RTGs (!) to power the motors alone. :awe:

 

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Today I took a break from building Mun orbital infrastructure (already there's 1 survey sat and 1 commsat, with 2 more relays to follow, plus a station) to work on a spaceplane crew transfer vehicle. I call it the Archaeopteryx-type. (I hope that name isn't taken already) Anyway, it's supposed to work vaguely like a Dyna-soar (Get it? Dinosaur? Flying dinosaur? Archaeopteryx? It was funny to me.) and be the second stage of a pad-launched booster. Sorta like the space shuttle. Still working on that booster part, but the spaceplane is nice and stable, and has a Vector engine with ~1800 m/s of deltav in LKO, according to the VAB readouts. Once the first stage is finished I'll find out whether that's right. :happy:The slight dihedral made it nice and stable in all flight regimes, with nothing SAS couldn't handle. At low speed it wants to yaw and drop the nose without SAS, but that's at less than 100 m/s, and you wouldn't even know that was happening if you kept SAS on. At higher speeds, it should be fine.  The main limitation is that the payload bay is full of fuel, so all it can do right now is carry 2 Kerbals up and dock with something. Guess I'll need to build something bigger if I want to make it carry satellites to LKO or whatever. 

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Edited by flyingshark
quick word change
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After longer break from KSP, having done "everything", inspired by "For all mankind" tv series , I have returned to KSP and started new career without revert option enabled and with kerbalism mod (life support, changes to science gathering, reliability, etc) .

I did cheat and gave myself enough science points to unlock stayputnik probe because KSP has highly unrealistic (imho) tech tree where player is supposed to design crewed spacecraft before designing uncrewed spacecraft (kerbal life is cheap I guess) :huh:.

So I am back to simple designs and part testing

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11 hours ago, KerrMü said:

-snip-

That's so cool, love the little details on top of the sail! I see it also took you many versions to figure the buoyancy too. 

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48 minutes ago, Yukon0009 said:

That's so cool, love the little details on top of the sail! I see it also took you many versions to figure the buoyancy too. 

Yep. the phase when you take 20 ore out of one tank and put 30 in another... Man, you´ve nailed the propotions of that Delta and the bow and stern made from flags? Just wow. If you don´t mind me asking, how many parts does it have?

I had one batch of versions that still had wing parts as stern dive planes. When those hit the water hard enough it would launch the crew cabin almost reliably into space. :grin: 

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