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More Far Future stuff., and I gotta say I really felt like something else when I put this in the background to play. I already got a common fuel plant on Minmus, but that world doesn't really have He3, so to the Mun it was. A world I like a great deal less than Minmus. 0.156 0.1156 He3 per second is hard to beat. It should fill the 36,000 unit tank on the extractor shown below every 11 14  in-game days or so. Recovering that on Kerbin would be worth 1.9 million kosh if recovered perfectly.


This little baby weighs 51 tons. Real fun getting there. Even though I didn't need to put these humongous harvesters on a rover, I had to.

EDIT: Just landed a storage stack of He3 tanks. 540000 unit, which would take about 220 160ish days to fill. If I can recover all of it, that's 28 million kosh. Far Future Tech is hella pricey, and I need money.
EDIT2: Now that I think about it, this might very well be the heaviest rover I've ever gotten rolling on a world other than Kerbin.

Edited by Axelord FTW
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 Started a new game. I had been playing in 1.10 so I thought I would try out the feature complete 1.12.

I went with Gallio's Planet Pack for a different, more challenging solar system to fly around in.

My first orbital mission.


In flight at 80 km


And a warm reception.


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Got a bit obsessed noodling around with JNSQ... After many hours, I've decided that I'm going to compromise on the scale; namely I'll keep it at it's default ~2.5x, but I'm dropping re-entry heating to a pleasing 42%.

Why? Because gravity (and orbital radius) doesn't actually tend to say no very often. It usually says "try harder". Atmospheric heating on the other hand, just says no, you can't use that component in anything but the most conservative of builds. It'll be nigh impossible to strap a mk1 pod onto anything for the aesthetics, because it doesn't have the thermal tolerance to come home. That would make me sad, and since this is a singleplayer game, I'm tweaking that setting to my liking :)

Experimenting a while, I concluded that the magic number of 42% creates a stock-like experience when descending from low orbit. Mk1 and mk2 pods will get quite close to redline, especially if plunging directly prograde. An AoA anywhere from 20-40 degrees seems healthy. At 45% heating, the mk1 doesn't survive. I'm not real sure about 43-44%, but honestly, the difference won't be huge. Either way I suspect that trying to come back from Mun without braking into circular low orbit first will kill stock cockpits, so that is still a constraint that must be worked with.


Anyway, once you mitigate the re-entry fireball issue, turns out you can still make a small spaceplane; if you don't mind a couple of shrimps to help the rapier get supersonic, and that it really won't carry anything to orbit with it. Trying for an mk2 fuselage... no. Just no, as far as I can tell, or at least, not with stock engines. IIRC, the mk2 was always renowned for having more drag than the mk1, and it tends to just cause things to get stuck at a given altitude and speed - usually an altitude and speed that would see you suborbital in stock, but which won't break 40km here. Strapping an mk2 to the front of an mk3 fuselage and using Tweakscale to provide some supersized rapiers and aerospikes delivered some success; hit orbit with ~800m/s left on nervas. Plenty of TWR during the ascent, should be viable to lift small satellites, or just act as a touring craft.

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11 hours ago, Axelord FTW said:

If I can recover all of it, that's 28 million kosh. Far Future Tech is hella pricey, and I need money.

Wait, wait... Far Future makes mining other planets actually useful and profitable? :o

I was gonna go science mode, but maybe...

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49 minutes ago, eddiew said:

Wait, wait... Far Future makes mining other planets actually useful and profitable? :o

I was gonna go science mode, but maybe...

It's a consequence of increased costs for exotic fuels. You get the same thing in USI too with the metals. 

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2 hours ago, eddiew said:

Wait, wait... Far Future makes mining other planets actually useful and profitable? :o

I was gonna go science mode, but maybe...

Well, that's a big if too. Either make smaller recover trips or supersize to heck and back. The 504,000 unit storage stack (that's minus the rover's own storage of 36,000) weighs around 40 tons empty. Forget reentry without a lot of ablator. I also want to keep some of it in orbit, for obvious reasons so the first trip might just be to fill up an orbital station. I also either have to cook up a shuttle system with its own ore refinery or take into account trip from the Mun to Minmus to refuel there. I'm not too strapped for cash, yet, but I can see that cliff coming and I gotta be careful.

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Today I tried to make an even smaller 0.625m spaceplane to complement my Projekt Arkangel plane. I failed. Making lemonade from lemons, though, I did turn it into a very cute smol shuttle:




Powered by 3 Twitch engines and built with some Oscar-variant fuel tanks from Restock+, the disposable booster version can put a scientific payload into polar orbit from Woomarang, or launch a small sat using a spring loaded dispenser:





Low inclination launches from KSC can recover the boosters at only a small loss, making the whole system very inexpensive for compact payloads:




No one manufactures landing gear small enough, so it uses an air frame parachute for recovery:


And it's compact enough that a series of specially equipped rovers can perform field recoveries and haul them back to the nearest airfield for refurbishment:









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last wednesday I decided that I wanted to do a simple (land and return apollo style) duna mission and started working in it.
spoiler alert: it wasn't simple
why? I decided that I also wanted to send an orbital station and a rover to "scout" the landing area so my quick 2-4 hs Duna mission turned into a big project and a lot like a LOT happened.
First of all I realized that I forgot parachutes on my lander so today I had to de-orbit the lander and bring a new one with parachutes


tip: always make quicksaves in LKO with time until transfer burns

So I had to design a small ship to carry the lander and then dock the lander to my command module.


luckily I absolutely love docking I always desing my missions with excessive docking. Maybe even after a looooong time I still can't stop being happy about being able to dock for the first time??

Luckily everything went fine and I docked easily at sunset and decided to keep the tug I used to carry the lander because MOAR FUEL is always a welcome thing and started to prepare for the transfer burn.

I did put drogue chutes in the bottom of the lander so it would flip on landing which is not a good thing to say the least. So now I have to send another ship with an engineer to  fix the lander. 
At that point I didn't rage quit because I would want to keep playing after and KSP takes like 10 mins to load so I designed a ship and for some reason i couldn't get it to orbit because I suck at designing 1.25 mts rockets.


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I was debugging TweakScale to fix some pesky bugs I let pass trough last release. Then I had the bad idea to take a break and peel this thread, found this:



and… I decided to go Full Kerbal!!! :)

Size matters. Scaling up engines (with TweakScale) is "good" because they gain thrust faster than mass (bigger the engine, best the mass/thrust ratio). But since the fuel consumption also increases, it ends up you need more fuel to take advantage of the improved engine, and when using the terribly thirsty RAPIER….  you realise the reason they invented drop-tanks. :)

At least for me, small SSTOs usually needs boosters or drop-tanks (or both) to reach orbit (I try to make them recoverable).

Using bigger SSTOs, on the other hand, allows us to use fuel efficient engines for the current flight regime and keep the other engines off until needed. There's the mass penalty as you are always carrying dead weights on every stage of the flight but on bigger SSTOs, ths penalty is relatively smaller compared to the total mass of the vehicle.

(not that this make SSTOs cost effective - SSTOs are probably the dumbest way to kick payload into orbit - but hell, it's fun!!)

Instead of using RAPIERs, I used Whiplashes for the first stages of the flight, and then just took the hit of the dead-weight until reentry, when then they can be useful again for a powered landing. I used scaled up Raptors and Nervas for the final kick.

Ejecting drop-tanks when empty saves mass two times - on ascent, obviously, you don't drag some dead-weight once they fulfilled their role, and since you don't reentry with them, the tanks doesn't have to be heat-shielded as the main hull, so they can be lighter or carry more fuel on ascent. Or both. :) 

And, as I said, bigger the better. :) I used only Stock here (with TweakScale and Kerbal Joint Reinforcement - I'm playing on older KSPs), but on the other hand I purposely tried to be the most Kerbal as possible (not that I manage to do otherwise).

I  borked the screenshots of the ascent, so I had to spawn another SSTO with the backup crew to ascend again and take the screenshots, this is the reason the ascent have one crew and the orbit/station building has another. :P 













Full Slideshow on my site.

— — POST EDIT — --

Reentry is not too hard, but you can't make mistakes - she handles the attitude very nicely but suddenly you lose control if you rise the nose just a bit beyound what you should



Edited by Lisias
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Decided make my He3 tanker moonlight as a fuel refinery instead of making it go out to Minmus to refuel. My current savefile is kinda getting bloated and I'm starting to switch-to the wrong vessel more often than I would care to admit, so I decided to christen  all of my ships and probes. Lesser crafts will get bi-syllabic names at best, while more important stuff will get some actual thought into it. Anything with a Far Future engine is getting named after a God, for example. I might name ships with Kerbal Atomics engines after devils.

Today's spotlight was on the tanker, though the rover-extractor and fuel stacks also got baptized. While I'm at it, I decided to take a page out of eddiew's book and just slap some text over the images when appropriate. Feels like I'm working in Marketing again...



EDIT: Had some extra time so I put the first part of what will become the main Mun space station (or part of a huge ship in the future) in a 45km circular orbit. Having done that, I realized I had enough dV in my booster stage to detach it and go put it down at the Minmus refueling ground base. When I initially landed the multifuel-stack on Minmus to act as a ground buffer, I 'forgot' to include space for liquid methane in there (I put two Lithium tanks by accident). As it would happen, the booster stage for the Mun station ran on Methane.
Since I'm trying to keep superfluous/useless parts to a minimum, I landed the booster stage at the Minmus base, detached the engine outright (using KAS), and flipped the whole thing upside down using the powerful RCS blocks on it. Then I went and removed everything that was unneeded, put it all in a pile I towed a hundred meters away from the base, and blew it up with explosives (from KIS). The booster stage was way overkill but I like my margins and it turned out great in the end. It only increased the part count at the base in the end by 9, which is nice.













Edited by Axelord FTW
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7 hours ago, Lisias said:


It's so beautiful :wub:

Love the sneaky SRBs on the bottom. It's hard to make an SSTO for JNSQ, but creating a HOTOL with disposable boosters helps a lot - mostly to get trans-sonic, but sometimes just for lift because you'll be running so heavy.

Good point about fuel consumption scaling; I do notice the rapid drop of resources, but on the whole it's about finding a balance of power and part count. There's going to be a different sweet spot for all of them I reckon - and a single large engine does look better than 4 little ones, most often :)

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5 hours ago, eddiew said:

It's so beautiful :wub:

Love the sneaky SRBs on the bottom.

Ahhh, the smell of burnt TARMAC on the morning…. :sticktongue: (and she indeeed have a hot hummmm….. never mind…)

Giganta is still work in progress. I get her up there with enough dV to go to the Mün (she has FIVE scaled up Nervas!), but without enough Oxidizer for the Verniers you need Reaction Wheels, that for something big like her needs Moar Solar Panels and MOAR BATTERIES (and these ones are heavy). The verniers are terribly important on the first stages of the reentry - but as soon as the control surfaces kicks in, we are good - the canards manage to keep her under a good attitude, as long you don't stall them (dude, it's ugly… :D )

I need a way to reserve Oxidizer, saving it from the Raptors - I will need Smart Parts probably to do that. I want to avoid using Monopropellant on her to reduce complexity (not to mention mass, Monopropellant RCS are terribly weak and low ISP, even by scaling them up).

5 hours ago, eddiew said:

It's hard to make an SSTO for JNSQ, but creating a HOTOL with disposable boosters helps a lot - mostly to get trans-sonic, but sometimes just for lift because you'll be running so heavy.

Yep, the function of the Boosters is exactly that: reach  supersonic speeds the fast as it's possible - you get easy 1500 to 1800kN of thrust on each Whiplash easy, easy - and without burning Oxidizer. But, being reasonable (yeah, right, being reasonable on a game with green critters going to space.. hehe), perhaps using RAPIERs would be a better idea - they can save me the need for the Raptors. Need to calculate the dead weight exchange from this, however (and I think Whiplashes has more thrust than Rapiers on the regime she uses to ascent - but I need to check this).

And JNSQ is hard, man. Gezz… I'm still wetting my feet on a 3.5x Kerbin, and things get already pretty hard for me on it.

Humm… I will try Giganta on a 3.5 Kerbin.


5 hours ago, eddiew said:

There's going to be a different sweet spot for all of them I reckon - and a single large engine does look better than 4 little ones, most often :)

This is something that bothers me a bit on TweakScale. Currently there's no real drawback on scaling Engines up, and I think it should. Perhaps on heat generation, perhaps on reliability.

On Real Life™, usually bigger engines have also a smaller fuel consumption for generated kN, but currently TS ignores this or the thing would be too easy,

The cost, surely, should be higher (but this would affect way less people, TS appears to be more used on Sandbox).

Perhaps we should create a TwealScale set of rules for JNSQ? The Companions aims to allow things like that! :)

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Rebooted my old Terranism Space Program save, checked everything was still working (it is!), completed design work on a nuclear-engined space tug for orbital construction work and sent a crew of three out to the Moon for contracts and stuff. I'll need to complete a bunch of contracts to be able to afford to build a Mars ship- current planning requires it to be launched in 4 pieces and assembled in orbit, which isn't cheap- and hopefully get it all ready before the next Mars transfer window opens.

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Finally, finally, got a mk2 airframe to SSTO with JNSQ. Yes it did need the mostly-cheating OPT shcramjet engines (Tweakscaled down) and a reactor from Deep Sky. But it made it. That fuselage has so much drag I can't work out why it hasn't been reduced. It is... simply not useful, despite being very pretty.

Initially tried OPT's mk2 jet engine - which is good, to be fair, pushing beyond rapiers and up to 1800m/s, but the flight ceiling is low, and JNSQ's atmosphere seems to still be pretty dense by the time you pass it, so rockets end up with a lot of work to do. In the end, OPT's schramjets won out again, although their low-speed thrust is ruddy awful and they always need help getting off the runway and then again to go supersonic. Fortunately when upwards of 520m/s, they are into their power band and can push even this brick up all the way to mach 11 - with an AP upwards of 100km if you let them keep pushing. Flight is very, very low; mostly using canards deployed at 1-3 degrees, with manual nudges to keep the nose down. The problem isn't getting out of the atmosphere, it's doing it with enough speed to not waste all your rocket fuel.

Obviously, the mk2 (and stock wings) wouldn't survive this abuse at standard heating; I've turned mine down to 42% which seems somewhere between sane and not enough. Things do get warm, but they don't explode. Except airbrakes, which absolutely do explode. One glance and poof, gone.

Also went through several iterations using SRB assist to pass the mach barrier, none of which really did the job because the added boosters also added drag, meaning they needed to last all the way from the runway up to altitude and the magic 520m/s - and nothing was really the right size or shape. 

In short, I can't find a way to do a small, useful, SSTO under JNSQ without using some overpowered parts. But they're parts that are late in the tech tree, and I feel like by the time  you get to them, you've earned them.


Came back down with no major issues other than overshooting and having to loop back. Did not spin out in the upper atmosphere, which was nice - although that usually dumps speed, so maybe it would have been useful. Almost had a perfect touchdown, except bounced a bit on the runway and skidded off to the side. Came to a stop on the tarmac though, so all's well that ends well!


5 hours ago, Lisias said:

And JNSQ is hard, man. Gezz… I'm still wetting my feet on a 3.5x Kerbin, and things get already pretty hard for me on it.

To be fair, JNSQ is only ~2.4x scale, so if you can do something on 3.5 then it should translate down pretty well :)

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That duna lander is giving me da gud vibes and I think a duna mission with a manned crew for a landing would be nice. I've sent Kerbals to the four nearest moons to kerbin but they haven't landed on any planets yet. Only probe landers.

Thinking about making a dual-propeller-aided lander, for possibly lowering the exploration and ascent costs in dV.  I'll see if I can cook something nice tonight.

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After more than a month of real time to plan out and execute the mission, I finally completed the Elcano Challenge by finishing my Tylo circumnavigation mission back on the 11th of November, after over 4,000 km of driving. I’ve already mentioned the mission on this thread a few times, so I’ll just show some screenshots of the closing phases of the mission. The rover I used, the Odyssey 2, was looking pretty jacked up by the end of the whole ordeal.


More screenshots of the return to Kerbin:














I’ll probably do another Elcano challenge in the future, but it will definitely be with a much smaller (and more practical!) rover. Maybe I’ll deliver one to Duna by SSTO to make it more difficult.

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I don't know how well it'll go on Duna, but it'll be an experience for sure.
Two contra-rotating sets of 24 Ducted Fan Blades can lift this (fully fueled) at over 130m/s off the launchpad. It handles like a lawn dart without the methane-powered engine on, but I'm hoping it'll let me jaunt from place to place. Worst case scenario, it'll do fine with just the main engine, forgoing travelling around. Finding a way to get kerbals on the ground and back up was too much of a bother, so I included some KAS stuff in a container and they'll just rappel down the side (taking care not to step into the grinder) and back up.


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