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2 hours ago, eddiew said:

JNSQ is hard on SSTOs; it's very hard on stock SSTOs. This is the fanciest one I've managed to build in many hours, and it only lifts a 2 ton cargo, and it only survives the trip because I reduced the re-entry heating setting to a suspiciously magical 42%.

Even by trying a powered descent?

I usually have (some :P) success by hitting the thrusters and ascending again when things start to get too hot. This will cool of the airframe, and then here we go again - rinse, repeat.


2 hours ago, eddiew said:

That said... the Hotwings 4ST gets to orbit. It even gets to orbit with some spare fuel. I suspect it can probably lift 4-5 tons because that would only be a small fraction of the vessel weight, but I'll have to test that. It definitely does not survive the descent at 100% heating, even with the most conservative "periapsis at 35km above KSC" flight profile. It just can't slow down enough without active braking (although I am now suddenly considering retro-rockets in the nacelles - but it would then need a bigger fuel budget to make use of them). I am basically ready to throw in the towel on that because stock parts were just not designed to hit an atmosphere at 4km/s. You can't hit Kerbin's atmosphere in stock at that speed either; not without a heat shield or modded parts. And that's fine, I will just consider this the tweak necessary to get the gravitational challenge of JNSQ without also having to find more thermally tolerant parts :) 

Something that I would like to have is "optional heatshields". Parts would have little to no heat resistance (perhaps enough to survive Mach 7), but for reentry, the good and faithful refurbishable, Space Shuttle alike, heat shield would need to be attached to the parts to provide heat protection.

This would also make our airplanes lighter, as we don't need heat shields for atmospheric ferrying. :)


2 hours ago, eddiew said:


Nice bird, by the way. In time, just in case you let this pass trough - you can save some fuel by deactivating all the rapiers but a pair or two, the minimum necessary to keep her flying if needed. Engine modelling on KSP are not exactly precise, we can exploit a thingy or two - having 4 rappiers providing 20kN of thrust each consumes the same fuel as 2 providing 40kN each (the fuel consumption is directly proportional to the thrust given the same flight regime), so by using only 2 you save a bit of fuel on turning them on.

You also can close some air intakes and save some drag, as you have less engines sucking air from them.

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3 hours ago, eddiew said:

I would like to know why our space shuttle comes in at 30 degrees AoA, and all kerbal craft seem to be closer to 5-10.

Not sure if the "our space shuttle" was referring to a craft you made or the IRL space shuttle, but in case it's the latter:

The space shuttle reentered at high AoA (often even higher than 30°) for the same reason that the Apollo capsules had a nearly flat bottom.  "Bluff" (aka blunt) bodies make it easier to handle aerothermal loads because the air that gets decelerated in front of the vehicle has trouble going around it.

So you end up with this thing called a "bow shock" that's separated from the surface by a distance roughly proportional to how blunt the body is and inversely proportional to the Mach number.  See the thin dark line below (and if you look closely, above and around the nose) the shuttle model below.


Another image that gives perhaps a clearer idea of what goes on near rounded bits (bow shock is much more distinct and on the left) (ssauce: Wikipedia):


This shock is where the freestream decelerates (or accelerates depending on your perspective) to become subsonic relative to the shuttle, and in doing so heats up to the point it's a plasma.  By keeping the bow shock (and hence plasma) separated from surface by an insulating layer of air, the energy the heat shield has to actually deal with is greatly reduced.

Another reason for the high AoA is quite simply that it helps produce a lot of drag even in the upper atmosphere, which you want a when trying to slow down from 7+ km/s.


KSP stock aerothermal heating is much more tame than that experienced IRL, so people generally don't have to take such measures to survive it, and to be honest I'm not entirely sure if stock aero considers things such as bow shock.  I'm a bit rusty.  Might be worth seeing how your SSTO handles with a high AoA reentry if feasible.  It will require careful balancing, the COM needs to be almost on top of the COL.

Edited by EpicSpaceTroll139
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I took the out the old Lander and Probe Pack (about 7 years old, now) "Valkyrie" out for a spin in 1.12.

It actually still works, mostly.


Although I realize now, looking at the screenshot, that it looks oddly like it's flipping off the sunrise. "Do not go gentle into that good light"?

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8 hours ago, Xt007 said:

Setting up a surface station on minimus (2.5x) Got the station ready to produce rocket parts, now to send the drilling rig!

Check out Keridian Dynamics is you want better-looking Extraplanetary Launchpad stuff. Well, there are some bugs, so you might want to wait. In any case, I hope you're using launchclamps in your base designs for stability.  I got tired of bases sliding around. Also, the best thing you can do with EL is building bigger, faster, better. 

In other news, I have discovered that I CAN make money by making anti-matter on Kerbin. I just have to do it far from the KSC, and then bring it back there to recover. There's a check somewhere to prevent people from just making AM on the runway and recovering, but it doesn't stop people from recovering it for funds if the AM was acquired elsewhere. At least, this is what my dataset of 1 tells me. It doesn't actually seem viable yet, as a third of all my funds must go in the facility, and I only get 130% in returns at this point. Decided to just build an AM facility on the Mun instead. 

Speaking of which, the mun facility (now named Dorf is getting pretty big. Already launched a new, better orbital shipyard (this time on an inclined orbit so as to make it easier to reach twice each Munar months from Dorf, unlike the previous facility which needs a whallop of dV to reach from that location on the ground. Still tarped is a new drilling core (12x big drills) and 2000EC/s fission reactor.  Once that's in place, I'll remove the 6x drills from the main stack and recycle them. I'll also start removing other things when their upgrades come online (like the two garnet fission reactors).




Extractor and power stack is finished.

Time to clean a little bit.

Launching two identical rocket-part storage tanks for the new orbital shipyard. I don't often do anything with an inclination other than 0 degree, which is making it kind more fun. Each carry dockable tanks of 12 thousand units.

Meeting the shipyard. All is going well.

Docking is easy, and once that is done the engine section detach and feeds itself into the crushing drums of the recycler.


Edited by Axelord FTW
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I node-fiddled to get a prograde-only  burn from Minmus to Moho. I should get 100 reputation points for this. I used Alex Moon's website but it's still not easy. Also note the bass ackwards purple orbit of the satellite contract I mentioned yesterday. 


Edited by Krazy1
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Delivered some Deuterium to Dorf to start up the fusion reactor. It's just so much easier to just put everything into the crusher than to start hooking pipes and hoses. It's all going in there anyway in the end. The AM converter was started without issue, and is now producing using LH2.



The second Duna exploration mission, with the lander this time, has also just departed on top of a fresnel engine stack (i.e. I changed my mind and decided to use it, even though it's kinda harsh on the FPS).

EDIT: I'm also launching the first (contract) mission from Dorf; a normal-ish place-a-probe-here that will go around Duna. Since Dorf doesn't have any true exotic fuel producing capabilities, but a big LH2 reservoir that's for turning in antimatter (though the facility can't convert it away faster than it gets produced), this is blowing new life into the Kerbal Atomics engines I have. I'm a bit late for the transfer window, but I got WAY more dV than I could need. Once the main mission to Duna has placed a surface seismometer station, the probe will be turned into a mallet for the red gong. It's also interesting to note that crafts made with EL do count as a 'new' craft as far as contracts go, which is nice.

I'm not sure how hot the launchpads can get without blowing up (I also don't trust vanilla heating one bit), there is a first stage consisting of 40x separatron SRBs. Enough to get me well cleared of Dorf  and able to start up the nucular engine safely. 

Edited by Axelord FTW
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20 hours ago, Lisias said:

Even by trying a powered descent?

I could try burning out all my remaining fuel, would take orbital speed down to about 3050m/s. Might be survivable - although the drop is going to be much harder, of course.

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About to launch my big Titan cluster mission when I realised that the numbers for the transfer don’t stack up with what’s on the mission- in a “going to run out of fuel, no way to even reach Titan” kind of way.

Fortunately the optimal launch time is 6 days away, just enough time to roll the rocket back from the pad (2 days), do a hasty refit to swap its engines for the bestest hydrolox money can buy (a slightly ridiculous 500s ISP) and cramming a bigger fuel tank into it for maximal delta-V (about a day) then rolling it back out to launch on schedule. Now, instead of arriving at Saturn with 2km/s of fuel it should arrive with about 4km/s instead, the difference between capturing into a useless orbit of Saturn and capturing into a useful orbit of Titan to deploy all the landers and orbiter/relay probes.

And knowing how things have been going in this safe lately, it’ll arrive with all the hydrogen mysteriously boiled off despite maximum passive insulation and a bunch of radiators to keep it cold.

Also spent some time prototyping a lander for the moons of Jupiter- initial test flight suggests oodles of excess delta-V so I may try to move the sciencey bits onto a river and use the rockety bits to land it, then launch four on a single rocket to land on all four Galilean moons; though how I’ll manage 12 or so tons to Jupiter orbit remains to be seen.

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Well, recovering He3 is pretty lucrative! Not that I need that much money anymore, since I'm doing almost all of my launches off the Mun at the moment. Unless I need to raise a Kerbal up Kerbin's gravity well, there's no real reason to 'use' the KSC facilities. Well, deuterium is still a chokepoint of ISRU, but, again, it's cheap and light. Exotic fuels are still hard to produce in usable quantities, even though I have TWO HEFs (one of Minmus and one on the Mun). Compared to almost any other resource production in the field, NSW, FP, and FF are just not getting made quickly.

(I ran out of EC during decent (forgot how much cryotank cooling cost), and lost some parts to the inflatable heatshield getting out of dodge all crooked like. Still landed safely)

(I should have made sure to land nearer the KCS, but 2.6 million ain't bad)

Edited by Axelord FTW
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8 hours ago, Spaceman.Spiff said:

Which engine is that?

The Advanced OTV Engine, from CH-4. 498s ISP, no rated burn time or failure chance (though that’s not a massive consideration- honest!) and decent thrust too. I looked at a nuclear engine but it would have needed a huge fuel tank, didn’t really improve the delta-V and it wouldn’t have been ready in time either.

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My new submersible base, Verne, undergoing trials.  Here, a duo-kerb Limpet has docked underneath the bridge...


Figuring out ballast limits and performing some pseudo-physics stress testing is underway at present.

Edited by Hotel26
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After two weeks of failures - granted, two weeks where I didn't have much time for ksp, but still - I finally managed to crack a route for Plock, last destination of my extended kerbalism grand tour.

I was surprised by how hard it was.

It's not that it takes too much deltaV to reach Plock. Starting from Mun, it takes 1000 m/s at kerbin periapsis to reach Jool, and from there a gravity assist will fling you anywhere. My A'Tuin has 5500 m/s, more than enough even for the return trip (for convoluted reasons, as part of the challenge I must pretend I don't know whether I will have the option of refueling on Plock. Refueling spots are rare under the mod combination I'm using).

It's not even that travel time is too much for life support. My A'Tuin carries enough water and stuff to keep growing food for 70 years.

It's the combination of everything.

I can take a Hohmann transfer and reach Plock in 50 years. It would cost less than 2000 m/s, with the Jool assist. But then, I'd be stuck in the most remote place in the solar system, with only 20 years worth of life support, and it would take multiple decades to go anywhere else. And there's precious few opportunities to get water.

But I'd still have 4000 m/s to get back on a high energy trajectory? No, because those 2000 m/s are just from Kerbin's periapsis. I am starting from Mun, as the only reasonable source of nitrogen I have. And none of the smaller moons have water anyway. So I'm spending 600 m/s to orbit and 280 m/s to get a kerbin periapsis. To further complicate matters, the only good biome for refueling on Mun is polar crater, which forces a polar orbit. with all the complication this entails for going in kerbin's equatorial orbit with periapsis at a specific place. And then, with low thrust nuclear engines, those 1000 m/s periapsis burn easily become 1400. I could save some of that by using the higher thrust chemical engines, but those are much less efficient. So I'm actually spending close to 3000 m/s. Of the 2500 m/s left, I must save at least 700 to land on Ike. Then from Plock it takes 800 m/s just to get a Jool approach in 35 years. I won't have enough fuel to take a high energy transfer, and not enough food to take the low energy one.


the low energy transfer, using the Jool-Sarnus gravity assist, will get me to Plock, but using over half my fuel and my water supply.

Or, I can take a high energy transfer for Plock. Jool gives the needed energy for it, and thanks to the convenient location of Sarnus I can reach Plock in 25 years, spending maybe an extra 200 m/s course correction. But intercept speed will be much higher, 1500 m/s. Add a generous extra because of low thrust. So I'd be stuck with maybe 1500 m/s to come back. I can take the 35 year route for Jool, at this point I'd have 10 years left of life support, and less than 700 m/s. I could use Jool to get in a direct intercept for Duna, but intercept speed would be too high. And not enough time to gravity assist my way out of it. And I didn't factor in some moderate course corrections, I can ignore 100 m/s when I have 5000, but when I'm planning down to 700, they make the difference.


the attempt to reach plock in 25 years, still by the jool-sarnus route

But I finally cracked it, because I realized that in this century it is reasonably cheap to get from Neidon to Plock. A high energy transfer starting from Nissee will take 2000 m/s and 30 years, leaving enough fuel and time to return safely.

Nissee is the stroke of luck that made up for not having water on Minmus and Gilly. Nissee is smaller than Minmus, and it has all resources I need for Isru. On a crater conveniently located near the equator. It is in high orbit around Neidon, making it cheap to leave - although there is no chance of getting Oberth effect. And Neidon's other moon, Thatmo, is great to insert into the system by aerobraking, thanks to its small size and thin atmosphere.

It would be the perfect place to resupply, except that Neidon is so distant from everywhere. The other time I was there, I had to spend 2000 m/s to reach Urlum on a high energy "fast" transfer lasting 35 years!

But now Neidon is close enough to Plock, giving me the chance for this. This transfer should be the final obstacle.


The route for Neidon. 40 years are acceptable when I know I'll find a safe haven in the end. Plock is to the left, just out of the screen; i need to take a better screenshot to include it too


What time I could devote to ksp in the last two weeks have been a constant attempt at getting those things right.

- figure out a way to syncronize your ascent from Mun to get the desired kerbin periapsis

- try the Jool direct route, be unable to find a good one

- try to launch from Dres, give up because the Dres-Jool window is not properly aligned for a subsequent Jool-Plock

- notice the Jool-Sarnus route, spend time trying to find the best year to launch from Mun

- try hard to refine the Jool-Sarnus-Plock route, then give up on it

- consider the pros and cons of launching from Ike

- decide to go to Neidon

- try multiple years to find the best time for the Jool-Neidon assist

In all this, I've gone to Mun's orbit a dozen times. I tinkered with manuever nodes in no less than 3 kerbin-jool transfer windows. I suffered through multiple 1 km/s manuevers with TWR 0.1 and lag.


I had no idea it would be this hard. I thought the six gravity assists to reach Moho with my fuel budget would be the hardest part. but I took to that immediately. Those were much more difficult.

But finally, finally I have found the solution.

Looking forward to finishing this challenge, that I started in june. and then I will have to find something else to do

Edited by king of nowhere
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I sent the first manned mission to Iota. We packed Galileo up and sent him om his way.


The best explosions are on stage separation when the core comes out unharmed.


We settle in while costing out to Iota.


Using the the transfer stage Galileo de-orbited and then separated the lander from it. After extending the legs he gets ready for landing.


The first Gaelan on Iota!


The lander looks so small from here.


We then head home.


And happy landings were had by all.


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had some freetime all of today as im sick, so yeah, spent it playing KSP mostly as i couldnt do much else productively...


Parked a dragon class APC thing near a AKS base, and did some weapons testing...


basically immune to fireworks shot from the fence turrets, but at least it looks cool exploding (mostly unessential things like some fuel for the jumpjets and like 2 chairs were destroyed.  That and the probe so it did loose control as i didnt have any crew onboard during a live fire test...


And ofc like an idiot i forgot i was on the wrong save and didnt save b4 i opened fire :(.  So yeah, spent the next hour or so landing new modules after i deleted the destroyed crap from the fight...  Still, im really happy with how the base looks, and it is actually possible to land module by module and stack on the bottom piece and not have to be deployed as a single stack (although i did land them that way as i was too lazy to make 10+ landings to the same spot).  I also am very happy i have a subassembly generated in 0.90 with x5 symmetry as the game patched out the glitch that let you normally get x5 symmetry (needed for landing legs).


And i finished the day by making a brand new version of the BC Warhammer class cruiser.  Its not a replica, but it should be stupidly obvious what this is based on in terms of overall layout.


part count is an issue, but its no worse then the dimension class cruiser ive had for some time now, and its like 50 more parts then its predecessor but 50 parts isnt gonna make a difference when the total is ~600...

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Finally launched an ArgonGas fueled taxi to meet the LKO station and take its crew (4 engineers and 2 pilots) to Minmus. A Mun flyby presented itself and was taken.

A fuel cell broke before the deorbit burn, and the one main RW broke during the landing. An engineer could have gotten out and fixed that RW mid-drop... But RCS thrust happened to be sufficient. (Lightewight part failures by Angel-125's EVA Repairs mod)

The taxi actually isn't meant to land but it did.





@Lisias @eddiew Just building a stock SSTO (not even a useful one) for 2.5x or higher (not just in JNSQ) is a very difficult thing to do. That's because you very quickly begin to feel the true extent of stock dry mass balancing (and very questionable engine tuning) which already do quite a lot to make any stock craft not obscenely OP for stock scale. The ability to pump out SSTOs is a luxury granted by KSP, but is still very much outside the realms of possibility and practicality IRL.


I decided to take a quick shot with specific stats based on a screenshot  (that I happened to have) of something I tried maybe 2 years ago. The look of it was very different.

Looks nice but fails miserably.

Mod parts are Procedural Wings, Procedural Parts (the structural elements and a battery in the cargo bay), NF Aero 2.5m intakes and beefy NF RTGs.


I've seen a few instances of "I wish we had form-fitting modular thermal protection for spaceplanes." :sticktongue: It would indeed be very nice to have that. Concerning that, I created Rational Resources Blacksmith to meet players' needs for the ability to refill Ablator (and certain other non-transferrables) mid-mission. It introduces just a bit of complex gameplay and gives more use to, more need of the stock science lab, but you can definitely roll with this and arrange for an orbital Ablator refill depot and MM patch the Ablator module and resource into your choice cockpits and launch planes with that supply empty. You'll need the lab of course, some radiators, an engineer with failure repair skill, and an Ore supply. Then you active the Blacksmith module(s) in the lab and the refill converter which appears in the part(s) that hold Ablator.

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7 minutes ago, JadeOfMaar said:

I've seen a few instances of "I wish we had form-fitting modular thermal protection for spaceplanes." :sticktongue: It would indeed be very nice to have that. Concerning that, I created Rational Resources Blacksmith to meet players' needs for the ability to refill Ablator (and certain other non-transferrables) mid-mission. It introduces just a bit of complex gameplay and gives more use to, more need of the stock science lab, but you can definitely roll with this and arrange for an orbital Ablator refill depot and MM patch the Ablator module and resource into your choice cockpits and launch planes with that supply empty. You'll need the lab of course, some radiators, an engineer with failure repair skill, and an Ore supply. Then you active the Blacksmith module(s) in the lab and the refill converter which appears in the part(s) that hold Ablator.

Shameless advertisement lol

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