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I am an idiot. So I had my Minmus station, and I just docked my ore lander to it. I transferred all the ore to the tank module, then I undocked the tanks and another module to move them around. I forgot the tanks was low on power and had no batteries, so that floated away, and the other module had no RCS, so it floated away too. So that means my mining operation is pretty much bust until I can send out a rescue tug.

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After spending a lot of time designing and redesigning and following various side trips, I'm finally prepping one of my three current Kerbin-orbiting interplanetary ships, namely this one:


It's the sole survivor of my pre-Nuclear Lightbulb LV-N ships, the others were scrapped when I decided to install Tweakscale (but not any parts mods at that time) when, after one case with a ship having 16 LV-Ns, I thought "there has to be a better way".  Then I "discovered" Porkjet's Atomic Age mod and decided to install Necrobones' Fuel Tanks Plus (and afterwards Space Y Heavy Lifters) and that put an end to the LV-N ships.  This one, which was already in orbit, I decided to keep, since I felt it still had some use, as it is still capable enough.  Originally it had the Argo Navis name, but I switched use of that name to the Lightbulb ships, and so renamed this one Columbia, after the first operational US Space Shuttle.  I actually have two other LV-N ships in orbit, both of the same type, newer and slimmed-down vessels using FTP tanks, and they are also mostly fully-crewed and awaiting their mission plans and payloads.  Their basically interim ships until I get the first finalized Argo Navis up and running (I gone through a whole bunch of designs for that too).

This ship I'm sending to Dres, mainly because I have a launch window coming up in 50 days.  For what it is to carry there, I've settled on the rover-lander you see attached to the front docking port, one I named Puppis (I have this naming theme for all the craft that are for the Argo Navis program that uses the component constellations and stars of the now-defunct ancient constellation Argo Navis).:


This was a test of it on the Mun.


Docking it to the ship.

That's all I really needed, but since I had the attachment ports, I decided to bring along 2 indentical small 1-man landers as well.  I already had some designs available, then I built another one, then, partly inspired by Cupcake's tiny VTOL dropships, I built this:



Yes, that's an LV-N offset way into the body of the lander--a practical single-LV-N lander. :)  Full science package, RCS and docking capability, radiators, RTGs and over 5400 m/s dV in a 15 or so ton package.

For the mission, Natatris Kerman is captain, commanding in the cupola (more of a RP thing, an RGU is the actual "brain"), while Val and Berthis will be in the Puppis.  There are two scientits already in the lab (which has some preloaded data from a big Mun science-mining mission) and the the two little LV-N landers will have a scientist in each; will probably launch them with their landers. :)  

Edited by Laguna
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I decided it had been too long since I last made a non-RAPIER spaceplane. So I studied some designs in this thread and shaved off as much as I could, while maintaining at least 8.5 t payload capability to 80 km LKO.

This is what I came up with: SSTO D-5 Diamond


63 parts, 2x Whiplash, 2x LV-T45 Swivel, 6 Kerbals, 10.8 t payload to 80 km LKO, ~200 m/s dV, docking port and full RCS translation.

The dV is a bit low at max loading, but full ore tanks are also the only stock part dense enough to max it out without clipping. With more useful payloads it should have a better range.

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Gave up trying to build a heavy space plane to launch my Munbase when I realised that:

  • a Mk3 cargo bay can't fit a 2.5m tank with legs on the sides
  • the heaviest module of my Munbase is pushing 30 tonnes
  • I can't design heavy spaceplanes

Instead I reverted to rocketry, got the whole station in to orbit in 2 launches, fulfilled a dock in Kerbin orbit and station in Kerbin orbit contract in the process, and then towed this wobblefest to the Mun


From right to left that's the Tug, Assembly crane, Habitation/Lab module, Life support/utility/comms module, 2 mini RCS tugs/Remotech relay satelites, fuel storage module, and drilling/refining module.

In my rush to get it to the Mun I forgot that I also need a scanner satellite and a rover with the surface scanner so need to do another launch before I work out where to build the station.

Fortunately one of the purposes of this base is to work out a decent base design and assembly/transport process before I move further afield. 

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I accidentally my space shuttle.

I decided to take it for a K-Prize run but someone sneezed, and that voids warranty. I chose to not bail out, because control surfaces and landing gears are overrated. A rudder should be perfectly enough to bring down a ~110t brick with a minimal wing-area remaining, right? Right.

RCS helped a tiny bit in pitching, but I mainly used the Vectors. It's more than enough to substitute elevons, but the technique doesn't help in bleeding speed. Though you know, if you can swim away from it, it's a landing.

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One of the problems with spaceplanes is how to rescue the crew in case some malfunction or damage makes reentry extremely risky or impossible. For Space Shuttle the proposed rescue option (unfortunately, never actually used) was to send another Shuttle.

For Buran the full crew (6-8) extraction option was Zarya capsule.


Launced on Zenit rocket, the spacecraft would most likely slightly exceed the launch vehicle's nominal payload capacity


Therefore, it wold require using the spacecraft's main engine to complete orbital insertion.


The spacecraft's composition is similar to 7K-L1: it consists of service module (that has orbital propulsion, RCS and solar panels) and the capsule (with crew capacity up to 6-8, some modifications would have crew capacity of only 2-4, but with extended cargo capacity). Unlike Soyuz, Zarya doesn't have a separate orbital module, since everything can be packed into the larger capsule.


For docking with Buran the spacecraft would be equipped with androgynous docking port (however, for docking with space stations it would use the same docking port as Soyuz)


The service module is expendable, but the capsule would be fully reusable. It would be covered in the same heat-resistant materials used for Buran, therefore making ablative coatings unnecessary (for comparison, reusable TKS VA capsule had ablative coating that would be reapplied before every launch)


The landing is rocket powered, allowing very soft touchdown even with the capsule of such size (the orbital propulsion uses N2O4/UDMH hypergolics, but the landing thrusters are powered by H2O2/kerosene, which makes it much less dangerous)



Unfortunately, this project never left the drawing board.

Without Zarya they would most likely never launch Buran with more than 2-3 crewmembers, using a slightly modified Soyuz (with APAS docking port) as the rescue option.
In fact, the plan for the second test flight of Buran was to launch the spaceplane unmanned and then send the crew on a Soyuz. And after testing Buran, the cosmonauts would use the Soyuz to return to the Earth, while Buran would land unmanned once again.

Edited by Alchemist
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56 minutes ago, ROUGE said:

ehm i'm early game soo !!!! i only upgraded the lunchpad :3

That leaves you with only one choice: Leave him in orbit and advance the game with your other Kerbals until you have the means and skills to rescue him. And don't worry, every KSP player runs out of fuel and needs to send a rescue mission at some time or another.

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I have two worlds/saves, both sandbox mode and with Hyperedit, Mechjeb, and the IXS Warpship. The first is my Interstellar world, with all my good stuff. My day was spent trying to land on Eeloo. Which I succeeded at! Except for the stranded Kerbals...time to get the rescue ship dusted off...


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I built a tanker variant of my largest spaceplane more or less by just swapping out the cargo bay for fuel tanks, took it up to Einstein station (LKO) to refill the fuel tank there and fill the tug docked there. Then launched and docked a thing for landing base modules, a core base module, a base-module-rover-mover-adaptor thing, and the main solar panels for Copernicus station (Mun). Thats more a what I did the day before yesterday though. Then I launched it all to the Mun.


I dropped off the base parts in a low Mun orbit, re-docked the solar panel array and docked the tug at Copernicus station. Then I landed the rover adaptor thing, and then the base core. Sadly due to a huge small design error the landing legs on the base core block the lander engines when they are deployed. Had to land it very very gently while the legs were still up. I'd managed to get a 200k contract for this part, so that at least made money.


At this point Copernicus station was back in sunlight so I relocated the solar panels to their final position and tried to get them put on straight. Then sent the tug back off towards Kerbin.


Then I sent down the lander with another batch of intrepid Kerbals to plant flags and check things out. Tested moving the lander again with the new rover adaptor, tested docking it to the base core as well. I managed to knock over the old flag, put up a new one, took some science to take back to the lab in LKO, planted a new flag, then drove to the top of the mountain behind the base site to take in the view. Summer seems very happy to be on the Mun.


More pictures:-


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6 hours ago, ROUGE said:

ehm i'm early game soo !!!! i only upgraded the lunchpad :3

What @monophonic said, that Kerbal is going to have to sit tight and wait for the space program to catch up with them.  Run some more contract missions, try to keep them simple and achievable.  If you run out of obvious easy contracts, go back to the space center view, accelerate time for about a day, then check to see if any new contracts have come up.  Repeat until you have enough money to upgrade the astronaut complex.  Then do what I suggested earlier.  

Once you have the astronaut facility upgrade, you could also optionally try sending a rescue rocket instead of the "get out and push" idea, but you would need to know how to do an orbital rendezvous, and that takes some practice.  Stick with the pushing until you get a better feel for how bodies in orbit interact.  

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@Proteus Man I love your design.  This take my Rotund interplanetary (w/Nukes) ship, boost it on steroid both on looks and technology and goes home with it.

If I did not ground myself to KSP 1.1 I'd just jump-in and do a Jool-6 (Snark's mod for Jool biomes) with it.  But I still have to bring the Eve crew home *shudders*  which is what I've been working on for 2 weeks   >_<;


Edited by Francois424
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Today the StratoCoaster X.6 reached an 81 km circular orbit with 215 m/s of Delta V left.

Finally the vessel met the target performance and is now cleared for production. Action-group description and best flight profile is shown in the craftfile. Download the craftfile here and enjoy :).




Edited by Frank_G
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I took my Shuttle to orbit - without detaching the lifting stuff, boosters and the fuel-tank. I was pretty sure before that it's actually an SSTO, but I didn't think it will be able to take the standard 42t fuel-pod too. Spaceplaneing got soft since 1.02.


Though it's never intended to land in this form, that will be my project for tomorrow. It's CoM must be waaaaay too behind, so I'm expecting a hairy re-entry.

In the meanwhile, see the cool pictures I took of the failed attempts:

Edited by Evanitis
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Well, the Columbia is all loaded and ready to go.  Final step was launching the two little LV-N landers (which for now I'm naming "Sagitta").  I first tried doing a "series" mounting, but putting a decoupler on that offset LV-N meant that the fairing was offset as well, preventing it from jettisoning properly...so, plan B:




And what she looks like:



Here's one of that pair of newer ships in orbit, this one is Endeavour;  basically the two ships are a reworked version of the Columbia, with 4 supersized LV-Ns.  Jeb and Bob are the leaders of this crew; I originally planned to send them to Duna, but now that I have a completed Eve lander ready, I might just send ol' Bob to the purple planet instead. :)



And this is my current revised version of the Argo Navis (I), much slimmed-down from the previous version since it no longer has to carry 500+t of landers at .50 minimum TWR from Kerbin.  I decided to add a visual touch by adding the docking section, complete with lights and helper rings from Modular Rocket Systems, since sticking the ports in between the Hab Can and MPL just didn't look right, so I went a little fancy. 



There are lots of stock parts, but also parts from Atomic Age (the Nuclear Lightbulbs), FTP, MRS and Space Y, and some have been Tweakscaled (not the Lightbulbs this time though :) ).  409t loaded without payload, a far cry from the huge 4000t+ monsters I've previously designed.

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I tweaked my subassembly list to make all rockets modular (not the mod, like bases), so far, it has been used in one mission and two more simulations. The mission was a ssto launching a centrifuge and glider to a 200 x 250 km orbit, then sending it all back and recovering. The glider is easier to land from orbit than all but one of my past planes were from suborbital. I also worked on a sandwitch launcher payload launcher to send large payloads. It is almost ssto...

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Well, there was a few things I was gonna try with the Nomad/Orpheus docking, before terminating the vessels. Unfortunately, I screwed up again, making them useless. So I terminated them.

- So, onwards instead! It's really high time that someone took a Rover to Duna. My most junior astronaut team haven't been to Duna yet, so it fell to them. I packed Danvey, Lealian and Liandra into a fabulous Ikaros_G. 'G' is the latest subtype of this famous Duna-rocket. Ikaros is always a pure delight to fly. Stable, easy to land, easy to fly. Safe. It has steadily been enhanced. It has grown a good deal heavier, but that's not a problem because already the 'D'-version saw a substantial fuel reserve. I don't expect the added payload of two rovers to pose any problem.









And there they go. On to Kerbin escape, and on to Duna. At last some fun action again. Eve will have to wait.



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The other day I built a test craft for this thread. It answered the question it was supposed to. (Can you use a Mk3 Cargo ramp as a nose cone on an SSTO spaceplane?)

But it was not a good SSTO. Despite it's big cargo bay, it had abysmal payload capacity. And I'd unfortunately named it very ambitiously...


So today I set about to improve it, so it in some way could live up to it's name.


The new and improved Mk.2.



Able to lift a 20 t Apollo-style Mun mission, with a 3-kerbal Service Module and a 2-kerbal, 2 stage Lander.


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I managed to get an experimental Eve Rotor-lifter to bring my 3 Kerbal home...  I used the space shuttle approach but with a much bigger tank (about 10k LF for one nuke; lots of DV... Long burn times),
Got in orbit 91x91km of EVE... Decouple == MAJOR EXPLOSION !  F9 - Decouple == LolNope !  MAJOR EXPLOSION.  Quit - Reload, Decouple == "I'm Afraid I can't do that, Francois424..."  MAJOR EXPLOSION.
Okay, I manage a safe re-entry even with that strapped on my belly... Decouple while around 20km == BIG BADABOUM !  Explosionssssss !


I went to VAB but as I looked over the ship specs I noticed I had Kerbin Selected for KER, so even tho D-V is a non-issue, my maximum TWR on EVE is about 0.95, so I most likely would not have been able to lift off anyways.
Back to drawing board... My poor Kerbals will have to sit tight for another year it looks like.


Still, here is the picture of my last 2 days.  At least I got the launcher right (and the craft, even tho not Eve Worthy in current config). :



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I recently started playing with kOS, and i can say... I'm addicted to it. Made a Launcher script that uses about 3100 m/s Dv to get into 80km orbit. Going to continiue on my landing script tomorrow because its 3am for me right now :P Also planing to try and make a docking script

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