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Blacksmith

Ascent Profiles + Scheduled Flights

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So,

as the later end-game stages fold out in career mode, we're most likely going to have a pretty complex system of space stations, mining posts, and transfer vehicles. Obviously, noone would be able to juggle everything in a complex space program with localized components in each system, so I was thinking of utilities that would aid with this, but still hold realism and etc.

My first idea was a routine flight system in which you could tell any craft to set up a schedule, for example, every 6 days, undock craft [Fuel transfer X]- wait... How do you tell it to get it to the ground and back?

This is where ascent profiles come in. If you could detail the deorbit and landing routines [The position along the orbit would have to be the same for ground targets, a big pain, especially with eccentric orbits. Its beyond me how the mathematics would work out. It would have to be more like, move periapsis to x (relative to surface), then land at target.] Anyways, you could then program certain flight events at certain altitudes, such as parachute deployments and engine switching [Especially important for SSTOs]. A simpler way to do it would be a non-selective Dv requirement estimate. Basically, calculate how much fuel you would need to land at the target, then following an autopilot on the way down. I don't necessarily like that, in terms of feel, though. I would like it if you could use this to basically be able to make flights from stations for science, research, or just fun whenever you wanted to, and be able to count on a consistent supply chain to make sure you had fuel, without micromanaging each flight.

This would also be easy to tie in with far away features like offworld ship construction, and mining. Supplying an orbital station with the minerals for construction and fuel for regular flights would be an extremely dull process. Currently the closest you can get to a perfect sustainable outpost is a low gilly/minmus orbiter that uses crew jetpacks for surface-craft movement. But, that doesn't work for resources or equipment.

Thoughts? The math is very complex to program it, but if the end result would having the network be completely autonomous and still be able to load up and pilot those vessels yourselfs at any time would be the best outcome.

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This would probably take away most of the fun in KSP (being the landings, takeoffs, burns, failing :), etc.) if this was added in. I also don't really see the point of it, because if your a good gamer, you wouldn't need it. I can probably only seeing people new to KSP and people who are bad at KSP using this.

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Something like this will most likely come with mission control. It makes allot of sense and would complement the maneuver node nicely since it would really just be the ground based equivalent.

On a side note, I do find the "we must do everything manually" attitude amusing. You do realize that the mercury engineers originally designed the capsule without any form of manual control and no major maneuver is actually performed by a human? Humans plan, computers execute, we are just not fast enough to handle anything besides low speed docking maneuvers. I flew everything by hand when I first got the game because it was fun to learn the mechanics. I still do most of my docking and final intercepts by hand, but if am am building a base why the heck would I not let the computer handle routine launches and landings?

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i have to agree with wiviking on this. Doing everything by hand is long slow and eventually boring. if i have a space station relay set up for a mining operation on mun then for each launch of a mining vessel i have to launch at least 2 supply ships. one to resupply the mun mining operation and one to resupply the orbital facility. OK so i can merge the mum resupply with cargo collection but that still gives me 2 'drone' flights per actual launch. and that's just resource gathering. on top of that there is any servay and exploration missions. and that is just local traffic.

If i add a station or base further out that's going put even more load on the orbital supply station as I now have another 2 drone flights (kerbal to station and station to base) to worry about.

so no automation of flights and fight plans NEED's to happen.

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