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Exploring The System - A design tutorial campaign 0.90 Final


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Please do; all feedback will go into the second edition :-)

Edit: Just saw your location - come over for a beer (if you're old enough. < 60 miles, I haven't calculated the deltaV requirement ^^)

Edited by Pecan
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G'day,

Just wanted to add my congrats to this series of tutorials! Very nice and logical progression of missions. I'll have to try a play-through at some point as I'm fairly new to KSP myself.

About the only minus I can think of is that one can't follow this tutorial in Career Mode since all designs use quite late tech-tree parts. And if playing in Sandbox mode, Science is pretty much pointless. Not your fault, I know, but KSPs for having such a silly tech tree progression.

But perhaps there's a mod-idea-in-the-making for this? Rebalanced tech-tree, and completely overridden missions.

Anyway, mainly just wanted to say thanks for a well-written and informative tutorial!

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Thank you. Yes, it is the nonsensical progression of the tech-tree, starting with big, heavy, manned pods especially, that keeps this sandbox. Because of that I think sandbox is a better way to learn the mechanics of the game anyway, before getting bogged-down in the complexities of the tech-tree, contracts and funds. As mentioned above, I'm messing-around with more career-friendly designs at the moment - the big problem being how much you have to do before a satellite is possible, of course :-(

There is the "Better Than Starting Manned" mod for re-organising the tech-tree but I haven't tried it - I'm happy playing in my sandbox :-) - and if I had written this using it those who wanted to play completely stock would have been excluded. For the rest of the afternoon I'd better get on with updating the stats for 0.24 though. Work, work, work ...

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Set of ship .craft files added to dropbox (see OP). Needs to be unzipped to your KSP\Saves\<Save game> folder - will merge into the Ships\SPH and Ships\VAB folders.

For those using SCANSat and/or Procedural Fairings it should be straightforward to add the requisite parts.

Final update of the PDF still on its way. I was most of the way through checking everything and have to start again for 0.24.1 *sigh*.

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Thank you for doing this. I originally cut/paste your chapters as each was published and then edited them down myself to print out and work through. This will make things much simpler for folks coming after.

And you know we'll always appreciate and never forget all your hard .... oh look, something shiny!

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And here's me getting distracted by bubbly things :-)

My landlord made a load of homebrew then found his bottle-sealer was broken so he keeps sending me texts saying "There's another gallon that needs drinking". It's a tough job but someone's got to do it.

Thank you for your comments, I'll have the PDF and this thread updated by the end of the weekend I hope but, as mentioned, all the ships work as intended.

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Thank you so much. This helped me a lot learning how to build rockets and planes. I would really appreciate if you could make a series where you try to design "perfect" Lifters into LKO, preferably cheap. That would help me (and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one) much because sometimes I start lifting 2t Payloads with Mainsail Engines... so, yeah. :D However, your lifters here are perfect, but they are really distracted around the thread^^

Volcanix

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Download the launch vehicles - and the others - from dropbox in this zip file, then you won't have to look them up when you want them :-) The Spacecraft Exchange on this forum is a good place to find completed vehicles when you need one.

You can learn a lot by designing your own launch vehicles though. Be warned that it is tedious; it was one of the first things I really practiced in KSP and 30-40 test launches with 'slightly' different configurations was normal for each target payload weight. Anyone wanting to try this is recommended to use MechJeb for the launches themselves because then i) you can rely on the flight being as repeatable as possible (results not ruined by your own wobbly flying ^^), ii) you can do something more interesting for each of the 5 minutes it takes to get to orbit (about 3 hours total, per ship, not including time in the VAB).

Other people have written guides and tools for launch-vehicle design. (I don't know if these have been updated for 0.24.2):

Blizzy78 is a well known modder in KSP (Toolbar, Precise Node, etc) and also has an online engine-cluster calculator and guide at http://blizzy.de/asparagus/. Notice the ".de" at the end of the domain name? As a wild guess I'd say he's a German too :-)

There is a complete rocket calculator at http://garycourt.github.io/korc/. Although I find it slow, give it long enough and it will design the 'perfect' rocket.

For me tavert is the ultimate authority on most things (because he publishes raw data) and the best tool I know is his Mass optimal engine type vs deltaV payload and min TWR. He's not often active on the forums these days but read the whole of the OP in that thread for alternatives to the published charts - the spreadsheet is very good.

------------------------------

Thanks for your comments. Apart from anything else I think I'll add an "Index of Ships" to the end of the PDF so you can jump straight to the one you want. I'm getting tripped-up in the update over stock ship versions vs with SCANSat and Procedural Fairings. Day off work tomorrow but there are more text changes than I thought, it's coming on though.

Cheap vs low-tech is also something I'm still trying to work around for the next set of ships. For one thing 'cheap' begs the question of whether that's after recovery - a cheap rocket might be disposable but a more expensive rocket to build might be more cost-effective once it's landed and recovered. Until now my own designs (and the tools above) have concentrated on payload-ratio and part-count. Tech-level is new to me, as cost is to everyone, so I'm still getting to grips with those. Ultimately spaceplanes are the way to go for cost but I am concentrating on recoverable SSTO rockets as being easier and quicker to build and fly.

Incidentally; it took a month to decide how I wanted to structure this campaign and another month to design the ships for it. Actually writing and publishing it took another two months, even knowing what I wanted to say ^^. It would all be much quicker if I didn't have to go to work *sigh*, but don't expect anything too soon.

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Thank you for your huge answer :) The calculator searches for a rocket and as you've mentioned it's slow :P but ... lets see.. now it has found a bunch of rockets.

I think I'm gonna try to build some rockets with the described staging on the .de and see how it works. That post about the optimal engine for given TWR and Mass seems to be a really practical thing.

Apart from anything else I think I'll add an "Index of Ships" to the end of the PDF so you can jump straight to the one you want.

^this is a great idea. I look forward to seeing that :)

And.. about Cheap and low-tech - do you play sandbox, career or science? After reading your text, I think you're playing sandbox. What would you recommend me or other new players?

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As I've said before I think sandbox is the best way to start with KSP. First, obviously, you can do whatever you want to without worrying about what someone else says you "should" be doing. Secondly, if you want to develop in a structured manner you can order projects and missions in a much more logical way - as I hope this campaign does - than starting with big, heavy, manned ships as you must with the tech-tree in science or career mode. Thirdly, I think having to deal with tech-requirements, contract demands and money is more complicated than it needs to be when you just want to find out how to put a rocket together and get it into space. The Mk1 rocket here is 3 parts to orbit - what's the tech-0 equivalent in science/career?

That's if you know what you want to do, of course. If you have no idea then "winning" KSP by completing the tech-tree in science mode will at least give you a direction, a 'score' and a sense of achievement. The chances are though that you'll rush-through using more or less the same design(s) and adding moar boosters when needed, rather than trying different things and thinking about what works better and why. The 'tech tree' also becomes the whole point of KSP for some people as well - we have had lots of forum posts asking "what tech should I get next?" instead of "what's most fun/interesting?"

Once you're comfortable with the way that KSP and spaceflight works it's a matter for you to decide whether you want the complexity of money and contracts. Career certainly adds more depth and some sense of purpose to the game. Squad have said they want to make KSP a 'tycoon' type game and I can see where they're going. The important difference between, say, Transport Tycoon (try www.openttd.org/en/ for a free, open-source, version) and KSP is that in the tycoon games you don't have to drive the bus, perform the brain surgery, or whatever. In KSP you do have to become enough of a rocket scientist to design, build and fly the ships!

To be honest I haven't had enough time (too busy with work, this and SSTO rockets) to give career mode a fair go yet but, as you'll gather from several comments above, I really dislike the tech-tree. There is the Better Than Starting Manned mod to address that but there are several issues with it (eg; currently only 0.23.5 as far as I know). Several other mods also address the tech-tree as well, or even allow you to define your own.

So, yes, I spend most of my time in sandbox because I'm either "just experimenting" or I'm following my own mission structures. Career mode is a more complete and interesting game though; I'm just not sure how accessible to new players it really is. Squad have also said that it's going to be considerably expanded as well though, so it might just be too early to say.

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I totally agree with that the tech tree destroys the game, kind of. In my career mode save I just try to get science and it isn't really fun. So I've started a sandbox save with some mods, like Kethane and probably later SCANSat or however it's called, and I think I'm also gonna make my own mission structure after making a thread for my "company" - well, it shouldn't be a "company" in that sense, I just want a place for people to give me ideas and for me to documentate (does this word exist? :confused:) my progress.

oh, and another question. How do I get notifications for answers on thread where I've posted something? I already tried subscribing some threads but I don't get notifications. (not per Mail, per the bar on top).

Do you have a "company" or a place, where you present all your rockets and planes? Would be great seeing that!

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SCANSat's great, because it doesn't make you do anything but provides a lot of information if you do use it. Kethane's a nice mod, but (as I mention in the text) you'll change the way you play when you use it because bases for mining become an important feature. Mostly that's good - bases and rovers are cool and they become useful :-) Be a little bit careful you do Kethane mining for a reason rather than just doing things 'because of Kethane', or it can become a chore you have to do, instead of added fun. If you do decide to use Kethane then KAS (Kerbal Attachment System) is highly recommended too. That lets you add and detach parts, build cranes and things like that, 'in flight' which all make bases much easier and more flexible - you can use fuel lines just like hose pipes to connect a fuel tank to a lander, refuel it, detach again and launch the rocket, etc. etc.

"Rocket Builders" - a sub-forum of the Spacecraft Exchange (link in my first reply to you) - might be the place to establish a thread for your 'company', otherwise start a blog. The word you want is just "document", it's used as a verb as well as a noun in English ("I will document my progress in this thread"). Subscribing to threads works as far as I know, look under 'settings' in your profile for notification of threads with unread posts (I don't know about getting notifications by email). I don't have a blog or 'company' because I've never been happy that a set of my vehicles could compete with some of the others - I am a big fan of mhoram, for instance, (although he doesn't like having a 'fan'!); see http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/74395-0-23-5-Lopac-Lifter-Family-10-520-ton-V0-9-Low-Partcount-Lifters. I am hoping the SSTO rockets are worth publishing.

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Okay. Now I'm a bit more clever :)

I think I'm just gonna play normal with Sandbox and try to get to Mun, build a Space Station etc. to learn a bit more about the game and add Plugins later. Thanks for your help!

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WARNING!

I am having trouble with LV-10-1 in Chapter 5 (used to launch Cartographer Heavy). For some reason it is failing to reach orbit, never mind being able to de-orbit afterwards. This may be an issue with the mods I'm using, their versions and 0.24.2 - a lot of part details have changed. At the moment I think it's probably that the fairings are heavier than in 0.23.5 (when I originally designed the vehicles). While I'm checking this out you might want to launch Cartographer Heavy with either LV-8-A (*yeah*, it gets used at last!) or LV-25-S (from Chapter 7).

Or design your own launch vehicle, of course :-)

ETA: And the answer is - LV-10-1 needs an X200-32 fuel tank in place of the X200-16. It's odd, nearly all the other vehicles have been unaffected or improved by the version changes. This is the only one I've found that actually needs a design change.

Edited by Pecan
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Finally finished checking and amending the PDF for 0.24.2. From now the PDF version should be considered definitive; text in this thread will be updated as a final step. For the moment that'll still proceed slowly until I've got a reliable set of macros for reformatting from LibreOffice to BBCode.

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Some messing-around getting pictures to make it easy to compare the various ships. As you may have found it's difficult to get good shots of multiple ships because you can't easily get them out at the same time and it's difficult to make sure the camera is in the same position/lighting conditions for separate 'launches'. Here I've created a 'camera car' using RasterPropMonitor (RPM, mod for excellent IVA instrumentation. It includes a hull camera) and positioned it next to the launch pad, then launched each ship in turn, photographed it then reverted it to VAB. I think the result is interesting.

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Some messing-around getting pictures to make it easy to compare the various ships. As you may have found it's difficult to get good shots of multiple ships because you can't easily get them out at the same time and it's difficult to make sure the camera is in the same position/lighting conditions for separate 'launches'. Here I've created a 'camera car' using RasterPropMonitor (RPM, mod for excellent IVA instrumentation. It includes a hull camera) and positioned it next to the launch pad, then launched each ship in turn, photographed it then reverted it to VAB. I think the result is interesting.

http://imgur.com/a/0A5Il

This is really interesting. I think I should try to scrape up some time to finish your tutorial campaign, there is a whole lot of things to learn. But one thing your tutorial taught me (and it taught me a lot of things) which I consider the most important is the understanding of the TWR and ∆V and with this, building cost-efficient and rockets with a failure rate of 100% less than before. The only failure is my steering... Even if I made it to Minmus and Mun.. but only the SOI. Wasn't supposed to land, I was just wondering how far my rocket would get.

I've got a question. What are these "transfer windows" to planets that are not in the Kerbin system? Does it mean that when you want to fly to planets in the Kerbol system which are not orbiting around Kerbin you have to wait some time until that "transfer window" opens and you've only got a bit of distance to the other planet?

Volcanix

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...Does it mean that when you want to fly to planets in the Kerbol system which are not orbiting around Kerbin you have to wait some time until that "transfer window" opens and you've only got a bit of distance to the other planet?

Essentially, yes, but it's not so much the distance you have to cover as that you need to arrive at the target's orbital altitude AND when the planet's there!

From Kerbin you can go to Mun/Minmus any time you like just by making your burn at the appropriate point around your orbit. Similarly, starting from a solar (Kerbol) orbit, you can go to any planet just by burning at the right place. Getting into a circular solar orbit in the first place takes a lot of deltaV though, if you make it low enough that your ship's 'year' is practical. Then you might have to wait a local year to get to the right part of the orbit, then you need to burn a lot more deltaV to get back 'up' to the target planet's orbit. So, all in all, not usually a great plan.

Thoughts on the steps to interplanetary ... (you might find it useful to sketch these out or make dummy manoeuvre nodes to see how the orbits look)

  1. Hohmann transfer from 75km LKO to 100km LKO - nice and easy you burn prograde (go faster) any time you want to. Going faster raises the opposite point on your orbit and you burn until it forms a new apoapsis at 100km then cut engines. Drift around to this new apoapsis then circularise by burning prograde again, raising what was your 75km periapsis, until it too is roughly 100km. Similar retrograde burns to lower periapsis/apoapsis.
  2. Hohmann transfer from 100km LKO to Mun's altitude. Burn prograde whenever you feel like it until your apoapsis is 12Mm (according to the wiki, I thought it was 11.4 for some reason). Drift around to apoapsis and circularise. You're at "Mun orbital altitude", sharing the same orbit, but unless you did your burn in the appropriate, small, segment of your LKO the Mun won't be in the same place as you once you circularise. For the moment I'm assuming we stopped at this altitude to enjoy the view or something but didn't get an encounter with Mun.
  3. Hohmann transfer from Mun altitude to Minmus altitude (ignoring the plane-change but the point's the same). Burn prograde as before until your apoapsis reaches 47Mm, drift around then circularise. What are the chances that Minmus will just happen to be in the same part of its orbit as you are, so you get an encounter? Pretty slim ^^. Let's try this again ...
  4. Hohmann transfer from Mun altitude to Minmus encounter (still ignoring the plane-change - you know you need it but let's pretend we don't for now). Set up a manoeuvre node to increase your apoapsis as above. Now drag it around your orbit (shared with Mun) until it gives you a Minmus encounter. You may have to wait a number of orbits before you can GET an encounter - You're on a lower orbit around Kerbin than Minmus so going faster but if you start 'ahead' of Minmus you'll have to wait until you've both orbitted several times and you've caught-up with it again. The time it'll take to drift across to Minmus altitude is (more or less) a constant because you're just transferring from 12Mm to 47Mm but it won't do you any good if you go at the wrong time. This is exactly the same as performing an orbital rendezvous for docking, using a phasing orbit; it's just on a bigger, slower, scale.
  5. Hohmann transfer from Mun orbit to Minmus encounter - when you're orbitting Mun you are also still orbiting Kerbin at 12Mm, on average. In fact, from the wider perspective you could say you're just orbiting Kerbin at 12Mm with some odd fluctations -the relatively tiny diameter of you Mun orbit - caused by the dirty great big rock you're next to. To get to Minmus altitude you still need to do a burn prograde to your Kerbin orbit, as in 3 and 4 above. There'll only be one segment of your Mun orbit where you're heading in that direction so you know the manoeuvre node will go there. You also still need to wait until you - and Mun - are in the right part of your Kerbin orbit relative to Minmus, as in 4. That could be LOTS of orbits around Mun! The situation is pretty much the same as 4, it's just that you can't move the manoeuvre node around your Kerbin orbit the way you could before, you can only move it around your Mun orbit. It's a pain, to say the least. That's why you need to calculate the transfer window (being the beginning and end of the 'right' segment your Kerbin orbit) or look it up. In 3 we didn't care about an encounter and in 4 we could just play directly with the Kerbin orbit so it wasn't so hard to find the window.
  6. Interplanetary transfers are similar except that instead of going between Mun and Minmus, orbiting Kerbin, you're going between (say) Kerbin and Duna, orbiting Kerbol. In Kerbin orbit you're orbiting Kerbol at roughly 13.5Gm, with some insignificant little fluctuations (the diameter of your orbit around Kerbin). You need to burn prograde to your Kerbol orbit to raise your apoapsis to 20.7Gm and there'll only be one point on your Kerbin orbit when you're heading that way. Nevertheless you have to make that burn when Kerbin and Duna are in the right relative positions so that in the time it takes for you to drift up to Duna's altitude (more than half a year!) Duna itself will also arrive in the same part of its orbit, so you get an encounter. Get it wrong and you could get to the right altitude but Duna could be half a year around its orbit - as in 3 above.

So the transfer window is about getting to the same part of the target's orbit as it will be in, rather than making it a short distance to go.

This tutorial may help more http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/27236-Tutorial-Step-by-step-Interplanetary-Hohmann-transfer-guide-and-tips but essentially it's all about much bigger phasing orbits for rendezvous. Practicing going backwards and forwards between Mun and Minmus is a good way to get the hang of things.

ETA: I wouldn't worry about finishing this campaign/tutorial. I see it more as a reference in a logical order than a document to be followed precisely - having your own ideas once you've got the basics is much better :-) If anything I imagine people wanting to read as far as lunar landings just to see how it can be done then, with the basics of staging, TWR and deltaV, heading off to have their own fun. 'Project Lacuna' marks the end of the real tutorial part and the start of the 'here are some ideas for going further' section. It took me months with KSP before I bothered going interplanetary (except for one flying visit to Duna just to see if I realy could do it!), mostly because I was having so much fun 'running' Kerbin-system space-stations and visiting all the anomalies on Kerbin, Mun and Minmus. Then I spent a whole lot of time just finding a set of reusable vehicles I was happy with and once those were mostly away or in-place I started writing this ^^. I still haven't got an Eve transfer window doing this campaign, only in another save where I time-warpped loads specifically to go there! Currently on day 1 of a whole new game, working on low-cost, low-tech vehicles ... well you and others did ask :-)

Edited by Pecan
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Oh, you always post that long answers which help me a whole lot through the game, don't you? :wink:

…'Project Lacuna' marks the end of the real tutorial part and the start of the 'here are some ideas for going further' section...

And that is the reason why I still look at your tutorial.

Currently on day 1 of a whole new game, working on low-cost, low-tech vehicles ... well you and others did ask :-)

Are you still playing sandbox? Will you play career mode if the contracts will get better in 0.25 or will you stick to sandbox like I do at the moment? Would you use FinePrint and Better Than Starting Manned (two Mods that improve the tech tree and contracts) if you would play career mode? Just some things I'm interested in.

Do you play multiplayer? I would love to spy - I mean look at your new ships to get inspiration. :D

Volcanix

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I'm doing the new ships in career mode because I need to check the tech levels of all the parts and there are so many contracts money isn't an issue. Then again, I'm not really "doing" career mode because I'm not pushing to "win" KSP by completing the tech-tree or getting a the world's biggest pile of unused money. I think I've done about 12 launches and only unlocked the first three levels and a couple of other nodes in the tech tree. Only just have things heading for Mun and Minmus because I didn't want to go without solar panels. That may change, I'm still just getting a feel for what you can do with such parts.

Oh - and laughing at the madness that makes a ladder a 5th-level tech!

No, I don't do multiplayer and watching me would probably be very boring - it's nearly all time in the VAB (and not enough time with a spelling checker I'm afraid).

Edited by Pecan
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I'm doing the new ships in career mode because I need to check the tech levels of all the parts and there are so many contracts money isn't an issue. Then again, I'm not really "doing" career mode because I'm not pushing to "win" KSP by completing the tech-tree or getting a the world's biggest pile of unused money. I think I've done about 12 launches and only unlocked the first three levels and a couple of other nodes in the tech tree. Only just have things heading for Mun and Minmus because I didn't want to go without solar panels. That may change, I'm still just getting a feel for what you can do with such parts.

Oh - and laughing at the madness that makes a ladder a 5th-level tech!

No, I don't do multiplayer and watching me would probably be very boring - it's nearly all time in the VAB (and not enough time with a spelling checker I'm afraid).

So, you only play on your career mode save game to test out cost-efficient and low-tech rockets, right?

What are you currently building in your Sandbox save game? I started a new one today because the old one was full of ships packed with equipment from mods like Kethane or SCANSat and I started only thinking about Kethane and not the other "beauties" of KSP. Now, in my new save game, I built a Station core for my KSS (Kerbal Space Station, very creative, right?). Nothing science-related on there, everything just for fun. I try to make it a refueling station for other ships. Some screenshots I made:

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That's not much, but there wasn't much to screenshot. Just a basic station with 5 crew seats, a little fuel tank for basic refueling, a battery to recharge docked ships and 2 Gigantor XL Solar arrays to charge the battery and power the cupola module and lights, not much at the moment. Maybe I'll open a thread in the mission reports section or however it's called to not lose the progress. Or I'm just gonna write something about it on Pages (like word for mac). I'll see.

Have you got a station around Kerbin or other planets which is similar to this one? What is its purpose?

Volcanix

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From your earlier post:

Oh, you always post that long answers which help me a whole lot through the game, don't you?

Good questions, asked politely, deserve good answers. Whether I'm able to give good answers is a different matter ^^. I hope such as I do give do actually help. Added to all that, you're having to work in a foreign language AND get through my typographical errors - how could I refuse to respond to the best of my abilities. Google gives me this: "Ich war vier Jahre lang Deutsch im Gymnasium unterrichtet. Jeder Fehler zu lernen, ist ganz mein." (I would have put 'seit vier Jahre', but that's probably proof that I didn't learn much!)

I started only thinking about Kethane and not the other "beauties" of KSP.

Hehe, a page ago I warned "Be a little bit careful you do Kethane mining for a reason rather than just doing things 'because of Kethane', or it can become a chore you have to do, instead of added fun." It's good to feel you need to 'achieve' something in KSP but it's even better to remember the only reason any of us are here is because we're enjoying it :-)

So, you only play on your career mode save game to test out cost-efficient and low-tech rockets, right? - What are you currently building in your Sandbox save game?

...Maybe I'll open a thread in the mission reports section or however it's called to not lose the progress. Or I'm just gonna write something about it on Pages (like word for mac). I'll see.

Have you got a station around Kerbin or other planets which is similar to this one? What is its purpose?

I don't have TIME to play KSP for more than one reason at a time! I might try a challenge every now and again but otherwise sandbox is "messing around". In as much as there's any direction there it's different types of spaceplane that don't meet my (career) SSTO rocket intentions. Understanding the tech-tree (and trying not to laugh or spit at it) is what I'm doing in KSP at the moment. Plus, almost all the time, I'm juggling mods to see what I like and what my aged computer can cope with. EVE keeps coming and going - clouds are nice but hardly important (city lights just don't work for me when there's no 'city' there!). New to me are KerbinSide (launch from other places - decided I wanted the memory more while I'm designing but very nice for playing around), Distant Object Enhancement (DOE - recently patched for 0.24.2, looks like a keeper), NavUtils (HSI and ILS - more instruments, what's not to like?), Probe Control Room ("IVA" for unmanned vehicles - works brilliantly with RPM, SCANSat, MJ, et all. Part of the core mods from now on, I think) and GlowStips (haven't actually tried them yet, testing as an alternative to illuminators and/or Aviation Lights).

Oh - and I'm still playing with Bargain Rockets because it's funny.

Please do write some stories, mission reports and/or tutorials of your own - too many people make and watch bad videos, I think (there are some very good ones as well, of course), but writing then reading take a lot more time and effort. For some people that means a lot more is passed on, but it depends on learning style of course. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words but sometimes (the lesson of) a thousand words will be remembered longer.

Thanks for the pictures of your station. What's that huge monopropellant tank for? We all tend to think that since we'll be docking a lot we'll need lots of RCS fuel but once you practice a bit you find it's ROCKET fuel you need. The good thing is you can easily add that, of course, because you have all those open docking ports at the moment. My space-station design should be familiar - pretty much everything in Chapters 7 and 8 is what I'm using to go anywhere/everywhere. There are some differences in my current 'standard' station - it has even more docking ports; 2 landers, 2 lander drones, 2 scooters, 2 'visitor' (usually Crew Shuttles) and 4 fuel/others - but the basics are the same. The purpose is still to be a centre of operations for a planet or moon, providing refuelling capability, 'home' for station, tractor and lander crew, transit accommodation for other mission crews. Given that I'm working in careeer mode now the lab and scientific equipment also has (or will have) a purpose, so they tend to be 2 more (lab) people around than I had before.

Career mode hasn't got as far as stations yet - no docking ports so not much point - so it only exists in sandbox and I don't have any pictures at the moment.

Oh, and thanks for the recommendation in your signature :-) Whimsically, I keep thinking of doing 'Basic Rocket Design - Explained simply with pictures' to match it. That might be next, to be honest, before the career stuff.

Edited by Pecan
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