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Docking Strut Prototype


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This afternoon I came across a pretty neat idea (by some dude called rustymcclintock), use lander legs to dock with something. Effectively grabbing it.

Obviously, the standard Legs are not really set up to do that, so I modyfied them a little...

Thus I present: The TT-G1 Docking Strut.


Not that it would allow you to dock with anything in a remotly save manner, prepare to violently change the orbits of any involved party... (What did you expect ?)

I just tried to use them to grab the half empty stage that brought me to orbit, and managed to do that, but the ship started to spin very fast and I lost control. (forgot to make screenshot, the one above is from an earlyer prototype)

But whatever, I docked with something!

If anyone wants to try them, here you go.

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For an effective docking mechanism, I kinda wanna see a male and female part. The female part is nothing but a ring that goes around the vessel that has a lip on it to catch the male arm. The male part is like the clamps seen above, but instead of simply clamping on, they use the multijoint framework to:

1) Move the arms from the resting position of closed (point straight upward, much like non engaged lander legs. The clamps protrude past the craft at rest by a bit) to 30-45 degrees.

2) Arms telescope out while still at the designated angle

3) Arms close, aligning the vessel containing the female docking part. The spacing of the ends of the arms are not touching the other vessel, at most one leg touching due to, well, physics.

4) Arms retract from their telescoped length, and on their way in will catch the lip of the female docking part.

5) Arms stop retracting when they are at a designated length, finishing the process.

They undock by doing the same process but inversely. This is a tad more complex than the current methods, but it should be much safer. Might need to add a nose attachment to the two vessels to ensure no damage is attained IF they impact, but you could devise a method to better hold the lip, that is just a dumbed down version. Thanks to the telescoping, you can be in less suitable positions to dock and not have a problem.

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As soon as you warp time beyond x2, the game goes on rails, effectively stabilizing the craft.

And also switches off physics simulation, which means the two \'docked\' parts will just drift apart...

Obviously... but if you manage not to click on that little green arrow (I know its hard) then you can stay connected with something for a little while... with some tuning it might even be possible to push a sattelite on a different orbit or deorbit some junk or something.

I\'m fully aware that you can\'t do the Apollo Moon Mission with this messy hack...

That will have to wait until real docking is implemented.

Until then, if you\'re bored, maybe you try to put something in orbit around kerbin or mun and catch it with a second vessel?

It\'s not easy ;P

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  • 2 months later...

Very nice mod! :)

Though when you said it started spinning out of control, that made me think of (Here we go again!) a Gemini mission where Neil Armstrong ( and some other guy, not sure who...) were docking with another Gemini (again, not sure who) and they started spinning out of control when they docked.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tried it, when i was looking for some addons for KSP and it works good. Only problem of your mod is that, if you dock with somethind(in my case RCS fuel tand) my rocket starts to spin around :\'(

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  • 4 weeks later...
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