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What if the KSC was on another planet or a moon? (Hypothetical scenario)


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What if the KSC was on another planet or Moon? For one thing, it wouldn't be KSC anymore. But anyways, what would it be like? I'm assuming that science is nerfed relative to the new home of the KSC (the home planet gets little science, etc.)

My thoughts-

-Kerbol - The center would vaporize.

-Moho - Interplanetary is very difficult - you start from an inclined orbit and have to burn more to raise your orbit. Landing is too, being a non-atmospheric body. But takeoff is fairly easy with lower gravity.

-Eve - You wouldn't reach orbit until you are approaching the end of the tech tree. More biomes need to be added to satisfy this need for science, as does more balanced tech tree nodes. Maybe another asteroid moon for when you get to orbit. Or more than 1 extra moon. The high gravity means that low orbit hinders interplanetary transfers are a bit hindered(maybe?) But moving on...

-Gilly - You orbit and land with a Kerbal jetpack after rolling a capsule to the pad. You go interplanetary quickly, but getting home requires some slightly tedious maneuvering. Eve's atmosphere helps you slow down for capture.

-Kerbin - The purpose of this thread is defeated.

-Mun - You have easy takeoffs and normal transfers, but need to make powered landings. Kerbin, however, will let you slow from deep space..

-Minmus - Very easy takeoffs and normal transfers (in the grand scheme of things, that inclination can't be THAT much of a big deal.) Landing is easier than the Mun, but getting to Minmus' SOI isn't as easy as getting to the Mun's SOI. Aerobraking at Kerbin is a big help.

-Duna - This would be very interesting. You have low gravity, but you also can, to some extent, parachute. Overall, this is probably easier than Kerbin. And Ike is easier to get to than either of Kerbin's moons.

-Ike - Easy takeoffs, easy to get to Duna. You don't have an atmosphere, but Duna can do the initial capture for you.

-Dres - Same as Moho, but Jool and Duna are both more productive targets early in the tech tree than Eve is for a Moho KSC.

-Jool - The center would be crushed.

-All moons of Jool are simplified due to aerocapture at Jool (and at Laythe, final landing.) However, you still need more delta-V to get to essentially anywhere from Jool. You will always have more science nearby.

-Laythe - This would be like an "easy mode" Kerbin, but with lots more science targets nearby. Maybe this would be the easiest to start with, even if Jool's moons were accordingly nerfed for science.

-Vall - Like the Mun, but more science nearby and harder interplanetary.

-Tylo - Takeoff is not very hard, but landing is.

-Bop - Like Minmus , but at Jool.

-Pol - Bop with less gravity (but still more than Gilly.)

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-All moons of Jool are simplified due to aerocapture at Jool (and at Laythe, final landing.) However, you still need more delta-V to get to essentially anywhere from Jool. You will always have more science nearby.

I disagree with the bolded part. outbound flights from jool are cheaper to most destinations than leaving from anywhere else (baring trips between a primary and a moon like duna/ike trips). the return may be more expensive as your going to need at least a couple K dV to climb back up the gravity well without geting a couple slingshots off eve or something but going down the well is easy. With a gravity assist off tylo you can sling your PE down to duna, kerbin, or eve's orbit for only a couple hundred dV. From there you use either gravity or an atmosphere to bleed off orbital velocity and if your final destination is not one of those planets sling yourself into a more ideal orbit. You can go direct to one of the other planetary orbits but it will cost more to slow down without an atmo or gravity assist.

The only expensive part of leaving jool is your looking at a couple year trip each way so plan accordingly if you play with a life support mod.

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The part I love is Squad's confirming that such things will actually become possible to experience. One thing I have been looking forward to from practically day one has been beginning missions from the Mun, especially if they were for extra-Kerbin trajectories, as Kerbin makes for a nice boot in the butt for such things.

So hold onto your hats, true believers, for those hypothetical scenarios are set to truly happen.

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Overall, almost everywhere is easier in delta-V terms than the surface of Kerbin.

Eve is harder, of course, and actually quite close to Earth. With an aerodynamics mod the delta-V for an ascent from low altitude is virtually the same I believe, though Eve does have higher gravity.

Tylo is harder for a return, but easier for one-way missions.

As for the easiest, probably Minmus with its dead flat landing sites, low delta-V to orbit, and low inclination. You also have tons of targets needing little delta-V to get to: Mun, Duna, Ike, and Gilly are all cheap for return missions. Kerbin is a bigger challenge though you can use jets - it's also nice to have it relatively "on hand" to test out aircraft designs for the other atmo bodies. Eve is an easy one-way mission too. There is though one gotcha with Minmus - aerobraking at Kerbin is all well and good, but mess it up and you'll crash onto Kerbin!

Ike might also be a good place. It's got a relatively low delta-V to orbit, and its own fairly low orbit round Duna means a direct interplanetary departure is efficient unlike with Minmus. Duna is a much easier early-game target from Ike than Kerbin (big) or Mun (worrying about transfer windows) from Minmus. And as is well known it's easy to encounter on the way back from interplanetary trips!

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It's very easy to escape Eve from low Eve Orbit, and you get the boost in delt-av of the oberth effect.  this is not entirely correct. I said an untrue thing. Eve is harder to escape from Low Orbit, but easier to escape from, say, Gilly->Eve transfer orbit. 

As for Dres, Jool and Eeloo, Interplanetary flights are easy. Slowing down from those orbits is easy because they are going much slower. Getting back up there, however, is the hard part. since I was wrong about the above part I was probably wrong about this part too. I haven't checked and I am in a hurry.

Edited by GregroxMun
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There's a reason I've set up camp on Minmus every game, although I use the extraplanetary launchpads mod so this stuff is not actually hypothetical. Given it's proximity to Kerbin and the existence of Minmus, Mun is not actually all that useful if you've developed an efficient space lift system.

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Team Moho! Launch windows all the time (and huge delta v costs to mitigate any benefit from launch windows :D)

Altough when playing 6.4x and launching in between windows can get up to like 50k dv it might actually be worth it...

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It's very easy to escape Eve from low Eve Orbit, and you get the boost in delt-av of the oberth effect.

As for Dres, Jool and Eeloo, Interplanetary flights are easy. Slowing down from those orbits is easy because they are going much slower. Getting back up there, however, is the hard part.

Not if you plan on putting much of a payload into LEO from sea level.

Edited by EdFred
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Suddenly, I have an urge to learn how to mod and create one that allows you to choose which body other than Kerbol and Jool you want KSC to be at (science nerfed accordingly).

I've actually wanted such a thing for a while.

Starting from Duna would be like Martian Space Program ;)

(Would go really well with a Kerbal replacement mod that turned 'em into Marvin the Martian-types~)

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There once was a Version of KSP where you could find the KSC on the Moon. But it was a very very early Version.

Now that we have destructible/upgradable buildings, I wish we could pay Funds to restore the island airport and the inland space center -- once we've found it, of course.

From there, we could add interplanetary construction supplies to the Tech tree. First you unlock orbital construction equipment, which lets you eventually launch from LKO, and then planetary construction equipment, for moon bases and whatnot. Like the Orbital Construction mod but advanced and vanilla.

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I would pick Eve as my starting planet. I mean, sure, the gravity and atmosphere are a killer to get out of, but it just means more boosters per tonne of Payload. The added challenge would be nice, and a really nice atmosphere to fly planes at.

I'm pretty sure I would try every planets/moons eventually, but Eve would be the first one.

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I was thinking of using hyperedit to swap Kerbin and Laythe and see how things went but I decided not to. It'd almost be as if the kerbins ruined their old home and moved indefinitely to Laythe. Great post, and great read. Have some rep!

Edit: You're missing Eeloo! It would be easy to get to jool from certain years, but difficult to do a lot of things. Returns would be tough.

Edited by Avera9eJoe
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  • 1 month later...

I'm actually thinking this would be pretty great for pvp purposes! Players start on different planets (most likely similar moons) and proceed to try and locate and destroy the others facilities! satellites with the ability triangulation vessels would be invaluable. The big part of the game would be locating the others facilities whole preventing them from scanning yours down. Throw in a weapons mod and bam!

Awesome new game mode

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Eve would really be rather interesting I feel. While 12,000m/s is a rather large amount of dV, the challenge of a mission to Eve is compounded by the need to make the lander short enough to not be prone to falling over on launch. If the KSC was on Eve, that would cease to be a problem.

Still, getting to orbit would not be easy. Mass-to-orbit minimization would reign supreme. Nukes would be used almost exclusively for interplanetary, I suspect. We might even see ions getting more use. An ion engine will run at full "throttle" without a drain of electric charge with just 2 1x6 panels from LEO, while from LKO it's around 5 charge/s.

Even if we assume that with a new aerodynamics model will come a lower dV to orbit for Eve (which isn't guaranteed), most of our current workhorse engines (48-7s, KR-2L mainly) will probably see nerfs with 1.0. 9,000 dV is a lot more manageable than 12,000, but it'd still be a pain in the rear to get much of anything into space. Docking/rendezvous would become a far more crucial skill than it currently is.

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a really nice atmosphere to fly planes at.

I wouldn't call an atmosphere with absurd levels of drag in which jet engines do not function and liquid fuel specific impulses are rock-bottom 'nice' by any stretch of my imagination! :P

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  • 1 year later...
On 1/11/2015 at 7:31 AM, SelectHalfling0 said:

Suddenly, I have an urge to learn how to mod and create one that allows you to choose which body other than Kerbol and Jool you want KSC to be at (science nerfed accordingly).

People beat you to the punch

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On 3/6/2015 at 4:30 PM, hazard-ish said:

I wouldn't call an atmosphere with absurd levels of drag in which jet engines do not function and liquid fuel specific impulses are rock-bottom 'nice' by any stretch of my imagination! :P

Oh my goodness. I don't suppose you are the person on YouTube that I absolutely enjoy watching. But more on topic I think Laythe would be an amazing place to start. I have yet to go there but soon... very soon.

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