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Everything posted by cephalo

  1. I thought it would be fun to try and get an EVA report from Jool's lower atmosphere. The reported 'surface gravity' in the wiki, and also what KER indicates is quite lower than one would expect for such a high orbital velocity. Can anyone explain to me why these stats are correct? Also, how would I guess the TWR needed to hover around 119,000 meters above Jool? Don't wanna get that wrong.
  2. Exactly the same ship eh? Yeah, it's easy to make unintended changes to ships in the VAB. Especially with all the click-through that can happen.
  3. Are you sure it's exactly the same ship? You didn't make any last minute changes to the first one that weren't saved?
  4. I agree with the guy who said that the gigantor is not useless on this mission, as you will make some burns close to the sun. That should save some fuel for the cells.
  5. Here's the issue with the wheels, for example I'll discuss just the orange wheels. They come with a default brake force of 300. However, if you right click on the wheel to tweak it, this will be reduced to a max setting of 30. The wheels are fine unless you right click on them at any time, after that they are severely broken. The brakes will slow your momentum still, but not enough to counter a downward slope.
  6. Sometimes the pass through fuel rules can be a bit confusing. I wonder if your fuel tanks are not connected to where you are assuming they are. Fuel gauges tend to show all the fuel available to that stage, even if the various rockets have different amounts of fuel available. It's possible to design a ship where fuel gauges are useless. Make sure you have fuel lines placed where you need them.
  7. Rather than downward force, I find it easier to manage with forward and backward verner engines on low traction worlds. The issue is whether you can go up hills and then go down hills safely, and fore/back RCS helps a lot with this. Oh yeah, and the FIRST RULE for rover design is to install the stock bug fix mod! Otherwise you will have no brakes and your rovers will be almost impossible to control. Rover wheels are catastrophically bugged right now.
  8. The critical thing on an unwieldy craft is to stay prograde (Possibly straight vertical) as long as possible. Don't touch any control until you're out of the thicker part of the atmosphere. Depending on your speed, even a small angle away from prograde can slap that nose aside and expose every atmospheric problem in your ship design at once.
  9. Maybe before I get to Jool it's modding time. Maybe I should start over with the TAC mod and have to feed these guys.
  10. So I got back from a very fun and productive Duna mission that had a very cool science rover set up loaded with experiments, and even a small mining operation to keep things going. Finished the science tree. My next mission, to Eve and Gilly, was a puny rocket with a thermometer on each probe to satisfy the contract requirements. How do you get over that psychological hump once the tech tree is done? Haven't been to the Jool system yet, but I'm sure I could send thermometers there too. Why should I? My sense of accomplishment has evaporated.
  11. Keep in mind that in addition to adjusting the various burn directions, you can also drag the whole maneuver node along the orbital path. That's crucial for easily setting up a rendezvous. They don't mention that in the tutorial.
  12. Wait up. 1.04 changes these things drastically. Aerobraking is much less helpful now, as parts will explode well before you get a solid benefit in terms of slowing your velocity. If your speed is very high, make sure your sensitive bits are not exposed, lest they be kicked harder than they can withstand.
  13. I find that the lander foot depth issue is entirely unpredictable. Sometimes they sink, sometimes they do not. Sometimes only one foot sinks. Combine that with the height that wheels rest on their suspension is also different on each celestial body, and you just can't rely on any kind of precision. EDIT: nm what I said earlier, I didn't understand the problem. Anyway, this issue is that you can't judge wheel suspension height in the VAB/SPH. They appear there as if they are pushed up all the way as if in high gravity. Once you get out into some other gravity, the wheel height will change drastically. So a Kerbin solution won't work on Duna, which won't work on Minmus. All very different wheel heights.
  14. Your example works great Mic_n. At first I was concerned about fragility, as the first attempt broke up on full tanks when physics started up, but it lands just fine on half fuel. I'm sure there is room for a couple of docking ports and maybe a couple of struts in case of a bumpy landing somewhere.
  15. That's a nice ship Mic_n. I'm done with my mission, but I'm going to try yours out anyway to see how much dv I can bring to space that way. It seems impossibly minimalistic! Can it be done? Can it be done by me? One thing I will need on there is docking ports for tourists. I'll try it. Here is my triumphant return from Duna mission!
  16. I finally got something that is reasonable and comfortable. I'm ready for the real mission. I'll post pics this craft docking with the mother ship when I get to it. It uses 10 rapiers and a rhino. My flight profile goes like this: Take off at full power will all engines including the rhino. Make a shallow climb, trying to trigger the rapier power loop right away. Turn off the rhino once the rapiers can get supersonic. It's easy to get wrong, but you can turn the rhino back on if needed. With this craft and a 5 - 10 percent AoA, the climb is fast enough, and the acceleration slow enough not to cause overheating. Hit the rhino again at 26km or when the rapiers start slowing down. I had enough fuel to dock with my Kerbin spacestation and land at KSC. On the runway this time! (After some quicksave re-loading of course. BTW, the KSC runway is outlined with an explosive minefield for some reason. Don't touch the edge!)
  17. Yeah, I don't see rapiers being useful without some boost down low. At lunchtime I tried some early rhino assist, then level supersonic flight up to speed, then another final rhino assist, and this almost made it, and by that I mean it failed, but still. A little less early rhino might actually work. I also noticed that your angle of attack affects your air intake quite a bit. If you change it too quickly, your rapiers will switch modes even below 20k. Since my plane generally flies a bit above prograde, I wonder if I could benefit from angling my intakes down a notch. One more quick question, let's say you have one intermediate engine and one nuke, how do you provide symmetrical thrust?
  18. So I am redesigning again and came up with something much simpler, basically the sausage with two wings and some jets and a central rocket. Again though, I am making it to orbit on a razor thin, uncomfortable margin, so my plane wants to start growing again. I have a couple more topics to discuss. I've tried the skipper, mainsail, and rhino, and the rhino just really likes to get the job done consistently, even though it needs a bit more plane than the others. It's also a suitable vacuum engine with better efficiency than the other two for any theoretical orbital maneuvers that might be done. I have also tried using whiplashes instead of rapiers, and I'm finding a big trade-off here. Whiplashes are much better at low speeds and even though they lack the top speed of the rapiers, they get to the proper altitude for supersonic flight quickly and efficiently. They literally use 1/5th of the fuel to reach their top speed at altitude than the rapiers. By the time I'm at 10km and accelerating to supersonic, half of my liquid fuel is gone as the advantage of the rapiers is just coming into play. Either I need more rapiers than whiplashes, or I need to use rockets on the initial ascent for a while, or I just don't know how to fly with rapiers. How do you deal with the low initial thrust of the rapiers?
  19. One thing that surprised me with this design was the feasibility of a biplane in KSP. Aside from whatever extra lift you get, it actually does make these multi-part wings a great deal stronger, with not much downside. Before I added the top deck, a bit too much SAS oscillation would shake those bottom wings right off. With the top deck, everything is rock solid.
  20. I landed it! Not perfect, almost as ugly as the plane itself, but nothing broken... Ok, so its overdesigned. As my goals really are quite modest, it shouldn't take a monstrosity to get a 16 crew cabin to orbit for docking. I did learn a lot though.
  21. Oh yeah. Thanks for the tip regarding pushing through the sound barrier with my rocket. That made a huge difference. After I shut it off, my rapiers were able to get up to 1000ms no problem. I then waited until they switched modes automatically to fire the Rhino again, and this time I made it into orbit with much more fuel, maybe enough for a rendezvous and de-orbit and landing. I could probably do better with a bit more practice. I added a front canard to deal with the nose heaviness on takeoff, resulting from adjusting the wings to deal with tail heaviness on re-entry with little fuel. Now I get to try landing! Ugh. That's a whole nother can o worms. Hopefully it's just a matter of learning and not a matter of another design feedback loop.
  22. It's only a failure if you give up! I have two unrealized goals, how to get to orbit with enough fuel to do something other than reentry, and also how to fly and land something that looks like a collision between the space shuttle and a Wright Flyer. I'll get it eventually. Right now I think I might need more engines. I'm only doing about 350 ms when I turn on the Rhino. That's kinda low isn't it?
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