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Hagen von Tronje

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Everything posted by Hagen von Tronje

  1. Didn't mention it because it goes without saying and is true of everywhere, from Eve to Minmus. I'm simply comparing traits of the celestial bodies, not the assets present at KSC. Obviously the real challenge on any non-Kerbin celestial body is landing something already constructed that can then launch back to return trajectories rather than rolling it down to the pad. If you land something on Tylo that can't leave, you should have tested it on Kerbin, as Kerbin is indeed harder to exit in absolute terms than Tylo, to say nothing of the fact that you can hold a lower stable orbit around Tylo due to having no atmosphere. I don't know why you wouldn't do that? The main difficulty on Tylo should simply be landing a craft that meets those specs whole and in a state to make that launch - not that that's easy, but at least the exit should be very well in hand if you don't outright refuse a little overengineering (consider it a margin for maneuvers if you like). By contrast, you could build a lander, put it into Kerbin orbit, land it on Kerbin terrain on the far side of the world from KSC, launch it from that site successfully back into Kerbin orbit, and still that vehicle may prove pitifully inadequate to launch from Eve even if you land it whole and fully fueled. Without using hyperedit (or equivalent) you have no method to reliably test an Eve launcher outside of flat out doing the math. There's nothing easy about Tylo landings, though the procedure is pretty straightforward with a lot of dV...but Eve is just a tough nut to crack IMO. Maybe it's just me.
  2. - More lift. Add more wings, better wings, canards, etc. - More thrust. Maintaining a steep angle of ascent requires the thrust to accomplish that. - More control surfaces up to a point. Shortage of elevons may make your plane unresponsive, but more of them won't make you able to ascend any better assuming you can attain the correct AoA. - More intake. Assuming you use jet engines, as you ascend your intake will tend to decrease due to thinning atmosphere. This is countered by either having more intakes or by going fast enough that sufficient air is forced into the ones you have. See thrust - too steep an ascent = stalling out. - Less mass. More crap, less fly, simple formula. Cut some extra weight to see better results. - Wing placement. As mentioned above, putting wings all the way the back can be a big mistake. It's best to design your wings as a single movable structure (i.e. everything attaches to innermost wing panel) so you can test it in different positions to get the desired performance.
  3. If you pick a good landing site on Minmus, a rover could reach four biomes within minutes (named flats, plain flats, slopes, midlands. Lowlands might be possible too in some places.). Slopes are not so great to land on, either, so just in general a rover is a decent way to get a full science set in that case. Also nice because the location of such sites is very easy to discern at a glance. But you're not wrong that mods open up a lot more options, even if they aren't specifically rover mods, and as much as I like rovers, without any mods at all I have to really work to find practical applications.
  4. Kinda played at that technique, but if angle of the winch is off by a little it doesn't stick in, and angle is very hard to control without using a hinge (didn't have a third or fourth hinge handy). It might work on a vehicle designed for that purpose, I'll have to do some testing to see if I could make something like that work. I'm sure there are better methods, this is what I improvised at sea out of two toolboxes meant to supply refueling efforts.
  5. My completely inexpert opinion would be Eve overall. Tylo is hard to land on and Eve really isn't, but Tylo landing is the same as the Mun with more dV. The difference is takeoff. Tylo is hard, sure, but at core it is easier to get into orbit from Tylo than from Kerbin, as there's (slightly) less gravity and no atmosphere, so your engines should work at full effectiveness - better than Kerbin sea level. On Eve, you have greater than Kerbin gravity, and the atmosphere just hates you. I don't think anywhere else can say it is harder at core to liftoff from than Kerbin itself, but Eve can.
  6. Part five of Kerbin circumnavigation is up. This is a special installment, devoted entirely to my attempt to climb out of the sea straight up the face of the southern ice cap.
  7. Kerbin part five is up, and as promised, it's pure, unadulterated adventure. Probably my hardest feat in KSP to date. AFAIK my entry hasn't been accepted yet. Also if I plan to do every celestial body, I'm not sure I'm the kind of guy to stick 15 badges in my signature. It's all good anyway, I very much agree with the idea of the challenge, that it's all about the journey, not the destination.
  8. Kerbin part four is up! This installment finds us in a land that reminds me of the lonely beauty of South America, where I discover gorgeous and bewildering sights and come face to face with the horrible truth about the extreme south. As always thanks for reading, and be sure to tune in for part five, it's going to be a doozy! Thanks, but every time I take my rover in the water, I think it looks like the raft from Charlie Brown
  9. My first thought was one of those old 70s "artist's interpretations" of a pilot flying into a Bermuda Triangle vortex (possibly leading to Atlantis, alien planet, etc).
  10. My basic rule of thumb is "could a smart engineer find a way to cram these things together?" If we're talking clipping the bases on a couple battery packs, then yes, any real person would saw that junk off and make it fit. In fact they'd bring out things like racks for them rather than just gluing them to the floor and ceiling of bays. I also make allowance for reasonable construction. A telescoping ladder can clip into whatever, because I assume its placement includes accomodation for it in whatever part it's mounted to. That kind of thing. I don't put tanks inside tanks or stack engines or any of that. I don't care if others do, it just bugs me to do it myself.
  11. On especially spry planes, I use yaw in combination with pitch to perform extremely sharp turns. Same technique as you describe, just a much tighter turn radius.
  12. I'll let you decide whether to see for yourself or read my Elcano challenge. I document all kinds of weirdness at the poles, it's practically Kerbal X-Files.
  13. If you're trying to get highlands, go for the south pole area. You'll see what looks like a plateau just north of it. That's a 5km+ highlands so high up you're considered still in orbit when on the surface. You really cannot miss it (unless you're in map view and time warping when your orbit crosses this too low - you can smash into the side of it with no warning!). The Elcano in my signature shows this very highlands at the end of pt 2/beginning of pt 3 of Minmus run. I see the problem trying to match biome map to real map, but consider that slopes, midlands, and lowlands all blend together frequently, imagine trying to label that on an unkeyed map. On Minmus your best bet is to use the very distinctive flats to determine your location on the surface, then pick a site relative to that. Also, watch out for the south pole, haha. It's...a very strange place.
  14. To elaborate, Firespitter has propellers and rotors with a variety of engines. Some of these are fuel-burning, air-breathing engines, much like most real world engines used on earth's surface. Air is required for combustion, and while some of them have integral intakes (the larger props), some need external intakes added to function properly. If you need something to be indepedent of oxygen, there are fully electrical parts included too. They tend to use a lot of power but you have many options for power generation, from LFO fuel cells to stacks of RTGs to solar panel covered wings, whatever suits your purpose.
  15. Pretty much. This is a "I'm new to this" design lifting a 1000t+ surface base into direct ascent to interplanetary trajectory. No orbiting Kerbin, no refueling, just line up the time of day (and time of year), and fire it straight into Kerbin escape, then correction burn. Highly inefficient? You betcha. To the credit of either the design or my insanity, I was able to fire this thing to pretty much every planet in the system. Strangely, the main thing that stopped me wasn't impracticality, since I could care less if it bankrupts Scrooge McDuck to launch, but the fact that launch takes about an hour (for a five minute ascent) due to lag. I still build novelty sized landers, just with a quarter the part count.
  16. What can I say except that I've had a totally different experience. I've also documented much of it, and it can be read in my signature link. The Elcano uses mods but none of them alter physics, and the rover performs much the same when merely driving with all mod parts stripped, as I try to use mod parts in ways more interesting than merely "make it easier." I suppose I just don't have the same assumptions. You took a "small turn", the loss of traction may be sudden but it's hardly unexplained. Besides loss of traction to turning itself, it's possible you altered the slope on which you're driving, which could lead to wheels losing contact almost immediately by simple leverage. If you're zoomed out or it's dark, or the terrain is just hard to see, you can easily drive over small incline changes without even noticing, as well. I just feel most of it is exactly as I would expect, or even more forgiving than I would expect. On the real moon or Mars I expect most attempts at 50m/s+ speeds would be met with rapid unplanned disassembly as the reality of loose substrate and randomly scattered rocks sets in. Maybe there are some sites where it would be possible, but it's hardly the performance I'd expect as a rule. The best information I could find indicates that the real lunar rovers top speed was something like 15 kph (according to curator of the Smithsonian, this was the only direct estimate of speed rather than extrapolation from distance/time I could find). I don't mean to be contrary, I simply ask what evidence there is that any unrealistic behavior KSP rovers have is anything other than generous to the player. Is there any good source to suggest that strapping rockets to landing gear on Mars would have better results than it does in KSP? Cause that's quite effective in the game - if real life is actually way better than that and we're getting the gimped version of extraplanetary rocket sleds, I'd definitely like to see some pics or video of that. Also because I don't mean to be unhelpful - try adding downthrusters of some kind, or at least a torque wheel. Maybe also check to make sure you aren't trying to drive around in all-wheel drive/all wheel steering mode, that can make you flippy all by itself and I still sometimes forget to fix that the first time I send out a rover. SAS works in a rover just fine and will act on the wheels even if you have no torque, and that can save you a lot of trouble when driving alongside slopes. Give them another chance man, check out my Minmus notes and you'll maybe decide they have some practical application after all! PS - My first attempt at stock munar rovers were extremely light and had no downthrust, and performed not TOO much differently than you describe, though I could still go 15-20m/s on relatively flat terrain, though braking in time to slow for a hill was a problem. The design changes I suggest changed all that. For merely driving reasonable distances (read: non-circumnavigational), I think a reasonably compact rover could accomplish a great deal, though due to the effect of downforce, bigger rovers are actually favored if anything.
  17. Updated with Kerbin part 3. This episode covers a lot of distance, essentially completing the western push and hence representing a turning point in the voyage. I am also giving Astronomer's Visual Pack a try, so enhanced images from here on out!
  18. I can absolutely say that rover wheels will hold up just fine and drive perfectly straight up to nearly 50m/s, at which point they break. Nor do they take very long to accelerate, unless you've brought way less wheel than you need for your vehicle. Claw's bugfixes have a brakes patch, if that's what you need. But if it's realism you want, you'd be disappointed in the results. Fair to say Curiosity doesn't go 25m/s (the standard top speed for rover wheels on a flat with no additional thrust), which is just about highway speed in real life. Rovers in game can drive offroad faster than the speed limit anywhere but the Autobahn, exactly how much hotrod does the game need? Doesn't seem to be a ground friction thing either, considering I've climbed both up and down 40 degree slopes and more on nothing but wheels. Now, if you're in a low-gravity environment and have no downforce, expect terrible traction. That IS realistic. Also fair to say I disagree with your assessment that rovers are unfun, I've enjoyed driving them all over the solar system. If yours are going 10m/s and operate like the driver is drunk, that's maybe a design issue you should iron out. Strongly suggest mirror symmetry to prevent bad alignment on the wheels, might cause a lot of issues like you describe. PS - Assuming you aren't bound to the idea that rover wheels = rover, rovers can go 100m/s+ with ease on Duna. Try landing gear if you insist on setting a land speed record.
  19. I was playing Cities: Skylines (and LOVING it) before getting sucked into KSP. At some point I'll start playing it again, it's the city sim I've been dying to play for years, and I've been playing them since the original. Also Terraria got a big update a while back so that's waiting for me. But in a lot of ways KSP is the perfect game for me. I'm sure you can guess I like sandbox games, and this is kind of the ultimate sandbox. Build complex machines to tackle the most complex of tasks, and the very term "kerbal" has become synonymous with thinking outside the box in sometimes janky or hilarious ways.
  20. My entry to the One Million Club - one million liquid fuel alone, plus proportionate oxidizer. Check out the first stage separation, it's a blast!
  21. Mission report thread updated with part 2 of Kerbin circumnavigation, taking me across the seemingly endless desert; see signature for link to mission report. Also I think this got buried a few pages back: Please let me know if I need to be doing something differently. I try not to be excessively dry with nothing but map shots while still providing sufficient proof at each step with KER open.
  22. Kerbin circumnavigation part 2 is up. Today's trip takes us through the desert...and then through even more desert. Seriously, have you seen that thing on a map? Pt 3 will be up probably tomorrow, I have done the driving I just need to do the narrative. Again thanks to all readers, I appreciate all the encouragement! I can also hint that I have some very interesting things on the horizon so stay tuned!
  23. Interesting question! I suppose it depends on what landing options your craft has. If you can splashdown, and especially if you can move around on the water or in the air afterwards, somewhere like the Mediterranean would give you access to a broad array of natural biomes and potentially access up the Nile to access subsaharan Africa, while presenting minimal landing hazards. Keep in mind that a pre-human Europe would be just about as interesting as Africa, whether we're talking prehistoric megafauna or simply modern era biodiversity minus the existence of humans (Europe had lions in recorded history, keep in mind!). Another good site, particularly if sea or sea/air travel are viable, is anywhere around the Indonesian archipelago. Really significant biodiversity on the islands themselves as well as geological activity, access to Australia (self explanatory), access to Asian mainland not too distant. With underwater survey equipment, Marianas Trench is also not far distant from this corner of the world, as well as the fact that you'd have access to both Indian and Pacific Oceans, which are distinct from each other without being separated by continents. Otherwise, Panama is a great site for a terrestrial landing. Assuming you can cross the jungle, you have land or air access to two oceans with a natural separation greater than almost any on earth, so this has strategic as well as biological significance. You can go north into the North American continent or south into, well, South America. Two continents, two oceans, geologically active, equatorial access, pretty much all you can ask for for either science or colonization. Further, this isn't terribly far from Yucatan, which is significant if you have any inkling of the Chixulub crater's existence (and you might if you can perform orbital surveys). If you for some reason have a very limited operational range, say 100km radius, then I suppose you couldn't do much better than the plains of either Africa or, interestingly, Florida, as both would give you potential access to forest, tropics, savannah, ocean, freshwater, and maybe mountains or a second major body of water, depending on site.
  24. Am I mistaken in thinking that the heat death of the universe was commonly accepted theory/fact what, two decades ago? I'm quite certain I understood this to be the most probable fate of the universe in my youth and reading about it in popular science books of the time. Always seemed fitting to me. With strange eons, even death may die, and it shall do so along a parabolic trajectory.
  25. Just wanted to mention, if you get frustrated with career mode, there's nothing wrong with starting a science or sandbox file too. Sometimes it's a valuable learning experience to simply find out "ok, so if I had all the money and no need to haul tourists, how could I get to Minmus?" then find out how you can make that economical for career. This is especially so if you fly blind, i.e. aren't using MechJeb or otherwise simplifying things with dV tables and mods/tools. After all, learning by trial and error requires both trial and error, there's no reason to penalize yourself when your goal is to learn. Learning this game just simply isn't a quick process, so don't get discouraged. I'd guess most people spend 50-100 hours just figuring out how not to bumble around and make a mess, I know that's true of me and I had some minor background in the science to get me started. But once things start to click this is one of the most rewarding games you can play.
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