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Everything posted by mk1980

  1. you can only change your inclination at the ascending or descending node. that's basically the 2 points where your current orbit intersects the plane of the desired (equatorial) target orbit. technically, it's possible that the 2 nodes are close to AP and PE if the major axis of the ellipse is (almost) on the plane of the target orbit. they probably aren't in your case. so the next best thing is to do the plane change at the slower of the 2 nodes. don't remember if the game displays AN and DN markers relative to the equator. probably not. around kerbin, you can set the mun as target to get the nodes (it's orbit is almost exactly equatorial). i think the orbit of gilly isn't equatorial, so that little trick won't help around eve. if you have some satellite already in an equatorial orbit, you can use that as your target so the game shows the AN/DN. if not, you'll probably have to eyeball it or find it by trial and error (set some arbitrary normal/antinormal burn and move the maneuver node along the orbit until you find the point where the change to the displayed inclination angle is largest)
  2. you can change staging on the fly. you can just move the engine to a new stage and "activate it through the staging sequence" mid flight, after it had already been activated before.
  3. the small one is ok if time is not a big issue. in many cases of interplanetary trips, you will have to wait months or even years for the transfer window back to kerbin, so the low efficiency doesn't matter much. for a dedicated fuel infrastructure system, i would always use the large one, though. also worth poining out: the small one is especially bad for asteroid mining. unlike planets, asteroids have a finite amount of ore. wasting 90% of the ore mass is much worse when the ore isn't infinite. you can squeeze out a lot more fuel by using the big ISRU. you don't need the big drills for asteroids, though. they have very high density, so the small drills work just fine. also, you need a lot less drills overall. i'd always use the large drill for an exploraton vessel that lands somewhere on other planets. the small drill only works at 2.5% ore concentration or better. it's easily possible to end up in an area with a lower concentration, and then you're screwed. with the large drill, you can at least mine slooooowly in low density areas.
  4. the mk1 cockpit is a bit fragile. not only during reentry. in my experience, the ascent is far more dangerous. the reentry trajectory can be tweaked to make it survive. the ascent trajectory is less flexible. if you ascend steeply (to avoid the overheating), you also waste a lot of fuel you'd save by "milking" the airbreathing engines / mode longer. not a problem for rocket based vertical liftoff systems and lower tech (panther) SSTOs, but a whiplash or rapier will make the mk1 cockpit explode during ascent if you try to use the engines to their full potential. if you're looking for a stock "workaround", put an antenna on the point of the nose. it's a bit of an exploit i guess, but it works and doesn't require mods or removed / lowered reentry heat settings.
  5. kinda hard to say. there are several engines that i wouldn't miss if they were completely removed from the game. i guess the most useless is probably the Goliath. not because the engine itself is bad. it's just designed for a niche that is pretty much non-existent in the ...let's say "core game". there's no real use for atmospheric airliners or cargo planes, and even if there were, chances are that you'd probably use supersonic/hypersonic engines. the puff monoprop engine is a real contender for most useless engine. it would be useful if LF/O engines could only ignite a limited number of times or something. this limitation doesn't exist in the game, though. which means it's just a low thrust engine with horrible Isp. and it even requires a special fuel type to work.
  6. i think @Kami_K220 is right. The SPH limits the dimensions and part count of the plane. the runway only limits the mass. If the runway wasn't upgraded, you'd get an addtional error message because the mid level runway only supports a mass of up to 140 tons and that plane seems to be heavier according to the readouts at the bottom of the screen
  7. it is certainly disheartening to lose a long career, especially if you lose it to some technical problem and not because you did something wrong in the game. but starting from scratch can be refreshing. if the other career was your first serious career, you probably learned quite a few things. with a new career, you have the opportunity to use your new knowledge to do things differently. when i played my first career, i was a complete noob. i learned lots of basic stuff but also quite some more advances skills as i played (like docking or interplanetary transfers, or how to design viable SSTO spaceplanes). with that knowledge under my belt, the next career looked quite different. instead of doing the boring science grind at the space center and later at the mun and minmus, i basically set the goals higher. went to duna right after my first landings on mun and minmus, built space stations with reusable SSTO supply planes, built outposts on the moons etc. before i even unlocked the last upgrade of the research building. in retrospect, the second career was just as much fun as the first one. see it as an opportunity. but it can't hurt to make a few backups like Snark explained. always a good idea to backup important data, even if it's just a video game. you still put in a lot of effort to get the game to that point.
  8. sounds a bit too sci-fi for my taste. the tech in KSP is on a similar level to what we have in reality. there's quite a bit of a gap between being able to assemble some prefabricated space station modules in space and building a whole star ship from scratch. even if we assume that the parts aren't manufactured in space but rather in factories/labs on the ground, it's still a bit too sci-fi. getting to orbit is not trivial enough (even at the end of the tech tree) to "handwave" it away and pretend that someone else transported all that stuff to the dock. i mean, half the game is literally about getting stuff from KSC to space. if we consider that task so trivial that some unseen third party can do it reliably "in the background", i wonder what's the point of even playing any more. at that level of development, doing some orbital maneuvers etc. would be equally trivial, so the *other* half of what you do in the game might as well also be eliminated.
  9. i like to use fairings for stuff that isn't naturally aerodynamic. like satellites or station parts or dedicated space ships. this way you get better aerodynamics in the atmosphere and you don't haul useless nosecones etc. around in space. i usually put nosecones on radial booster rockets. not necessarily to save deltaV. it's more about making the whole thing easier to control. large planar faces perpendicular to the airstream contribute a lot to flipping issues. nosecones pretty much eliminate flipping issues. to me, it's more convenient to launch an aerodynamic rocket that will be reasonably stable on its own (even with SAS off) rather than manually fine control some contraption with the aerodynamics of a barn door. i guess it also saves a bit of deltaV. on the flip side, it costs more. not a big deal either way economically (in my opinion)
  10. some of the engines are just not meant for high speeds. check the details of the engine stats. they should display a mach number at which the engine delivers the best thrust. for "slow" engines like the wheesley or goliath, that number is very low. i think the goliath has mach 0 as optimal speed, ie. it works best in slow flight and gets worse the faster you go. the high end spaceplane engines are the opposite - the whiplash or rapier engines provide only a fraction of their full thrust at low speeds and only really spool up to their full potential at high mach speeds (mach 3.2 for whiplash, mach 3.75 for rapier) the panther is somewhere in between. i think in dry mode it's optimal speed is mach 1.8 and with afterburners (wet mode) it's mach 2.5 or something. so even in dry mode that engine is a lot better for supersonic flight than the wheesley, juno or goliath
  11. eve is fairly close to kerbin so a capture burn (as opposed to aerocapture) really isn't that expensive when you arrive from a hohmann transfer. something like 300 m/s to get into a highly eccentric orbit. the extra fuel for that burn probaby doesn't weigh much more than the heatshield you'd need for an aerocapture. of course it also depends on what you actually want to do around eve. if you want to land on gilly, an elliptic eve orbit might even be beneficial, since the correction to intercept gilly should be quite cheap when you do it on the "slow" side of the eve orbit (near AP). if you want to land on eve, you'll probably need a heatshield anyway, even after you're already in orbit (much denser atmo and higher orbital speed than kerbin).
  12. i usually leave 1-2 sats per sphere of influence in orbit for the "transmit science data" contracts. additional satellites are deleted. i tend to ignore the "reposition satellite" contracts. would have to switch to the satellite to make sure it still has fuel, then back, accept contract and switch to the satellite again. not worth the bother for the (usually) low payment (only a few thousand funds)
  13. i think terraforming is a fair bit "out of scope" of the game. the kerbals live in a world where simple ISRU systems are considered high tech (mining stuff is at the end of the tech tree). there's a huge gap between "we can get small outposts and some mobile machinery there with some effort. and we can explore the place thoroughly thanks to in situ resource utilization" and "we have full control over this place and have the technology to change the environment of the whole planet". the tech in KSP is somewhat plausible, not that different from what we have in real life. terraforming is pure science fiction.
  14. if you're just coming down from LKO (as opposed to some high speed reentry returning from minmus or duna or whatever), consider a MUCH steeper reentry. works pretty well and makes it a lot easier to aim for the space center. if you have enough fuel left, there's nothing wrong to burn your periaps down below ground level. don't know if it will work for your specific design, but in general that tends to work better than those overly careful PE at 50km aerobrake pass approaches. the main advantage is of course that the landing zone is more predictable and the reentry is a lot faster. both are important factors when you actually use the SSTO for economic reasons in career mode. can't hurt to try it. if it doesn't work you can still go the careful route. in my experience, the reckless approach tends to work just fine in KSP, though.
  15. that's a 70km orbit. the challenge is about flying the fuel tank to a 300km orbit.
  16. didn't play much in the last few weeks, but i made a few fairly simple SSTOs just for fun. mostly experimenting with different styles/visuals.
  17. i tried that Osprey stock plane. it's really nice to fly. it's very light (only ~7 tons), has pretty large wing area ( >10 m²) and fairly big control surfaces for its size. it also uses the panther jet engine which has quite a bit of thrust vectoring. so it's extremely maneuverable. i think there are 3 things worth pointing out (that may not be imediately obvious at first glance) - it uses dedicated control surfaces (pitch/roll is disabled for the tail fin, roll/yaw is disabled for the BigS elevons, yaw is disabled for the outer elevons). such a setup can help a lot with making control inputs more precise. - most of the fuselage elements are lightweight structural fuselages. there is only one mk1 fuel tank on that plane somewhere in the middle of the fuselage (which is also why it's so light and easy to control). - the small mk0 fuel tanks on the bottom are empty. they serve as floating bodies (the plane can land on water and also take off from water)
  18. i never found mining in the kerbin SOI worthwhile. by the time you can unlock the mining stuff, you can also unlock the better plane engines. getting large quantities of fuel (and other stuff) from KSC to LKO is dirt cheap at that point. it's pretty useful for remote places, though (other planets). and if you have no experience with it, minmus is a good place to build an "experimental" mining station to learn a few things about the process and find out what works for you and what doesn't.
  19. depends a bit on your unlocked tech, i'd say. in my last career, i had a nice little tourist shuttle with 4 seats that could get 4 dudes on the mun surface for something like 35k funds (actually a bit less, even, since the shuttle recovery value was around 15k if landed at/somewhere near KSC). i guess i would either build a "triple size" version of that design or try to split up the group in a "landing" and an "orbit" group (you can use a much cheaper & simpler design if you don't have to land). if there are some emtpy seats, i'd probably fill them up with new kerbonaut recruits. and see if there are some "plant flag" or "recover science from surface/orbit of the mun" contracts available. or an "extend base/outpost" contract in kerbin or mun orbit (or mun surface). those contracts often just want you to add some more seats to an existing base, so you can fulfill them along the way just by docking the tour bus to the station.
  20. yeah i guess that would also do the trick i've used the steam screenshot function before i even got KSP, so it was easier for me to remap KSP rather than "relearn" that some other key is now my steam screenshot key, but i guess it could be just the other way around for other users.
  21. it's a bit confusing because F12 is the default key for screenshots via the steam overlay, but the same F12 key also toggles the aerodynamic overlay (aero force vectors) in KSP. you'll also often see the "aerodynamics overlay enabled" text message in steam screenshots. my solution to that little issue was to simply map the aero overlay in KSP to another key (i used the F8 key for it).
  22. well, it's the Planet Express Ship from Futurama https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planet_Express_Ship
  23. i think the thrust/weight ratio of that plane is < 1 at takeoff (otherwise it would be a bit pointless to even launch it as a plane - might as well cut the wings and just launch it as a vertical rocket). i think i pulled up more steeply than a "conventional" airbreathing jet, since the rocket engines don't have that "weak thrust at low speeds" mechanic and actually get more efficient at higher altitudes. i don't remember the exact ascent (has been a while) but probably something like a 20° climb initially when TWR is still too low for a steeper angle and gradually pulling up towards 45° or something as the TWR rises. i think i didn't go above 45° angle. or in other words - once you're up around 10km or something, it's not much different from a vertically launched rocket - the difference is just that the vertical launched rocket drops the angle from 90° at liftoff to about 45° while ascending from sea level to ~10km altitude, and the rocketplane raises the angle from maybe 20° at takeoff to about 45° in the same time. after that point, you'll pretty much follow something similar to your standard gravity turn to minimize gravity losses etc. it's actually easier than a jet plane since you can ignore the "low speed->low thrust" mechanic. and it's actually also a bit easier than a verticalrocket, since you are in no danger of flipping over. it's just an intermediate design, of course. once you have access to whiplash ramjets, you can easily lift significantly larger payloads with a similarly sized plane. but the rocket propulsion is quite competitive compared to panther powered jet hybrd planes.
  24. I used a few SSTO planes in my last career game prior to unlocking the final R&D, final SPH or final runway upgrade. they worked ok-ish. get the job done, but nothing spectacular. Panther engines aren't that well suited for SSTO business. I uploaded 3 images as an album. The first one is just a crew transport with 8 seats, so it's basically about 4 tons of payloads (2 mk2 crew cabins). worked all right. actually a bit over engineered, had almost 600 m/s left in orbit, which is a lot more than you'd need to dock to an LKO space station or something similar. the 2nd plane was meant as a fuel tanker (the tank in the middle is basically the payload, i think that's about 12.5 tons of fuel?). worked "OK" but it was somewhat unstable with emtpy tanks, so the one time i used it i had to land it *somewhere* (i think about 100km away from KSP). the last plane was a pure rocket engine design. the little lander thingy you can see in the image is basically a "mun ferry" that gets 4 tourists to the mun surface and back. the ferry is about 10-12 tons i think, so i guess that's fairly close to your ideal 14 ton payload. the dual skipper plane worked better than the 8 panthers + 1 skipper plane. my conclusion is that you're better off only using panthers for light duty. they are just too weak to get a usefuel payload to orbit. the rocket plane worked surprisingly well, though.
  25. probably not. those "chunks" will disappear when you reload the craft (ie. switch to other craft or space center and back and they are gone) but why put a decoupler on a docking port? the docking port itself *is* technically a decoupler - you can just put other stuff on the docking port (doesn't have to be another matching docking port) and undock/decouple the other stuff without the need for an additional part.
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