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The Flying Kerbal

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Everything posted by The Flying Kerbal

  1. Scott Manley's to blame for me getting into KSP. I was watching some of his Elite: Dangerous videos (another game I need to buy soon), and he happened to mention Kerbal Space Programme. That was all he said, just the title, and I must be honest and admit I thought it was a daft title and probably a game I wouldn't be interested in. Then a few weeks later I happened to find one of his videos, watched it and knew immediately my previous impression was wrong. The rest is history.
  2. Actually I think they're really excellent names. Simple and to the point, I really like Hopper, it does exactly what it says on the tin. I know I too am going to struggle with naming rockets, reading your list is a great pointer for how to do it.
  3. Congrats mate! I still haven't pulled that one off, although I've only been trying since October... Still one of these days I'll be posting a similar message to yours. I'm sure it's like most things I've pulled off so far in KSP, once you do it once, it becomes much much easier next time around. Again well done.
  4. LOL... yes I do know that one, I found it on this forum a few days ago. Thanks ME, very much appreciated.
  5. The Cosmos came about after quite a lot of development to enable Kerbals to land on the moons of Kerbin. It's not going to win any beauty contests, there isn't much in the way of innovation, and now even I can see where improvements could be made. However it was built with one goal, to enable a Kerballed landings on Mun and Minmus, and return the Kerbanauts safely to Kerbin. In this it was a complete success and even though it has flaws, I'm really proud of this rocket and hope you like it too. Specifications: Part Count: 281 (229 without Lander) Height: 21.1m (15.3m without Lander) Width: 9.6m (Lander 4.3m) Weight 140.9 tons (88.9 without Lander) Performance Notes: Considering the limited parts available in the demo version of KSP, this rocket handles really well. It does get a little tricky to control as the atmosphere thins, but overall it's not overly difficult to achieve an equatorial orbit with a Cosmos. I hope you like my first really successful rocket, look forward to reading your comments and thank you sincerely for taking the time to look at this.
  6. Today I made an amazing discovery! I read somewhere on this forum that F1 captures screenshots... this was news to me. Previously I have tried to "get photos", but first I had to deactivate the engine to free up the SHIFT key, then do the screen capture, and reactivate the engine. Somewhere in this process I had to leave KSP so I could paste the screenshot into paint for saving, and then I had to remember to reactivate the engine. It was a right pain in the neck if I'm totally honest, and it almost got a Kerbal killed when I pressed SHIFT having forgotten to first shut down the engine. So you can imagine how happy I was when I read about the F1 key storing images in a folder in the KSP file, and I've been using it today. First Bob was talked into taking up one of the rockets that was used for the landing flights, well actually he was drugged, strapped in and launched before he regained his senses, so I could get some images of the rocket to post them on this site for you all to see. Poor Bob was really unhappy; the main supplier for seatbelts - Jeb's Junkyard - was fresh out of them so "alternative" arrangements had to be made before launch. It's really amazing the uses you can put rope to when your in a jam... Apart from that, it's been a quiet day down at the KSC, with just further plans and tests being made in relation to slingshots and assists between moons and planets. These have not been totally unsuccessful but it must be admitted much work still needs to be done before any mission using these techniques can take place. Anyway, I'm going to be posting some photos of the Lander Rocket shortly. I know it's full of errors and bad ideas, although please remember this was done in the Demo version of the game. I hope you'll have a wee look at it and let me know your opinions and criticisms so I will be able to improve future launch vehicles. Oh one more thing... if any of you would like to show your appreciation to Bob Kerman for making the images of my rocket possible, all (financial) tokens and tributes can be sent to me and I'll forward them on!
  7. That thing's seriously impressive algwat... just overflowing with awesomeness!
  8. I didn't know this... one of the most useful and informative single sentences I've seen in a forum in a very long time.
  9. What I'm planning is to launch from Kerbin into LKO. Sort out my burn to Minmus, drop off the Minmus lander and then use the Minmus gravity to set me on course for Mun. In theory, if everything worked according to plan, after my injection burn from LKO to Minmus, there would be no more engine firing until the Mun lander reached its final destination and fires retro to slow down in preparation for landing. However I do intend to take enough fuel with me so that if push comes to shove (as we say in Northern Ireland), I'll be in a position to fire up the engine to make any corrections necessary to set me on course for Mun. Your posting was really brilliant - as indeed was everyone else's - packed full of information and facts I wasn't aware of, although being in the office isn't exactly the ideal place to study everything you said in great depth. However the one bit that has really stuck in my mind is to maybe try shooting something at Mun first with the intention of going for an assist to Minmus, just to have a go at trying a manoeuvre such as this. That sounds like a plan to me! I do realise what I'm thinking of doing is probably not the way you professionals would do this, but as I said in a previous comment, it just sounds like a bundle of fun and will give me an excuse to pat myself on the back if I should manage to pull it off!
  10. I'm pretty sure it's dimming LED's on my computer, but that was a clever thought! Yes I was playing through them when I first purchased the full game, Unfortunately there's one of them not working. I can't remember of the top of my head which one right now, but I think it wouldn't let me get my rocket from the VAB to the launch pad. Maybe I should go back and try again? I'm really enjoying reading all your comments guys, even if I don't answer all of them.
  11. At the moment KSP is the only game I play. I intend to purchase Elite Dangerous in the near future, but right now I'm a bit strapped for cash after Xmas so that one's on hold. In the real world I seldom get too stressed or tense about things. I do have a problem with the eyesight which will need treatment at some stage, but while I admit that might be part of the problem, as I can use a computer all day at work without any side effects, I really don't think this is a major contributor to the KSP headache. No, I think it's just the sheer effort of getting these rockets to go up that's the problem, the muscles in the back of my neck be as taut as a drum snare after a session of this game. Forcing myself to relax is probably not going to work, that really is not easy as you admit in your comment, but taking short breaks etc. sound like suggestions definitely worth trying. In addition, when I've played a bit more and learned exactly what I have to do to master the basics, then I suspect things won't be so demanding to accomplish. Also, and as I said in another post, I've been actually playing the KSP Demo lately, and people tend to think the full game is not as much hard work because of the much wider selection of more suitable parts for specific missions etc. Once I complete one last mission in the Demo I'll be getting back into the full game; I wonder will that make a difference?
  12. I'm prone to headaches anyway, but I think part of my problem is that as I really don't know what I'm doing I have to concentrate so hard to accomplish anything in KSP, that it's ending up with a bit of tension. I don't think it's the screen, I bought a new computer towards the end of October or beginning of November, and without trying to blow my own trumpet, I dug deep into the wallet and bought a really nice one. The screen is excellent, way better than any I've used before including the rubbish I have to contend with at work, and no TV doesn't cause me any problems. I really do think it's just that I put so much effort into KSP that it's a side effect.
  13. I'm just curious how long people will play KSP at any one time? My limit seems to be an absolute maximum of about an hour and a half. After that and I start suffering from a brutal headache and have no option but to turn it off.
  14. Last night saw the successful homecoming of Valentina after her historic landing on Minmus. One hair raising moment occurred at about 700Km from splash down when I decided it would make a nice screenshot, the spacecraft speeding along with Kerbin in the background. So I hit F2 to turn off the display and have just the image I wanted to capture visible. Then I hit Shift and Print Screen... The rocket immediately roared into life, dropping the Periapsis way down below the surface of the planet in what would have resulted in a suicidal re-entry (I had turned the craft around in preparation for using what fuel I had left to slow down). Fortunately a quick flip to face prograde and another engine burn brought things back to normal, but it just shows how one moment's lack of concentration can so easily ruin a perfectly good mission in this game. Valentina as the first Kerbal to stand on Minmus was met by adoring hordes, but it was noticeable that the much longer duration of the mission compared to Jeb's Mun landing had taken its toll, she definitely didn't look well at all, indeed she was so sick people said she seemed to be a bit green in the face! Meanwhile back at the KSC work began on the proposed mission to send landers to both moons in the Kerbin system. A prototype of the Minmus lander was put together and launched into LKO to see just how much manoeuvrability and breaking potential could be achieved using just RCS. The results were most encouraging, the scientists are confident it is possible to actually land the tiny vessel on Minmus using just RCS and being able to dispense with a hefty rocket engine and assorted fuel tanks. In addition to the Minmus lander being put through its paces in LKO, a prototype of the Mun lander was also glued and tied together in the VAB, although as of this time no test flights have been carried out with this vessel. While all this construction was taking place, in another part of the KSC complex mathematicians could be seen furiously doing their calculations on the back of matchboxes and old postcards as they try to work out when the two moons will be in the right position to be able to use Minmus to swing the Mun lander around and on course to its final destination.
  15. So what I'm planning isn't a gravity assist? I honestly didn't know that, and I'm afraid there will be many similar gaffes on my part as I'm not as familiar with the correct terms used in space travel as you guys. Also thanks to everyone who has so far taken the time to answer my question, all answers, advice and suggestions are very much appreciated.
  16. I've been playing with the KSP Demo these last number of weeks and have finally completed landings on both Mun and Minmus. I'm planning to have a go at one last mission in demo before going back to the full game and need just a little advice from you good people. The plan is to launch a rocket carrying two unmanned landers, one for Minmus, one for Mun. The Minmus lander will be a very lightweight affair, basically a Science Junior on legs with a few essentials for power, control, etc. The second lander will be a much more robust vehicle to be able to set down on Mun. So what I was thinking was to attach the Minmus lander to the larger one, sending both to Minmus where the small one detaches and lands, while the second one heads for Mun. Would a gravity assist be possible from Minmus to Mun? I know it probably wouldn't be the most efficient way of doing it, but it just sounds like a fun thing to try; I've never used a gravity assist before. I can find tons of stuff on assists going the other way, but nothing about trying one from Minmus to Mun. There could be a very good reason for this, I expect the gravity of Minmus just isn't strong enough to be of very much help, but I thought I'd ask the experts and see what you think.
  17. Hey guys! I haven't been around in a while, but that doesn't mean I haven't been hurtling little green aliens into space on top of flying death tra... err I mean the latest technological marvels to come out of Jeb's Junkyard. No, actually for some reason I got totally obsessive with the idea of landing Kerbals on the two moons of Kerbin in the demo version of this great game. And I have to say it has been a really tough assignment for me, someone who openly admits to being a dead loss at KSP. However... The big problem is the very few parts available in the demo, one liquid engine and two small SRB's for example, so no flashy nuclear drives or even gimballed thrusters to propel rockets here! I was already able to launch rockets into LKO when I started out on this mission, and had even sent probes to both moons with an unmanned lander setting down on Mun (or is that THE Mun?) in the demo sandbox, but every time I tried to run a mission which would see a return to Kerbin it always ended up with a rocket that either couldn't get off the launch pad, or something that was so unstable that it was impossible to get anywhere near the upper levels of the atmosphere. Why was this? How could I construct a launch vehicle in the demo version of KSP, capable of a return trip which was also up to the task of getting into orbit in the first place? I knew it was possible, someone has already said they'd done it in a previous comment on a thread in this forum, so what was their secret. My problem was I was thinking too much about Saturn V type rockets, with stage stacked upon stage, one on top of the other. I don't know why it took me so long to realise that rather than going up, I could also go out... add more liquid boosters to the sides of their already attached comrades, and getting a load more thrust (see how I know exactly how much additional thrust became available there!) as I would have more engines running at lift off when most power is needed. This was the breakthrough; an experimental rocket based on the new theory was quickly cobbled together with a central body surrounded by four boosters, and an additional four attached to those, all feeding fuel through an asparagus arrangement towards the centre. The results were spectacular! Tearing off the pad at the KSC, the rocket simply soared skyward, entering orbit with enough fuel left in the tank that I do believe it would have been easily capable of reaching Mun, although a landing would not have been possible, and a return home dicey at best. So having come through its first test, now came the rocket design that would finally see kerbalkind plant their feet on other worlds... The new rocket was gigantic, way WAY bigger than anything I had assembled before. On Christmas Eve (Earth Calendar), Jeb took his place in the diminutive capsule strapped on top of this massive vehicle, and the countdown commenced... At zero all nine engines erupted violently into life and the rocket started to ascend majestically into the clear blue skies over the KSC: the epic journey had began. As empty stages rained down on the good people of Kerbin, the data and telemetry coming back to flight control slowly started to give hope to all present that this time they could actually pull a landing on Mun off and return the fool... the hero flying this thing back to his home. As it entered a one hundred Km orbit, the rocket shut down its remaining engines with obviously more than enough fuel to go for a Mun landing, so calculations were made, maneuverer nodes placed and targets aligned in preparation for the Trans Munar Injection. Nine minutes later and the engines again roared into life to push the orbit's apoapsis out to intersect with that of Mun and put Jeb on course with history. About one Kerbin day later and the spaceship was fast approaching its target. The Munar periapsis was set at approx. forty Km, and as the vessel approached this point, it fired its one remaining engine to insert Jeb into orbit around this strange and lonely rock. Upon completion of this burn, this last stage of the rocket was discarded and all attention was now focused on the lander/return ship combo as Jeb scouted for a suitable site for the historic landing. The lander was a four legged vehicle with five and a half fuel tanks, solar panels, batteries and RCS all topped off with the command pod. Spotting a promising site just west of one of the giant craters on Mun's surface, Jeb fired his motor to begin the descent. Carefully watching the ratio between speed and height, he skilfully maneuvered his tiny vessel towards the surface, extending the gear at two and a half thousand meters. As Kerbin held its collective breath, the lander got lower and lower until finally, and with an impact of just 1.9m/s, it was touchdown and engine shutdown... "The Keagle Had Landed!" After a period for sleep, the moment arrived for the first Kerbal footprint to be made on an off Kerbin surface. Jeb scrambled down the ladder and wrote history as he placed his size nine on the Munar surface and said the immortal line, "One small stumble by a Kerbal, one giant falter for Kerbalkind!" After conducting several extremely important scientific experiments, Jeb ascended the ladder and once again took his place at the controls of the spaceship. Blasting off from the surface, the ship entered a 15Km orbit before reigniting its engine to commence the return back to Kerbin. With a periapsis of thirty five Km over the home world, the return trip went as smoothly as the outward leg. Entering the atmosphere, and still with fuel in the tank, the engine was fired for one last time to slow the spacecraft sufficiently to insure a landing on the first pass. Splashdown went without a hitch and Jeb was recovered to face a hero's welcome from an adoring people. Since then Valentine has done a similar mission to Minmus in an identical vehicle, and again everything went smoothly. I have battered at this project for weeks, and having finally pulled it off I must admit I do feel pretty pleased with myself. One last mission for the demo version will be "Project Goosefeather", but that's for another day. Funny (ie strange) things that happened during all this: for some reason the staging of the launch vehicle won't work properly if it's set up correctly. The two side boosters which empty first have to be set to stage AFTER those which empty next? Why is that? I've checked this four times, and each time the staging's set to dump them first, it throws off the two which shouldn't be jettisoned until the next staging is due. And after the mission, Jeb "retired". He has completely vanished from the game, he hasn't just gone on the missing list, but seems to have been totally erased from the saved file? He must have been tempted away by some smart publisher waving a chequebook; even now he's probably locked away writing his memoirs!
  18. A stock Gemini type two man capsule would be really nice and it would fill a gap in the current inventory. And maybe if they were to introduce such a vessel, then they might consider something resembling the Gemini service module, just to make it look right. I could live without that though, just let's have a two man capsule please.
  19. Excellent!!! The finished launch vehicle looks fantastic, I really must try to copy this tutorial and launch an Apollo of my own. And turning a fairing base upside down, what a simple, brilliant idea! I'm not having much fun with fairings, I find them to be a devil of a job to get them to close where I want them to. Having tried this upside down trick though, while I won't say it has fied all the problems I have with them, it certainly helps enormously. Great job Eloquent Jane, I hope you do more threads like this.
  20. I hope this question hasn't been asked previously, and if it has then please accept my apologies for repeating it. I'm not playing KSP very long, less than two weeks actually, but I can't help but wonder how guys like Scott Manley seem to steer their rockets so smoothly and with apparently no effort from launch to achieving orbit? Are these guys designing rockets with such precise aerodynamics they virtually fly themselves, are they so skilful at piloting as to make this look easy, or are they using some kind of "autopilot" mod? So far all my creations, at least those that don't just fall out of the skies, fight and struggle from engine start to the final shutdown, and I can't help but be envious of those who can do this so easily.
  21. So another day has come and gone, indeed with only six hours in a day quite a few have passed by, on the good planet Kerbin. As the technical staff working on Project Pathfinder were too tired after finishing their day jobs to do very much at the KSC, we must assume that Pathfinder 1 is still heading towards its encounter with Minmus, while P2 continues its lonely and slightly eccentric orbit of the Mun. Nevertheless, despite the fatigue of some of its staff, the KSC was buzzing with activity as the first steps of Project Union were initiated. As you will all know if you tune into Radio Kerbin or read any of the newspapers, "Union" will consist of a series of launches into LKO, each one aiming to rendezvous with a docking target vehicle, where the crews will learn all the required skills to join two spacecraft together. Yesterday was spent with the preparation and launch of the target vehicle, actually a battered old FL-800 fuel tank which was found rusting away at the local scrap yard. A quick lick of paint, a few docking ports, super glue the whole thing on top of a booster, and presto... one docking target! As usual things did not go well at launch (non?) control. The good citizens of Kerbin, and all the scallywags too for that matter, are rapidly getting used to being subjected to an indiscriminate rocket barrage every time the KSC schedule a launch. As an interesting footnote, some people have asked why no buildings, apart from the KSC, are visible on the planet? The answer would be only too obvious if they were to be on Kerbin whenever a rocket flight is attempted... living above ground near the KSC can seriously damage your health! However, leaving the suffering of the locals to one side, it took a full eight launch attempt before one successfully put the docking vehicle into a stable orbit. Currently it is positioned approx. 142 km above the planet, but with fuel still in the tank, this can be changed if such a manoeuvre is deemed necessary. And a first for the Kerbin Space Agency... this launch saw the first use of a fairing covering part of the vehicle as it blasted through the Kerbin atmosphere. Officially this was to help the aerodynamic profile of the rocket during the early stages of the launch, but most Kerbals believe the real reason was to try to cover the fact that under all the paint and glitter was still a dodgy, clapped out old fuel tank! With the target vehicle now in orbit, the authorisation was given to prepare a manned - or rather Kerballed - spacecraft to meet and dock with the thing. Although Valentina Kerman was next on the rota, as usual Jebediah pushed his way through and jumped into the capsule before anyone could stop him. After a launch abort at the first attempt (staging malfunction: two sideboosters jettisoned at ignition), the second attempt saw the rocket roar off the pad to successfully establish an orbit behind and below that of the docking vehicle. Jeb is currently awaiting permission to begin his approach to the target vehicle, and of course we'll keep you informed on his progress as we receive information from the KSC. Will Jeb manage to dock his spacecraft... will Valentine be speaking to him when he returns... will the KSC issue helmets to Kerbals living within range of their rockets..? Tune in next time when all these important questions will be completely ignored in the next grisly update as Kerbin reaches for the stars!
  22. Thanks very much for taking the time to respond Curveball. Yes, most annoying as I had more than enough Delta V to fix that one degree inclination in the orbit. Unfortunately an "it's close enough attitude" attitude crept in as I was so looking forward to the Trans Munar Injection burn, I didn't take the time to sort that slight incline out. However as the real purpose behind Project Pathfinder is for me to learn how to play the game, it has certainly provided a valuable lesson. The Minmus encounter will be next, and this time I know the orbits of Kerbin and its moon were matched perfectly... I really put in a lot of effort to insure my first flight to Minmus would get off to as good a start as possible. Meanwhile back in the drawing office at the Kerbal Space Centre, designers and engineers are rumoured to be already working on the "Duna 4" launch system... destined to take Kerbalkind to the stars and beyond!
  23. Last night Kerbin entered a new era as the probe Pathfinder 2 entered orbit around the Mun! At 22.34 Earth time, the LV-909 "Terrier" engine ignited to insert the probe into an orbit around Kerbin's nearest celestial neighbour, the first Kerbal-made object to visit a heavenly body. However behind all the Champaign and congratulatory back slapping at mission control, eyebrows were raised when the orbit was analysed by the few technicians who were left to run the show while everyone else got totally sloshed! As they looked at the feedback coming back from Pathfinder, they soon realised the spacecraft had established an unplanned orbit of at least 45 degrees. It was known that after the initial launch from the KSC, the LKO Pathfinder 2 entered was 1 degree off at the equator, but they still seem perplexed at how this could translate into such a huge discrepancy by the time the probe reached the Mun. However, being more the "glass is half full" types (even though glasses with ANY liquid left in them were few and far between after the previous night's party), they did point out that such an orbit would in fact give them a much greater coverage of the Munar surface as they look for potential future landing sites. Nevertheless, as Pathfinder 1 continues on its way to Minmus, they realise questions need to be answered as to why Pathfinder 2 entered such an eccentric orbit upon its arrival at the Mun. And that's what happened guys... any ideas why I ended up in an orbit at such a funny angle? I suspect I didn't plan the encounter with the Mun right, but not too sure why. All help will be very much appreciated.
  24. Hello Everyone! A new guy here; I downloaded the demo about a month ago, bought the full game a week ago, and have been smashing rockets into Kerbin ever since! I've been playing sandbox since I installed the software on my computer, and at the risk of coming across as boastful or arrogant, I must be honest and say I truly believe I could beat anybody on this forum at some aspects of KSP. One particular talent I'm good at is accidentally hitting the spacebar and staging at the must awkward of moments! If that was an Olympic sport, I'd have spent a few weeks of the summer in Brazil. Seriously though, my first steps into KSP have been a bit of a mixed bag. Currently "Project Pathfinder" is well underway as two probes hurl themselves towards the Mun and Minmus, but the number of crashes and failures to reach orbit to get them aloft was staggering. I have serious issues getting my rockets to go in the right direction, but I suspect the answers to all my problems lie somewhere within the hundreds of threads on this site. Anyway, that's enough of my mindless ramblings... Cheers all!
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