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Everything posted by Rune

  1. Hehe, thanks, but I don't usually play with other people's crafts. I know, no reason not to do it. But I like the building part of this game so much, if I like a concept I usually reverse-engineer it and build my own thing.
  2. Well, I sure wasn't expecting that. And it isn't on the spaceport? Well, here you go: http://www./?p21jdr3i90b14h6 I feel kind of bad uploading it (it's not mine of course, and perhaps it's gone on purpose), but that's the version I have installed, it should work with that. I think I will revisit this and provide a better download at some point. Who knows, perhaps I will even start a "Rune's KIDI Skunkworks" thread for my modded/military stuff.
  3. Lets, see, point by point: - Only the point about lunar return applies, since any trip longer than a few days poses the risk of frying the astronauts with the next flare, even if you reduce the crew so they can pack enough sandwiches. And the propulsion module is not american-made anyway (or has in fact passed any design review, to date), so talking about its capabilities as something to be proud of is... dubious at best. - Plain wrong, Orion doesn't have room for those consumables either. - Wrong, they both have the same radiation shielding (none except the food you bring with you), and the same thermal shielding (Mars return capable). - You have me here, I admit. How much do you think it would take to stick a laser communications package to another ship like Dragon? How much do you think it weights? - Are you serious? Orion has no airlock, so you have to depressurize to get out. How hard can it be to do the same thing on Dragon? On any interplanetary stack, the airlock is elsewhere anyhow. Don't get me wrong, I know we mostly agree on everything. But I still think Dragon makes a better Orion than Orion, since what you want in what is essentially a crew taxi capsule, is that it doesn't take too much weight and room while you are not using it. And Orion may have some interesting capabilities, but Dragon has others, like that awesome integrated LES that gives it an huge T/W and throttle capability, or the roomy "trunk" to put unpressurised cargo in (like a robot arm or mission equipment). I would really like to see more numbers on it, of course, I have a feeling it will have more delta-v than the cargo version, but I don't know how much more. Also it will weight more than 4.2mT empty, but I don't know how much more (new docking system, more fuel, more engines). I imagine around 13mT (Falcon 9 1.1 payload, give or take), but I don't know exactly so I can't work out it's Delta-v. Rune. And of course it blows Orion out of the water in the cost department, 140 million a pop including launch.
  4. Again, and I'm starting to think you guys don't read: Dragon's heatshield was designed for Mars return reentry velocities from the start (including the cargo version used on COTS). At a fraction of the cost the traditional contractors were asking for, for an inferior product (read up on how PICA-X came into existence, lots of help from the NASA technical library, and much more ingenuity and cost control). And if something goes wrong with your "star cruiser" while you are very far away, the heatshield is no issue: you will die for lack of consumables or a solar flare before you reach Earth, be it in Orion or in Dragon. As a side note, even Soyuz's heatshield is (or at least was at some point) capable of reentry from lunar trajectory, and there's not much difference between the two. But let's keep on comparing american products. As to NASA's definition of deep space (which itself changes all the time), Orion is still incapable of most of it: How would you feel about sitting in an Orion for, say, a year in geostationary orbit? Because your chances of not frying yourself to death would be slim. But you would probably die of hunger first anyway. Orion can do lunar missions on its own, and that is trusting no inconvenient solar flare happens during the mission (a non-zero fatal possibility). Period. Just like Apollo, but with seven people. The original Orion's service module propulsion was designed for lunar return, so I won't buy that it is "necessary for abort modes". Those abort modes are fantasies to justify the project, the weight of Orion itself and the artificial requirement of launching on a SLS poses greater risks to the overall mission. And the actual service module that ends up flying is going to be built in Europe anyway, so actually Orion is basically only a capsule with no propulsion system, attached to an European ATV. Dragon has a huge advantage there with its integrated LES running on hypergolics. And its gonna end up costing, what, less than a fifth of what Orion has spent to date? Perhaps half if they have huge cost overruns late in development? I hope keeping the engineers at Lockheed happy and fed is worth it, I will keep on thinking there were more productive ways of spending their time. Rune. For boops sake, the crewed version of Dragon is supposed to land propulsively on land with chutes only as backup. In what way is Orion superior, again? The bathroom?
  5. And expensive a boop, too. But doable. Just not with the current american lifestyle.
  6. 1km/s delta-v reserve... what is the isp of those mod rockets? 'Cause that sounds high. But it looks good. I might try to build something similar with stock parts, always liked the Delta-clipper concept. Rune. I'm not calling you a cheat, BTW. I just like playing with vanilla performance.
  7. If it operates on IR (infrared) wavelengths, I don't see why not... but now that I think about that twice, I seem to remember IR is what gets mostly blocked out by the atmosphere ^^'. You would have to ask someone whose field is actual astronomical observation and telescopes, I'm afraid, I'm a bit green on that. Well, it's a matter of putting your IR telescope into another satellite if so. Wait, that is what early warning satellites are, now I get why every military capable of building them has some . Rune. The JWST would do a great job on that.
  8. Actually, Orion was intended to perform two lunar flights a year, and that drove the whole design process. Remember Constellation? Changing the name to MPCV does not change the design. And as I already told you, endurance is a matter of rating, and mainly driven by the endurance of the hypergolic fuel lines. Power is completely irrelevant, since you switch everything off when you turn it into dormant mode. Not that any deep-space vehicle would lack power anyway, each person needs about 2 kW in life support for long flights. There. That's my whole point. Orion is not a deep space vehicle. It hasn't got the consumables, it hasn't got the liveable space, it hasn't got the radiation protection for it. It depends on some "yet-to-be-designed" actual deep space vehicle (hab+propulsion stage, bonus points if you have enough heatshield for aerocapture), and only serves the purpose of crew delivery and crew return. Dragon can do that, since its heatshield is also capable of high velocity reentry. Rating a Dragon for long endurance in space is pretty much trivial if you manage to get fuel lines that don't corrode over the desired time, and the toilets aren't going into the capsule anyway. And Dragon weights half as much. Same goes for Soyuz, or Shenzhou, only the crew numbers and weights are different, which is the only reason I'm comparing it with Dragon mainly. Never forget Soyuz was also designed for lunar missions, BTW. Rune. And if you plan to do regular flights to interplanetary space, you'd better stop the whole thing back in LEO and then you don't need the heatshield (or, in fact, the whole capsule) anyway.
  9. Well, Soyuz has managed six months for a few decades now. So will Dragon. So does pretty much every vehicle that docks or has ever docked to the ISS, some even more (how long do ATV's stay docked providing propulsion? It's slipped my mind at the moment). And going to the moon... maybe NASA calls that deep space, but to me it's the backyard, and only requires a few days' travel. And the endurance is mostly limited by how long you can store hypergolics safely, not the "lifetime of the systems". Commercial sats manage to run their systems for decades, and those are off-the-shelf. Yeah, they are currently resizing the life support for longer flights. Big deal, where is the radiation shelter for when a flare comes your way? Where is the living and storage space to actually perform a long-duration missions? Those are the marks of a deep-space vehicle. And the HUGE cost of Orion (what is it, 5 billion and counting in the most optimistic accounting?) comes from it starting to pay engineer's salaries at Lockheed way back when the Constellation program was started in the Bush administration. So far they have a structural test article to show for it, some mockups and little else. Lots of paper and video, though. Should I tell you how much has SpaceX (for example) designed and built in the meantime, and at what cost? Rune. Pork, I tell you.
  10. Wow, powered flight at last, good for them! Though suborbital is not truly space in my book, I wish them the best. Also, KSP lets you in control of the part that houses the root command pod (the one you start building from), and renames the other as "X ship" (X being the original name). Or "X probe", or "X rover", depending of what the control part on the non-root part is. Rune. The more, the merrier.
  11. Some don't. The Polywell concept, if it is able to burn p-B11 fuel like its researchers claim it should, is inherently a direct conversion device. Meaning it takes energy away from the charged alphas by decelerating them in a magnetic field and inducing high-voltage current than you afterwards condition and pipe to wherever you want. Very efficient, considering 80% of the reaction's energy is contained in those alphas. It's when you have to deal with neutron-producing fusion reactions when you have to make do with boiling water. And there's always the concept of magnetohydrodinamic conversion, though I must admit I haven't looked into that and might even be getting the name wrong. Something to do with building a "turbine" out of magnetic fields and working with plasmas as fluids.
  12. Ok, if spy sats can read license plates on cars, why do you guys assume the much, much bigger telescopes on the ground can't read their serial numbers? Even civilian sats routinely manage 1m resolutions with primary mirrors measured in cms. The NRO recently donated NASA a couple of Hubbles it never launched (~1m mirrors). The only way to hide what you have, these days, is to keep it underground or underwater. And IR emissions also tell you how much power it is producing at any given time. And megawatt directed energy weapons (or kinetic for that matter) don't exist, but if they did they would need megawatt sized radiators to function in space. Those are kind of a giveaway (and flimsy and therefore soft target for the myriad of ASAT weapons already in existence). And megawatt sized powerplants, which are heavy and consisting of either huge solar panels or radiation-producing (and hence, detectable) nuclear reactors. Also, you can guess pretty accurately the mass from the launch vehicle used and the orbit it has. That, without getting into the point of how useless space-based weaponry is, in a world with silo and sub-based ICBM's topped with nuclear warheads. Rune. There is no stealth in space.
  13. The reason Orion is so expensive is because it is 90% pork, and has been in development for a long, long time. It is NOT designed for a deep space mission, because it has no radiation shelter and very limited living space. The size of the propulsion system has nothing to do with it. Apollo used that big engine because that big engine was designed to push a much bigger spacecraft from the surface of the moon on a direct return, and that's what they had at the time (time was an important factor). Orion is meant for a short one-week jaunt to the moon, and optionally as return vehicle on larger interplanetary stacks. That's not deep space, that's Apollo redux. Rune. Don't drink the coolaid.
  14. Yeah, also, Ram intakes. Really, the radials do close to nothing at altitude, and IMO they ruin the aesthetics. And you can put them on the front and back of those struts without turning on part clipping (by sticking them first somewhere else), and if you use the trick I've shown you before, put twice as many on the front. That should get you to space as soon as you solve the stability issues.
  15. Yeah, I think it is pretty much the same as saying "fearless"... only it sound much more ominous, which is convenient for a warship. Have in mind the first use was in the sixteenth century, too. And it seems the USA spelling is indeed dreadnaught, there have been a few small boats named such in the US navy. And of course, glad you like it! And mind the advice I gave in the post, it is not really release-ready, or not as much as I usually make them... I think I should really have taken the 10 seconds it takes to rearrange the staging properly for the last stage, and looked into the adapter situation, I still don't know how it stays connected. Good thing the "Nova"'s last stage has a redundant decoupler. Taking out the mods is really easy, both parts are in the communication tower, but of course to load it in the first place you need to have them installed. Rune. Well, you know how these things go. ^^'
  16. Orion could be lofted to space on a number of launchers, actually Arianne V might not be the best. Mainly, because it is launched from french Guiana, and that's not designed for astronauts. We could sell you some to launch from the cape, but I think it would be easier to use an Atlas/Delta, those pads are already built and the rockets are capable enough. As to launching Orion farther... well, I wouldn't launch it anywhere else unless it is part of a stack with decent living space, and then why wouldn't you use a proper in-space stage? Ideally, a refuelable one so you can reuse most of the hardware in the next mission. No matter what NASA tries to sell you, Orion is a pretty standard capsule, and that's no way to head into deep space. A decent return vehicle and LEO taxi, but not a proper deep space vehicle. Rune. Dragon would make a better Orion than Orion anyhow.
  17. They are pretty inefficient direct energy weapons. The problem is the beam quickly loses collimation: each ion repels the ones around it, so your "death ray" quickly becomes a "warm cloud" of ions spread over a huge area. Lasers are much more effective, and efficient. Rune. And yeah, someone thought of it first.
  18. Ok, lots of stuff to answer to there. First, nuclear fuel. Perhaps nuclear fuel as we measure it now would run out in a few decades if we instantly switched to 100% nuclear power. But that is like saying oil would run out as soon as the first oil field runs out: most of the usable ore is still undiscovered. And that doesn't take into account alternative fuels like thorium, which is perfectly viable an much more plentiful. In the real world, if a serious transition to nuclear power was started today, it will probably take millennia to go through all the fissile material in the accessible areas of the Earth's crust. But I can't give you accurate numbers, because nobody has bothered to measure it properly. Just the quantity in the highest concentration in the areas where we currently extract it. Then, your comments about Europe and my country in particular: do you seriously think the problem is anything but political? Our government is committing economic suicide, and it actually makes perfect sense: it matters to them exactly nothing that more than 20% of people is unemployed, as long as them and their families and friends keep getting richer and they manage to get voted into office again, even if they have to wait 4-8 years while the other guys in the opposition have a shot at doing the same thing and calling it something different. And that is exactly what they are doing, dismantling the social pact that created a healthy middle class in the 80's to increase the income difference between the very rich and everyone else. It's a blatant redistribution of resources, only to the pockets of a few from the sweat of the many. "Austerity" and all that crap makes bankers capable of changing their monopoly money with things of real value: they are buying our hospitals, schools, pension funds, and industries cheap as dirt, and they are paying for those with the debt they artificially created. A perfect plan, if you are one of them, as long as they can keep the rest of us from getting really, really pissed off about it. As in french revolution pissed off. If only we woke up, but I'm afraid sheep are sheep (they might be pushing a bit too far though, the "plan" may blow up in their faces yet). Oh, and our "gigantic debt" is a drop of water compared to the ocean USA is swimming on, and they seem to get along fine. And I mean both as total amount and as percentage of gross domestic product, this is a 100% manufactured crisis. And "tapping the resources on Earth" means really tapping them. Not the ones we are currently capable of reaching and have measured, and are also the most convenient and cheap to extract. Those are the ones that show up on resource charts. But if you look at the resources charts from the first oil crisis, you might ask yourself how is it that we have already used more oil than there was supposed to be in the first place. The answer is, we now look into more places to get it, and we are prepared to invest more effort to get it. Iron is not running out any time soon, as in the next few centuries. Neither is aluminium, coal, oil, uranium, thorium... Will those support a 7+ billion population? Well, some people once doubted that they would be able to support one billion (I kid you not). So I'd say they will be able to support much more than that. Just because they will have to. At no point in all of the history of our species has the total population of Earth actually diminished over any period of time. World (and regional) wars, epidemics, shortages of food and resources... at the end of each of those, there were more people living on this planet than before them. I seriously doubt that trend will ever change. And when we are getting really, really crowded... well, there's enough stuff on the main asteroid belt to build 300,000 Earth's worth of liveable surface. Good luck filling that in the medium to near future. I would like to see the population somewhat stabilized, as is happening on developed countries, and I would like to turn Earth into an "ecological reserve", and keep the population growing elsewhere, but I hold little hope that we can change our ways in that respect. Rune. So I'll cry silently for the billions of poor people that die in the process, don't get me wrong, but I will still celebrate the increase in total number of human minds, because some are bound to be interesting.
  19. Errr... Levelord, where are the rest of the intakes? No way you can get this to 2,000m/s on just two rams and two radials, right? Or I am missing something? That 6.8 max air tells me something fishy is going on... Also, since you already did everything, I won't even try. But I might steal some aesthetic details. By the way, you remember I have a shuttle waiting for you to name it on my thread, right? You certainly earned it And Bunny, it is very difficult to land planes on airless worlds, which is why the ones I send there always have extra landing struts to become tailsitters. Again, examples on my thread. Rune. Heavy clipping, I presume?
  20. Well... it's kind of impossible to see the future, but while I see the problems around us, and understand oil is finite, we have barely tapped the available resources on Earth. See, every time we think we have reached some "peak" in the production of anything, along comes a brilliant engineer that figures out a way of producing more, cheaper. Sure, there will be economic crisis form time to time. Millions (and billions) will die of hunger and thirst. The biosphere will degrade to some point. We will continue to be poor stewards of our planet in general. But when the boop really starts to hit the fan, we will suddenly get creative and find some way to survive. And not only survive, I doubt very much that we stop growing our population. It's just how we are. And even now we can see some of the solutions: nuclear power, farming the sea (you can make flour out of algae), renewable energies (up to some point), and increasing in the efficiency with which we use stuff (we are becoming good at that in Europe). Even the dream of fusion energy will some day come true, I believe, and then energy stops being the issue. And if we solve the issue of energy... well, what's stopping us from increasing the usable amount of land by digging underground farms, for example? I don't like that future too much, but I'm afraid the Earth is going to have much more than 10 billion people pretty soon, and the barrier of 20 will go down soon after. Someone calculated once that the world's peak sustainable population would be in the hundreds of millions. One thing is for sure: all the Malthusian bullcrap has always been proved wrong, and soon. So we will kill a lot of species, but I very much doubt we will kill ourselves. And of course we could do better, and we should strive for it. But I'm afraid we are very imperfect creatures, sadly. Rune. Don't bet against technology.
  21. Did you try putting the strut on the front of the engines? Not on the middle attachment point, mind you, just a hair to either side. Then without part clipping on (so you can't consider it cheating), stick them somewhere else, then move them, one to the tank and the other to the front of the strut. It's what I did before I discovered part clipping and stopped caring (because the SPH and VAB are buggy enough on their own, and frankly I consider aesthetics more important). See this design for the final result, with two intakes on each attachment point. I hadn't discovered part clipping back then: Rune. You can, of course, grab it from my thread for reverse-engineering purposes.
  22. Ok, then it should be relatively simple to switch the LV-N's with LV-T's (30 or 45, matters little), and put a single nuke on the middle. You don't need the thrust in space, and that way you pretty much double the T/W while getting a plane 1 ton lighter (better mass ratio, so better delta-v). If you say you lack thrust to get out of atmo, I am assuming you can make it to at least 20 kms and >1,200 m/s, ideally 25kms and >1,500m/s. Oh, and forget about standard jets, they are wasted weight when you go over 10,000m IMO. Also, a flight trick: when you are nearing flameout, turn the rockets on and thrust back to around 50-66%: you can get an additional push from the jets until ~30kms. But beware, you are courting a flameout induced spin that way, you'd better be quick at turning them off. And last but not least, if all else fails, MOAR INTAKES! With 6-1 intake-engine ratio or higher you can get to such high speeds (>2.200m/s) you can circularize on ion engines, I kid you not. A handy trick: by adding a strut to the front of the tanks, you can clip two intakes per tank (without activating part clipping, too), and they actually look better IMO (one upside down on the back of the strut or the tank, the other on the front of the tank). Oh, and I don't use the spaceport at all, I upload all my crafts to mediafire and post the links here. No wait, and I trust it more than KSP's servers, especially after the great crash. Rune. Hope that gets you there!
  23. Well, there's also the real reason I named it as I did... I suck at coming up with names, the file is named "Battlestar Mk III - Nova"
  24. As I said in the post, with the full 4 fighter complement, it is around 450 parts on orbit. The one I'm posting, with only two but with a Nova booster on the back, clocks in at 683 parts on launch. Not for slow computers, I'm afraid. HMS Dreadnaught was in fact the name of a very famous real-life battleship that greatly advanced the state of the art at the time, spawning an arms race and quickly becoming obsolete as the new techniques (steam turbines, big guns only...) became widespread. The royal Navy being what it is, it was like the sixth ship carrying that name. And despite what you may have seen on videogames, no class of ships has ever been formally classified as "Dreadnaughts". Oh, and the "missiles" are actually probes docked to the ship, so just manually undock them and quickly guide them to the target with RCS (before they run out of power, that is). Well, here you go, kind sir. The mods I know it has are the ORDA telescope (the small one), and Kerbal Engineer Redux. The mod I think it might have are some parts from the KSPX pack. Not sure, though. And you might want to address the adapter issue, too. Oh, and take some care with staging, I think I had to make some changes on the fly with the final stage to run on the nuclear engines, and each fighter is armed with 10 decoupler "shots" (I have the small decouplers edited to have an absurd speed, with ejection force 300, I think, which is 20x normal). You can imagine the mess to find the one you actually want to decouple on the staging. Edit: Crap, now that I've tried looking up the real-life ship, I noticed I messed up the name. It's HMS Dreadnought. Also, the first one was a 1573 41-gun galleon. Rune. Glad you guys like it!
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