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Everything posted by DerekL1963

  1. LOL - back in the mid 80's we used to have a sign on the Missile Control Center door that read "Trident-I Backfit, when you care enough to send the very best". (And t-shirts that read "16 empty missile tubes, 16 mushroom clouds, it's Miller time".)
  2. The new probe cores are heavier and eat more electricity... but do they provide torque in proportion (compared to the old pods) to their increased resource consumption?
  3. You don't need to remap - just go into docking mode and control your rover from there.
  4. I've never been able to dock using that system, but I've been badly wanting to add them to my stable. So last night I hacked a Zeus and an Olympus with the Clamp-o-tron Sr, docked them, and firewalled the throttle on the Zeus... and there was only the tiniest bit of wobble. (Or maybe I was imagining it...) It did take a couple of tries launching Olympus to work out proper strutting though. (I.E. I added struts until it stopped blowing up.)
  5. Did y'all fix ascent guidance too? Other than a slightly wobbly initial pitchover, the gravity turn is continuous and glass smooth like the bird was on rails... absolutely textbook. Still drinks monopropellant like a fish though, even though I don't have an ASA module installed.
  6. A trident, vertical - gold on navy blue. Thanks very much!
  7. There's a whole thread on the topic here: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/showthread.php/28911-Landing-Rovers
  8. I was about to ask - how are they useful? At first glance they seem to be just electricity hogging versions of the older ones.
  9. Actually, a shuttle launch costs around $125-$150 million dollars - that's what it cost to add a new flight to the manifest (going from four flights in one year to five for example). The balance (what gives those $500-$1,500 million figures) comes from the fixed costs per annum or amortizing the total program cost to date over the number of flights. As the fixed costs and development costs are already sunk (I.E. already spent regardless of the number of launches), it's not completely kosher to saddle a new flight with them. Exactly. I was just using the most common version - which is to lump all variants of Soyuz (the manned capsule) together and quietly set aside the one booster failure. Except... both of the things you claim are obvious, are neither. We have no idea what a seat costs the Russians, period. And subsidized seats aren't exactly unheard of. (We provided them on the Shuttle.) Russian era accounting is no clearer than that of the Soviet era and they show no interest in clarifying the situation. As to the second, the current mark of Soyuz is not only largely new (and thus cannot be said to be "best understood" at the systems level), it also hasn't flown sufficient times to make any accurate statement as to it's safety. (Though I will note in passing, it's landed off-target due to failure of it's main computer on something like roughly one third of it's flights to date.) At current prices it's not entirely clear that this is any cheaper, not at current safety rates is it clear that it's any safer or reliable. (Mostly due to the fact that you now require many more launches but haven't reduced their cost or added any nines to the reliability of the individual launchers and payloads.)
  10. Only to the inexperienced observer or over very short ranges... In fact, historically speaking, bows were among the earliest artillery. The English longbowman, so feared of yore, was in fact was feared for his ability in large formations to rain down arrows on enemy formations at range as much as for than his accuracy in direct fire. If you want to avoid the weight of fins, and want use the high thrust non vectoring engines like the LV-T30, you can try using the Rockomax 24-77 verniers.
  11. Not happy with the initial tests... you can delete your 'node' (your first part), which pretty much stops you dead in your tracks, you can't add a new one, and you can't doing anything with the rest of the ship.
  12. Currently Soyuz's success rate is something like 98.9, with two fatal flights out of 90 odd. (Not reflected in those statistics is the large number of non fatal incidents and non fatal but serious accidents Soyuz has suffered over the years.) Absolute deaths is a metric only of interest to ghouls, more people died on the Shuttle because more people flew on the Shuttle. The last time I saw the math done was in 2005, but the numbers aren't that different today - the Shuttle carried 679 people to Soyuz's 222. (Soyuz hasn't flown enough in the interim to make up the lack.) The cost per person... it's not at all clear Soyuz is cheaper, because it's tricky to apportion the cost of a Shuttle flight because of the vast amount of cargo it carried as well. On top of that, we don't actually know what a Soyuz seat costs, only what the Russians charge. Which brings up a factor most people don't think about - Soyuz can only carry one actual passenger to the Shuttle's three to five. Another factor in comparing Shuttle to Soyuz that most people forget is that you also have to replace the cargo carried... and when you tot up the notional cost of the Soyuz (even being generous and counting the crew as passengers) and the numbers of cargo launches required, things that aren't the Shuttle don't look like such a bargain anymore. (I can't find those figures offhand.) Or to put it another way, you get what you pay for. A Ford Focus is much cheaper than a Ford F150, but it's a hell of a lot less capable too. Just to be clear, I'm no particular fan of the Shuttle, I just prefer to work from facts and reality.
  13. >.< All orbits have repeating ground tracks. Some very specialized orbits have specific patterns, but all orbits repeat. (Run a MapSat or a Kethane Scanner here in KSP and see for yourself.)
  14. They're just one example out of many. When things must work where there aren't maintenance techs handy and they must work or cost their owners big bucks (and/or reputation), there's pressure to make them as reliable as possible. Actually, that's exactly what they won't do. First off, on orbit the spares are susceptible to damage from debris and radiation, as well as the normal degradation of their solar cells. Nobody with any sense leaves their spares out in the weather. Second off, GSO is *crowded* - there's barely room for the existing birds, let alone any on orbit spares. Very few birds (if any) have any need to recovered and repositioned so regularly. So, besides SKYLON being mostly fictional, that's not an extreme example... that's a strawman.
  15. Sadly, this isn't even remotely the case. Even with on demand lauches and birds ready to go - losing a GSO commsat can cost from millions to tens of millions a day, and it takes a week or more to get there and several weeks to commission the bird. Even if launches were free and available on twenty four hours notice, absent magic transporter technology there's still going to be pressure to have reliability as high as possible.
  16. Are very heavy and pretty much useless for most of the flight. You can't use them on ascent as the SRB exhaust will fry them, and by the time the SRB's are gone, you're too high. They're really only useful during the last few minutes of flight when you're subsonic and only minutes from landing anyhow. Not to mention ejection seats won't work for the mid-deck crew... they've got no ejection path. Really? It's 2013 and you think it's an 'improvement' to use ancient steam gauges and controls to make everything *harder* to do? The glass cockpit *is* the better hardware and systems.
  17. It's a long shot - but do you have an iPhone? I cut down considerably on the stuttering by disabling iTunes, Bonjour, etc...
  18. Why are you assuming the slow pace is because they're scrutinizing every little thing they've come across? In any event, I'm not assuming - I've actually read the books on the books on the rovers, follow the mission reports, etc... If you read Roving Mars you'll find an account of how it took four days to move one of the rovers around to photograph all sides of a rock. Four days to do what a human being could do (even suited) in a matter of minutes.
  19. I've also accidentally screwed up symmetry by forgetting to make sure the proper figure was selected (I.E. leaving it in one-fold), and while the rocket is powerful enough to initially overcome the asymmetry... but eventually it tumbles. Another thing to watch for is a departing spent stage taking out a running engine, have you checked your flight log?
  20. Given sufficient time, yes, a rover could find Genesis Rock. But a rover spending weeks carefully combing a small area hoping to find one special rock is cost effective... how? And given it's limited field of view, hoping to find it what driving by is pretty much an extreme long shot. In Roving Mars Steve Squyres goes into some detail the difficulties they had balancing between doing science (which mostly requires the rover to be still or moving on average very slowly) and actually covering ground to reach a destination. There's a reason why it's taken the rovers, combined, years to cover the ground that the Apollo astronauts covered in a single rover traverse in a single day. Meanwhile, trained humans found Genesis Rock in a couple of hours while just walking by and keeping their eyes open. And they knew to keep their eyes open for this particular rock because of the analysis of the many pounds of rock previously returned told the earthbound geologists that it was something they should be looking for...
  21. Ah, forgot to expand that part... By "sporty" I meant that big fluffy aircraft like an internal tank orbiter likes to 'stick'/'float' when they enter the ground effect, I.E. the rate of descent suddenly and dramatically slows. This isn't very desirable, and it's easy to get into PIO (pilot induced oscillation) which can be hard to recover from and can lead to stalls or smacking the vehicle into the runway with extreme prejudice. In the portion of the flight that's relevant to this sub discussion, the Shuttle has a 100% safety record - precisely no failures on landing. (A couple of near misses/diving catches, but no failures.) Otherwise, if you're trying to argue that your landing mode is safe because airplanes and blimps are safe... that, again, is beyond apples and oranges. Airplanes aren't that fluffy, and blimps don't come in that fast. I never said being a better glider wasn't good for reentry. I just pointed out that a low ballistic coefficient, which is (as you correctly point out) very useful in the reentry phase, has drawbacks in the landing phase. You can't simply say "it's cool for reentry" and walk away... because the vehicle has to land too. In real life, engineering decisions have trade offs and consequences, and you can't make a rational decision without being aware of those and you can't simply handwave away all the other phases of flight.
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