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Jamie Logan

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Everything posted by Jamie Logan

  1. Good question. It is, but only if the control point on the lander can is set to "up" instead of "forward". Unfortunately, doing this will flip the yaw/roll axes and the SAS seems to just freak out. Maybe there's a way around this?
  2. Hey everyone! Today, I've got another replica to show off! Red Bull Stratos was a high altitude diving project involving Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner. On 14 October 2012, Baumgartner flew approximately 39 kilometres (24 mi) into the stratosphere over New Mexico, United States, in a helium balloon before free falling in a pressure suit and then parachuting to Earth. The total jump, from leaving the capsule to landing on the ground, lasted approximately ten minutes. While the free fall was initially expected to last between five and six minutes, Baumgartner deployed his parachute after 4 minutes and 19 seconds. Reaching 1,357.64 km/h (843.6 mph)—Mach 1.25—Baumgartner broke the sound barrier on his descent, becoming the first human to do so without any form of engine power. Measurements show Baumgartner also broke two other world records. With a final altitude of 38,969 m (127,851 ft; 24 mi), Baumgartner broke the unofficial record for the highest manned balloon flight of 37,640 m (123,491 ft) previously set by Nick Piantanida. He also broke the record for the highest altitude jump, set in 1960 by USAF Colonel Joseph Kittinger, who was Baumgartner's mentor and capsule communicator at mission control. (from Wikipedia) My replica utilizes some tricks to make the balloon work, since stock buoyancy isn't a thing (yet). The "balloon" section is made mostly of fairings, except for the midsection which uses the structural tube parts to make for an internal section where aerodynamic forces aren't ignored (like they are inside fairings). Inside those tubes are two counter-rotating sets of propellers which will provide our lift to simulate buoyancy. The rotors are powered by fuel cells which are fed by a single small tank with enough gas to get you a few kilometers up before the jump. Craft File: https://kerbalx.com/Jamie_Logan/Red-Bull-Stratos When flying: Set your SAS to radial out, press action group 1 to power up the rotors and fuel cells, then throttle up to 100% and stage. EVA and hit spacebar once you reach ~9 km. Don't forget to open your parachute. Enjoy! Gallery: I hope you liked it! Here is my last post:
  3. The first in my musical instrument series. If someone wants to build a launch vehicle for this puppy, I'd love to see it! " Makin’ my way downtown, flyin’ fast, planets pass and I’m homebound " - Vanessa Kerman, 2002 Poor Jeb's little arms and legs cannot reach the keys and pedals. Craft file (MIDI file??): https://kerbalx.com/Jamie_Logan/Grand-Piano Anyhoo, Here is my last creation:
  4. Thanks for the tip, I'll give it a try with this vessel.
  5. Hello! Today, I've got a new toy. Everyone has made a basic orbiter with command module return capabilities, usually using the trusty ol' heat shield and parachutes, but I decided to try to build an orbiter that can land using a set of extendable wings, much like one of the proposals for the Gemini Program: Introducing the Mallard CSM-W: The Mallard CSM-W is a standard LKO crew module. The launch vehicle can place the orbiter into an equatorial LKO, and the orbiter has a few hundred m/s of on-orbit maneuvering fuel. The orbiter also comes with RCS thrusters, fuel, and a forward mounted port to allow for rendezvous and docking. The service bay behind the command module has two sets of wings with landing gear folded in at launch, which can be deployed prior to de-orbit and re-entry. Upon re-entry, an initial angle of attack of 90 deg will allow you to bleed off enough speed to keep temperatures low once you reach the lower atmosphere. Once you kill the majority of your speed, you'll need to look to land quickly since the lift-to-drag ratio is pretty poor. I've found it to be easiest to simply dive down to maintain airspeed, and then level off just before you reach the ground. Landing works best around 60 m/s, as it's decently slow but still above the stall speed. It can be landed on the KSC runway, or really anywhere else with sufficiently flat ground. Dumping the remainder of your maneuvering fuel before landing is also recommended. Action groups: AG1) Toggle lock on all robotics parts (locked by default at launch) AG2) Deploy wings and gear When deploying the wings, first use AG1 to unlock the robotics, then use AG2 to deploy. Once the wings are deployed, use AG1 again to re-lock the robotics parts. This is critical, as the wing parts are autostrutted to the command module, and will be unstable if not re-locked. Due to what I assume to be a bug, re-locking the robotics parts does not always work for all of them (usually the tiny hinges) so you'll have to check all 12 of them to be sure they are re-locked before re-entry. The game will display the "Cannot Lock Robotic part, Servo is moving" warning, even though none of them are still moving after being deployed. Not sure why this happens, but manually locking the rest of the parts does not take long. Here is a lovely gif of the wing deployment in action: https://i.imgur.com/257oimq.gifv Craft file: https://kerbalx.com/Jamie_Logan/Mallard-CSM-W Gallery: I hope you enjoyed it! Here is my last post:
  6. Hey! Recently, I've been messing around with using Ion engines powered by fuel cells. As it happens, the combined ISP of ion engines powered exclusively by fuel cells is a pretty respectable 1293 seconds. One large fuel cell can power two ion engines, so I built an all-purpose crew vehicle that uses 16 large fuel cells and 32 ion engines, allowing all 32 of them to be run at full throttle for as long as one's heart desires, and at any distance or occlusion to the Sun. It also comes with RCS thrusters and a forward mounted docking port. The command module has the standard decoupler, heatshield, and parachutes for return. When placed in LKO using its launch vehicle, it has 4,100+ m/s of delta-v (vac) and an initial Kerbin TWR of 0.25. When flying, keep in mind that the delta-v value that KSP will display on your staging diagram will be less than your true delta-v, because the game does not factor the consumption of lf/ox into the calculation. The ratio of rate of xenon to liquid fuel consumption is roughly 50.08, so the orbiter has 22,800 xenon to 450 lf (ratio of 50.66). This means that all three fuel levels stay roughly equal as a percentage of their initial value throughout the duration of the mission. Because the Ion + fuel cell combined specific impulse is 1293 s, you can estimate your remaining delta-v in m/s at any point using this formula: Delta-v = 9.81 * 1293 * ln ( m / 18.851 ) where "m" is your current mass in t. The launch vehicle comes with the standard launch escape system (LES), with action groups: ABORT: activate LES, separate command pod AG1: activate LES, separate LES (use prior to orbital insertion, or shortly after abort) AG2: toggle fuel cells AG3: deploy parachutes Craft file: https://kerbalx.com/Jamie_Logan/Ranger-FCI-13 Gallery: Hope you liked it! Check this out:
  7. Brilliant! The solar panel/radiator/mining rig looks just like one I made a while ago
  8. Hey Y'all! Many past players have used all sorts of means to simulate airships in KSP, from jet engines to control surface spamming to landing gear glitches and even awesome mods like HooliganLabs. Since the game will calculate lift on an aerodynamic body regardless of how it's occluded (unless it's inside a fairing/cargo bay), we can build a helicopter that sure looks a whole heck of a lot like an airship using the new DLC parts. To this end, I've got another entry into the stock airship category: The Kindenburg utilizes two R7000 Turboshaft engines with 16 medium helicopter blades each, mounted to counter-rotate inside the wing-only section of the envelope. Outside the envelope along the sides, there are two electric rotors with duct blades which will provide our forward thrust. The lift engines are fed by liquid fuel and intake air, while the rotors and reaction wheels are run by the lift engine alternators along with a pair of fuel cells. The crew capacity is 10: 2 in the lander can, and 8 in the upside-down modules. Hanging the passenger modules upside-down was mainly for aesthetic reasons, as I found it to be the best and easiest way to make a good looking passenger module for an airship. I hear bats love to travel in this thing. Action Groups: AG1) Toggle lift engines power and fuel cells AG2) Toggle forward engines AG3) Toggle ladder Flying the thing can be a little tricky. The lift engines are mapped to the main throttle via RPM limit, and a throttle level of 1/2 corresponds to roughly neutral buoyancy. When taking off, it's best to do so with a little forward velocity for stability. Start out by hitting AG1 and releasing the breaks, then hit AG2 to start moving forward. Set your autopilot to prograde lock. Once you pick up speed, throttle up to ~1/2 thrust and you'll be off the ground. Don't try to gain altitude too quickly, otherwise you'll pitch up too far, flip out, and crash. Keep your nose close to the horizon and rely primarily on yaw for steering, bumping the throttle up and down from neutral buoyancy for pitch. Yaw works better for steering while at low speeds, but at higher speeds rolling is preferable. I've gotten it up to ~60 m/s at sea level, but you can probably push it beyond this. When landing, shut off the forward engines and deploy the gear. The massive drag of the fairings will slow you down, so drop the throttle slightly to descend and touchdown, then reapply the breaks. Craft file: https://kerbalx.com/Jamie_Logan/Kindenburg Gallery: OH THE HUMANITY!!!!!!!!! I hope you enjoyed this, please check out my last post too (also an unconventional vehicle novelty):
  9. Howdy, Y'all. Way back in ye old days of 2013 KSP, a younger and perhaps less-skilled me tried his hand at building a steam locomotive replica. This was the result: Not too shabby, given the limited part repository at the time. Though I've seen many KSP players build fantastic train replicas, I had yet to come across one that utilized the new stock robotics parts to make working running gear. So, I set out to overhaul Jeb's once-mighty steamer with the latest in Kerbal engineering technology: Jeb's Locomotive was designed to function in a similar fashion as typical modern locomotive replicas do; the running gear is powered by the drive wheels which are in turn powered by electric motors, instead of steam power driving the running gear and subsequently driving the wheels. The 6 rover wheels only provide brakes and steering, while the 6 rotor wheels are coupled in axle pairs using standard docking ports to provide side-to-side consistency in operation. The running gear is largely coupled together using junior docking ports. Engine power is controlled using the KAL controller in the cab. Press action group 1 to engage the drive motors and start up the fuel cells, set the controller to play until you reach your desired speed, then pause it. The play speed is set slow intentionally, as sometimes sudden changes to the RPM can mess up the running gear synchronicity. Unfortunately, the engine plates used to make the drive wheels don't have great traction with the ground (leading to slight slipping), and collision tolerances will limit your top speed to <9 m/s (as you will see shortly). You can of course go faster by disabling crash damage on the debug menu, but beware that at higher speeds the running gear can easily go out of whack. I find it runs quite nicely around 6-7 m/s surface speed. You are welcome to download and add on things like coal cars, passenger cars, etc. if you'd like. The locomotive is already 218 parts as-is, so expect lag if you're planning on adding a lot to it. If anything, download it just to drive it up to 9 m/s, for funzies. The entire vessel is Stock + DLC. Download: https://kerbalx.com/Jamie_Logan/Jebs-Locomotive Here is a gif of the running gear in motion at a slow speed: https://i.imgur.com/bHYKT1b.gifv Gallery: I'M GOIN' OFF THE RAILS ON A... oh nevermind. I hope you liked it! Check out my last build too:
  10. Hello, everyone! Recently, I took a break from my usual space-faring missions to build a new VTOL dropship. The Hummingbyrd VTOL has four Panther engines which are mounted on hinges that allow the aircraft to alternate between VTOL and forward flight postures. The decision to use Panther engines was made because of their ability to make instantaneous thrust changes via the afterburners, which helps tremendously when landing. The engine housings use two sets of small internal docking ports with one of each offset to the other engine to allow for each set of engines to remain coupled despite no actual axle passing through the engine mount. The downward-facing payload bay contains an extendable crew bench, allowing for quick on-loading and off-loading of passengers. The crew capacity is 10: two pilot seats and 8 seats in the payload bay. The vessel is 119 parts. Notice the highlighted docking port in the far engine housing, as well as the corresponding un-highlighted port in the near housing. Both are attached to the opposite engine housing, but remain docked to the non-offset port in the same engine housing. This prevents flight/aerodynamic forces from causing asynchronous engine rotation, leading to unbalanced thrust and instability. Shown above is the center of thrust, mass, and lift placement while in VTOL mode. While in this posture, all three are collinear in the dorsal-ventral axis. All tanks with fuel in them are laid out with symmetry front-to-back, allowing the C.O.M. to remain stationary regardless of fuel levels. This is critical for VTOL operations, as any significant deviation of the C.O.M. from the net thrust vector will cause a persistent pitch bias. Shown below is the center of thrust, mass, and lift placement while in forward flight mode. While in this posture, the C.O.M. is offset forward of the center of lift due to the redistribution of engine mass, leading to improved stability while in forward flight. The rear engine set is offset above the longitudinal axis to the same extent that the forward engine set is offset below, allowing the net thrust vector to remain in line with the C.O.M. Action Groups: AG1) Toggle engine orientation AG2) Toggle afterburners AG3) Toggle landing gear AG4) Toggle payload bay doors and piston lock AG5) Toggle piston extension Gallery: I hope you liked it! This ship is a joy to fly, and I highly recommend you try it out! Craft file: https://kerbalx.com/Jamie_Logan/Hummingbyrd Also, Check out my last mission:
  11. I'm all about those THICC ships Here's some of my recent stuff:
  12. Hey everyone! This one's so wild, it'll make your head spin! Most of us have tried our hand at building an artificial gravity station, either by building a conventional orbital station with a working centrifuge, or even building an entire spinning 2001-style vessel. Both are wonderful, but what if your Kerbals are going to be spending months on end not in zero gee, but on the surface of a body with a surface gravity less than that of Kerbin, like Moho (g = 2.7 m/s^2)? We can still put a centrifuge to work, but this time it'll be there to provide the additional acceleration that we need in combination with Moho's surface graviy to obtain a 9.81 m/s^2 net acceleration on our Kerbals, ensuring the long term health of their little (presumably) green musculoskeletal systems. To this end, I've developed the Rototron XVI. An artificial gravity surface base with the capability of reaching Moho with a crew of 32 Kerbals. When deployed on the surface, the centrifuge can be run indefinitely due to the combined ISRU refinery and fuel cell array. The station is constructed in LKO via two separate launches; one for the centrifuge and crew cabins, and another for the main engines and landing support structure. The crew of 32 is launched separately, along with an additional fuel tank that will be used to provide the rest of the delta-v we'll need to make the interplanetary transfer to Moho. A region near Moho's south pole was chosen as our landing site due to the abundance of low-altitude flat land, as the axis of rotation of the centrifuge must be as close to parallel to the local gravity field as possible to sustain constant acceleration. From left to right: R-XVI Centrifuge, R-XVI Crew Module, and R-XVI Landing Support Structure, Here is a link to a gif of it under rotation, KSP forums wont let me post it here https://i.imgur.com/jEbFkj3.gifv The math on this is not terribly difficult. Typically, when constructing an artificial gravity station with the intention of simulating actual 1 gee acceleration, you work out the necessary rate of rotation via: angular velocity = sqrt ( 9.81 / r ) Where "r" is the perpendicular distance between the crew cabin and the axis of rotation. In our case, if we model the two crew cabins as point masses on the ends of massless rods under rotation in a uniform gravitational field, the acceleration experienced by the crew cabins can be evaluated merely as a function of the angle of splay of the crew cabins while under rotation (such as with a centrifugal governor). Thus, we need only calculate the angle of splay that will result from our desired total acceleration: Splay angle = arcsin( 2.7 / 9.81) = ~16 deg Knowing this, we simply vary the rpm on the main rotor while monitoring the angle display on one of the hinges until the splay angle settles in around 16 deg. Now, we see the launch, construction, landing, and operation: Again, here's another gif: https://i.imgur.com/MPMPMY2.gifv I hope you enjoyed this, I sure enjoyed building and flying it. I don't have plans to post the craft files yet, but I will if it seems like there's enough interest. If you like crazy big spacecraft, you'll also like my last post:
  13. Brilliant replica!!!! I love the use of the butt of the antenna as the stick.
  14. It might not be as bad as you think. I run KSP with visual mods on a Dell laptop and this ship isn't so bad, even with 428 parts at launch.
  15. "Jeb, it's not a skyscraper if you build it somewhere without an atmosphere." "...A spacescraper, it shall be!" The SPACESCRAPER 0 is a fully stock tower. It has office space for 1,540 Kerbals, and can be flown to Minmus and landed in a single go. The launcher can place the tower on a suborbital trajectory, where the tower's 28 Nervas are used to go the rest of the way. Once in space, attitude is controlled via 16 Vernor engines instead of SAS modules due to the insane mass. There's also a small landing pad in between the upper and lower halves of the building to accommodate visiting landers. If you'd like to give it a go (even if just to fly it into the VAB, which I highly recommend), the craft file is here: https://kerbalx.com/Jamie_Logan/SPACESCRAPER-0 The fuel for the launch stage comes in part from the tanks in the booster itself, and part from the mk3 tanks in the tower in between the crew cabins. Upon burnout of the launch stage, you should have only a sliver of oxidizer left, along with enough liquid fuel to power the Nervas to a Minmus landing. The remaining oxidizer is due to the two 2.25 meter tanks at the base of the tower. This is the fuel that will be used for on-orbit attitude changes via the vernor thrusters, so both have fuel flow disabled at launch to prevent their fuel from being immediately used up by the main engines. Don't forget to re-enable fuel flow on them after booster separation so you can achieve attitude control. While on orbit, it is not recommended that you use SAS until you make your final landing approach. RCS+SAS for attitude stability and control will gladly eat up all your RCS fuel in a jiffy, so attitude adjustments are best made using small manual RCS bursts along with 4x physics warp to save time while rotating (don't worry, the tower is autostrutted to the max). SAS is generally not necessary during burns, as the huge moment of inertia of the tower should keep its attitude more or less consistent during the burn, especially when performing a burn directly out of a standard time warp. Gallery: I really hope you liked it! Also, check out my last post:
  16. Hello once again! Today I bring you, My latest attempt at an interplanetary VTOL SSTO. When launched fully fueled, it can reach LKO with ~2,200 m/s of delta-V remaining. From there, it can be flown non-stop to Laythe and back, using ISRU to refuel on Laythe's surface. The design is oxidizer-free, and the fuel tank layout preserves the C.O.M. position regardless of fuel levels. The engine layout includes two forward-fixed Nervas, four R.A.P.I.E.R. engines (two forward-fixed and two pivotable), and two pivotable Panther engines. When flying in VTOL mode, it's easiest to set the throttle to allow for a TWR<1 while the Panthers are running dry, and a TWR>1 while running wet. This will allow some fine throttle control by switching the afterburners on and off during landing. When flying to orbit: 1) Once off the ground (via either VTOL or STOL to save some fuel), set the pivotable engines forward (AG1) with the Panther afterburners off (AG2). 2) Activate the fixed R.A.P.I.E.R. engines (AG4). 3) Cruise up to ~10 km before turning on the Nervas (AG5). While this is normally a tad too low to be using Nervas, the ISP should already be 700+ and we'll need as much thrust as we can manage. 4) Once all jet engines flame out, shut them down (AG3 + AG4) and continue to push to orbit on the Nervas. The TWR will be fairly low once you're running on the Nervas alone, so pitch up slightly to keep your time to AP around a minute. Eventually, when your orbital velocity reaches ~2,300 m/s you'll be safe to cruise to AP and circularize. Action Groups: AG1: Toggle VTOL engine pivots AG2: Toggle Panther afterburners AG3: Toggle VTOL engines AG4: Toggle fixed R.A.P.I.E.R.engines AG5: Toggle Nervas Gallery: I really hope y'all liked it, and if you want to try your hand at flying it, you can download the craft here: https://kerbalx.com/Jamie_Logan/Fenghuang-H-77 Also, check out my last build!
  17. Hey! Continuing with my too-big launcher binge, I've got another whopper for ya: A multi-purpose interplanetary ship with ample fuel and propulsion, space for 70 Kerbals, and a variety of ports for expansion and utilization. It can be placed into LKO fully fueled in a single launch: Please let me know what you think! Download the craft file here: https://kerbalx.com/Jamie_Logan/Torus-X-64 Also, Check out:
  18. Indeed, even with 32 of them boys I only get about a 0.1 TWR with the base docked
  19. Funny enough, the part count is not so bad for any of them; nothing over 300 at launch. The fully assembled base in orbit with the drive stage docked will surpass 300, though.
  20. YO! In this time of solitude, I bring to you: M.O.R.P.H.E.U.S. Moho Operational Research Permanent Habitation Experiment Utility Station The KSC has kindly asked Jeb and co. to put together a Moho research base, so this is what I'm told they came up with: To get the job done, we'll need some serious rocketry to get everything into orbit that we need: From left to right: The MORPHEUS Core, the MORPHEUS External Modules, the MORPHEUS Drive Stage, the Verdon S4, the Verdon Crew Habitation Module, and the Moho Lander. For more info on the Verdon S4 and the Verdon Crew Habitation Module, check out the main post: All MORPHEUS craft can be downloaded at: https://kerbalx.com/hangars/98426 All Verdon craft can be download at: https://kerbalx.com/hangars/97494
  21. Hey Y'all! I hope everyone is enjoying their time in quarantine, as well as staying safe and sanitary. It's certainly given me more time to muck around in KSP, so I've got something new to show. The Verdon S4 (named in honor of the late Verdon Kerman) is an interplanetary transfer vehicle that can be used to drive large and otherwise massive payloads around the Kerbol system. The design was put together to maximize the final TWR and delta-V when reaching LKO without needing a part count that drives your (or at least my) framerate into a slideshow. I've included a secondary vessel; a crew habitation module which will act as our payload for demonstration purposes. With room for 28 Kerbals, it also has six docking ports; one large port for docking with the S4, one standard forward port, and four lateral ports to allow for extra vessels to dock (landers, probes, visiting crew ships, etc.). S4 LKO Vac. delta-V and TWR for various payload masses: payload mass (t) delta-V (m/s) TWR 0.000 6951 0.44 25.000 6288 0.43 50.000 5654 0.41 64.323** 5428 0.40 100.000 4816 0.38 200.000 3760 0.33 400.000 2651 0.27 800.000 1688 0.19 **crew hab. module mass Craft Statistics: Verdon S4 (interplanetary vehicle only) Parts 27 Wet mass 603.235t Thrust (vac) 2,625.0kN Height 5.5m Width 5.4m Length 55.2m Verdon S4 (interplanetary vehicle + launch vehicle) Parts 142 Wet mass 7,342.700t Thrust (vac) 84,000.0kN Height 96.6m Width 13.5m Length 13.5m Verdon Crew Habitation Module (interplanetary vehicle only) Parts 97 Wet mass 64.323t Thrust (vac) 120.0kN Height 7.4m Width 5.0m Length 49.6m Verdon Crew Habitation Module (interplanetary vehicle + launch vehicle) Parts 188 Wet mass 4,890.064t Thrust (vac) 64,000.0kN Height 92.1m Width 9.7m Length 9.7m Verdon S4 on the pad Verdon Crew Habitation Module on the pad At Eeloo! To see this craft in action as part of a larger mission, check this out: KerbalX hangar: https://kerbalx.com/hangars/97494
  22. 2020 SSTO Fleet + Ground Support Vehicles! Hey Everyone! I haven't posted here in quite a few years, but now that I've gotten back into KSP, I wanted to share what I've been working on for the past few weeks. We all love Single-Stage-To-Orbit (SSTO) spacecraft for their potential for re-usability, so I wanted to create a system that allowed me to legitimately process and relaunch them without recovering the spacecraft and relaunching from the SPH between missions. To that end, I developed a fleet of three SSTOs with a compliment of ground support and processing vehicles that can be used to fully refuel and prepare an SSTO for return to LKO with newly fitted payloads. The fleet consists of three SSTOs, two mobile gantries, three trucks, two trailers, and a crew transport buggy. SSTOs All three ships can reach LKO with between ~500 and ~1,500 m/s of on-orbit delta-V remaining depending on payload mass. All have forward-mounted docking ports and RCS thrusters for rendezvous, docking, payload deployment, etc. All are designed with a center of mass (COM) that remains stationary regardless of fuel levels or payload mass (to the extent that the payload's COM is in the geometric center of the cargo bay). The payload-carrying variants (Mk2 & Mk3) have been tested with maximum-mass payloads (I.E. a fuel tank that takes up the entire cargo bay). All can be de-orbited and landed fully "Dead stick". All have action groups to allow for engine/mode toggle, steering toggle, payload bay toggle, etc. Retract the forward landing gear on Mk1 and both the forward and aft landing gear on Mk2 when towing to allow for steering. Table 1: SSTO Spec. Summary SSTO Mk1 Mk2 Mk3 Max. crew 3 2* 0* Wet mass (t) (minus payload) 16.2 32.0 162.4 Dry mass (t) 12.2 24.0 73.3 Height (m) 3.8 4.4 6.0 Width (m) 6.4 10.1 13.4 Length (m) 13.2 23.0 37.4 Max. payload mass (t) - ~7 ~50 Max. payload length (m) - 4.9 10.0 Max. payload diameter (m) - 1.25 2.5 * Can be exceeded by housing crew in payload. SSTO Mk1 The smallest of the three, the Mk1 is the primary LKO crew shuttle. It has room for three, and can comfortably get from the KSC to LKO with sufficient fuel to rendezvous with an LKO target and de-orbit, but its payload is limited to crews only. The design is Liquid fuel only, so the RAPIERS are set to run on open cycle exclusively. The single Nerva is used to make the final push to orbit, circularize, and perform on-orbit maneuvers. The choice to go "no oxidizer" is partly for simplicity, and partly because the minimal-drag + high TWR RAPIER configuration makes the final delta-V needed to reach orbit low enough that it can be done with the Nerva. It also means that when fully re-fueled in LKO, the single Nerva will yield enough delta-V to go pretty much anywhere, without any pesky oxidizer/tanks to slow you down. When launching, set prograde hold with a ~20 deg elevation due east once you pass 300 m/s. The RAPIERS will take you up to around 1000 m/s at 10,000 km, at which point you activate the Nerva. Even though you're still deep in the atmosphere, the Nerva reaches about 700 ISP and nearly vac thrust at this altitude, plus we need to start our apogee kick early since the Nerva alone will yield a fairly low TWR once the RAPIERS flame out completely around 20 km. The time to apogee may start to drop back down once you're on Nerva alone, so nose up to keep it around ~60 sec until your orbital velocity reaches ~2,300 m/s, at which point you'll be safe to reach orbit after a coast to apogee and circularization. It has 4 linear RCS ports housed in the forward and aft mini cargo bays, which are set to toggle open/closed along with the RCS hotkey. SSTO Mk2 The midsize variant, the Mk2 can take a small payload to LKO along with a crew of two. Its fuel tank, engine, and launch trajectory configuration is virtually identical to that of SSTO Mk1, except with twice the RAPIERS and Nervas. Its RCS ports are contained within the payload bay, so it must be open for any RCS-based maneuvering. The furthest forward and aft tanks are empty; they are for structural/aerodynamic purposes. SSTO Mk3 The largest of the fleet, the Mk3 is a heavy-payload LKO shuttle. The design is RAPIER-only, and the vessel is unmanned. It can deliver an orange tank to LKO without much fuss. Launching is fairly straightforward; set prograde hold with a ~20 deg elevation due east once you pass 300 m/s. You should bottom-out on open cycle mode around 20 km and ~1750 m/s orbital velocity, at which point you switch to closed cycle to push your apogee up out of the atmosphere and reach orbit. Like the Mk2, Its RCS ports are contained within the payload bay, so it must be open for any RCS-based maneuvering. Mobile Gantries The piston array on Gantry Mk3 can be operated using the robotics controller on the side of the claw to ensure that all 10 pistons are operating in unison. Be careful when docking the claw to a payload on a trailer connected to a Truck. Back off the piston right after docking to ensure that the weight of the gantry doesn't force the truck + trailer into the ground and break their wheels. Mobile Gantry Mk2 This ground support vehicle can be used to transfer payloads to and from SSTO Mk2's cargo bay. It has a single XL piston and a claw to use for payload manipulation. Mobile Gantry Mk3 This ground support vehicle can be used to transfer payloads to and from SSTO Mk3's cargo bay. It has a compound array with 10 XL pistons and a claw to use for payload manipulation. It also serves as the primary refueling vehicle for SSTO Mk3. Trucks Trucks A and C have servos which allow for trailer pivoting. Simply unlock the servo and set the torque to zero after coupling. Use the piston before coupling to align the claw. Truck A This ground support vehicle can be used to tow trailers and SSTO Mk1. It has a piston-mounted claw for easy coupling, and the piston is mounted on a servo to allow for trailer pivoting when steering. The spring strength in the tire suspensions sometimes need to be lowered during payload loading/unloading using a gantry, as having Truck A connected to a trailer, a payload, and a gantry can cause the wheels to get a little... jumpy, especially if the gantry piston hasn't been relaxed after connecting. It can be used to tow SSTO Mk2, but this is best done when MK2 is empty after having returned from orbit. A fully fueled Mk2 + payload is best towed using Truck C. Truck B This ground support vehicle can be used to refuel SSTOs Mk1 & Mk2 (Mk3 is refueled using Mobile Gantry Mk3). Truck C This ground support vehicle can be used to tow trailers and SSTOs Mk1 & Mk2. It has a piston-mounted claw for easy coupling, and the piston is mounted on a servo to allow for trailer pivoting when steering. It can be used to tow SSTO Mk3, but this is best done when MK3 is empty after having returned from orbit. Best practice with SSTO Mk3 is to tow it to the runway while empty using Truck C, and refuel and add payload right before launch. A fully fueled Mk3 + payload can only easily be moved using its own RAPIERS and landing gear steering. Trailers Trailer Mk2 This ground support vehicle can be used to carry Mk2 payloads, when towed by Truck A or C. The distance between the two docking ports is slightly larger than that of SSTO Mk2's cargo bay. Trailer Mk3 This ground support vehicle can be used to carry Mk3 payloads, when towed by Truck A or C. The distance between the two docking ports is slightly larger than that of SSTO Mk3's cargo bay. Crew Crew Transport Buggy This ground support vehicle can be used to carry 4 Kerbals around the spaceport. Gallery SSTO Mk1 & Mk2 refueling SSTO Mk1 crew preparing for flight SSTO Mk2 Payload processing and flight SSTO Mk3 Payload processing and flight KerbalX Hangar: https://kerbalx.com/hangars/95963
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