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Bill Zarr

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Everything posted by Bill Zarr

  1. Finished off my mining base today, sent the last parts up, loaded them onto a tug and took them over to the Mun. The ore tanker, rover dock and hab all landed without much trouble. (The hab landed somewhere relatively flat!) The launch of the rover dock module completed a space station around Kerbin contract, the mine finished off a mine ore on the Mun contract, did a couple of take readings here and there contracts with the science rover, and did a rescue a Kerbal from around the Mun contract. Quite profitable. Still not seen any contracts for mun ore to Kerbin since I started building this. Also sent off some Kerbals to Minmus. Also tested a small crew transfer pod to see if it was any good for rescues. Mono-propellant powered ~560m/s ∆v, while fine for shifting crew between stations it's poor at rescues. Needs ladder things to grab.
  2. Looks more like you forgot people don't like to be insulted. I'm not sure why you think I'd want to be made the butt of your joke. The implication that I'm either to stupid to know who the piloted the first moon landing or am some kind of moon hoaxer conspiracy theory loony is just insulting. In case you didn't know, generally people don't find it amusing if the joke goes "you're an idiot and should be punched in the face". If you insult me in a joke that's based on a complete lie then yea I'm going to point out that factual inaccuracy because that's an easy way to kill the joke. Obviously that upset you since you resorted to insulting my sense of humour. Perhaps you should consider not making "jokes" at other peoples expense, and not further insulting them when they don't find your first set of insults to be humorous.
  3. No, you are wrong. It was Neil Armstrong who piloted the landing, (he had a background as a test pilot, Aldrin did not.) If you had bothered to use a search engine you could have easily found this out. Wikipedia gives this information, but since that sucks as a reliable source, and I can't point to it out in a book over the internet I'll direct you to a nasa pdf of an interview with Armstrong (see page 83.) BRINKLEY: I guess we should mention — we jumped the story a little — but when the landing occurred, you had to pilot to make sure it didn't go into a crater. How damaging would that have been if you couldn't and you landed in — would that have been the end of the mission? ARMSTRONG: We could have tried to land there, and we might have gotten away with it. It was a fairly steep slope and it was covered with very big rocks, and it just wasn't a good place to go. You know, if I'd run out of fuel, why, I would have put down right there, but if I had any choice of a promising spot, I was going to take it. There were some attractive areas far more level, far less occupied by boulders and things, a half mile ahead or so, so that's where I went. I wanted to make it as easy for myself as I could on that first — there's a lot of concern about coming close to running out of fuel, and I was very cognizant of that. But I did know that if I could have my speed stabilized and attitude stabilized, I could fall from a fairly good height, perhaps maybe forty feet or more in the low lunar gravity, the gear would absorb that much fall. So I was perhaps probably less concerned about it than a lot of people watching down here on Earth. That's not to say I wasn't thinking about it, though, because I certainly was, but I thought it was important to try to get it down smoothly on the first try. We didn't know how that landing was actually going to go until that point. So I wanted to make it as gentle as I could.
  4. Flying spaceships is enjoyable and fun for some people. Why would you ever want to automate away fun? Seems pretty easy to understand to me. No doubt other people enjoy the challenge or honing their piloting skills to a peak of perfection. Or they might be stock purists or those that just like having something to do while launching. I'm sure there a loads of reasons. In a game I'd rather be playing Neil Armstrong style, heroically nailing a moon landing on manual than to be spam in a can watching a blinking autopilot. I don't use automation and have little interest in using it currently. I find flying rockets into space interesting and fun. I like getting direct feedback on how something flies, it's all part of the fun. For me piloting things is half the game, getting rid of it would make as much sense as removing the VAB and only flying rockets other people had built.
  5. It depends what point you are in career (& how you play it). I've used small probe rovers in career, I've used large manned ones. Both can be launched and delivered without building a beast of a rocket, (in your sense of beast too.) As for how practical they are, it depends what your definition of practical is. I've used a probe rover to go round and take contract readings, and it's slow and tedious so I've only done it the once for a contract, but it was cheap and light and potentially reusable for similar contracts in the same area. Financially practical, not so much for my game playing patience though. (It got sent after the tiny science probe ran out of fuel to hop to a new location.) I've a couple of contracts I'm going to use my manned science rover for, since it's heavier, faster & more capable I'll find out how tedious it is to travel round and take readings with it.
  6. Your parachute masses were incorrect. 0.1 tonnes not 0.01.
  7. You never mentioned that anywhere in your initial post, the first post is in regard to large rovers with a manned cab, so there is no reason at all to assume that you are talking specifically about probe rovers. And if you were indeed talking about probe rovers why do you need a "beast" of a rocket? If you need a "beast" of a rocket to launch something as small as a probe rover, you're probably doing something wrong or have a wildly different definition of what a beast of a rocket is. I guess you don't think NASA built the manned lunar rover then? or the Curiosity rover that is currently on Mars? (the one that is the size of a car) Obviously you think their designs for manned rovers with cabs are unrealistic too. You should drop them a line and let them know, I'm sure they'd love to know that things they have actually built and landed on another planet are not realistic.
  8. It depends how you go about launching them and on the design of the rover. They may drive about horizontal but that doesn't mean you have to launch them in that orientation. This rocket is fairly simple. Puts this in space. Which gets taken places by a tug. A simple disposable transfer stage would do, you could even launch it with the rover if you dislike docking. Then it undocks, does a small de-orbit burn, ejects the docking adaptors and lands. (Design variant in landed pic) Then undock the landing tanks and engines and drive off. I like to turn on the engines a bit before undocking so they fly off and get destroyed.
  9. I'd think they would still heat up via conduction even if they are occluded, if the parent part they are attached to is hotter. Then again since passive radiators are currently bugged and draw in heat from places they shouldn't maybe this is happening to the RTG. The thermal debug info might shed some more light on what exactly is happening. One solution is to stick them in a cargo/service bay to protect them. At least sticking it indside a cargo bay worked for me when I ran into this problem.
  10. Launched another 4 modules for the Mun and sent them off on the trusty tug Canopus, including a redesigned module lander. Remembered to load correctly so I could pull the modules off in the right order and orientation! The old lander had the fuel drained and was de-orbited. Sent a load of kerbals back home from the Mun. Landed the power module. Had to throttle up when I first got near ground as it looked too steep, had to throttle up again after the first actual touch down as it started tipping over and finally got it landed on the next touch down. Landed the drill modules (used the extra fuel stored in the ISRU base module to refuel for landing the drills), was almost as bad as landing the power module. Had to throttle up to avoid tipping and re-land it. Then went back to Copernicus station (Mun) to refuel. Landed the ISRU with the least trouble of all the modules and got that docked. On the whole I think the reusable module lander would be less troublesome used somewhere more flat. Brought down some more kerbals to plant flags and to get some 1 star engineers in the base. The ISRU refuelled the crew lander fairly quickly, while I was doing flag planting with the new crew. Got ~200k funds for completing a mine ore on the Mun contract. The kerbals that were sent home were transferred to a spaceplane at Einstein Station in LKO and landed back at KSC. Got more funds since 2 of them were rescues from around the Mun. More pictures:-
  11. I built a tanker variant of my largest spaceplane more or less by just swapping out the cargo bay for fuel tanks, took it up to Einstein station (LKO) to refill the fuel tank there and fill the tug docked there. Then launched and docked a thing for landing base modules, a core base module, a base-module-rover-mover-adaptor thing, and the main solar panels for Copernicus station (Mun). Thats more a what I did the day before yesterday though. Then I launched it all to the Mun. I dropped off the base parts in a low Mun orbit, re-docked the solar panel array and docked the tug at Copernicus station. Then I landed the rover adaptor thing, and then the base core. Sadly due to a huge small design error the landing legs on the base core block the lander engines when they are deployed. Had to land it very very gently while the legs were still up. I'd managed to get a 200k contract for this part, so that at least made money. At this point Copernicus station was back in sunlight so I relocated the solar panels to their final position and tried to get them put on straight. Then sent the tug back off towards Kerbin. Then I sent down the lander with another batch of intrepid Kerbals to plant flags and check things out. Tested moving the lander again with the new rover adaptor, tested docking it to the base core as well. I managed to knock over the old flag, put up a new one, took some science to take back to the lab in LKO, planted a new flag, then drove to the top of the mountain behind the base site to take in the view. Summer seems very happy to be on the Mun. More pictures:-
  12. Tested a new spaceplane design, delivered an ore pod to the tug docked at Einstein station. Landed a science rover and found a really high ore concentration (9.6%). Nice flat area too, just not very level. Set down a lander when I found a more suitable location for a mining base. Relocated the lander with the rovers. More pictures
  13. Launched a new crew shuttle thing Hauled a load of kerbals and a new science rover to Copernicus station. Rescued a second contract kerbal in my old 2 kerbal Mun lander, and took them to Copernicus Station to await the next flight home. Also did some driving of my Mun rover in the canyons at night until I found a giant cliff in the dark. Fortunately I stopped just in time. By some perverse twist of fate the canyons have some of the best ore deposits, so I'm scouting for somewhere flat(ish) there for mining operations.
  14. Hauled more station parts (7 modules & 1 lander) off to the Mun with my tug Canopus. Managed to get a contract to expand Einstein station where this tug was docked with more habs and another lab module, so the parts headed for the Mun completed the contract while they were temporarily docked there. It took longer than I thought it would to reconfigure the modules at the Mun. I should have loaded the parts onto the tug so I could have pulled them off in the order they were needed. Copernicus station is mostly done now, just need to get mining operations started on the Mun.
  15. If you look at any schematics for NERVA engines you can see that the shadow shield is built into the top of the reactor pressure vessel. Removing this then adding a part to add it back in is just pointlessly adding to the part count. And it ignores that the engine plumbing thingamabobs are actually above the shadow shield - do we get a new part for that too? 3 parts to build the 1 engine. I think having engines made of multiple parts might just be overcomplicating things a tad. Radiation might be interesting of mechanic for a few people, but most people might just find it a pain in the rear and avoid using the engine altogether. The main effect it has is to make docking more complicated & tedious. I can't see that being a popular change. ISRU mitigates disadvantages chemical rockets have for interplanetary trips anyway. Preventing people from using puller designs without fixing the wobbliness that makes people resort to them in the first place probably isn't ideal either. Then there's another layer of physics calculations that would need to be added in and done on every craft, because people would want to use fuel tanks & parts as shielding. Though if someone buys me a new computer I'm fine with this. The LV-N has already been nerfed repeatedly below what it's performance should be if it were a direct analogue of an NTR. Giving it another brutal pounding with the nerf bat seems counter productive. I guess some people just want to nerf this engine to the point it's unusable.
  16. Added some cool looking fins onto the back of my nuclear tug design... Not because they looked cool but because they help stop it flipping round and flying rear first when aero-breaking, also switched over to linear RCS ports and put comms, solar panels and backup RTG into a cargo bay for protection. It's a lot better at aero-breaking than the previous design, more stable coming in belly first and much more thermally resilient.
  17. I did some rover testing on the Mun, finished a build a station round the Mun contract and tinkered with my tug design a bit.
  18. Part count, cost, weight, aesthetics are all considerations. Strangely enough when I think about it aesthetics is probably the overriding consideration. I'll generally add a few parts here and there to make things look vaguely more realistic. ie if kerbals are meant to hypothetically move through it I'd probably use a proper hub rather than slapping docking ports on a fuel tank. I tend towards capsules not lawn chairs. I'll use things that are less than optimum, ie nose cones even when they're of dubious benefit. My design criteria are numerous, variable and likely to change on a whim. I suppose if one examined most of the things I've built one could probably get an idea of what sort of balance I find between things.
  19. Sadly the contract idea entirely misses the point. Adding a contract for take a rock sample from object at location X is just a minor variation on the take a surface sample at location X type contracts that already exist in the game, (no doubt a nice addition) but it doesn't make the basic science interactions any more interesting. My suggestion was to change how taking surface samples works to make it more interactive and to require exploration. Something that would require you to move more than 1m away from the bottom of the lander ladder, and take more than 10 seconds. Something that would give a slight sense of actually exploring a planet and doing science. The random scatter is merely a convenient visual cue. There's no reason you couldn't have sample variation from locations that differ by 100m or something of that order. Contracts are a really bad fit for this. Chance of a random contract at the time you land, in the biome you want to do science in, at a suitable inclination etc etc is likely to be pretty low. And if past contracts are anything to go by they will be at locations that are just far enough apart to make it tedious by rover and inconvenient by lander/hopper. Contracts are like side quests, and I'm talking changing a game mechanic.
  20. Once you land on a planet or moon there's not a great deal to do, run the experiments, plant a flag, a few minutes and you're done. There's little need to move from where you landed. Rather than just have one surface sample from a geological region (aka biome) I think allowing scientists(or any kerbal?) to take samples from ground scatter rocks would be an interesting game play mechanic. There would be the default soil sample from biome X, then there would be rock samples obtained from the surface scatter locations. Rather than just have one type of rock sample I think having several that are random might be best, that way you'd have to travel to a number of different rocks to get a variety of samples. Sort of like random science loot drops. This would give a reason to explore around the landing site and spend a little more time on the planets surface. Rovers would be useful for this. Perhaps high level scientists might get a low random chance to recover meteorites, including those originating on other bodies. ie rock sample 5 - granite meteorite originating on Duna, found on the Mun.
  21. I tinkered a bit more with my largest SSTO spaceplane, (orange tank to 100km station capable). Delivered some fuel and a bit of ore to my LKO station. Fuel is for the nuclear tug, so it can deliver a mun rover and some station parts, ore is for testing power & cooling on the station is sufficient to run the ISRU. I should really have docked on the other side it was a bit tight here.
  22. Why did I take that stupid "take a temperature reading near to your lander" contract? It seemed like it would be easy take a temperature reading next to the old lander, it had just enough fuel to hop to the location. Of course then the contract says it wants another reading done, and the fuel is gone. So I need to actually send a mission to sort this out. Hopper or rover? Well the areas the lander landed were both flat, and a rover would be lightest... 15k funds on a basic rover mission to the Mun. Of course THEN the the next temperature reading is down in a deep crater and then next up a hill, and then I'm wondering just how many of these are there?! Turns out there were 6. I drove that tiny rover so far. For an entirely untested design it worked quite well. It needs a couple more solar panels perhaps, as it has to stop every few km when driving uphill so it can recharge for a minute. After all that excitement I decided to retire to the VAB to work on some ore miner designs, naturally the end result was a spaceplane for launching satellites designed in the SPH. I was thinking about the earlier post:- And was considering the various methods in which one might launch things on a mk1 spaceplane. I'm not entirely sure how practical this solution is but building it entertained me and it works - at least for small satellites. It would be nice to have a proper mk1 cargo bay though. Used 2 stack decouplers rather than a separator, so I could dump them just prior to re-entry and avoid leaving debris in orbit. The wee satellite has over 2000m/s ∆v.
  23. The Peregrin, a light crew shuttle. Pictures with fuel/orbit/velocity status are all at the end of the album.
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