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TCIS's Guide To Words


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A simple list of common words that new players would've heard of, but don't really know what they mean.

CoM: Center of Mass. Where the main weight of the craft is. For example, if you had a plane's weight all at the back, then it would lift off easily but spin out of control. If you had it at the front, then it wouldn't really get off the runway. To fix this, either dump some fuel at the heavy end, or add more weight the other way to get it to the middle.

CoL: Center of Lift. If your plane doesn't have a center of lift, then you need to add elevons to wings. This will enable it to go up and down, generating lift. Rockets don't really need this, as the thrust is generated by the engines.

CoT: Center of Thrust. Shows which way your thrust is going, and should be at the back .

Suborbital Trajectory: When you haven't reached orbit, and either are going to smash into the surface, or slam into your target (if you're a missile).

MIA: When your Kerbal is missing.

KIA: When your Kerbal is dead.

Gravity Assist: When you use the speed of going around a planet or moon to build up velocity (more speed) to reach a destination, therefore saving fuel and getting you further.

Vector: The six things that you can use to go certain ways. Prograde is forwards, Retrograde is backwards, Radial is up, Anti-Radial is down, and Normal and Anti-Normal are left and right (unless you're in orbit, which is when they are forwards and backwards according to your camera view).

Delta-v (dV): Change in velocity (speed): Change in velocity. Say you where not moving at all and there is no resistance, the DeltaV is how fast you could go with all the fuel you would have. (Thanks to @NSEP for this addition)

LKO, LDO, LMO, etc: Means Low (planet or moon) Orbit. For example, if I was in a Low Kerbin Orbit, I would say LKO.

Aerobrake: When you go into a planet's atmosphere to lose speed, and then come out again into space. Commonly used when slowing down to land on atmospheric planets.

Lithobrake: Where you use the planet or moon's surface to lose speed. In other terms, crashing.

TWR: Thrust to Weight Ratio. For a successful liftoff, your thrust should always be better than your weight. Otherwise a) your craft won't even get off the pad, or b) it will go up a few meters, and then fall back down, resulting in a big fireworks show (Thanks to @Grand Ship Builder for this addition)

LF: Liquid Fuel

IntAir: Intake Air, what your jet engines need (as well as LF) to run on. The higher up you go, the less intake air there is, so you should keep that in mind.

SRB: Solid Rocket Booster. The big engines that produce a massive amount of thrust, and cannot be shut down. In other terms, the two tall white things that are connected to the big orange thing every time a Space Shuttle launches.

MonoProp: Monopropellant. You need this for your RCS to work.

RCS: The things that make your craft move around in space easier. They require MonoProp, and you should place them on all four sides (so you can go up, down, left, and right).

SAS: Pretty much the thing that stops your craft from crashing. Without SAS, if your craft went spinning, then you would have to try to spin in the other direction (to stop spinning). If you had SAS on, then it would stop the spinning right away.

ISRU: A thing that can create fuel for your craft. All you need is a drill, and several storage tanks. You drill to collect resources, and then store them in the storage tanks. Then you convert the resources from the tanks via the ISRU, and (with a lot of electricity usage), have fuel.

Ox: Oxidiser/Oxidizer. If you don't have this, then your engines won't work.

(Thanks to @Ined for these additions)



Have a suggestion for a word that should be here? Then let me know!

Hope this short list helps new players, TCIS.


Edited by The_Cat_In_Space
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CoM: Center of mass

DeltaV: Change in velocity. Say you where not moving at all and there is no resistance, the DeltaV is how fast you could go with all the fuel you would have.

L...O: Low (object name) Orbit

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  • 2 weeks later...
20 hours ago, Grand Ship Builder said:

Here's some more:

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TWR = Thrust to Weight Ratio, basically how much thrust you get in comparison to your weight.

Max Q = The maximum amount of aerodynamic stress there is on your craft.

I've added the TWR, but not Max Q (as the average newbie doesn't take that into account)

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