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What did you do in KSP1 today?


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@CatastrophicFailure likes this? I have no doubt. :D


I have learned something very important about aerodynamics in KSP today. Don't know if it's applicable to RL aerodynamics (I don't have FAR installed ATM; it broke with one of the updates and I never bothered re-installing as it didn't make that much difference for my planes anyway.)

It's not enough to look at the CoM and CoL and see that they line up like they're supposed to. How the weight is distributed matters too. 

I believe I tamed my high-energy backflip problem. While there were some contributing factors, the thing that actually solved it was putting a big lump of weight at the nose as a counterweight to the heavy engines and ISRU at the rear. The curious thing is, the CoM/CoL as displayed in the hangar are more or less where they used to be. Yet now the craft remains stable.

My interpretation is that as I pitch up, the CoL shifts forward. If this puts it ahead of the CoM, it flips. In the previous version, the mass was all concentrated pretty close to the CoM -- the engines, mainly -- plus the heavy ISRU dragged behind the tail. The flat nose which generates more lift the more you pitch up, at the end of a lever arm made it worse by making the CoL shift bigger.

Now, with a less lifty and heavier nose to counterbalance the heavy tail, it's like a seesaw -- the CoL may move not so much it would shift ahead of the CoM.

Bottom line is, I believe this problem is if not solved, at least soluble. The key is to redesign the payload module and keep it fueled up during entry.

Edited by Guest
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32 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

@Starman4308 What Failure mod are you using to get those reliability numbers?

What I did was probably a smidge over-simplistic: I used the burn time divided by the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) reported by TestFlight, and assumed all engine failures would be independent events. True failure rate will be higher, because:

Failure rates go up at certain events like engine ignition.

Simple pilot error.

Unforeseen design issues.

Speaking of failures, I'm now piloting the Mariner II probe destined for Venus... to Mars. An RD-107 on the original launch attempt failed, but learning from the prior... issues, I made sure to have a second vehicle ready before accepting the contract.

Let's just hope this one doesn't fail too.

EDIT: Attempt #4 and I finally have a flyby of another planet without resorting to the debug menu! Well, mostly, I need to run a ~30 m/sec correction, but unless a hydrazine 1 kN thruster and at least two hydrazine RCS thrusters fail, I'm in the clear.

Edited by Starman4308
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On 5/17/2013 at 5:06 PM, Xeldrak said:

So, what did you do in KSP today? I'm working on my project to touch down on every object in the system without mechjeb, so everything is done by hand. I launched a rocket (Project D-Man)to Duna yesterday and today I landed on Duna . After taking off, I realized that I could land on Ike too. This way I don't have to visit the Duna-system again. However - it seems I did a slight miscalculation and only reached Ike orbit....with a 30 km apoapsis.

So, I converted a space-tug I had in storage into a interplanetary towing service and left for Duna. Yeah, it has mechjeb, because I did all the landing allready and its better than just leaving my faithfull kerbals in Ike orbit (my project - my rules :wink: ). So both ships met in Ike-orbit, where I accidently triggered the last stage seperator on D-Man just after docking. However after a few months of waiting for the right planetary alignment - the D-Man capsule is on its way home :D And yes, I did not have to attend any lectures today - so there was plenty of time for KSP :wink:

So, what about you?

All I’ve done today is failed at getting a rocket into orbit because as I was decoupling the booster stage my engine got blown up on them, and messed with different space plane designs.:) 

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1 hour ago, Brikoleur said:

This time the problem was with aerodynamics. I'm not sure exactly what's the deal at the hypersonic speeds we're dealing with here -- centre of pressure probably? -- but it turns out the craft is aerodynamically unstable at the energies we're dealing with here. It wants to flip backwards.

Been fighting with this in my early spaceplane designs -but then again, who wasn't? Not so much nowadays.

I'm too thinking about an Eve spaceplane. Made something that looks good to me, but I doubt it will be enough. On the bright side, tests on Kerbin showed that the particular craft, has a surface to orbit DV requirement of ~3300ms, +/-50, propably the lowest I've achieved so far. If only I could manage the shock heating of Eve's atmosphere and repeat a similar feat there...

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10 minutes ago, Atkara said:

Made something that looks good to me, but I doubt it will be enough.

I've already made two that I was sure would be enough. They weren't. Eve eats spaceplanes. I will beat her yet though. :D

I will say this: an Eve plane is a whole different ball game. You need ridiculous power, ridiculous thermal resistance, ridiculous aerodynamics, plus it has to come apart on command (but not without asking!) because most of it is staying behind. These designs are becoming less and less like the LKO toys I've been making; this is serious business. 

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On 18/05/2013 at 7:06 AM, Xeldrak said:

 And yes, I did not have to attend any lectures today - so there was plenty of time for KSP :wink:

Can I just say, I cannot believe this thread is still going for so long, you’ve probably already graduated university since starting this thread! :o

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As someone that has had the original Xbox console game since it was released, the PC version since November 2017 (couldn't wait for the new console build), and the new Xbox Enhanced Edition.....I still have accomplished very little in the game.  When I got the PC version in November, that was the first time I ever sent probes to the Mun or Minmus, or landed a Kerbonaut on the Mun.  Trying to push myself to do a whole heck of a lot more in the game now.

Today, I started a new sandbox game on the PC.  I put up 3 satellites in geosync orbit, and another 3 about 25 million meters out, between the Mun and  Minmus.   Next up is to start sending up some scanning satellites, manned rover missions to Mun and Minmus, and then finally visit another planet.

I also spent hours (less than 5 minutes) slaving over a very complex (simple) detailed (kindergarten age) portrait in Paint, as I was tired of staring at the default image.

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Orbital Shuttle-based Konstruction! Is so fun you guys, so fun.  The Reliant there docked perfectly and attached the second solar truss.  Crew returned safely after the mission's engineer, Paus, tootled around a bit on EVA removing the modules temporary RCS ports.



Unfortunately sometimes you just have a bad mission.

The Progress went up afterwards, to attach the science module. 

Rendezvous and docking went fine, but something happened during welding, and the module ended up being cocked a few degrees.  So I ended up sending a small delivery probe with some C4.  Module was violently detached, and de-orbited with its assembly drone.  C4 is now going to be standard equipment on all shuttle launches.


Defeated, the crew returned home, and had a nice landing lined up at the KSC - something I don't do easily.  Everything looked good.

...Until Fredpond hit the button for the brakes instead of the gear.  Normally not an issue, but hitting the brakes also deploys the landing drogue chutes, which immediately pulled the shuttle into a direct dive less than a km off the ground.

I don't have any screenshots because I was too busy hitting the abort button... which triggers the crew's ejection seats.  The engineer Julbo, was the last one out and she managed to eject way less than a second before the shuttle impacted, bounced, and landed 157m from her landing spot.


Looks like I'm down to two shuttles for now. (I mean.. not really, this is sandbox, but still.)

@RealKerbal3x any landing?  Are  you sure? :wink:

Edited by Geonovast
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1 hour ago, Brikoleur said:

I will say this: an Eve plane is a whole different ball game. You need ridiculous power, ridiculous thermal resistance, ridiculous aerodynamics, plus it has to come apart on command (but not without asking!) because most of it is staying behind. These designs are becoming less and less like the LKO toys I've been making; this is serious business. 

Figured out as much, while testing an extraction vehicle for my on-site crew, back in 1.05. And I felt stupid, using a rocket to get to orbit, because everything, EVERYTHING points at wings. The way I look at it, even if you start with a surface TWR of 1.0, wings will not let you nose down.

But I also want it reusable, which I'll propably never have in the stock game. I've designed such hardware for anywhere and everywhere else, except this accursed planet -and it drives me crazy every time I think about it.

35 minutes ago, Geonovast said:

Looks like I'm down to two shuttles for now.


Edited by Atkara
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I (finally) completed my work on a Kerbal style ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter stock copy:


Called ExoDuna, duh...




Just like the real probe, ExoDuna was launched at night on my totally reworked Neutron-M launcher. Lifting-off under the thrust of its 18 engines, the whole system was easy to handle, following any control input softly, but precisely.

(The night screenshots being terribly dark, as usual, their is no reason to share them.)




At T+15:00 minutes the third stage was re-ignited to complete the circularization at an altitude of 350 km, and for the price of 250 m/s.




24:00 minutes later the ejection burn was proceeded perfectly, the third stage being separated after its final burn of 542 m/s, while the fourth stage had to keep on accelerating for 49 seconds.




Having passed the point of no return, ExoDuna is starting to deploy the panels and the main communication antenna while leaving Kerbin slwoly.




One year and 44 days later, the Orbiter has finally met with Duna and started its 2 minutes long braking maneuver. 

The orbit then was corrected a second time to get a slightly elliptic 1778 x 715.




Then, the Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module was separated, and started its own retro burn from 800 km. Aiming for a landing site in the Dunatian steps.




Entering the thin atmosphere of the small planet around 1.1 km/s, the lander did not have to suffer from an intense friction, and only 4 units of the shield were lost at this time.




Braking chute deployed at 700 m/s and an altitude of 13 km. Still the fate of the lander was not totally sure at this time, the communications being under the traditionnal blackout.




Hopefully everything went well, the braking chute was perfectly cut at a speed of 200 m/s, and the fairing ejected normally. The nine little *Ant* engines taking care of the final braking maneuver.




50 - 40 - 30 - 20 - 10 - ... - 5 - ...




Touch down! No radar altimeter failure, the lander worked perfectly, and immediately start to send some scientific data from the surface of the Red Dot to the Orbiter, which then relay the information to the KSC.

Mission successful!

I never tried a full propulsive landing out of Kerbin before, and I have to admit that even if it was (logically) more stressful, it also was much more fun.


Edit: I don't know if anybody could be interested by it, but if it is the case it can be found here.

Edited by XB-70A
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15 minutes ago, XB-70A said:

Re-entering the thin atmosphere of the small planet around 1.1 km/s, the lander did not have to suffer from an intense friction, and only 4 units of the shield were lost at this time.

Technical point of order: that would be atmospheric entry, not re-entry. I mean, unless the lander has been to Mars before. Otherwise, beautiful little craft.


On my end, real progress has been made on the Mercury programme. After identifying and fixing key flaws from the first pad abort test, we have completed:

Another pad abort and launch abort test.

A second full-stack launch abort test that was always intended as a launch abort test: the loss of performance in the E1 engine was definitely planned from the start.


The full up unmanned test has been largely positive. Key flaws identified: lack of any prograde/retrograde translational authority, a defect in the reentry program that failed to turn on RCS (thankfully the spacecraft is dynamically stable!), and a need for mission planning to select a landing site that is not the side of a mountain in Papau New Guinea.





Four mass demonstrator missions have been completed on my new Agena series of rockets, all of which share a common upper-stage engine, the XLR81-BA-13, with 15 restarts, storable propellants, 291 s-1 of Isp, and no ullage requirement. The lightest, the 32.3 ton Agena-A, uses an NK-9 first stage and brings 500 kg to LEO; this rocket took two attempts due to first-stage failure.

To avoid contaminating the Atlantic Ocean with the second-stage hypergolic propellants, mission control pitched the first rocket up to 60 degrees.



The Agena B lofts about 950 kg to LEO on an H-1 engine, and was launched out of Vandenburg to clear up KSC VAB production lines. The heaviest of this new series, the Agena E, was selected for the Mercury program, running an E-1 engine, lifts 2.1 tons to LEO, and stretches the Agena upper stage to its outermost limit.


The Agena B was since used to loft a radar mapping satellite to LEO.



There is also now a tundra-orbit satellite renamed "Tenacity". After a loss-of-performance in the core RD-108, halving its thrust and specific impulse, the communication relay nevertheless reached a tundra orbit, albeit a more elliptical one than intended.




Mariner III was launched towards Mars.


Mariner IV was launched towards Mars. Intercept is expected in about 113 days.




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6 minutes ago, Starman4308 said:

Technical point of order: that would be atmospheric entry, not re-entry. I mean, unless the lander has been to Mars before. Otherwise, beautiful little craft.


I can't believe it... it's exactly the mistake I'm fighting against when somebody and I are speaking about space exploration, and here I shamefully made it :sealed:.

Thanks for signaling it, I'm editing right now.

Edited by XB-70A
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"Demo Sunday" saw me finally fly the largest mission I've ever attempted in the Demo version of KSP when Project Orthrus was launched.  This is the one that had to be put on hold when my mouse broke down last week.

Orthrus..: brother of Cerebus in Greek mythology, Orthrus was also a dog with more than one head, although unlike Cerebus which had three, he only had two.  Also like his possibly more famous sibling, Orthrus would meet his fate at the hands of Heracles, killed as the latter completed his ten labours and resulting in him trying to stay one jump of the RSPCA ever since!

Project Orthrus was a mission which would see two Kerbals - a pilot and scientist - planting flags on both Kerbin's moons, and then returning safely to Kerbin where tea and hot scones would be waiting for them at a discounted price!  They had to take a materials bay and at least one goo canister to both moons, so that as much science as possible could be carried out during this historic flight.

I suspect sensible people would go to Minmus first as I imagine it makes more sense to take the greater weight to the body with least gravity, but here at the KSA we don't do sensible!!!  No, it would be the Mun first; actually there was a reason, but you'll find out what it was later! :wink:

The lander was really two landers in one, and names were needed for each.  Having decided on Orthrus as the overall name for the project, it was decided to try to come up with two more canine names that would generate a sense of pride throughout Kerbalkind... that would forever be associated with the task about to be undertaken, and that future generations of schoolkerbals would talk about in awe and wonder.  Philosophers, historians, experts on the various cultures and myths of Kerbin... all were consulted to come up with suitable names, and after months of debate, argument and fisticuffs, the great decision was finally made: the Mun lander would be Scooby Doo, the Minmus lander Scrappy Doo, and the command pod would be Shaggy!

Gs8oYze.pngScooby, Scrappy & Shaggy.

The next requirement was a rocket to lift all this.  The old Cosmos was nowhere near powerful enough, although it was used to test "The Doos" in LKO.  While these were being carried out, Wernher von Kerman put together an entirely new rocket with the Delta V required to carry this mission out.  Called the "Galaxia", it turned out to be a monster!  Sitting on the launchpad, it had thirteen LVT 13 "Reliant" engines as it's first stage.  These were augmented for the first 17.02 seconds of flight by an additional twelve "Hammer" SRB's blasting away at full power, to give this enormous vehicle a chance to do its stuff!

a7safdT.pngReady For Liftoff!

Initial test flights of the new rocket (but not the lander) were disastrous!  It was after one of these flights that Jeb had flown, whenas he was recovered from the command pod he was heard saying "...an overweight pig would fly better than that thing".  It was unfortunate, because with future modifications and adjustments most of the problems were ironed out, but "The Flying Pig" label had been indelibly stuck on the rocket's reputation, and it never really lived it down.

The great day came; Val and Bob were tied into Shaggy and as Val prepared for launch, Bob lay there, silently staring into space... gripping the armrests... white with fear...

The silence was shattered as the countdown hit zero!  Almost - but not quite - drowned out by Bob's pitiful scream, the Reliants and SRB's roared into life, shattering windows for miles around, or at least they would have if there were any buildings with windows anywhere on Kerbin, never mind near the KSC.

sRjQ2w7.png"AARAGHHHHH... This is maddness... MADDNESS!!!":  Bob Kerman zero + 10 seconds.

The launch was successful and in no time at all, Val and Bob found themselves in LKO

5RdpFFS.pngIn LKO And Ready For The Trans Munar Injection.

As the vessel hurtled around Kerbin, systems were checked to insure everything had came through the launch and flight to orbit unscathed.  The TMI was completed, and eight minutes later a slight course correction had to be carried out at the Ascending Node to make sure of hitting an equatorial orbit around the Mun.

About a day later and the vessel successfully entered Munar orbit.

N6PKxoX.pngIn Munar Orbit.

Shortly after this and the engine again fired, this time to begin the descent to the Munar surface.  The last stage of The Flying Pig started this manoeuvre, and when it was out of fuel and jettisoned, Scooby's own engine finished the job.

paWqdji.pngScooby Firing Its Engine As It Descends Towards The Surface.

wHjRxPc.pngScooby On Final Approach.

In next of no time Scooby Doo found itself at an altitude of three thousand meters above the Mun according to the radar altimeter.  Val had been almost miserly in her use of the engine after the initial deorbit burn, but now she really slammed the throttle lever home!  With its engine roaring furiously (as was Bob!), Scooby quickly shed of velocity as it approached the surface.  With everything to her satisfaction, Val now eased back on the throttle and gingerly settled the large, top heavy vessel on the surface of Kerbin's largest moon as if she was landing on a box of eggs.

They had a full day to spend on The Mun before Minmus would be in the correct position to make a transfer easy and economic, so our two heroes decided to have a little rest followed by a few snacks before venturing out onto the surface.  As mission commander, Val had the honour of making the first footprint on this strange, barren world; she was in the middle of saying some deep and moving words when she realised she'd forgotten to hit the transmit button on her radio.  The moment having passed, she decided to forego the speech and proceed with planting the flag.  Bob then tried to sing the national anthem, but his mouth was still overloaded with snacks, and the result was a bit of a mess inside his helmet...

k1RrrP6.pngVal Preparing To Erect The Flag Selected For The Mission.

FDZSB6u.png"Uumpf, Uumph, Cadomph Fah, Mahu, Cumpf, Haaonn..."  Val Laughs As Bob Tries To Sing The National Anthem With A Mouth Full Of Snacks!

A day after landing and our heroes are ready to leave the Mun and set off for Minmus.

WiKKpXQ.pngHatches Sealed And Ready For Lift Off.

rdAPTbo.pngScrappy Doo Leaves "Uncle" Scooby On The Mun As It Sets Off For Minmus.

After successfully making Munar orbit, Scrappy fired its engine to push it's AP out to meet the orbit of Minmus.

5Lrjndl.pngScrappy Doo Performing Its Trans Minmus Injection.

Once this was complete, and a mid-course correction to align with Minmus' orbit negotiated, Val and Bob could chill out for the lengthy flight to that mysterious, green spot in the telescope.

Seventeen days later and Scrappy Doo found itself fast approaching Minmus.  Val busied herself getting the vessel ready to fire its engine retrograde to slow down so it would enter orbit, while Bob "encouraged" her by explaining what would happen if the engine failed to light and they were flung into space and what the chances were of the whole shebang blowing up when the engine was ignited!

cC6Xstk.png"Do you know just how likely it is that this thing'll explode when you start the engine?":  Bob Kerman To Val - In Flight Over Minmus.

zvEynPt.pngScrappy Performing Powered Descent Onto Minmus.

xW5zS6K.pngEngine Shutdown!

Val landed Scrappy on Minmus almost like a feather, indeed BoB was screaming five minutes after she'd shut the engine down, so convinced was he they were still flying!  They knew they now had two days to complete all their tasks and set off back to Kerbin, before the Mun would come round and risk them having an encounter which would be disastrous.  It was more than enough though, so it was decided to put off all EVA until a rest period followed by some refreshments (which had to be swallowed BEFORE putting helmets on this time...) were completed.

Again as mission commander, it was Val's duty to be the first to step unto the alien surface.  However she selflessly decided to offer Bob the opportunity to be the first this time, an offer Bob quickly rejected, preferring to play it safe by following in her footsteps.


Val & Bob On Minmus.

Another flag planting ceremony was next on the agenda, a job Val had to do because of the way both Kerbanauts equipment was arranged around their different duties.  There had been "a few words" between Jeb and Val before she left Kerbin, and some Kerbals claim there might have been just the slightest hint of anger in her words as she placed the flag on Minmus...

xeHRPzd.png"I plant this flag on Minmus for all Kerbalkind, except Jeb who's a complete jerk - AND a lousy pilot!":  Valentina Kerman Planting The Flag On Minmus.

Now Bob set about conducting various science experiments, collecting surface samples, etc. all the time watching the oxygen level in his tanks.  Once he had completed all his assignments, both Kerbanauts reentered Shaggy, and started powering up its systems in preparation for departure.

BjLz8Ww.png"Two... one... ZERO!":  Shaggy Detaches From Scrappy Doo As It Leaves Minmus.

fW27iQK.pngThe RCS Propulsion System Is Sufficient To Take Shaggy To Kerbin From Minmus, But Not The Mun.

ZiCCcOu.pngShaggy Coasting To Its Ap, Fifteen Kilometers Above Minmus.

x7yeKdh.pngAbout Seven Days Later Shaggy Enters Kerbin's Atmosphere.

9Kwlsze.png"The Heroes Return":  Shaggy After Landing In The Desert With The Crew Waiting For Recovery.

Edited by The Flying Kerbal
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Hey Kerbylovevers.


My crew as now departed Pol.


Proceeded direct to Laythe. Ended up in a very much polar orbit.


T'was OK since it turned out they were so very heavy.

Testing showed they could come in forward or backward. The result was the same. They could stabilize in the lower atmosphere and then explode on touchdown.

So burning fuel was A-O-K.


I had all (Well most) the LF in two tanks. I could stabilize the ship on entry and flying by moving fuel around the three centre tanks.


While they were busy planting the flag and taking pictures Bill said "Hey guys, Bertha is sliding down the hill".


Bill broke an antenna running after the ship. Plenty of redundant antennas.

They left with full fuel for Vall. The last moon unvisited on this trip.


Jeb planted the flag on Vall but everyone else was keeping an eye on Bertha.


Next stop is Eeloo.


33 years on the clock.




Edited by Martian Emigrant
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Wanted to have two shuttles up at the new station just for the photo op, and a very poorly planned intercept (who wants to wait for like 8 orbits?) put the second shuttle completely out of fuel about 1100m from the station and drifting away.  First shuttle still had a good amount... sooo...


Station in blue.


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built a prototype pathfinder base within view of KSC. It's mainly set up to handle life support and it barely has enough power, but I haven't filled out the tree yet and I could probably make a base on the Mun or Minmus as is. Will probably still wait for some more tech for power.


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7 hours ago, Draconiator said:

Today, my fairing turned into a bird.


“Hello, world! Crap... crap... oh crap! Stuff’s on fire, yo! Crap! Crap! Crap! Fire! Fire! Little help here? Fire! Crap, stuff’s on fire! Anybody got a bucket or something? Fire! Crap! Aight, screw this, I’m out! Y’all can clean this mess up! Later. Bye. So done with this crap.”

—that fairing, probably. 

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