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Kerbal Space Program

Discussion in 'Space Games' started by DarkUnderlord, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. Prime Junta Self-Ejected Patron Vatnik

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    [​IMG]

    She survived.
     
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  2. Burning Bridges Enviado de meu SM-G3502T usando Tapatalk

    Burning Bridges
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  3. Prime Junta Self-Ejected Patron Vatnik

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    Today the kerbal gods were not with me.

    I'm lifting up the components of Laythe Kosmodrome, and things are just not working out. Had all kinds of gremlins, some due to carelessness/bad planning from me, others probably krakens or just mysterious.

    I uprated my Pelican flatbed lifter to be able to loft some actual loads to orbit, so I could get rid of a dedicated tanker plane and just make a wheeled surface tanker instead. I sent that to orbit with my ISRU and JUNO MIDGE. To get it to Jool, I need to refuel it and add a big ol' drop tank of fuel. That's when things started to go seriously wrong. In the end, a chunk of wing + engine pod just spontaneoulsy came off my heavy lifter when I undocked the payload. I tried re-entering with the crippled plane but it went into an uncontrollable high-gee spin and lost the rest of the wing, hitting the water at about 270 m/s. RIP Valgas Kerman, you died a hero.

    Edit: Valgas is safe through the magick of quickload. I remembered that the engine pods on the Rukh are on pylons which are detachable, so I got rid of the other engine, charged up the batteries from an orbital tug, and eventually ended up back on the KSC runway, minus two engine pods and a chunk of wing.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
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  4. Prime Junta Self-Ejected Patron Vatnik

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    Hello again, Laythe.

    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow... tomorrow, the JUNO MIDGE flies.
     
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  5. Prime Junta Self-Ejected Patron Vatnik

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    The Laythe Kosmodrome is open for business. Feels good when you come back from orbit with 29 m/s to spare, and do a perfect dead-stick landing that leaves you parked next to the rest of the gang.

    [​IMG]

    (They're all flat on their belly because of a particularly annoying bug in 1.3.1 -- if you leave a plane on its landing gear, switch away, and switch back, it has a tendency to leap high, high into the air and suffer a rapid unplanned disassembly.)

    There is only one thing missing from this good Kommunist Kosmodrome. Namely, a tractor. I'm sending one up in the next transfer window.

    In the meantime, I decided to do a quick and easy one-way probe/glider mission to Eve.

    [​IMG]

    Show Spoiler

    Eve was not amused.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Prime Junta Self-Ejected Patron Vatnik

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    My second attempt at probing Eve. Phallic enough for your tastes Burning Bridges?

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile at the Kosmodrome, the Massive-Kerguson has been delivered and production targets have been immediately exceeded by over 300%.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Prime Junta Self-Ejected Patron Vatnik

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  8. Prime Junta Self-Ejected Patron Vatnik

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    Turns out Eve prefers a gentle caress rather than diving straight in -- while things got a bit hot for a moment, this time she welcomed me into her warm embrace.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Prime Junta Self-Ejected Patron Vatnik

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    Started design and planning for an Eve return mission -- something I've never done as a matter of fact.

    Since I like planes, I want it to be a plane.

    Since I know Eve SSTOs are ... incredibly hard, I'm not going to try that. Maybe eventually once we know each other better.

    So, I'm making something that flies to orbit from Kerbin like a rocket, enters Eve's atmosphere, glides, and lands like a plane, refuels itself with its on-board ISRU, then makes a violent transition into a rocket again, shedding pieces of itself as it ascends. Meet Morningstar. It's almost completed preliminary trials, the only remaining glitch is with cooling the ISRU unit -- no big deal on Kerbin but vital on Eve.
    • Take-off and orbit from Kerbin - SUCCESS
    • Re-entry to Kerbin - OUTSTANDING SUCCESS (it's passively stable -- settles into a 60-degree pitch until it hits thick air at which point it transitions to level flight, with no control input from the pilot whatsoever)
    • Flight and landing -- SUCCESS (it's a leetle bit twitchier than I'd ideally like but fine if flown with a modicum of care; glideslope is most shallow and touchdown speed on Kerbin is ca 45 m/s, ought to be in the low 30s on Eve)
    • Refueling -- PARTIAL FAILURE (those ISRU cooling issues and a fairing interfering with a radiator; don't think it's anything drastically difficult to resolve)
    • Take-off after completing mission -- SUCCESS
    • Reorbit -- SUCCESS
    [​IMG]

    In case you're wondering about that huge tailplane, it's necessary because the ISRU unit sits at the back; it plus the heavy engines would pull the CoM way behind the CoL which would make it jump somersaults. The entire tail section will be decoupled before take-off from Eve, and with Eve, hauling stuff down is no problemo.
     
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  10. Prime Junta Self-Ejected Patron Vatnik

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    Meanwhile, a routine mission on Laythe -- a visit to the North Pole, with a sample-gathering splashdown in Sagen Sea on the way back to the Kosmodrome.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Back at the Kosmodrome, transferring results to Lakeside Mansions for further study and transmission back to Kerbin.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Riel Cipher

    Riel
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    Impressive Prime Junta.

    I've been doing progress myself, slow since I haven't been playing much, but last week I took the game again and after refreshing my knowledge I started going forward again, I am currently building an Space Station to store fuel and kerbals as a preparation for missions out of Kerbal's gravity well, building the station is progressing adequately, in fact while I have to increase the fuel capacity it's actually operational atm, but I have realized that if I am going to be sending fuel up with rockets it's going to be on the expensive side of things and that's not really the point, is it? So I could use a reusable space plane, in that field of expertise I am pretty green, I can design atmospheric planes that fly reasonable well, I have also designed rocket propelled planes that fly, but I am having big problems finding the right engines and payloads to actually make it to orbit, so far my best model achieves a parabolic flight to around 90K height and then falls back to kerbin out of fuel and in order to do that I actually had to add some solid boosters which kind of defeats the purpose to begin with. So I would appreciate some tips in regard to engines to use and fuel quantities.

    My tech level so far is: completed the rockomax series of fuel/engines and advancing into rhino series.
     
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  12. Prime Junta Self-Ejected Patron Vatnik

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    Tips? Okay, here's what I think is the easiest path to space by plane.

    To start with, forget about jet engines. Make a rocket plane. They're easier to fly, easier to design, and you don't have to faff around with fuel mixes. Once you've got that going, start swapping out engines and tanks and tuning the fuel mix to see how much more efficiency you can squeeze out of your basic design.

    Second, start small. For your first SSTO, forget about building a tanker. Build a sports car: something that'll take Jeb to orbit and bring him back safe. Once you've got the hang of that, start figuring out how to make it big enough and efficient enough to be of some practical use.

    FWIW in my current career I've been going with almost all spaceplanes -- only now that I'm giving Eve a serious attempt am I even using the VAB. And until pretty late in the game, my planes were all rocket-powered.

    More specific tips regarding engines and fuel. At your tech level, start by making a plane that flies on two Skippers. Install Kerbal Engineer Redux if you haven't already, and build a plane around those two Skippers. Pay attention to dV and TWR. You need a minimum of 3400 m/s to make orbit, so give your plane comfortably more than that -- 4000 is nice. And you'll want about 1.2 TWR (atmospheric) fully loaded. (Once you've got this flying, you can shave down the TWR a fair bit; I've gotten reasonably nice rocket planes with as low as 0.85; this buys a quite a lot of efficiency as the added mass is all payload or dV.)

    Within these parameters, just build it like you would build any other plane.

    To fly it to orbit is easy, since it's a rocket plane: you take off, point it at the sky at around 45 degrees, and when you hit 10k at around 500 m/s, follow prograde, then circularise. (This is a good deal more straightforward than nailing a gravity turn in conventional rockets IMO.)

    To re-enter, set your Pe a bit higher than you would for a conventional return module -- I use 45-50k for LKO returns. When entering the atmosphere, pitch up steeply -- from 45 degrees all the way to 90 (surface radial/out), depending on your design. Pump fuel forward and back if necessary to put the CoM where you want it so it doesn't flip out. Once it's safely in the atmosphere, fly normally. It takes a bit of practice to hit the KSC every time when returning from orbit, and the re-entry profile is different for every plane and changes drastically depending on how you fly it -- for example, I accidentally invented supercruising when a big, light plane ended up just kind of skimming the upper atmosphere; I ended up flying all around the globe at 1200 m/s and around 20 km altitude, barely using any fuel.

    Other notes on engines: the Skipper is the workhorse, as I said. I've gotten to a 40 ton payload with that, without too much trouble. The Reliant is workable for SSTOs but you do have to know what you're doing; you need about four of those to loft even a light satellite launch. The Dart is excellent but maybe you don't have it yet? And once you get the RAPIER, that's what you'll be using all the time; there's simply no beating the efficiency of a single engine that can switch between air breathing and closed cycle. If you find that sort of thing fun, you can also build very efficient designs combining Whiplashes with Darts or Reliants, but they take a lot of tuning get to work, and also often have pretty funky launch profiles.

    For the really heavy lifters though there's no way around needing airbreathing engines, unfortunately. Good news is, you can push payloads really high when you do have the RAPIER. Heaviest I've done is about 300 tons, and I've no doubt it could go even higher; main issue at that point is that my computer wants to catch fire because there are so many parts and so much physics going on.

    Edit: oh, by the way, in case you were wondering what's up with Morningstar

    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    We won't let a little setback like that deter us, though. Here is its successor, as yet unnamed but codenamed MS2:

    [​IMG]

    I just took it past Minmus orbit then hit the atmosphere with a Pe of 25. It was a probe mission, and it just so happened that ALL of my Kerbin system relays were on the other side of the planet so I lost contact with it just as things were heating up...

    ... and it re-entered and transitioned to coordinated flight all by itself. After gliding several hundred kilometers it got back in range. So that's a success. I don't know exactly how violent that was compared to an Eve entry, but I have a feeling it's in the ballpark.
     
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  13. Stavrophore Kalin was right all along. Patron

    Stavrophore
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    Strap Yourselves In
    I remember doing the EVE land and return mission on stock game. Boy it was hard but satisfying. I wouldn't try this on the hardest mode in career with hard saves -that would be an abysmal slog. The mission is 100x times easier if you can get mod with a propeller engines, air augmented rockets, or pressurized ammonia rocket engines[compress the ammonia from the eve atmosphere and add oxidizer]. I know about propeller mods, dont know about others.
     
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  14. Prime Junta Self-Ejected Patron Vatnik

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    It is!

    I just had another failure, but this one was sooo close. It's the craft in the above picture -- I dubbed it Abaddon -- and this time the problem was with hypersonic aerodynamics. The flat nose is producing too much lift at very high speeds, which causes the craft to become unstable and flip into reverse. When that happened and it hit thick air, rather a lot of pieces came off. As a consolation prize I was able to bring what was left under sufficient control that when it splashed down nothing else exploded although it did come apart a bit more. The payload survived and is happily beeping on the surface, although it can't do much as the science module was one of the bits that came off.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Prime Junta Self-Ejected Patron Vatnik

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    ooooh yeaaah baby

    [​IMG]

    That's Orpheus. He made it to Hades. Pretty soon now we'll know if he'll make it back out.

    Anyhoo, I needed to redesign the return module and do some aero tweaking to definitively kill this machine's tendency to do backflips. The new return module isn't nearly as lifty; however I added some wing strakes to keep the overall lift about the same so it glides reasonably well. (It doesn't, not really, on Kerbin, but on Eve it was like a little baby, touched down at about 32 m/s.) I have to reserve a small tank of fuel for ballast (360 kg); I keep the fuel in the nose tank and the oxidiser in one of the aft ones, which gives the craft an absolutely perfect balance for re-entry; I can control the attitude all through.

    Eve doesn't make it easy though. It can make it with a perfectly non-propulsive re-entry -- I, er, tried, but stupidly I picked a moment when my relays were eclipsed and I had to watch helplessly as it plowed into the sea -- but since I had fuel to burn, when I reloaded I burned the extra retrograde to make things a little gentler. And it wasn't; I got a right proper shaking up when I hit thick air but all the pieces stayed on and nothing burned up either. From there on down it was smooth and sweet as treacle on butter.

    But yeah. Once it's all fueled up we'll see if it can get back up. The return module anyway that is. It ought to: all the engines are atmosphere-capable, it's pret-ty streamlined, it has about 9400 computed dV, and I happened to land on a peak at nearly 3000 m altitude. Even if it can't I'm super-thrilled to have come this far.

    Also I'm surprised at how well the ISRU is working. I didn't know how much cooling it would need on Eve so I stuck on those six radiator panels, and they seem to have no trouble keeping it at optimum temperature, not even stressed. I'll have to twiddle them a bit to see how many I can leave off next time. Always nice to save a little weight, although in this case it's not such a big deal as it won't be coming back up.

    Edit: more pictures of the Eve program here: https://imgur.com/a/5jIxr
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
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  16. Riel Cipher

    Riel
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    Thanks for the tips after a few tries I managed to fly an Space Plane to low orbit and back, the kerbodrom no less!!. The plane is so far useless since only like 50 units of liquid fuel (+ oxi) made it back and it's not without quirks and instabilities, but it flew well enough to do the trip from the track to orbit and back again, to be honest I was quite lucky to get the plane on the track, I would have been happy with just splashing it close to it.

    Here it is:

    [​IMG]

    Quirks I found while flying it:
    • Trouble clearing the track for take off: as it speeds up it becomes unstable on the track, easy to compensate with SAS and a few key strokes but it's unable to lift its nose until the track actually ends, once there it flies flat for a very brief time and then starts pulling up, as it speeds up it becomes more and more controllable and easily enough gets an stable 45º ascent.
    • Orbit is uneventful, other than the thing being slow to turn, but for a big rocket without RCS/control wheels that's to be expected.
    • Re-entry works but there are two problems with it:
    • Cockpit gets too damn hot, it stayed at 80% heat bar for looooong time, and just as I was getting into low atmosphere and going to sub sonic speed it threatened to go BOOM.
    • The ship doesn't flip but it's extremely unstable at supersonic speeds at mid atmosphere (10 to 30 km) the nose keeps going up and down and refuses to stabilize while having a clear tendency to go back to prograde (doesn't flip)
    Maybe the stability problem is related to a lack of lift in the bow, I actually added 2 AV-R8 winglets to the cockpit area to add some extra control there but I am not sure winglets are the right tool for that, probably something with lift would be better?
    Note to self: requires moar batteries, I had to power up engines to marginal strength at times during descent to keep batteries from running out.
     
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  17. Prime Junta Self-Ejected Patron Vatnik

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    Congratulations! That's your first step to reusable craft. It's also the hardest.

    That's a landing gear problem. Your main landing gear needs to be positioned only just behind your centre of mass; now it's way back. It should be almost balanced on the landing gear. If the nose gear briefly lifts off the ground when you plop it on the runway, move it just a hair back, but no more.

    Yeah, reaction wheels would be nice.

    The bit at the nose gets hottest. If you use the inline cockpit and put it back a bit, it will take less of the heat shock, but then something else will. So I think this is probably a problem with your return corridor or your attitude. Try a bit higher, or a bit lower, and try to keep the plane pitched very steep -- between 60 and 90 degrees -- when entering the atmosphere. If should stay at at least 30 degrees all the way down to 30k or so. If it noses down much before that, pump fuel back and forth to manage the CoM (forward -> more stable, backward -> less stable.)

    The problem is probably with your canards although with aero stuff it's never easy to tell for certain. Try adjusting the control authority or redesign with a tail instead -- canards are inherently destabilising and bites especially hard at high speeds, whereas tails are inherently stabilising. The flat Mk2 cockpit also produces lift which makes aerodynamics more complicated.

    Suggestion: remove the canards and adjust the pitch on the wing so they angle up a little, and put the main gear just behind the CoM. Then tune the wing pitch and position. The objective is to get it to unstick from the runway on the control authority you have. If it doesn't work, add a tail. And replace the flat Mk2 cockpit with a Mk1 inline cockpit with a fuel tank and nose cone in front of it. I think you'll find the result much more stable.
     
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  18. Riel Cipher

    Riel
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    Thanks for the tips, they were correct.

    I moved the landing gear towards COM and restricted the winglets to only pitch, this solved both my taking off and stability problems which in turn gave me more confidence to manoeuvre the ship at re entry to aero brake more efficiently which helped a lot with the heat trouble at the cockpit.

    I didn't want to remove the canards because I wanted to be faithful to that prototype, but I will keep that in mind for future planes.

    Next I am thinking I may forget about space planes for a while to get more science so I can get more efficient engines so my next iteration of planes is actually useful to supply my orbital station, I still got to go to mine Minmus for science and I suppose my Mun rockets will work just fine for that.

    Thanks Prime Junta.

    PS, this time and because I aero braked more efficiently I actually missed the track, turns out landing on the green flatlands just after the mountain range next to the kerbodrome is eazy peazy and what is more I discovered that while the plane can be improved in flying mode it is a super stable rover, so I just simply rolled to the track to make an on-site recovery.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
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  19. Prime Junta Self-Ejected Patron Vatnik

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    Well.. yeah, you can, but that means putting off planes until very late in the career. There really isn't anything until the RAPIER that makes a dramatic difference especially for lifters (not talking about planes for Duna or Eve here). Anything between where you are now and that point is tuning and niche.

    About canards. It's not that they're bad as such, but they are tricky. I usually base my designs around the assumption that I don't need canards. I add a pair at the end if I want to tweak behaviour, specifically to help unstick from the runway, or, conversely, flare up just before landing.

    Both of these can be issues with very fast and very stable designs as they're nose-heavy and lacking in lift: this means that without the canards they don't want to nose up at low speeds. It also means that they're nose-heavy enough that the destabilising effect won't be a problem.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
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  20. Prime Junta Self-Ejected Patron Vatnik

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
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  21. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    RPG Wokedex Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Making History expansion coming March 13th, the first game to be published by Take-Two Interactive's Private Division: https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.co...-history-expansion-release-date-announcement/

     
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  22. Drax Arcane

    Drax
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    Fuck, I can't remember when I bought my copy....
     
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  23. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
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    Check on the KSP store page. If you bought it on steam you were most likely too late. I think it debuted on steam a few months after the debacle that ended with the devs promising early adopter it will be free for them.

    The bulk of their sales were only after it hit steam so they could afford it.
     
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  24. Drax Arcane

    Drax
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    yeah I got it off steam, fuck. :negative:
     
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  25. dbx Arcane Patron

    dbx
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    :yeah:

    Just checked. Pre-ordered mid 2012.
     
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