Kerbal Space Program

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Steax » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:29 am UTC

At least I got some interesting screenshots.

Spoiler:
Image


I can't wait for them to implement some sort of space station functionality so we could move crew around indoors instead of EVAs, I had to rescue one of my kerbals from a colliding module by EVA while the whole thing was spinning rapidly. Pant-pooping ensued.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Suzaku » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:44 am UTC

That is seriously awesome :)
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Steax » Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:53 pm UTC

Heh, thanks. Somehow that was the only time it ended in an explosion.

My further attempts have also been less successful. Today I learned that you CAN actually sheer off a ship from its docking port. Never saw that happen before. Now, one of my space stations is literally a pile of floating rubble:

Spoiler:
Image


Is there any non-delete-them way to clear out this mess? Could I design a ship to sweep all that up somehow? Maybe a giant scoop?

(I've also been testing out MechJeb with some visual mods. It's really useful for when I'm just not interested in launching 10 rockets with space station parts manually. My rule of thumb is I won't use it on a ship with a kerbal inside.)
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Suzaku » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:37 pm UTC

I built a cleanup ship - 2.5 meter fuel tank and RGS with three landing legs facing forward to act as a basket. It was pretty good for large stuff, spent boosters and the like, might be a bit tricky to pick up small stuff.

If you can wait, the Asteroid Redirect Mission will introduce the claw, which looks like it will be great for picking up debris.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Will » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:20 am UTC

And if you don't want to wait, check out the Kerbal Attachment System mod.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Toeofdoom » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:44 am UTC

You can indeed use giant scoops! This is an example made for kerbal retrieval operations.
Spoiler:
2014-03-16_00009.jpg

To be honest, this was fairly unwieldy. So to offer another solution, you could try...
Spoiler:
Torpedoes!
2014-03-17_00182.jpg

2014-03-17_00168.jpg

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:05 am UTC

That latter aircraft is unbelievably Orky. Needs moar dakka though.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Suzaku » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:48 am UTC

My alarm clock told me I had a Jool transfer window coming up, so I decided to send a Jool System Probe Ship to hit Jool and its moons.

I built and launched this, to dock with one of the heavy interplanetary tugs I have in LKO waiting for these opportunities.
Spoiler:
Image


Got this into a good parking orbit and brought the tug in for a rendezvous, then realised (and you're probably ahead of me here) that neither vessel has RCS, and the probe doesn't even have an available maneuvering engine.

Spoiler:
Image
Nailed it, though :D
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:24 pm UTC

Decided to pay another visit to my favourite moon.

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Wnderer » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:30 pm UTC

screenshot2.png

Yes. It's nice.

screenshot7.png


I think I'll stay.
Spoiler:
Don't have a choice. Don't have enough fuel to go home.


Spoiler:
and the first landing attempt didn't go so well.

screenshot6.png

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SlyReaper » Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:24 pm UTC

You... you're going to send a rescue ship though, right?
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Yakk » Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:38 am UTC

Leave
No
Kerbals
Behind
(except the ones that burn up on reentry)
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Mutex » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:04 am UTC

I gave up on my challenge to make a fully reusable manned Mun land/return vehicle, it's way harder than I thought. Even when splitting into two stages, I think it might need to split into three and be about twice as big or more than the one I was working on.

So I started building a spaceship with six detachable "landers" on the front of it, weighting a little over 1.5t each (10t total), which are little more than a fuel tank, three tiny radial thrusters, a remote guidance unit, three landing legs and some batteries/solar panels. All carried by four jumbo red fuel tanks worth of fuel with three atomic thrusters. This should easily make it to the Jool system and let me drop probes onto the various moons. Being so simple (pretty much just fuel tank), the landers each have some serious delta-V, taking off from Kerbin and going straight up they reach 33.6km, so landing anywhere should be doable.

Just a shame it's such an incredible pain in the ballsack to launch the bastard. The stage under the ship (stage 2) is 7 mainsails with 1.25 jumbo red fuel tanks each, and lifting that (first stage) is 9 mainsails with 1.25 jumbo tanks and 8 solid boosters. This should just about make orbit, but it keeps falling apart, no matter how many struts I keep putting on. I'm close to 1000 parts now, so I don't really want to keep adding struts.

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Steax » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:25 am UTC

I just started experimenting with spaceplanes. They're quite a bit more painful to build... Building a non-trivial wing is annoying. But my biggest trouble is nailing the landing; my controls feel too coarse to gently guide myself onto a good approach profile, and there's no flaps adjustment to reduce my airspeed under 200m/s (400 knots) without stalling (and no way to slow down in the air, short of adding reverse engines). The plane always disintegrates on landing, even at a really gentle 10 deg approach. Am I doing something wrong?
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Mutex » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:29 am UTC

Maybe try a more gentle angle, so the denser air should slow you down more (if you fly at less than about 100m up for a minute that should drag you down to 100m/s easily).

Also turn off your engines when you're about to land in the next 10 seconds or so (and reduce power leading up to this), so you slow down even more before touch down. And very gently glide down onto the runway.

Just plucking numbers out of my head here, but that's the general approach which should result in a landing you survive. Also make sure there are enough struts on the plane.

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:49 am UTC

Quick and dirty calculation: going 200m/s at 10 degrees descent angle gives you a vertical velocitysomewhere in the order of 35m/s. That's why it keeps breaking. My spaceplanes usually get down to about 60m/s before touching down, and at about a third degree angle, and they still sometimes break.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Steax » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:39 pm UTC

Thanks, going out further and building a more solid approach worked. I wish we had an alignment indicator, or some way to select the runway and do an instrument approach (or at least an Approach Lighting System, come on); it's really hard to visually see the runway from far enough (and even when it's visible it's too vague to align with).

I also learned that the reasons my parachutes always "failed" was that they auto-detached upon contact with ground. I could use them while still in the air, but they'll either destroy the plane by placing too much drag on individual pieces, or be too late to matter. I can only rely on retrorockets for slowing down now.

I figured out that I could make any wing shape I wanted by shoving the wing parts into each other. That was an interesting project.

And I wish we could disable specific wing control surfaces from action groups (I know it's possible to do this manually with right click, but action groups won't seem to work), so I could actually have spoilers to help slow/solidify my landings.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Will » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:25 pm UTC

I know I always say this, but there are literally mods for everything you just said:
* There was a mod that adds a PAPI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precision_ ... _indicator) to the runway, though I don't know how long since it was updated
* The Realchutes mod adds chutes that specifically won't detach until you come to a complete stop on the runway.
* Ferram aerospace lets you define flaps and assign them to action groups.
* B9 includes spoilers/airbrakes that deploy when you press the brake key.

Also, even if mods aren't generally your thing, I really, really recommend using Ferram Aerospace if you want to fly planes. KSP's stock aerodynamics are so bad it's not even worth trying to get used to flying planes in stock.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Suzaku » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:36 pm UTC

For a landing aid, you can build one yourself.

Simple one: plant a flag at each end of the runway (make sure they're off the runway itself or you'll have to clear them to launch). Label each of them differently so you can target the one at the end you want to land on.

More complex one: build small lighting units with legs, a probe body, power source (RTG works best), battery, and lights. Deliver these to, for example, 0.5, 1, 2.5, and 5 km due west from the west end of the runway. Turn on the lights and there you go. I guess you could also build boats to float them out east of the runway as well, but that might be overkill :)
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Steax » Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:11 am UTC

I don't mind, Will, I haven't had the chance to poke around with enough mods to separate the signal from noise. Thanks, going to try those!

I'll go build some lighting units now, thanks Suzaku!
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Mutex » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:46 am UTC

Suzaku wrote:More complex one: build small lighting units with legs, a probe body, power source (RTG works best), battery, and lights. Deliver these to, for example, 0.5, 1, 2.5, and 5 km due west from the west end of the runway. Turn on the lights and there you go. I guess you could also build boats to float them out east of the runway as well, but that might be overkill :)


That's an interesting idea. Do you make them drive/fly themselves to the points, or make a vehicle that delivers them?

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Suzaku » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:48 am UTC

I would probably do rover delivery.

Build a rover in the SPH, with the lighting units attached to the bottom or sides with decouplers. Drive out and detach the probes at the appropriate points. You can drop a flag at the end of the runway to get the distance, and the nav-ball and map should let you get the direction right. Doesn't have to be a manned rover if you don't want to bother with Kerbal accommodations.

You could fly them out by plane or rocket, but I think it would be tricky to get the position right, and it probably wouldn't be any faster, all up.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Will » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:30 pm UTC

Aww, the Asteroid Redirect Mission came out yesterday and I'm stuck at work :(
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:14 pm UTC

I want to link together a bunch of asteroids and make a cobbled pirate bay.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Mutex » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:26 pm UTC

I really hope 0.24 fixes lots of bugs, it's getting difficult to play now. I keep either falling through planets or having ships suddenly explode when I go into timewarp, or having ships suddenly stop responding to controls (nothing broken or out of electricity), or the maneuver node stops being accurate...

Anyway, recently I've been working on setting up a series of Mun bases that enable exploration (lots of fuel depots, habitats, exploration rovers with rocket engines on them that can jump to an area and drive around, return vessels) to help track down the many easter eggs I understand there are.

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Wnderer » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:51 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:I really hope 0.24 fixes lots of bugs, it's getting difficult to play now. I keep either falling through planets or having ships suddenly explode when I go into timewarp, or having ships suddenly stop responding to controls (nothing broken or out of electricity), or the maneuver node stops being accurate...

Anyway, recently I've been working on setting up a series of Mun bases that enable exploration (lots of fuel depots, habitats, exploration rovers with rocket engines on them that can jump to an area and drive around, return vessels) to help track down the many easter eggs I understand there are.


Is this with the new Asteroid Redirect Mission version 23.5? I think they fixed a lot of bugs there. It seems to run smoother and I do a lot less cursing during rocket building. Parts seem to go where I want them and struts work better. They also added time warp in the space center. So far I'm very happy with it.

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Mutex » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:46 pm UTC

Wnderer wrote:
Mutex wrote:I really hope 0.24 fixes lots of bugs, it's getting difficult to play now. I keep either falling through planets or having ships suddenly explode when I go into timewarp, or having ships suddenly stop responding to controls (nothing broken or out of electricity), or the maneuver node stops being accurate...

Anyway, recently I've been working on setting up a series of Mun bases that enable exploration (lots of fuel depots, habitats, exploration rovers with rocket engines on them that can jump to an area and drive around, return vessels) to help track down the many easter eggs I understand there are.


Is this with the new Asteroid Redirect Mission version 23.5? I think they fixed a lot of bugs there. It seems to run smoother and I do a lot less cursing during rocket building. Parts seem to go where I want them and struts work better. They also added time warp in the space center. So far I'm very happy with it.


Yes, I actually started experiencing more bugs with 23.5 although I think that's just coincidence, these bugs have been there a while now. They did performance enhancements and the struts are better, plus rockets wobble less, but it certainly doesn't seem more stable to me.

There does seem to be a new bug in the VAB actually, the symmetry sometimes doesn't work and it only places one part when the symmetry is set to > 1.

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Suzaku » Fri May 23, 2014 1:28 am UTC

Grauniad article on KSP. Quite an interesting read.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby yurell » Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:38 am UTC

Is it just me, or has KSP gotten a lot less intelligent with its default staging? I just started the game again for the 0.24 patch with contracts, and I'm constantly having engines firing on the same stage as they're being decoupled or at the same time parachutes are deployed.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:42 am UTC

I don't think so. I think you must be building more complex rockets. The default staging algorithm is perfectly good at handling a straight-forward bottom-up staging sequence, with maybe a few radial decouplers thrown in. Anything more complicated than that, and it'll get confused.

One of my heavy landers uses an 8-sided asparagus staging configuration, but to launch it into orbit in the first place, I have to stick it on top of another rocket, sometimes with its own asparagus staging. Yeah, the default staging algorithm can't handle that at all.

Edit: nearly forgot to say. 0.24 is out. It now has proper money stuff and reputation in the career mode as well as the science. But you can still play a science-only game if you like. There's also a 64 bit executable now, but the Steam version still defaults to the 32 bit one.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby yurell » Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:01 pm UTC

Parachute, command pod, stack decoupler, solid fuel booster, and it's defaulting the solid fuel booster to the same stage as the parachute, after the decoupler.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Coin » Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:53 pm UTC

Concerning the staging problem: I tried the new patch and noticed the same thing.
I remade several fairly simple rockets of varying complexity that I've built before and the results weren't great. The system had trouble sorting out the most basic 1 parachute + 1 rocket booster set-up and a simple three stage rocket. On the other hand it managed the two-stage rocket, so I see some inconsistency. I don't know what the difference is, but it does seem a bit worse than before to me.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Will » Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:23 pm UTC

I have noticed this too--the default staging has gotten *awful*. I almost like it better this way, because it forces me to always set up my staging, whereas before, because it got it right 95% of the time, I'd forget to change the 5% it got wrong and completely bone my mission.

I really think the staging needs a UI pass. I would rather they did something where staging has to be set up manually, and make it possible to remove things from staging altogether. Also being able to stage actions, e.g. decoupling a docking node, would make complex crafts a lot easier to manage.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:46 pm UTC

Another problem I've found with the new patch is that I have to press the space bar several times to activate the engine after each stage.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Mutex » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:08 pm UTC

Will wrote:I have noticed this too--the default staging has gotten *awful*. I almost like it better this way, because it forces me to always set up my staging, whereas before, because it got it right 95% of the time, I'd forget to change the 5% it got wrong and completely bone my mission.

I really think the staging needs a UI pass. I would rather they did something where staging has to be set up manually, and make it possible to remove things from staging altogether. Also being able to stage actions, e.g. decoupling a docking node, would make complex crafts a lot easier to manage.


I don't know what I'm doing differently but I've always had to make a lot of changes to the staging to make it right. I didn't actually understand what people were complaining about at first, I didn't realise people were expecting the default staging to be very accurate.

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby UpGoing Kerbal » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:13 pm UTC

Currently i stick anything i don't want to stage in 0 (payloads and landers) and active manually.

the auto-staging has never been perfect so you always had to give staging a once over in VAB and then again before launch, just to make sure you're not going to do something stupid.

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:30 pm UTC

Before launch?

Real Kerbals adjust mid-flight with seconds to spare.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:46 pm UTC

Been to the Jool system loads of times before, but I think this is the first time I've landed on Bop. And I only came here because of a contract to explore the place. Still, nice view.

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Can't believe I forgot to include landing legs. That thing is staying upright purely because of reaction wheels.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Mutex » Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:07 pm UTC

I always do test landings on the Mun before I go to other planets and their moons, to catch cockups like that. It's really annoying to spend ages travelling to Jool and realise you made a simple mistake, congrats on dealing with it though!

Have you done a manned landing on Tylo? I managed to do it once, that was tough. Had to learn how to do orbital rendezvous, so the lander could meet up with the return craft in orbit, as getting one man down to the surface and back to orbit was hard. Actually had to use a spreadsheet to design the lander.

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Biliboy » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:29 pm UTC

Man I can't even rescue kerbals in orbit without using mechjeb to do the rendezvous, early game career mode is hard for me :(

I can make orbit fairly regularly, but having extra fuel for corrections hardly ever happens with the very early stock parts.

What's a good design with, say, the first two tiers of research parts, for getting orbit with plenty of extra fuel, and/or getting to the mun?


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