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Thread: Kerbal Space Program

  1. #21
    Junior Potato
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    I've successfully built an ION-powered in-atmosphere orbiter. It's based on this, and I wanted to try it for myself.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity...ation_Explorer



    That's my MKII design. It's got solar panels down the sun-facing side, a bunch of xenon and monoprop tanks as a fuselage, a battery, an RTG and a small robot brain to control it.

    The next attempt will loose the battery, the RTG as well as the RCS and monoprop gear in favour of a small manoeuvring stage to refine its orbit before I ditch that, and I'll add a reaction wheel for automatic control. At the moment I have to fly it manually because the brain is too simple.

    I've also got way too many solar panels, since I've limited engine power to 5% and I'm using only a tiny amount of throttle to maintain altitude against drag (orbiting at about 65km). At this point I could probably go to 40km and still fly stably.

  2. #22
    Junior Potato
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    And here's the simplified MKIII!

    Starboard


    Port


    It'll probably fly for weeks with that much xenon. It's too bad the game won't let me leave it and go do other things, as it won't autosave while in atmosphere.

    If you want to build one, it's just an ion engine, four xenon tanks, a battery, a controller with reaction wheels (in the middle for good torque control), and a bank of solar panels to power the ion reaction. The nose cone is optional but may reduce drag and add days to its flight, but I've not tested that. I'm nerdy but not that nerdy. Those blocky little fin things near the rear are from the support struts to stop it wobbling at launch.

    Get it into space using whatever ludicrous million-Lb-thrust-all-engine-creation you want to use. But be sure it can see the sun at all times to keep it going, or the ion engine will suck all its electron juice in a flash. I'm on a polar orbit for simplicity's sake.

    I built a simple positioning stage with one small monoprop tank, one small rocket fuel tank, one small rocket and four RCS thrusters. When you're at 65km, stop thrusting, circularise, discard everything, point it in the right direction and see how you go.

  3. #23
    反重力 Rikadyn's Avatar
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    could also use the 3x2 solar panels that extend and rotate...

  4. #24
    Senior Lurker Denetti's Avatar
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    I need to get back to this game. Some shots from last time I played:

    Minmus station with tug unit on the left, and lander on the right.

    screenshot251.jpg

    Lander on Minmus.

    screenshot255.jpg

    Mun station.

    screenshot195.jpg

  5. #25
    Corvette Enthusiast Kchrpm's Avatar
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    Someone build me a Hooters space station. Zero G boobies!

    Spoiler:
    Get that weak shit off my track

  6. #26
    Junior Potato
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    After my tentative first attempts at docking last week, I've been practising and I can now dock relatively easily. It takes a lot of patience, but now it's a skill I can put on my Tinder profile.

    Basically, it goes like this:

    1. Launch. Use the targeting feature in the map screen. Get your orbital inclination and apsides to line up with the target.
    2. Your speed of approach is determined by how far above or below the tracking vehicle is in it's orbit with respect to the target's altitude. A lower orbit is faster, while a higher orbit is slower.
    3. Patience. Remember that F5/F9 is really useful if you run out of it.
    4. It's counter-intuitive, but if you're losing ground on the target vehicle, thrust away from it, retrograde along your orbit. This will lower your orbit, and at 180 degrees from your current orbital phase, you will have caught it up again.
    5. Once you're within 1000m, start using translation to move your spacecraft perpendicular to the target. If you've got it selected as a target there will be a pink icon on the navball. Use SAS to keep your attitude, and translate to match its heading. Hopefully you've got plenty of monopropellant.
    6. In targeting mode the navball will show your heading relative to your target instead of your orbit. If the yellow prograde icon is overlapping the pink target icon, you're on the right track. Keep translating to keep that prograde heading on the target.
    7. As soon as you can see it, right click the docking port in your target and set that as your target. You will now point to that particular part of the spacecraft rather than its center of mass. From now you should be able to look away from your instruments and fly visually.
    8. At 100 meters or less it's time to start lining yourself up square-on with the docking port. It's much easier if you've come at it from a straight line but if you can manage that you should be working at JPL. Reduce your closing speed to zero and be really gentle.
    9. Now be all Jar Jar Binks and go steady... steady... Translate forwards at 0.5m/s or less for an easy coupling.

    So now I'm making a space station, with multiple modules that I build on the ground then attach using docking ports in space. I think if they make a Kerbal 2 they would need to add the ability to use Canadarms and attach stuff in space during spacewalks like they do in real life but for now it's robotic spacecraft FTW.

    Here was it's first incarnation. This is when I discovered that apparently a 25m/s closing speed is too much velocity :/



    I managed to recover and build a wee Frankenstation from the broken parts, but I got my dudes outta there in the escape module and scuttled this one for a new one.



    Currently I have three modules and a crew return vehicle in space, with more modules and a truss system to carry batteries and fuel supplies and solar panels on their way. It'll be like a clone of the ISS for now, with the freaky shit to come when I'm feeling masochistic. I'll get a pic next time I play.

    In other news, I built an upper stage that can fly back to the KSC under manual control, and it has a bunch of ghetto landing legs a-la SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. I can land it pretty much wherever I want within it's fuel range. It has no engine in this pic because I landed a bit too hard and it broke off.



    And I built a rocket to send the rover+skycrane rig to Mun. Not a really huge achievement but I did get it up on three wheels and drove along like that for a minute, then later on rolled it over and half of it exploded.



    So yeah basically this game is my drug at the moment and I have to ban myself from playing it until I've had dinner and gotten the housework done.
    Last edited by Rare White Ape; February 3rd, 2015 at 03:51 AM.

  7. #27
    Junior Potato
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    Fucking awesome game.



    But parts lag is fucking killing me and my 4GB of RAM. There would be about 150 parts on this space station by now. There are five launches worth of modules in that pic, but I've had other things attached and then removed and sent back to the ground.



    The low-tech way this game is made isn't very efficient; it chugs along at 20fps in 720p with no AA whereas I can play Portal 2 with near full settings in 1080p and have a smooth experience. Applying physics to all those bits eats up video memory like nothing else.

    I'm trying to add a pair of trusses to provide power to the station. You can see them in the bay of this shuttle, soaking up the sunlight. They've got lights and batteries and RCS engines and spare propellant. They each have their own contollers so that I can fly them out of the cargo bay and onto their docking nodes near the front of the station.



    It'll probably take me about a week while I wait for it to render the next frame.

  8. #28
    Consultant KillerB's Avatar
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    Yeah, I finally broke down and got this to put my new laptop to proper use.

    I no longer desire food, drink, sleep or sex. I just want to play this game. Re-teaching myself calculus and physics that I haven't used in close to 15 years is a real bitch, though.

  9. #29
    Junior Potato
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    I love seeing the way someone who actually knows what they're doing play this game.

    Seat-of-your-pants is fun tho. Guessing how much delta-V you need for everything results in some spectacularly over (and under) powered monstrosities.

    "Flying to Mun? Ok, activate engine... Now!"

    *5 seconds later, capsule reaches escape velocity

  10. #30
    Junior Potato
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    KSP 1.0 is out!

    They say it's the biggest update to the game ever, and it has left Steam Early Access, now as a full release game. I'll start a full career mode now.

    But first thing's first. I spent the first, oh, thousand-ish hours of my day off playing with new heat shields, new fairings, and new resource sensors.

    I built a small probe with an ion engine and mapped Kerbin, then decided to use it to map Mun and Minmas as well. It'll be the first spacecraft I build which will orbit two bodies other than Kerbin in one mission It's currently orbiting Mun, but I'm adjusting its orbit to the correct orientation for scanning. It needs to be polar, so it'll have to come back down to equatorial again before I fly it out to Minmas.

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