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Let's say that fighting space battles in KSP would require a lot of effort unless they introduce missile seeker heads. Hm, a challenge for modders! :D

 

Plus of course it's currently single human player only, though you hear rumors of future cooperative mode implementation.

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Because I can! And more importantly, because I cannot yet even translate a tug from one end of a tanker stage to the other without drifting off kilometers in orbit.

 

Obviously I spend about 500-600 m/s of delta-v for the stop at Minmus that would bring me well on my way to Eve or Duna. However, my ultimate goal is dropping the tanker trucks onto the target planet parallel to the lander to refuel before take-off for the return flight while keeping rockets to a manageable size.

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Because I can! And more importantly, because I cannot yet even translate a tug from one end of a tanker stage to the other without drifting off kilometers in orbit.

 

Obviously I spend about 500-600 m/s of delta-v for the stop at Minmus that would bring me well on my way to Eve or Duna. However, my ultimate goal is dropping the tanker trucks onto the target planet parallel to the lander to refuel before take-off for the return flight while keeping rockets to a manageable size.

 

So you're having issues with RCS translation and docking?

 

 

Are you using any instrumentation packages like Mech Jeb?

 

IS your RCS balanced on your craft? To get good RCS translation you REALLY need your docking stage to be balanced. Either perfectly balanced RCS on the edges OR 4 RCS quads on your Center of Mass of that stage.

 

 

Edited by rmgill
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Are you using any instrumentation packages like Mech Jeb?

 

IS your RCS balanced on your craft? To get good RCS translation you REALLY need your docking stage to be balanced. Either perfectly balanced RCS on the edges OR 4 RCS quads on your Center of Mass of that stage.

 

I'm running vanilla 0.19.1 as I want to keep it plain for the moment. No problems with RCS balancing, I just have not trained docking a lot or even dealt with the docking control screen much; watched my brother doing it and tried a bit myself, but my style of flying by the seat of my pants and visual references isn't really conductive to this. I'm more one for design challenges than maneuvring challenges, which means I tend to throw technology at a problem; hence the tanker trucks.

 

I'll have to learn docking eventually of course; already learned landing by instruments after all. Thanks for the video links, I'll look at these.

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The key thing is being in target mode with the target port selected. Then you line your Centerline V on the nav ball up with the circle of the target. There's a velocity indicator that'll float around the target indicating your general vector in relation to the target. That is the key piece for getting lined up and knowing how you're doing for your move toward or away from the port in question.

Also, be sure to figure out precision mode for controls. Your control indicators should turn blue when in precision mode and in that mode they offer smaller levels of control authority that increases with a slower rate per unit time as you effect that control movement.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, by now I intercept targets in orbit easily. Still working on the last meters of docking. Figures, I suck at parallel parking too.

 

Meanwhile, ion-driven greetings from Jool orbit. P.S.: Don't aerobrake below 110 km altitude in this big boy's atmosphere.

 



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Voilá. This is my Radiator lander, a necessarily bulky design because it's meant for all-up missions to Duna and Eve. Not much of a problem; it has two groups of RCS clusters on either end, the upper just below the command pod and the lower on the fairing of the return transtage nuclear engine, plus another group on the tanks of the planetary stage at the center of gravity to assist in translation. Maneuverability is actually quite good.

 




What threw me early on was that the clusters are mounted at 45 degrees on the roll axis because the crew ladder runs straight down the zenith side of the ship, so it's hard to make out visually which direction they are firing in 90-degree translation maneuvers. However, that was resolved when I configured joystick controls for translation in the docking screen and no longer needed to fiddle with pushing buttons on my old Logitech Attack 3.

 

As you see, I have no problems getting within a couple meters of the target. The ship's docking port is also on the bottom because the top is occupied by the command pod parachute, and the upper part of the tanker stage with another nuclear engine is actually meant to be mated to the lander whole and act as a transfer stage to the target planet; but backward parking is no big procedural problem either.

 

The thing is I still relied on visual observation in my last attempt, and only after I had blown off too much monoprop for another successful attempt I realized how you can steer in translation mode by the target symbol on the navball, too. I'll try that next, but went for some unmanned planetary missions to scout the terrain for future landings in between.

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Right click your docking port for control from here. Also, right click the port you're targeting and select that as the target. Then your controls will function with the tail of the craft as your forward view. RCS Translate forwards will be craft aft. This will also give you reference of movement for both the target icon and your velocity vector in the nav-ball.

Also, the lower left hand corner of the screen gives you the RCS/Translation controls independent of main engines. This allows you to select between attitude control and translation.

Setup right, you can have SAS turned on and hit a key to move to attidue control mode and then back to translate with SAS turned back on. The lower left has three modes, Launch/Main engine staging, RCS and then overall orbital map view (also accessed with M).

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  • 7 months later...

I got this while I was in the hospital earlier. This is so much fun and frustration combined I can't believe it. The thing I like most is the physics which must be pretty accurate :)

 

/R - trying to get to Mun...

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You don't know frustration until you have landed a Kerbalnaut on Eve - and try to get him back up against high gravity and atmospheric density. I tried with my Radiator lander first which actually had proven overdesigned for Duna but got only a couple klicks off the Eve surface. So I went back to my quicksave point in Orbit and designed the Brute lander.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 



Looks unstoppable, right? So I thought too, and quicksaved after touchdown (since landing this thing is a little ... difficile). Except it doesn't get anywhere near orbit from Eve either. So I'm currently designing a massive winged rescue ship intended to water-land (or whatever those Eve oceans are made of), embark my stranded Kerbalnaut after ballistically flying out to it, then hopefully make use of the dense atmosphere to ascend back into orbit.

 

As Plan C, I have already built a habitat to drop for my man to settle down on the planet ...

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An airbreathing rocket would be ideal, except Eve's atmosphere has no oxygen. I'm using aerospike engines on my Atmoscender design, which have the highest Isp regardless of environmental pressure, but it takes a very careful flight profile balancing speed, lift and air resistance to get even into Kerbin orbit. I have no idea how it will behave in Eve atmosphere which is five times as dense at sea level.

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Arrrghhhhh

 

I spent the entire evening yesterday to get a ma...eehhh... green thingie to Mun and back but I don't get enought fuel off the damn planet with my current tech level... very frustrating. PLUS I got a Mun orbiter back with some science points, I thought, but the damn thing crashed so badly for god knows what reasons....

 

/R

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Then Kethane to refuel your return to eve orbit stage.

 

I still don't run any add-ons, and based upon previous performance I'm afraid even refueling the descent stage wouldn't get me back into orbit. An added complication is that when I updated to 0.22, the program somehow retracted all landing gear of landed ships, and if I switch to the Brute I will need to do it with the throttle fully open to avoid it crashing from two meters altitude; already lost an Eve probe that way.

 

Arrrghhhhh

 

I spent the entire evening yesterday to get a ma...eehhh... green thingie to Mun and back but I don't get enought fuel off the damn planet with my current tech level... very frustrating. PLUS I got a Mun orbiter back with some science points, I thought, but the damn thing crashed so badly for god knows what reasons....

 

/R

 

I have not tried a career so far, though I will at some point to seek new challenges; however, even the limited parts of the demo version allow manned Mün round trips, you just need to apply more megalomania! My old Crasher-Hera combination looked like a pyramid of stacked fireworks with IIRC 13 LV-T30 engines clustered in the first stage plus a dozen jettisonable solid fuel boosters in the first and second stage, but it got a Kerbal to the Mün and back with fuel to spare - and that was before I learned economical ascent. Careful trajectories go a long way in saving fuel; the waypoint planner is your most important instrument.

 

In my experience, a good flight path into orbit is starting the tip-over at about 10,000 meters (typically with 20 seconds indicated to apoapsis on the map screen), lowering the nose to 67 degrees over the horizon, then 45 at 20,000 meters/40 seconds, 23 at 30,000 meters/one minute, and going horizontal at 40,000/1:20, cutting off thrust when indicated apoapsis is about 80,000 meters, then shooting for a circular orbit as soon as leaving the atmosphere at 70,000.

 

Remember that the Mün is in its best position when it's about 45 degrees ahead of you relative to Kerbin. Optimal trajectory is a Hohmann parable with its apoapsis just inside the Mün's gravitational field. Aligning inclination precisely at the upward/downward node saves you fuel for later corrections. After achieving a low circular Mün orbit, initiate descent about 90 degrees ahead of your intended landing site, factoring in münar rotation and a foreshortened final trajectory to touch down vertically. Learn to use the flight path indicator on the nav ball to correct for a 90 degree descent by burning in slightly increased attitude - landers really don't like lateral velocity during touchdown.

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