Kerbal Space Program

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Kerbal Space Program

Postby Smeghead » 29 Mar 2013, 00:43

To move the KSP conversation away from the Win thread and give it a proper thread.

Cybertrash wrote:Heeey... How come I can never manage going to the Mün?

First off; get into orbit, then start a pro-grade burn about 45 degrees behind the Mun and your should reach Mun orbit.
Or do you have any more specific problems with getting there?
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Dutch guy » 29 Mar 2013, 10:13

I just downloaded and installed KSP. So far, I've succesfully completed the tutorial. Then I hit a snag. A rather large snag. I can build a spacecraft, but if I try to launch the engines don't active and I don't go anywhere. When loading the stock X1 orbiter, I get the engine noise, fuel is used, but I don't lift off. Further more, the time counter stays at 0:00:00....

This is pissing me off slightly...

Edit: got one of my craft working, but apparently the engines don't active automatically on stage separation somehow. And I can't find where or how I'm supposed to set this.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Master Gunner » 29 Mar 2013, 10:38

The Orbiter 1A doesn't have a Thrust-to-Weight Ratio above 1, so that's why it's not going anywhere. You should still be able to see the engines firing on the launch pad, and if you tip it over it will start moving and the clock will start counting.

If you mean the Kerbal X, that's because the launch clamps are in a separate stage from engine activation, so press spacebar again to release the craft.

EDIT: If that's your issue, check your throttle. Only the solid rocket boosters activate automatically, the liquid engines are thottle-controlled. You can put the throttle to max before activating the first stage, though.
Last edited by Master Gunner on 29 Mar 2013, 10:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Dutch guy » 29 Mar 2013, 10:40

Master Gunner wrote:The Orbiter 1A doesn't have a Thrust-to-Weight Ratio above 1, so that's why it's not going anywhere. You should still be able to see the engines firing on the launch pad, and if you tip it over it will start moving and the clock will start counting.

If you mean the Kerbal X, that's because the launch clamps are in a separate stage from engine activation, so press spacebar again to release the craft.


Thanks, I did mean the Orbiter 1A. I hadn't noticed the thrust to weight ratio...
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Master Gunner » 29 Mar 2013, 10:47

Yeah, unfortunately the VAB/SPH don't really give you any information on your craft by default. The Kerbal Engineer plugin gives you a lot of information on your rocket while you're making it and while in-flight. MechJeb also provides much of the same information (though not quite as detailed), and includes an autopilot system.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Smeghead » 29 Mar 2013, 10:53

A tip for getting into orbit; start a gravity turn of 20-25 degrees at around 10000m, it should save fuel. Also learn to use the manoeuvre system, it is very helpful
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Cybertrash » 29 Mar 2013, 13:08

Smeghead wrote:
Cybertrash wrote:Heeey... How come I can never manage going to the Mün?


First off; get into orbit, then start a pro-grade burn about 45 degrees behind the Mun and your should reach Mun orbit.
Or do you have any more specific problems with getting there?


I think my problem is mostly at the planning stage. I can't figure out how I should determine when and how to launch to end up on the right orbital plane? When my launch window is? When to burn (and for how long) to transfer into Mün orbit?

I used to play a lot of Orbiter, and it had loads of instruments for these sort of things. Kerbal doesn't seem to have any sort of navigational aids whatsoever (except for "manuevers" which I don't understand at all, I can't even use them to flatten out my orbit), am I misunderstanding something here?
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Master Gunner » 29 Mar 2013, 13:25

The Mun is in an equatorial orbit around Kerbal, so you don't have to worry about when you launch, so long as your rocket ends up in an equatorial orbit itself. Then, go to the map screen and time accelerate until, as Smeghead said, you're about 45 degrees behind the Mun, and burn until your orbit crosses the Mun's SOI.

The Maneuver Node system is just a planning system. You set up a node, then tug along various vectors to see how that will effect your orbit. Once a node is in place, new elements will appear next to your navball. These show the amount of Delta-V needed to complete the maneuver, time remaining until you reach the node, and the approximate time the burn will take. A marker will also appear on your navball to point you in the right direction. Actually executing the maneuver is done manually.

Scott Manley has a series of tutorials (and many other videos) on KSP which are fairly extensive.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Smeghead » 29 Mar 2013, 13:31

What gunner said. Manoeuvre is the best way to go, but be warned that its not perfect
It will make the calculations based on your current ship status, so if you make a stage change during the manoeuver burn it will not update the data to fit the new ship statistics. It is also not uncommon not to get the burn 100% right since the is based on what would happen if you got the burn perfectly.

I'm no expert at the game. besides landing on Mun and Minmus, I've only ever sent probes to Eve and Duna
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Dutch guy » 30 Mar 2013, 12:20

I took another long look at the Kerbal X, and noticed it has a very different staging order than I was using. This might explain what I was doing wrong. (First releasing the launch supports, having the engines in the next stage)

I'll have another go at it once I get back on my desktop after the weekend.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Cybertrash » 01 Apr 2013, 04:42

I might have cheated a little... I found an autopilot addon and got to the Mün. It still requires that you input most of the data yourself, but it does all the precise timing and such for you. It's not perfect though, my landing gear broke on touchdown :(
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Master Gunner » 01 Apr 2013, 09:37

Now that you've seen how it's done, try it again without the autopilot?
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Smeghead » 02 Apr 2013, 00:07

Cybertrash wrote:I might have cheated a little... I found an autopilot addon and got to the Mün. It still requires that you input most of the data yourself, but it does all the precise timing and such for you. It's not perfect though, my landing gear broke on touchdown :(


I crashed 4 times before I managed to land a Kerbal safely on the Mün, and by safely i mean he survived. The only part of the ship that survived the impact was the command module. Then I watched a video on youtube (I'll see if I can't dig up the link for you as well as some videos that really helped me), and after seeing how the guy did it I've managed to land and return from both the Mun and Minmus (twice)

When to start a gravity turn
Landing on moons (the whole landing part starts at 25:00)
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Smeghead » 03 Apr 2013, 09:55

My interplanetary probe ship; The Sun
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Not sure if it will ever make it to another planet though, even with 7 ion engines, and tons of xenongas it appears that the thrust is just so low
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Master Gunner » 03 Apr 2013, 10:06

Once you've put it in orbit, you should be able to bring it anywhere. The burns are just going to take a very long time. Look for the Dynamic Time Acceleration plugin, which adds another form of time acceleration (from 1/16th to 16x) that stacks with the normal physical time acceleration for a total of 64x. Putting it to the max may cause your ship to wobble too much for a useful prolonged burn, but even getting it up to 8x should make the burns easier.

Also, at least for while you're escaping from a planet's SOI, don't be afraid to make multiple burns. Once you're more than a few degrees from periapsis, cut throttle, loop around the orbit at 10000x speed, and burn again. Repeat until you're on an escape trajectory for maximum efficiency, accuracy, and at least form your perspective, speed.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Dutch guy » 03 Apr 2013, 10:15

Trying to master orbital Rendez-vous...

It's frustrating 'sall I'm sayin'
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Smeghead » 03 Apr 2013, 10:16

Yeah I know, it can technically go anywhere (It got 12k xenongas, but the burns will take forever. Also, all sixe of the things around the core are probes, and while they have liquid fuel engines I kind of need that for the whole "not crashing" part
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Master Gunner » 03 Apr 2013, 13:01

Dutch guy wrote:Trying to master orbital Rendez-vous...

It's frustrating 'sall I'm sayin'


Rendezvous and docking are pretty much the only things left in KSP I have yet to master, and it isn't looking good anytime soon.

If abusing time acceleration and plugins isn't your thing, Smeghead, you could throw a nuclear engine on there to jump-start the burns. Once you get the apoapsis out beyond mun/minmus, the rest the burn becomes far less annoying (you can at least see your progress).
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Smeghead » 03 Apr 2013, 13:37

Orbital Rendezvous And Docking Tutorial

Yeah I am gonna have to redesign the craft, after having spent over 2k xenongas I was still only halfway to Mün's orbit. I did have another stage before the craft itself that was meant to do the job, but it ran out of fuel just trying to get the craft into an orbit (might have been a design flaw, because as it turned out the 6 extra tanks of fuel it had might have lost the connection to the main tank in an accident. It is also a very annoying craft to launch because it has so many parts that the game starts lagging.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Master Gunner » 03 Apr 2013, 13:49

I've seen the tutorials, I've even accomplished it a few times, but damned if I can ever do it reliably enough to be useful before I give up on that craft.

If your craft is lagging, once again, I suggest Dynamic Warp. Slow the game down to 1/2 or 1/4 speed for the first few stages, it it should be easier to control.


EDIT: Ooooh, a prerelease version of MechJeb 2.0, the Kerbal Autopilot Mod, has been released. While the interface more cluttered now, with all the new features, it also has a lot of improvements. It now sets up maneuver nodes (or sets a marker on your navball) to plan your your flight path for whatever you asked of it, so you can manually fly whatever it planned (and everything is updated in real-time, so you don't have to be 100% accurate). On the flip side, it can also automatically fly through the maneuver nodes you planned (very useful for long burns with ion engines).

The other major improvement I've played around with is a far improved rendezvous module, and a full docking module. As with everything MechJeb does, it uses waaaaaay more mono propellant than it has any right to, but with some manual flying as well I can successfully get things docked now!
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Dutch guy » 03 Apr 2013, 21:30

Using a lot of monopropellent is probably the result of using the SAS system to constantly stabilize the craft. Especially after a fast maneuver it can "bounce" around quite a bit, firing just about every thruster at once.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Mara Kalat » 03 Apr 2013, 21:32

And they say videogames are bad for your brain...
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What if Alan Turing came up with the test because he was actually a robot and wanted people to find out?
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Dutch guy » 04 Apr 2013, 13:38

Ohh yes....
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Hell YES!
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WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Smeghead » 10 Apr 2013, 11:05

So I designed a nuclear powered probe mothership; built for going to Jool and probe it's moons (...)

However the thing had a few "flaws" and tended to blow up during launch, but my 7:th ship got away from Kerbal and intercepted Jool. Sadly its fuel ran out so it couldn't enter into an orbit around Jool. I launched its 3 probes thinking that they might carry on but they turned out to be flawed as well.
One probe lost it's engine and the other two suffered from a design flaw; I had attached docking ports to the engines, thinking they would work like decoupelers. they don't. so all 3 probes were lost as well.

Right, so new day and a slight redesign to the ship, making it lighter and fixing the probes. Managed to get it off Kerbin on the second try and sent it off to Jool.
Sadly this one ran out of fuel as well while trying to make Jool orbit. Launched the probes, but got confused because the prograde/retrograde vectors had been reversed so I sent one probe away from the planet losing it in the process.

The two remaining probes on the other hand entered orbit and begun closing in on the planet. My main goal was to land on Laythe, the ocean covered moon. Probe two ran out of fuel trying to enter Laythe orbit and ended up being flung out of Jool orbit after being slingshoted by one of the moons.

Probe 3 on the other hand got closer to Laythe.
Image

But sadly this was as close as it ever got; the fuel wouldn't be enough to get it into orbit or land. However this probe ended up going right for Jool instead.

Image
View of Lathe from Jool atmosphere. In the end the probe descended until it reached sea level when it continued to descend and descend almost 100m below sea level (it is a gas giant after all) when the probe exploded; either from the temperature reaching 1000 degrees or the pressure passing 16.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Master Gunner » 10 Apr 2013, 13:16

When trying to enter Jool's orbit (or Laythe, Eve, Kerbin, or Duna), aerobreaking can save a whole lot of fuel, as burning retrograde at your closest approach to the planet/moon.

The KSP Wiki has suggested aerobreaking altitudes for different planets.

Hopefully your next attempt will go better.
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