Kerbal Space Program

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Mutex
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Mutex » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:50 pm UTC

@SlyReaper: You mean you could reach Duna orbit with it, or actually land and take off?

I started over and made a space plane that's actually quite close to yours, two* RAPIER engines and a similar amount of fuel. Only thing is because I'm not refuelling in orbit, it's also carrying a heavy ion-propulsion system and enough solar panels to power it, all in all weights about 3.5 tons - a considerable burden. Coupled with the thrusters I've added to the command pod to make it work as a detachable lander the plane barely limps into orbit, it weighs a little over 23 tons.

I think I'm doing in the stupid way though. I'm going to move the ion propulsion to the detachable lander, greatly reducing its power and thus weight in the process since it'll only have to move the tiny lander. Then the lander is the interplanetary spaceship, and the rest of the space plane is just the part that gets it into space. That'll probably work a lot better.


* I've actually stacked the engines, one in front of the other, which surprisingly actually works. I did this because I had major stability problems with having one engine on either side of the craft.. at the point when the engines were about to go closed cycle it seems their thrust stopped being symmetrical and I'd nearly lose control.

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:47 pm UTC

I doubt a landing would be possible with this thing. I was planning to get into orbit, perhaps by aerobraking, then returning to Kerbin.

As it happens, I went ahead and did the ambitious thing. I'm currently on course for an encounter with Jool.

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I'll do some mid-course adjustments with the RCS and see if I can't get a flyby of some of the moons.

Edit: Arrived at Jool.

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Got a good view of Laythe on the way through.

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Tylo (after some last minute course adjustments):

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Edit: That encounter left me on a fairly big orbit.

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I don't have enough confidence that I have enough fuel to get home, so I've done a small burn with RCS at apohelion to get another encounter with Jool. I hope to use a combination of gravitational slingshotting and Oberth effect to plot a course home. Jeb has already been in this plane for over 6 years now, and it'll be a few more years yet. Must be getting a bit musty in that cockpit there.

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Edit: trimmed the orbit a bit more. Got the post-encounter apohelion roughly down to the orbit of Duna. I think I'm going to make it.

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Edit: got my return trajectory.

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A sight for sore eyes.

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And down.

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I can't believe I actually pulled that off. Mission Elapsed Time was just shy of 5000 days.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Steax » Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:19 pm UTC

So I was killing some time by catching up to KSP. I think I might have a slightly outdated version... Anyway, I was rather underwhelmed when I made it to Mun (I used your video, Sly, as a general guideline of what I'm supposed to do; I figured out pretty quickly that I couldn't play it by ear and I should use KSP's newer features instead). Are the devs planning to make the other planets detailed or at least mip-map the textures? The overwhelming sense of "now what?" after I landed was kind of disappointing.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:55 pm UTC

Looks like 0.23 is the latest paid version.

At any rate, get the ISA MapSat plugin, map the planets, discover the anomalies, then go find them in person.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:58 pm UTC

Check out kethane and build insane harvesting operations in far away regions.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:12 pm UTC

Steax wrote:So I was killing some time by catching up to KSP. I think I might have a slightly outdated version... Anyway, I was rather underwhelmed when I made it to Mun (I used your video, Sly, as a general guideline of what I'm supposed to do; I figured out pretty quickly that I couldn't play it by ear and I should use KSP's newer features instead). Are the devs planning to make the other planets detailed or at least mip-map the textures? The overwhelming sense of "now what?" after I landed was kind of disappointing.

That's still the case in the latest version. However, there are a few easter eggs scattered around the solar system. There's a face on Duna at the same co-ordinates as the "face on mars" in real life. On the Mun, I understand there's a monument of some kind on the co-ordinates where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the real Moon. A little further out, there's a stonehenge-like temple on Vall, the second moon of Jool.

What I'd love to see would be some procedurally generated fractal landscapes on all the planets and moons, but I don't know if the Unity engine is capable of that.

In other news, I re-did my epic journey around the solar system in my SSTO, and this time I filmed it.

From runway to orbital fuel depot.

From orbit to Jool, from Jool to deep space, from deep space to Jool again, from Jool to Kerbin.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Carlington » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:29 am UTC

So, even without mods this game is way more fun than I was expecting, and I was expecting it to be really fun. Having said that, does anybody have any tips on how to time my launches/burns so that I hit another body on my first shot? As it stands, I've not gone anywhere further than Mun, because my strategy is "Burn until your apoapsis lines up with Mun's orbit, then warp time and wait a while.". My next goal is Minmus, I think - I understand it actually takes slightly less delta-v to get there than Mun, and the trick is in the very slight orbital inclination?
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Will » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:02 am UTC

Do you know how to use maneuver nodes? You can use those to quite easily line up encounters with the Mun/Minmus.

Minmus takes slightly more delta-v (~100-150m/s) to reach from Kerbin; it takes a lot less delta-v to land and take off from because its surface gravity is so much lower than the Mun's. The upshot is that if you have a vehicle that will land on the Mun it will land on Minmus without any modifications.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:09 am UTC

There's also this and this. I cannot emphasize enough how useful they are.

http://alexmoon.github.io/ksp/
http://ksp.olex.biz/
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Carlington » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:15 am UTC

Ah, less delta-v to land, that makes more sense. I do know how to use manoeuvre nodes, but not when to, if that makes sense - as in, I know that I can raise my apoapsis with a burn at periapsis, but I don't know where on the Mun's orbital path my apoapsis should end up, nor how to get it there.

Unless...is that the entire point of circularising my orbit around Kerbin, so that a burn at any point in orbit is just as fuel-efficient as a burn at any other?

Ninja'd by Izawwlgood: I've been making plenty of good use of the KSP Wiki, it's taught me quite a bit about setting up orbits and building good rockets and the like. I had no idea that launch window calculator existed, though, and that is something that will be incredibly useful!
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:43 am UTC

The launch window calculator is most useful for interplanetary transfers. Mun and Minmus are close enough that what you're doing is solid. Set up a maneuver node to get an idea where you'll be going, so you don't, say, smash into the Mun on your way to Minmus like I've never done ever. Ever.

Also check out some videos by Scott Manley to get an idea how to do some stuff. I definitely needed help figuring out how to intercept a target, like a space station.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Will » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:08 am UTC

Carlington wrote:I know that I can raise my apoapsis with a burn at periapsis, but I don't know where on the Mun's orbital path my apoapsis should end up, nor how to get it there

Do this:
Start with a circular orbit around Kerbin
Add a maneuver node, add prograde burn to the node until the apoapsis touches the Mun's orbit
Now move the maneuver node ahead in your orbit until you get an encounter

Minmus is the same, but you need to match orbital planes first (you need to do that with the Mun, too, technically, but you generally start in an equatorial orbit anyway)

The launch window calculator is indispensable for interplanetary missions, but it's completely unnecessary if you're just going from Kerbin to the Mun/Minmus. it won't even calculate windows for Kerbin to the Mun/Minmus, since there is literally one launch window every orbit.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:23 am UTC

To get to the Mün from low Kerbin orbit, a good rule of thumb is to burn prograde when the Mün rises over the horizon. Should save you a bit of time.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Carlington » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:56 pm UTC

I did not know that I could move maneuver nodes, so that's pretty handy. I've landed an unmanned craft on Mun now, and I've got one in a fairly high orbit around Minmus. I want to send a manned mission out to Minmus next, to rendezvous with the one in orbit and bring the science data back. I could transmit it, but it's not worth as much.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Steax » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:52 pm UTC

I... May have left some of my crew stranded in space with little to no control over their ship. I messed up a stage separation plan (it only released two sections instead of all three). It's still in a Kerbin orbit, but it's stuck in a limbo between Kerbin and Minmus orbits. How should I plan to get them back, if that's possible at all? I've never done ship-to-ship docking before. I've read some tutorials but they mostly cover ships in a proper low orbit. I spread out a few ready-to-use tugs at a high Kerbin orbit, should I send one of those to rescue my ship or should I send a brand new one?

Thanks for those links, by the way. I get really attached to my creations, and I keep hesitating to launch because I don't know the proper launch windows and requirements; I'm constantly afraid that I'll find myself stranded. ... Which did happen. But still, having a lot of fun now!
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:55 pm UTC

A ) If they're stranded, oh well. You can terminate the flight to get rid of the orbital clutter if you want.
B ) Get out and push. I'm serious. If you need just a bit more delta-v, a kerbal using their jetpack can provide what you need. Maybe.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:03 pm UTC

Steax wrote:I... May have left some of my crew stranded in space with little to no control over their ship. I messed up a stage separation plan (it only released two sections instead of all three). It's still in a solar orbit, but it's stuck in a limbo between Kerbin and Minmus orbits. How should I plan to get them back, if that's possible at all? I've never done ship-to-ship docking before. I've read some tutorials but they mostly cover ships in a proper low orbit. I spread out a few ready-to-use tugs at a high Kerbin orbit, should I send one of those to rescue my ship or should I send a brand new one?

Thanks for those links, by the way. I get really attached to my creations, and I keep hesitating to launch because I don't know the proper launch windows and requirements; I'm constantly afraid that I'll find myself stranded. ... Which did happen. But still, having a lot of fun now!


If you don't fancy docking, but want to practice rendez-vousing, you could send a craft up there with a habitation module. Park the ship close to the stricken vessel, and get your kerbals to jetpack across. You'd have to jetpack your kerbals across even if you did dock anyway.

But I'm not sure what you mean when you say only 2 parts decoupled instead of 3. Can't you right click the rogue decoupler and tell it to decouple that way?
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:04 pm UTC

If your ship doesn't have a dock, ship-to-ship docking is impossible anyway. Just rolling by with a ship that has extra room to spare can be enough to get them in.

Or do what Izzy says as I have no idea what the fuck I'm doing in this game.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Steax » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:12 pm UTC

I'll try to get some screenshots when I get back home, but I kind of want to try saving these guys. It sounds like an interesting mission, at least. The orbit is very eccentric; it shoots well past Minmus and then goes back around. Should I just get out and push near periapsis?

Um, the sudden spin threw the ship into a twist and broke some struts (or something like that) which caused the next stage engine to come loose. All I know is that after the smoke cleared, the upper stage which I was relying on for the return trip/adjustments/descent to Kerbin didn't have its engine anymore. So the orbit is sufficiently stable (for now), but I don't have any power onboard.

(To be clear, my ship construction is still very... "it needs more thrust, time to latch on more rockets". I haven't tried optimizing stuff, I just try to guess what I'll need and wing it.)
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:16 pm UTC

If you're trying to get them back to Kerbin, you should push retrograde at apoapsis to try and get your periapsis to dip into kerbins atmo. Unless I misunderstood how they're stranded.

Steax wrote:but I kind of want to try saving these guys.
Heh, fwiw, most of my first attempts at learning the game were centered around fucking something up, and sending a rescue crew. For the rescue crew. Who were stranded trying to get the rescue crew. For the rescue crew...
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Steax » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:23 pm UTC

Uh, yeah, I meant at apoapsis (I got confused because I'm picturing the ship sitting near Minmus and thinking that it's near periapsis right now). I'll give that a go and see how well that works out. ... Or I could let them try to get saved... I've already launched a few "supply ships" to see if I could just intercept the ship near Kerbin and move them over by EVA, but I'm not sure I could get the timing right. I figured if I launched enough ships and placed them at the correct orbit, eventually one of them will be close enough.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Will » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:42 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Heh, fwiw, most of my first attempts at learning the game were centered around fucking something up, and sending a rescue crew. For the rescue crew. Who were stranded trying to get the rescue crew. For the rescue crew...

True story: the first time I sent kerbals to the Mun, I ran out of fuel and couldn't take off again. So I sent a rescue mission, which crashed about 20km away. That crew capsule survived somehow, so the second rescue ship had to bring back four stranded kerbals plus its own crew.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:21 pm UTC

So, Rosetta has the most insane triple gravity assist trajectory. That is some cthonic calculusmancy there. I tried getting deeper into Jools gravity well once doing something like this, but it was just too difficult to line up properly.

As a general space question, what is 'spin stabilized' mean, and why is it important?
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:08 pm UTC

I'd guess it means spinning the probe to keep its comms dish aligned in the right direction.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:10 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:I'd guess it means spinning the probe to keep its comms dish aligned in the right direction.
How does spinning it do that?
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:27 pm UTC

Because it turns the whole probe into one big gyro, so it'll resist any torque on its spin axis. If they didn't spin it, then tiny perturbations would gradually add up and result in the probe pointing slightly the wrong way.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:45 pm UTC

Oh. Gyroscopes are magic. Thanks!
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Thesh » Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:10 pm UTC

So it's basically the same reason why guns have rifling?
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Carlington » Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:54 pm UTC

Proud to report that I've made progress! Having landed Kerbals on the Mun in sandbox, I have been giving the career mode a try. It's tricky starting out with only the most basic parts, and I've lost two of the bravest souls Kerbin has ever known, but we are closer than ever before to putting a Kerbal on the Mun. My most recent mission was the most dangerous, most difficult, and most technically impressive yet

Mission Report (mostly for my own fun, skip if you like):
Spoiler:
First, a lightweight, unmanned science lander was sent to the Mun comprising a small Materials Lab, with an experiment to be run on the Mun's surface, and two containers of Mystery Goo - one to be opened in orbit around the Mun, prior to descent, and one to be opened on the Mun's surface. This lander stage was powered by a small LV-909 engine, with one FL-T200 fuel tank, which provided sufficient thrust to descend from, and return to, a low Munar orbit of ~14km.

Next, a single Kerbal was sent in a small command capsule, to rendezvous in Munar orbit with the science lander, retrieve the data collected and, should time and fuel provide (which proved to be the case), take a reading during the EVA portion of the trip. This orbiter stage was powered by an identical engine to that of the first craft's lander stage.

Both of these craft were blasted to the Mun with the help of the pinnacle of Kerbal rocket technology - Kerbin's first rocket capable of trans-Munar flight. This rocket consisted of two main stages:
The first of these, the launch stage, consisted of three sub-stages: First, 4 Rockomax BACC SRBs pushed the craft to an altitude of 10km. Then, as the rocket commenced a long gravity turn into orbit, these boosters detached, and the first of two LV-T30 rocket engines roared into life, fuelled by a full FL-T800 fuel tank. Once this was depleted, it detached and fell away, leaving the second engine to burn up another tank pushing it the rest of the way into orbit.
Once a circular orbit at an altitude of ~80km had been established, the crew waited for the correct moment and began their transfer burn, using an LV-909 rocket engine and yet another FL-T800 tank. This provided sufficient delta-v to enter the Mun's SOI, and perform part of the Munar orbital capture manoeuvre. Once this tank was depleted, it too fell away, leaving a final LV-909 rocket and a small FL-T200 fuel tank to circularise the orbit, and rendezvous with the science lander. This was completed, leaving sufficient fuel to drop directly back into Kerbin's atmosphere, and the last of the fuel was used in a rocket-assisted aero-braking manoeuvre in Kerbin's atmosphere.


So yeah, that was really fun! TL;DR, I sent an unmanned probe, landed it on the Mun and returned to LMO, then sent a manned mission to rendezvous with the probe in LMO, retrieve the data that it collected, and return to Kerbin, no sweat. I dropped straight from LMO onto a direct intersecting path with Kerbin, so my descent was a bit steep and it was touch and go for a minute, but I used the fuel I saved to kill a lot of my velocity, and still had nearly half a tank to spare.

I wonder if I could do it with a smaller tank...
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:53 pm UTC

Congrats! That's a huge step; if you can land and return something on the Mun, I feel you can figure out how to land something anywhere in system. It's just a matter of scaling.

I also think Career mode is a really good way to train yourself how to play the game. It limits your part selection akin to the way training wheels limits the amount you can lead side to side, or blinders on a horse keep it from getting distracted.

As a next goal, try docking!
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:14 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Congrats! That's a huge step; if you can land and return something on the Mun, I feel you can figure out how to land something anywhere in system. It's just a matter of scaling.

ORLY?
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:27 pm UTC

*almost anywhere in system.

Checking out Interstellar mod tonight I think.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:36 pm UTC

I, too, ran through Career Mode last night. While I have some parts unlocked and I do believe it's helping me in that limiting me to "weaker" parts prevents me from doing my usual "FIREBALL OF DOOOM" style asparagus launching, just brute-forcing crap to orbit....

I keep running out of power, and I'd much rather launch probes. Once I figure out how to get 40 whatever Science and unlock the Sputnik head, I think I'll be good but right now... Daaaaamn.

I'm also not sure what else I can do to get Science other than get to the Mun. But I don't think I've got enough to get there. Using this chart, I've got everything on Tier 3 and I *think* I can make it to the Mun... I just don't think I could make it back.

...

Maybe I do need to just strap more rockets to it and hope for the best.
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Izawwlgood
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:43 pm UTC

The research map urgently needs to be rearranged. But take a look a Kerbal X or whatever it's called; it's a very barebones rocket that can get you to the Mun and back using pretty minimal parts IIRC.

The strategy of brute forcing stuff works often, but if you are part limited, try streamlining things. Have you gotten science from all of Kerbins biomes?

That said, I'm not disagreeing that science in .23 is really really REALLY stupid.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:46 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Have you gotten science from all of Kerbins biomes?

Probably not! So.. I just fly around and land in different parts, then do Science there?

I'm also amazed that the Thermometer technology has thus far eluded me, but Mystery Goo is something that's totally observable and fun. Or even, y'know.. Wheels.

At any rate, looking at Kerbal X... I don't have some of those parts.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:19 pm UTC

Yeah, the game is extremely wonky with how it doesn't allow unmanned flight until it's effectively unnecessary, and, how transmitting temperature/gravity/air pressure readings TOTALLY can't be done effectively unless there's a science lab. I get that they wanted to deviate from spamming science, but comon, just make some experiments reward science only once or twice per biome and transmit at 100% efficiency (thermometer/gravity sensor/pressure sensor/avionics package).

Oh well. But yes, to answer your question, just fire rockets off to different parts of Kerbin and do science there. Same with the Mun. They *brilliantly* didn't include a, say, probe that could identify different biomes, or an overlay map for such an endeavor. So, you know, PAFO.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Carlington » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:03 am UTC

I've only just managed to make it to the Mun, and that was after I unlocked everything from tier 4, plus the Electrics nods from tier 5. Just spam science everywhere, is my advice. As in, do a crew report every time you pass into a new layer of Kerbin's atmosphere, one in orbit if you can get that high, another one while you're parachuting down to the surface in whatever new biome you find, also do an EVA report after you've deployed parachutes over new biomes, take soil samples and EVA reports from the surface everywhere, even the launch pad and runway count as biomes, as well as crew reports everywhere and Mystery Goo once you've got it. Science is weighted really poorly, so that basically the only way to progress is to spam it. The upshot being that the Mun mission I just ran netted me a cool 175 science points, which seems comparatively enormous.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby wam » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:28 am UTC

This has prompted me to ask a question I have been pondering, is there anyway to see the science that you haven't done.

I.e somewhere where it says 4/6 kerbal biomes explored.

In career I'm trying to get a soil sample back form minimus which should be about 250 science but so far I have landed one and that ran out of fuel on the way back...
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Carlington » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:30 am UTC

It feels a little bit like cheating, I guess, but there's a list of all the biomes on all the bodies in the Kerbol system on the relevant pages on the wiki. In-game, there doesn't seem to be, no.
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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Postby Steax » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:18 pm UTC

I've been doing some mini-challenges to pass my time and learn things about the game. One I'm doing right now is try to land on Kerbin's north pole using as small/simple/foolproof a ship as possible, land, and then come back. Aside from the obvious options, is there anything I should know about how to do this optimally? Is there a good way to figure out which trajectory will give me the best fuel efficiency? What if I "cheated" and built a ship in a low polar orbit as a refueling station - would it be more expensive to get to the refueling ship in the first place that to go straight, or would it allow me to bring less fuel (since this means I don't need to bring extra fuel for the north pole ascent from take-off)?
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