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  #51  
Old 06-17-2013, 12:37 AM
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Check out a tutorial on orbital rendezvous. But it's quite doable.
  #52  
Old 06-17-2013, 07:44 AM
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I have purchased but not downloaded the full game. Having got the hang of orbiting and deorbiting without killing everyone, by first project will be to create an orbiting fuel depot in LKO that I can use for docking practice.
  #53  
Old 06-17-2013, 09:50 AM
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Do the scenarios have a "To the Mun, part 2"? The demo only has part 1 and I thought that the paid version would have part 2 but I'm not seeing it.



What are your favorite designs?
  #54  
Old 06-17-2013, 10:13 AM
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So how finished IS this game? I've been hearing about it for months and months and it looks right up my alley, but have they got an actual Kerbal Space Program thing going or is it just a sandbox? How buggy is it? I'm a little hesitant to be another paying beta tester after the last disaster (Baseball Mogul 2014.)
  #55  
Old 06-17-2013, 10:19 AM
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There's no campaign in the game yet. It's purely sandbox. But you've got a decent selection of parts to build planes/rockets/landers/stations from and a decent sized solar system to explore.

Kerbin itself has two moons, but there are several other planets, each with it's own set of moons.
  #56  
Old 06-17-2013, 11:02 AM
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I managed to safely crash a rover unto the Mun. It handles horribly. I did notice it shows under Probe in the tracking station. Is there s way to switch it to Rover or does that depenf on the core I start with?

Also are any of the mods must have? Not looking to make the game easier or harder, just add variety.
  #57  
Old 06-17-2013, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
So how finished IS this game? I've been hearing about it for months and months and it looks right up my alley, but have they got an actual Kerbal Space Program thing going or is it just a sandbox? How buggy is it? I'm a little hesitant to be another paying beta tester after the last disaster (Baseball Mogul 2014.)
It's finished enough that you can do the two main things the game offers: Build spacecraft and engage in spaceflight. The sandbox is the meat of the game: Think of this game as a mix of SimCity and 2001: A space Odyssey. It goes from funny and ridiculous when you're strapping ridiculous jury-rigged rockets together and (trying) to get them to take off without exploding to majestic when you're flying. Maybe I'm a drama queen but I had a few moments of dread & awe playing it.

There's a free demo which doesn't let you play with all the parts but should give you a good idea. Doing the training missions is recommended before attempting a full voyage from Kerbin to the Mun and back.


I haven't noticed any bugs. You will, however, have to pay attention to how you map out the keys because the game allows you to map out the same key to competing actions.

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 06-17-2013 at 11:14 AM.
  #58  
Old 06-17-2013, 12:40 PM
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Note that, due to the much lighter gravity well, it's significantly easier to land Kerbals onto Minmus and return them than it is to do the same on the Mun.
  #59  
Old 06-17-2013, 01:38 PM
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Note that, due to the much lighter gravity well, it's significantly easier to land Kerbals onto Minmus and return them than it is to do the same on the Mun.
Oooh, I think I'm going to try landing on Minmus first then.

First step is building a refueling station orbiting Mun.
  #60  
Old 06-17-2013, 04:26 PM
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Do you sometimes get situations where the ship doesn't seem to be responding to control inputs?

No, I don't mean situations where I forget that SAS is on. I mean situations where SAS and RCS may not be possible to toggle at all. Or where SAS and RCS can be toggled but pitch, yaw and roll don't respond, even with RCS assist. Do you get that too? I tested the corresponding keyboard keys afterward and they all worked fine. I had plenty of RCS and fuel and I was in an otherwise stable orbit.

Is this a simulation of the stupidity of the pilots* or am I missing something?


* Who explicitly have a courage and stupidity meter.
  #61  
Old 06-17-2013, 05:01 PM
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Yes, I got that after setting up an orbital maneuver last night. I had to go back to the spaceport and restart the game to get functionality back. Clicking stuff still worked, but it's like my keyboard commands were going to the wrong window or something.
  #62  
Old 06-17-2013, 05:09 PM
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Assuming you're at 1x warp, usually that means you've run out of power. Click to expand the resource meter display in the upper right corner and it'll tell you how much electricity you've got. If that's the problem, to prevent it you'd need to either attach/deploy solar panels (and have the sun visible) and (ideally) batteries or a number of the nuclear power sources.

If you have a sizable ship with a probe body instead of the standard capsule, I don't think you'd have enough force to rotate the craft without RCS or extra SAS units. But the first scenario sounds more like it matches what you're describing.
  #63  
Old 06-17-2013, 05:12 PM
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Question about space stations:

Do I need top put a docking port on both pieces that are meant to couple, or will a docking port connect to any other piece all by itself?
  #64  
Old 06-17-2013, 05:25 PM
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When you do rotate a ship with torque rather than RCS, what exactly is causing the motion?
  #65  
Old 06-17-2013, 05:30 PM
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I managed to safely crash a rover unto the Mun. It handles horribly. I did notice it shows under Probe in the tracking station. Is there s way to switch it to Rover or does that depenf on the core I start with?

Also are any of the mods must have? Not looking to make the game easier or harder, just add variety.
Must have mods:

SubAssembly loader: Let's you save parts of a ship for easy re-use. Essentially for developing launchers that you cna stick under your payload.

Space junk bay: Gives you a cargo bay hold like i the space shuttle. Great for transporting satellites or other parts.

Crew Manifest: LEts you edit kerbals as well as switch them in and out of your vehicles both on the launchpad and in orbit when docking.
  #66  
Old 06-17-2013, 05:38 PM
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You'll need docking ports on both parts. It's important to make sure they're pointing in the right direction as it's too easy to attach the docking side of it to your ship when you're building it. The part that needs to be pointing out to dock is the littler circle part. Also, the ports need to be of the same size. The Jr. size won't dock with the normal sized ports.

And the in-game explanation for the torque is that the crew capsule and SAS modules have reaction wheels.
  #67  
Old 06-17-2013, 05:48 PM
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Do you sometimes get situations where the ship doesn't seem to be responding to control inputs?
Make sure the fast-forward is at x1. I've made that mistake before.
  #68  
Old 06-17-2013, 06:06 PM
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Must have mods:

SubAssembly loader: Let's you save parts of a ship for easy re-use. Essentially for developing launchers that you cna stick under your payload.
I spent a good 10 minutes looking for that in the base gsme. Seems lik e an obvious function to have.

Quote:
Space junk bay: Gives you a cargo bay hold like i the space shuttle. Great for transporting satellites or other parts.
Once I start building a space station that will be extremely handy.
  #69  
Old 06-17-2013, 06:46 PM
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Make sure the fast-forward is at x1. I've made that mistake before.
Could very well be. It just happened again and I know my electricity was at 50/50.

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Originally Posted by PacifistPorcupine View Post
I spent a good 10 minutes looking for that in the base gsme. Seems lik e an obvious function to have.
You too, eh? I still haven't found a way to save mid-game and I'm wondering if that's because they haven't put it in yet or I just haven't found it.




I am glad to find that the game has expectedly created a small, dedicated following of experimenters and mentors on Youtube.
  #70  
Old 06-17-2013, 07:54 PM
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Another must have mod = Mechanical Jeb.

It serves two purposes. One, it gives you extra gauges and info that give you a ton of extra info on your flight.

Secondly, it gives you an auto pilot which can do all sorts of tasks like ascending, descending, gravity turns, rendezvous, docking, etc.

I personally mostly use the gauges and only engage the autopilot on some hard rendezvou maneuvers, but if you're finding piloting the rocket to be frustrating and want to concentrate on design, then this is the mod for you.

Also Lazer docking cam which helps with manual docking immensely and Quantum struts for more stable structures are recommended by your friendly, local kerbal scientist.
  #71  
Old 06-17-2013, 10:24 PM
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When you do rotate a ship with torque rather than RCS, what exactly is causing the motion?
Gyroscopic effect powered by electricity.
  #72  
Old 06-17-2013, 10:48 PM
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My take on the point that KSP is still in beta, or whatever: There are few if any bugs, the game content as is is quite rich for exploration, there are tons of mods, and the game engine is robust. It's pure sand box at the moment, but, honestly, I love it that way. I've no idea what the "Career Mode," when enabled, might bring to the gameplay, but I also don't feel like I'm missing anything as is.

I've easily put enough time into it already to justify buying it, beta or not, and enjoyed it thoroughly.

One thing that makes it durable and endearing for me: it belongs in the "losing is fun" style of games. I can't count how many Kerbals I've lost testing space planes, and it was horrifyingly fun each and every time. Slowly, I learned, and am killing fewer Kerbals each mission. But fiery, terrifying death is never far away for Kerbal Space Program test pilots!

Last edited by Knorf; 06-17-2013 at 10:50 PM.
  #73  
Old 06-18-2013, 04:55 AM
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One thing that makes it durable and endearing for me: it belongs in the "losing is fun" style of games. I can't count how many Kerbals I've lost testing space planes, and it was horrifyingly fun each and every time. Slowly, I learned, and am killing fewer Kerbals each mission. But fiery, terrifying death is never far away for Kerbal Space Program test pilots!
Part of the fun of losing, in my opinion, is that even a loss doesn't have to mean a wipe. Stranding someone on the Mun or in orbit just gives you one more objective to strive for, and even an explosion during launch might leave enough of your spaceship to jettison your command module.
  #74  
Old 06-18-2013, 07:50 AM
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I'm still waiting for the opportunity to download the full game, but I had a couple of my Hex Threes orbiting merrily, and decided to take a shot at the Mun. They weren't built to land on the Mun, but why not?

Two dead Kerbals later, I'm building a dedicated lander. It can take off and land repeatedly under Kerbin gravity, and can land one more time with parachutes once the fuel runs out. Now I just have to build a rocket that can carry it.
  #75  
Old 06-18-2013, 08:49 AM
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First, I have cursed everyone in this thread for introducing me to this time sink. Please, let me know if you get itchy or anything, I need to know my curses are working..

Second, do I want to keep the centre of lift in the same area as the centre of mass? Should I make sure that each stage is balanced? I'm not anywhere close to the Mun or even space docking.
  #76  
Old 06-18-2013, 08:59 AM
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Second, do I want to keep the centre of lift in the same area as the centre of mass? Should I make sure that each stage is balanced? I'm not anywhere close to the Mun or even space docking.
Lift only matters in the atmosphere. Unless you're dropping stages at low altitude, you should only need fins on the first and maybe the second stages - dumping them early with the empty engines will save you some mass for orbital maneuvering.
  #77  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:16 AM
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If your center of mass and lift aren't somewhat lined up, controlling the craft may prove difficult. If it's off by enough, even SAS won't be able to compensate and your craft will tumble around.

There are mods that help with this though, in case you're looking to build something like the space shuttle, which the vanilla game doesn't currently support.

Last edited by Kinthalis; 06-18-2013 at 09:17 AM.
  #78  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:21 AM
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Lift only matters in the atmosphere. Unless you're dropping stages at low altitude, you should only need fins on the first and maybe the second stages - dumping them early with the empty engines will save you some mass for orbital maneuvering.
Ok, that makes sense but what can I do about unbalanced flight while heading up? Too many ships end up spinning uncontrollably. And where does space begin? I've had some orange glow on return but never noticed the altitude that happened at.
  #79  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:44 AM
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Ok, that makes sense but what can I do about unbalanced flight while heading up? Too many ships end up spinning uncontrollably. And where does space begin? I've had some orange glow on return but never noticed the altitude that happened at.
There is an atmosphere reading on the instrument on the middle top of the screen. You need to be all the way to left to ensure you won't be dragged back down by atmospheric friction.

Try and build rockets with some level of symmetry. There is a mirroring tool on the bottom left of the screen in the building where you build the craft (quick key 'x') that allows you to place 2/3/4/etc copies of whatever you're holding directly opposite each other.

If you are using fuels hoses to move fuel about, double check the direction of flow, as fuel imbalances will also cause tumbles.

IT might also be that you are simply having trouble manually controlling the craft. Be sure to add an SAS module to your assembly and turn it on (quick key 't') while ascending, only turn it off when you need to make course corrections.

Last edited by Kinthalis; 06-18-2013 at 09:47 AM.
  #80  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:51 AM
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Ok, that makes sense but what can I do about unbalanced flight while heading up? Too many ships end up spinning uncontrollably.
If it's spinning around its vertical axis during launch, you can use Q and E to compensate.

Quote:
And where does space begin? I've had some orange glow on return but never noticed the altitude that happened at.
70,000 KM is the highest reaches of the atmosphere, but it obviously thins out a lot before then.
  #81  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:56 AM
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If it's spinning around its vertical axis during launch, you can use Q and E to compensate.


70,000 KM is the highest reaches of the atmosphere, but it obviously thins out a lot before then.

I think you mean meters. 70,000 m. Or is that Kerbin Meters?
  #82  
Old 06-18-2013, 10:46 AM
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If it's spinning around its vertical axis during launch, you can use Q and E to compensate.


70,000 KM is the highest reaches of the atmosphere, but it obviously thins out a lot before then.

Right, even though the atmosphere technically stops at 70KM, I just did a test and air resistance only slowed me down to an appreciable degree when I got below 50KM.



For control, I usually pack 2-3 SAS and an advanced SAS module plus 3 reservoirs of RCS. I only use RCS during launch or when pressed for time. During launch phase when you're using large liquid tanks and engines, you can add large SAS modules and large RCS reservoirs.


When do you guys start turning during launch? I like for solid boosters to get me to 10KM, turns about 30 degrees, rely on large fuel tanks + Mainsails to get me to 100KM and then use nozzle engines to first get into proper orbit and go to other planets.


Also, I just found out that using the support structures (they look like construction towers with a pad) really helps to avoid situations where the craft is so heavy that I can't let it rest on its engines. You power up the boosters then immediately release the supports and off it goes.
  #83  
Old 06-18-2013, 11:21 AM
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For control, I usually pack 2-3 SAS and an advanced SAS module....
I think this is massively more than required for a stable launch, unless your design is truly weird.
  #84  
Old 06-18-2013, 12:57 PM
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I think that I need to do the next tutorial. I am fairly sure that I have the ability to get ships into LKO. Coming back is another issue.
  #85  
Old 06-18-2013, 05:02 PM
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Do the SAS modules actually add some sort of propulsion or something? I thought they were just a computer component that controlled whatever control entities you already had? What's the benefit to adding more than one?
  #86  
Old 06-18-2013, 05:08 PM
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Do the SAS modules actually add some sort of propulsion or something? I thought they were just a computer component that controlled whatever control entities you already had? What's the benefit to adding more than one?
If you have an advanced SAS (ASAS), there is little to no advantage to adding more. Some say that if you have a very tall rocket, adding a normal SAS can help with stability.

My feeling is that if you need more than one SAS to assist with stability, you need to re-think your design.

My biggest vehicle design, fit for sending a three-Kerbal lander to Mün, Minmus, or Duna, uses only the advanced SAS. I admit it wobbles a bit in the middle stages, but nothing serious or uncorrectable.

ETA: Here's what the Kerbal Space Program wiki has to say:
Quote:
All command pods offer a small amount of SAS torque, and you can add to this by adding more SAS units to the craft. ASAS however is simply either there or not, you can not add multiple units to increase its effect.
I will note that there are some people who insist it helps, regardless of this statement, to add more.

Last edited by Knorf; 06-18-2013 at 05:12 PM.
  #87  
Old 06-18-2013, 05:17 PM
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Ran out of time. Bottom line: use the ASAS. Add one SAS if you have a very tall rocket. Adding more SAS units is probably counterproductive and means you should reconsider some design elements.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:42 AM
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I have successfully stranded a Kerbal on the Mun. Bill Kerman's lander bounced on touchdown and landed on its side, leaving him alive but unable to return.
  #89  
Old 06-19-2013, 07:46 AM
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I just lost one of my kerbonauts on Minmus. After a successful landing, I wanted to see if the gravity was low enough to get into orbit with suit thrusters alone. The answer was yes. Unfortunately, coming back down to a safe landing was a lot harder without instruments, and the brave volunteer died on inpact.

My next project will be to deal with some of the debris that has piled up in orbit. I designed a rocket with a large cage made of girders and struts in front, which will hopefully be able to catch a piece of debris and bring it down. Haven't tested it yet but I don't see why it wouldn't work.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:11 AM
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Another Kerbal was just stranded on Mun, after all six legs of the landing gear fell off while on approach. The ascent engines proved a poor substitute.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:13 AM
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My next project will be to deal with some of the debris that has piled up in orbit. I designed a rocket with a large cage made of girders and struts in front, which will hopefully be able to catch a piece of debris and bring it down. Haven't tested it yet but I don't see why it wouldn't work.
Kerbal Planetes! That sounds great even if it doesn't work.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:34 AM
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Finally got a ship into orbit for the first time. However poor Bill is pretty much out of gas.
Now that I can get into orbit I need to be able to come back as the next logical step. What should I work on after that? Docking?

Is there a tool that lets people share ship designs?
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:44 AM
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As a next step I'd put some probes in orbit around moons/planets. Learning to meet and orbit other bodies is useful.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:06 AM
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Finally got a ship into orbit for the first time. However poor Bill is pretty much out of gas.
Now that I can get into orbit I need to be able to come back as the next logical step. What should I work on after that? Docking?
Unless you're only using solid rocket boosters, it is impossible to build a rocket that can reach a stable orbit but can't reach a stable orbit and then return to Kerbin: all you need to do is slow down enough to momentarily drop below 70,000 metres and you'll start aerobraking on each pass.

Getting to orbit with fuel to spare is still the most important next step, though.

Quote:
Is there a tool that lets people share ship designs?
The ship designs appear to be stored as plain text, meaning you could theoretically share a ship design just by posting it here. Unfortunately, even the smallest rocket (Solid rocket booster, command pod, parachute) is still almost 500 words and over four pages long.
  #95  
Old 06-19-2013, 09:09 AM
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Finally got a ship into orbit for the first time. However poor Bill is pretty much out of gas.
Now that I can get into orbit I need to be able to come back as the next logical step. What should I work on after that? Docking?


Getting into orbit around the Mun. Then landing on the Mun. Then taking off the Mun and getting back to Kerbil.


I'm presently at the taking off the Mun stage. I am relying on Xenon engines and electricity to get off the Mun but they seem insufficient. I have two Xenon tanks and plenty of solar panels. It take long for my battery to recharge. However, no thrust seems to be generated. It has to thrust a command module, two Xenon tanks, an ASAS and a RCS tank. Is that really too much for a Xenon engine or am I missing something?
  #96  
Old 06-19-2013, 12:09 PM
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Yeah, I don't think this xenon-ion engine has the oomph to get into orbit from Mün. The max thrust for one is only 0.5 kN, so even quadrupling them up isn't going to work to overcome Mün's gravity, 1.63 m/s², and get to the required escape velocity, which is 807 m/s. I'll let someone else do the math. Of course to do it accurately, you'd need the mass of your lander.

I've been using the LV-909 Liquid Fuel Engine for a three-Kerbal lander, which has a thrust of 50 kN, 100x more than than the xenon-ion engine. To be fair, it has way more thrust than I actually need to break into Mün orbit from the surface with my usual vehicle.

Anyway, you'd need more xenon-ion engines to break Mün orbit than is at all practical.

I only use them for space probes. Be warned though: even with a small probe, the length of burn from the xenon-ion engine to get a transfer orbit going to another planet in the system is quite long. On my first probe to Jool, Hobo IV, I had something like a 45 minute burn. Of course that was using only single engine; for my next deep system probes, I intend to use at least four, which will help a lot.
  #97  
Old 06-19-2013, 12:11 PM
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Incidentally, here's an article about a real-world xenon-ion engine NASA is developing.
  #98  
Old 06-19-2013, 12:17 PM
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One other thing: you can indeed share vehicles. In your save folder, there is a folder for VAB and and SPH, in which there are *.craft files. You can share these.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:46 PM
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I was able to download the full game today. After crashing half a dozen intended orbital fuel depots I went back to basics, and put a nice little probe in orbit around Mun.
  #100  
Old 06-20-2013, 04:31 PM
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I do feel that I am in the early stages of the Mercury program. I was able to return Bill safely back to Kerbin.

I then tried to put a 'Sputnik' into orbit. Man, that was a great deal harder than I thought it should have been. I am really curious as to how other people have designed their launch vehicles. I am wondering how big I have to build to be able to put an object in orbit around Mun.
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