I have spent WAY too much time playing this game between late-night feedings and diaper changes... but it is an amazing game, especially with some of the realism mods. I actually learned quite a bit about the real solar system that surprised me (such as just how high an inclination orbit the Moon is). While I know it isn't real rocket science, it is far, far closer to it than anyone not doing real rocket science has a chance to get.
Kerbal Space Program
Posted 09 August 2017 - 1215 PM
When you get to the point that you can eyeball a rendezvous of another space craft in a different orbit, you're starting to get to the point of having a nice feel for some orbital mechanics. Obviously the data read outs indicating your periapsis/apoapsis and inclination indicate some VERY good computing and tracking for your "spacecraft" but it's still a lovely thing to get to.
Posted 09 August 2017 - 1232 PM
I've been working through Gene Kratnz's book on his experiences as Flight Director at Mission Control, and Andrew Chaiken's book "A Man on the Moon" about the Apollo program. It took them DAYS to calculate the trajectories that KSP generates in real time - and yes, KSP uses the same "Sphere of Influence" method that NASA used for the Moon Landings.
Also interesting seeing the struggles they had with orbital rendezvous and docking that I've had to figure out myself... especially on the highly inclined orbits (as opposed to an equatorial launch site and roughly 0* inclination orbit).
Launch Windows, Orbital alignments, etc... NASA makes it look easy. Trivial. It is anything but.
Posted 03 May 2018 - 2039 PM
After a hiatus due to ungodly workload during the day and a curious toddler at night, I am finally back to Kerbal. I'm playing now on a Quarter Scale Real Solar System, running a historic contract set with stocklike historic parts.
Tonight, I took another step in my Apollo program with the launch of the SA-3 (https://en.wikipedia...i/Saturn_I_SA-3). I geeked out so much on launching Apollo Hardware from Apollo Launchstands that I took screengrabs. Now I wish I had been doing so all along - I finished the Mercury missions a few days ago and started the Gemini test-flights recently, but took no screengrabs).
Posted 04 May 2018 - 0228 AM
Oh, is that the "Making History" extension pack? I have yet to install it and get back to Planet Kerbal myself. How's it like?
Posted 04 May 2018 - 0626 AM
No. It's a mod called "Bluedog Design Bureau".
For comparison, the Squad Making history Apollo:
Bluedog Design Bureau Apollo:
one is a very toy-like version (Making History), and one is a very realistic model of the historic (Bluedog).
Posted 04 May 2018 - 2309 PM
Ran a few missions tonight.
Gemini II (umanned suborbital test flight)
Posted 04 May 2018 - 2312 PM
And Gemini III - first manned Gemini mission (my standins for Gus Grissom and John Young)
Posted 05 May 2018 - 2044 PM
Bob Kerman took Ed White's place on the Gemini-IV EVA. Even after very many hours in this game, I still don't have a good handle on EVA maneuvering. Even with the tether it was challenging to get back in. Guess I'll need to add more handles to grip for the next EVA mission.
Posted 06 May 2018 - 0319 AM
That mirrors history well enough, when EVA went from floating around to doing things outside, the astronauts reached the same conclusion.
Posted 06 May 2018 - 1033 AM
Part of my problem was the winch was too large to fit in the capsule, so it had to be mounted in the service module. I launched into standbox with the winch located at the base of the hatch and it worked far more reliably. I could winch my astronaut back in and immediately grab hold of the grips at the hatch. Once I add grips along the service module it should be far easier to at least get back in.
Problem is, in my career game, I don't have enough science to unlock those grips AND unlock the boosters needed for the Apollo testing AND.... I'm sitting at about 80 science in the bank and I have at least 320 science needed to get access to critical pieces. I can't upgrade to the Saturn IB without unlocking certain engines (160) and I can't even start working on the Saturn V without unlocking the appropriate sized tanks and interstages (also 160). I unlocked the Block I Apollo CM and SM so I am able to do the boilerplate Apollo Capsule missions (testing heatshields, abort systems, landing systems). I need still to unlock a docking mechanism (90 IIRC) and the MechJeb AutoDock (550 IIRC - this one may wait until well into the Apollo program). I will probably have to do the Gemini MOL program to unlock enough science to enable everything I need. As you can see from my Kerbal Alarm Clock I have 15 years to land on the moon... so I am certain I can do it, but not as certain that I'll be able to mirror history as well. Mariner-2 is going to be tough... my next launch window for Venus is so close to the deadline for having accomplished the flyby that I will probably miss it (even if I have it launched).
Posted 14 May 2018 - 2002 PM
Up next... Gemini "76" - the rendezvous of Gemini-VI with Gemini-VII
Had a battery fail during launch of Gemini-VII. This could have been disastrous, leaving me with just one battery at the start of a 14 day mission. I was able to effect repairs and continue the mission.
12 days in, and Gemini-VII is ready for Gemini-VI to visit.
Gemini-VI closes with Gemini-VII
Kissing Distance over the Pacific
A view from one to the other during the flyarounds
Bunch more pics at the album link.
It was quite the challenge, getting to docking distance. The rendezvous itself was accomplished with the MechJeb onboard computer, but that only got me about 60m separation. The remainder of the close had to be done by hand and eye. Between the burns of the Hohmann Transfer one of the life support tanks sprung a leak, requiring some very fast work to close it off and retain as much as possible in the other tank without blowing the rendezvous burns. Fortunately there was MORE than enough supply in the remaining tank to last beyond the end of the mission. Had this happened to Gemini-VII it would have required an abort, as I would not have had enough supply to last the full 14 day mission. I really am enjoying the added complications of the DangIt! mod - random failures did in fact happen, and I don't like the idea of scripting the failures. Having to make the judgement calls and design decisions to deal with random failures, not just when everything goes right is a wonderful addition.
Posted 15 May 2018 - 0309 AM
I remember my rather helpless first attempts at docking, until I learned to interpret the related symbols on the artificial horizon. After a while, translating them into steering inputs becomes natural, and rendezvous become an everyday affair, provided you orient craft north to south on equatorial orbits so they don't change relative attitude during revolutions - and unless you run out of maneuvering fuel ...
I still can't steer Kerbalnauts on EVA worth shit though. Before the godsend of working docking locks, I usually attached ladders to either craft leading to each other's hatches when I knew I would have to transfer crews on a mission. That tether would have been a real bonus back then for me ...
Posted 15 May 2018 - 1732 PM
yeah... I've only done two EVAs so far in this runthrough, the first on Gemini-IV (described above), and then on Gemini-VII - to repair the battery. That one fit more of the "stand up EVA" standard, because I never had to let go of the capsule, just hang on outside and repair the battery.
Gemini-IX, X, XI, and XII are going to be tough. Lots of docking and EVAs to go. It's an excellent learning "bootstrap" program - which the historic one was too.
Meanwhile, I got Surveyor-1 soft-landed on the Moon.
Edited by CT96, 15 May 2018 - 1733 PM.
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