Kerbal Space Program: Let's Light This Candle

Malor wrote:

An interesting observation about orbital mechanics: your orbital speed (and needed velocity) increases the lower you are. So if you want to orbit faster, you need to get into a lower orbit, meaning you need to slow down. You slow down to speed up; you speed up to slow down.

(well, more accurately, you slow down at apogee to lower your perigee; at perigee you slow down even more to lower your apogee to the same height. Voila, you are orbiting faster than you were, after spending a bunch of energy to slow down. )

Yeah, this goes back to the HTO.

IMAGE(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/df/Hohmann_transfer_orbit.svg/220px-Hohmann_transfer_orbit.svg.png)

When you thrust at the bottom of orbit 1, you speed up. But, as you traverse orbit 2, without any thrust, the gravity of the planet will slow you down. Slow you down below the speed you need to maintain a circular orbit at that distance. So you have to thrust again to speed up to the proper orbital speed. Really neat stuff.

Right, and there, you're burning a bunch of energy to gain altitude, and then burning more to make it a circle, and after all that speeding up, your orbits are slower than they were.

Malor wrote:

Right, and there, you're burning a bunch of energy to gain altitude, and then burning more to make it a circle, and after all that speeding up, your orbits are slower than they were.

IMAGE(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/science.jpg)

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Yes, but gets nowhere near orbit. Not enough long-term thrust for its weight. I'd like to do it with liquid fuel, however I've found that putting a decoupler at the end of a liquid fuel nozzle results in a very weak connection that is likely to bend, damage the nozzle, or even snap right off. Very frustrating.

Yeah I hate it when that happens. Another one I've gotten is with the Sunday punch parts, sometimes the large liquid engine doesn't "couple" to the space craft and so it just falls off when you get to that stage.

WizKid wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:

Yes, but gets nowhere near orbit. Not enough long-term thrust for its weight. I'd like to do it with liquid fuel, however I've found that putting a decoupler at the end of a liquid fuel nozzle results in a very weak connection that is likely to bend, damage the nozzle, or even snap right off. Very frustrating.

Yeah I hate it when that happens. Another one I've gotten is with the Sunday punch parts, sometimes the large liquid engine doesn't "couple" to the space craft and so it just falls off when you get to that stage.

Yes, also frustrating. I've had a stage where the liquid rockets are supposed to kick in, only to have the nozzles just pop off for no reason.

I want to be able to mount liquid tanks on side couplers but I guess I'll have to look to mods for that functionality.

Malor wrote:

Right, and there, you're burning a bunch of energy to gain altitude, and then burning more to make it a circle, and after all that speeding up, your orbits are slower than they were.

Well... Higher linear velocity, lower radial velocity.

Also, whether I go east or west, the planet seems to move the same speed under me. I don't think the planet rotates.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Also, whether I go east or west, the planet seems to move the same speed under me. I don't think the planet rotates.

Yeah, I noticed that the other day when I had an insanely high ballistic "orbit". I got about 2500km high, but had little horizontal velocity. The whole trip took more than two hours, but the planet didn't rotate at all.

Wow, this is really awesome! Thanks for pointing it out, I've been having tons of fun playing around. Haven't quite achieved orbit yet but I've sort of only been half-trying; mostly been having fun building massive rockets and seeing how they fail in marvelous ways.

The possibilities are endless, too. Imagine if they get a moon added... start making manned exploration and return missions... that'd be seriously fun. Granted I'd mostly just slingshot stuff at the moon and watch it explode, but that would also be fun!

I propose a GWJ ascent height challenge.

The Goal: To see how high a spacecraft can get within 10 minutes of launch.

The Rules:
1. Only the base game and the Sunday Punch parts are allowed.
2. Post a screenshot of your rocket on the pad
3. Post a screenshot of your rocket at T+5 minutes
4. Post a screenshot of your rocket at T+10 minutes

My entry.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/9qmCX.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/3A8dv.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/8eaDJ.png)

Well, my default rocket gets a little higher than that, but from what I can see, it's going a lot faster at ten minutes. It looks like you're at about 2800m/s, and my default stack gets to 5200. That's very near its peak, as it burns out not long before the ten minute mark.

Here's the launchpad:

IMAGE(http://www.malor.com/gamerswithjobs/ksp_launchpad_try1.png)

Five minutes:

IMAGE(http://www.malor.com/gamerswithjobs/ksp_fiveminutes_try1.png)

Ten minutes:

IMAGE(http://www.malor.com/gamerswithjobs/ksp_tenminutes_try1.png)

Thirty minutes (+1 second):

IMAGE(http://www.malor.com/gamerswithjobs/ksp_thirtyminutes_try1.png)

Heh, these Sunday Punch parts are, dare I say it, excessively powerful.

1200 KM into the sky. New personal record!

Launchpad:
IMAGE(http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6028/5988842349_915908f6bb_b.jpg)

5 minutes:
IMAGE(http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6141/5989402974_d2a58aa7c3_b.jpg)

Was a little late on this one, 11 minutes:
IMAGE(http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6139/5988842541_191145e6b2_b.jpg)

...........how?

How what?

More dakka.

edit: How on earth do you get something like that off the pad? My cheap knock-offs are all exploding within 10s of launch.

Anytime you have a lot of pieces branching down next to each other, you get oscillations. If you can, lower your thrust a bit till they dampen out some.

Also a big important thing to remember is that individual pieces can only support so much weight or they'll break from the stress. A monster rocket may need a dozen or more engines/boosters in contact with the launch pad. I've built several rockets that were so heavy that the engines immediately broke on the pad and so the first stage did nothing. I've also had heavy rockets with a single point of failure in the center bring the top section crashing down on the bottom without even getting a chance to fire my boosters.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

How what?

How'd you make it so big? I'd run out of screen before I got that close to those heights.

Use the mousewheel to scroll vertically on the build screen.

Malor wrote:

Use the mousewheel to scroll vertically on the build screen.

Ooh awesome. I'm on a laptop so I always just use the touch pad. Time to dig out the usb mouse. Thanks!

Well, I hit on a new rocket design that I think beats Quintin's, but it's still boosting at 10 minutes... it doesn't burn out until a little after 11 minutes, at a final velocity of around 7600m/s. How firm is the 10 minute rule?

Oh and re:mousewheel -- most trackpads have a wheel function you can turn on. On Macs, you two-finger scroll, but on most PC touchpads, once you turn it on, dragging at one edge (usually the far right) will trigger scrolling.

Malor wrote:

Well, I hit on a new rocket design that I think beats Quintin's, but it's still boosting at 10 minutes... it doesn't burn out until a little after 11 minutes, at a final velocity of around 7600m/s. How firm is the 10 minute rule?

Oh and re:mousewheel -- most trackpads have a wheel function you can turn on. On Macs, you two-finger scroll, but on most PC touchpads, once you turn it on, dragging at one edge (usually the far right) will trigger scrolling.

Yeah I know, but my laptop is a refurbished model and I've never gotten the scrollpad to work. Most applications don't call for it so I don't miss it too much. What I'm saying is KSP needs a scroll bar

Managed to launch the boys permanently into space with a few hundred m/s to spare.

*waves goodbye to the Kerbal brothers*

Apparently I left a sim running from this morning. These guys have left Kearth for good. You can't even see the planet anymore.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/o85X0.png)

Speedhuntr wrote:
Malor wrote:

Well, I hit on a new rocket design that I think beats Quintin's, but it's still boosting at 10 minutes... it doesn't burn out until a little after 11 minutes, at a final velocity of around 7600m/s. How firm is the 10 minute rule?

Oh and re:mousewheel -- most trackpads have a wheel function you can turn on. On Macs, you two-finger scroll, but on most PC touchpads, once you turn it on, dragging at one edge (usually the far right) will trigger scrolling.

Yeah I know, but my laptop is a refurbished model and I've never gotten the scrollpad to work. Most applications don't call for it so I don't miss it too much. What I'm saying is KSP needs a scroll bar :P

It does. Also, +/- zoom in and out on the vehicle assembly screen. That's vital.

The game does need scrollbars, like the stage management stack on the right side of the assembly screen. Once you get a big rocket, with 10+ stages going, it's almost unmanageable. The whole auto-scroll-when-the-mouse-is-near-the-top-or-bottom is just terrible UI design when I'm trying to drag 12 items from stage 8 to stage 12, or vice-versa. Gotta drag them one at a time and the auto-scroll makes it a nightmare.

Is there any way to create arbitrary stages? There's been a couple times where I wanted to split my bottom stage into two, and haven't easily been able to.

Also, alt-clicking an object in the ship design screen will clone it. VERY useful when making huge complicated designs.

Malor wrote:

Is there any way to create arbitrary stages? There's been a couple times where I wanted to split my bottom stage into two, and haven't easily been able to.

I've added superfluous decouplers to the bottom of my capsule to create additional stages beyond what the editor "decides" I get. So I'll have 2 or 3 decouplers as my 2nd to last stage.