Gravity is a Jerk

Posted by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

It's been a while since my last blog post. And unfortunately, this one's going to be pretty short, too, as I haven't been able to sink as much time into Kerbal Space Program as I've wanted to. I got distracted by other things. Namely, the Summer Steam Sale, the Shogun 2 expansion, and trying to conquer Japan with line infantry and artillery. Also, I lost all my vehicle designs for Kerbal Space Program. The game had a patch. A pretty sizable patch, which rendered designs for previous versions unusable. But a lot of new parts were added, I imagine the physics were tweaked, and most importantly, you can now get your brave Kerbals to leave their vehicles.

This isn't fear. This is anger. Or maybe it's both. I'd be angry, too, going up in that.

That's right. You can totally expose them to the elements. Or space. Or both.

But back to my goal of reaching the Mun with a plane. I'm not there yet. It's going to take a lot of effort to get there. But I made the first big step. Low Earth Kerbin Orbit. To be honest, I'm not even sure where Low Orbit actually begins. But that indicator next to the...globe tells you where you are. And when it changes to "Orbit," I'm inclined to believe it.

After multiple failures with Death Sleds, plural, I went with a three-fuselage design, which I sadly don't have pictures of. The center fuselage would house three fuel cells and one larger rocket, and the outer tubes would house two fuel cells and two slightly smaller rockets. I went with a swept-wing design at the front, and simple tail fins at the rear. And I almost made it into LKO, and then the patch hit.

So for the next week or so, I spent my time in the game messing around with all the new parts.

Today, I revisited the space-plane, and made it. At some point, I started messing around with dual-wings, like the biplanes of WWI. And was pretty successful with it. They generate a lot of lift for the amount of space they take up (which makes sense). But because of their size, I had to tie them together using the space-string the game provides.

This is what happens when SAS betrays you.

I also never realized how effective turbojet engines were. The game's description makes you think that jet engines are effective in low atmosphere, and turbojets are *only* effective at higher altitudes. This is not the case. Turbojets are pretty damn effective as long as there's still air rushing through them. So out went the rockets on my space plane's outer fuselages. These were replaced with turbojets that could get the plane up to around 15,000 meters, where the Kerbin air begins to thin out. And then, the rocket would take over.

If I were going for the X Prize, I'd be a lot smarter about my angle of ascent, so that I'd actually have some sort of horizontal speed when I reentered. I'm not going for the X Prize yet. Oddly enough, I'm going for the Mun first. So after going up at a 70 degree angle, this craft pretty much went straight down after it hit its peak altitude.

But for a few moments, we were in space.

SPACE!

Back to the patch updates. While messing around with the new parts, I realized I could make a VTOL. While I still want to get to the Mun in a space plane, being able to build and fly a sky car is pretty fun, too. The thing is unstable as all hell, and you're pretty much screwed if the thing tilts more than 30 degrees to the side. But it's fun to float around in.

In retrospect, naming this thing the "Dodo" probably wasn't a great idea. Still better than "Icarus" for a rocket, though.
#1 Edited by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

It's been a while since my last blog post. And unfortunately, this one's going to be pretty short, too, as I haven't been able to sink as much time into Kerbal Space Program as I've wanted to. I got distracted by other things. Namely, the Summer Steam Sale, the Shogun 2 expansion, and trying to conquer Japan with line infantry and artillery. Also, I lost all my vehicle designs for Kerbal Space Program. The game had a patch. A pretty sizable patch, which rendered designs for previous versions unusable. But a lot of new parts were added, I imagine the physics were tweaked, and most importantly, you can now get your brave Kerbals to leave their vehicles.

This isn't fear. This is anger. Or maybe it's both. I'd be angry, too, going up in that.

That's right. You can totally expose them to the elements. Or space. Or both.

But back to my goal of reaching the Mun with a plane. I'm not there yet. It's going to take a lot of effort to get there. But I made the first big step. Low Earth Kerbin Orbit. To be honest, I'm not even sure where Low Orbit actually begins. But that indicator next to the...globe tells you where you are. And when it changes to "Orbit," I'm inclined to believe it.

After multiple failures with Death Sleds, plural, I went with a three-fuselage design, which I sadly don't have pictures of. The center fuselage would house three fuel cells and one larger rocket, and the outer tubes would house two fuel cells and two slightly smaller rockets. I went with a swept-wing design at the front, and simple tail fins at the rear. And I almost made it into LKO, and then the patch hit.

So for the next week or so, I spent my time in the game messing around with all the new parts.

Today, I revisited the space-plane, and made it. At some point, I started messing around with dual-wings, like the biplanes of WWI. And was pretty successful with it. They generate a lot of lift for the amount of space they take up (which makes sense). But because of their size, I had to tie them together using the space-string the game provides.

This is what happens when SAS betrays you.

I also never realized how effective turbojet engines were. The game's description makes you think that jet engines are effective in low atmosphere, and turbojets are *only* effective at higher altitudes. This is not the case. Turbojets are pretty damn effective as long as there's still air rushing through them. So out went the rockets on my space plane's outer fuselages. These were replaced with turbojets that could get the plane up to around 15,000 meters, where the Kerbin air begins to thin out. And then, the rocket would take over.

If I were going for the X Prize, I'd be a lot smarter about my angle of ascent, so that I'd actually have some sort of horizontal speed when I reentered. I'm not going for the X Prize yet. Oddly enough, I'm going for the Mun first. So after going up at a 70 degree angle, this craft pretty much went straight down after it hit its peak altitude.

But for a few moments, we were in space.

SPACE!

Back to the patch updates. While messing around with the new parts, I realized I could make a VTOL. While I still want to get to the Mun in a space plane, being able to build and fly a sky car is pretty fun, too. The thing is unstable as all hell, and you're pretty much screwed if the thing tilts more than 30 degrees to the side. But it's fun to float around in.

In retrospect, naming this thing the "Dodo" probably wasn't a great idea. Still better than "Icarus" for a rocket, though.

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