Author Topic: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"  (Read 265810 times)

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Offline Bob-san

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
Gimballing the thrusters is coming I'm told. The RCS module is interesting. I just wish I could get the game to ****ing work. As of late, it's been a damn nightmare.
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Offline Thaeris

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
another game where you can assemble a space ship (thought he focus more on combat maneuvers) would be space combat, which is a lot more intuitive. lets you configure each part's size, and dimensions, but then goes and correctly computes its mass for you. of course space combat is also a lot less fun, despite the fact that you get to shoot things.

Space combat is indeed far from perfect. I should note that it's much better suited to deep space flight more so than anything else. Physics-wise, it's very easy to fudge things, even though the program will be using proper math along with said fudging. The biggest fault is that center of mass of the rocket is always the origin (0,0,0) of a given space ship. Thus, properly orienting thrusters about this point will result in rather substantial ease of controlling the ship - you can cheat the system pretty easy without having to do too many calculations.

Still, it's a great little program for understanding basic physics and simple spacecraft design. It's possible to make your own space regions, though you're going to be doing it with a text editor unless someone wanted to go out and make a parser program. Space Combat regions were also never terribly well documented, either, so I'm not sure of all the features one can implement with the program. It would certainly be a lot more fun with multiplayer - perhaps someone should try and see if Austin Meyer would release the source code? Otherwise, it probably wouldn't be too hard to hack.
"trolls are clearly social rejects and therefore should be isolated from society, or perhaps impaled."

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"Look on the bright side, how many release dates have been given for Doomsday, and it still isn't out yet.

It's the Duke Nukem Forever of prophecies..."


"Jesus saves.

Everyone else takes normal damage.
"

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Offline StarSlayer

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
Do they have an option for a Robin Reliant Orbiter?
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Offline Thaeris

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
Given that you couldn't make a 1:1 scale model of the Robin (too small for Space Combat), understand you could make a greater than 1 scale vessel. That said, sure.

:p

I actually did send Austin an email. Perhaps he'll consider releasing the source code.
"trolls are clearly social rejects and therefore should be isolated from society, or perhaps impaled."

-Nuke



"Look on the bright side, how many release dates have been given for Doomsday, and it still isn't out yet.

It's the Duke Nukem Forever of prophecies..."


"Jesus saves.

Everyone else takes normal damage.
"

-Flipside

"pirating software is a lesser evil than stealing but its still evil. but since i pride myself for being evil, almost anything is fair game."


"i never understood why women get the creeps so ****ing easily. i mean most serial killers act perfectly normal, until they kill you."


-Nuke

 

Offline Shade

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
Oh, this game is fun :D Nice to have something fun that only requires ten minutes here and there to get something out of. Messed around with a bunch of different configurations, and most of them were pretty serious failures. Seems every time I try to build something really big, it is either uncontrollable or simply can't take the load of takeoff and disintegrates.

After a LOT of iterations over several days though, I did manage a design that struck a good balance between being -just barely- able to launch in one piece and still had the power to get some serious speed. This fast, in fact:



And after thirty minutes:



At this point, speed was dropping only by 1m/s every ten seconds or so, so even if I'd let it run overnight I doubt it would ever have dropped below 3500. Those astronauts ain't coming back. Jebediah loves that - He's going to see the stars! Bill and Bob, however, have just realized they forgot to go to the bathroom before launch, and are somewhat less enthusiastic.



And here's the beast that did the job. Constructed as follows:

  • Stage - Pod+Parachute - Could have skipped the chute to save weight, but I wanted the thing to look right.
  • Stack Decoupler
  • Stage - Two LF Tanks + LF Engine
  • Stack Decoupler
  • Stage - Stack Tricoupler + 3*(SAS Module + Four LF Tanks + LF Engine)
  • 3*Radial Decoupler
  • Stage - Three SRBs attached to Radials + Six SRBs directly attached to the previous three
  • 9*Stack Decoupler, six attached to the six outer SRBs from before, three attached to the LF Engines in the center
  • Nine SRBs
Shaved off a bunch of SAS modules to save weight, which makes this a royal pain to launch. But it is just barely possible.
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Offline jr2

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
This has a really obnoxious habit of forgetting to auto-separate stages.... so I get a multi-stage rocket that fires all stages at once, or sometimes a separator won't fire and the chute will have the entire stack under it minus anything that did manage to jettison.. maybe it's just me.  :ick:


EDIT: Aaaand I just figured it out... SAS =/= stack decoupler, even though it looks similar.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 06:52:59 pm by jr2 »

 

Offline Nuke

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
-snip-

thats some stack you got there, seems whenever i make something with that many srbs it fails catastrophically. but it seems like you pulled it off.
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Offline Shade

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
Just barely. I can launch that config successfully only about half the time, the other half I lose control. Can't even use SAS too much, because that seems to induce a wobbling effect in the lower stages that eventually tears the stack apart, so it is really only useful for countering spin and times when everything will fall apart anyway if you don't use it.

In fact, if you look at the first picture from my previous post, you can see that the velocity vector is nowhere near vertical. I tried to go straight up, but I simply couldn't hold it. And that was my best attempt out of several.

[Edit] I do have some ideas for improving this stack, though. Specifically, I tried replacing the first stage of nine SRBs with nine LF Engines + one tank for each, and that still had enough thrust to get the thing off the ground. Albeit with a lower initial acceleration than the SRBs managed, due to the higher weight. Unfortunately, the higher weight also meant 'barely controllable' became 'uncontrollable', and the greater thrust of the LF Engines made the stack much more likely to tear itself apart - It can support the thrust, but even the tiniest imbalance will break it, and I've not yet managed to place all component accurately enough for it to survive. If I ever do get it working though, the longer first stage duration granted by the LFEs should mean a considerable boost in final velocity.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 06:50:12 am by Shade »
Report FS_Open bugs with Mantis  |  Find the latest FS_Open builds Here  |  Interested in FRED? Check out the Wiki's FRED Portal | Diaspora: Website / Forums
"Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh ****ing great. 2200 references to entry->index and no idea which is the one that ****ed up" - Karajorma
"We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct." - Niels Bohr
<Cobra|> You play this mission too intelligently.

 

Offline Nuke

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
what i remember from model rocketry is that it helps to put some weight in the nose and some drag in the tail. rocket designs where the upper stage is relatively lightweight can induce unwanted drag at the nose which can make you wobble at least and and most make your velocity vector creep around on you with almost zero control. you can probibly move your srbs a little bit higher on the stack (though this can risk damage to the lf engines). the drag model in the game seems kind of lame. fins dont give as much stability as they should and it doesnt seem to compute lateral forces from lift on them at all. it certainly doesnt compute drag cross section properly. real rockets may also include control surfaces on fins (or rotating fins) and thrust vectoring through engine gimbals in addition to rcs thrusters, they certainly dont generate phantom forces with sas modules. physics need work, though it seems the game is only in its early stages of development anyway.
I can no longer sit back and allow communist infiltration, communist indoctrination, communist subversion, and the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

Nuke's Scripting SVN

 

Offline Patriot

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
Right now I'm going a rough 5900m/s and just passed 4500 km. Who wants to take a guess how slow my deceleration is?

I'll give you a hint. It's bloody slow! D:



EDIT: uh-oh, it flipped on it's side and stopped decelerating o.o. Do not have an engine left to make it go back :(
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 05:22:44 pm by Patriot »

 

Offline crizza

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
This game is highly addictive...
Check out my blog:

http://geo.schulzbert.de/

 

Offline Shade

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
Alright, managed a new speed record (for myself, anyway). For some reason the game screen doesn't get recorded anymore when I use print screen, instead just showing my desktop when I paste the would-be image into an editor, so you'll just have to see it for yourselves.

To that end, I attach for your pleasure... Il Tempo Gigante. Using stock parts only, this baby is capable of reaching 6400 m/s if piloted on a perfectly vertical course. Which is surprisingly easy, as it is also rock stable during launch. The only difficult part of getting it into space is clearing the launch pad tower without colliding, as liftoff is slooooooow and any amount of drift in that direction will cause said collision.

[attachment deleted by ninja]
Report FS_Open bugs with Mantis  |  Find the latest FS_Open builds Here  |  Interested in FRED? Check out the Wiki's FRED Portal | Diaspora: Website / Forums
"Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh ****ing great. 2200 references to entry->index and no idea which is the one that ****ed up" - Karajorma
"We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct." - Niels Bohr
<Cobra|> You play this mission too intelligently.

 

Offline Bob-san

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
Alright, managed a new speed record (for myself, anyway). For some reason the game screen doesn't get recorded anymore when I use print screen, instead just showing my desktop when I paste the would-be image into an editor, so you'll just have to see it for yourselves.

To that end, I attach for your pleasure... Il Tempo Gigante. Using stock parts only, this baby is capable of reaching 6400 m/s if piloted on a perfectly vertical course. Which is surprisingly easy, as it is also rock stable during launch. The only difficult part of getting it into space is clearing the launch pad tower without colliding, as liftoff is slooooooow and any amount of drift in that direction will cause said collision.
Play in Windowed Mode. That lets you switch between windows (and play multiple instances) and you can use Alt-Print to take a screenshot.
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Offline pecenipicek

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
i think F11 or something like that is the official screenshot button.
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Offline Bob-san

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
i think F11 or something like that is the official screenshot button.
You gotta make the folder first iirc.
NGTM-1R: Currently considering spending the rest of the day in bed cuddling.
GTSVA: With who...?
Nuke: chewbacca?
Bob-san: The Rancor.

 

Offline pecenipicek

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
ah. k. didnt know. btw, there was a update relatively recently. 0.8.5 i think it was :)
Skype: vrganjko
Ho, ho, ho, to the bottle I go
to heal my heart and drown my woe!
Rain may fall and wind may blow,
and many miles be still to go,
but under a tall tree I will lie!

The Apocalypse Project needs YOU! - recruiting info thread.

 

Offline Shade

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
That seems to work. Thanks for the tip :)
Report FS_Open bugs with Mantis  |  Find the latest FS_Open builds Here  |  Interested in FRED? Check out the Wiki's FRED Portal | Diaspora: Website / Forums
"Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh ****ing great. 2200 references to entry->index and no idea which is the one that ****ed up" - Karajorma
"We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct." - Niels Bohr
<Cobra|> You play this mission too intelligently.

 

Offline Shade

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
To illustrate just how big a difference weight makes on a spacecraft, I tried trimming various non-essential bits and pieces off the Gigante until I could no longer reliably launch it. Trimming off three SAS modules, the command module parachute and the last decoupler (whch I could get away with since the parachute was gone) brought the final velocity up to 7500m/s on a vertical launch, from 6400. Trimming another single SAS module after that brought the final speed up to just over 8200m/s - That's a 700m/s jump from losing the weight of a single small module and, if I'm not mistaken, is actually a high enough speed to orbit Earth somewhere around LEO, let alone the puny little planet in the game.

I can't trim off any more. If I lose even one more SAS module, I can't hold it reliably. But once I get another 30 minutes to work with (where I'm not too tired to do anything but watch TV, heh), then instead of a vertical launch, I'm planning to try to an oblique flight path once out of the atmosphere to avoid accelerating against gravity's pull, essentially placing the thing into an infinitely expanding orbit. That should probably allow the final speed to go up by a good bit more. Who knows... maybe it'll even be possible to reach Earth's escape velocity :D
Report FS_Open bugs with Mantis  |  Find the latest FS_Open builds Here  |  Interested in FRED? Check out the Wiki's FRED Portal | Diaspora: Website / Forums
"Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh ****ing great. 2200 references to entry->index and no idea which is the one that ****ed up" - Karajorma
"We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct." - Niels Bohr
<Cobra|> You play this mission too intelligently.

 

Offline Bob-san

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
To illustrate just how big a difference weight makes on a spacecraft, I tried trimming various non-essential bits and pieces off the Gigante until I could no longer reliably launch it. Trimming off three SAS modules, the command module parachute and the last decoupler (whch I could get away with since the parachute was gone) brought the final velocity up to 7500m/s on a vertical launch, from 6400. Trimming another single SAS module after that brought the final speed up to just over 8200m/s - That's a 700m/s jump from losing the weight of a single small module and, if I'm not mistaken, is actually a high enough speed to orbit Earth somewhere around LEO, let alone the puny little planet in the game.

I can't trim off any more. If I lose even one more SAS module, I can't hold it reliably. But once I get another 30 minutes to work with (where I'm not too tired to do anything but watch TV, heh), then instead of a vertical launch, I'm planning to try to an oblique flight path once out of the atmosphere to avoid accelerating against gravity's pull, essentially placing the thing into an infinitely expanding orbit. That should probably allow the final speed to go up by a good bit more. Who knows... maybe it'll even be possible to reach Earth's escape velocity :D
You can look up Kerbal orbital and escape velocity calculators. IIRC it's 3.2km/s (horizontal speed) to orbit at 40km. It would actually make it pretty easy to escape orbit. Basic thing is to give yourself an eccentric orbit and launch off from there.

One thing I think the game needs is a better range of equipment. Most of the stuff right now is good for launch and middle stages but there's nothing for the end stages. You're stuck with too large an engine when you could/should carry fuel instead.
NGTM-1R: Currently considering spending the rest of the day in bed cuddling.
GTSVA: With who...?
Nuke: chewbacca?
Bob-san: The Rancor.

 

Offline Shade

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Re: Kerbal Space Program or "Rocket science is harder than it looks"
Oh, I know about the Kerbal planet's escape velocity - Getting to that is trivial [Edit - Well, trivial once you're past the first 20 or so spectacular failures and start having some idea what you're doing, anyway]. I specifically stated that I was talking about Earth's escape velocity, though, which is something like 11.000m/s... so little ways to go, yet :p
« Last Edit: July 31, 2011, 04:38:46 pm by Shade »
Report FS_Open bugs with Mantis  |  Find the latest FS_Open builds Here  |  Interested in FRED? Check out the Wiki's FRED Portal | Diaspora: Website / Forums
"Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh ****ing great. 2200 references to entry->index and no idea which is the one that ****ed up" - Karajorma
"We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct." - Niels Bohr
<Cobra|> You play this mission too intelligently.