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12 August 2013 @ 12:54 pm
More Kerbal Space Program  
Things i've learned in Kerbal Space Program recently

If you leave your SAS on while fast-forwarding through orbital maneuvers, when you're done you'll find that your battery is completely drained. In retrospect this explains why there are certain times where it seemed like i couldn't control my craft at all. Perhaps i should start considering including a generator or solar panels for longer trips., though i'll just try to remember to turn off SAS before messing with the time-rate.

Spinning during the decoupling of stage 2 turns out to be a great idea. I'd been considering trying the idea but hadn't gotten around to it yet, when for some reason last night the ship went into an uncontrollable spin (not a tumble, just a spin) shortly before the fuel ran out for stage 2. I'm still not sure what caused it, but rather than trying to fix it after the fuel was exhausted i just decoupled right away, and the empty fuel tanks just flew away in a beautiful pattern without damaging a thing.

Speaking of which, the Overkill 10 has more stages than i remembered. Giant stage 1 and pretty large stage 2 definitely, but after that there's a two fuel tank stage 3, a one fuel tank stage 4 and a one fuel tank stage 5. When i had the accident during the staging for my successful moon landing run, it actually wiped out both stages 3 and 4, leaving only stage 5. At the time i thought it had only wiped out a single stage.

Which brings us to the next issue. If the launch goes perfectly, stages 1 and 2 of the Overkill 10 are already enough to put the apoapsis just past the orbit of the moon. Stage 3 is more than enough to regularize the orbit, get out to apoapsis, circularize the orbit, and then get into lunar orbit. (Hmm, what is the Kerbal name for that? Do they have a greek equivalent name to make classy sounding names? "Munar orbit" sounds kinda dumb.) So then i ejected stage 3, and tried to land using stage 4 rather than just stage 5 like last time. It was going reasonably well, i'd even managed to end up with a prospective landing site pretty near the previous landing, until i realized i was getting kind of close to the surface and still going pretty fast. So i pumped the engine up to full and... continued plummeting right into the surface. Boom. Apparently the smaller engine isn't able to handle the full mass of both stage 5 and stage 4, even in lunar gravity. Or at least not with any kind of reasonable response rate. It _might_ be able to handle a _very_ gradual descent, but i either ought to replace the engine for stage 4 with something a little more powerful, or just preemptively switch to stage 5 before attempting to land.

Gluing a bunch of rockets directly together really seems to be the best way to construct ships. I've tried two or three different versions of more "elegantly" and "intelligently" designed craft, and they've all fallen apart on the launch pad. So then i glued them together with a lot of struts (which detracts slightly from the "elegant" part) which holds them together just long enough to launch, and _then_ fall apart. Clearly i'm doing something wrong. Either there's some element of design i'm missing out on, or what i'm thinking of as "more elegant" just isn't feasible given the tools at our disposal.

As an added bonus, i recently learned about Steam's snapshot feature (by the simple process of just accidentally hitting the F12 key) so i've grabbed some screencaps of a lot of this stuff. I'll try to upload and post them later. Not that anyone is likely to care :)
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