Author Topic: Kerbal Space Program  (Read 19675 times)

Atlantea

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Kerbal Space Program
« on: April 15, 2013, 03:22:56 PM »
There's this little indie game I've been playing off and on for about a year and a half now called Kerbal Space Program.

https://kerbalspaceprogram.com/

So what is Kerbal Space Program? (KSP)

Well... Let me put it this way. Ever play Orbiter?

http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/

KSP is like Orbiter's younger, goofier, slightly insane younger brother. It's ENDLESSLY customizable. You don't just choose a rocket to fly, you DESIGN them and build them from a parts list. You have command pods, gyros, fuel tanks, RCS control systems, rockets, Ion Engines. Generators, landing gear, jets, wing surfaces, de-couplers...

And YOU choose how it all goes together in the spaceship/spaceplane of your own design.

It's still in development. So they're tweaking and adding to it all the time. And the Modding community is INSANELY active - and some of them are SO GOOD that the Developers (Squad) occasionally hire them on! (sound familiar?)

It's kind of like Orbiter crossed with Minecraft. In fact if you search youtube for videos, there's a noticeable cross-pollination between fans of both games.

KSP uses mostly realistic physics (mostly), orbital mechanics, delta-v calculations, thrust vectors, the lot. You can run KSP as a mostly serious space simulator game.

















Then again...







Yeeeeeeeeahhh.... ^.^


It's a game about little green men attempting a space program...

... by trial and error...






...mostly error...





... who have never heard of things like "safety control" or "OSHA compliance"...

...and whose idea of fixing problems with crashing rockets is "ADD MOAR ROCKETS!!!!"



The Kerbals themselves have a distinctly "Muppet" feel to their design. They remind me a lot of "Beaker" from the Muppets actually.

An endless clone army of Beakers.

Watching their terrified expressions in the lower right-hand corner of the game window is oddly hilarious. :D

Most of them act scared except for Jebediah (pictured above in the EVA shot) who just LOVES everything about space. If you can actually manage to make HIM scared, you've really ballsed it up!

In fact, KSP is sort of like Orbiter crossed with Minecraft, with a healthy does of Top Gear and Mythbusters thrown into the mix.

Unlike NASA -

FAILURE IS ALWAYS AN OPTION.

And sometimes it's GLORIOUS FAILURE...

http://youtu.be/89uUHKwINxs


On the other hand, I LOVE the customization options. And the mods. Oh the mods.

Here's one of my favorites -




Yes.... That is EXACTLY what it looks like. The Space 1999 Eagle. And it works beautifully. :D

Here's an actual video of it - with appropriate music!

http://youtu.be/f55IFuXC6BI

Here it is docked with and flying orbital formation with another classic Sci-Fi spaceship I'm sure you're familiar with.





"Open the pod bay doors, Hal..."

There's a newer, more up-to-date version with the latest release done by a different modder that actually can carry stuff!



He doesn't have the actual Space 1999 cargo pods done yet, but it makes a WONDERful orbital skycrane! I've been helping out as a test pilot making observations of the performance of the craft and helping get the VTOL balance issues sorted out. I made my own "Testing Pods" to help him figure out how to balance the ship while it has a load. Currently it flies beautifully without a load under the truss, and it's still balanced with a load attached in VTOL, but when you turn on the main engines, it has a tendency to want to nose down. He's still working on that.







Anyway - it's a fantastically addictive little game. It's got a great community of modelers and modders that I'm just now discovering and getting into.

Anyway - there's lots of Youtube videos for it as well. My recommendations -

Scott Manley - the renaissance man of the KSP youtubers. He does silliness, he does amazingly good scientific commentary. His tutorials are useful. And the Scottish accent will likely drive the ladies wild. :D
http://www.youtube.com/user/szyzyg

Harv at HOC Gaming has some really great vids - very informative. His test pilot series - where he flies (or tries to fly) designs sent to him by subscribers is well worth it because he includes the download links for the craft files for people to play with.
http://www.youtube.com/user/HOCgaming

Danny2462 Oh lord... what to say about Danny. His vids are probably the most consistantly FUNNY of the lot to watch. :D
http://www.youtube.com/user/Danny2462

This one is a good example -
http://youtu.be/wskEzn00ilQ
ERMAHGERD PLERNERHTS!!!!!!
(SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION - not least of which because I (as Logan Darklighter) have the current top-rated comment on it. :D "LiiiiiiiiiiIIIKE a GLOVE!!!")


Macey Dean is a master of using stock parts in ways that frankly boggle the mind. After you've played KSP for a while - go watch his vids and just be GOBSMACKED by what he manages to toss into orbit. Legitimitely. Without cheats. SPACE CARRIERS. ENORMOUS COLONY SHIPS. ERMAHGERD...
http://www.youtube.com/user/MaceyDean


Anyway - go check it all out. And - as Scott Manley says - "Fly Safe!"


(EDIT: SCREW You Photobucket. I'm off to Imgur!)
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 05:29:03 PM by Atlantea »

Shenku

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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 02:20:52 AM »
I gave this game a try a year or so ago, and it was pretty fun, if tricky to actually get your rocket off the ground when you first start out. It is rocket science, after all... :P

Just a week or two ago I found out that two of my brothers have recently become obsessed with playing it... Definitely worth checking out if you're bored and need a few chuckles which will ensue from your first few spectacular failures.

Codewalker

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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 02:34:07 PM »
Wow, that's quite a writeup. You affiliated with the developers? :p

I'm a fan of indie games, and also of the Minecraft development model (buy in to alpha/beta stages to help fund development, and get free updates for life). It looked like fun, and wasn't overpriced, so I bought a copy and downloaded it last night.

Stayed up way too late playing with it. A little difficult to get the hang of at first, but a ton of fun nonetheless.

After a few hours of playing with rocket designs, I finally managed to get the SS Doomed 3.0 to deliver a small capsule into a seemingly stable, if not especially good elliptical orbit. The hardest part was figuring out the flight controls, since which axis the game considers 'pitch' and 'yaw' relative to your craft isn't always obvious or intuitive. It helped a lot once I figured out why my RCS thrusters weren't working (you have to press 'R' to turn them on), and also the key to toggle the SAS module.

Of course I burned every last drop of fuel in the process, so poor Bob is stuck up there. Fortunately the Kerbals don't seem to need food, or water, or air...

Ironically the last stage that I ejected the capsule from seems to have settled into a similar orbit as well, and shows up as 'Debris' in the orbital tracking screen.

Maybe next I'll try to figure out how to mount a rescue mission. :)

downix

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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2013, 03:43:18 PM »
I played the beta of this. Was a ton of fun. Never had time to invest in it now however.

Atlantea

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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2013, 08:33:50 PM »
Wow, that's quite a writeup. You affiliated with the developers? :p

Nope! Just a raving fanboy. :)

Quote
After a few hours of playing with rocket designs, I finally managed to get the SS Doomed 3.0 to deliver a small capsule into a seemingly stable, if not especially good elliptical orbit. The hardest part was figuring out the flight controls, since which axis the game considers 'pitch' and 'yaw' relative to your craft isn't always obvious or intuitive. It helped a lot once I figured out why my RCS thrusters weren't working (you have to press 'R' to turn them on), and also the key to toggle the SAS module.

Of course I burned every last drop of fuel in the process, so poor Bob is stuck up there.

Well see - there ya go! Now you have a goal just like you said. Rescue mission! ^_^

(Note - you don't have to actually dock with the craft to rescue him. If you get close enough, he can just use his EVA pack thrusters to boost over to the rescue craft. Just make sure that rescue craft has a seat empty for him! That means you probably need to arrange for one of the Kerbals in the rescue craft to exit and stay behind before you launch. Make sure you've got a ladder for him to get down to the ground on. The ladder will also come in handy during the rescue, as it'll give the rescuee something to grab onto in space. )

Quote
Ironically the last stage that I ejected the capsule from seems to have settled into a similar orbit as well, and shows up as 'Debris' in the orbital tracking screen.

It'll do that. And the game will keep doing that with ejected parts of spacecraft that wind up in persistent orbits.

Yes - this does indeed mean you could wind up with a belt of space junk orbiting Kerbin. Hey! More realism!

There are a couple of ways to mitigate this - one is to shift focus over to the debris before it goes out of range and then choose "end flight" from the menu and that'll get rid of it. But that's sort of like "cheating".

The other that I like to do is to make sure that if a part of the ship is going to be ejected and it's going to be in orbit when it does - I'll design that stage to have a probe body on it somewhere and eject it before it's completely spent and then later I can switch over to it and have the probe align it and use up the remaining fuel to put it on a decaying or collision orbit.

Related - if you are putting yourself on a trajectory for the Mun or Minmus with a stage that's going to get ejected from the main craft - angle for a collision course - eject that stage, and then do a course correction with the main craft. That's how the Apollo missions handled the Stage 3 section of the Saturn. They'd arrange for a collision course with the Moon, then shut off the engines, extract the LM and dock, then move away on RCS and then fire the CMS/SM main engine for a course correction that would put them on a final Lunar trajectory. The spent stage 3 would impact on the moon. In fact in some of the later Apollo missions after they had placed seismic detectors they actually used the impact of the 3rd stage to take seismic readings!


Codewalker

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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2013, 09:36:39 PM »
(Note - you don't have to actually dock with the craft to rescue him)

I had two possibilities for a rescue in mind. The first was an EVA to a small craft carrying a crew pod. I hadn't thought about kicking out one of the crew members from the command module on the launch pad though -- that's a good idea and would save some weight.

Option B involves taking advantage of the fact that the capsule, while unpowered, does have a parachute attached still. I was thinking it might be possible to launch a small drone satellite, possibly with an ion engine to shift orbit (since I don't really care how long it takes), and maybe, just maybe, give it gentle nudge to make the orbit decay and eventually land without destroying it. Wouldn't take much since the near side of the orbit is almost scraping atmosphere as it is.

B is the riskier but more fun option, since I'm not 100% sure how the game's physics engine will react to what is basically a low-velocity collision.

Even if I end up doing the EVA for the rescue, building a robot satellite to fly around shoving space junk into the atmosphere might be a fun exercise. In both cases the hard part will be getting the orbits synchronized and close to the target, since I don't have a ground crew with slide rules to do all the complex math for it. Space is vast.

Atlantea

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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2013, 10:24:21 PM »

Option B involves taking advantage of the fact that the capsule, while unpowered, does have a parachute attached still. I was thinking it might be possible to launch a small drone satellite, possibly with an ion engine to shift orbit (since I don't really care how long it takes), and maybe, just maybe, give it gentle nudge to make the orbit decay and eventually land without destroying it. Wouldn't take much since the near side of the orbit is almost scraping atmosphere as it is.

B is the riskier but more fun option, since I'm not 100% sure how the game's physics engine will react to what is basically a low-velocity collision.

As long as you're under about 0.5 M/s when you touch, there shouldn't be any problems with stuff getting destroyed. But you want that to be even lower if possible. Around 0.3 m/s or less if possible.

The main difficulty with this option is that you likely don't have a docking port set up on the one-man capsule. So there's no way to lock on. And while pushing it, you might slip and go off to the side and cause it to tumble - which would complicate matters.

However, you can kitbash a rescue cage from landing gear legs - as seen in this video here -

http://youtu.be/-li5fgUOGXU

NOTE: He's using a much earlier version of the game at this point. But the concept is still sound. Just replace the old command pod Mk 1 (which the game no longer uses) with a standard 1-man pod and do something similar. And your task is MUCH easier than his, since he was having to do this from the Mun! You don't have to have so much of those RCS thrusters for one thing.

This video from Scott Manley is a great tutorial for rendezvous and docking. Check it out -

http://youtu.be/AHkY3FusJIQ


However - there is an even WILDER possibility...

Your Kerbal could rescue HIMSELF... with an EVA.

Yes - that means - literally "get out and push." :D

If your capsule really is just "scraping the top of the atmosphere" as you say - then wait until you're at the apoapsis (the high side) of the orbit. Then - align the capsule so that you are pointed retrograde. Then do an EVA with your Kerbal, scoot him around to the backside of the capsule to where he's touching it, then thrust with your EVA pack. You can switch to map mode while you're doing this to keep an eye on the Periapsis and see if you can get it down below about 50,000 Meters altitude. At that point you can get back in to the capsule and wait. Use time warp and wait. Eventually through several aero-braking passes, the orbit will decay enough that you'll get a landing/spashdown.

Don't believe me? Check it out -

http://youtu.be/Uyh4zNJqexI



Quote
Even if I end up doing the EVA for the rescue, building a robot satellite to fly around shoving space junk into the atmosphere might be a fun exercise. In both cases the hard part will be getting the orbits synchronized and close to the target, since I don't have a ground crew with slide rules to do all the complex math for it. Space is vast.

Indeed. There are add-ons that allow you to simply edit that stuff out. But the challenge of making an orbital tug that will be able to push junk around is appealing.

Mistress Urd

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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2013, 11:08:03 PM »
Ah gives me memories of Lunar Lander.  :)

Then when you look at the real numbers for a manned mission to Mars, reality will hit quite hard. Could we do it? Yes, but there are quite a few risks for the people and the price tag is so big it would make a nice bump to the debt. It would take a combined effort by US, EU, Russia and China if we want to try it anytime soon.

Shenku

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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2013, 11:45:07 PM »
Ah gives me memories of Lunar Lander.  :)

Then when you look at the real numbers for a manned mission to Mars, reality will hit quite hard. Could we do it? Yes, but there are quite a few risks for the people and the price tag is so big it would make a nice bump to the debt. It would take a combined effort by US, EU, Russia and China if we want to try it anytime soon.

I think the question there is why does the government have to be in charge of such missions? I'm hoping at some point more privatized type spacecrafts will be able to take over the job, and we can start mining out astroids and other planets/moons for resources, colonizing elsewhere in our solar system, advance our space faring technology to a more practical interstellar level, and explore out there to find out if we truly are alone in the universe or not.

Besides, I personally think it's foolhardy for the majority of people who object to spending on space programs to do so, because that's akin to insisting on putting all of our eggs in one basket. Any number of major cataclysms, catastrophes, or natural disasters could wipe out all of life on earth, or at least enough of it that it'd be centuries before whatever survived could fully recover, and yet we insist on staying here... Of course, this line of thought assumes that the majority of people actually think farther ahead in time than their next paycheck or meal, which I doubt is the case...

Edit: By the way, didn't know you could get out and push your rocket with an EVA in this game. Nifty! ;D

downix

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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2013, 11:53:35 PM »
I think the question there is why does the government have to be in charge of such missions? I'm hoping at some point more privatized type spacecrafts will be able to take over the job, and we can start mining out astroids and other planets/moons for resources, colonizing elsewhere in our solar system, advance our space faring technology to a more practical interstellar level, and explore out there to find out if we truly are alone in the universe or not.

Besides, I personally think it's foolhardy for the majority of people who object to spending on space programs to do so, because that's akin to insisting on putting all of our eggs in one basket. Any number of major cataclysms, catastrophes, or natural disasters could wipe out all of life on earth, or at least enough of it that it'd be centuries before whatever survived could fully recover, and yet we insist on staying here... Of course, this line of thought assumes that the majority of people actually think farther ahead in time than their next paycheck or meal, which I doubt is the case...

Edit: By the way, didn't know you could get out and push your rocket with an EVA in this game. Nifty! ;D
They don't have to be. The truth is, this is expensive. You realize that the "private space companies" all are using a ton of government supplied technology to be able to operate.

SpaceX looks cheap until you add the ~$145 billion spent developing it's fuel tanks, electronics, and engines by the US Government.

TimtheEnchanter

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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2013, 12:08:42 AM »
I think the question there is why does the government have to be in charge of such missions? I'm hoping at some point more privatized type spacecrafts will be able to take over the job, and we can start mining out astroids and other planets/moons for resources, colonizing elsewhere in our solar system, advance our space faring technology to a more practical interstellar level, and explore out there to find out if we truly are alone in the universe or not.

I think one of the big things you have to keep in mind though, is until they find a way to actually profit from space, there's no incentive for corporations to get involved.

Businesses want to go with whatever has the highest chance of success, and 99% of the time, that's whatever has been tried and true. This is why we're still using gasoline for cars, and as was just said by someone in another thread, every hot game is a clone of CoD, regardless of who made it.

Big corporations don't like taking risks. And there's nothing riskier than space exploration. It costs hundreds of millions of dollars to even have a presence in space, and we're looking at decades before there's any chance of earning that money back. And, "Because it's for the sake of mankind" certainly isn't going to help privatized space travel get started either... unless it's charity organizations that are doing it.

Now maybe low-orbit space tourism will sell well enough that these private companies gain enough financial resources so they can branch off into other things. Or exploration vessels themselves could sell tourism tickets. There's been a lot of arctic/antarctic ventures have gotten off the ground this way. Basically, "You fund our mission, and we'll take you along for the ride." But those are pretty big 'maybes.' It's a lot less expensive to take people to the arctic and keep them alive than it is in space.

Shenku

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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2013, 12:26:14 AM »
They don't have to be. The truth is, this is expensive. You realize that the "private space companies" all are using a ton of government supplied technology to be able to operate.

SpaceX looks cheap until you add the ~$145 billion spent developing it's fuel tanks, electronics, and engines by the US Government.

True, but the idea was that we need to move away from it being a primarily government funded venture.

I think one of the big things you have to keep in mind though, is until they find a way to actually profit from space, there's no incentive for corporations to get involved.

Businesses want to go with whatever has the highest chance of success, and 99% of the time, that's whatever has been tried and true. This is why we're still using gasoline for cars, and as was just said by someone in another thread, every hot game is a clone of CoD, regardless of who made it.

Big corporations don't like taking risks. And there's nothing riskier than space exploration. It costs hundreds of millions of dollars to even have a presence in space, and we're looking at decades before there's any chance of earning that money back. And, "Because it's for the sake of mankind" certainly isn't going to help privatized space travel get started either... unless it's charity organizations that are doing it.

Now maybe low-orbit space tourism will sell well enough that these private companies gain enough financial resources so they can branch off into other things. Or exploration vessels themselves could sell tourism tickets. There's been a lot of arctic/antarctic ventures have gotten off the ground this way. Basically, "You fund our mission, and we'll take you along for the ride." But those are pretty big 'maybes.' It's a lot less expensive to keep someone alive in the arctic than it is in space.

Maybe we just need the right "push" to get companies to want to try. One of the reasons I mentioned mining on non-terrestrial bodies is the idea that some minerals which are difficult to obtain here on earth, or even rare, might not be as difficult/rare out there. Plus, as astroids impacting the earth in the past have proven, there are some elements that are not native to earth itself, and as such there may be many elements out there that we have yet to discover.

I'm a bit of a sci-fi geek though, so I think of space travel with more emotional attachment to the exciting idea of exploration into the unknown than thinking about how much it costs or how to convince people it's worth the cost...

TimtheEnchanter

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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2013, 12:50:26 AM »
Maybe we just need the right "push" to get companies to want to try. One of the reasons I mentioned mining on non-terrestrial bodies is the idea that some minerals which are difficult to obtain here on earth, or even rare, might not be as difficult/rare out there. Plus, as astroids impacting the earth in the past have proven, there are some elements that are not native to earth itself, and as such there may be many elements out there that we have yet to discover.

I'm a bit of a sci-fi geek though, so I think of space travel with more emotional attachment to the exciting idea of exploration into the unknown than thinking about how much it costs or how to convince people it's worth the cost...

That would have to be some expensive unobtanium though to get them to budge. I feel the same way about space, and it's appalling to me how our civilization seems to plateau in every field except when a new development promises to make more money than the 'old way'.

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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2013, 03:54:49 PM »
I really wish we put more into the space program. It has kind of waned recently, but in the long run I believe it's the one problem that we MUST solve to survive as a species.

And my preferred answer to dwindling natural resources has always been: Asteroid mining!

So, finally got a little more time to play with KSP. I decided to combine the two methods for fun -- have Bob do an EVA and adjust his orbit by hand enough to aerobrake in the atmosphere to reduce the eccentricity of the pod's orbit, making it easier for a rescue team to intercept it.

I have more of an idea what I'm doing now and was able to get a simplistic rescue craft (the Hope, short for Hope This Works) into a nice circular orbit with an empty seat in the command module and full fuel tank, ready for maneuvers.

After some very careful EVA excursions, Bob was able to push the pod just enough to reduce its periapsis to around 54k. Each orbit since reduced it by another couple hundred meters (as well as the apoapsis by nearly a million meters :o). After a while it was down to around 45k, but a much less elongated orbit.

Once it was no longer flying halfway to the moon for most of its orbit, I switched over to the Hope and did some adjustment burns.

It turns out that orbital intercepts are hard. I was able to get the plane lined up without too much trouble, and get the two orbits really close to each other, but could never manage to get close enough to the pod. I was able to get within about 1km at an intercept point, but it was before completely aligning the orbits, so the speed difference was way too high to avoid shooting past it. Once I did get them lined up, I always seemed to be to far away to ever catch up.

It would probably be easier if the low point of the orbit wasn't in the atmosphere, causing it to decay with every pass. Coupled with the fact that the game doesn't seem to simulate drag for ships that aren't the "current", they diverge quickly and it means I basically only get one shot each orbit, then have to burn fuel to get back into position and re-align everything.

After a few (okay, more than a few) tries the Hope is almost out of fuel, so I'll probably give up and send it home. At its current altitude, the pod's orbit will eventually decay and parachute down on its own. Mission.. sorta accomplished!

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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2013, 04:38:26 PM »
I played KSP beta a year or two ago. I counted it a moment of pride that I was able to get my capsule to break orbit and Major Tom all my kerbals. I should try it again and see if I can actually establish orbit this time.

TimtheEnchanter

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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2013, 06:46:30 PM »
I really wish we put more into the space program. It has kind of waned recently, but in the long run I believe it's the one problem that we MUST solve to survive as a species.

And my preferred answer to dwindling natural resources has always been: Asteroid mining!

The trick though is, can we find a way of doing it effectively that doesn't burn more $ in resources than what we'd earn back from the rocks? They'd have to have some pretty good unobtanium in them too. The combined mass of the asteroid belt is estimated to be about 4% of the moon.


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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2013, 08:18:29 PM »
The trick though is, can we find a way of doing it effectively that doesn't burn more $ in resources than what we'd earn back from the rocks? They'd have to have some pretty good unobtanium in them too. The combined mass of the asteroid belt is estimated to be about 4% of the moon.
We just might find out what sort of profit margin we could expect before long.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/04/130410-asteroid-recovery-nasa-space-budget-science/
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TimtheEnchanter

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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2013, 10:16:33 PM »
We just might find out what sort of profit margin we could expect before long.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/04/130410-asteroid-recovery-nasa-space-budget-science/

It's still weird to me that we're actually going back to rockets.

On the other hand, cool, Earth is getting a second 'moon'!

And what the heck is the music in that conceptual video? I can't put my finger on it.

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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2013, 12:43:02 AM »
It's still weird to me that we're actually going back to rockets.
Using rockets is actually more efficient.  Back when they made the shuttles, though, that was what they felt was the best design for a reusable glider.  And that design wasn't going to mount to the top of a rocket very well, so they had to come up with a different propulsion system.  One of the biggest drawbacks to the booster system the shuttles used was that it had to propel the shuttle by dragging the orbiter on the back of the boosters, subjecting the whole assembly to some pretty major shearing stresses.  Putting a capsule back at the top of a rocket again (e.g. Orion), allows all of the force of the launch to be translated directly into thrust.  And placing the crew at the top of the whole rig allows safety escape systems to be used again.

We've actually continued using rockets all along for launching unmanned missions.

Quote
And what the heck is the music in that conceptual video? I can't put my finger on it.
I want to say something SciFi-ish.  Or maybe one of the Harry Potter movies?
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 12:50:04 AM by eabrace »
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downix

  • Phoenix Project Technical Lead
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Re: Kerbal Space Program
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2013, 04:42:39 AM »
It's still weird to me that we're actually going back to rockets.
Consider for a second, the Shuttle could loft at it's best point in life approximately 25 metric tons into low earth orbit.

Rearranging the same systems into a rocket configuration (studied multiple times, as the ALS, NLS, and DIRECT proposals) the delivered payload increases by approximately 300% to as much as Saturn V did.

The Shuttle was inefficient for the job. It did its job well, but for raw lift, nothing can beat a rocket.