OS Neutral Kerbal Space Program Quick and Dirty

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Huntn, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. Huntn, Mar 29, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #1
    MRs Guide: Kerbal Space Program

    kerbals_1920x1080.jpg
    *click to enlarge images

    Updates
    *29March2014- Guide Created.

    Introduction
    This Guide is a work in progress for a Mac/PC Game available for purchase as pre-release (beta) on Steam currently at $30 (March 2015). This guide may seem long, but it’s the tip of the iceburg and I’m basically just getting started! :p Please report errors, broken links, or if you find this guide generally confusing. Reply to this post or send me, Huntn, a Private Message.

    KSP In Orbit2.jpg

    What is the Kerbal Space Program?
    It’s a Sandbox style space program simulator where you help the Kerbals on planet Kerbin venture into space.
    *Game Modes- Sandbox, Science, and Career. Sandbox gives you everything, you just have to figure how to make it work. Science Mode requires you make scientific discoveries to advance the program. Money is not an issue. Career Mode, IMO is an odd notion that a space program can be profitable from the start. Contracts can be fulfilled with challenges to earn revenue. When you look at the cost of upgrading facilities (up to and over $1M) you might wonder what the heck?
    At this point (March 2015) I prefer Science Mode as I don’t believe it’s realistic for a Space Program to be profitable in the short term, but I like the Contracts offered in Career Mode because they give me challenges to accomplish, so I’ve elected to play Career Mode on Easy. This is set on the New Game Window. Click on “normal” difficulty and change it to easy with some other parameters that can be changed like starting funds.

    SpaceStation ssshiny1.jpg

    How Realistic Is It?
    Well, as far as flying rockets into orbit, it feel pretty good for a novice who has never planned or ridden in a manned rocket flight. However realistically, I’d have to describe the basic vanilla program as forgiving and arcade like. That’s good or bad depending on what you expect or demand. Things can happen like your rocket can spin around and not come apart, reentry has no damaging effects, come in as steep as you like. Space planes are ever worse, the flight model in the atmosphere is arcade and does not come close to any respected flight sim such as X-Plane.

    The other issue I have is lack of instrumentation in this space program and no frick’n autopilot. Astronauts don’t hand fly rockets in the launch phase, and for reentry, it is normally computer controlled, although the approach and landing was manually flown. According to this link: Space Shuttle Reentry and Landing, the reentry phase was normally computer controlled, although with flight guidance in an emergency, it could be manually flown. And the final approach although it could be handled with auto-pilot, was normally manually flown for pilot proficiency.

    There are some things that approximate computers, such as the orbit representation in map view, flight data, the map view visual aid for executing transfer orbits and the Maneuver Node. I’m still irritated in KSP when there are times I’m expected to basically look out the window and hold a wet finger up to the air for some Kentucky windage. Such as when trying to fly to a waypoint and you can’t see it on your Nav Ball. Space flight equals computers. :)

    That said, the program is under-development in pre-release status (March 2015), a significant physics update is expected and there are several mods that are reported to add realism to the flight experience such as FAR and Deadly Reentry. A mod called “Waypoint Manager” eases the pain of navigating to a point, and an autopilot is offered in the MechJeb Mod. See the Mod section. I’ve been looking for the reported “Kerbin Beauty Mod” which is supposed to add clouds and weather to Kerbin...

    Despite my complaints, I can report from my experience, this space program simulation is compelling! It does enough things right, that you feel like you are guiding a rocket into orbit (and eventually to other planets). Watching a space capsule and/or space plane traveling in orbit with a bird’s eye seat, as the Earth-like Kerbin rotates underneath is really cool.



    Game Beta Issues
    *Astronaut Facility Upgrades- No option to upgrade Astronaut Facility when playing 64bit version of game. This means that in Career Mode you can’t upgrade the facilities properly, and would be hindered playing in that mode on the 64bit version of the game which is found in the Kerbal Space Program Game folder. For now (March 2015), play the 32bit version of the game, also in the game folder.

    Misc Links
    *Kerbal Space Program and can be also found on Steam.
    *KSP Wiki Main Page
    *KSP Wiki Tutorials
    *Kerbal Space Program Forums- Tons of KSP info here and the ability to ask questions! :)
    *Basic Maneuvers



    Basics/Tips
    *Game Difficulty- The easier the setting the more starting funds you have and the more forgiving the game is.
    *Make Money with Contracts that are only offered as part of Career Mode game play. They are the only structure offered in the game. Some Contracts never expire, but notice that they have failure clauses, so don’t accept a contract until your ready to do it. If you fly and don’t meet the conditions you’ll reap the penalty.
    *Crew Experience
    *Non-responsive Ship:] If your ship is non-responsive to commands either you have run out of electrical power or you might be in accelerated time.
    *Ships and Saves Ships are saved independent of game progress, just be sure to name the ship and hit the save button at the top of the Hanger screen. In Career Mode or Science Mode, with a downloaded ship, you may notice that it is locked because you have not advanced enough to get all the needed parts. You’ll be able to examine it in the hanger, but won’t be able to fly it. However, the ship can still be flown in Sandbox Mode, by starting a new Sandbox Mode game.

    Facilities
    *http://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/Launch_pad
    *http://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/Astronaut_Complex
    *Mission Control
    *Research Center
    *Space Plane Complex
    *Runway

    Basic Terms and Concepts
    *Basic Terms and Concept Links

    -Action Groups[/b]
    -EVA: Extra Vehicle Activity, a space walk. In Contract Mode, astronauts must be upgraded to do EVAs.
    -Maneuvering
    -NavBall
    -Prograde Vector (PV): Points at velocity vector, which direction ship is headed in orbit.
    -Retrograde Vector: (RV) Points opposite direction of velocity vector. Ship is facing opposite from direction is is traveling. If thrusters are fired in this orientation, the ship will slow and it’s orbit altitude will decrease.
    -Prograde Waypoint Vector: Points to current waypoint.
    -Retrograde Waypoint Vector: Points opposite of direction of current waypoint.
    -Normal Vector: Perpendicular to orbital plane facing 90°. For reference, if the Inclination of the orbit is 0° around the equator, the Normal Vector Points North. When nose placed on this icon, the ship will be oriented towards the North Pole and firing thrusters will increase the inclination of the orbit.
    -Anti Normal Vector: Perpendicular to orbital plane facing South Pole. When nose placed on this icon, the ship will be oriented towards the South Pole and firing thrusters will decrease the inclination of the orbit.
    -AP= Apoapsis- Highest point of orbit (farthest away from planet). Appears on orbit depiction using “M” (map). Placing cursor on it, reveals, time to reach it, and it’s altitude in meters.
    -PE= Periapsis- Lowest point of orbit (closest to planet). Appears on orbit depiction using “M” (map). Placing cursor on it, reveals, time to reach it, and it’s altitude in meters.
    -Inclination: Angle of orbit above planet’s equator. Inclination of 0° is an equatorial orbit. 90° is a polar orbit. Increasing inclination at the slowest part (Lowest?) of the orbit requires less fuel (less Delta-V).
    -Delta-V: is a measure of the impulse that is needed to perform a maneuver such as launch from, or landing on a planet or moon, or in-space orbital maneuver. Delta-v is proportional to the thrust per unit mass, and burn time of a vehicle's rocket engines, and is used to determine the mass of propellant required for the given maneuver through the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation.

    *Space Planes (updated 29Mar15)
    -As of March 2015, the airfoils provided in the game are symmetrical and provide no lift like a traditional wing at 0° Angle of Attack (AOA). In essence these are not the kind of airplane wings you generally find on an airplane, however, maybe the caveat is that these are Space Planes, planes designed to fly into orbit and return to Kerbin. Lift is generated, but the flight model is arcade. Planes will fly, and sometimes flip around in 360s, but no worries. :) Unless the FAR Mod is installed (see Mod section), it’s not too challenging unless you don’t keep your Center of Lift and Center of Mass, close to being married up.

    *Transfer Orbit: An orbit used to transfer between two orbits, the original orbit (example: Planet Kerbin) to the new orbit (example: Mun). See How-To’s Section.

    *SAS: Stability Augmentation System: (T or hold F). Counters rotation. Stabilizes the ship making it easier to manually control. (Additional link.
    -RCS: Reaction Control System* (R) Maintains orientation of ship with separate fuel source from thrusters. To avoid constant drain of RCS fuel, it is recommended to not have both the RCS and the SAS systems enabled at the same time, unless you need to keep your ship dead level and/or have RCS fuel to spare.

    Getting Started Videos


    KSP Orbiter Rocketjpg.jpg

    *Rocket Construction:
    Construction consists of three Fueled Stages, (1)solid fueled boosters for initial launch, (2)a main liquid fueled stage for climbing to approximately 85Km (85000M, 278000’), and(3) a final liquid fueled Stage for insertion into orbit and re-entry.

    See the Notes in this section. This configuration is based on your astronauts being able to do EVAs in space. In order of Construction, use the following components: Mk1 Command Pod, 2HOT Thermometer (on pod), Comms DTS-M1 Comm & Data Transmission (on pod), Z-100 Rechargeable Battery Pack (on Pod), Mk16 Parachute, TR18A-Stack Decoupler (between Pod and Science Module), SC-9001 Science Jr, 2 Mystery Goo Canisters mounted on Science package, FL-T400 Fuel Tank, LV-909 Liquid Fuel Engine, TR18A-Stack Decoupler, FL-T800 Fuel Tank, FL-T400 Fuel Tank, LV-T45 Liquid Fuel Engine, 4 AV-T1 Winglets, 4 RT-10 Solid Fuel Boosters capped with Aerodynamic Nose Cones, attached at base of rocket between Winglets, using 4 TT-38K Radial Decouplers (1 per engine).

    With this configuration, due to all of the weight sitting on the T45 Engine nozzle, it might break when it’s sitting on the launch pad. Note I tried to lower the Solid Fuel Boosters so they would support the weight, but I could not comfortably achieve that. So a TR-18A Decoupler plus a Modular Girder Segment was added to the bottom of each Solid Fuel Booster.

    Adjust the Solid Fuel Boosters to 2/3 of their normal thrust. Right Click on the Booster, a window with a green bar labeled Thrust Limiter is displayed. Click in that bar to limit it’s thrust to approximately 2/3. Depending on where in the bar you click will set a different thrust setting. If these engines were applied as 1 group of 4, changing this setting on one engine, changes the setting for all engines. The author says that limiting thrust makes for a longer burn, but at less thrust, I’m not sure what this is achieving.

    *Alterations from Video: Video uses 3 FL-T400 Fuel Tanks in the lower Fuel Stage with 180 Liquid Fuel Each (Total Fuel- 540). Instead I opted for FL-T800 + FL-T400 (Total Fuel-540). For no particular reason I added 2HOT Thermometer (on pod), Comms DTS-M1 Comm & Data Transmission (on pod), Z-100 Rechargeable Battery Pack (on Pod), so I can maybe send a report, although they have less data than once physically brought back, a thermometer to do a temp reading, and a battery pack although I don’t know if I’d run out of juice if I did not have one...

    *Notes: This configuration requires the Kerbal to perform an EVA to retrieve Science Data from both the Science Module and Mystery Goo containers. The advantage is that this setup does not require landing legs for the Science package which is jettisoned in flight. However, in Career Mode, the Astronaut Complex must be upgraded so Kerbals can perform EVAs in space. If these can’t be performed, then attach the Science Module to the bottom of the Command pod, placing the decoupler below the Science Module. Also affix 3 LT-1 Landing Struts to Science Module. If this is not done, the Science Module will be destroyed along with its science research on touchdown using a parachute.

    Mission Control and the Tracking Station must be upgraded in Career Mode to enable Maneuver Nodes. If you don’t have enough money to upgrade, then for insertion into orbit, instead of creating a Maneuver Node, you can simply lower the nose to the Nav Ball horizon and fire your engines for the insertion portion of the flight, switching to Map to see at what point an orbit has been established by monitoring the heights of the AP and PE.

    All flights into orbit should be planned to fly towards the East (90°) after initial flight segment to 10KM (32,000 feet) straight up to take advantage of the speed of the Earth’s rotation.

    *Staging: Working from Top to Bottom there are 6 Stages, however the stages activate from the bottom up. This is why the parachute is last.
    -Stage 0= Reentry Parachute.
    -Stage 1= Decoupler between Command Pod and Science Package.
    -Stage2= LV-909 Ignition.
    -Stage 3= Decoupler to eject the Spent T45 Engine section.
    -Stage 4= T45 Ignition.
    -Stage 5= Decouplers to eject the spent Solid Fuel Boosters.
    -Stage 6 = Decouplers on bottom of Solid Fuel Boosters + Solid Fuel Booster Ignition.


    *Flight:
    -Part 1: Make sure you have the Orbit Kerbin Contract activated if you are in Career Mode.
    -Part 2: Launch and Fly straight up to 10KM (10,000M). I engaged SAS prior to launch.
    -Part 3: At 10000 M, adjust Flight Path to 45° pitch towards 90° (East). This should be the “D” key. As Solid Fuel Booster Burn out, switch to the first Liquid Fuel Stage. After the First Liquid Fuel Stage burns out, switch to the Second Liquid Fuel Stage, then switch to Map Screen (M) place your cursor on the AP and and when it reaches approximately 100,000M (100KM) cut the engine.
    -Part 4: Orbit Insertion. If you do nothing more at this point and look at the Map (Orbital View- M), you’ll path is an elliptical which will take you back to a landing on Kerbal. On the Map Screen (M), click on the AP and create a Maneuver Node (MN) by clicking on the AP and “create”. Drag out the Prograde Vector icon (yellow) until a yellow dashed orbit line is created with a PE on it and the PE equals approximately the same altitude as the AP. Be gentle, if you pull it out too rapidly you’ll end up with a path that skips you out of Earth’s orbit. As soon as this is established, switch back to the rocket. You’ll see a burn bar on the right of the Nav Ball with a Delta V change of about 900M/S and a time until reaching the MN. There is also a new blue icon which is where you want your space craft pointed at for the burn. Put your nose on the icon. About 10 seconds prior to reaching the MN, make your insertion burn full power until the burn bar reduces to zero and then cut the engine. If all goes well you’ll have inserted yourself into orbit with an approximately circular orbit.

    Note: I tried this multiple times (make use of the F5 key- Quick Save to reload the segment of the flight if you don’t like how it goes) and I always ended up with an unbalanced orbit, something like 80KM PE and 120KM AP. With a small adjustment using the raise or lower the AP or PE, I quickly corrected it at the cost of more fuel. If you made it into orbit, Grats! :)

    *Part 5: Do any science, Mystery Goo, Crew Reports, Thermometer Readings, etc. If you’ve designed this aircraft where the Science Module can’t be retrieved (no landing gear), then conduct an EVA and be warned it’s tricky!
    *Part 6: Return to Kerbin. You should still have the last stage with some fuel in it. Align the ship with the Retrograde Vector on the Nav Ball and fire the Engine. The goal is to get down to a PE of at least 35K meters (115,000’) this will be low enough that the atmosphere will slow you down for a landing. If you have enough fuel, you can fire it until the orbital path no longer is an orbit, but an eliptic with a landing point on Kerbin.

    * Maneuvering in Orbit
    - To raise the AP- Orient the ship towards the PV and fire thrust at PE. Thusters will increase the speed of the ship, raising it’s altitude at the AP (opposite side of orbit). PE altitude remains basically the same.
    -To raise the PE, Orient the ship towards the PV and fire thrust at AP. Thrusters will increase the speed of the ship, raising the altitude of the PE (lopposite side of orbit). AP altitude remains basically the same.
    Note: A circular orbit is achieved by maneuvering the ship so the AP and PE are at the same altitude.
    -[/b]To Lower Orbit[/b]:, reverse orientation so that the nose is facing the Anti-Normal Vector (opposite direction from which ship is traveling and fire thrusters. At 60,000 meters, atmosphere will start slowing the ship down, so that it won’t have enough velocity to rise back up again without firing thrusters.

    *How to a do a Kerbin Survey Contract: Some corporation will want you to fly over a spot and survey it either above or below an altitude. Once the Contract appears in the Contract List at Mission Control, visit the Tracking Station and see exactly where it is before you commit to it.
    KSP (March 2015) does not have adequate navigation info IMHO to easily perform these. The easiest way to approach these missions is to install the Waypoint Manager (See the Mods section). Adjust setting as you want and the info you desire, like a heading towards, and distance from will appear at the top of your screen in addition to a floating waypoint icon that appears before you’ll fly over it in Map view.

    *Transfer Orbit: (As described in In-Game Tutorial- To The Mun.) An orbit used to transfer between two orbits, the original orbit (example: Earth) to the new orbit (example: Moon). The idea is to project your space ship’s path with the target’s path so you both arrive the same place at the same time, in the vicinity of the Moon (Mun).
    -On Map, click on orbit to create a Maneuver Node (MN). Click on the “Add Maneuver” Button to create the Node. Note, that it has all of the icons used for adjusting orbit- Prograde and Retrograde (green), Normal Vector and Antinormal Vector (purple), and Radial and Antiradial (blue). Remember Prograde and Retrogrde grow and shrink the orbit, while Normal Vector and Antinormal Vector tilt the orbit.
    -Scroll mouse to shrink size of orbit so that both the planet and moon can be seen.
    -Adjust/increase the Prograde Vector (Green icon). Click on and drag the arm so that the Apoapsis of the new orbit intercepts the Moon’s orbit about 45° ahead of it. If the orbit and intercept point is correct, the color of the orbit will change from yellow to green indicating ship will be within the influence of the moon. If the new orbit does not turn green, when the new orbit is in close proximity to the Moon’s orbit, the Maneuver Node will have to be adjusted.
    -Adjust the Maneuver Node Location: The location of the Maneuver Node may have to be adjusted to intercept the Moon’s orbit 45° ahead of it. Click and drag on the Maneuver Node icon to drag it along the ships current orbit. After dragging the PV may have to be adjusted too. After making adjustments, if the proposed orbit is not green, make adjustments to MN location and PV.
    -Nav Ball- on the right side, will include a curved Velocity Change (Delta-V) bar, with an indicator of how long it will take to reach the Maneuver Node, the Estimated burn time, and the amount of velocity change that will result. And a Blue Maneuver Icon which you want the nose of the ship on when firing thrusters.
    -Start the Burn: In the example, the burn is 20 seconds long. At half the time of the burn before the reaching the burn point, 10 seconds prior to reaching the PE, start the engines, full thrust. As you burn, the Delta V bar will shrink. Estimate Burn number did not show up until engines started? At the end of the burn time, secure the engine.
    -Ideally the ship will be captured by the moon, and a new blue orbit will appear as a partial blue arc, which should include a PE. This represents an escape trajectory and if nothing is done, the space ship will zing off into space. To be captured by the moon you’ll have to slow down. Orient yourself to the RV and fire the engine when reaching the PE until the blue arc shrinks and elongates into a circle. If there is no PE, create a MN and adjust the Radial or Antiradial handle to the the Periapsis where you want it. Once established in an orbit of the moon, it can be adjusted using by burning engines as described above (lowering or raising the AP or PE).


    Equipment Notes
    *Parachute Contract Notes: For Mk16 Parachute Test, check conditions deploy between 23.2-31.7 at speed 270-470 M/S.Parachute notes: When deployed above 22k, may not deploy until 22k, in streaming configuration, actually opens/inflates at approx 400M.

    *Decoupler: When placed at bottom of a stage and that stage includes an engine, it will cover up the engine.
    url=http://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/Stayputnik_Mk._1]Stayputnik Mk.1[/url]

    *Stability Augmentation System- Included in all Command Modules.

    *Reaction Control System.

    *Electric Charge.


    Mods
    *Kerbal Space Program Mods @Curse.com.
    *Kerbal Stuff[/url
    *
    Astronomer's Visual Pack- Interstellar V2- said to imporve the looks of Kerbin, but so far (March2015) having some issues getting a good copy of the mod that will unzip properly.
    *Deadly Re-entry- More realistic reentry from orbit and heat damage if it’s not done right.
    *Ferram Aerospace Research Mod- You want flight model realism? Frequently referenced in community as FAR.
    *MechJeb]MechJeb Flight Guidence (User Manual.
    *Waypoint Manager makes a huge difference, including a heading to the way point, can you imagine? :p Its pretty much automatic, although there are settings for how you want it to work. Activate a designated point on the Map Page (M) and when you lift off, immediately you'll have a heading (set in its settings), plus you'll see an icon in the distance that eventually appears on the surface and tracks under you. Are the Devs letting the mod community flesh in their game for them?


    Huntn’s Building Log Playing Career Easy
    *Basic Solid Fuel Rocket 1- Mk1 Capsule, transmission antennas (Communotron 16), Mk16 Parachute, and RT-10 Solid Fuel Booster. Remember to separate into 2 stages, parachute from SF engine (lower right of screen), with Engine as Stage 1, and Parachute as Stage 2. Altitude achieved: 10k Meters. Contract Completed: Launch New Ship; Set altitude record of 5k meters. Crew Report on Launch Pad sent via transmitter, EVA’d (hung on outside of Capsule on launch pad pre-launch Crew Report, Crew Report at apex of flight, after landing Crew Report on second EVA in grasslands West of launch site. Science earned: 46. Note on Normal difficulty, Science will by half of this total. (Basic Rocketry-5, provides a decoupler; General Rocketry-20, upgrade liquid fuel engine, and solid fuel boosters) Survivability-15, provides landing legs for later flight.

    *Basic Solid FuelRocket 2- Mk1 Capsule, transmission antennas (Communotron 16), Mk16 Parachute, TR-18A Stack Decoupler, 3 Mystery Goo Experiments, Rockomax BACC SF Booster. Remember to separate into 3 stages (lower right of screen), with Engines a Stage 1, Decoupler Stage 2, and Parachute as Stage 3 (marked as Stage 0; Stages activate from large to smaller numbers). Experiments- Mystery Goo on launch pad, Mystery Goo in Upper Atmosphere, Mystery Goo in water, Crew Report at Apex of Flight, Crew Report from water, EVA report water. Science earned:44.


    *Basic Obiter
    -Borowed from this video: KSP Tutorial For Beginners 3- Achieving Orbit. See the “Achieving Obit” Section for more detailed info...
    Construction consists of three Fueled Stages, (1)solid fueled boosters for initial launch, (2)a main liquid fueled stage for climbing to approximately 85Km (85000M, 278000’), and(3) a final liquid fueled Stage for insertion into orbit and re-entry.

    This configuration is based on your astronauts being able to do EVAs in space. In order of Construction, use the following components: Mk1 Command Pod, 2HOT Thermometer (on pod), Comms DTS-M1 Comm & Data Transmission (on pod), Z-100 Rechargeable Battery Pack (on Pod), Mk16 Parachute, TR18A-Stack Decoupler (between Pod and Science Module), SC-9001 Science Jr, 2 Mystery Goo Canisters mounted on Science package, FL-T400 Fuel Tank, LV-909 Liquid Fuel Engine, TR18A-Stack Decoupler, FL-T800 Fuel Tank, FL-T400 Fuel Tank, LV-T45 Liquid Fuel Engine, 4 AV-T1 Winglets, 4 RT-10 Solid Fuel Boosters capped with Aerodynamic Nose Cones, attached at base of rocket between Winglets, using 4 TT-38K Radial Decouplers (1 per engine).

    With this configuration, due to all of the weight sitting on the T45 Engine nozzle, it might break when it’s sitting on the launch pad. Note I tried to lower the Solid Fuel Boosters so they would support the weight, but I could not comfortably achieve that. So a TR-18A Decoupler plus a Modular Girder Segment was added to the bottom of each Solid Fuel Booster.

    ____________________________
    End
     
  2. rcp27 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    #2
    A few comments to add:

    Basic Tips:

    If you accept a contract, you don't have to complete it on your next flight. If you fly a mission and fail to meet the requirements of an active contract, you don't suffer the penalty, you can keep trying to meet the contract requirements. You will only suffer the penalty if you abandon the contract or the time limit expires.

    If you decline a contract without first accepting it, you pay no penalty. This can be useful because only a limited number of contracts are available at any given time, and if the ones offered are too hard or not to your taste, you can decline them to force a new one to spawn that might be better.

    SAS:

    If you play in career, as you level up your astronauts, they gain additional abilities. In particular, the pilot gains added SAS functionality. A level zero pilot can use SAS to hold course on the current heading. At level 1 he gains the ability to point prograde and retrograde. At level 2 he can also point radial/anti-radial and normal/anti-normal. At level 3 he can also point at the manoeuvre node and at the target (useful for orbital rendezvous and docking). Probe cores also come with some of these abilities, depending on the particular probe core. In sandbox and science mode, these abilities are automatically unlocked from the beginning.

    EVA:

    In addition to allowing for spacewalk in orbit, this can also be used to get out and walk around on the surface of other planets/moons, and while on the surface the astronaut can get science by taking a surface sample (surface sample requires an upgrade in career mode).

    Science:

    There are several ways to get science:

    Crew report. Requires a capsule with a kerbal in it. Can be transmitted for full science value.

    EVA report: go on EVA, take EVA report. Can be done in space, on the surface or in flight. If done in flight there is a big risk you will be blown off the ship if it is flying quickly. Once you are back in the ship, you can right click on the capsule, review stored data and have the option to transmit it. EVA reports can be transmitted for full value

    Instruments: thermometer, barometer, seismic accelerometer, gravity detecor. Place these on your ship, right-click and collect science. They don't all work in all locations, for example the barometer only works in an atmosphere, seismic accelerometer only works landed. Once you have the data, you can transmit it for a small fraction of its scientific value, or you can EVA, go to the instrument, "collect data", and store that data in the capsule. If you take an instrument to lots of different places (e.g. launch pad, in flight in the atmosphere, in orbit of Kerbin, in orbit of Mun, landed on Mun etc) you can get multiple measurements, one from each location, but you have to "collect data" from each measurement before you can take the next one. To get the full science value, you need to actually return the data to Kerbin. If the data is still in the instrument, returning the instrument and "recoveing vessel" is good enough. If you collect data and store it in your capsule, you don't actually need to bring the instrument back, just the capsule with the data.

    Experiments: Mystery goo canister and science Jr materials bay. They work like the instruments, but are a once-use, once you take the data or transmit it, the experiment can not be repeated. If your ship has a science lab on it, with 2 kerbals inside, they can "clean experiments", resetting them and allowing them to be used multiple times. Science labs are big and heavy, though.

    Surface Sample: On a planet surface, go on EVA, and take a surface sample. Return it to your capsule. Works like instruments in every other respect.

    Return a ship: If you return a ship successfully from having been somewhere, you get science points for doing that.

    Biomes: These are somewhat erroneously named locations around and about the Kerbin system. Each planetary body has "in space near" and "in space far". For atmospheric planets/moons, there is "in flight high" and "in flight low". The surfaces of different bodies are divided into lots of different biomes reflecting the geography of the body. In general, each type of science can be collected from each biome, up to a limit (generally two measurements will max it out). Not all types of science are gained from all biomes (for example "return a ship" only gets science from "landed on" once per planet/moon, not once for each biome).

    Keyboard Commands:

    If you have RCS switched on, in addition to WASDQE controlling pitch/roll/yaw, you can also use IJKLHN to operate RCS thrusters in "translate" (think "strafe" in FPS) mode. This is pretty much essential for docking.

    Tips for Career Mode:

    Occasionally you will get contracts that come up for "gather science from space around Kerbin/Mun/Minmus/wherever". At the first opportunity, put a satellite in orbit of each planet/moon with solar panels, a thermometer and a transmitter. Leave it there. The next time one of these contracts comes up, accept it, go to the mission control and take control of that satellite, log data from the thermometer and transmit. It doesn't matter whether you already have collected all the data from that location, just doing that is enough to complete the contract. If you use a "place satellite in a specific orbit" contract to pay for getting the satellite to that location, even better, because it pays your launch costs. Free money.

    Contracts also reward science. Sometimes in career mode, you hit a bit of a limit because to get to the next planet/moon you really need to unlock more parts, but can't easily get science until you've actually gone there. Doing a few basic level contracts can get you enough science to unlock those precious parts. At present (0.90) the "outsourced R&D" strategy that converts funds rewarded for contracts into science points is hugely overpowered, and gets tons of science points. Likely to be nerfed soon, but it can also get you over those awkward moments

    Don't feel bound by contracts. Much of the fun in KSP is just flying cool space missions and building cool space stations. Contracts are a way to enable you to earn the money to do what you want. Don't feel bound to just grind contracts, make sure you also have fun. Personally I like to play on custom career mode and turn up the funds rewards for contracts because it means I have more cash to do cool things and the contracts are less of a grind.

    Failure is fun. Explosions are awesome when you actually crash, and if you try a crazy mission and it goes wrong, use that as an incentive. For example, maybe you went to fly to Mun and didn't bring enough fuel. Working out a rescue mission to bring the pilot home (and all his precious science) is a really fun challenge.
     
  3. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #3
    Thanks, I'll see about incorporating these tips into the guide. :)
     
  4. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #4
    Consider this game is like Carer Mode.

    ...How to make profit off a rocket-science big math game!
     

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