First Kerbal Space Program Mun return vehicle

2014-03-13

in Bombs and rockets, Geek stuff, Science, Space and flight

The category ‘Geek stuff‘ doesn’t begin to cover this one. At the same time, I am grateful when ‘Bombs and rockets‘ isn’t about killing real people.

I used to take breaks from academic work by playing Starcraft II, but I haven’t loaded that game once since I got the demo and eventually the full version of Kerbal Space Program (KSP). It’s unambiguously one of my favourite games of all time. Nonetheless, there are several steep learning curves. Each stage of your development in KSP roughly approximates an area of knowledge necessary for real rocket science: maneuvering, orbital mechanics, rocket design, the understanding that a lot of your astronauts will die because of your mistakes (especially if you tinker with spaceplanes).

The full version of the game doesn’t come with a craft that has a decent chance of landing on the Mun and returning safely to Kerbin. I have modified the Kerbal X to be able to do this with amateur piloting skills.

This craft relies on a couple of plugins: MechJeb (fly to the Mun, land, and return home without using it at all for major geek points) and Kerbal Joint Reinforcement (your rocket may shake apart and explode without it).

Here it is: Modified Kerbal X with more fuel and engines and extras to help you land on the Mun (version IV)

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan March 13, 2014 at 10:40 pm

Sentient beings who survived this challenging ordeal:

KSP Mun landing survivors on Kerbin

Milan March 13, 2014 at 10:48 pm

P.S. Science probably works like this.

Milan March 14, 2014 at 12:12 pm

The craft is Minmus-capable:

Lander on Minmus

On a Minmus mountainside, overlooking landing site

In fact, it’s a much easier place to land – less gravity, and big flat spaces.

Milan March 17, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Testing an atomic rocket which may eventually be adequate for interplanetary travel:

Atomic rocket in Kerbal Space Program

One bonus I learned today: you can run the KSP demo on a Mac without the need for an admin password

ann March 17, 2014 at 11:04 pm
3432513474 March 17, 2014 at 11:26 pm
. March 28, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Orbiter is a freeware space flight simulator program developed to simulate spaceflight using realistic Newtonian physics. The simulator was first released on 27 November 2000, with the most recent of several versions 100830 released on 30 August 2010.

Milan April 19, 2014 at 5:16 pm

The last few days have involved a few KSP study breaks from grading, writing papers, and doing comp prep:

KSP-collage-2014-04-19

Nuclear-powered orbital centrifuge in KSP

Milan May 5, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Orbital solar power station:

Space-based solar power station - Kerbal Space Program

First successful docking:

First successful docking Space - Kerbal Space Program

Milan May 15, 2014 at 1:12 am

Milan March 8, 2017 at 4:50 pm

The relay networks in KSP 1.2 are a great addition to the game.

Here’s a little system I set up around Jool to support orbiter and lander missions to its moons:

I like watching the geometry of the radio links shifts as planets and moons progress in their orbits.

Milan March 8, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Here’s the whole Kerbal system, with relays in orbit around Kerbin, Eve, and the star itself (to minimize outages from planetary eclipses):

And locally around Kerbin, the Mun, and Minmus:

. November 7, 2017 at 2:18 am

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