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A father and son walk into a spaceplane hangar...
June 4, 2013 4:17 PM   Subscribe

Hullloooo, this is Scott Manely! He likes making tutorial videos of Kerbal Space Program, a space flight simulator game. After more than a few design suggestions from his father, who's an engineer, Scott decided to let him 'show me how it's done' and design a spaceplane.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (30 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
If only every family interaction was so jovial and aerospace-oriented.
posted by GuyZero at 4:28 PM on June 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Scott Manley rocks.
did you intentionally misspell his name in the tags?
posted by slater at 4:37 PM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


He also just did one where he teaches his wife how to play and one a ways back where he flies a rocket built by his kid.
posted by nathan_teske at 4:49 PM on June 4, 2013


If you watch any of the tutorial Kerbal videos and feel you'll never match up (or even if you don't), his recent "I'm not a Kerbal savant" is quite nice.
posted by timfinnie at 4:56 PM on June 4, 2013


I have spent more time then I would want to admit on that game.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 5:05 PM on June 4, 2013


Podkayne of Pasadena - It's not a game if you keep a notebook filled with equations next to the computer.
posted by nathan_teske at 5:12 PM on June 4, 2013


Mechjeb? Ninja, please.
posted by chemoboy at 5:40 PM on June 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


nathan_teske: In order to be able to dock I actually had to spend a couple hours on the web looking up orbital mechanics concepts - and I looked at a couple of Manley's videos (heh - what a voice!) .

I think this is a fantastic game because although stuff blows up you're not out to hurt anyone at all. This game was made by a team of independent guys down in Mexico and imho represents what people do when corporations aren't forcing them to pander to the LCD.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 5:52 PM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I have no idea what they're talking about, but I just love the accents.
posted by maryr at 5:59 PM on June 4, 2013


"Our plan is flawless!" 21:43 in "I am not a Kerbal savant," is great.
posted by zippy at 6:06 PM on June 4, 2013


Love this game and Scott's vids.
posted by PugAchev at 6:40 PM on June 4, 2013


Scott Manley was the reason I bought KSP in the first place. Love the videos!

And meanwhile, in another part of the galaxy, Macey Dean has taken KSP and turned it into a space fighter sim complete with carriers, fighters, and torpedoes. (with a bit of creative lore)
posted by samsara at 6:47 PM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Kerbal civilization evidently builds spaceships the way I build software...
posted by schmod at 7:07 PM on June 4, 2013


Waiting for resources, guys...give it to me.

[NOT KETHANE-IST]
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:16 PM on June 4, 2013


If you want a real challenge in Kerbal Space Program, try moving a 600 ton asteroid from an inclined orbit of Eve back to a circular orbit of Kerbin, without aerobraking it through the Kerbin atmosphere.
posted by thewalrus at 7:37 PM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't play KSP anymore until someone fixes the ODRA autodocking mod, or makes a new auto-docking solution. I can't manually dock anything to save the Kerbal race, and just flying to the Mun and back or 1 way to Duna/Eve is easy. Longer trips are pretty much impossible without docking, as the launch mechanics are still broken when your launch craft gets much over 300 parts.

Still enjoy the videos though
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:13 PM on June 4, 2013


If you can't dock anything, try this...

First, use MechJeb. It's not cheating, real spacecraft have onboard computers with things like radar/laser rangefinders, etc.

Get within 2 to 3 km of the target spacecraft by using maneuver nodes.

Open the 'target info' window and bring up the relative velocity figure.

Use MechJeb to hold your attitude at "RVEL-" (relative velocity minus) and burn until your relative velocity is almost nil, below 100mm/second.

Use MechJeb to hold you attitude "TGT+" (aimed directly at target) and burn to gain a few meters/second delta V.

Coast a while until you're closer to the target.

Once again zero your relative velocity.

Repeat until you are within 30 to 40 meters of the target and at zero relative velocity.

Done correctly you can dock this way with zero RCS.
posted by thewalrus at 8:38 PM on June 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Watched this with a huge grin on my face.
posted by schwa at 10:08 PM on June 4, 2013


Two more things. I love this game, it is probably my favorite game ever, if you can call it a game. This game diligently encouraged me to study things, like physics. The day I meet the future Ms. Chemoboy and I dazzle her with my knowledge of energy requirements in Hohmann orbit transfers and she chides me on confusing video game physics with real physics is probabl the day I expect to see you all the in the afterlife I hear they call Fark.
posted by chemoboy at 11:42 PM on June 4, 2013


The one thing that is definitely "different" in the game is the scale. Everything is much smaller. If it were a 1:1 representation of our solar system, the diameter of earth is about the same as the circumference of the orbit of Minmus. Instead of launching a rocket to low kerbin orbit in 8 minutes it would take 50 minutes.
posted by thewalrus at 12:02 AM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Haven't watched this yet - expecting to grin at some point in the next hour.
posted by vicx at 12:35 AM on June 5, 2013


I've been meaning to get into Kerbil Space Program. Designing and flying spaceships with realistic physics is awesome! Looks way cooler than their earlier game, Kerbil Space Pogrom, which just had way too dark of subject matter for such a cutesy game. Plus, hopefully this one will get a loss less flack from the Anti-Defamation League.
posted by Green Winnebago at 12:42 AM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am still trying to do a proper transfer to the Mun - I can get to orbit without too much hassle, but then I separate stages and my burn doesn't impart any delta-v. I think it's actually an error in the rocket design I have, so I'm gonna play around with that for a while. Game is both super-frustrating and super-amazingly-fun.

I watched/followed Manley's basic video to get to orbit, and after that I've just been dicking around. He's really easy to follow along.

I'm going biking for a week; I absolutely plan to bring paper and draw designs for rockets, as well as see if I can recreate the Hohmann transfer equations from my 10-year-old physics knowledge!
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:01 AM on June 5, 2013


I am still trying to do a proper transfer to the Mun - I can get to orbit without too much hassle, but then I separate stages and my burn doesn't impart any delta-v.

Using the largest tanks and engines to push into orbit works best. From there, you don't need a lot of power to reach Mun or Minmus.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:12 AM on June 5, 2013


I think it's actually an error in the rocket design I have

I wonder what you could be doing that a burn of any kind would impart no dv. You could post a .craft file and we could take a look...
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:29 AM on June 5, 2013


I haven't played any KSP in the past few weeks, due to general busy-ness. But I keep watching Scott's videos. They're just so much fun.

Fly safe!
posted by jiawen at 10:38 AM on June 5, 2013


If you can't dock anything, try this...

That's pretty much the method I was using to close within 100m of the target vessel, my problem comes with trying to line up the ports via translation after making the rendezvous. The Mechjeb method doesn’t line the crafts up close enough to make the dock connection, or I end up coming in on the wrong side, or smashing the crafts together. The ORDA mod was magic, close to within 100m, select two docking ports to align and activate autodocking, it lined everything up perfectly using RCS, flipping the ship around as necessary. Maybe my crafts are too complex to manage with multiple docking ports, or I need more planning to get a better aligned initial approach.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:37 AM on June 5, 2013


I have heard that MechJeb 2.0 has an auto-docking module that is really something. I haven't tried it yet, though.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 6:13 AM on June 6, 2013


MechJeb 2 is still in testing, so it's not totally polished yet, but the auto-docking module works decent enough. You usually have to use it with the upgrade Rendezvous module or pilot the ship in yourself to a hundred meters from the object.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:32 AM on June 6, 2013


Here's the instructions for the MechJeb2 AutoDocking pilot. Just gotta get within 200 meters and be able to select a docking port on the other ship.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:14 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


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