We’ve recently been introduced to the Kerbal Space Program. Turns out rocket science is right up our alley! We built and launched home made model rockets together as kids, and now we’re building and launching model rockets as adults.
In an effort to give back to the community (and since the official channels are down for maintenance) and show off, here’s our version of a probe (in v0.19.1) that can reach any location in the game. It can even land and take off from the smaller moons (Gilly, Minmus, Bop, and Pol).
I present, the AnyProbe Mk IIIB
Some vital statistics:
- Probe Mass: 1.64 t
- Propulsion: 2x ion drive
- Acceleration: 0.61 m/s▓
- Total burn time: 8750 s (2.43 hours)
- Total delta v: 5.4 km/s
The probe is inherently stable (center of thrust “in front” of cg) and launcháleaves no orbital debris (see below).
It is upside-down on the stack to allow for easy mounting of additional payload to the “bottom” of the probe. That said, an additional mass of 0.1t will reduce acceleration to 0.57m/s▓ and range to 5 km/s.
- Keep in mind that the navball is “upside-down” during launch, until the third stage is separated
- Launch at about nine in the morning, maybe 30 degrees before noon
- Turn on SAS
- Full throttle
- Trim (alt+direction) yaw about three “clicks” to the right (I don’t know why, but this keeps it mostly on track)
- Burn the SRBs straight up (or a little east)
- Seperate the first stage
- Zero the trim (alt+x) or you’ll fall over!
- Burn hard on the second stage, heeling over to about 45 deg by the time the second stage burns out
- Separate the second stage
- You should now have an apo around 100+km
- About a minute before apo, burn hard with the third stage toward the eastern horizon
- Don’t stop burning until the third stage is out of fuel
- At this point you should have a 4+Mm apo on the dark side of the planet with 100+km peri
- Open the solar panels! (this is important, you’ll run out of power by apo if you don’t)
- Wait until apo.
- At apo, face retrograde (if you haven’t changed orientation since launch, turn completely around) and separate the third stage. The sepratrons will de-orbit it handily.
- Launch complete! Send the probe wherever you want!