Things Learned, Things Yet To Learn

Theoretically, I had all day yesterday to mess around with Kerbal Space Program.  But I really was sick, and slept most of the day.

(A coworker jokingly accused me of calling in sick so I could spend the day playing World of Warcraft with her husband, who had also called in sick from his job.) (I don’t play World of Warcraft.)

I still have that lander orbiting Mun while I figure out how to land it. I’m pretty sure I know how to do it now, thanks to numerous YouTube videos and this wonderful post. I’m just too chicken to try it right now. This game, as silly as it is, gets to be a little too realistic and I hate to crash a ship I’ve put so much work into.

While that lander is orbiting Mun, I decided to have some fun and send a sibling lander to Minmus (the other moon of Kerbal). I’ve heard and read that landing on Minmus is easier than landing on Mun, because Minmus has less gravity and also features large, flat ice lakes. I used the same ship, but altered the lander slightly, so that they’d look similar but not identical. I sent the second lander into a stable orbit around Kerbin.

I have become quite comfortable with getting ships into an orbit, as well as adjusting the orbits.

I just could not get my second lander to Minmus. I’m stumped. I’ve watched Scott Manley’s YouTube video in which he explains that it’s just like going to Mun, except that Minmus is farther away, so you need to aim for the little green dot as it appears over the Kerbin horizon. (The problem with that is that I can’t set the graphics to the highest settings on the laptop, so it’s tough to make out a little green dot among all the other stars.) I’ve watched numerous other YouTube videos about setting maneuver nodes for a trip to Minmus. I even watched Harv’s video in which he gets into Minmus’ orbit and then flies in a reverse obit to meet the moon. But I just don’t get it – yet. I’m doing something wrong. But I’ll figure it out eventually.

I have become quite comfortable with using maneuver nodes. There are some finer points I need to learn, but I can use them to get where I want to go, usually.

So, now I have a lander orbiting Mun until I work up the courage to land it. And I have a second lander orbiting Kerbin until I figure out how to get it to Minmus.

I began to miss working with my Kerbal staff. I built a second Mun rocket. Harory Kerman drew the short straw for the long-term, probably doomed mission.

I have become comfortable with building Mun-bound ships, even though my ship designs are mostly guesswork and very little math.

I’m finding it very easy to fly from Kerbin to Mun.

I put Harory Kerman in orbit around Mun. He’s in a higher, more equatorial orbit than the un-Kermaned lander. I didn’t notice, until Harory arrived, that the lander is in a retrograde orbit. Harory Kerman is in a prograde orbit. It might make for some interesting visual encounters as they orbit around and around.

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