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The Kerbal Player's Guide

Book Description

Kerbal Space Program (KSP) is a critically acclaimed, bestselling space flight simulator game. It’s making waves everywhere from mainstream media to the actual space flight industry, but it has a bit of a learning curve. In this book, five KSP nerds—including an astrophysicist—teach you everything you need to know to get a nation of tiny green people into space. Perfect for video game players, simulation game players, Minecrafters, and amateur astronomers.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
    1. Audience
    2. Organization of This Book
      1. Part I
      2. Part II
      3. Part III
    3. Conventions Used in This Book
    4. Supplementary Material
    5. O’Reilly Safari
    6. How to Contact Us
    7. Acknowledgments
      1. Jon, Paris, and Tim
      2. Alasdair Allan
      3. Paul Fenwick
  2. I. Getting Started
  3. 1. You Will Go to Space Today
    1. Getting Kerbal Space Program
    2. Going to Space
      1. Getting Started
      2. Accepting a Mission
      3. Building the World’s Simplest Rocket
      4. Launching the World’s Simplest Rocket
      5. What to Do Next
  4. 2. Rockets!
    1. Rocket Design
      1. Design for Your Mission
      2. Forces on Your Rockets
      3. Shape
    2. Building a Rocket
      1. Vehicle Assembly Building
      2. Rocket Parts
      3. Connecting the Rocket
    3. Remember the Mission
    4. Getting Back Down
    5. Summary
  5. 3. Maneuvers
    1. Launching into Orbit
      1. The Launch Pad
      2. Test Rocket: TKB-01 “Let’s Hope This Works”
      3. Launching the Rocket
      4. Launching
      5. Establishing an Orbit
      6. Circularizing
      7. Maneuver Nodes
      8. Doing an EVA
    2. Reentry
    3. Landing (and Walking Away from It)
    4. Docking
      1. Test Rocket TKB-DK-2: “In-Orbit Construction Is Totally in Now”
      2. Rendezvous
      3. Approach
      4. Docking
    5. Resource Management
      1. Undocking
    6. Summary
  6. 4. Planes in Space
    1. Heading Out for a Joyride
    2. Designing for Flight
      1. Aerodynamic Forces
      2. Building a Plane
      3. Designing Good Planes
      4. Optimizing the Center of Lift
    3. NiftyPlane 9000
      1. Design
      2. Taking It to Orbit
    4. Summary
  7. 5. The Worlds of Kerbal Space Program
    1. Meet the Kerbals
    2. A Space Tourist’s Guide to the Kerbol System
      1. Kerbol
      2. Moho
      3. Eve
      4. Kerbin
      5. Duna
      6. Dres
      7. Jool
      8. Eeloo
    3. Summary
  8. II. Adventures in Space
  9. 6. Running a Space Program
    1. Resources in Career Mode
    2. Upgrading Your Space Center
    3. Science, Technology, and Research
    4. Doing Science
      1. Science and Situations
      2. Mobile Processing Labs
    5. Hiring Kerbonauts
      1. Kerbonaut Skills and Experience
    6. Taking Contracts
    7. Managing Your Funds
    8. Reputation
    9. Strategies
      1. Customizing Your Experience
    10. Tips for Success
  10. 7. Historical Reenactment
    1. Sputnik 1 (First Satellite in Orbit)
      1. Design
      2. Launch
      3. Aftermath
    2. Vostok 1 (First Human Space Flight)
      1. Design
      2. Launch
      3. Aftermath
    3. Luna 9 (First Soft Landing of Probe on Moon)
      1. Design
      2. Launch
      3. Aftermath
    4. Apollo 11 (First Crewed Moon Landing)
      1. Design
      2. Launch
      3. Rearranging the Ship
      4. Landing on Mun
      5. Returning Home
      6. Aftermath
    5. Apollo 15 (First Lunar Rover)
      1. Design
      2. Launch
      3. Aftermath
    6. Summary
  11. 8. Getting to the Planets
    1. Transferring Between Celestial Objects
    2. Destination: Duna
      1. The Duna Exploration Rover
      2. Getting the Rover onto the Surface
      3. Getting the Rover to Duna
      4. Flying the Mission
    3. A Flight over Laythe
      1. The Laythe Glider
      2. Flying to Laythe
    4. A Probe to Eve
      1. The Eve Probe
      2. Flying to Eve
    5. Summary
  12. 9. Rocket Science
    1. The Law of Conservation of Momentum
    2. Thrust-to-Weight Ratio
    3. Specific Impulse
    4. Delta-v
      1. The Rocket Equation
      2. Derivation of the Rocket Equation
    5. Center of Mass, Thrust, and Drag
    6. Orbits
      1. Getting to Orbit
      2. The Gravity Turn
      3. Gravity Losses
    7. Atmospheric Drag
    8. The Kármán Line
      1. Basic Orbiting
      2. Sphere of Influence
    9. Synchronous and Stationary Orbit
    10. Transferring Orbits
      1. Hohmann Transfers
    11. Slingshots and Gravity Assists
    12. Oberth Effect
    13. Aerobraking
    14. Lithobraking
    15. Summary
  13. III. Extending the Game
  14. 10. Introduction to Mods
    1. Installing Mods Using the CKAN
      1. Installing the CKAN
      2. Installing a Mod
      3. Why Is the CKAN Such a Big Deal?
    2. Mods and Saved Games
    3. Summary
  15. 11. Utility Mods
    1. Action Groups Extended
      1. Creating Action Groups with AGExt
      2. Hiding/Showing Action Groups in Flight
      3. Editing Groups in Flight
    2. Kerbal Alarm Clock
      1. Your First Alarm
      2. Adding Custom Alarms
      3. Exploring Further
    3. MechJeb
      1. Ascent Guidance
      2. Maneuver Planner
      3. MechJeb Build Helper
    4. Summary
  16. 12. Adding Realism
    1. Realism Overhaul and Real Solar System
      1. Sandbox and Career Mode (RP-0)
      2. Launching with Real Engines
      3. The Rocket Equation and You!
    2. SCANsat
      1. Mapping Basics
      2. “Best” Altitudes and Fields of View
    3. RemoteTech
      1. Installation and Requirements
      2. A Simple Probe
      3. Antenna Selection
      4. Orbit Selection
      5. Flight Computer
      6. RemoteTech and Contracts
    4. Summary
  17. 13. Creating a Mod
    1. Parts
      1. Modeling a Part in Blender
      2. Preparing the Part in Unity
      3. Writing the Config File
    2. Creating a Module
      1. Writing the Code
      2. Updating the Part
    3. Module Manager
      1. Basic Operations
      2. Selecting Parts
      3. Load Order
      4. Advanced Example: Tweaking Science Experiments
    4. Summary
  18. 14. Adding Hardware to the Game
    1. The Arduino
      1. The Board
      2. Powering the Board
      3. Input and Output
      4. Communicating with the Board
    2. Installing the Aruino IDE
      1. Installing on OS X
      2. Installing on Linux
      3. Installing on MS Windows
    3. Connecting to the Board
    4. Getting Started with Arduino
      1. Blinking an LED
      2. Making a Serial Connection
    5. The KSP SerialIO Mod
      1. Installing KSPSerialIO
      2. The Configuration File
      3. Packet Structure and Communication
    6. Building a Simple Status Light
      1. Handshaking
      2. Adding an Indicator for SAS Toggle
      3. Detecting a Launch
      4. Adding a Button
      5. Adding Another Blinking Light
      6. Adding a Display
    7. The Telemachus Mod
      1. Installing Telemachus
      2. Using Telemachus
      3. The HTTP API
      4. The Web Socket API
    8. Using HID with KSP
      1. HID and the Arduino
      2. Staging Using HID
      3. The Arduino Uno
    9. Going Further
  19. Index