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Forum » SpaceEngine » Gameplay Discussions » [WIP] SpaceEngine Spaceflight School
[WIP] SpaceEngine Spaceflight School
pfjarschelDate: Saturday, 09.07.2016, 01:38 | Message # 1
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Big Update: It's finished! Version 1.0 is out! Thank you all for the support and suggestions/corrections!

You can check it in Google Doc's html format (always up to date): https://docs.google.com/documen....pub

Or in PDF form, but it'll only be updated when a major revision is published: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7OB_dhOlv9COVJHYVRhQ2hSd1E

Or even in epub format (older version, for e-readers, thanks to Mosfet): Download SE Space Flight School v050.epub

---------------------------------
Update: It is now on version 0.3, I finished all the lessons (Basic ,Intermediate and Advanced) and made some corrections pointed out by SpaceEngineer. Currently at 66 pages!

---------------------------------
Hello guys!

I'm creating this thread to share with you the ship piloting guide I'm writing. I've seen a lot of posts asking for instructions on how to fly ships, and I took a long time to learn it too. So I decided to share everything I've learned, and started writing this. It's at a very early stage, and there's still a lot to do, but I think the content I have now is enough to get most people started. It currently has 37 pages in total (there's a lot of pictures).

Expect typos, spelling errors, bad formatting and maybe even wrong concepts. It's the first version, and very far from complete.

Any and all opinions, comments, suggestions and corrections are welcome!





"Rush, Where the hell are we?"
"Several billion light years from home."


Edited by pfjarschel - Thursday, 25.08.2016, 19:30
 
Destructor1701Date: Saturday, 09.07.2016, 01:42 | Message # 2
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Excellent idea!




 
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Saturday, 09.07.2016, 08:06 | Message # 3
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Very nice so far, I can see this being very useful for people.




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SpaceEngineerDate: Saturday, 09.07.2016, 09:30 | Message # 4
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Wow this is very cool, thank you! I am too busy to write a tutorial, it's good what someone take care on it! Keep the work and stay informed here in this thread. I will post about spaceflight controls update here.

Few fixes:

In Orbital HUD description, the formatting is broken here:
Quote
Eccentricity. 0 means the orbit is a perfect circle, anything higher is an ellipse, and 1 would be a straight line (not really an orbit).

Also, eccentricity 1 is parabolic trajectory, not a straight line. It corresponds escape velocity: v=v2. Values greater than 1 are hyperbolic trajectories, or flyby trajectories if you approaching the planet and then leaving it without turning engines.

Quote
Rperi: Perigee length, shortest distance from the body, minor axis.
Rapo: Apogee length, highest distance from the body, major axis.

They are not short and long axes of the ellipse. Rperi + Rapo = 2a (doubled semimajor axis), but the thing called semiminor axis is b = a * sqrt(1 - e). Not very useful in spaceflight.

Quote
As mentioned before, SpaceEngine is realistic in a non­relativistic way, that is, Einstein’s theory of relativity is not implemented on the simulation models.

This is not true exactly, gravity potential for black holes is simulated using Paczynski and Wiita approximation. But speaking of relativity, effects such as time dilation at high velocities or in high gravity fields are not modelled (yet).

Regarding fixed stars: this is done net because their positions changed so slowly, but because of limitations of the enigne. In future updates, I will implement "fake" relative star movements: they will have correct velocities relative each other and center of a galaxy, but still stay fixed from program point of view. Relative velocities will be used in ships physics, so warp flights will be even more complex! (just more delta-V needed).

Quote
Check my eccentricity. Were you able to go below that? If you did, wow, congratulations! It’sreally hard to get lower than 0.001, so congratulations too if you reached that!

Pro Pro tip: decelerate time flow to 0.01 - you will be able to reach 10-9 eccentricity!

Quote
The only thing I didn’t mention here, is. If you try to orbit a celestial body at a distance higher than that, the gravity will be too low to hold you around it. Or maybe there is another body whose gravity gets stronger than your target’s at that point.

This is defined by the current body's sphere of influence radius. Stable orbits are possible only within 1 million km off Earth, further the perturbation by the Sun will make orbits unstable, and body became the Sun's satellite. Near moons of gas giant, for example Io, sphere of influence of Io is even more worse due to gravity of Jupiter: just few thousands kilometers!

Tip to choosing landing point: change Rperi until it hits surface, then adjusting orbit eccentricitiy and inclination (full thrust at normal +/- orientation) will move "hit point" accross the planet surface. The drawback is what before you reaching the hit point, the planet itself could rotate significantly, so you must aim a bit further to the east. To reduce error, do that from low orbit.

Quote
The friction between the ship and the atmosphere slows it down, and the effect increases as you descend, because the air pressure increases.

More precisely, because air density increased.





 
pfjarschelDate: Saturday, 09.07.2016, 11:43 | Message # 5
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Wow, I'm so glad to see you liked this, SpaceEngineer!!! Yeah, I imagined you'd be too busy to do something like this, specially since it takes a lot of work, as I am now finding out, haha! That's why I decided to go ahead and start sharing what I learned.

About your corrections:

Quote SpaceEngineer ()
eccentricity 1 is parabolic trajectory

I feel so stupid, of course it's parabolic!! Fixing it now!

About Rperi and Rapo, it only shows that I haven't studied orbits enough :p

And about the relativity part, I had no idea about the potential wells! I am even more impressed with the software now, and will definitely check black holes in more detail!

And finally, about the fixed stars... Yeah, I thought it'd be something hard to implement, specially due to how the stars are located (well, at least the add-on ones). I'll change that sentence to reflect that, and your plans! It sounds awesome!

Well, either way, sorry if much of the information you corrected was here in the forums all along and I just didn't see it! I still plan to read your concepts posts more carefully, and I'm aware that I probably made many mistakes on some of my assumptions (more like placeholders to be reviewed later)! Like I said, it's far from finished, and I haven't made any revisions yet... I just don't want you to think I'm acting like a know-it-all newcomer and spreading wrong information! :)

And thank you so much for taking your time to write all of that!

Edit: I see there is still a lot to correct tongue Don't worry, I'll get to all of those! (I'm just feeling a bit awkward for sharing it in this state, full of mistakes!)
And regarding your pro pro tip, nice, I didn't think of that!





"Rush, Where the hell are we?"
"Several billion light years from home."


Edited by pfjarschel - Saturday, 09.07.2016, 11:47
 
SpaceEngineerDate: Saturday, 09.07.2016, 13:29 | Message # 6
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pfjarschel, don't worry, almost everything is correct. You even have suggested reentry method which I didn't used before :)
SE gameplay is far from final, a lot of useful tools are still missing, for example rendezvous interface/autopilot, or docking autopilot. So your "book" will progress together with SE.
for now, I recommend you to watch this ant try it yourself:





 
ShadowRaikouDate: Sunday, 10.07.2016, 07:22 | Message # 7
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This guide helped a ton. I mean, I'm familiar with a lot of the things you said, but I'm so used to Kerbal GUI and simplicity that I couldn't even do anything in SE.
 
pfjarschelDate: Sunday, 10.07.2016, 14:50 | Message # 8
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ShadowRaikou, I'm so glad to hear that! ^_^

SpaceEngineer, yeap, I'll always do my best to keep it updated with the current gameplay! Rendezvous interface sounds awesome!
I'll definitely check that video out!





"Rush, Where the hell are we?"
"Several billion light years from home."
 
ShadowRaikouDate: Sunday, 10.07.2016, 16:31 | Message # 9
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Quote pfjarschel ()
ShadowRaikou, I'm so glad to hear that! ^_^


Now I can put cool ships in orbit of my custom planets. biggrin
 
MosfetDate: Sunday, 17.07.2016, 13:24 | Message # 10
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pfjarschel, I've made a conversion of the guide in EPUB format to use it with my e-book reader and my smartphone, maybe someone else is interested. I'll try to keep it up-to-date for sure.
Download SE Space Flight School v050.epub





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pfjarschelDate: Monday, 18.07.2016, 11:52 | Message # 11
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That's awesome, Mosfet! I'll put it together with the other links above!




"Rush, Where the hell are we?"
"Several billion light years from home."
 
ViktorDate: Thursday, 21.07.2016, 12:19 | Message # 12
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Thank you very much for this awesome guide. I just read the part with learning orbit, since that's the problem i am currently having.
But look at the first screenshot i have uploaded to see what i achieved. Look at the orbital eccentricity value. Can't get it any closer to zero. But both Rperi and Rapo values are still moving. They are moving slowly, but well, moving. Which means that if i'm gonna accelerate time, it will go to red values, making the ship to crash the surface.
I think the reason why is visible on second screenshot i uploaded. The gas giant. I am orbiting moon of gas giant and the gas giant has probably influence to my orbit around the moon. So, is it possible to orbit such moon and stay on its orbit forever which orbits some massive planet like that?

I'd like to make videos (like probably many users of SE) of visiting different worlds. Means, i wanna get to the planet/moon with ship that has docked shuttle, get to stable orbit around the planet/moon and land on the planet/moon with shuttle, then accelerate time to record all the awesomeness the planet is offering, like moons orbiting the gas giant or passing on the sky, sunsets, sunrises, night sky, etc..., then take off again and dock the ship again which i hope that after i accelerated the time several times before, it's still on the orbit and not kissing the dirt of the planet's/moon's surface smile

Attachments: 8012101.jpg(471Kb) · 2315806.jpg(549Kb)
 
Thomas988Date: Thursday, 21.07.2016, 14:01 | Message # 13
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Fantastic guide! There is a lot of stuff about spacecraft I didn't know already, and reading this was a great pleasure. Very nice work! biggrin




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ViktorDate: Thursday, 21.07.2016, 14:29 | Message # 14
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So i just confirmed that the gas giant was influencing my orbit. I just tried on Mars and when i set the ship on stable orbit, the Rperi and Rapo values wasn't moving anymore. Not even eccentricity value. But when i increased time to about 10000x and more, the ship was catapulted far away from Mars (still in solar system though). This happened when i was orbiting Mars in quite high distance. Second time, when i was orbiting in low hight above surface, then during increased time to about 10000x plus again, the ship crushed on surface. Then i was orbiting in hight somewhere in the middle of the two previous tries and when i speeded up time to 10000x, i noticed deformation of the orbital circle. Simple the eccentricity was increasing. But during 1x time, the orbit is very stable and values does not moving. So i guess there is a bug when you speed up time too much, it starts breaking the orbit. But i guess i should be fine bellow 10000x time :)
Too bad i can't make stable orbit around moon of some massive gas giant. It would be great if there was some button, which when active, it would always automatically correct the orbit, once the Rperi and Rapo starts getting out of green values.
 
pfjarschelDate: Thursday, 21.07.2016, 16:41 | Message # 15
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Hey Viktor, I'm glad you liked it! Yeah, it was definitely the gas giant's influence! Well, about the speeding of time, everything ship-related can glitch when you speed time too much. It also depends on your processor (I think), and on the loading speed of terrain (the higher it is, the less time your cpu will have to take care of the calculations needed to maintain your ship's movement).

I just tried to reproduce your situation, and I confirm it is VERY difficult to keep a ship on a stable orbit close to a gas giant! I'll think about it some more, and see if I come up with a way to help with these kind of scenarios! I think your idea for the video is very cool! Try with simpler planets first, and try to decrease the loading time (and/or LOD) when on orbit, see if that helps with accelerating time!

Thomas988, thank you very much! Seeing how people are enjoying it makes me even more motivated to keep working on it! biggrin





"Rush, Where the hell are we?"
"Several billion light years from home."
 
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