SPACE SHUTTLE TIPS
Docking Made Easy:
-After a successful Rendezvous, immediately max your speed out at 25.5. This greatly decreases the time it takes for the satellite to settle at X 128 (saving time = saving fuel). And since youíre going so fast, as soon as the satellite has settled youíll automatically start racing towards it again without having to make any speed adjustments.
-At X 128, check Y and adjust to 0 if greater than 20 (Yes, ignore Z. Always ignore Z until you have a visual on the satellite. The reason being, after about the 4th docking Z always readjusts to approx. -13 every time the satellite re-settles. Since youíll be going at max speed youíll slowly drift down to it and be within 4 [usually within 2] by the time you reach the satellite anyway).
-At X 1 or X 2 decrease speed by about 0.8. The satellite should be right in front of you and in view.
-At this time, readjust Z to 0 and make small speed adjustments to get X to 0. If it is your 4th docking or less, try to line up Y exactly with 0. IMPORTANT TIP: From the 5th docking onward, always line up Y BESIDE 0 (at 1 or -1). The reason is; the satellite is so erratic that it changes its Y axis every 2 seconds or less. The trick to later dockings is lining up Y to be one off 0 and waiting for the satellite to move on to 0 and stay for the full 2 seconds. (thereís a 50% chance it will move farther away along the Y axis so if you are at -1 and it moves farther making you at -2, simply move with it to readjust back to -1). Getting the hang of this tip makes docking the erratic satellites infinitely less difficult.
-Once youíve mastered docking, you should always have 9900+ fuel units after every docking from the 4th one onward. By the way, the satellite doesnít get any more difficult after the 6th docking. If you can dock 6 times with ease, you should be able to dock 20 times with ease. To practice, set a goal for yourself (ie: 10 dockings) and donít come down until youíve accomplished it.
After mastering docking youíll be ready for:
My Simple Guide to Attaining the Rank of Commander:
-Standard Launch and Orbit.
- IGNORE the normal Deorbit Burn instructions and follow these steps instead:
1.Immediately after your 6th+ docking (and with at least 9500 fuel units), drop your speed all the way down to 18.9. Do this quickly. DONíT wait for X 128.
3.Set Pitch at +24 and donít touch the CX40 again until you see the Reentry screen.
4.Switch status to your Altimeter. It should be stuck on a value between 205 and 215 while it waits for X to hit 128. Once the satellite has settled, your altitude will start to drop normally.
5.Once your altitude is under 210, close the Cargo Bay Doors. (If your altitude was already stuck at a value below 210 while you were waiting for the satellite to settle, close the Cargo Bay Doors as soon as your altitude starts dropping normally).
6.Wait for the Reentry screen. If it takes longer than 30 seconds, the alarm will sound (due to the doors being closed while in orbit). Ignore the alarm, as it will stop as soon as the Reentry screen appears (you have 30 full seconds and, furthermore, my method only consumes about 1500 fuel units if alarm-free, so you have a very large margin for error).
-Standard Reentry and Final Approach. Good luck!
Iíve gotten this method down to a science and it works for me about 75% of the time. About every fourth try there is a Mission Abort, and it is usually related to the randomness of the altitude you are at after completing your last docking (if your altitude is >215 or <205 when you first switch to your altimeter, it might not work).