Rocketry and Asteroid Mining

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Crusadem
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Rocketry and Asteroid Mining

Post by Crusadem » Thu May 22, 2014 3:02 pm

Hey guys i have an idea for late game, it involves rockets.. and space, Boom. Ill try my best to leave out unrealistic proposals.

First to get things started you would need to build an observatory that scanned space much like current scanners scan the area around it, maybe have a filter so you can search for specific minerals.

Potential mineral bearing rocks are stored in a database in the observatory, You must then construct a rocket (possibilities here for the recipe are huge) with some sort of mining modules inside.
At that point you simply click on the asteroid you want it to go to, if you have the necessary amount of fuel, vuala off you go!
The rocket will continuously deliver resources to a landing station (maybe even have a chance to recover alien artifacts this way) At this point you can have the minerals delivered via Train.

You could also further add to this idea by making the mineral intake constant even when offline all you would need to do is make it so you have enough storage.

Small details:
Having it so that the rocket launch pad can only be built when it is not obstructed in a large radius makes it so you must build it off base. This automatically makes trains more useful because you will likely need a long range setup to transport the goods.

Rocket fuel adds more dynamic to oil refineries.

If new minerals are added they could be easily implemented into space mining.

To aid in the realism of landing a rocket watch this video (yes its real, Space X is awesome) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZDkItO-0a4

How much cool factor would this add? seeing rockets taking off outside of your base?

Anyways, would love to know what you guys think, I really don't think the idea is too far-fetched because you aren't actually a part of the mining. The potential for implementation and future expansion are limitless in all directions.

Chthon
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Re: Rocketry and Asteroid Mining

Post by Chthon » Thu May 22, 2014 7:17 pm

A few points:

Oil based rocket fuels are in fact solid fuels and not used outside the atmosphere. Any liquid fuels used are in fact Hydrogen and Oxygen used to create water in a combustion process. This is used outside the atmosphere where there is no oxygen.

Why would you want to continue getting materials when offline? That rewards the player for simply not playing. This makes no sense at all.

Asteroid mining is perfectly safe, too safe in fact. It causes no pollution and cannot be attacked by the planet bound aliens. It provides too great a reward for no risk. I don't think it has a place in the game.

There is already much hubbub about being able to see everything in one view in the game. While I don't think it's that important to see everything, I feel that this is too great a departure from the game's original dynamic.

In short, I feel that there is little need to add this in vanilla. If someone wishes to make a mod for this I'll support that, but not in the base game.

goertzenator
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Re: Rocketry and Asteroid Mining

Post by goertzenator » Fri May 23, 2014 3:26 am

Related rocket ideas here: https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... ort#p18004

I'm a rocket nerd and can't let the fuel comments slide: Kerosene and hydrogen are common liquid rocket fuels and are derived from oil. There are additional ways to get hydrogen, such as electrolysis of water. Both fuels require liquid oxygen which can again be had from the electrolysis of water or condensed from Earth's air (who knows if Factorio's atmosphere has oxygen.) The fuel in the space shuttle solid boosters is APCP. I suspect this is not oil derived, but don't know for sure.

You can use any type of rocket in or out of the atmosphere because none of them use atmospheric oxygen. But different fuels have different characteristics so some are more convenient for certain situations than others.

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Re: Rocketry and Asteroid Mining

Post by Chthon » Fri May 23, 2014 12:38 pm

goertzenator wrote:Related rocket ideas here: https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... ort#p18004

I'm a rocket nerd and can't let the fuel comments slide: Kerosene and hydrogen are common liquid rocket fuels and are derived from oil. There are additional ways to get hydrogen, such as electrolysis of water. Both fuels require liquid oxygen which can again be had from the electrolysis of water or condensed from Earth's air (who knows if Factorio's atmosphere has oxygen.) The fuel in the space shuttle solid boosters is APCP. I suspect this is not oil derived, but don't know for sure.

You can use any type of rocket in or out of the atmosphere because none of them use atmospheric oxygen. But different fuels have different characteristics so some are more convenient for certain situations than others.
My knowledge of rocketry is a bit fuzzy admittedly, but having grown up in Florida and having made many trips to Cape Canaveral I do remember being told that the hydrogen and oxygen they used for the shuttle was in fact generated by electrolysis of water. This was also 15-20 years ago so it may have changed as well, but if you collect all of the gasses you do end up with the perfect mixture.

Sure you can get hydrogen from escaping gasses in oil processing, but you usually end up with far more methane which is not used as rocket fuel.

As for Kerosene, I've never heard of it being used as fuel, but it seems that it is in fact called RP-1. I didn't know this, but it is also seemingly used in unmanned flights. Not sure why they don't use it in manned flights.

As far as APCP, I had no clue what it was made of. I always assumed it was petroleum based, but you are right it is not. Thanks for setting myself straight. However, I do not know where you will find Ammonium and Chlorine on the planet. The chemical formula is ClO4-NH4+. Hydrogen and Oxygen are plentiful if there is water, but Chlorine and Nitrogen are in question. Without which the solid propellant wouldn't be possible.

As for other solid propellants, I looked it up, Black powder and Candy propellants might be possible, the latter being processed from wood perhaps, and the former easily being made from coal and sulfur. However both are low impulse and would not be useful in larger rockets. Every other known solid propellant utilizes Nitrogen. Without a way to produce ammonium or refine it from something, they would be impossible. Scratch Candy propellant. Upon closer examination it requires an oxidizer, usually KNO3, and that not only has nitrogen, but potassium as well.

Once again, I think this is a good idea for a mod, as more variety in resources are needed, and the resources needed are pretty specialized to just the solid fuels. For main game content however I'd like to see things that have a larger variety of uses.

Thank you Goertzenator for your response, I found the results of which to be interesting. I used to be very interested in rocketry in high school, though my interest in it waned a bit since then. I was just more interested in the mechanics side more, and computer modeling. This was in part what got me into computing as it is.

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Re: Rocketry and Asteroid Mining

Post by goertzenator » Fri May 23, 2014 2:15 pm

Chthon wrote:...but having grown up in Florida and having made many trips to Cape Canaveral...
I am insanely jealous. When my kids are old enough to go to Disneyworld there will be a mandatory detour to Cape Canaveral. :)

For Factorio I don't think you would need to look beyond RP-1, hydrogen, and oxygen. These are pretty simple fuels, and the more complex stuff isn't any more powerful. SpaceX, who are focusing on simplicity and cost, use RP-1 for all their boost stages.

That said, I also yearn for more resources in the game, but I guess mods already provide some of that. Rare resources could increase interaction in multiplayer coop by encouraging the players to trade. If you need a stack of titanium plates, take a drive over to Dave's base and offer some uranium ore in trade....

Crusadem
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Re: Rocketry and Asteroid Mining

Post by Crusadem » Fri May 23, 2014 3:10 pm

Its a pretty basic concept subject to speculation and ideas, i left it open ended for that reason. As for the risk factor, the noise of each takeoff could attract natives?

The offline collection is something many people enjoy in games revolving around resources, consider EvE online for example. I agree many balancing changes would need to be put in place but its an idea i think is at least worth entertaining to some degree.

As for it being a major departure from the current game i couldn't disagree more, the theme of the current meta game is quite futuristic already and it seems reasonable that automation of extraterrestrial space travel would make sense and allows for many possibilities within multiple areas of the current game. All of these additions could be made to be as complex or simple as the devs and players see fit.
For example the fuel like goertzenator wrote can be made in a way that wouldn't over complicate the current oil/fuel system.

The main merit for rocketry is that i feel like trains only serve people dedicated to their late game. (or really love trains) I would much prefer to setup a simplistic, albeit costly way to get resources via multiple rockets. Compared to roaming/fighting aliens and setting up far away resource gathering plants and transport stations for trains. The tedium of that system kept me from doing it and my interest in finding resources drained pretty quick.

Asteroid mining could fill that gap between when you can build trains but don't use them for a long time until you must find resources outside of your starting zone.

The current idea for finding resources is the underground which i think is a great idea also, this is merely an alternative thought to that system :D

Space travel also possibly allows tying in some explanation with the questionable origins of the natives.

Anyways thank you for the feedback, much appreciated!

rebecca
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Re: Rocketry and Asteroid Mining

Post by rebecca » Sun May 25, 2014 8:05 pm

rather than outer space stuff id like underground stuff eg a few layers that have tunnels etc made by you and the aliens that would be more fun ... underground pipes and conveyors would need to be placed here and tunnels dug out for them etc etc

Chthon
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Re: Rocketry and Asteroid Mining

Post by Chthon » Sun May 25, 2014 11:54 pm

goertzenator wrote:
Chthon wrote:...but having grown up in Florida and having made many trips to Cape Canaveral...
I am insanely jealous. When my kids are old enough to go to Disneyworld there will be a mandatory detour to Cape Canaveral. :)

For Factorio I don't think you would need to look beyond RP-1, hydrogen, and oxygen. These are pretty simple fuels, and the more complex stuff isn't any more powerful. SpaceX, who are focusing on simplicity and cost, use RP-1 for all their boost stages.

That said, I also yearn for more resources in the game, but I guess mods already provide some of that. Rare resources could increase interaction in multiplayer coop by encouraging the players to trade. If you need a stack of titanium plates, take a drive over to Dave's base and offer some uranium ore in trade....
*quietly backs out before you realize he was in the only official NASA space club in high school and went to space camp*

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