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Rockets/Space travel... W/O massive contraptions/boilers, etc?


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I've been playing since Alpha/TU release, yet I've never managed to get to rocketry/space travel without using debug/Sandbox Modes.. nor have I ever been able to create industrial boilers, volcano tamers, etc. which seem to be key to getting rockets.

These forums, and YT Tutorials have been instrumental in teaching me how to keep my colonies alive.. but I want to be able to survive, and actually beat the game, on my own without following tutorials every step of the way.

Is it possible to get rockets up and running without needing gigantic complex systems? Or, are there bottomline/at minimum setups that are a MUST?

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This is my standard volcano taming setup, which is very dependent on having some steel to make the aquatuner, autosweeper, and conveyer loader in the volcano. The aquatuner is running a simple water loop to keep the steam turbine above it cool, as well as the hot metal that gets moved out via the conveyor system.
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Running the conveyors through the metal tiles significantly cools the metal, and brings it down to the temperature of the steam inside the tamer. The steam is at just under 120kg per tile pressure, or 2500kg total water to charge it.
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The two temperature sensors function to detect when the steam has reached minimum temperature to run the steam turbine (the top one, which I set to 200C), and to detect when things are at the risk of overheating, and run the turbine full time to cool it down (the bottom one, which I set to 245C for my tungsten volcano). In the pictured configuration it also disables the auto-sweeper when the turbine is hot enough to run, to keep too much heat from being dumped into the tamer at once; if there is not a load on the power system, this will cause it to hold onto metal indefinitely, but it can be forced to dump it by setting the lower temperature sensor to a lower temperature than the upper one.

Depending on the metal volcano, this system can either keep itself charged and provide additional power, or is a gold volcano and requires outside power to keep running. Hope that helps on your volcano taming adventures! One last picture, the plumbing system; ceramic is ideal for the insulated pipes inside the tamer, but I've found igneous to be adequate as long as automation prevents liquid from sitting in the pipes in the tamer while it's at rest (which also means it's important that it have power to run the aquatuner regularly, otherwise water might get past the shutoff valve, stuck behind the unpowered aquatuner, and burst the pipes.
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Edited by Simonova
Fix bad, redundant picture
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18 hours ago, CrutchPunk said:

Is it possible to get rockets up and running without needing gigantic complex systems?

For sure. A petroleum/oxylite rocket can reach the 60,000km ring with one cargo bay.  You will nearly always find all three types of space materials within that distance.

To reach the temporal tear (and "beat" the game) you will need liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. Here's a post with a collection of some LOX-LHx contraptions.

Edited by Occam Blazer
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The first rocket i launched in the base game used just an enclosed room with water where dupes were delivering hot regolith until it boiled then it was pumped straight to the rocket. It lasted a few launches before i needed to upgrade it.

It was probably the simplest design possible other than pumping steam straight from a hot steam vent.

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A volcano tamer isn't really anything more complicated than a standard ST/AT cooler setup, just with an auto sweeper and conveyor loader inside.  I normally just let the volcano erupt while the steam turbine cools it off, then once it goes dormant, enable the conveyor loader to move the solid material outside ( but it's still fairly hot ), then have dupes use it to build tempshift plates, which immediately clamps its temperature to 45 C.

It think I got all the way to the temporal tear in the base game without ever having to tame a volcano though.  Metal ones at least were pretty rare back then, and I never had any interest in the stone ones.  Metal volcanoes are common in SO though.  The trick in the base game was getting supercoolant and setting up the hydrogen and oxygen liquification using it so you could upgrade to hydrogen rockets.

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This feels like someone looking at bakery pictures on instagram and being overwhelmed by peoples picturesque, perfectly iced cupcakes.

Sure you can go to space without knowing how to make fancy, perfectly engineered systems! Steel helps, but steel only requires a metal refinery, and you certainly don't need efficient cooling loops to make the steel you'll need - you can just dump heat into a big ol' liquid reservoir or ice biome and worry about that heat later (or never!)

Don't feel like you need to have a perfect rocket silo and immaculate setup before you can go to space - look at most of the machinery Dupes use, it's all hardly held together and looks like it might explode, why should your contraptions be any safer? Just go for it! Send 'em to space! They'll probably make it back.

(Imo steel and petroleum are the steps before space, and neither of those require volcanoes or elaborate setups at all.)

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On 3/20/2024 at 10:12 PM, Simonova said:

This is my standard volcano taming setup,

I am no longer intimidated by the idea of taming Volcanoes, thank you! xD

On 3/21/2024 at 12:51 PM, Occam Blazer said:

For sure. A petroleum/oxylite rocket can reach the 60,000km ring with one cargo bay.  You will nearly always find all three types of space materials within that distance.

To reach the temporal tear (and "beat" the game) you will need liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. Here's a post with a collection of some LOX-LHx contraptions.

Good to know! I've messed around with petroleum/oxylite, so that won't be too hard of a learning curve. The liquid oxygen though.. xD I'll have to check out those LOX-LHx.

On 3/23/2024 at 12:15 PM, psusi said:

A volcano tamer isn't really anything more complicated than a standard ST/AT cooler setup....
The trick in the base game was getting supercoolant and setting up the hydrogen and oxygen liquification using it so you could upgrade to hydrogen rockets.

ST/AT cooling setups are ALSO something I haven't messed with much. xD I'm definitely going to have to learn the liquifying gases tricks...
Overall I'm still struggling to understand the concepts, but I'm not terrified to tackle these more advanced setups, now. I've got a ways of learning to go. haha

Most of my playthough's are food/farming focused, and keeping them alive, I've never had time to even attempt these setups. xD

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4 hours ago, CrutchPunk said:

ST/AT cooling setups are ALSO something I haven't messed with much. xD I'm definitely going to have to learn the liquifying gases tricks...
Overall I'm still struggling to understand the concepts, but I'm not terrified to tackle these more advanced setups, now. I've got a ways of learning to go. haha

The hard part is setting up a liquid lock to vacuum out all of the gas from the steam room before you put in the AT ( Preferably steel, but at least gold amalgam so it doesn't overheat ).  Well, that and setting up the pipe bypass so the temperature sensor can turn the AT on/off and have the liquid keep flowing right, but there's a guide on the forums you can just copy/paste the pipe layout from.

 

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On 3/23/2024 at 3:15 PM, Sasza22 said:

The first rocket i launched in the base game used just an enclosed room with water where dupes were delivering hot regolith until it boiled then it was pumped straight to the rocket. It lasted a few launches before i needed to upgrade it.

It was probably the simplest design possible other than pumping steam straight from a hot steam vent.

I have done pretty much the same quite often. An alternative is a pulsed Space Heater or an Aquatuner as heating element with a Tepidizer to keep the water warm. Can probably be done with Gold Almalgam, is entirely unproblematic with Steel. 

These videos often show advanced constructions to make stuff flashy and more sexy. You do not need any of that to get things to work. Even liquid Oxygen is very simple to make with a Hydrogen-gas cooling loop and one or a few Thermo Regulators. May take a bit longer and will not be as efficient, but who cares. When you do this the first time, all that matters is that it works. 

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In spaced out, I have a terrible tendency to not use any rockets beyond steam, because the steam rocket is so easy to refuel on the fly.

What I do is have an extra gas storage tank just for steam (you can have it share with the oxygen tank, but that's tricky, and oxygen tends to be my limiting factor on trip length, then on every planet, I'll build this automated refueling setup:image.png.7178c365829c9271b541334f1f58c1b9.png

Going left to right, that's a gas port unloader and a gas port loader (the liquid unloader is there because I was shipping supercoolant); the automation detects when the rocket lands (using the first memory toggle, and uses that to turn on the gas port unloader, which starts feeding steam into the engine. Once the engine is full, the gas pipe element sensor one tile past the intake for the steam engine will get tripped, disabling the gas port unloader; from there, the remaining steam in the pipe gets fed back into storage via the gas rocket port loader.

It takes several trips of dropping refined metal before I can land a duplicant to actually construct the setup, but I've used it to setup landing pads on all my planetoids, using only steam rockets.

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On 4/5/2024 at 2:18 PM, Simonova said:

In spaced out, I have a terrible tendency to not use any rockets beyond steam, because the steam rocket is so easy to refuel on the fly.

What I do is have an extra gas storage tank just for steam (you can have it share with the oxygen tank, but that's tricky, and oxygen tends to be my limiting factor on trip length, then on every planet, I'll build this automated refueling setup:image.png.7178c365829c9271b541334f1f58c1b9.png

Going left to right, that's a gas port unloader and a gas port loader (the liquid unloader is there because I was shipping supercoolant); the automation detects when the rocket lands (using the first memory toggle, and uses that to turn on the gas port unloader, which starts feeding steam into the engine. Once the engine is full, the gas pipe element sensor one tile past the intake for the steam engine will get tripped, disabling the gas port unloader; from there, the remaining steam in the pipe gets fed back into storage via the gas rocket port loader.

It takes several trips of dropping refined metal before I can land a duplicant to actually construct the setup, but I've used it to setup landing pads on all my planetoids, using only steam rockets.

You can actually do this with petrol rockets too (do need to have small liquid module and a storage unit in the rocket for oxidizers though). Haven't tested with hydro rocket but I think something similar can be done.

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