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I have designed a rocket with a plane on the top. It looks a bit like a Christmas tree topper and hence a bit silly, but it works. However, once I get it into orbit, left is right, up is down, and in general its a nightmare to control; I'd never manage to dock it or fly it anywhere.

Part of the reason is because I can't tell the orientation of a probe just by looking at it - its all grey, all over. If I press W, A, S, or D, I don't really know which way it has spun, so again, it's a nightmare.

Is there any way to orientate the probe properly? Does anyone have any tips?

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Hi Josh, and welcome to Arqade! Your question title and the last line don't really match; can you edit your post such that the title and the summary at the bottom match? Thanks! –  Schism Apr 14 '13 at 23:34
    
Related –  MBraedley Apr 15 '13 at 10:51

2 Answers 2

The problem you're facing is one I fixed earlier this week.

If at some point your craft switches its alignment (e.g. putting a plane on the launcher that is NOT nose up, or building a satellite/rover upside down on top of your rocket), the game doesn't pickup on that change. It will always define the center of your navball as 'the part that was pointing up when you launched'.

You can fix this by either using docking ports or extra command pods/probes. If they are pointing another way than the main command pod/probe, and you click "control from here" from the rightclick menu, you will see your navball change.

In you case, I'd suggest putting a docking port on the nose of your plane. Once you've detached the plane and your direction has changed, use 'Control from here' on the docking port.

If you test it on the launch pad, you'll see that if you have your main command pod selected, the naveball will point up (the blue center). If you use "Control from Here" on the nose docking port, the navball will be pointing toward the horizon on the navball (blue/brown separation).

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You could use the chase camera (pressing the change view "V" key until the right view) or the IVA view (with the "C" key), but the right way would be to learn to use the navball.

Navball Guide

and the maneuver nodes.

Maneuver Node Guide

Anyway, it really depends on what you intend with "properly".

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I know how to use the navball, but I still learnt something from the guides you posted, and the chase camera I didn't know existed at all, so thank you very much for the answer. –  Josh White Apr 15 '13 at 17:24
    
You're welcome! Is that enough to help you with your orientation problems, or I can help you some more? –  Duralumin Apr 16 '13 at 6:58
    
Although chase cam works in helping you orient your craft, this seems to be a navball bug (if I read the question correctly). It doesn't pick up any changes in the orientation of the vector of thrust. Docking ports or command pods (probes) can solve this issue, see my answer. –  Flater Apr 26 '13 at 8:48

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