I am working on building a Minmus orbiting base, where I would use ore from Minmus to make fuel, and basically make this my base of operations for any long range missions. I created a "space mover" ship that has a grabbing claw (because there are parts that aren't feasible to add docking ports in various locations). In this case, I sent up a vessel that has a mostly empty fuel tank with docking ports to be attached to the station, and along with it, a docking port with a large solar panel array. I can grab the array with the claw, (and decouple from the fuel tank, so I'm only trying to move the structure beams with solar panels) but the problem is that once I do that, the movement logistics of the space mover change dramatically. (the CoM shifts outside of my ship) I tried grabbing the array in the middle, but it wasn't much better, I had a really hard time trying to make it to my orbiting base, let alone dock the thing.
I'm basically wondering what else can I do to build this base piece-by-piece in space?
Here are some screenshots of the array (connected to the fuel tank) and the space mover ship.
How do people usually connect parts in space? Attach extraneous separators/etc with RCS tanks that move autonomously?
Here is the base I'm trying to connect to, the docking ports in the middle of the ship. I can't even manage to get close to the base with the solar array in the claw.
Update: I finally managed to get a connection on the end of the solar array with the claw, so my CoM would be inside the ship and easier to navigate. (Granted it seems to be on the end, but I don't think I can grab it in the exact center -- I had to grab one of the solar panels). While this was true for forward motion and turning, getting the thing aligned with RCS only at one end was also a challenge:
That basically gave me issues in moving the thing around. I positioned the base so that a port was in the correct position, and was able to get the mover ship there, but it quickly went bad when I can't easily translate (due to RCS being on one end of the CoM) and the angle just kept getting worse and worse. I would back off and try again, but after several tries, I'm not getting any closer.
Here's what the end result was:
Update 2: So I had an idea for a more stable mover ship, although I'd have to potentially make different ones of various sizes, would this kind of design be more stable, with RCS on every corner?