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I finally managed to build a reasonable craft for Eve Space Program that can get to Eve orbit with about 1300-1400 m/s dV left. In career mode, with only Tier 3 and 4 parts. Craft file here, uses OhioBob's Eve Optimized Engines. After several attempts, my best effort is in this video here. The biggest challenges of the current incarnation of the Eve Space Program mod are the lack of biomes outside of the KSC, and the distance of most survey contracts; the KSC is a quarter of a world away from where the game puts those surveys. This leaves part tests, science grinding around KSC, and a full fundraising campaign strategy (25% of reputation going to funds) to pay for building upgrades. Otherwise I'd be using a lot better parts for this craft. As it stands, the only remaining source of decent science is Gilly, and I can't reach that and get back on 1400 m/s. I didn't do any dV math really; just tried plotting to Gilly's orbit needing 1425 or so m/s, and came up short just by 20+ m/s. That being said, I remember someone saying that ascending from Eve's surface to orbit needs a launch profile that goes straight up for a large part of the ascent, then starts the gravity turn very high up. With this craft I find I can start my turn just around 20 km, and also before staging away the last of the Adam engines and going to my first non-EoE; the Swivel, close to 35-40 km. Then some careful throttling and I can get to about 1400 m/s orbit speed before staging away the Swivel and going to my Terrier, finally closing my orbit with maybe 2/5th of my fuel. What would be a better ascent profile for launching into Eve orbit? Where to start turning away from vertical? At what altitude and at what speed should I have a pitch of 45 degrees? If you try this craft, note that Eve Space Program's launch pad is only at 450 m altitude, and I'm using tank priorities and decoupler fuel crossfeed to use a hybrid of onion staging and asparagus staging, so watch the tank levels on ascent. [Update 15 APR] There's so much good advice here I can't mark any one answer as correct. I upvoted all of the good answers and gave out likes.
KSP Caveman Challenge 1.2 Facilities upgrades are forbidden Crappy runway and launchpad Part count of thirty and vehicle mass limit of 18.0 tonne No fancy patched conics, no maneuver nodes or no Deep Space Network Abhorrent fear of technology as primitive as can be Acquire 1188 Science Points to unlock twenty nodes of the technology tree. Rules: Stock career mode Include pictures of your Science Archives No mods that alter game play No cheat menus or any other shenanigans Science Points have many sources just detail the method for the majority of Science Points acquired. The Original KSP Caveman Challenge that GoSlash27 began and the KSP Caveman Challenge 1.1 are excellent resources. Badge Of Honour pending Cave Wall pending My attempt on hard settings
KSP Caveman Challenge 1.1 Facilities upgrades are forbidden! Crappy runway and launchpad. Part count of thirty and vehicle mass limit of 18.0 tonne. No fancy patched conics, maneuver nodes or any other luxuries. Acquire 1188 Science Points to unlock twenty nodes of the technology tree. Do you have what it takes to be a KSP Caveman? Rules: stock career mode Include pictures of your Science Archives No mods that alter game play No cheat menus or any other shenanigans Include screen capture of your career difficulty options See Cave Walls below for additional options. Include screen capture of your Science Archives in the R&D Complex. Science Points have many sources just detail the method for the majority of Science Points acquired. My attempt on normal. This is my lengthy album of my run of the KSP Caveman Challenge 1.0.5. KSP Caveman Challenge 1.0.5 Album The ninth and final mission was an orbit and return of Minmus. A two stage vessel with twin Thud booster stage and a Terrier stage that employed a docking port to jettison a FL-T400 fuel tank. Gathered Mystery Goo, Materials Bay, Temperature and Barometer science from high and low space near Minmus. The encounter almost did not happen and needed to adjust orbit at apoapsis by burning between radial and prograde. Orbited Minmus with a periapsis of 22 km. Returning to Kerbin with periapsis around 42 km and aerobraking using the engine as heatshield and burning the remaining fuel to decelerate to 2700 m/s. Returning to Kerbin using two radial parachutes and splashing down safely. The Original KSP Caveman Challenge that Slashy began is is an excellent resource. If you need some inspiration there are some great videos and detailed missions in that thread. Badge Of Honour A Caveman can proudly display this badge and gather all the minerals. Cave Walls (excavating, please be patient) Each KSP Caveman will have their name inscribed on the Cave Wall based on their choice of career difficulty: Talc Easy Career - You had better do impressive quick work of this soft rock career GoSlash27 2 hours 7 minute pasukaru76 1 hours 42 minute Terwin 2 hours 42 minutes Apatite Normal Career - The minimum amount of flare Caithloki MoeslyArmlis GoSlash27 Nefrums pasukaru76 Pamynx JAFO IncongruousGoat Terwin Vanadium Moderate Career- A tools hard edge can make all the difference wibou7 ManEatingApe Doctor Mandarb JAFO IncongruousGoat Hodari Terwin Topaz Hard Career- Happy Shiny Caveman GoSlash27 pasukaru76 Xavven IncongruousGoat Custom Career Cave Walls with increased difficulty Corundum This career would not wear down a tough caveman. Career details see this post and change science rewards to 30% Diamond For the caveman that are brilliant and posses fire. Career details see this post and change science rewards to 20% Nanocrystalline Diamond ADNRs HardS caveman; Aint that Tuff Enuff! Career details see this post Order of Troglodyte The "Order of the Troglodyte" awards for achievements above and beyond the call of a KSP caveman. Those are not rocks of war. Those are Rock Kits of Science. pasukaru76 Duna, Eve, Jool, Dres, ManEatingApe Duna, Moho