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Abastro posted a topic in KSP DiscussionWhat is the current theoretical limit of the cost efficiency to orbit? For stock 1.2 without cheats, in terms of cost per ton, for these cases: 1. Without any recovery 2. Including recovery, without airplane flight path 3. Including recovery, with airplane flight path Practically, there was an orbiter capable of 600/t without any recovery a few versions ago (AFAIK). For the reusable case, I got 500/t with TSTO rocket in 1.1.3 and 1.2, and there should be better one. Here's a challenge to find the practical limit of the cost efficiency to orbit. Here's a spreadsheet with optimal cost efficiency for each engines
Hi all, At some point in the past, i remember downloading a small mod, that, amongst other things, allowed you to tweak the building upgrade costs. In the stock career game, in my opinion the vast majority of the money is used on building upgrades whilst space vehicles are really , really cheap. I'd like to have cheap building upgrades but reduce funds rewards or increase part costs, so there is some incentive to re-use and build out infrastructure in a new career game. Anyone remember what this mod was called, i'd like to get it again..
I just saw 3Dprintingnut's brilliant design on KerbalX for early career mode games - https://kerbalx.com/3Dprintingnut/Sky-Shot-mk1 I downloaded the thing and yes, it really does work, and flies well. It's got me thinking about the economics of re-usability, in KSP - assuming that's something you want to RP (yes, i know, you can just ignore economics and fly a few more contracts to farm cash, and most of your cost is upgrading buildings not space vehicles) In a standard rocket, you have a lower stage, which you accelerate to about half of orbital velocity, then throw it away. Then you have the upper stage, which is taken all the way in to orbit. It consists of the upper stage engine, upper stage fuel tank, pod, and whatever stuff you need to survive re-entry and landing. Typically, the upper stage engine and tank are decoupled prior to re-entry, because it makes the process easier. However, since you already accelerated these components to orbital velocity, there is no performance reason why you couldn't bring them back, provided you can solve the design issue. To increase re-usability further, we have to start bringing more of the lower stage components up to orbit then home again. At this point it becomes a tradeoff - there is only so much mass you can carry with you before performance declines too much. So it's helpful to start looking at the Dry mass vs Cost of these components to see which are most worth saving - Reliant Engine - Mass 1.25T Cost 1100 Saving per Tonne when re-used = 880 Swivel Engine - Mass 1.5T Cost 1200 Saving per Tonne when re-used = 800 FT400 tank - Dry mass 0.25T Cost 316.4 Saving per Tonne when re-used = 1265.6 Rather surprisingly, it is better to ditch your lower stage rocket engine but drag it's empty fuel tanks to orbit for re-use, assuming you don't have the delta V to bring the whole lot.