MoeslyArmlis

KSP Caveman Challenge 1.2

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I just finished this challenge again and it was a blast!  I'm not submitting an entry because I had some mods installed ( which I didn't use btw). I just have one question:

Has anybody been able to land  a kerbal on Minmus and return to Kerbin again? I tried this but I couldn't design anything under 18 tonnes.

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Ah, I didn't check the movies. My bad.. very impressive! :D

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xendelaar,

 I believe it's just barely possible to put a Kerbal on Minmus and return him/ her in 1 shot, but you won't get much science out of the process.

VacStage_zps47hbdhp4.jpg

1800 m/sec DV, covers everything from LKO to reentry. Uses an Ant engine. Doesn't seem like much, but it's fine for Minmus.

TransStage_zpsawha7kqn.jpg

1700 m/sec DV, t/w= 0.7. This stage gets you to orbit. Or rather, barely suborbital. Don't want to leave junk up there... Uses an LV-909.

BoostStage_zpsqpg5bpfr.jpg

1800 m/sec, t/w=1.2. Uses an LV-T30.

 I *personally* wouldn't do this because the science payoff isn't worth the time and hassle, but if I were to do it, this is how I'd go about it.

Best,
-Slashy

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7 hours ago, xendelaar said:

Has anybody been able to land  a kerbal on Minmus and return to Kerbin again? I tried this but I couldn't design anything under 18 tonnes.

It's very possible to land a Kerbal on Minimus in a single launch less than 18 tons - in fact much much easier than the Mun (assuming you want to get them back  :)) as the overall dV is lower.

The most difficult part is getting an intercept without maneuver nodes, the algorithm I use is:

Spoiler
  1. Start in LKO with 0 degrees inclination (i.e launch due east as normal)
  2. From anywhere in LKO raise your AP as close to Minimus as possible.
  3. Once exactly at AP then raise your PE to a little less than Minimus. This means your orbit will be faster than Minimus, so we will slowly catch up.
  4. In map view focus Kerbin, then orient the view vertically until the Mun orbit is edge on (appears as a single line)
  5. Now rotate the view until Minimus' orbit is also edge on.
  6. As the only place both orbits are edge on are the ascending and descending nodes, we will now have found one of these two)
  7. Warp until your craft is in the centre of the view (over Kerbin)
  8. Burn normal or anti-normal as appropriate until your craft's inclination matches Minimus
  9. Now patiently warp until you catch up with Minimus and enter it's SOI. (If you're catching up too quickly then raise your PE closer to Minimus to slow the rate of gain)
  10. Profit

Technology wise, a Mk1 pod and Terrier combo will suffice, however if you have unlocked the Lander Can and/or Spark & Ant then this will give you more wiggle room. Leave that heatshield at home as you don't need it, the Mk 1 can easily take the re-entry heat from Minimus orbit.

Minimus is an amazing source of science points if you build a rover and go biome hopping. The unpowered wheels from the aviation node work well if you design you ship so that your main engine can also push you along the ground. The smoothness and low gravity also make it less likely to have a rover mishap than the Mun.

Except on Hard difficulty the bulky Goo and Science lab aren't really needed. For example, on normal difficultly a crew report, temperature reading and pressure scan gives you 5 * (5 + 8 + 12) = 125 science per biome. Including reports from high and low space over Minimus gives you another 162.5 points. Craft recovery is another 37.5 points.

So if you hit a modest 4 biomes then the total science from a single trip is 4 * 125 + 162.5 + 37.5 = 700 points.

In the spoiler is a simple rover and my 2 favorite Minimus routes. Both routes start from high level plateaus near the equator (so easy to land on) and go downhill (so low dV requirements) and cover 4 and 5 biomes respectively.

Spoiler

Simple rover

2etqeBN.png

Some sample routes:

Red: Highlands, Slopes, Midlands, Lowlands, Flats

Orange: Midlands, Slopes, Lowlands, Flats

OrzsxqY.png

 

 

Edited by ManEatingApe
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@GoSlash27great design, as always! According to my excel sheet it wouldn't be possible. But I must admit I never thought of going without any science modules. :D Like you said, it's quite a hassle only to retrieve a crew report.  :)

@ManEatingApe Thanks for the advice. Those are great landing spots! How did you generate the map? It doesn't look a SCANsat or Stock screenshot . 

 

Edited by xendelaar

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Hello, all!

I said in the 1.1 thread a while ago that I was nearly done with a 1.2 submission. Well... I nearly finished that, then had difficulties on the vehicle assembly lawn (although I will be presenting some discoveries later regarding rover wheels), then got distracted by RP-0 and Jool 5. Then I scrapped my old save, started fresh, and actually finished this time. So here it is: Submission to the KSP Caveman 1.2 challenge, vanadium level.

Album is here: http://imgur.com/a/B5eiN

I decided to do this one differently than I usually do. Firstly, I didn't collect any KSC science (except on the launchpad). Secondly, I built a powered rover, which I think is a caveman first enabled by the 1.2 rearrangement of the tech tree, which I used to gather science from 4 of Minmus's biomes. Third... well, I tried to use a free return trajectory during my Mun flyby. Needless to say, shenanigans ensued.

The rover design I used could probably work on the Mun, although I have yet to test it. More data is pending.

 

Edit: Never mind, looks like I was beaten to the punch with using a rover, but not for recovering the science afterwards.

 

Edited by IncongruousGoat
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7 hours ago, IncongruousGoat said:

then had difficulties on the vehicle assembly lawn (although I will be presenting some discoveries later regarding rover wheels),

Did the discoveries involve the work done on the lawn?  I have yet to build on the lawn in this new KSP release but should be giving that a whirl real soon.  Great job on completing the run.  Your naming scheme is so annealing.  Brittle Iron heated, sustained then cooled slowly.  Try zero or 20 ablator on the heat shield.  You can do without it entirely but that does not always work out for me.

The free return is something I would like to perfect and have only tried a handful of times.  Without any patched conics approximation of the encounter this maneuver becomes risky.  I have been investigating a method for caveman navigation.  I propose that by observing the telemetry from the map and applying calculations an encounter could be predicted.  A solution to the altitude of the periapsis should be possible based on observed data.

If this can be accomplished then setting off interplanetary can become safer when a navigator is on board.

 

edit

I did receive the amusing contract.

ZQByNdk.png

But without docking ports or EVA in space how am I suppose to accomplish this?  I am certain this contract got generated because I was able to obtain EVA science from around Mun.

Edited by MoeslyArmlis

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9 hours ago, MoeslyArmlis said:

Did the discoveries involve the work done on the lawn?

Yes, they did, and here are the results of my research and a more successful assembly procedure as a proof-of-concept.

NS46xzY.png

This is a crane I put together that uses rover wheels. The wheels themselves hold the load fine under normal conditions, but acceleration under load is slow (constant acceleration from the crawlerway to the launchpad would only yield 4 m/s from a dead stop). Steering is fine, although turning radius leaves something to be desired. On the upside, I haven't managed to flip one of these by hard maneuvering (and I've tried). The crane can only handle flat surfaces-try to go up the incline from the KSC to the launchpad and either the motors will not provide enough power to make it all the way up, or the speed at which the crane hits the incline will destroy one or both of the front wheels. There is in fact a full tank sitting behind the crane arm-this is designed as a partial counterweight to the payload (though its effectiveness as such has yet to be experimentally determined).

I also created a variant for putting payloads on top of boosters:

eMBNHaT.png

The weight of the payload is counterbalanced by the addition of an extra full liquid fuel tank at the rear. The crane itself was surprisingly stable-likely due to the high weight of the counterweight tanks.

One thing worth noting:

xujPaBV.png

Assembly can be quite rough on the cranes. This is an extreme example, but one or both of the front wheels would consistently break after docking the carried component to the rocket. Without the presence of a level 3 engineer (a thing very hard to come by in a caveman save) the cranes need to be recovered and redeployed after use.

A complete album of assembly using these newfangled cranes can be found here

Obviously, these are all very early designs, and many improvements are sure to come by those of us who are better at building cranes.

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i see some mention of hard difficulty, but not in challenge discription. is that a must? or is it like 2 grades of challenge where normal is easier?

i started on normal yesterday, with about 6 of the 90 point tech tree nodes left.  ill probably move it up to hard after i get normal done.

edit: done normal, so ill move on to hard.  Im guessing it was supposed to be done on hard in the first place lol

Edited by DD_bwest
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21 hours ago, DD_bwest said:

i see some mention of hard difficulty, but not in challenge discription. is that a must? or is it like 2 grades of challenge where normal is easier?

i started on normal yesterday, with about 6 of the 90 point tech tree nodes left.  ill probably move it up to hard after i get normal done.

edit: done normal, so ill move on to hard.  Im guessing it was supposed to be done on hard in the first place lol

I think the challenge is meant for any difficulty level.  There are different versions of the forum signature flair for different levels, or at least there were for the earlier KSP versions.  What difficulty level you choose is up to your abilities and how much time you want to put into the challenge; nobody has to do something hardcore and technically impressive if they don't want to.  I did the challenge on normal difficulty because I was looking for something to do in KSP 1.2 while mods got sorted out after release; I wanted to try the new features and see how well wheels worked in this version, etc.  And that's OK!  (And my motivation shows in my submission; I wasn't very efficient and kind of wandered between different play strategies as I went.)  I think I caught the bug, though -- I'm starting a new run through on moderate now ...

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... and I guess I'll follow that up with my Moderate difficulty level entry.  (New KSP version -- 1.2.1 -- new Caveman challenge entry!)

In my last playthrough on Normal difficulty, I thought I got a lot of mileage out of the Mun rover (har har), so I was more directed this time around in unlocking the technology needed for that as soon as possible.  I went first for technology nodes along the bottom of the tech tree (more science instruments, probe core, solar panels) and top (bigger fuel tanks and smaller engines).  No planes this time!  But the lower science returns meant I wasn't getting enough from readings transmitted home, so I finished off with a Minmus lander that contained a return stage with the science canister.  I am now thoroughly sick of driving rovers on hills on low-gravity moons!

Documentation in the imgur album here: http://imgur.com/a/MvBIl , but to sum up I did the challenge in ten flights, thus:

'Flights' 1-3: capsules deployed to launchpad and runway to pick up science from those biomes.  These didn't even move at all.

Flights 4, 5: crewed suborbital flights for atmospheric and low-space science

Flight 6: crewed orbit and Mun flyby

All uncrewed probes from here on out.

Flight 7: Mun lander, with enough fuel to hop once after landing to reach two biomes.

Flights 8, 9: Minmus and Mun rovers

Flight 10: Minmus lander with science return.

The lengths some of you are going to to complete the challenge on hard or super-hard modes are really impressive!  I thought I might have to assemble my last flight on the launchpad, more due to the part count limit than due to weight, but I was quite relieved that it wasn't needed.

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On 11/7/2016 at 4:04 AM, GoSlash27 said:

xendelaar,

 I believe it's just barely possible to put a Kerbal on Minmus and return him/ her in 1 shot, but you won't get much science out of the process.

It's not hard at all.. here's the Minmus Lander ship I used for my Moderate difficulty entry in 1.05, and again in 1.1. Science returned was 303.8 for Jeb's mission, then a further 275.6 for Valentina's follow-up mission.

Science gathered on each flight was Crew Report, Materials Study, Temperature Scan, Atmospheric Pressure Scan, and Mystery Goo. Jeb's flight also got a big science bonus for first craft returned from the surface of Minmus.

screenshot59_zpsdc1ffhjw.png~original

(Staging is not quite right in this pic. The LV-T30 Reliant should be in stage 4, along with the pair of RT-5 Fleas.)

 

screenshot67_zpswrzpr1jp.png~original

 

screenshot104_zpsubdwrlrb.png~original

Edited by JAFO
Added link
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2 hours ago, JAFO said:

It's not hard at all.. here's the Minmus Lander ship I used for my Moderate difficulty entry in 1.05, and again in 1.1.

JAFO,

 I like it! It incorporates a few techniques that would make me nervous to try, but it clearly works.

Best,
-Slashy

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55 minutes ago, GoSlash27 said:

I like it! It incorporates a few techniques that would make me nervous to try, but it clearly works.

Thanks.. credit for the original design concept has to go to @5thHorseman.  It's an improved version of the crewed variant of his "Kill Me Not" lander. I'm guessing that by 'nervous', you're referring to the uppermost fuel tank? The upper tank is almost enough to get to orbit on.. it just needs to be jettisoned before circularising around Kerbin (with the decoupler force set to 0 so as not to slow the ship down at all). Since it's the simplest method I've seen (much faster, easier and more fuel-efficient than ManEatingApe's method, as described above), I also used 5thHorseman's technique for getting an encounter with Minmus, as seen in his video here.

Edited by JAFO
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2 hours ago, JAFO said:

@5thHorseman I'm guessing that by 'nervous', you're referring to the uppermost fuel tank?

JAFO,

 Actually, it's not that at all. It's using an engine as a heat shield and doing a reentry in a lander can. There's no reason why I'd tell anyone *not* to do that or fault anyone who does... It's just not something *I* would ever do. At least... not with a manned launch.

 As a result of my overly-cautious approach to manned missions, doing stuff like this doesn't occur to me. Consequently, I miss out on goodies like your design.

Best,
-Slashy

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So, I've decided to take a crack at Corundum (HardS with 30% science rewards) and oh boy does 1.2 make it... interesting. For starters, all unmanned missions are 100% completely impossible, because the DSN's range is 0, and you need connection to the DSN to establish control over probe. Furthermore, manned missions are... tricky. With tolerable G-forces at minimum, I got Jeb halfway to unconsciousness during a standard orbital launch in a test save. I'm fairly sure it's still possible, albeit much more difficult than it already was.

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Apologies for not posting in a timely manner. I've been taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather by racking up miles on my new scooter and plus there was the most astounding election upset in the history of democracy (no political comments please) to contend with.

http://s52.photobucket.com/user/GoSlash27/slideshow/KSP/Caveman challenge/120/Day3

Day3-1_zps0e81zscz.jpg

End of day 3. I built a simple single seater to collect flying science over nearby biomes while waiting for the return of my Mun flyby probes. I also sent a flight to the south polar icecap because that is a unique biome in 1.2.

 I am now very close to completing the challenge. All I have to do is recover 1 of the 2 returning probes intact in order to complete the caveman tree and begin the game proper. I am genuinely concerned for the probe cores, as their corners are exposed to reentry heat. I'll set the chutes to auto-deploy and cross my fingers.

Day3-7_zpsrgxwtv6f.jpg

Best,
-Slashy

 

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Standard difficulty caveman completed in 4 days, 3 hours, 7 minutes.

Day4-8_zpssxbpobjk.jpg

http://s52.photobucket.com/user/GoSlash27/slideshow/KSP/Caveman challenge/120/Day4

I still have another munar flyby to land and process, but further unlocking of the tech tree will require facility upgrades. Periapsis of 35 km seems to be the "sweet spot" for successful recovery of munar missions.

Best,
-Slashy

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On 11/16/2016 at 5:51 PM, GoSlash27 said:

...
End of day 3. I built a simple single seater to collect flying science over nearby biomes while waiting for the return of my Mun flyby probes. I also sent a flight to the south polar icecap because that is a unique biome in 1.2.

 I am now very close to completing the challenge. All I have to do is recover 1 of the 2 returning probes intact in order to complete the caveman tree and begin the game proper. I am genuinely concerned for the probe cores, as their corners are exposed to reentry heat. I'll set the chutes to auto-deploy and cross my fingers.

Best,

-Slashy

How did those returning probes work out for you?  Were they stable heatshield-first?  I tried using a similar stack (0.625m heatshield, octo probe core, experiment storage, parachute) and it flipped.  (And due to bad design on my part, the probe core ran out of battery before reentry so I couldn't actively maintain orientation.)  Luckily for me the parachute has pretty good heat tolerance, and the experiment storage + parachute survived entry from Minmus (after the probe core blew up due to overheating) with an initial periapsis of ~34km, though it took three passes through the atmosphere flying parachute-first.  But that's not how I would normally want to do it!

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27 minutes ago, Mattasmack said:

How did those returning probes work out for you?  Were they stable heatshield-first?  I tried using a similar stack (0.625m heatshield, octo probe core, experiment storage, parachute) and it flipped.  (And due to bad design on my part, the probe core ran out of battery before reentry so I couldn't actively maintain orientation.)  Luckily for me the parachute has pretty good heat tolerance, and the experiment storage + parachute survived entry from Minmus (after the probe core blew up due to overheating) with an initial periapsis of ~34km, though it took three passes through the atmosphere flying parachute-first.  But that's not how I would normally want to do it!

Mattasmack,

 Oh, yeah. They came in without a problem. In fact, I was able to turn off SAS and just let them glide in. See the link upstream to my post to how to make them behave.

Best,
-Slashy

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2 hours ago, GoSlash27 said:

Mattasmack,

 Oh, yeah. They came in without a problem. In fact, I was able to turn off SAS and just let them glide in. See the link upstream to my post to how to make them behave.

Best,
-Slashy

D'oh!  I thought I had seen that post before, and I searched both forum and internet for it before giving up and asking here.  Didn't search very well, I guess.  The solar panels must be key to getting that design stable, it's otherwise similar to what I tried and found to be unstable.  I guess that makes sense, and with KSP's drag model it works even with the panels tucked way in.  Thanks!

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On 11/18/2016 at 4:47 PM, Mattasmack said:

D'oh!  I thought I had seen that post before, and I searched both forum and internet for it before giving up and asking here.  Didn't search very well, I guess.

 Mattasmack,

 That happens to me all the time. I see an interesting or potentially helpful post, then can't seem to find it again when I go back for it. It's not just you :wink:

Best,
-Slashy

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Landing on Mun and returning opens up contracts to explore Minmus.  The Minmus contracts provide science, reputation and funding.

The docking port has been acquired and now construction of the Mun science lander begins.  Mun landing and returning science becomes very easy once orbital construction is unleashed.  Next will be ground based construction when the wheels are unlocked.  Construction could be vastly improved if only one part of RoverDude's Konstruction mod was part of the stock game.

Take a look at the weldable docking port.  Simply awesome.  To add the weldable docking port to stock I would introduce a new part the Weldable Construction node and is available in the Advanced Construction node.  This part is similar to the docking port junior but does not transfer resources until welded.

Stay on Target

Spoiler

So there is an exploit that I have known about and was planning on using it to go interplanetary.   The plan was to send a probe to establish orbit around Duna then the main fleet could then use the target indicator to calculate the correct trajectory.  Sending probes is much more difficult now with the scrappy Commnet that caveman deal with.  This exploit might not be around much longer because I believe this is a bug since the inception of the Commnet.

Targeted vessels remain active over extraordinary distances (very spooky).

Target vessels on launchpad/runway for an easy orbital rendezvous.

2TmToQZ.png

g5cCHnQ.png

SrTREOg.png

 

@DD_bwest

For each difficulty I am planning on having a separate badge.  And instead of collecting minerals I would like to introduce Caveman Feats.  The feats will be similar to the Order of Troglodyte.

I have conceptualized the artwork: there will be a progression of whiskers for each caveman badge.  So easy will have a stubbly shadow  and then next levels will have increased shag.

3KqIuxQ.png

I really like this picture that @Atubara created and it has inspired me to create some artwork to accompany it.

Since RL reared its ugly head towards me last month and now just bouncing back from it I plan on finishing the badges and cavewall.

 

On 11/6/2016 at 0:04 PM, GoSlash27 said:

 I believe it's just barely possible to put a Kerbal on Minmus and return him/ her in 1 shot, but you won't get much science out of the process.

On 11/15/2016 at 10:23 AM, GoSlash27 said:

 As a result of my overly-cautious approach to manned missions, doing stuff like this doesn't occur to me. Consequently, I miss out on goodies like your design.

Best,
-Slashy

Something I am noticing about playing EH caveman career is that it becomes a risky business to acquire science.  The solution to this problem takes a radical design.  The method I employed was to push my lander.

Spoiler

I say "God Damn the Pusher"

J4YJ0xT.png

tuZt3fT.png

ITdAFna.png

 

On 11/15/2016 at 5:05 PM, IncongruousGoat said:

because the DSN's range is 0, and you need connection to the DSN to establish control over probe

If a pilot is on board with a relay antenna then a remotely controlled probe should be possible  I have yet to test this.  Be back soon with results.

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