My first attempt at a Grand Tour

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Hi Everybody,


Whenever I unlock most of the tech tree during a career-run, I like to “finish” the game with a special tour of some sort. Most of the time, it will be a Jool-5 challenge, but after 10+ careers I like to step things up a bit.

So I decided to take upon the challenge of doing a Grand tour and plant a flag on all landable celestial bodies with one trip.


In this thread, I will report on the design, flight plan and off course the actual journey/ adventure throughout the system.


Before I talk about the general vessel design, let’s start with “da rulez” I set for myself:

  • Plant a flag on all landable bodies in one trip;

  • The “Grand tour Vessel” may be constructed in orbit;

  • Dedicated landers may be discarded after use;

  • After leaving the SOI of a planet with the Main Grand tour vessel, remaining vessels are considered discarded. I will have to bring along all parts I want to use for the whole journey ;

  • Landing on a planet with an atmosphere requires a proper Kerbal crew cabin;

  • Mining ore and converting ore to fuel is allowed;

  • Try to keep clipping at a minimum;

  • No Cheats;

  • Saving and reloading is allowed.


With that out of the way, let’s talk about the general design!


I’m thinking taking 2 kerbals (engineers) for this trip and splitting up the ship into 4 dedicated parts.


  1. The massive Eve lander;

  2. A compact Tylo lander;

  3. An airbreathing Laythe lander;

  4. And last but not least, an all-purpose carry-all-tug. This tug will provide the thrust and fuel to transfer all (dedicated) landers to their destination. It will also be used as a landing and mining vessel for the smaller celestial bodies.


That’s it for now. I will post more info within a day or two.


I can’t wait to start. Wish me luck :wink:


Edited by xendelaar
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I've never got to this point in a career mode, but I'm still thinking of doing at as I've played enough to have done most major missions like yourself.  It looks like you could enter the Ultimate Challenge at the same time :)


Good luck!


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8 hours ago, Speeding Mullet said:

  It looks like you could enter the Ultimate Challenge at the same time :)

Oh wow! This challange is perfect for my mission. :) ill have to change some of my rulez though regarding the single launch rule. 

Thanks for the tip!

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I took a 2000 ton lander to minmus then to the mun, then back to minmus and back to the mun, then landed on Kerbin a fleck on the speck on the tail
On the frog on the bump on the branch
On the log in the hole in the bottom of the sea.


did i win


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There aren't enough grand tours out there for the name "yet another".  It looks like you have a good plan and doing it in career mode will be that much more rewarding.  Good luck!

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So I've got my flight plan all figured out:

  1. Eve, Gilly
  2. Moho
  3. Mun, Minmus
  4. Duna. Ike
  5. Dres
  6. Laythe, Tylo, Vall, Pol & Bop
  7. Eeloo
  8. Kerbin

I know it's not the most efficient route imaginable, but I want to lose some weight first at Eve and finish up the inner planets while I'm already there.

Next, it's time to design some ships! I'm sorry, but I'm currently not able to embed the pictures in this post. So for the time being, here is a link to the album. :S I guess the designs aren't really aesthetically pleasing, but they will get the job done (hopefully).

I made 4 ships:

  • An All purpose carry-all with mining, refining and scanning capabilities:  ~112 tonnes, 3000 delta v with a 60 tonnes payload, TWR ~ 0,3
  • An  Eve lander:  ~35 tonnes, 6500 m/s delta v
  • A Tylo lander: ~ 6.5 tonnes, 7288 m/s delta v
  • A Laythe lander: 5 tonnes airbreathing SSTO


The Eve lander will be shot into orbit by itself while the others are launched together. Assembly will take place in orbit.

Now it's time to fire these babies up! By the Kraken, I hope all goes as planned (haha like that will ever happen!;))


Edited by xendelaar
some minor adjustments

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Oh, my, a grand tour. To re-iterate sdj64's point, there's no such thing as "yet another" grand tour. Every single one is a special occasion, not least of which due to the astronomical amount of time they take to do. And don't worry, sometimes things like this do go to plan. No, really. They do.

Good luck!

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Thanks everybody :D
I guess the title isn't really appropriate for this mission, but I can't change that now. (EDIT: I noticed I CAN change the thread title. So I did :))

Well, here is a small update. After 2-3 hours of space-floating and trajectory fiddling, I found out I made a huuuuuuuge n00b mistake.
Everything was going fairly well until I landed on Eve:







If you look closely you can I forgot one of the most important parts.... THE FREAKING LADDER

I feel so silly haha! Before I launched my first vessel I literally said to my, "I'll probably forget something like a ladder or a battery..."!

Pfff... I will have to restart the entire mission. "Luckily" I noticed the non-existent ladder on my first landing and not during the last one haha.
I'm glad I made a save on the launchpad. I don't have enough money to fund a new mission. Besides that, I don't like leaving Kerbals stranded in space either.
I also noticed that I could use a better antenna for my probe core on the Eve lander.  I didn't think I would need one, but the signal range of the probe cores seems really week . So the no-ladder-setback gives me the opportunity to make some final adjustments like the antenna. That's a good thing, I guess. :)

I need to recharge myself before I start over again. At the moment, the love for KSP is completely gone, but it will return. It always does. :D I will try over later today.



<blockquote class="imgur-embed-pub" lang="en" data-id="a/rFo8y"><a href="//imgur.com/rFo8y">Grand tour: Vessel assembly</a></blockquote><script async src="//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js" charset="utf-8"></script>


Edited by xendelaar
Added a spoiler to hide the picture

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Alternatively mount a crew cabin at the bottom and get your crew up and down by the transfer option. Saves quite a lot of parts which might be an issue in any big mission...

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This weekend I restarted the Grand Tour … again.

This time I put an extra crew ship under the Eve Lander (@something, Thanks for the tip) and put some additional stuff on the other vessels as well.


Like the last time, We’ll head off for Eve first to shed off approximately 42 tonnes of Eve Lander junk. ( I borrowed the design from @foxter. My initial design was almost 10 tonnes heavier J)


First, We’ll have to assemble the Eve lander rig to the all-purpose carry all. Getting both vessels into orbit was easy. Getting them to dock was a bit more tricky since I don’t use RSC.


Carry All












Eve lander










After docking we’re good to go. I hope we didn’t forget to bring anything essential with us this time. Hehe. Here’s a picture of the Grand tour carry all.



Like I said before, we’ll head off to Eve first. Bill found a mediocre encounter with the purple planet. The descending node was very close to the encounter point which made the correction burn somewhat expensive.  The kerbals didn’t feel like waiting so we started burning for departure.







After almost a year bill and verenna arrived at Eve . After the circulization maneuver, Bill lowered the ships periapsis to 65km, transferred to the lander crew cabin and undocked the Lander module. Next, Bill inflated the 5 heat shields to protect the ship against the harsh elements of Eve. 
On board the Carry all, Verenna accelerated the ship again in order to stay in orbit and watched Bill descend.










Soon the lander entered Eve’s atmosphere. I had to redo this sequence a couple of times in order to find a proper landing spot. After 2 hours of fiddling Bill found a spot to his liking and set down on the surface of Eve. The descent was easy peasy.










Now it was time to plant our first flag. Bill jumped out of the cabin and slabbed the flag pole into the purple dirt! He also took some surface samples as proof.  1 down, 14 to go…




Getting back in the crew cabin was a challenge! It was a bit too high for Bill to reach hehe. With a bit of RCS and leg force, Bill was finally able to reach the ladder.

Now, Bill was ready  to gead back towards the carry all. After discarding all excess weight, Bob started his ascend. It took a couple of iterations before we got into a rather less-than-optimal orbit, but the Carry all had enough spare fuel to change its inclination.

Verenna plotted a rendezvous course with Bob’s cabin and after two orbits both Kerbals were united once again.







With 3km/s delta V left, we plotted a course towards our next destination: Gilly



Edited by xendelaar

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