Constellation Space Program - Three Part Challenge
It's January 2008 and the first prototype of the Orion spacecraft has just been unpacked. This new spacecraft can carry up to 6 crew and is designed for missions to the ISS, lunar orbital and deep space missions. There is a team of engineers working on a new lifter family, called Ares, based on technology developed for the retiring Space Shuttle program. Another team is developing the Altair advanced lunar lander, while another group is off in the corner talking about landing on "the red planet".
These three new spacecraft, all developed using technology from the Space Shuttle and Apollo space programs, make up the Constellation space program. Expectations are high for this revival of deep space exploration, and there is no sign on the horizon of any kind of global financial meltdown that might impinge upon the development of the Constellation space program, in any way, whatsoever.
The Constellation space program is divided into three main mission profiles:
- Missions to the orbiting space station to replenish supplies and deliver crew
- Lunar orbital/landing missions
- Mars flyby/landing missions
This challenge puts you in charge of implementing the visions of the Constellation space program. You will need to develop a space launch system, a command module for at least 4 crew, and a new lander program. Once ready, you will then plan and execute a series of missions ranging from un-Kerballed ballistic tests to landings on the Mun and Duna. Three kinds of points are awarded: Design Points, Mission Points and Science Points.
Design points are awarded based on design principles which resemble the Constellation hardware and for completion of various stages in the design process. Mission points are awarded for carrying out specific mission profile steps designed to push the limits of the Constellation space hardware, and your mission execution skills. Unless otherwise specified, all points only count once.
As several of the Mission Points include rendezvous and docking with an orbiting space station, there is a 'persistent' file provided below which includes a simple space station in a 120 km orbit and features two of all three types of docking ports. If you choose to launch/use your own space station, it must be in an orbit with Pe/Ap both above 120km. It should also have at least 4 Kerbals on board.
Crew Launch Vehicle (Ares I)
- Two stage rocket to LKO (+2)
- Does not jettison any radial stages (solid or liquid tanks/engines) (+2)
- Can carry Orion Block 1 to low orbit without using any fuel from the Orion service module (+1)
- Can carry Orion Block 2 to low orbit without using any fuel from the Orion service module (+2)
- Uses any solid fuel booster on first stage (+1)
- Uses only solid fuel on first stage (+3)
Heavy Cargo Lift Vehicle (Ares V)
- Five or six liquid engines on first stage (+3)
- Does not jettison any radial liquid tanks/engines (+2)
- Uses and jettisons at least two solid fuel boosters on first stage (+1)
- Two stage rocket to LKO: After the first stage is dropped, the second stage (EDS), carries payload to orbit +2)
- Can carry the Earth Departure Stage (EDS) and Orion BLock 1 to low orbit without using any fuel from the EDS (+1)
- EDS Bonus: Second stage can put Orion Block 1 into Munar free-return trajectory (+2)
Crew Vehicle (Orion)
- Supports at least 4 crew (+4)
- Each crew over 4, up to 6 crew maximum (+1 each; max +2)
- Self-contained multi-purpose spacecraft: Launch Escape System (LES), Power, RCS fuel/thrusters, orbital maneuvering engine/fuel, docking port, probe core (+2)
- Service module: Before landing, drops orbital maneuvering engine and all it's fuel and at least a portion of RCS fuel (+2)
- Safely touches down on land and water (+1)
- Solar/battery electrical only (no RTG) (+2)
- Block 1/2 bonus: Develop a Block 2 with slightly higher delta-V. Block 1 is intended for low orbit missions and the Block 2 for Munar/deep space missions (+1)
Munar Lander (Altair)
- Supports 4 crew (+4)
- Each crew over 4, up to 6 crew maximum (+1 each; max +2)
- Can perform un-Kerballed landings without the use of an Orion spacecraft (Altair and EDS launched on Ares V) (+1)
- Can perform Munar orbit insertion from Kerbin-Mun trajectory for both an Altair and and Orion capsule (either Block I or II) without using any Orion fuel (+2)
- 2 stage lander with separate ascent stage (descent stage stays on Munar surface) (+2)
- Rover bonus: Can deploy at least one rover with seats for at least half (round up) of the lander crew (+3)
- Addition rover: Can deploy a second rover (same or different than first rover) (+1)
- Pressurized rover: Develop a rover that can seat at least two crew in a pressurized pod. This rover can be delivered with a crewed or uncrewed Altair lander, an Outpost Variant lander or a specialized Cargo Altair that brings only the rover (+2)
- Outpost Variant: Develop a version of the Altair that can land robotically and has enough room for 1.5 times your Altair landing crew size (round up). Eg. If your Altair lander seats 4, the Outpost Variant should have pressurized seats for 6. If your Altair lander seats 5, your Outpost Variant should seat 8. The Outpost Variant can have, but does not require, the ability to return from Munar surface. (+2)
Duna Lander (Mars Direct)
- Lander supports 4 crew (+4)
- Kerbin Return Vehicle capable of Kerbin return with either direct ascent to Kerbin or Duna Orbit Rendezvous with Kerbin return stage (+3)
- Rover bonus: Bring at least one rover with seats for at least half (round up) of the lander crew (+3)
- Addition rover: Bring a second rover (same or different than first rover) (+1)
- Develop a rover that can seat at least two crew in a pressurized pod. This rover can be delivered with either the Kerbin Return Vehicle or the Duna lander (+2)
- Outpost Variant: Develop the Duna lander to remain on Duna as a permanent outpost. The Duna landing mission should include pressurized seats for 1.5 times your crew size (round up). Eg. If your Duna lander seats 4, the Outpost Variant should have pressurized seats for 6. If your Duna lander seats 5, your Outpost Variant should seat 8 (+2)
Research and Development
- Launch a boilerplate Orion capsule/EDS on suborbital flight using Ares I (+1)
- Perform an abort and recovery (LES) of an un-Kerballed Orion capsule using the Launch Escape System, while first stage is firing (+1)
- Launch and dock an unkerballed Orion Block 1 to the orbiting space station, for use as a lifeboat (+2)
- Using an Ares V and EDS, send an un-Kerballed Orion spacecraft into a free-return trajectory orbit to the Mun and perform a high speed re-entry test. Re-entry g-force must exceed 9g's (+2)
- Perform a LKO test of an Altair Munar lander. With at least one Kerbal on board, fly an Altair Munar lander at least 100km away from the Orion spacecraft. Dispose of the descent stage, then fly the ascent stage back to the Orion. Transfer the crew to the Orion then robotically control the ascent stage into a re-entry orbit (+3)
- Perform the above Altair test in Munar orbit using EOR mission (+1)
- Using an un-Kerballed Duna lander and an EDS on Ares V, perform a high-speed re-entry from at least 15,000km Ap. (+2)
- Launch an un-Kerballed Duna lander on Ares V into low orbit. Perform an orbital test and descent of the lander (crewed or uncrewed) (+3)
- Use an Ares I in at least one space station docking mission (+1)
- Use an Ares I in at least one Munar mission (flyby, orbital or landing) (+1)
- Use an Ares I in at least one Duna mission (flyby or landing) (+1)
- Use an Ares V in at least one Munar mission (orbital or landing) (+2)
- Use an Ares V in at least one Duna mission (flyby or landing) (+2)
Space Station - Orion/Ares I
- Have already successfully orbited an Orion with full crew and returned safely to Kerbin.
- Launch an Orion to the orbiting space station with at least 4 crew. Perform a crew exchange and return four Kerbals from the space station to Kerbin using the Orion. (+2)
- Return at least one Kerbal from the space station to Kerbin in an Orion which was docked robotically. This is a "liferaft" scenario intended to use the Orion left at the space station in "Research and Development" above. (+1)
Mun - Orion/Ares I/Ares V/Altair
- Have already docked an Orion to the space station (crewed or robotic)
- Land an un-Kerballed Altair on the Mun without the use of an Orion spacecraft (EDS and Altair only launched from Ares V) (+2)
- Demonstrate that your Altair can, on its own, brake the Orion and Altair into Mun orbit and perform a polar landing: north pole (>66°N), south pole (>66°S) (+2)
- Land at least 4 Kerbals in an Altair on the Mun within 1km of either above Altair (+3)
- Return four Kerbals from a Munar landing to Kerbin (+2)
- Munar Outpost: Using at least one crewed Altair lander, an Outpost Variant and a pressurized rover set up a Munar Outpost. The Outpost Variant can join a crewed Altair already on the Mun or can be part of a separate Altair/Outpost Variant mission to another location. The Altair and Outpost Variant need to be within 100m of each other. (+5)
Duna - Orion/Ares I/Ares V/Duna Lander
- Have already successfully completed a Mun landing and return with Orion and Altair
- Land an un-Kerballed Kerbin Return Vehicle on Duna. Can be either Duna-Kerbin direct ascent capable or dock with an orbiting Duna-Kerbin return stage (+4)
- At least 4 Kerbals pass withing 5000km of Duna (+2)
- Land at least four Kerbals on Duna within 10 km (100 km if by rover) of the above Duna lander. To earn these points, the un-Kerballed lander above must be landed and remain powered. Successful landing must take place before the landing crew has committed to Duna re-entry (+5)
- Duna Outpost: The Duna lander uses the Duna Outpost Variant which stays on the surface and includes a pressurized rover. (+3)
- Each landing crew over 4, up to 6 crew maximum (+1 each; max +2)
- Return the Duna landing crew and any remaining Duna orbiting crew to Kerbin (+4)
- Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope: Using an Ares V/EDS, deploy a science package to Kerbol synchronous orbit (Pe and Ap at 1 508 045.29 km +/- 1000km) (+2)
- Altair descent stage science: +1 for each science-equipped Altair landed on Mun (maximum +3)
- Kerbin Return Vehicle: Pre-landed Kerbin return vehicle on the Duna mission contains a science package (+1)
- Duna Lander: Lander on the Duna mission contains a science package (+1)
- Optional: Persistent file with simple space station at 120km, 2 of each docking port and four Kerbals on board:
- Save-game directory (KSP v 0.23): https://www.dropbox.com/s/evmp0jbtbdsa597/CCR.zip
- Stock or mod parts permitted.
- Other than SAS, no flight assists. Fly it yourself without mods that aid in flight/landing.
- Low orbit is considered to be minimum 75km x 75km.
- Boilerplate test launches do not need to use an actual capsule but do need to have similar mass to a final capsule. For example, the boilerplate capsule/EDS should have the same amount of fuel that the the EDS and Orion service module carry, a probe core, and either re-enter or be able to de-orbit itself.
- Un-Kerballed test launches should use the final, "announced" hardware and be robotically controlled to mission completion.
- Once you develop your space hardware, post it on this this thread as an "announcement" from your space program. The hardware should remain unchanged throughout the challenge steps after your announcement.
- You may announce hardware separately as they are developed, but you cannot claim points on a mission step unless you have already posted about the hardware used in that mission in another post. In other words, you can complete and earn points for each phase of the space program (R&D, low orbit, Mun, Duna) separately before the next phase is developed and "announced".
- The leaderboard will be updated as posts are submitted, so feel free to announce hardware and post mission steps as they are completed. The intent is to treat each challenge entry like a developing space program and to encourage discussion as each space program makes steps forward.
- For space station missions, the space station must be in a circular orbit of at least 120km.
- Where "pressurized" is stated, this means any command pod and not the open-air command seat, although seats may be present in addition to the command pod(s).
- Science points require at least one Science part, one communication part, and a probecore and remains powered.
For a minimum of four crew, develop:
- Space capsule with separate Command and Service modules which will jettison the Service module before re-entry (Orion)
- Two-stage to orbit lifter for the crew capsule (Ares I)
- Two-stage to orbit (first stage plus an EDS) for the Orion/Altair/Duna spacecraft (Ares V)
- Munar lander (Altair) and Duna lander
- Duna Surface Return Vehicle
- Perform science in space, on Duna and on the Mun
Using only the hardware developed above, perform:
- Missions to an orbiting space station
- Munar landing and return using EOR mission profile
- Duna landing and return using separate Duna lander and Duna ascent vehicle (the lander stays on Duna as-is)
- capi3101 - 70
- Istas - 70
- Death Engineering - 59
- vincespeedmk2 - 55
- BlazeFallow - 34
- stupid_chris - 25
- Bioman222 - 17
- steffen_anywhere - 16
- capi3101 - 59
- Istas - 59
- Death Engineering - 53
- vincespeedmk2 - 21
- Bioman222 - 8
- stupid_chris - 5
- steffen_anywhere - 1
- capi3101 - 7
- Istas - 7
- Death Engineering - 3
Denotes challenge complete with maximum points achieved
** Other NASA references exist but are currently offline due to the U.S. government shutdown.