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About sdj64

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    Sr. Spacecraft Engineer

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  1. sdj64

    SSTO engine types

    Try 4 Rapiers and 2 NERVs, you'll probably find that the weight savings from eliminating two engines are more than worth the slight hit to ISP. If you really need the vacuum ISP for a Tylo landing, you can replace the Swivels with Darts, or a single Skiff, Poodle, or Wolfhound if your design allows it.
  2. I got that question once before with a Thud, and I think I said if half the body is visible it would be good. Though if I was judging your entry and I saw this in the album after you finished the challenge, I'd probably accept it since it's not that major.
  3. I think it auto-formats if you paste the URL into the editor. If you click the hyperlink button, it makes a blue underlined text link instead.
  4. @kerbalstar The Jool 5 Challenge is currently maintained by @JacobJHC. You have the right thread linked though. Thanks for keeping the heritage challenges updated, it's a great list to have.
  5. Awesome! Jeb's level was really lacking participants recently so I'm excited to see people going all out for science. I think you forgot the fact that Jool has a High and Low atmosphere. I've never seen anyone try to recover Jool low atmosphere science. Diving probes have been done, but transmitting science doesn't count for the score. There are a couple of other science cases, maybe read the wiki page on science for more... The only limit on experiments I'm aware of is "no duplicate experiments in one container". The science lab doesn't have this limitation. Yes, you can dump parts anywhere you want. Many people leave the mothership in orbit of one moon, or in Jool orbit, and go from there. You could also land your mothership on a moon if you want, but getting back to it might be a hassle.
  6. I actually stopped trying after getting less than halfway to the Mun in 2 hours (real time) of ion burning. I then went back to my spreadsheet and tried to make it work with nukes, but I don't think the TWR and DeltaV can both work out. Does somebody else with more time and experience with ion ships want to try?
  7. Do you guys have any advice? Or, if this isn't the right place to ask, where do I ask? I've been out of the loop for KSP for over a year; I was in school and had no time for games or forums. All you need is to make a 2-crew plane with one science package including an experiment storage unit. Bring along a pilot and a scientist, who can reset the goo and materials, and store your results in the storage unit until you can bring them all back to the lab at the main ship. Maybe you missed the introduction of this part while you were away from KSP? Your plane probably has too much wing dihedral (upwards angle) and your rudders could be moved to the wingtips, which would put them farther back from the CoM. Also check that each control surface is set to only one of pitch, yaw, or roll.
  8. Okay, it's time to start putting actions behind my words. I whipped this plane together in about 15 minutes based on my spreadsheet. It weighs 68 tons at launch. On the first time I reached orbit, it weighed 47.223 tons once in orbit, for a 69.44% mass fraction! I haven't actually played KSP in quite a while and I forgot to use LF tanks or bigS wings instead of LFO. My flying skills could also use a tune-up, so I'm sure I can do better with this plane. I think it might be worth it to switch to turbojets for higher thrust and efficiency and lower dry mass. The wolfhound was enough to take over without any closed cycle on the rapiers, so I think it can make up for slower airbreathing top speed. Anyway here are some pictures.
  9. The difference is that he counted only the mass of the ore tanks detached in orbit, while I count the mass of the SSTO itself upon reaching orbit. His SSTO, by my quick estimate from looking at the video, has at least 42 tons dry weight so it would be a 72% payload fraction, even better than the optimistic number in my spreadsheet.
  10. I think it is possible with the Wolfhound, if Making history is considered stock. I'm using slightly different values than you as well. In my spreadsheet the craft has a 66 ton starting mass and has 2 rapiers and one wolfhound. It would be a bit slow getting off of Kerbin, but possible with some drag tricks? There's even a luxury of 0.14 tons left over - enough to add a Kerbal in a command seat!
  11. @IvanBatura Congratulations, you have completed the Jool 5 Challenge on Level 3! Your liberal use of seats allowed you to have a very lightweight Level 3+2 solution - 5 Kerbals with 2 landing on each moon! I think the crew also appreciated the very warm cabins on the journey to Jool. I liked the pancake riding at the end too. I liked the gifs, but I would have enjoyed seeing some landings! Thanks for an excellent entry. This thread is now closed to future entries, but you can find the new thread in the link below!
  12. Thanks @JacobJHC! I haven't had the chance to check out Making History yet but this will be the first mission I have in mind when I look at the new parts and mission builder. But given the bug reports I've seen it's probably best to avoid turning challenges into missions at the moment. I like the low parts idea too!
  13. @McQuacker Congratulations, you have completed the Jool 5 Challenge on Level 1! I was able to find enough pictures with Delta-V and other information to confirm that the different craft could all execute their landings and transfers. I liked the extra effort to bring along another crew member and collect science, and your Laythe lander was a unique hybrid of rocket and plane. @kerolyov Good idea! I would probably do a tag like the ISRU and GRAND TOUR tags, but it's Jacob's decision now how to properly acknowledge the extra effort of using life support. I don't think it should be separate from the levels because life support would be much harder on Jeb's level, with 5 Kerbals, than it would be on Level 1. It has been done a couple of times before and I noted it in the short description for those entries.
  14. You can send your scanner before the mission. It's good planning, and, many people have done the Jool 5 on long-running saves and had already scanned Jool's moons on other missions. IIRC some optimization was done in 1.2 so you might be able to run modern KSP better than your old version. But you are welcome to submit on any version 1.0+.
  15. @JacobJHC has my permission to make the new Jool 5 Challenge thread when this one closes. Thank you for stepping up. I'm glad to have someone with experience with completing the Jool 5 Challenge twice, including one Level 3, and also experience running other challenges. For all of those who have a mission in progress, don't worry - you will probably still be able to submit in the new Jool 5 Challenge. If there is a change with the Making History expansion that makes it difficult or impossible to judge equally, I'll keep this one open for a while upon request. @PhoenixRise86 I'm sorry, I can't see your original file names. I'll take another look, it seems like the second half of the album is roughly in reverse order so I should be able to follow it well enough.