herbal space program

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About herbal space program

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    Senior Test Chimpanzee

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  • Location San Francisco Bay Area, USA
  • Interests Thinking about other types of science as a dilletante to avoid thinking about molecular biology as a professional.

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  1. Fresh Eggs!

    I guess if you want to let it fly on autopilot in a straight line, at some fixed cruising altitude, starting and ending at least 100km from either end, you can do that. I will mention however that the plane I'm flying for my own entry makes it to Jeb in under 15 minutes, so I doubt any entry requiring autopilot to reduce tedium would be very competitive. https://imgur.com/a/6tpKC
  2. who can build the cheapest eve vessel?

    As it happens I have a ship that can land on Eve and return, my first one, that I just built recently and never entered in anything, so I for one would play if there were a reasonably designed re-issue of this one. I don't think the rules have to be so complicated either. The ground rule is dirt simple: you have to launch something from LKO that can put at least one Kerbal on the surface of Eve and land them back on Kerbin, without cheating. Then there can be any number of leaderboards based on different ways to do it the best, e.g. lowest cost, launch mass, most Kerbals, fastest, etc. You could maybe even contact OP of Eve Rocks and ask them if you can reboot it with their badge and a blank leaderboard.
  3. who can build the cheapest eve vessel?

    Now you're just trolling us. Zzzzz.....
  4. Fresh Eggs!

    I'm glad you're interested! The challenge is getting there and back again as fast as possible, from the moment you launch the rescue craft. I only require you to fly Jeb there yourself to keep the return vessel plausible. None of that is on the clock. I will also add that if you just want to Hyperedit a naked Jeb or nonfunctional vessel containing Jeb to the rescue location, that's fine with me too. What I don't want is people using Hyperedit to place a stack the size of the Empire State Building at the far end of the run for free. Having to fly it there keeps it real. I have edited the rules to reflect this.
  5. who can build the cheapest eve vessel?

    100 Kerbals to the surface of Eve and back? Even one is a major challenge, one I have done exactly once myself TBH, so I can't even imagine trying to take such a thing on.
  6. SAS: Hold Horizon

    I'd be happy if it would just properly hold the attitudes it already has programmed into it, but of course I would support this too. I think the ideal solution would be to have an "absolute" mode for the SAS hold function, where it holds a specific attitude with respect to infinity (like it does now), and a "relative" one, where it holds a specific attitude with respect to the coordinates of the Navball. That would allow you to maintain body-relative headings in flight/orbit and also to maintain absolute headings when plotting maneuvers.
  7. I probably had even more wing area on mine than that, but of course I never managed to make one that would fly stably without any control input. I stayed away from the wet wings too because I thought they might have more drag than regular ones. Do you know if that's true or not?
  8. I spent a few hours on this a few days ago, and I can say with confidence that building a glider big enough to effectively dilute the mass of that cockpit and stable enough to fly straight without control input is a pretty tough task.
  9. Fresh Eggs!

    The last challenge I did was the awesome Retrosolar Rescue, for which my entry took 4 months of play time, over 200 years of game time, and 47 gravity assists. Needless to say, after a grind like that I'm ready to take on something quicker! So here goes: Fresh Eggs! While shoveling icy dirt on a routine surface sample collection mission in the polar regions, Jebediah makes the find of a century: he unearths a clutch of Kraken eggs! The potential value of these to the scientists at the KSC is beyond measure, but it soon becomes evident that disturbing the eggs has harmed their health. When Jebediah calls home for advice, Bob asks around the conference room and nobody has any ideas, so he decides to just make something up: maybe those Gravioli anomalies we detect around the KSC Monolith have the power to revive them! Taking the circle of blank faces looking back at him as a clear sign of agreement, he confidently tells Jebediah that's the plan: bring them home as fast as you can! So Jebediah jumps into action to prepare for emergency departure, unfortunately in the process spilling his coffee all over the ship's navigation control panel. After putting the fire out, he discovers that his Kerbumi Industries ignition switch is completely destroyed and he is stuck, unable to take off. He does the only thing he can in this situation: he calls Bob again and tells him the switch blew up on its own as he was trying to ignite his main engines. So now there is only one solution left: Get a ship to Jebediah's polar landing site as fast as possible and bring those eggs back to the KSC Monolith! Scoring will be based on one thing only: Lowest game time elapsed from rescue mission launch to Jebediah (or a rescuer who has boarded his ship) tagging the Monolith. That is, you must first fly Jebediah to one of the landing sites below, then launch a ship from the KSC, rendezvous with him at his landing site, and take either ship back home to the KSC. "Rendezvous" means either Jeb must board the rescue ship (bringing the eggs with him) or the rescue ship pilot must board Jeb's vessel (bringing the replacement ignition switch), or alternately either of them could board either vessel after the two have met on EVA, transferring the eggs/switch. The clock starts when the rescue mission takes off from the KSC, and to stop it Jebediah must actually touch the KSC Monolith on EVA after the rendezvous. Any non-cheating means of getting either Jebediah to the rescue ship or a rescuing Kerbal to Jebediah's ship is allowed, with the understanding that Jebediah's ship cannot take off until a rescuing Kerbal has boarded it. It's basically a relay race, with the monolith as finish line, in which the baton can be passed in either direction when the two runners meet. To make it more interesting, I will start with three difficulty categories: Level One -- Kerpolar Express: Jebediah is stuck somewhere on either ice cap of Kerbin. Level Two -- Munerang: Jebediah is stuck anywhere in one of the polar biomes on the Mun. Level Three -- The Dunan: Jebediah is stuck on either ice cap of Duna. If you want to rescue Jebediah from an even more difficult site, I will make a separate category for you, provided the rescue location is above ~50 degrees latitude on whatever body you choose. I don't want the challenge to require only equatorial orbits, because I don't want landing right next to Jebediah to be too easy. Here are some more basic rules and clarifications: 1) Please provide sufficient screenshots to allow me to determine the exact time elapsed from rescue mission launch to Monolith contact. Screenshots for each ship in VAB/SPH, at launch, and around rendezvous are also required. A movie that shows all this is of course OK too. 2) You may pre-position one ship of any size/type with Jebediah, equipped with whatever rovers or other resources you want, provided you fly it there yourself. Use of Hyperedit to place stuff at Jebediah's site is forbidden, however use of ISRU to refuel at the landing site is allowed. Proviso: if you just want to place a naked Jeb or non-functional vessel at the rescue site, you may certainly use HyperEdit to do that. The point is just to prevent people from placing gigantic vessels at the rescue site without having to fly them there. 3) Similarly, you may put together your rescue ship any way you want, i.e. with rovers, in orbit, etc., but you must pilot all components yourself. In any event, the clock will start with the launch of the first rescue ship component from the KSC. 4) You may not use MechJeb or any other piloting mods to fly your ships for you. Purely informational use of MechJeb and other infomational mods like KER, etc. is encouraged to facilitate evaluation of entries. 5) Balanced parts mods, i.e. those that don't greatly alter performance, are OK, but you must use stock aerodynamics and otherwise stock physics to keep the playing field level. 6) There is in fact a Rule 6, and it is that all alt-f12 menu cheats are forbidden. 7) For levels 2 and 3, you can advance the clock to whatever relationship you want between Kerbin and the target body before you launch your rescue mission. The clock will not start until you launch. Since this challenge is clearly doable in principle, I will not be submitting any of my own entries right away. I will however do it at all three levels and submit them when I'm finished. I will also make a leader board and maybe even a badge if this thing gets any takers.....
  10. The Retro Solar Rescue

    Thank you! Halfway through, I was pretty doubtful about breaking the dV record, but as it turns out getting home was quite a bit cheaper than I thought it would be. As to how I planned all those gravity assists, I'd say it was a little bit of both. The basic principle is to construct a table of resonant orbital periods for each body you want multiple assists from, and then plot your encounters so that you eject with a period as close to one of those periods as possible. Generally when you're high up on the ladder, it's easy to hop from one resonant level to the next, but as you get lower down, the waits get longer and longer. Near 1:1, I would set it up so that I had two points of intersection and just run the clock forward until one of then got close to an encounter, then F9 and boost one way or the other to turn that close approach into an actuial encounter. In backwards world, every encounter would raise my AP and lower my PE a little or vice-versa, so once I was on that very eccentric Jool-tangent orbit that encountered Eve, I Was able to get all the way down to a 1:1, not-too-eccentric Eve-resonant orbit and back with nothing but successive gravity assists. In forwards world OTOH, you either raise or lower both AP and PE, and you can only lose energy from a tangent approach, so you have to do DSMs to either raise or lower your PE from AP in order to gain or lose velocity relative to your slingshot body. I of course had no idea if any of this would work well enough going in, I just kept trying different things. In the end, I'm amazed how easy it was. Like I said upthread, I have no doubt somebody could come along and beat my record by hundreds of m/s, but we'll see if anybody has the patience to take it on...
  11. The Retro Solar Rescue

    OK, so I'm finally finished, with all key moments posted Here: https://imgur.com/a/5URWb My final stats are as follows: dV Expended from LKO-ground: 4149, consisting of 3592 by the rescue ship, 505 by Burbarry on EVA, and 52 in RCS boosts. Launch weight: 111.78t, Launch cost: 145,790, Non-recoverable cost: 10,721LF+990Ox+215.8MP = 8,971 Total gravity assists: 47 = 23 getting to Burbarry, 24 getting back, 7 Jool, 23 Kerbin, 14 Eve, 2 Tylo, 1 Mun. Total mission time: 207Y, 409D The basic strategy was to use Juno-type DSM-Kerbin assist pairs to get to a high Jool-encountering orbit, swing around Jool 4 consecutive times to reverse orbit, then ride a ladder of resonant Kerbin/Eve orbits to a 1:1 Eve-resonant orbit that is essentially Eve's orbit backwards. From this, I boosted my AP to encounter Burbarry, then had him EVA to make up the ~500m/s velocity difference at rendezvous. From there, I immediately encountered Eve again to start climbing an arduous ladder of 18 Kerbin-resonant orbits until AP reached Jool from there. The first Jool encounter reversed my orbit again, and the second one put my PE tangent to Kerbin's orbit. From there, three Kerbin encounters plus a handful of PE-raising DSMs were sufficient to get to a survivable aerocapture from a near-tangent 3:2-resonant orbit. I landed it from LKO for a 13m/s de-orbit burn, a few km short of the KSC. A couple of short bursts from the Rapiers then allowed me to taxi to the runway. What a ride! I have certainly never put more effort into a single mission, but it was fun! On to something much quicker...
  12. I've spent a fair bit of time on a similar problem to this before, around a "paper airplane" challenge that somebody posted a couple of years ago, so I think I've got a bit of a lead on this one. The key to it IMO will be to dilute the weight of the cockpit with as much pure wing area as possible, while maintaining sufficient stability and control. With just an ECS, a couple of control surfaces, and wings, it was possible to get 40km downrange from a 4000m apoapsis. for glide slope of 1:10. I think the air is more favorable since I did that, so I can probably do better now. Of course diluting that cockpit enough is going to require a whole lot of wing area, so the winning craft could be pretty amusing. I'm definitely going to give it a try after I get done posting my entry for the Retrosolar Rescue....
  13. The STOL challenge!

    Since your only requirement is that it has to take off and land at the lowest possible forward speed, any kind of basic reaction wheel copter will trivialize this challenge. You should probably either outlaw reaction wheel copters entirely, or else posit some requirement for sustained forward flight, like to the island runway or at a speed of at least 150m/s.
  14. The Retro Solar Rescue

    Thanks for the clarifications! I did actually manage land it deadstick last night, without difficulty, on the far side of the mountains from the KSC. I do have pictures of that, but I still want to take another go at the runway without engines tonight just for form's sake. I guess if I can land it on the runway I'll have the cost record beaten as well, so there's that too! This has been quite a fun and, well, challenging challenge. I hope that some others will give the lowest dV run a try. In spite of my final total, I know I could have shaved off hundreds of m/s more with greater precision and more patience. Adding up all my non-optional DSMs and my initial route to Jool, I think a perfect execution of what I did might add up to as little as 3200m/s. I'd love to see somebody try to prove me right, but it's a pretty big commitment!
  15. The Retro Solar Rescue

    So after a hiatus of a few weeks due to being busy with other stuff, I've been plugging away for the last few days, and it looks now like I'll bring the whole mission in for under 4,000m/s all told. This album currently has just a couple of new pictures showing where I am now, but I will fill it all in as soon as I'm finished for real. https://imgur.com/a/5URWb Since I last posted, I have continued lowering my orbit until I got to an AP tangent to Burbarry and a PE between Eve and Moho. From that orbit, I boosted for ~470m/s to raise my PE to Eve's orbit and set up a close approach to Burbarry. From that approach, I rescued Burbarry using a Martian-style EVA boost for ~500m/s, matching orbits right as my rescue ship showed up. It was actually quite a bit easier than I expected to do this. Total EVA time for Burbarry was around 1.25 hours. Once Burbarry was aboard, it took a grinding series of 1 Eve followed by 18 Kerbin assists to get my apoapsis back up to Jool. At Jool I was able to reverse my orbit the first encounter, but with a sun-grazing PE that I could not raise with subsequent Kerbin encounters. So a second Jool encounter was required to raise solar PE to the vicinity of Kerbin's orbit. Due to unfortunate timing, it then took yet one more go-round, involving an unintentional third Jool encounter, to get to a near-tangent prograde Kerbin encounter. The gravity assist from that will get me to a 4:1-resonant orbit with PE between Kerbin and Burbarry's Bane, from which I expect to need only another 300m/s max in DSMs at AP to get to a survivable aerocapture. Total dV expended to get to this point has been about 3,665 m/s, so I think the record is probably in the bag (Take heed, @jonny!).Total time expended OTOH looks like just over 200 years. Anyway, watch this space for a full album and a complete mission summary in the next few days..... Update, 9/11: I have now made it back to LKO for a total of 4,134m/s,. not quite the 4km/s optimistic estimate I made above. This consisted of 3,579m/s for the rescue ship on the nukes, 505m/s from Burbarry's EVA pack, and somewhere under 50m/s in RCS propellant. I've appended a few more pix to my album (many more to come!) to show where I am now. That would beat the current record by over 1km/s, but for one thing: I still need to land! For a regular ship, this would take next to no dV, but putting my plane down on the runway from LKO completely deadstick is going to be pretty challenging. I suppose I could just point it at the middle of the desert continent and land wherever I come down, but that just seems lame after going to so much trouble with every other part of this mission. So a couple of quick questions for @Physics Student just to be sure: 1) Does the challenge actually require bringing Burbarry all the way back to the ground? If so is any location acceptable? and 2) if I fly at all on my Rapiers in atmosphere, will that count against my dV total at an ISP of 3200? I'm assuming the answer to all questions is yes, so it will probably take me just a bit longer to put this thing to bed. If I get bored trying to bullseye the runway deadstick, I'll just land in the middle of nowhere and call it a day I guess, but I'm not quite ready to accept that ending....