The Problem with missing MK3 Command Pod is, that it wasnt unlocked at that time.
Ok youre right, the Rocket uses modded part, i dont know if it would be possible without them...thats right.
But in fact i used that Rocket to get 12 Kerbals(6 Mission Contracts) at one time to the moon, with orbit, to Minmus with Orbit and back to Kerbin...and yeahhh your right, that rocket has the worst control...but its far away from being an uncontrollable.
It has no Batterie since 30 Part Limit.
When i build that Rocket, i hadnt enough money for the VAB upgrade, so i needed to find a solution and cause im lazy i didnt want to fly multiple rockets for these contracts.
So for me it was an really early craft cause missing VAB updgrade. And of Course, Gathering Science is in Career much more Easy...i did a minmus run and got science from 5 Biomes...in one Mission nearly 3k Science...i know its possible to get more
Last but not least, the side-attached parachutes will never burn, except you do a bad reentry...but reentry with this thing, is much easier than wit a Mk3 Command Pod and Service Module& Heatshield, since that 30tons Monster dont flip while reentry.
I`ve never seen me as a Veteran...more a expierenced Beginner
Notice, the middle Engine is also a Skipper, so its fully controllable from the Start. The maybe worst thing is the Rotation...thats right, buy hey there was no other solution...using MK1 Pod instead the Core wasnt possible since i think weight were too much and dV was sinking...i tried many options, but this was the most efficient way to get 14 Kerbals there and back again.
There was a Pilot onboard....i had 12 Tourist and 1 Pilot and 1 Engineer with me cause they needed XP