• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

41 Excellent

About vyznev

  • Rank
    Curious George
  1. Micro-Engineering Challenge

    Enbedding imgur albums has been broken for ages, AFAIK. It says it's going to appear "when the post is submitted", but it never does. Embedding individual images from imgur works fine, though. Also, I know I'm nitpicking, but "every celestial body in the game" technically includes Jool and Kerbol, but they don't have a surface to land on. You might want to exclude those. More seriously, you might want to consider defining the goalposts of this challenge a bit more concretely, so that it's easier to tell what counts as a valid solution and what doesn't. I mean, making the MicroShuttle was fun, and some of your new challenge goals look like they could be fun to try too, but trying to chase a moving target gets frustrating after a while. If you're not sure what level of challenge would be best, you can always create multiple tiers and maybe offer bonus points and/or honorary mentions for folks who go above and beyond what you've asked for. Or if that seems like taking it too seriously, just set a few basic requirements and say that anything that meets those is fine. Also, your first post above looks kind of hard to read now, since it seems to have the old and the new challenge rules mixed together. While I can't speak for everybody, my impression has been that most people who are looking to try a challenge really want to see two things written clearly and easily visible: 1) what's required for a minimum valid entry, and 2) how are entries ranked, i.e. what (if anything) makes one better than another? If those things aren't clearly visible, either people will just skip the challenge or they'll post something that doesn't actually meet the requirements.
  2. Hmm, what about replacing the tank with a linear RCS port? A smaller radius should give a higher rotor RPM for the same wheel speed. You might need to reduce the number of drive wheels to make them fit, but that should be OK as long as the shaft is reasonably solidly built. I'd also try the TR-2L wheels, and maybe plane landing gear. (I may have to install KSP on this laptop just to give this a try myself.)
  3. Anyway, a bit more seriously, I see at least three possible ways to attempt this, each with their own advantages and drawbacks: Put the solar panels on the engines, as suggested above. Probably not very practical for giant panels and high-power engines, but a couple of small OX-STAT panels on the propeller blades or on the hub should be able to power a single reaction wheel. You could periodically stop the engines and reattach them to the main craft (with docking ports or a Klaw) to transfer power. With enough engines on your plane, you could even safely do that one engine at a time while using the rest to maintain your speed. The main downside is that this would require a lot of manual micromanagement, unless you used something like KOS to automate it. There's an alternative stock rotor design that uses rover (or plane) wheels on the main vessel to power the rotor. Here's a couple of examples from an old thread. These do seem to have some reliability issues with the wheels glitching and/or popping, but if you could solve them, they might be ideal for your purposes. I'm not sure how to best control the drive wheels on a plane, though, with the rotor axis presumably pointing lengthwise. I guess you could try mounting the wheels at, say, a 45 degree angle to the propeller axis and just driving forward/back (remember to bind those to some other keys than the default W/S, or you'll have a nasty surprise) to spin the propellers. Or if you used just one powered wheel per rotor and left the rest unpowered, you might be able to use the translate up/left/down/right controls (I/J/K/L by default) to make them spin. This may require some experimental work.
  4. Put the solar panels on the propeller blades?
  5. Micro-Engineering Challenge

    Well, I decided to see how far the probe could go in one trip. So I went to Jool (with a Laythe fly-by). And then to Eeloo. And back to Jool again, just for a gravity assist to Dres. And then to Duna (with several Ike fly-bys), and finally to Eve with a Kerbin fly-by along the way. Didn't quite have the delta-v to get to Moho and complete the grand tour in one go, although with a bit more planning and optimizing the transfers it might have been possible. Or I guess I could've just brought another tank of xenon. Still, not bad for a 6,010 kg launch mass. Lotsa pix to prove it happened: Ps. I figured I should fly a Moho mission, just to demonstrate that the probe can do it. So here goes:
  6. Micro-Engineering Challenge

    Well, I made this thing: It's a reusable SSTSO (single stage to suborbital; probably could make it all the way to orbit with more careful flying) spaceplane carrying a tiny ion probe that should have enough delta-v to get from LKO to anywhere, and probably even visit several planets in one mission. I haven't actually tested that yet, though. It's only got 200 units of charge and two 1x6 solar panels, so maneuvers may require patience and, especially for capture burns, careful planning. Still, it should be enough, although I guess sticking on a couple of extra radial batteries just for good measure wouldn't hurt the delta-v too much. Batteries are really quite surprisingly lightweight in KSP. (Just to be clear, I'm not claiming to have completed the challenge yet, since I've only flown this thing up to LKO. Just wanted to post a work-in-progress update.) Update: OK, so I decided to go back to the SPH and add some more xenon and batteries to my probe. It now weighs 793 kg (out of a total mass at launch of just a hair over 6 tonnes) and has over 8.5 km/s of delta-v. I still haven't flown it beyond LKO, but now I'm sure that it's got enough delta-v to go anywhere. Here's the craft file, if you want to try it out.
  7. Micro-Engineering Challenge

    OK, so by "reusable 100%" you just mean that any parts I stage off must be able to return to Kerbin? Or just achieve stable orbit? Or do you just mean that the design must be reusable? Also, what counts as "big parts"? I assume any Tiny, Small or Mk1 parts are OK to use? What about Mk2? The Mk2 cargo bay would be awful convenient to have, since the only payload container in any smaller size class is the 1.25m service bay, which isn't really even big enough for an ion engine and a decoupler. Basically, trying to squeeze a functional probe into one of those becomes an exercise in creative part clipping. Or I suppose I could use a payload fairing instead, if those count as reusable. And are all radial parts OK, even things like Gigantor solar panels or Thud engines? Oh, and what's with the "stable orbit" requirement? I assume it means I can't use a direct suborbital-to-escape ascent trajectory, but I'm not sure why that would need to be disallowed. If you can escape the SOI, boosting your periapsis into space is trivial.
  8. Micro-Engineering Challenge

    Does "go to any planet" mean just doing a fly-by through the SOI, or does it need to be able to reach a stable orbit, or even land? And does "planet" exclude moons? Because "get to Jool SOI and back" is a very different challenge than "get to Tylo's surface and back". And does "reusable" mean every part has to be able to land safely back on Kerbin, or is it enough to just leave the craft in orbit (around Kerbin or elsewhere) where it could, in theory, be refueled and reused? Oh, and I assume unmanned is fine, but you might want to be explicit about that. Also, what's a "ghost engine"? Do you mean one of these?
  9. Lowest Cost to Orbit

    Oh well, I didn't notice this challenge had a deadline before I did it. Anyway, here's my entry, the Inexpensive Donkey. It's 100% solid fueled and uses overheat staging, because cubic octagonal struts are cheaper than decouplers. It's also manned, since the Mk1 command pod is cheaper (and heavier!) than a low-tier probe core plus a small reaction wheel. It weighs 37,595 kg at launch and costs 4,986 √, or just 0.132624 √ per kg. The overheat staging actually almost ruined the flight, because there's something funny with the RT-5 Flea engine's plume that causes the strut not to heat up as it should. If you want to try this craft, I very much recommend using the move tool to pull the strut below the Flea engine down a notch or two, so that the game actually considers it to be in the plume. Also, as a side effect of the hacky staging, KER miscalculates the delta-v, since it thinks I'm hauling all the spent stages with me to orbit. I didn't bother to do a manual calculation, but the true delta-v is surely well over 3400 m/s. Screenshots:
  10. 10g Circumnavigation

    Scott Manley's 5g to orbit vehicle was definitely not optimal. Mine was quite a bit smaller, and had plenty of delta-v to spare. IIRC, I tried pulling off the same trick at 10g, but the problem was that the rocket would invariably fall apart and explode on the launch pad. I didn't use autostruts, though; with those, it might be a lot more doable.
  11. Falcon Heavy to Duna

    Okay, I *thought* that was the easy part. Wasn't actually quite so easy peasy after all, and the F9 button did see some use. Apparently I'd been lucky with my landing sites in my test runs, and consequently a bit too optimistic with the amount of delta-v needed. Anyway, I did eventually nail it -- landed on empty tanks and lost an engine, but I call that good enough. It's not as if those engines were going to be of any use with no fuel left, anyway, and they were only added to the Tesla for the specific purpose of getting it safely down on Duna. (Any reports of Jeb and Val using them for extra air time during the test drive are strictly denied by SpaceX. That would be really unsafe, anyway. No, I mean really unsafe. ) Anyway, here's the point breakdown: Gone For a Spin (10 points): Before the launch, demonstrate your Roadster's moves by driving it around the KSC. Check. Speed Demon (15 points): Test your Roadster at speeds over 100 mph (45 m/s). Check, see previous. Falcon Nine (27 points): Use nine engines on each of your booster cores. Check. (9 x LV-T30 on each booster, one LV-T30 on the upper stage) Autonomic (13 points): Use drone cores; nothing manned. Check. (A total of 7 probe cores used, including two on the Tesla.) Looking Easy (16 points): Recover at least one parallel booster. Check. Insane Mode (42 points): Recover both parallel boosters with boostback, RTLS (anywhere on KSC continent), and propulsive landing. Check. (Although technically I didn't really do a proper boostback, since I just aimed my initial launch trajectory to land the boosters back at KSC. I did end up doing a slight boostforward for one of the boosters, to make it land at the KSC peninsula instead of somewhere up in the hills to the west.) Downrange (19 points): Recover your center core. Check. Supercruise (18 points): Recover your center core by landing on a boat. Check. Tru Lyfe (33 points): All booster recoveries without chutes. Check. (Not a single parachute was used on the entire vessel. Plenty of airbrakes, though.) Hail Mary (28 points): Bring back the upper stage. Check. (I assume anywhere on Kerbin counts, because I ended up landing it almost on the opposite side of the planet from KSC.) Double Trouble (26 points): Build your own fairings and recover at least one. Check, sorta. (Upper stage had a shuttle-style cargo bay, which was recovered. Apparently that counts. In any case, no disposable fairings were used; the only stock fairings on the craft were used as custom nose cones and/or interstage shrouds on the boosters, and were recovered intact.) Purity (30 points): No mods. Check, hopefully. (The only mods used during the actual flight were purely for cosmetic and informational purposes. See list of mods below.) Destination (22 points): Land your Roadster on Duna and take it for a spin! Check. I also went for the "pretty difficult" bonus challenge of landing every booster in a single save, rather than just landing one and then using F9 to go back and land the next one. (F9 was still used aplenty, but only to retry failed landing attempts. ) I actually came up with a clever trick for that: Mods used: DCK, for repainting the Tesla and the fuel tanks. No DCK custom parts were used. KER, purely informational (but absolutely essential; there's no way I could've possibly flown this mission without it). KAC, for launch window planning and to make sure I don't forget my maneuver nodes. MechJeb, used only for the landing site map crosshair (purely informational) and for deploying the droneships (for atmospheric heading and altitude hold, which the stock SAS lacks). I hope all of these are acceptable for the Purity subchallenge. The only one I think might be questionable is MechJeb, but I didn't actually use it to fly the spacecraft at any point. Anyway, expect a more detailed writeup, craft files and video of the whole thing at some indefinite time in the future.
  12. Falcon Heavy to Duna

    It's done! Well, almost done. I still need to land the Tesla on Duna, but that's the easy part. In any case, all the boosters and the upper stage are safely on Kerbin. It's getting late here, though. Well, actually, more like it's getting early. But anyway, I'll do the rest tomorrow, and hopefully post a video of it once I've edited it into something watchable. Well, that was way harder than I thought it would be. But fun!
  13. Unconventional Staging

    Well, I went to LKO. I'm not expecting any points for that, I just wanted to point out that doing staging without decouplers is pretty trivial in KSP. You could go just about anywhere with a ship like that, just scaled up. Eve or Tylo might be a bit of a challenge, because they always are, but other than that it's all pretty straightforward. (Also, yeah, my re-entry sucked. I was trying to see if I could let re-entry heating burn the engine and tank off, but of course that doesn't work with a vessel shaped like this, because it flips as soon as the engine blows up. I should've just done a slower re-entry and maybe used the spare fuel to decelerate, or else I should've designed the upper stage differently. Maybe with a sepratron or two pointed at the fuel tank to deliberately blow it up before hitting the atmosphere.)
  14. Falcon Heavy to Duna

    Awesome! Meanwhile, I finished deploying my droneships. Ten ships is probably way overkill, but whatever. At least I'll have plenty of targets to choose from. I did fly them all out instead of just editing the save file, but I used MechJeb's autopilot (heading and altitude hold) so I didn't actually have to manually fly them all out in real time. Given that it would've taken about 5 or 6 hours at 1x time accel, that would've been a bit too much. As it was, I just had to launch and land them, but MechJeb handled the boring part in between at 4x physics warp while I made myself a cup of coffee, watched YouTube, etc. I also tweaked the design a bit so that it flies more stably now, although the sideslip tendency is still there. I had to tell MechJeb to hold heading at 88.5° to make the droneships fly due east. And yes, they're all named after ships from Iain M. Banks' Culture novels, just like OCISLY and JRTI. If SpaceX ever needs to get more barges, maybe they'll pick some of those names for them IRL. Probably not those particular ones, though.
  15. Falcon Heavy to Duna

    Nah, it's good. In any case, it's not like my boosters can take that much more of an impact, either...