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Found 10 results

  1. This contains my entry for the Caveman Challenge 1.11 (its about completing the tech tree without upgrading buildings) Below I will explain my missions and strategy to accomplish this. The "Diamond" level of the Caveman Challenge is just career mode with the following limitations No upgrading any buildings Custom difficulty Every slider on the lowest/harshest setting Except for science gains at 20% Details can be found on the Caveman challenge topic You win when all Tier 5 tech tree nodes have been unlocked That sounds simple enough, but so many advanced features are linked to building upgrades Kerbals cannot EVA in flight, no flags No fuel transfers No orbital trajectory predictions, or maneuver nodes Launch mass, height, and part count No quick saves/reverts In short, if you think you got the hang of KSP by now because you have done Eve accent missions, or low dv transfers via slingshots, this challenge might put a bite back into the game! I'll try to organize all the images in an imgur/google-drive album, with minimal pictures here to have an easier reading experience. Simply open up the album in a separate window to view the entirety of it. Overall strategy goals (which inevitably fails, but it guides well enough) Get some surplus funds in the bank. Enough funds so that the next launch won't bankrupt you if when it fails Unlock all the science experiments. One thorough clean sweep over the KSC is easier than going back many times This is not entirely possible though, since you need science to get science experiments Missions that cannot be 100% recovered, cost funds. Unless they are offset with contracts, or world first records Hopping a Flea booster around the KSC is almost free Dropped stages on the way to orbit are expensive Unlock the high ISP Terrier engine. This makes Mun/Minmus missions reliable and easy Post construction for Minmus biome hopping Docking fuels pods in orbit. Got a manned capsule with ~6000m/s dv. Interplanetary travel is still difficult, but it now has a big safety margin (?) Stranded engineer in orbit . Rather put a scientist in EVA orbit, they can re-use heavy science pods (engineers aren't much more useful than dockings ports already are...for in this situation though) (?) Docking boosters onto hanging rockets on the launch pad. Works wonders, less effort than 2x launches, and results in almost 3x payload to LKO (without needing more probe cores, so it becomes cheaper than 2x launches) (?) An engineer with many assistants could build Spark-engine-boosters Lessons learned Research tech nodes very carefully. Docking ports and Juno engine(with the basic aircraft wheels) were essential to my missions, but Rover wheels only got used once Nodes with science parts obviously bring in more science Adding Thumper boosters to launch vehicles reduces cost per ton of payload, since you can double the payload, but don't have to double the controlling probe core Caveman comms can reach the Mun, so early probe landings are an easier way of getting science Minmus comms might be possible after many satellite contracts Docking without RCS is obviously harder, but don't overcomplicate it with weird designs Kerbals can EVA infinitely by moving their EVA pack into/out of containers The Start Album 1 The settings: So we start out with zero funds, zero science, and zero negative 1000 reputation That's fine, well make money after the first launch, unless we can't launch without any funds! What we do is...roll the dice. If you are lucky, you will get 2 contracts which give 600+ funds in advance. We then use that to launch the first business vehicle (getting funds is the top priority now, science we will only be taken if its free) Be extremely careful when clicking to accept contracts: Miss-clicking the red decline button will cost you probably all the funds you have (some have a penalties of like -90 000) Accepting a contract that you are not ready to complete yet, can become a heavy ball-and-chain on your space program Some contracts cannot even be declined Declining contracts are expensive 1 less slot for active contracts in flight make it difficult to be profitable in launches Lucky enough with those funds, I "launched" this...thing. There was hope that pressing spacebar with that empty booster would count towards the "launch first vessel" contract (spoiler, it doesn't) Now take crew reports, EVA the kerbal since we are landed and take EVA reports as well. Shove those EVA reports into the capsule to take new reports. An easy EVA report here, is to climb on top of the capsule and jump off! When in mid air, click the "EVA Report" button. After that, run up to the Crawlerway towards the KSC buildings. The Crawlerway gives another EVA report. Run back to the capsule, drop the EVA report, and run down to the beach. There's more EVA reports there, as well as some "World First Contracts" on the way (thanks to one of the masters of this challenge for pointing out that trick) This nets a total of...a puny amount of science. Need a tiny bit more for the first tech node. Make a simple hopper rocket on the runway, launch it towards the KSC and collect the science. Do not use decouplers on the Flea booster...rather land it together with the capsule to get the recovery funds back. Remember to make a habit of removing the Kerbal inventory items, and also any ablator in the heatshields (if you are carrying those). Once we have 5 science, we unlock the tech node with the thermometer science part. Getting new science opportunities is very important here, but science itself takes 2nd priority (it will make sense in a minute). Dropping spent contracts Album 2 I'm still stuck with that "Escape atmosphere" contract, taking up a valuable slot of the total 2 slots we have for contracts. To cash in on it, we launch...a thing! Its simple really, get the capsule up to +70km, but also safely back down, or risk having 1 kerbal less. It is tempting to do this before unlocking decouplers, but its not worth the risk. Even a Flea booster on the back of a capsule can be enough to flip it, into a really aerodynamically stable orientation. Those dart too quickly into the ground for parachutes to even open up. So add a decoupler between the capsule and the Flea (but point the decoupler downwards to save some recovery cost). The Hammer booster can be hot-staged: no decoupler used, just fire up the Flea right before the Hammer is empty (when it has about 1 second of fuel left, or 100m/s dv in the readings). It is important to catch this earlier rather than later (a late burn will cause the Hammer to not explode off the craft as soon as it should, while blocking the Flea's thrust) Get some science on the way up. In this launch science experiments can be done when Landed, and in low atmosphere (-30km?), and in high atmosphere (-70km), and again in space. You will have to choose which ones you want, since you can't carry them all without more science containers. The landing happened in the mountains (yeah fresh science! but, dangerous steep slopes) I couldn't get the capsule to stay put without SAS on (in order to EVA the Kerbal). So i decided to not risk getting outside for a tumble The craft name in the mission debriefing explained the entire purpose of this launch. This got lots of useful science, and even some funds, but the best part is it opened up the extra contract slot! Eternal balance, science vs funds Album 3 What follows is a bit of a grind to get enough funds for bigger missions. If done thoughtfully, you can also get science along the way. Go get some contracts that specialize in simple tests: Test on launch pad Test parachutes at less than 10km (just check that the speed range is attainable) Haul parts up to altitude Anything that you can do while hopping around the KSC will fit. Then just aim for a different KSC buildings each time Its not a ton of science, but it adds up soon enough Orbit Kerbin Album 4 We got a contract and word first records to fund this mission - getting into Kerbin orbit. Building under the strict limitations, I found an interesting bit of info: The Reliant engine is better than the Swivel engine under some circumstances. That sounds plausible, but here I found that even when the vast majority of engine usage happens in a vacuum, the Reliant (with a worse vacuum Isp) still beats the Swivel in terms of dv (and of course thrust as well). This is due to the Reliant having less mass than the Swivel. It misses out on gimbaling though, but that's not necessary for this craft being well balanced and in space most of the time. This effect is very apparent when comparing a Terrier engine to a Spark engine, on a single 2t fuel tank. They almost break even at that mass (depending on the payload of course), but unless lots of thrust is needed, you are better off with the Spark since it has less mass for the previous stages to push around. Pretty typical launch. This shape is very aerodynamic, so get that trajectory flat quite early. A trick I use to know if my launch is going well: Open up that orbit info tab (purple button, bottom left corner of the screen) Keep the Apoapsis minus current altitude to less than 10km apoapsis= ~37km, altitude= ~30km, apoapsis - altitude = ~7km, (which is less than 10km) This works well for the part of the launch where your speed is between 500m/s - 2000m/s At the launch pad, the results of this is obviously bogus Near final orbit, its not that useful anymore So when that difference gets greater that 10km, i ease up on the throttle. Below 10km, and i throttle up a bit This is probably TWR dependent, so make that "10km" threshold whatever works best Got into a safe (but ugly) orbit, its fine, its +90% successful if you could measure that. What now? Don't deorbit yet, listen to the music and stuff, but more importantly press escape, go to the contracts building. Check if they have a new contract, like "Return to Kerbin from orbit". Its free money! We have been using fuel very sparingly and efficiently up until now (either it costs funds, or we need it to make orbit, always an excuse). Now, that fuel is going to be crashing into Kerbin, might as well use it while you got it. Use as much as you need for a reentry close to the KSC Caveman diamond rules set the reentry heat to 120%. I have never tried that before, this was my first time. I was afraid Jeb couldn't take the heat, so I packed a heatshield (empty out that ablator though, its just extra mass). After this reentry, I know its not that harsh at all. Gentle reentries could survive without one I think. Got near perfect reentry profile that landed me just beyond the tip of the runway. Also congratulations Jeb on that promotion! Challenge the Mun Album 5 At this point, I wanted to do that Mun contract, but didn't have the Terrier engine. Without it, even a stripped down command pod vessel could barely reach the Mun. I tried to attain the extra science needed with the famous KSC roller! It failed miserably, the Materials bay I added in the center exploded after exceeding 6m/s. So i added sturdy...wheels?. That wasn't controllable at all. I did some more KSC hops, maybe I could source the little bit of science needed locally. That didn't seem like the easier way I knew that if i could just do 1 Mun flyby, I would get loads of science and cash. Im going to say Jeb convinced me to do it, and that it was out of my hands, but we are launching for a Mun flyby! We are using a similar design as the first orbit vessel (didn't get enough science for new parts, so it feels a bit like the middle ages over here). Same trick as before, the Reliant engine actually performs slightly better as a vacuum engine here. Get into a nice orbit. To intercept the Mun: Draw a vertical line through Kerbin Measure the angle from the top, clockwise towards the Mun If that angle is 45°, its time to do that trans-munar injection burn When your craft is at the bottom of that vertical line, just burn prograde When your Apoapsis touches the Mun's orbital line, stop burning I think 55° is slightly better, but its hard enough measuring this by eye so we all just say 45. In hindsight, don't set the trajectory beyond the Mun, rather let it barely touch the Mun's SOI to be safe. Running on fumes! Good thing the calculations were correct, there is still fuel left. If all goes well, it will be enough fuel to get back to Kerbin. Got a dangerous intercept here. Try burning towards the "other" radial () marker, that should push our orbit so that we don't get a slingshot into interplanetary space. That Earth Kerbin-rise never gets old "If all goes well"...I jinxed it by saying This could be really bad, we don't have enough fuel to change much about the orbit, we don't have fancy upgrades that show us predictions about encounters...Jeb's fate is pretty much locked into whatever the Mun wants to do with this now. After lots and lots of slingshots, the Mun finally messed up while toying with Jeb. This ended up on a trajectory somewhat past Minmus, we have a chance to hit the atmosphere with this tiny bit of fuel! At Apoapsis, check the orbit velocity and compare that to the total dv in the craft. If you can cancel most of that orbital velocity, you will be falling almost straight down to Kerbin, hopefully drowning some of that excess kinetic energy into Kerbin's atmosphere. Remember to drop the bottom half of the craft earlier rather than later, tumbling head first is something i have not tested yet. Landed at a pretty crater Enough science for the all important Terrier engine, this was quite stressful ... More to come!
  2. With @Speeding Mullet's blessing I am honored to present the fourth iteration of the KSP Caveman Challenge: KSP Caveman Challenge Facility upgrades are forbidden. Terrible runway and launchpad. Part count of thirty and vehicle mass limit of 18.0 tons. No fancy patched conics, no maneuver nodes and no Deep Space Network. Abhorrent fear of technology as primitive as can be. Acquire 1188 Science Points to unlock twenty nodes of the technology tree. Challenge Rules: Stock career mode (DLC expansions allowed*) Include pictures of your Science Archives No mods that alter game play (mods used for graphics, radio chatter, ect. are fine) Use of the KER mod is not permitted No use of Mods or Cheat Menu in separate games No cheat menus or any other shenanigans No kraken/ladder drives or similar contraptions Science Points have many sources just detail the method for the majority of Science Points acquired *The Making History/Breaking Ground expansion pack will be allowed, but will be split into a separate category from stock. Users who complete the challenge using the expansion pack will not receive as many kudus and will not be eligible for the "Order of the Trilobite." Use of the mission builder is prohibited. Help Resources: This thread is perhaps the single largest compilation of previous attempts and useful information, but here are some other places you should check out. TALC: Complete Challenge in Easy Career Mode You'd better make quick work of this soft-rock career Apatite: Complete Challenge in Normal Career Mode The minimum amount of flare. Vanadium: Complete Challenge in Moderate Career Mode A tool's hard edge can make all the difference. Topaz: Complete Challenge in Hard Career Mode Happy, shiny caveman. Corundum: Custom Difficulty This career would not wear down a tough caveman... Diamond: Custom Difficulty For brilliant cavemen, possessed of fire. Nano-crystalline Diamond: Custom Difficulty Hard caveman. Good luck, you'll need it! The Trilobitic Order Legendary cavemen. (& cavewomen!) Badges:
  3. This is a caveman Nano Crystaline Diamond level run with Both MH&BG DLC's. I already completed Diamond, but I wanted to try something a bit nuttier, so here comes my NCD run. Settings are as follow : Rules are the usual caveman ones, no upgrades and unlock all T5 tech to complete the challenge. It's been in the works for while now, but I'm close to reaching, and this will kick the run into high gear. The first part reports will be short & concise, after miniaturisation we'll try fun things with more detailed reports & albums. An other thing is that testing ideas for the caveman Jool5 challenge gave me new fun ideas for a caveman run, instead of repeating what I did in the diamond run. Ladder rides, on pad assembly and interplanetary cavemen will all be happening for sure ! The run diary so far has been : NCD#1 : Science on the pad & runway, jumping for EVA's NCD#2 : First launch NCD#3 : Roller till termometer, then with it. Doing the trick of going just fast enough to get the flying over <biome> reports from the different KSC biomes. NCD#4 : Reaching Space ! with a sounding rocket, easy stuff. Then landing on the island with the landing strip for fun. Not much science (only EVA) but still a fun thing to do. NCD#5 : Orbit & Return. This was done with my diamond run drop tank + reliant based design. NCD#6 : moar rollers (completing KSC science), a few science ICBM's NCD#7 : mun (HO), reliant drop tank design. NCD#8 : mun (LO), reliant drop tank design. NCD#9 : Orbital Mun Flight + Mun Polar Orbit (contract). I got two of those contracts, and it proved vers profitable as NCD funds tend to run low pretty fast. NCD#10 : Hitting jackpot with a bobcat testing mission ! Kerbin Polar ladder ride. Bottom stage is a bobcat + 4xFLT 400's then terrier with two tanks Next part will be all about using the nifty bobcat engine to get to minmus and reach enough science for miniaturisation. Also cutting costs by recovering the upperstage ! After minmus, I'll do ladder rides to Minmus and Mun, then go for Duna using niffty new navigation tools made for the Community Caveman Jool5 challenge.
  4. KSP Caveman Celestial Navigation KSP Caveman have an abhorrent fear of technological devices. Never Trust A Computer You Cannot Bash! So KSP caveman get by with what we have. Using instinct along with trial and error. Navigating interplanetary beyond Kerbin's backyard is sketchy. No maneuver nodes makes an intercept risky. We have had KSP Caveman reach Duna but most are hesitant and stick with visiting Mun or Minmus. The goal is to expand the KSP Caveman's set of tools for navigating beyond Kerbin. It should be possible to use the equation of an ellipse to create formula to assist in navigation. The result should allow KSP caveman to travel interplanetary with confidence with the use of simple tools to measure on screen information and apply formulas to predict spacecraft and planet locations. For those who are not familiar with the KSP Caveman challenge consider this as a method to utilize alien technology using primitive tools. The navigation screen exposes a fantastic machine. Considering that it is capable of tracking all large celestial bodies and spacecraft s in real time. The first level navigation system indicates periapsis and apoapsis accurately and if utilized properly can also determine orbit inclination. We know the planets are on rails but if you ignore that and just imagine that the navigation screen is what our beloved Kerbals would interact with and see and they make do with the resources at hand. The goal is how to utilize the navigation screen to its fullest. With just math theory and string this simple looking navigation system could allow KSP Caveman to complete a grand tour. The Equation Of The Ellipse Definition of an ellipse. From the focus take a parallel line from the minor axis and where the line intersects with the ellipse represents the focal length. To perform calculations based on measurements from within the game we are going to need to use the equation of the ellipse. x2/a2 + y2/b2 = 1 a = 1/2 major axis b= 1/2 minor axis Deriving the equation for the distance from the centre to focus. c = sqrt (a2-b2) The focal length is another piece of the puzzle. L= 2b2/a The values can be obtained by using the in game information available on the navigation map. The value for 1/2 the major axis is from the centre to vertex. The apoapsis and periapsis inform us of the total length of the ellipse but it is the value above sea level. Add in two times the planet radius and the total length of the major axis is solved. 2a = Periapsis + Apoapsis + 2 Planet Radius To solve for a take half of the major axis total length. Solving for c is next and we use the value of a and subtract the periapsis of the orbiting spacecraft and the radius of the planet. One of the focus points of the ellipse corresponds to the planet centre. The value of c refers to the centre of the ellipse to the focus. c = a - (Periapsis + Planet Radius) Solving for b is a little less complicated. Rearranging the equation for the distance from centre to focus. b = sqrt (a2-c2) Example: From the cheat menu set the orbit to 5 000 000 and 0.5 for the eccentricity. Identifying the variables. The periapsis equals 1 900 000 metres. The apoapsis equals 6 900 000 metres. The planet radius equals 600 000 metres. All values are displayed in the navigation screen. The value for a,b,c are calculated. 2a = Periapsis + Apoapsis + 2 Planet Radius 2a = 1 900 000 m+ 6 900 000 m + 2 x 600 000 m 2a = 10 000 000 m a = 5 000 000 m c = a - (Periapsis + Planet Radius) c = 5 000 000 m - (1 900 000 m + 600 000 m) c = 2 500 000 m b = sqrt (a2-c2) b = sqrt (5 000 0002 m - 2 500 0002 m) b = sqrt(18.75 Tm) b = 4 330 127 m Once b is solved it can be verified. The formula for focal length L= 2b2/a Measuring the space craft altitude and add the planet radius once over the focus point or centre of planet. Altitude = 3 094 587 m Planet Radius = 600 000 m L= 2b2/a The measurement needs to be doubled to represent the focal length. 2 (altitude + planet radius ) = 2b2 / a 2 (3 094 587 m + 600 000 m) = 2(4 330 127)2 m / 5 000 000 m 3 694 587 m compared to 3 749 999 m with some error. Waiting a little longer reveals the actual position to measure the focal length. The values a,b,c can now represent the ellipse in a equation form that will be manipulated mathematically. The formula that defines the ellipse: x2/a2 + y2/b2 = 1 The values for x, y represent the position of the space craft along the perimeter of the ellipse. The Orbital period can be easily calculated once the spacecraft is at the opposite side and doubling the travel time. This is not a very smart solution especially when travelling interplanetary. We need to find out the orbital period based on the instantaneous velocity of the space craft at a certain point (x,y) in the orbit. The KSP Caveman Celestial Toolkit To understand the concepts the cheat menu is being used. Certainly makes things easier to demonstrate but this needs to work within caveman tech levels. The eccentricity can also help to assist in solving problems and was missed in the first part of this guide. Using the formula for linear eccentricity. e = sqrt ( 1- b2/a2 ) The above example eccentricity was set to 0.5 and the value for the major axis set to 5 000 000 Rearranging the formula to solve for b: b = sqrt (a2 (1- e2)) b = 4 330 127 But how does this help a KSP Caveman. The solution needs to be something that a KSP Caveman can access. The idea came to me while watching a video about ancient navigation techniques. The knot is a measurement of speed over water and the etymology of the word knot refers to how a knotted drag line is used and the number of knots deployed over a set time indicates the speed of the vessel. Having a string with knots evenly spaced is a suitable tool for the caveman. The string needs twelve equally spaced knots. This string will assist in creating right angles. The Special Right Angle Triangle With sides of: three units, four units, and five units. The sum of the smaller sides squared will equal the square of the hypotenuse. a2 + b2 = c2 Along with twelve knots other combinations can be utilized. 3: 4 :5 5: 12 :13 8: 15 :17 7: 24 :25 9: 40 :41 The knotted string can form this special right angle triangle and using zoom to fit the triangle to the screen information. In this picture the cheat menu represents the string. The special triangle's right angle is nestled into the planets centre. Focusing on the planet and zooming reveals the exact centre and zooming out does not change the point. You can observe this by placing the mouse pointer over the centre and use the MINUS key to zoom out. The ends of the string extend to the ellipse. The markers for the periapsis and apoapsis are used to align the ellipse in a common geometric frame..It is very important to align the ellipse so that distortion is eliminated. Use the mouse or cursor buttons to change the camera until a top down view is obtained. The string can also be used to create measurements that are ratios compared to other measurements. The zoom feature is also used to size the string to the on screen information. Angles can also be calculated and inclination can also be solved. One more use of the string is drawing an ellipse. Attached to each focus of the ellipse the perimeter can be outlined. The Hohmann transfer calculations allow KSP Caveman to get close to an intercept. Correction burns are usually done near the intercept. This is very inefficient. A Correction burn should happen close to the insertion point to be more fuel effective. Once the orbit parameters are used to define the ellipse the string is used to take various measurements between the two bodies in orbit. A correction burn can be calculated and through further measurement verify the intercept. When the vessel is over the focal point this might not be the most efficient place to do a correction burn but it is one that is easily marked. To illustrate how all these tools can be used I am crafting a hands on video. Stay tuned! Orbital Period These calculations based on the space craft orbit parameters can help fill in the missing information. The equation of the ellipse can now be integrated and derivatives of the equation will give us the information to calculate orbital period. The instantaneous velocity measured at any point along the ellipse ... More to follow
  5. Daredevil Spaceplane The "Daredevil Squadron" is home to the boldest pilots on kerbin since shortly after the invention of powered flight. It is therefore a natural recruiting place for the new spaceprogram. Unfortunately technological progress is not as fast as some of those pilots would like it to be and there is a growing fear that manned spaceflight with all the proper precautions, safety concerns and design delays for capsules is coming too late for some of the pilots. And for those kerbals who live in a cockpit, taking familiar risks in flight is much more appealing than taking the risk of missing their chance. Thus some of the daredevil pilots pushed hard and called in favors to try to go to space with the current technology, even if it is only for a quick peak into what lies beyond the confines of the kerbin atmosphere. The challenge Your challenge, should you accept it, is to reach an altitude (apoapsis) as high as possible, with a kerbal piloting the vessel, under the facility upgrade and technological limits described below and then safely return to the KSC (must be visible when landed). Ranking is done by altitude (apoapsis). For those who reach space, a second ranking is done by vehicle mass (KER readouts in SPH/VAB). Minimum picture requirements for a ranking are 1. Design showing KER readouts in SPH/VAB, especially total vessel mass. 2. In flight, at or very close to apoapsis. Apoapsis displayed by KER or mechjeb (switch KER to partless instead of career in KER settings available in SPH/VAB). Note that the altimeter shows altitude over terrain when in surface mode. 3. Safely landed back at Kerbin with KSC visible in the background. Beware, the cockpit was not designed for space flight, it is somewhat fragile. Of course additional pictures, videos, etc are very welcome. As is a link if you stream it. The challenge was inspired by @Steven Mading https://www.twitch.tv/dunbaratu who streamed trying out the "Giving Aircraft a Purpose" mod pack by @inigma on twitch (which is a bit buggy at the moment due to ksp spawn calculation changes). The restrictions 1. No R&D, SPH/VAB, Runway/Launchpad facility upgrades! (=> 30part / 9ton mass limit, regardless whether you start from Runway or Launchpad) 2. Tweakscale is only allowed for wings/control surfaces/landing gear/adapters. 3. No mods except the ones specified below. Visual and similar mods are exempt from this rule. 4. No cheating. 5. Science/parts restrictions as shown here (thus no liquid fuel engines, reaction wheels, RCS, decouplers, etc.) Start node Early Aviation node Modular Wings node The mods 1. Install CKAN for a separate, clean KSP install. 2. Only select the "SETI-MetaModPack". Click "ApplyChanges". 3. Leave all recommendations selected. Click "Continue". 4. From the suggestions, only SETIprobeControlEnabler is allowed, though for this challenge it does not matter. Click "Continue" and wait for the the mods to be installed. 5. RCS Build Aid is among the recommendations, but is currently not available via ckan. You may (highly recommended) install that manually from here: https://github.com/linuxgurugamer/RCSBuildAid/releases 6. Visual mods are allowed at your own discretion. The ranking By altitude: 1. @Tux1 with ~78,006m above sea level. 2. @Yemo with ~18,295m above sea level. (Altimeter shows 18,232m above terrain) By mass, for those who reach space: 1. @Tux1 with 5,766kg, reaching an altitude of ~78,006m above sea level. I ll start with a simple submission (no pics no clicks!), though I have tested the challenge before and space (70km+) is possible, given the restrictions.
  6. Daredevil Satellite Launcher While work on crew capsules for spaceflight is progressing slowly and cost overruns are common, the recent probes prompted a debate on whether it is cheaper to simply stick to an unmanned spaceprogram for now. Fearing for their future opportunities, a few daredevil pilots brought about the idea of reusable planes as a means to launch small satellites. The idea is, that a manned plane launches one or two mini satellites, and then safely lands back in the vicinity of the KSC. While more economically thinking kerbals call the concept a wasteful publicity stunt without any benefit, some politicians recognized it as an opportunity to shift public scrutiny away from their own performances. So the idea was quickly approved. The challenge Your challenge, should you accept it, is to launch at least one mini satellite (essentially just a probe core) from a manned plane into an orbit around kerbin (periapsis above 70km). The plane must be over 5km altitude above sea level when you launch the satellite. Thus you can use an air breathing plane and launch the sat at 5km altitude above sea level, or a rocket plane and launch the sat at 75km altitude. The plane must then land back around KSC. Note that the FMRS mod is now part of the mod recommendations and should be used to switch between the plane and the satellite. Ranking is done by non-recovered mass per satellite. For example in my entry below, I started with 8455kg mass (8555kg minus launch clamp 100kg), had a mass of 3312kg when landed and launched 2 mini satellites into orbits around kerbin. This results in a mass expenditure of 2571.5kg per mini satellite. Minimum picture requirements for a ranking are 1. Design showing KER readouts in SPH/VAB, especially total vessel mass. 2. In flight, showing KER readouts roughly when launching the satellite(s). Must be over 5km altitude above sea level. 3. The satellite in flight, showing KER readouts with periapsis above 70km. 4. The plane, landed back on kerbin with KSC visible in the background, showing KER readouts, espcially the vehicle mass when landed. HINT : The Small Hardpoint functions as a separator. If you adjust the ejection force to 0, it does not mess up the vector of the launched object. Of course additional pictures, videos, etc are very welcome. As is a link if you stream it. The restrictions 1. No R&D, SPH/VAB, Runway/Launchpad facility upgrades! (=> 30part / 9ton mass limit, other facility upgrades are allowed) 2. Tweakscale is only allowed for wings/control surfaces/landing gear/adapters. 3. No mods except the ones specified below. Visual and similar mods are exempt from this rule. 4. No cheating. 5. Science/parts restrictions as shown here (thus no parachutes, reaction wheels, etc.) basicRocketry node provides a basic liquid fuel engine The mods 1. Install CKAN for a separate, clean KSP install. 2. Only select the "SETI-MetaModPack". Click "ApplyChanges". 3. Leave all recommendations selected. Click "Continue". 4. From the suggestions, only SETIprobeControlEnabler is allowed, so that you dont have to worry about a RemoteTech connection. Click "Continue" and wait for the the mods to be installed. 5. RCS Build Aid is among the recommendations, but is currently not available via ckan. You may (highly recommended) install that manually from here: https://github.com/linuxgurugamer/RCSBuildAid/releases 6. Visual mods are allowed at your own discretion. The ranking By spent mass per mini satellite: 1. @Yemo with a spent mass of 2571.5kg per mini satellite to kerbin orbit (8455kg launch mass, 8555kg minus launch clamp 100kg, 3312kg mass when landed, 2 mini satellites launched into orbits around kerbin. Thus a mass expenditure of (8455kg - 3312kg) / 2 =2571.5kg per mini satellite. I went for the rocket plane / high launch concept. Ejection force on Small Hardpoints set to 0 for a clean launch:
  7. Mun Flyby After the spectacular success of the Daredevil Pilot who went to space in his plane cockpit using nothing else than solid boosters, there has been increasing pressure on the KSC to be less hesitant and more daring. The work on a liquid fuel engine had numerous setbacks and the public is growing impatient. So a special group has been tasked with the design of a Mun flyby probe using current technologies. The lower to the mun we can get, the better for appeasing the public. The challenge Your challenge, should you accept it, is to reach an periabsis as low as possible above the mun, under the facility upgrade and technological limits described below. Ranking is done by periapsis. For those who reach a periapsis below 10km, a second ranking is done by vehicle mass (KER readouts in SPH/VAB). Minimum picture requirements for a ranking are 1. Design showing KER readouts in SPH/VAB, especially total vessel mass. 2. In flight, at or very close to periapsis. Periapsis displayed by KER or mechjeb (switch KER to partless instead of career in KER settings available in SPH/VAB). Note that the altimeter shows altitude over terrain when in surface mode. Of course additional pictures, videos, etc are very welcome. As is a link if you stream it. The restrictions 1. No R&D, SPH/VAB, Runway/Launchpad facility upgrades! (=> 30part / 9ton mass limit, other facility upgrades are allowed) 2. Tweakscale is only allowed for wings/control surfaces/landing gear/adapters. 3. No mods except the ones specified below. Visual and similar mods are exempt from this rule. 4. No cheating. 5. Science/parts restrictions as shown here (thus no liquid fuel engines, reaction wheels, etc.) Engineering101 node, use the "Alkaline Fuel Cell Mini" to provide EC when lower than 10% capacity Structural Parts node Stability Node, the "Place-Anywhere 1 Linear RCS Port" can be used as an engine The mods 1. Install CKAN for a separate, clean KSP install. 2. Only select the "SETI-MetaModPack". Click "ApplyChanges". 3. Leave all recommendations selected. Click "Continue". 4. From the suggestions, only SETIprobeControlEnabler is allowed, so that you dont have to worry about a RemoteTech connection. Click "Continue" and wait for the the mods to be installed. 5. RCS Build Aid is among the recommendations, but is currently not available via ckan. You may (highly recommended) install that manually from here: https://github.com/linuxgurugamer/RCSBuildAid/releases 6. Visual mods are allowed at your own discretion. The ranking By periapsis above the mun: 1. @Yemo with a periapsis of ~11,667m above the mun My entry for the challenge:
  8. KSP Caveman Challenge 1.2 Facilities upgrades are forbidden Crappy runway and launchpad Part count of thirty and vehicle mass limit of 18.0 tonne No fancy patched conics, no maneuver nodes or no Deep Space Network Abhorrent fear of technology as primitive as can be Acquire 1188 Science Points to unlock twenty nodes of the technology tree. Rules: Stock career mode Include pictures of your Science Archives No mods that alter game play No cheat menus or any other shenanigans Science Points have many sources just detail the method for the majority of Science Points acquired. The Original KSP Caveman Challenge that GoSlash27 began and the KSP Caveman Challenge 1.1 are excellent resources. Badge Of Honour pending Cave Wall pending My attempt on hard settings
  9. I finally managed to build a reasonable craft for Eve Space Program that can get to Eve orbit with about 1300-1400 m/s dV left. In career mode, with only Tier 3 and 4 parts. Craft file here, uses OhioBob's Eve Optimized Engines. After several attempts, my best effort is in this video here. The biggest challenges of the current incarnation of the Eve Space Program mod are the lack of biomes outside of the KSC, and the distance of most survey contracts; the KSC is a quarter of a world away from where the game puts those surveys. This leaves part tests, science grinding around KSC, and a full fundraising campaign strategy (25% of reputation going to funds) to pay for building upgrades. Otherwise I'd be using a lot better parts for this craft. As it stands, the only remaining source of decent science is Gilly, and I can't reach that and get back on 1400 m/s. I didn't do any dV math really; just tried plotting to Gilly's orbit needing 1425 or so m/s, and came up short just by 20+ m/s. That being said, I remember someone saying that ascending from Eve's surface to orbit needs a launch profile that goes straight up for a large part of the ascent, then starts the gravity turn very high up. With this craft I find I can start my turn just around 20 km, and also before staging away the last of the Adam engines and going to my first non-EoE; the Swivel, close to 35-40 km. Then some careful throttling and I can get to about 1400 m/s orbit speed before staging away the Swivel and going to my Terrier, finally closing my orbit with maybe 2/5th of my fuel. What would be a better ascent profile for launching into Eve orbit? Where to start turning away from vertical? At what altitude and at what speed should I have a pitch of 45 degrees? If you try this craft, note that Eve Space Program's launch pad is only at 450 m altitude, and I'm using tank priorities and decoupler fuel crossfeed to use a hybrid of onion staging and asparagus staging, so watch the tank levels on ascent. [Update 15 APR] There's so much good advice here I can't mark any one answer as correct. I upvoted all of the good answers and gave out likes.
  10. KSP Caveman Challenge 1.1 Facilities upgrades are forbidden! Crappy runway and launchpad. Part count of thirty and vehicle mass limit of 18.0 tonne. No fancy patched conics, maneuver nodes or any other luxuries. Acquire 1188 Science Points to unlock twenty nodes of the technology tree. Do you have what it takes to be a KSP Caveman? Rules: stock career mode Include pictures of your Science Archives No mods that alter game play No cheat menus or any other shenanigans Include screen capture of your career difficulty options See Cave Walls below for additional options. Include screen capture of your Science Archives in the R&D Complex. Science Points have many sources just detail the method for the majority of Science Points acquired. My attempt on normal. This is my lengthy album of my run of the KSP Caveman Challenge 1.0.5. KSP Caveman Challenge 1.0.5 Album The ninth and final mission was an orbit and return of Minmus. A two stage vessel with twin Thud booster stage and a Terrier stage that employed a docking port to jettison a FL-T400 fuel tank. Gathered Mystery Goo, Materials Bay, Temperature and Barometer science from high and low space near Minmus. The encounter almost did not happen and needed to adjust orbit at apoapsis by burning between radial and prograde. Orbited Minmus with a periapsis of 22 km. Returning to Kerbin with periapsis around 42 km and aerobraking using the engine as heatshield and burning the remaining fuel to decelerate to 2700 m/s. Returning to Kerbin using two radial parachutes and splashing down safely. The Original KSP Caveman Challenge that Slashy began is is an excellent resource. If you need some inspiration there are some great videos and detailed missions in that thread. Badge Of Honour A Caveman can proudly display this badge and gather all the minerals. Cave Walls (excavating, please be patient) Each KSP Caveman will have their name inscribed on the Cave Wall based on their choice of career difficulty: Talc Easy Career - You had better do impressive quick work of this soft rock career GoSlash27 2 hours 7 minute pasukaru76 1 hours 42 minute Terwin 2 hours 42 minutes Apatite Normal Career - The minimum amount of flare Caithloki MoeslyArmlis GoSlash27 Nefrums pasukaru76 Pamynx JAFO IncongruousGoat Terwin Vanadium Moderate Career- A tools hard edge can make all the difference wibou7 ManEatingApe Doctor Mandarb JAFO IncongruousGoat Hodari Terwin Topaz Hard Career- Happy Shiny Caveman GoSlash27 pasukaru76 Xavven IncongruousGoat Custom Career Cave Walls with increased difficulty Corundum This career would not wear down a tough caveman. Career details see this post and change science rewards to 30% Diamond For the caveman that are brilliant and posses fire. Career details see this post and change science rewards to 20% Nanocrystalline Diamond ADNRs HardS caveman; Aint that Tuff Enuff! Career details see this post Order of Troglodyte The "Order of the Troglodyte" awards for achievements above and beyond the call of a KSP caveman. Those are not rocks of war. Those are Rock Kits of Science. pasukaru76 Duna, Eve, Jool, Dres, ManEatingApe Duna, Moho
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