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  1. “Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less traveled by.” – Robert Frost Juan Sebastián Elcano (1476 – 4 August 1526) was a Spanish explorer of Basque origin who completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth. After Magellan's death in the Philippines, Elcano took command of the nau Victoria from the Moluccas to Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Spain. This challenge is simple. So simple, it's easy. Well...it sounds easy. Those of us who have completed it would probably disagree. The challenge to you is to become the next Elcano. To do what no one, or very few, have done. A challenge to circumnavigate an orbital body, be it moon or planet, solely by ground and/or water. This challenge is a continuation of the original Elcano Challenge, posted by Fengist. It was subsequently managed by Claw, then rkarmark. This is the fourth iteration of the Elcano Challenge. Fengist's Elcano Challenge Claw's Elcano Challenge rkarmark's Elkano Challenge The rules are simple: Basically, you are to circumnavigate (drive all the way around) a celestial body, using a vessel on the surface, such as a rover or boat. Your path should not deviate significantly from the intended direction. Mark your start location. Flags, KerbNet markers, or screenshots work. Some mods allow you to track your path as well. Drive or boat back to your start location- the long way around... The main mission and all support missions must be launched from the launchpad or runway and delivered to the destination body. Part of the journey is getting the crew/ship there. (i.e. No HyperEditing or save file editing the vehicle into position. Any combination of launching, refueling, docking, or ISRU is permitted. The vehicle must be Kerballed during the circumnavigation. Doesn't have to be a pod, the lawn-chair seats are fine. The Kerbal only has to be on-board during the circumnavigation. You don't need to launch the entire mission in one giant ship. If the Kerbal(s) come later or were already waiting for the rover, that's fine. Stay on the ground or on/below the surface of any water. Brief jumps over dunes and such are permitted. This challenge is about traveling over the surface. Thrust devices (rockets, jets, props, RCS) are acceptable, as long as they are only used while in contact with the surface. Using thrust of any sort to control or change the trajectory of your rover while above the surface is not allowed. The same vehicle that crosses land must also cross the water. No ferrying your vehicle on a boat. That also means you can't intentionally remove wheels or pontoons when they are no longer needed. The vehicle needs to complete the entire circumnavigation as-is. If parts blow up or get knocked off, well, that's the Kerbal way, and that's ok.. You may send replacement vehicles. If you read Fengist's circumnavigation of Eve, you'll see why. Game mechanics are not kind to ground vehicles. Your crew must be transferred to any replacement vehicle and it must be very similar to the original. I understand this is a learning process, and will allow some design changes. You may use aerial and orbital recon vehicles. You may refuel if needed. Use of ISRU or similar mods is permitted. Saving and reloading (F5/F9) is permitted. In fact I highly recommend it. Please note that in the past repeated F5/F9s have adversely affected vessels, particularly if you use F5 while in motion. Not sure if that is still a problem or not.. Leaderboards will only be updated for stock moons and planets. But feel free to post circumnavigations on other bodies as well! The intent is that you control the vehicle during the entire circumnavigation. Using an autopilot goes against the spirit of this challenge. Any rule I haven't thought of that breaks the spirit of this challenge. The point of the challenge is to build a rover/boat, deliver the vehicle, and circumnavigate the body. Proof: Document your journey via images or video, or as those of us who have managed to complete this challenge have done, accompanied by a description of the journey. If you are posting more than 4 screenshots, I humbly request that you put them inside a spoiler. Categories: Note that support and delivery vehicles also affect which category your entry falls under. Stock - Stock means stock. If you use any mods at all, you do not qualify for the stock category. Breaking Ground and Making History (BG & MH) are stock expansion packs, and do not disqualify you from a Stock entry. Stock Craft - The craft and all support craft are made from all stock parts with their stock configuration. Installed mods may not modify physics or add/modify parts in use by the craft. Mods that add PartModules to stock parts, but do not alter the stock parameters, are also permitted. Examples of permitted mods are information displays (such as KER), transfer window planners(TWP and KAC), and visual enhancements (such as EVE). “Stock Craft” means the .craft or save file can be used on a stock install and it looks/works exactly the same way (your mission would remain effectively unchanged without the mods). Modded - Use of add-ons that change physics or add/modify parts in use by the craft are permitted. An add-on’s technology level must be “near term” or of “next tier” type of capabilities as compared to stock. Mods that allow the user to skip elements of the challenge or violate the spirit of flying to and circumnavigating a body are not permitted. (i.e. Slightly better/larger/stronger engines, wheels, fuel tanks, etc. are permissible. Hyperdrives, antimatter engines, wormhole generators, hyper dense or exotic fuels, etc. are not allowed.) This challenge is not for the faint of heart. It will take persistence and a great deal of patience. If you're the competitive type and think of this challenge as a race it will get boring really quick. The leaderboards do not differentiate by speed or times- if you completed a circumnavigation you are on the leaderboard. Good luck and um... Godspeed.... And before you grumble about how long this will take... think back at how many hours you spent doing other things in KSP that ended up being less rewarding... If you are considering this challenge, but aren't sure how, I suggest looking at how other members accomplished it. As this (4th) version of the challenge is still new. take a look at the posts from the first three Elcano challenges, linked near the top of this post. Badges: I believe Fengist (original creator of the Elcano Challenge) designed the badges, for which I am grateful, they look great! If you believe you qualify for a badge, go ahead and grab it! You don't need to wait for your name on the leaderboard- if I am busy with work/life who knows how long that could take. Edit- actually I think the original badges were by @Fengist, but they were all redone by @Claw , who also probably had to add some new ones. FAQ: Coming soon! Circumnavigators GRAND MASTER NAVIGATORS Those who have circumnavigated every body in the stock KSP solar system. @Claw Stock @Jack Joseph Kerman Stock @mystifeid Stock @18Watt Stock ________________________________________________________________________________________ Master Navigators (aka Planetary Navigator) Those who have circumnavigated both Kerbin and Eve. ________________________________________________________________________________________ Master Mariners Those who have circumnavigated both Laythe and Kerbin by sea. (See notes in spoiler) ________________________________________________________________________________________ Kerbin Circumnavigators See notes in Master Mariner spoiler about Kerbin sea circumnavations. ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ A work in progress. Circumnavigators Circumnavigators
  2. It had been 12 years since the 7th Kerbin War ended. 14 years since the space program ended. Kerbals have always had a habit of worldwide conflicts, having fought 5 in the last 50 years. But this war was different, it was worse. Massive armadas of ships were deployed only for a handful to return. In the end, the Kefrican Federation won, but at what cost? Retired director of the old Space Program John Kerman brings the old kerbonauts and scientists back together, but with the economy in ruins and almost a decade of work destroyed, will they be able to succeed in bringing Kerbalkind to space? This is a story/mission report with a lot of Forgotten Space Program Influence, but is kinda based on my old, dead version 1.11 career. Modlist: Enjoy the story! Chapters: A new beginning 01-A great start 02-Old parts, new mission 03-Like peas in a pod 04-KOOSE on deck! 05-Boring stuff number 1 06-The Anomaly 07-Project Rediscovery The Elcano (note, this is done in another unmodded save to make the entry stock) 08-The Roadtrip 09-The Elcano Begins 10-Bumps and a "tiny scratch" 11-Over the Rim Back at the KSC :12-Intercept Back at the KSC :13-The Plan Back at the KSC :14-Flight of the Dynamic Back at the KSC:15-Doppelganger Back at the KSC:16-Old props and old kerbonauts 17-Back to the Elcano 18-Cliffs and Craters
  3. This is the story so far of my mun Elcano attempt. I had tried some long-distance driving in ksp before this point but had never made it more than 20 KM. mostly because on Kerbin and Duna the monotony would make me reckless and everything would explode. so I thought I would try the Mun. The Mun has two advantages for the easily bored astronaut: It is small so it takes less time to drive around, and it has low gravity so rovers tend to... well... bounce. so with a quick shuttle flight and a bag full of unwarranted optimism I started to drive. after a quick drive, we stopped for flags and pictures further updates as events warrant Mods Click thru blockerModule ManagerToolbar ControllerKerbal EngineerZero Mini AVCBetter TimewarpCamera toolsEVEKACKerbal Engineer With KER for alland Scatterer
  4. Hello everyone. Here I am again giving it another shot, after my failed attempt to complete the Elcano Challenge by circumnavigating Minmus in a rover last September. This will time I'm going fully stock, and doing the challenge in an early-ish career mode save. Background Long story short, last year I built a reusable Mun rover and lander system, for use from a research station in Mun orbit. Then I learned about the Elcano Challenge, and impulsively decided to circumnavigate the Mun with the rover I already had there, the Gnat. That went well, so I decided to fly the rover to Minmus and circumnavigate that as well. I was making good progress, then unfortunately my save was corrupted. It couldn't be retrieved. Not to be deterred, I started a new career save, and powered through the earliest part of career mode. As soon as I felt I had the kredits, I built a research lab in Mun orbit and a reusable rover lander system, a basic one with mid technology tree parts. The idea was both to improve upon the design of the Gnat and it's lander, and also to gather a bunch of science quickly to get the labs in orbit cooking away and unlock the technology tree fast. I didn't really expect to do an Elcano run with this rover, but I just came back from an extended break from KSP, and I like to drive it, so what the heck. For challenge completion purposes, here are some screenshot's of the first rover mission so you can see that I flew it from Kerbin: Now we'll join our heroes, Buzz and Wendo Kerman (no relation) as they set off on the story that may (hopefully) lead them to circumnavigate Minmus in Rover 1. Prologue - Mun Landing 2 Chapter 1 - Onward to Minmus Chapter 2 - The First Day Chapter 3 - Into the Highlands Chapter 4 - Another Chapter Chapter 5 - The Rover Repair Contract Chapter 6 - Challenge Complete!
  5. So I built a pretty sweet rover recently and ended up needing to drive it over a significant fraction of Duna's equator to rendezvous with a lander, this was pretty painless and made me think it might not be completely unreasonable to drive the whole way around. Even more recently than that I've noticed Elacno Challenge missions being a thing around here so I decided to try it out in my cool rover. Why am I making a thread about it? Sunk cost fallacy. It's already happening. Hopefully it makes for an interesting read. I chose Vall because it's gravitational situation is pretty similar to Duna, where I know that this rover is capable of high speed long haul driving, It's got mountains that I'm pretty sure my rover can absolutely humiliate with it's climbing power, and it has an easter egg that I've never actually seen in game before. Basically I wanted to know what I was getting myself into, but not so well that there would be no surprises. Except, surprise! I overestimated my vehicle, my computer and my patience quite severely. I fixed a bunch of things with my rover and my PC and decided to move the whole operation to Moho for another try, I start setting up for this almost immediately upon reaching Vall, but actually start moving stuff in Update #4 and the mission on Moho begins in Update #6. Moho's gravity is even more similar to Duna and as far as I knew while planning this move, it's terrain was a little more reasonable. The Journey to Vall: The First Day: I regret everything The Second Log: They're logs now, not days. Third log Report 4: A change of venue Our kerbals make final preparations to leave Vall ahead of schedule as preparations are made elsewhere for their arrival. Five: A new beginning Our crew makes their way to Moho via the absolute safest path because Moho is scary. Guest appearances by Minmus and Gilly. Part VI: A New Continuation Exoloper and her crew finally get underway on Moho 0111: A Continued Continuation The crew of Exoloper further beat a dead horse while making excellent progress across the surface of Moho
  6. There are few KSP challenges that have intrigued me more than the Elcano challenge. I've known of it for years, but until recently assumed it would just be a boring slog that takes no skill whatsoever, just hold down W until you make it around the planet. However, upon inspecting it further, I then realized how much more there is to it. It takes fortitude to sit through the boring stretches of driving, engineering prowice to design the optimal rover, and keen driving skills to minimize your risk of crashing. I then decided that I wanted to give it a go for myself. But that brought several more questions with it. Which planet/moon would I circumnavigate? What would my vehicle look like? How difficult do I want the challenge to be? It would take me a while to come up with two of those three answers, but I knew right from the start that I wanted to circumnavigate a planet in a large rover with a high crew capacity, mostly because real circumnavigations of Earth included many sailors, and I also wanted to increase the realism aspect, seeing as drivers would need to take shifts in order to keep the rover going for as much of the time as possible. And that's when I came up with the preliminary design for the vehicle, which would later be called Odyssey. And sooner or later, I also decided that I wanted to make this mission as difficult as possible, and that's when I decided to take it to Tylo, the toughest place to drive a rover anywhere in the Kerbol System. Welcome to... ODYSSEY: TYLO CIRCUMNAVIGATION, DAY-BY DAY ELCANO CHALLENGE by Jack Joseph Kerman PRE-MISSION: As I mentioned earlier, the road to me eventually trying my hand at the Elcano challenge was not perfectly smooth, and for a while the idea of circumnavigating a planet or moon seemed both patently absurd and also incredibly boring to me. This began to change when I sent a rover mission to Tylo, as part of my colonization of the Jool system in a save that I have since unfortunately lost. Originally, I didn't plan to go far with the rover I had brought there; maybe 50 kilometers or so from my small science outpost. However, the mission quickly turned into a much longer endeavor, and I ended up driving 300+ kilometers across the surface of Tylo, and even had fun doing it. Whether it was finding the optimal way to climb a mountain without starving for electricity, watching my speed as I came back down, or just laughing at the floating boulders that Tylo seems to have an abundance of, the mission never got too boring, which greatly surprised me. Here's a recreation of the rover and mission I made in a newer save: After this successful mission, I slowly warmed up to the idea of a potential circumnavigation mission, and a few months later I tried my hand at building a massive rover that would be used to circumnavigate either the Mun or Duna. I simply dubbed this rover the "Circumnavigator" (creative, I know), and tested its features, such as the small interior, mining equipment, and cargo garage for a smaller rover in the back ramp. The smaller "mountaineer" rover would have been very similar to the one shown on Tylo above, except with more electric charge capacity to increase its range. This rover's design was pretty flawed, however, and in my opinion it looked rather ugly. The wheels were evenly spaced apart on an unnecessary number of girder segments, the thing was 40 meters long and awkward to drive, the battery power was limited, and the mining equipment was entirely pointless. I would later name it the Odyssey, but it would never be used anywhere other than testing at the KSC. More screenshots of the original Odyssey: So that's when I got to work on my current vehicle, the Odyssey 2. This is the vehicle that I will use to circumnavigate Tylo, and it's a vast improvement over the original. Here is coverage of every day of the mission that I've done so far: Current Latitude: 90 Degrees North Current Longitude: 1 Degree West DAY 0: NEW DESIGN, LAUNCH AND ASSEMBLY IN ORBIT New Design for the Odyssey 2 Launches of the Descent Stage and TAV The Launch of Odyssey DAY 1: TOUCHDOWN ON TYLO The Landing DAY 2: THE JOURNEY BEGINS The First True Driving Session DAY 3: ONWARDS AND UPWARDS Driving Session DAY 4: INTO THE NIGHT Driving Session: DAY 5: THE DRIVE NORTH Driving Session: DAY 6: SMOOTH SAILING Driving Session: DAY 7: THE NORTH POLE OF TYLO Driving Session: DAY 8: I AM SPEED Driving Session: Arrival of the Tylo Ascent Vehicle: DAY 9: THE LONG HAUL Driving Session: Arrival at the Tylo Cave! DAY 10: PROVISIONS The Care Package and Return Vehicle: Driving Session: DAY 11: HALFWAY THERE Driving Session: DAY 12: CONTINUING ON Driving Session: DAY 13: A LOAD OFF Driving Session: DAY 14: THE PACKAGE ARRIVES The Resupply Mission: DAY 15: MOUNTAINEERING Driving Session: DAY 16: TOWARDS THE SOUTH POLE Driving Session: DAY 17: THE SOUTH POLE OF TYLO The South Pole Debacle: DAY 18: DETOUR Driving Session: DAY 19: NORTHBOUND Driving Session: DAY 20: PRESSING ON Driving Session: DAY 21: THE FINAL OBSTACLES Driving Session: DAY 22: HOME STRETCH/MISSION COMPLETE Finishing the Drive: The Return to Kerbin: ROUTE MAP:
  7. The start: Using a mk2 rover with a lot of crew, I set out on an Elcano! Glory shot of the rover:
  8. My attempt to drive all the way across the Mun. I don't expect it to be easy, but i'll get a cool signature badge. I decided to do this, but @Jack Joseph Kerman's thread on his attempt made me decide to to a mission report. I was actually doing the mission for a couple of days before I saw that. Landing Site/Start of mission is roughly 6 Lat, Long -12. I shall be covering this mission in "Legs", which are 5 flags spaced 4 Kilometers apart. Rover launch and Landing This was hard and stressful. Took me a couple of real life days to do this. Crew launch and Landing This was significantly eaiser than the rover. Leg 1: Off to a great start! (One "Leg" is five flags, which i shall place every 4 kilometers. Leg one is the execption, but I am not counting the landing site.) Leg 2: Big hills and small hills. Leg 3: Pretty smooth Leg 4: I can't think of a title sdkhanrfl/:Clkmwrf'c Here is that. Progress got deleted. Not the rovers, but my progress in putting all the images in. I WAS MOSTLY DONE TOO.
  9. Celebrate 1.12 by completing a ground circumnavigation of either Pol or Eeloo. Or both. 1.12 is planned to be the last major update to KSP. Two celestial bodies received texture updates in 1.12, Pol and Eeloo. Why not take a drive around them to celebrate 10 years of KSP? The rules: For those not familiar with the Elcano challenge, you basically drive a rover or other ground-based vehicle around a planet or moon. The long way around.. More complete rules and explanations can be found on the Elcano Challenge page. For this challenge, you must have an entry accepted on the Elcano Challenge pages, circumnavigating either Pol or Eeloo. Please note that this challenge is not for the faint of heart. The challenge has been around for years, currently in it's fourth iteration. The list of players who have completed the challenge on any body is quite short. The list of players who have completed the challenge on Pol or Eeloo is much shorter. Exactly two players have completed the challenge on every CB in the stock KSP system. While the Elcano Challenge is a heritage challenge, and isn't going away, this sub-challenge is time-limited, to celebrate the release of 1.12. I'm thinking I'll accept entries for about two to three months. Entries should be posted on the Elcano Challenge pages (referenced above). I also currently manage that challenge, and will post successful entries on this challenge as well. Good luck!
  10. The Elcano challenge is something I've attempted but never succeeded in, so out of boredom I decided to do it in style, with a nice boat. The RV Vanguard is an amphibious ship with the purpose of circumnavigating Kerbin by ocean. The ship uses a quartet of Wheesley jet engines for propulsion, two mounted inline with the hull and two on side-mount pods, which allows for very quick turns using alternating thrust reversers. The rear of the ship also has a flooded cargo bay with claws inside, which lets smaller vessels dock with the ship. As the ship doesn't have the range to circumnavigate Kerbin unrefuelled, nor does it carry ISRU equipment, the plan is to refuel from fuel tankers placed along the planned route. The voyage starts when a truck picks up the 6-kerbal crew from the Astronaut Complex. My headcanon is that a single agency handles all scientific and exploration-related matters, hence these sailors are also stationed in the KSC. The expedition crew pose alongside their ship. Left to right: Isaemy, Seerod, Ludin, Heloly, Leaman, and Thomvis. Ending the first post here with a pretty shot of the Vanguard leaving KSC Harbor with its tugboat escort.
  11. My Circumnavigation Mission Kerbin - Complete Minimus - Complete! Mun - COMPLETE!! Duna - just started :V [BACK ON new prototype reaches sustained speeds over 80m/s!] -------- This... is it. The Enerstar E3 landjet Propelled primarily by 2-3 jet engines with 8 electric drive wheels to assist in launch speed. It has two miners ore bins and an onboard fuel converter. Enough passenger space for two in addition to the driver. You can even get out of it. -------- Early on I decided to test the capabilities which was probably a mistake as it required a lot of saving and yelling. So we went up through the mountains northwest of KSC And they did survive apparently. Next stop! The north pole! The north pole! It was at this point I came to a realization. I can't always rely on ore deposits. Or that was the thought (turns out you can) I also realized the ship needed some extra capabilities, bracing, and safety features. But I can't ruin their glory by sending a 2nd team, and I don't wanna drive all that way a 2nd time. What to do? Obviously the most logical solution is to spend millions upon millions of dollars in failed projects to ship a NEW land-train to the next continent. I tried LOTS of methods, one including an ICBM to launch the train, but usually this resulted in the aeroshield being full of train-soup and spinning out of control. A small child picked up a model of the train and flew it around the office, after yelling a lot, we decided "no! this is actually the best idea, I'm going to take the idea and give the child no credit" Thus the Enerstar E4 Carrier was born This was totally necessary because the E4 model is much better braced and capable of making the rigorous journey intact thanks to its increased bracing, batteries, and safety* features. The 4th generation also has the ability to dock with supply drops in order to get it out of areas with little to no ores. So far we haven't really found any areas that you would get stranded in, but we did spend tons of money making sure we wouldn't get stuck in one. More to come later as Crew-E3 makes their way south toward Sandoland to meed up with Bill delivering the E4 Ore-pod drop Passing the river south toward Enerstar-E4 FINALLY Bill hands off the Enerstar-E4 to the world-trip crew So that's the progress thus far. The next plan is to visit the pyramids.
  12. Back at it again for those who saw the previous trip. I hadn't posted much on my other one but I've completed Duna, Mun, Minmus and Kerbin once But now. I've produced a new version of the Enerstar the model S Why? Because I felt I missed out on a lot of the planet my last time around. Whole continents i never explored, mountaintops un-flagged. That's why Enerstar S has 6 engines. In stress tests the engines were powerful enough to nearly lift the whole thing straight up when at full rev + boost I haven't gotten it to a "max speed" because I tend to run out of room by the time I reach 190m/s.. but the 'safe' cruising speed is more like 30-50m/s faster than my last one due to being wider and less prone to flip. Model S has 289 parts total 6 rear engines with afterburner mode for steep climbs 2 reverse engines (which are also.. reversible..) 1 cockpit, 2 crew modules, 2 large ore tanks, 2 ore processors sensors, heat, gravity, pressure, air sensors, ore scanners, and 1 top area scanner Dry weight no fuel 50 tons Full mass (ore and fuel), 100 tons https://imgur.com/a/QOzMfKv gallery location Front view Back And from the top before my first watercrossing into Sandoland Mountain climbing Top/side for a nice look at it And lastly a topdown comparison of my oldest model when I met up with where I left it More to come as I get going
  13. This is something I wanted to do for a long time now: Drive all around Kerbin in a stock buggy. To prepare this rally I've used the Kerbal Konstructs mod and placed 7 bridges needed to complete the route. For this challenge I will use a hybrid buggy, so refueling will become a thing. Like in my Pole2Pole challenge I will allow a new buggy to be flown in as a replacement when I break down. The buggy:
  14. So......after chatting with @Triop on this subject, I have decided to throw my hat into the preverbal ring and drive around Kerbin within 80 days. How hard could it be? Driving is easy.....boring but easy, right? WRONG!! Kerbin is one of the toughest places to drive a rover, truck, dune buggy, race car, etc. Whatever you drive, you're driving on a planet that has some of the most varied, roughest and unforgiving terrain in the KSP universe. Add it's rather strong gravity, and you have a challenge. Some other planets have rough terrain, but most of them have lower gravity (with exceptions of course). So you're rover/buggy/truck has to be well built, tough as nails, your driving must be razor sharp, and you have to pay attention the entire time you're driving. Your speed must be well regulated because wheel blowouts are the least of your problems (they can be fixed). Go too fast, don't pay attention to what's coming up ahead of you and BLAMO!! you're careening off a cliff, going end over end and most likely killing your intrepid but less than experienced pilot and engineer if you managed to drag one with you, probably kicking and screaming. So...... DAY ONE Early morning. The MEGA Truck is finally ready. Our most experienced pilot and navigator extreme GDJ Kerman (yeah for real) is ready to take the wheel with a few somewhat willing crew. Kerbal Foundries was generous enough to supply a high powered APU unit for the truck's power source which a claimed 17 units of electrical charging per second and a fuel consumption of no more than 0.03 units per second. With additional fuel (1250-odd units) the frame of the truck was creaking with it's total weight of 20.4 tonnes. This was no ordinary 2019 Kerbal Star truck. This was a custom made Tri-Drive Tandem steer unit with a extended cab for two other occupants. Nearly 10 metres long, almost 2 metres wide, this was a beast of a truck with the power of the Kraken. After firing up the APU, a quick test was done and a plume of exhaust shot up in the air nearly as high as the VAB. Everybody smiled. Yeah baby! After KSC gave everybody in the truck their best wishes for success, the intrepid 4 nutcases were off and running. The truck spun around from the runway, sprinted north at a pace that was nearly dangerous on level ground. GDJ Kerman looked at the speedometer: 41 metres per second. After leaving the level grounds surrounding KSC the most experienced pilot in KSC history remembered some advise from his mentor and former teacher Gene Kerman: "Less is more. Don't push your luck and risk everything. This is not a race. Nobody has done this before, and the only other one crazy enough to do it @Triop is still out there. Take your time. Besides, the truck is brand new and bloody expensive." Time to slow things down. 30 to 35 m/s would be sufficient. The plan was to travel to Kerman Lake on the first day. Kerman Lake was roughly north east and had a small airport for smaller regional aircraft. Most of the terrain was not really rough until one got to within 20 km of Kerman Lake, then it was a lot more challenging. Bill Kerman was the chief engineer, Jebediah Kerman was backup pilot, and a newbie Scientist that was still wet behind her ears was in charge of ......the science stuff. For the most part, the day went off without a hitch. A few times the truck was airborne for a few seconds, but the robust suspension handled the abuse like a dream. Bill did some adjusting to the steering parameters as the drive progressed and made the high speed handling a little less....hazardous. The APU sipped at the LF, keeping all 1600 units of battery power charged at 99.5% and only went full blast when driving up hills. The brakes were equally impressive. Kerbal Star equipped the truck with 10 Krembo disc brakes and all together was able to stop the 20 tonne monster to a halt within 150 metres, give or take a bit. After a few hours and in dwindling daylight the crew arrived at Kerman Lake, tired but not too badly shaken (thank you air-ride seats!) and decided to plan out the next days trip in a nice hotel. SUMMARY FOR DAY ONE
  15. One of the reasons I created the Heisenberg mod and the recent Buffalo Wings update was so that I could go explore Kerbin. I haven't done that before, and it seemed like a good thing to do. The idea originated from watching EJ-SA's "Kerbin Exploration Initiative" streams and from the Elcano Aviation Challenge. I had the notion of making an epic story out of the mission, with lots of dialogue and plot twists, but after months of modding, I'm still not finished with my mods, and time constraints mean that I wouldn't be able to do my story justice. So rather than let my hard work go to waste, I opted for a more traditional mission report with news reports sprinkled in that's relatively light on story. I can update it when I have the time, but at least I get to play KSP again instead of just modding it. Chapters Prologue (this post) Chapter One: The Five New Guys Chapter Two: That's No Data Glitch Chapter Three: Well, It Looked Good On Paper Chapter Four: Southbound And Down Chapter Five: Graviolium Chapter Six: Away Teams Interlude Chapter Seven: Dream A Little Dream With Me Chapter Eight: Never Goes As Planned Chapter Nine: Astronauts and S.A.V.E.s Chapter Ten: Going For A Swim Chapter Eleven: All That Glitters Chapter Twelve: Revelations Chapter Thirteen: Lucky You... Chapter Fourteen: That's No Mountain... Chapter Fifteen: Pyramid Schemes Part 1 Chapter Sixteen: Pyramid Schemes Part 2 Chapter Seventeen: Kosmodrome Chapter Eighteen: Space Racing Chapter Nineteen: Munshot Chapter Twenty: Landfall Chapter Twenty One: Full Circle Epilogue --- Mod List Prologue
  16. This thread is about my rover trip around Jool's moon Vall. This is meant to be an Elcano/Elkano attempt where I carry out a polar circumnavigation of Vall. Here I intend to provide enough screenshots to document that I actually do the complete circumnavigation and to show the beauty of Vall scenery. Also I allow my self to use f5/f9 as much as is neede. Why to circumnavigate a celestial body by land in KSP? I will have to admit that a land circumnavigation of a celestial body in KSP is very lengthy and tedious process. Nevertheless I have wanted to do so ever since I heard that the Elcano challenge exists. I have former experience from a lengthy rover science gathering mission on Mun. Despite hours of tedious driving around the gray landscape of Mun, I did find the mission quite fulfilling and rewarding. Partly just because it took a long time to get anywhere. I expect this mission to be similarly rewarding experience. Why Vall? Previously my goal was to perform a similar circumnavigation of Eve, since is Eve my favourite planet in the stock Kerbol system. My plan to perform this circumnavigation in reasonably short time and fun way, was to use the Rovemax XL3 wheels, and exploit the fact that they can accelerate the rover to extremely high velocity if you tap the keys "a" and "d" while pressing "w". Unfortunately the challenge maintainer of the Elkano challenge was adamant, that this is cheating and not allowed. After trying out a rover that obeys the rules on Eve I felt that it was frustratingly slow and couldn't climb the hills and mountains of Eve. So the circumnavigation would take a very long time and be more frustrating since I couldn't scale hills and mountains. Vall was the next best option. A lot smaller, but sill reasonably beautiful celestial body, whit low gravity to make rover faster and better at climbing mountains. Relevant mods Voyage to Vall This is the rocket at launchpad. It devotedly follows the design principle "There is no such a thing as too much deltaV!". It has several thousands extra m/s of DeltaV to make sure that Vall is actually reached without shadow of a doubt. This was my first ever manned flyby or orbit of Jool. :-) Successful landing! The land voyage may now begin. The blue flickering is from the Sci-fi visual enchancement mod. I'll soon make a new post once there is progression to show. Thank you for your time!
  17. Some of you might remember that in my last AAR, I promised to do a circumnavigation of Minmus in 6.4x scaleup. Well, that AAR died, and the save is lost, but I've been playing some more KSP again lately, and I've finally reached a point in my current career game where I can attempt a Minmus circumnavigation. Consider this my very belated entry into the Elcano challenge. THE MODS Here's the entirety of my modlist, as pulled from CKAN: I'm also running Simga Dimensions (0.9.3), with the following configuration settings (applied through a mod manager config): @SigmaDimensions { // Base Settings @Resize = 6.4 @Rescale = 6.4 @Atmosphere = 1.285 @dayLengthMultiplier = 1 // Advanced Settings @landscape = 0.25 @geeASLmultiplier = 1 @resizeScatter = 1 @resizeBuildings = 0 @CustomSoISize = 0 @CustomRingSize = 0 @atmoASL = 1 @tempASL = 1 @atmoTopLayer = 1 @atmoVisualEffect = 1 @scanAltitude = 1 } Not all of these mods were used in the construction of the rover, but I'll do my best to point out mod parts when they show up. THE PLAN The rover I intend to use for my circumnavigation attempt is called the Cricket. It has 8 ruggedized wheels, space for two Kerbals, a bunch of science instruments, and is powered by a fission reactor from Near Future. Top speed on level ground is over 55 m/s. Due to its size and shape, I've packed the rover into a DIY Kit from Ground Construction, and will be assembling it in situ at my Minmus base. Once assembled, I'll take two of the base crew on a three hour cruise circumnavigation attempt of Minmus, gathering science along the way. The exact route has not yet been determined, although I intend to visit at least one of the anomalies I can see on my ScanSat maps, as well as the site of my first kerbal landing in this career save. I'll post a waypoint map of the route before driving begins. THE LAUNCH I launched the Cricket (or, rather, the kit which will be used to assemble it) atop a Sartre CRD. Capable of placing 10 tons into Minmus orbit, the Sartre (and its little brother, the Sartre Jr.) is the workhorse of my space program. The CRD variant is a recent design overhaul that standardized the common components of the Sartre and Sartre Jr., and added recovery systems to the boosters and core. (Every Sartre launch costs me about 220,000 funds, plus payload. Of that cost, almost 60% is just the four boosters, so recovering them is a high priority.) Images of the launch and transfer burn below. (Imgur album embeds are apparently broken again, so have this direct link.) (Single image embeds do appear to work, so have this image of the launch as compensation. Full album in the link above.) Up next: Arrival at Minmus, landing, and assembly.
  18. HRO shuttles, originally designed for some advanced levels of STS challenge, now join together for even more daring mission than before Launch sequence First is HRO-M03 with all the deployable vehicles. Including the Elcanoplan 2 strapped on its back Barely enough thrust for takeoff (and that's with payloads having the tanks practically dry). I even activated the main engine of the Elcanoplan, but that didn't seem to make much difference either. Those boosters barely miss the tail wings (just don't forget to set SAS to prograde) Also waited a bit after the tank ran dry before separating it - to wait for the ship to get a bit more balanced (orbiter's tanks are set to drain from the tail first) 55 km? Eh, this isn't Laythe yet! Also forgot to ignite OMS OMS + upper pair of main engines = the best balanced solution with this payload. One ship in orbit OK, now to the second launch... What the Kraken?!! OK, After a tweak to the clamps... let's pretend that didn't happen HRO-M takes off a bit easier, despite having full payload bay as well Looks like we launched a bit too early Well, raise the apoapsis a bit higher and let's meet in one orbit Let's align... and wait for some sunlight Despite the size, HRO is quite good at docking. If you don't rush. (Hey, it's called Heavy Recovery Orbiter - what else could you expect?) This position will provide the best balancing And in couple passes we get the transfer to... somewhere green But this is... Anyway, let's get into polar orbit. By the way, HRO-M also has the scanner antenna in the bay Going down This modification of HRO-M has got some landing upgrades from the latest version of HRO-M03 And a full mining rig in the bay Minmus means "mine me", doesn't it? And a few days later... And in the meantime HROM-03 changed to equatorial orbit - so here's the direct intercept with it There's enough to fully fill all LFO and ore tanks of the craft in orbit So let's make another run down - this time at the equator And after refuel... Who needs atmosphere for horizontal takeoff? And back together - with plenty of fuel Transfer And over 300 days later... (yeah, completely missed the window) What's the best way for Minmus-Jool transfer? Oberth effect! Say goodbye to Kerbin! And a couple years later... Let's just capture into Laythe-Pol transfer orbit What a view! And then, since there seems to be enough fuel to reach the destinations independently, let's separate the ships Oh, hey there! Has anybody checked for running into Vall? Now to pass by Tylo - barely missing its SOI (turned to get better solution than with slingshots) and we are getting to the destination Let's capture with rocket engines, and then release the mapsat - it will change plane at apoapsis Now, to lower the orbit... the shuttle way Strangely enough, the moment you get in, it feels about as much (if not more) drag as on the same altitude on Kerbin. Just don't forget to stabilize the orbit Low Laythe orbit achieved! Next phase - going down there
  19. As the title says, this mission is a circunnavigation of Mun for the Elcano Challenge: However, for my crew it doesn't mean going in a straight line from A to ... well, A again the long way. The plan is to collect science from all the biomes, mark anomalies and complete as many surface missions as possible (career mode). The rover is quite light under 10T, so i simply attached it as cargo to the nose of a ship used to carry fuel from the Minmus refineries to LKO and equipment from LKO to Minmus and Mun. This is a new design i'm using to replace my old transports, it's pretty much the same, but with big docking ports for cargo stability, better solar panels and upgraded comm gear. It also carries a little bot to move cargo to stations and to move the big heat shield under the ship to the rear docking port, to speed up the aerobreaks when returning to Kerbin. This is not the original launch, i forgot to record it so i recorded it again and left a second rover in a Mun equatorial orbit in case it was needed. Jebediah Kerman, director of operations and explosions of the KSP, and badass in general, personally selected Elixie and Jean as the crew, based on very strict criteria. (i.e. they were aboard a ship in LMO when the rover arrived and had the right professions ) DAY 1: This is Mun base Alpha, a simple base with a few oudated vehicles, and starting point of the journey. There used to be ore just below the base, but suddenly one day it was gone. (game update to 1.2.2) The scientists keep studying the sudden dissapear, but orbital surveys still show big ore deposits in the area, and to locate them is going to be the first mission. Flag time for Elixie: And there they go! Finding ore was actually very easy, and as soon as they approached the nearby canyon, less that 1 km away from the base, the scanning module began beeping. And the science-o-meter also began beeping for the new biome. This crater was a nice opportunity to collect science from the lowlands and midland craters... ...and to mark the first anomally, a monolith. What strange species planted this structure here and why? Do they have tasty snacks to share??? Next, the flat area north of Base Alpha was perfect to test the rover speed. 45 m/s seems about the top (safe) speed. Faster than that and the "small jumps" are not so small, and the "landing" not so smooth. Anyway, the travel to Farside Basin was quick. Keeping the north heading, a pair of surface experiments to complete a contract: Surprise! And this is the reason why the rover has two thrusters below, because of the ninja craters hiding behind hills! The ability to orbit / deorbit is just a side effect (but very welcome). Don't try this at home! Jeb will be proud of these two kerbonauts... Unfortunately, the next barrel roll didn't go so well, and this is the sorry state the rover had after. Energy generation was all but gone, with only the small solar panel on the top still remaining. The docking port on top was gone too, and the RCS tank connecting to the cockpit didn't look good either. Also, the direction was damaged and the rover had a tendency to turn to the right. However, the science was intact and the kerbonauts alive. With 1000 EC the rover was able to reach the other side of this big hole, the first sign we are near the north pole. But after that last effort the batteries were empty. By the way, this biome is the highlands, so more science to carry! So, time to deorbit that second rover. The burn to send it near the north pole required a lot of fuel, but that was not a problem for the transport: The rover handled the landing without problems too: A few km later, the kerbonauts were rescued, and passed all the science and the remaining RCS to the second rover. All the RCS was stored in the side tanks, and it really helped with the barrel rolls. The CoM is a lot lower and the rover is more stable. Since both rovers were docked, the first one was left with full batteries, and i think the direction damage fixed itself with the change of scene (the RCS tank is again in line with the others), so trying to bring it back to Base Alpha is a possibility. Next biome: Highland Craters. The long shadows near the poles can be a problem for an electric vehicle, but 3000 EC should be more than enough to keep going. The sun is still high in the sky when we reach the north pole... but it won't last long. And the terrain is becoming more irregular, increasing the energy requeriments and decreasing the speed. It's not a problem yet, but up north it's full of peaks and valleys, not the best place to drive at 40 m/s. Home over the horizon! The marker on the map is the first patch of polar lowlands according to the orbital survey, so that's where we are heading. The map data appears not to match the terrain, so we picked a deep hole and went down to collect some tasty science... but turned out this is not polar lowlands. After another try in the same area, the only choice appears to be to keep moving north and aim for the deepest rift. This one should do the trick: EC is becoming a concern. The mix of deep dark valleys and high peaks where the batteries can be recharged are making this part of the journey quite slow. Not to mention the constant danger of driving in the shadows and falling into one of the valleys. The next rover will include moar lights for this type of terrains. Then, in a routine climb for energy Jean checked the biome... yep... polar "low"lands. I guess the SCANsat data was fine, but it doesn't make much sense to have the lowlands on top of a mountain. In the words of the on board computer: Not computable. The crew was eager to leave this polar nightmare of mountains, valleys and darkness, and there was still some sunlight available in the mountains, so they managed to reach the border of the polar crater and finished the first part of the mission. Biomes visited so far: Midlands, Canyons, Lowlands, Midlands craters, Farside Basin, Highlands, Highlands craters, Poles and Polar Lowlands. Anomallies discovered: 1 monolith. Contracts completed: 1. Rovers lost: 1 (still semi-functional).
  20. EDIT: I've put this on hold until I can play the game without CTDs. TL;DR: Elcano attempt gone awry. Two budding engineers steal Jeb and Bills' Elcano Rover and go for a spin. Scroll down to get straight to the comic. Longer, yet still readable: I was making grand plans (and many design iterations) for a Kerbin Elcano Challenge attempt. Didn't like the fact that my very capable speedboat had to forego rover wheels for airplane landing gear to be amphibious AND fast. Frustration is best left on the back burner for a moment, and so I cleared my head by making a couple cool jeeps and land rovers and pickups. One of these turned out to be great fun in the hills and mountains west of KSC. Only problem was it had no means to do water crossings. I considered detachable pontoons and a polar route so I could knock out the water part relatively early, then get on with it. Then I said screw it. I'm gonna break the rules. I'm more interested in telling a story than getting the badge. I'll go ahead with the truck. So, within the story, the idea is that 2 yokels from a shared rural childhood make their way to marginally successfully careers doing menial engineer tasks around KSC. Gus is a little more diligent, and makes Lt. Engineer, rising to help with minor design implementations of the Elcano rover. Thomp does just enough to get by, so him and his pal Gus can share their adventures, and usually spends his day at various custodial duties - the most prestigious being cleaning out engine bells at the test stand. Anyways, their story picks up with them enjoying a few "snacks" after work. Hope you enjoy! CHAPTER 1 Already working on chapter 2! Thanks for taking a look. *HICCUP*
  21. Commander's log day 1: Well, I don't know how to write in a journal. I guess I'll introduce myself. I am Jedediah Kerman, the commander for the amphibious Kerbin circumnavigator the "Elcano IV." It is a hybrid vehicle that is capable of long distance travel across Kerbin. Our ship is a beauty. It has a crew of 6, a movie theater, a kitchen, ore drills and converter, cozy accommodations, and plenty of snacks. I am proud to call this ship my home for sometime. Elcano, here we come.
  22. I decided to try an Eve Elcano because I usually avoid Eve, besides putting a simple science probe on the surface. I am doing this in a career save I began about 2 weeks ago and I am running ScanSat and Kerbal Engineer as the only mods. Mission Profile: The interplanetary vessel "EVE" will launch from Kerbin and make a polar orbit around Eve. A Scan/Comms relay sat will be deployed into approx. 499x499km orbit (Sub optimal orbit for both scanners on-board however maximising monoprop for final orbit after scanning is complete). The "Eve" will move to approx. 150x150km orbit to deploy the "victim rover". The "Victim Rover" will de-orbit itself as close to the north pole as possible with Neldo Kerman and begin the Elcano. The Eve will attempt a polar transfer to Gilly in order to deploy a second Scan/Coms bird and then return to Kerbin for refuelling and docking a return module for Neldon (if I can be bothered). Launch and Delivery The Elcano Begins
  23. Hello guys! This is the mission report of my trip around Kerbin. I am going to drive as much of the trip as I can, but I will have to cross the sea in a few places, and also some rivers along the way. I am doing it because i haven't really seen anything of this magnificent planet further away from the KSC, than a 100 Km. K.R.A.C.I.I [krey-zee] K.R.A.C.I.I is the rover I am going to use. It is an acronym for Kerbal Racing-car with Amphibious CapabIlIties. It has a cruise speed of about 40 m/s on land, and a bit below 20 m/s in water. It brings enough solar panels to deliver power all day, but it can not drive in the night. The front spoilers pushes it down so it can drive fast over edges without destroying its tail. The Map I have planned a route on a polar path. (The yellow line). It will take me trough mountains, across rivers and by the beaches. If there should come a point i can not cross, I have emergency routes. (The orange lines). So if the mountains are to rough, I will have to drive another way around. The grey line is the route I will take by plane, and the yellow dot represent my desired landing spot. Progress so far This map will be updated and more flags will be added as Jeb move on. The newest pink flag, represent Jeb's position. Please tell me what you think about it, i would love to hear your opinions!
  24. The past weeks have seen a big spike of Elcano attempts. Many of them have a beautiful and witty narrative, something that's really not my strong suit. So why post yet another one? Simply because this particular circumnavigation is a long standing project of mine, and because I'd like to share my passion. Since Imgur and the KSP forums don't get along at the moment, I'll post my images in spoilers and add a link here and there to keep loading times reasonable. Nine months ago, I circumnavigated Kerbin by boat. It was my first attempt at the Elcano Callenge, and the views of Kerbin that this journey offered me got me hooked. But also from an engineering point of view, I learned a lot about hydrofoils, so I started to make plans about a circumnavigation of Laythe. Of course, it never ocurred to me that it would take this long. One of the most important lessons from my first attempt is, that having too many lifting is a surefire way to have your craft flipping when low on fuel. I suspected that my pontoons were part of the problem, so my subsequent designs tried to avoid them: While the left one was quite satisfactory in terms of speed and stability, it simply didn't have the range to make it all around Laythe. The right one had IRSU capability, but at a top speed of about 85 m/s it was a bit on the slow side. The final design can refuel itself, is very stable up to 110 m/s (although it can go considerably faster), all while being quite manoeuvrable on land as well as at sea. 110 m/s may look like a lot, but considering that conventional boats easily achive 30 m/s, at 4x physics warp they are faster than this design since time acceleration is a no-go for hydrofoils. Still, I prefer this approach because speeding along, barely touching the surface is something strangely pleasing in itself. Besides, why choose the easy route when there's a complicated way to do it? Here's the craft on a low-fuel test run on Kerbin: Now the big day has come - on top of a launcher, the Speedboat IV sits on the pad: The launch vehicle is capable of SSTO. This avoids the hassle of assembly in orbit, although it forces me to refuel before sending it off on its journey. Coming up next: From liftoff to splashdown Edit: Craft Link: https://kerbalx.com/Chemp/Speedboat-IV
  25. Welcome to my Elcano Challenge thread! My goal is to sail and drive around Kerbin, going over the poles and seeing some cool stuff along the way! This is where I'll document everything on a daily progress basis, and where you can all enjoy the trip along with me! The Ship The ship I am using is the best of the best (not really), a Ship Mk1 model complete with loading gantries, helipad, bridge and crew quarters! Cruises at around 60 m/s after some of the fuel gets used, and best of all? It can drive on land! Yay! Her name's RV Evergreen! Here's a picture of it when she was launched: The Route Surprise! I'm going totally off of my best hunch and what I can see from the ship on this one! No plotting of routes for me, I'll just go where it feels 'right'. That said, I'll mantain a map of where I've been so far, which is here: The Crew We have a specialized crew of 7 Kerbals onboard The RV Evergreen, which is really to say all the personnel we had at the KSC at the time. The crew is ready for any eventualities that we all know will strike sometime during the trip! Their names are (in order of importance to the mission): Captain Sparrow - Captain of the ship! Commander Awesome - The adventurer! Jozie Kerman - Helicopter pilot and scout! Pine Kerman - Jeep driver and lookout! Sandisk Kerman - Cook! Carly Kerman - Mechanic! Lia Kerman - Comms interpreter! The Ship's Condition: I expect the ship to get banged quite a bit during this trip, so this is where I'll list any issues it has and an image of it at this very moment! As of now, the RV Evergreen has reached the first milestone of the trip: Reaching the on-ramp to the south pole ice cap! So damage to the ship yet, but the ships wasn't as efficient as I feared, and is almost out of fuel now. The plan is to land a refueling plane nearby and refuel. Original early post:
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