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Found 6 results

  1. 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!
  2. The start: Using a mk2 rover with a lot of crew, I set out on an Elcano! Glory shot of the rover:
  3. Hello forum readers. I recently became aware of the Elcano challenge to circumnavigate the surface of any orbital body by rover or boat. Then I went down the rabbit hole of mission logs submitted by forum users over the years as they attempted the challenge in so many different ways. This inspired me to compose a log of my own. The Gnat - Background The "Gnat" science and utility rover rolled out of the SPH in early career mode - year 0, day something-or-other. With 40 parts, weighing in at a cool 3.443 tons, she was built for science gathering and career missions as part of a landing system consisting of the Gnat and a reusable sky crane attached to the Munar Gateway Station. Here she is at her berth, distal to the escape pod array, before I ever heard of the Elcano challenge. Prior to creating this thread, our heroes Bill and Dofrod Kerman (no relation) were ordered by mission control to land on the Mun and perform a rover circumnavigation. They did so in style, performing many graceful maneuvers such as the one captured below. or this one After 27 days, Bill and Dofrod finally succeeded at circumnavigating the Mun. All the other Kerbals came out to party with them. Then they returned to the Munar Gateway Station to fix up the Gnat and chill out for a couple years. The Plan The plan for this circumnavigation is for Bill (engineer) and Dofrod (scientist) Kerman (no relation) to travel from the Munar Gateway Station to Minmus, make a landing on the Great Flats, then take a roughly equatorial route around the moon collecting science from all biomes except the Poles, visiting the easter egg, and completing as many career missions as are convenient (to fund future adventures). See the planned route below in blue. ...to be continued
  4. Chapter One - The Setup (back in the saddle, let's see if I can stay on) Ever since 0.23.5 and phresh mems enticed me to check out KSP back in 2014, I've dreamed of doing what a lot if not nearly all of everyone who plays KSP has done, fulfilling a standard rite of passage: a mission to Duna. (I mean, the Mun or Minmus usually is the first rite of passage, but I did that in the demo before punching in my credit card details, and maybe just like in real life, it may be nice to go back to the Mun to stay, but it is such a limited horizon). I mean, it has to be a mission-MISSION. Like as in set the mission goals, design the architecture, engineer the crafts, yeet them into deep black and run with it. You know, like everyone else has done here, whether as part of a challenge, replicating one of the NASA DRMs, Zubrin's minimalist Direct or go full BSG, The Martian, one or the other. And having to watch the lot of you do all that, forum posts, Reddit posts, YouTube videos, seeing your blueprints and screenshots and gifs, leaves me with an itch that needs scratching. Duna is the usual milestone, again Mars analogue, but also because of what Duna is standing for in that rite of passage: going beyond Minmus orbit. Going beyond Kerbin. After over six years of playing the game. That isn't a bad thing at all--many players are content to just stick around in the Kerbin system, and can make an adventure, a life of it. But I'm a horizon kind of person. I'm the kid that stands on the beach, and wonders what lies beyond the place where the sea meets the sky. I've learned how to sail, but I've never really left the harbor. Never really put out into open ocean. Yeah, I've been around the block a couple of times. I never really did for over six years now, because every time I get something on the drawing board, something usually comes up. Usually a major update bump--goodbye mods compatibilty. Or I get sidetracked by a challenge (namely Apollo and Space Shuttle) which does not fit what I had in mind. Memory limitations in my older laptops. And especially real life. When I purchased KSP, I was early into law school. By the time I was doing the Shuttle Challenge, I was supposed to be studying for the bar exams, in a country where that is less a licensure exam, and more a hazing ritual. Either way, real life, game ennui, and the big resets of version updates is the air resistance to the booster launch of my KSP campaigns. It could also happen here and now, for all I know. But last year back in 1.9.x when the pandemic struck, I finally decided to run with it and stick with it. Finally get a Duna itch-scratcher running. Finally leave safe waters for the open ocean. (To save me the workload, I just sent everything back to square one--parts, progress, narratives, approaching KSP with a fresh mind and a clean slate, more or less.) Which I did, until real life caught up again mid-year, and I left things in suspension again. But the itch is still there. It's still there nagging at me and I wanna scratch it bad. So picking things up again, I wanted to run it, run past Minmus in a way where I felt like I had something to do, but it was still achievable without giving me a headache to create my own version of an interplanetary exploration program: First, I run it in Career mode, albeit a slightly easier one: I set the Funds rewards to 125% just so I could get to upgrading the facilities sooner (and could afford the bigger rockets earlier on), plus Stage Recovery so I wasn't burning as much Funds just getting to orbit. That way, the Science and Funds were sort of a limiter, but also a score. Mod it till I break. Second, it is quite modded, and I'll admit that there are three mods I felt made the game WAY easier going forward, and which, if not OP, at least one or two could still be tweaked so as not to grease the path forward: The LGG-resurrected Retrofuture, which I got solely (so far) for the ultra-low profile LFO engines, something like aerospike pancakes. They are unbalanced because they occur early in the tech tree compared to stock engines in the same class, they have mucho excellente atmo and vac ISP and power compared to stock engines in the same class, and I think they are relatively cheap for what they do. I don't know if LGG made a balance pass since the 1.9 compatibles. Getting the Dmagic and Interkosmos science mods, without any tech tree-adjusting mods. So same tech tree, but even more science squeezable per planet, biome, and situation. Add to that science gains from SCANSat and repeat missions using the Tarsier telescope mod, and at some point I do not have to worry about the tech tree ever again after the Mun, even without having to depend on pumping Science out of Mobile Labs. I also feel so dirty doing so. Finally, the Bon Voyage mod. This is the one mod that takes rovers to the OP level, more OP than any other automation or abstraction mod, maybe even more than MJ, because it makes biome science farming not only practical, but game-breakingly easy. No need to make a rocket Mun or Minmus biome hopper, when all that's needed is to land a rover packed with a scientist and science parts, find your biomes, and let the autopilot take them there. Practical also because it allows me to do other things while waiting for the rover to get there, streamlining the task of running a whole space program. Someone please bribe Squad to make it stock. Third, it wasn't just getting to Duna, but setting up a near-Kerbin space architecture that supports the entire mission, from running the business to afford the trip, to training the Kerbals so we're not landing idiots in tin cans, so on and so forth. Duna is just simply a part of the program, its crowning jewel (for now), but not its raison d'etre. Duna is a demonstration that the system can do it, within its constraints and logic. Maximum joy from minimum work. The complete opposite of a legal career. Fourth, I have a number of philosophies, desires, and goals for this. Less Duna direct, more Galactica. "If I got it, flaunt it (go high delta-V, high capacity, big boosters if necessary, orbital and surface construction using KIS, USI Konstruction and Global Construction)." My triumvarate of Minimize Vessel Count per scene/Minimize Parts Count per vessel/Minimize Workload on the field (which means I have the usual automation suites--MJ, TCA, GT, VVC/HLA, RMM, and thank God for live-configurable action groups). Take advantage of mods to minimize parts count and work, and maximize functions. Five, as much as possible, make it look sexy. And the kraken shall lie with the bugs, and they shall beat their 1.11s into 1.9s, and a 7th-gen i7 shall lead them. Also, I can't believe there is an i9 already, I am as green with envy as that guy. One of the consequences of this is that, for the first time ever, I haven't caught up with the KSP dev number arms race, where I hit the magic reset button after a version change. Although 1.10 and 1.11 added a lot of neat stuff I would like to have, and there are a number of new mods that have me salivating, in the end, I have all the core competencies in 1.9.x plus compatible mods, and I felt like I could skip the upgrades this time (especially with a few things still wonky). So all that follows here is current to 1.9.x, stock and compatible mods c. mid-2020 alike. And so with the preamble out of the way, let's dispense with the preliminaries on the road to the deep, deep black of space. x----------------------------------------------x EDIT FROM THE FUTURE: considering my later decision to go Elcano on Duna long-winded sigh, below is a screenshot of my GameData folder for accountability purposes.
  5. ELCANO OR BUST! My quest to circumnavigate every planet and moon. And get the master circumnavigator badge! I recently discovered the Elcano challenge and thought: "I NEED TO DO THIS!!!". So here you go, my attempts to circumnavigate all the planets (and moons) This will be written in the style of @purpleivan's own circumnavigation: Kerbin Sorta-Circumnavigation - (You should check it out, its really funny and interesting) Order (Subject to change): Kerbin Mun Duna Ike Laythe Tylo Eve Minmus Dres Val Eeloo Moho Bop Pol Gilly The flag: Each circumnavigation will begin with a map, a craft file, and a picture of the craft, as well as stats and estimated time. Then will come an index and after that every leg of the trip.
  6. I think I explain everything adequately in the videos, but I'll just put down a couple stats here. 35 Pit Stops 1 Lander/Return Vehicle Valentina Kerman and one long walk of 1,256 KM total. This will take a little while. Please don't expect daily updates. Apologizes for part one having gotten messed up. I think I must have accidentally hit my recording hotkey twice instead of once at some point.
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