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Found 21 results

  1. I've been having struggles going to eeloo in career mode. could anyone send pictures of their voyage to eeloo?
  2. This is a summary of the previous exchange between @KSK, @Bottle Rocketeer 500, and myself. KSK origionally said To which I replied BR500's reply... My Reply KSK's Reply Again BR500 replied My sadly reasonable response KSK responded And besides my last response that is what we come up to. What do you think?
  3. Hello good people! I have decided to finally start a career mode after playing around in sandboxes for ages. This story will be told from Jatin Kerman's point of view. So enjoy this mission report. And do give a feedback! Antriksh Yaatra: The Journey 'Moving forward when the entire world holds you back.' Chapter 1.1 : The Revelation In a sleepy town of a sleepy country, Jatin Kerman gets out of his bed, sleepy as heck. Yesterday was just like the day before and tomorrow will be no different either. Its amazing how dull the nation had become after achieving independence. Now the only short bursts of excitement happened during the annual Kockey tournament. But then again, his country, Kindia, won that every single time, so it was getting boring too. If only there was some excitement in his life…. He poured himself a cup of tea and picked up the newspaper. The front page made him do a double take. Hmmm? A space program? Or is it ‘programme’ ? And what is this talk about moose? Regardless, it seems that the country’s leadership had finally lost its mind. Space travel is for the rich (like UNKK) or the excessively proud (Like their Koviet friends). But us? We were just learning how to walk! There was no need for this stupidity! Anyways not his problem. He was going to stay the heck out of this. Wait a minute! There is something else written here! No! No! They can’t do this to him! The only thing he knew about rockets is that they go up and hurt people! Well he wanted a little excitement, so now he was getting some.
  4. Post #1 - April 13th, 2017. DISCLAIMER: This entire thread is intended as a parody of the space race, so please don't take what I say seriously. Kerbin's Geography: 1943 - 1978 (Current): Mod list: Please be advised that I am currently accepting payloads submitted for launch by "private companies." Preferably, payloads must under 15 tons, but the limit is 25. The only mods you can use are MOLE, Tantares (Either LV or spacecraft), TRAILS Plus, Home-Grown Rockets (With the patches for use in 1.2.2), Fuel Tanks Plus, KAS/KIS, and Ven's Stock Revamp. I'm not installing mods just for your payload, because my game already crashes way too much! Payload submission form below: So. Here it is. I've been wanting to do an Eyes Turned Skyward style mission report series, where I'd play a new career mode game, presented in a history book format (Also inspired by this). These mission reports will have multiple different parties launching space vehicles - the USSR and the USA. Yes - It's basically just a career game with a moderately entertaining backstory - but I wanted to do it so here it is: --- Year 1, Day 1. (April 13, 1957) At a remote complex in southern Kazakhstan, a new ICBM is being prepped for launch. But this is no regular ICBM. And it carries no nuclear payload. As trucks and jeeps drive around the missile, ground crew fuel up and prepare the ICBM for takeoff. This missile contains a small satellite, equipped with four long-range antennae and advanced scientific instruments. At T-minus ten minutes to launch, the three large, green metal launch gantries lower themselves away from the rocket, and the ground crew clear the launch zone. TV crews crowd around barriers, blocking any unauthorized personnel from gaining access to Launchpad-G. The rocket has two stages - the first, an FLT-800 fuel tank, with a singular BPT-180 engine, and a TR-18A decoupler to make way for the second stage - an FLT-200 fuel tank and another BPT-180 engine, with four Vernor engines to keep the rocket on course. At zero hour, the entire stack lifts off the pad, the 158 kiloNewtons of thrust more than enough to propel the rocket through the sky. Huge clouds of smoke billow from the engine as it approaches the highest-ever altitude set by an aircraft - 28 kilometres - and easily breaks that altitude record in a mere matter of seconds. At an altitude of thirty kilometres, the first stage cuts-off, and is jettisoned. The craft coasts to apoapsis, the Vernor thrusters aligning it on the correct attitude for the orbital injection. The second stage cuts-off with a mere ten seconds left in the orbital injection, at which point the fairing deploys and the 'Sputnik' satellite completes the burn using its NT-5R engine - an efficient, low-thrust experimental nuclear engine. The engine, also known as the 'Shiba,' has not been perfected, and slowly emits radiation, which would, if exposed to any astronauts for long duration missions - as the USSR would later find out - be lethal. After the satellite had reached orbit, it took readings with its scientific instruments, and broadcasted a continuous message towards Kerbin: Beep, beep, beep, beep... The successful launch of 'Sputnik' prompted the United States of America to respond with their own space program. In the beginning, the task was handed over to the Air Force, which, to put it bluntly, couldn't get to space if they were given a prefabricated rocket with instructions spelled out in block capitals with simple verbs and multiple pictures and diagrams. They were better at designing aircraft. They just couldn't get their heads around the fact that there is no air in space. So it's no surprise that on Year 1, Day 3 (July 21st, 1957), when the US Air Force attempted to launch 'Voyager 1,' the rocket failed to get off the ground. The two strap-on TX-354-3 SRBs and core SCOUT LRB were designed to carry the satellite, 'Voyager-1,' to an Apoapsis above the atmosphere, where the satellite would perform the orbital injection. However, the engineers made the embarrassing mistake of mistaking the vacuum Isp for the Isp at sea level, which wasn't even capable of lifting the rocket a single metre off the ground! The launch had made a mockery of the US Air Force, and the American people lost faith in their country's ability to compete with the USSR, with the failure being nicknamed "Flopnik" by the American press. And so, on Year 1, Day 4 (October 3rd, 1957), the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) became the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). And NASA's first task was to launch a satellite to compete with the Soviet 'Sputnik' program. The first thing NASA did was haul Wernher Von Kerman out from the Air Force's grasp to become their head rocket engineer. He and the rest of his team happily obliged, and, once work on the KSC (Kerbal Space Centre) was complete, work on the 'Explorer' program began. The facilities at KSC were less advanced than those at Vandenberg Air Force Base, but they were completely NASA-owned, and because NASA was government-funded, it meant that they could decide what to do with their facilities. Construction of the 'Cygnus M-22' rocket began on Year 1, Day 5 (December 19th, 1957). First, the rocket required two DIOSCURI-1 SRBs to provide the necessary boost at launch to raise the Apoapsis. The contract to build and test the boosters was awarded to BDB International, while the first core stage, an FLT-800 fuel tank with a TR-18D stack separator and an MPT-180 engine, was given to LeBeau Space Industries. The upper stage, consisting of another MPT-180 engine and two fuel tanks, one FLT-200 and one FLT-100, was also awarded to LeBeau Space Industries. The payload, the 'Explorer-1' satellite, was to be built and tested by the NASA design teams themselves. And, alas, on Year 1, Day 6 (March 11th, 1958), 'Explorer-1' was ready for launch. It sat on Launchpad-1A at the KSC. Crowds of reporters flocked to the Space Centre, and the local police had to be called in to prevent rambunctious Kerbals from jumping over the barriers and onto the pad! At lift-off, the two SRBs and central LRB ignited, and the rocket ascended towards the heavens on a plume of flame and smoke. Across America, tall tales were told of the launch being felt across the continent. But of course, they were just that - tall tales! At twenty kilometres altitude, the two DIOSCURI-1 SRBs were separated, and the central stage continued until it, too, was jettisoned at forty kilometres. The upper stage completed the orbital injection and raised the orbit of the satellite to a record-breaking altitude of five-hundred kilometres! As the satellite circled Kerbin, it took photographs, and studied ionizing radiation and the temperature of space! A famous image taken by 'Explorer-1,' known as 'the Greenish-Blue Marble.' Summary: USSR successfully launched 'Sputnik' LKO satellite - first artificial satellite - Year 1, Day 1 (April 13, 1957) USA failed to launch 'Voyager-1' LKO satellite - Year 1, Day 3 (July 21st, 1957) USA successfully launched 'Explorer-1' LKO satellite - Year 1, Day 6 (March 11th, 1958)
  5. and if there is please link.
  6. Start a new file in Career Mode, plant flags on every landable body and return safely as fast as possible. It's tricky, but boy it's fun! The careful planning of KSP mixed with the frenetic action of speed running is a match made in heaven. I've enjoyed quite a number of KSP challenges, and can say there's nothing that tests and rewards your KSP mettle quite like a real-time speedrun. This takes a huge amount of planning so please have fun posting works in progress. For example, see how far you can make it in an hour! These rules were chosen to make the run as entertaining and accessible as possible. If something gets in the way of your enjoyment, just ignore it and make a note in your post. 0. Put a flag on every body (except Kerbin, Jool and the Sun), and return all Kerbals home safe in a single segment of normal difficulty career mode. You're welcome to quicksave and quickload as much as you'd like, but it's all on the clock. If you do this in multiple sittings, just add 3% (added linear) to your time for each sitting to make up for getting to show up fresh. 1. 255 part limit on ships. This allows people with all varieties of computers to run in stride with minimally laggy time losses. The specific number '255' is convenient due to it being the maximum part count of the level 2 VAB. Though this rule may seem limiting, it encourages interesting and careful ship design. 2. No gross clipping. This is unfortunately not a hard-and-fast rule, so I'll detail the broad strokes. Rotating fuel tanks into eachother or using symmetry to clone tanks within eachother is not allowed. However, many parts are intended to work with a bit of clipping, such as the aerodynamic parts, structural parts and several utilities. These are ok! Just use your judgement (famous last words). 3. No phantom force drives. It changes the feel of the game too much. If they're your jam, you should totally do it anyway! I look forward to seeing it. 4. Consistent glitches only. Some glitches can be great for speeding up your run, but glitches can add a huge random element to your run. Please avoid using glitches that add more than a few minutes of random variability, If it's super sweet, exceptions can be made. This rule can either mean that a glitch should be highly consistent, or quick to retry. 5. If the game crashes, reload. This challenge goes to every available SOI often in a single sitting. It's yummy tasty Kraken bait! If the game happens to crash, just pause your clock and reload KSP. Start the clock again when you start loading your save file. We'll just do this by the honor system. Computer disparities could be an issue, though it's mitigated by the 255 part rule. If you want to play but think your computer will hold you back, just tell us your load times, and we can take it into account. Proof is not a big deal. It's all on honor system, really, but this is a forum so find some way to share your valiant triumphs and crushing defeats! A nice finishing shot is to show all the flags in the tracking station and the happy Kerbals in the astronaut complex. Versions of all sort are accepted after (naturally) v0.24. Mods just need to be noted in your posts. Please avoid physics rebalances, unbalanced parts or autopilot mods. The ultimate goal is to run this in vanilla KSP, though- it's much more exciting when you need to time your suicide burns by eye. Works in progress are hugely encouraged. The joy's in the journey, share it! Best Regards, - Cunjo Carl
  7. Enhancing Career Mode

    I'm sure a ton of people already asked this, but can any of you guys give me a list of a few add-ons that can enhance, yet not completely overhaul Career Mode. Can you pin-point me some mods that don't necessarily add new parts to the game, because i still want to keep it vanilla, but i can make exceptions. I know some of you may argue that stock KSP has been boring for a while now, but hey, there's no "right" or "wrong" way to play KSP, eh?
  8. Aurora

    This is my career playthrough of Galileo's planet pack We have liftoff of the Merciry-i First day in space What a beautiful planet Having fun flying and doing contracts Sunrise Designed my jet with an ejection system with parachutes for the capsules Launched my first probe Returning my probe to the surface for a contract Right now, I have to figure out how to send a probe to Gael's moon, which is very difficult as I have yet to unlock solar panels
  9. Loans

    Simple enough idea- I would like to suggest adding the ability to take out loans for your space program. You would borrow a sum of money upfront, and then have to pay it back later, with interest- helping to relieve frustrating Career progression bottlenecks for many players without the need for grinding contracts they find annoying... The easiest way to implement something like this would be through the Contracts system. In fact the easiest way would be to *literally* offer up "loan contracts" where you get a large advance for nothing, but an even larger "failure" cost (and no way to "complete" the contract) which is really just the loan repayment after some fixed time (this would beat having a system implementing regular loan payments for sheer simplicity and ease of implementation...) Alternatively, the "completion" condition could be to have enough Funds on-hand to repay the loan on a certain date- possibly leading to a very small Reputation boost for your space program for repaying its loan on-time. By contrast the "Failure" condition could be a large Reputation hit (but no or less Funds penalty) for defaulting on the loan... The ability to convert contract Funds to Science and Reputation through the existing administrative strategies system wouldn't be a bad interaction either. After all, maybe you're investing the loan money in R&D or a public appreciation campaign! Regards, Northstar
  10. Hi KSP Community! I could really use a hand with building a craft that will allow me to fly around Kerbin as high as 20,000. I am trying to complete the surveys, but every craft that I have designed (and a few I even downloaded) just wont make it. I have completed the 1st 3 tiers of research, and 3 of the 4th tier (the tier that requires 45 Sci Points each). I can get into space and orbit no problem, but I just can't build anything with what I have to fly over kerbin, the rockets keep spinning and are insane to try to maneuver in the direction I need to go, no matter what combinations I try. I also tried the VAB and built some basic planes, but that was a joke.....haha..(I think Jeb's still mad at me for dying so many times!) I downloaded the excellent Hummingbird Surveyor from KerbalX, but that is for low flights only, and I had issues keeping it up (More practice I know..) I need a ship that can get to 18,000+ accross a decent distance for the surveys. I haven't played KSP for almost a year, but when I did I had flown to MUN, Minmus and Duna, so I know the game well. Seems the physics changes have really thrown me off. Appreciate any help in either design, or a ship I can download that will do the job, given the limited parts I have in early career mode.
  11. Hi Guys, I was searching for a related topic but could not find anything with the same problem so I started this thread. The issue is, I have "mechjeb2" and "kerbal engineer redux" installed beside a bunch of other mods. It works just fine but shouldn't it be greyed out or locked in function if you start in career mode? Actually here it does not, and I already tried to switch between career and unlocked for KER. For mechjeb I could not find a way to switch beside editing the config files. So even when I have not researched anything a place a single Mk1 vessel with a booster on the launchpad then I have all option of the mechjeb and KER available, just as it looks like in sandbox mode. Can there be a problem that MJ and KER do not realize it is career mode? So could anybody give me a hint what is wrong here? My System: KSP, KER, MJ2 Mods by Ckan: KSCSwitcher, RealismOverhau, ModuleManager, KerbalJointReinforcement, FerramAerospaceResearch, RealChute,SolverEngines, RealPlume, CommunityResourcePack, RealSolarSystem, RealFuels, AdvancedJetEngine, ModularFlightIntegrator, RealHeat, Kopernicus, RSSDateTimeFormatter, RSSTextures8192, SmokeScreen, KSP-AVC, KAS, KerbalAlarmClock, KerbalEngineerRedux, KIS, TriggerAu-Flags, EasyVesselSwitch, SVE-HighResolution (edited to match RSS), SVE-Sunflare, SVE-Terrain, RCSBuildAid, PersistentRotation, PersistentThrust, Toolbar, SolarSailNavigator, MechJeb2, Trajectories, Graphotron, HotSpot, VesselView, RasterPropMonitor, RasterPropMonitor-Core, DockingPortSoundFX, RCSSounds, RoverWheelSounds, SCANsat,ShipEffects, WaterSounds, ContractConfigurator
  12. So, I have been enjoying the game for quite some time, and though a little complex, I have been working to build a mod group to facilate a series of play points. These are: Self sufficiency. Extraterritorial expansion. Planetary, and beyond. In-situ utilization. Budgetary responsibility. To this, I have collected a selection of mods to fill the gaps of a corporate reach to the stars. These include: KIS/KAS MK2/MK3 stock alike expansion. Various USI, including MKS/OKS, ART, Warp, Kolonization, Karibou, FTT, USI-LS, maybe a couple others. EL MechJeb, but mostly for examples to learn from. Unversal Storage (its just so handy at times) B9 Procedural (helps with part count redering, and I feel makes wings more realistic) KW (variety on parts at different Tech stages) KSP I E (for engines and other parts mostly) Civilian revamp (waiting for 1.2 so bad) X Science! (Climb that tech tree) The Gold Standard (for a money pump in middle game zone) CVX ( need to find a functional hanger expander, as I can't even plan the carrier. Would work greak as a mobile base and recovery vessel.) Hooligans Airships (very nice low speed and easy to pilot to resources and fetching crafts. Also helps to land in hard places. From all of this I am close. I want to be able to fetch and recycle derilict parts, and on kerbin. If I could, I would build and deploy my own tracking stations on Kerbin, but on other planets I will be for comms. I do have Karbonite, but haven't been using it due to weight to thrust is really not better overall from what I have seen. May change. I also have a list pieces I would like to find and try if people know something that would cover it. Different countries on Kerbin. Instead of single buy off on crew, weekly or monthly salaries. Other balanced FTL techs. Missions that are different, I don't know how really, but more variety. Beanstalk or Space Elevators ( would like to build it live) Good Hanger Expander I am restarting my career when I have one more mod update. Things I am working on setting up: Kerrbin SOI Junk fetcher/Taxi. Networked resource gathering facilities, probably using USI pieces. Looking for reasonable discussion about similar ideas, my missing pieces, and possible replacement suggestions.
  13. Hey guys, In my latest career game I just got a contract to go to the Mun. It will be the first celestial body I actually landed on in this game, which is a bit of a departure as every other career game I go straight to Minmus. In fact I might have only been to the Mun once and that was sandbox. The problem is my tech level atm is Terrier, FT800 and Panther only. My best launcher can put a full ft800 and terrier in low kerbin orbit, but is that enough to get to the mun and back? If not, was thinking to send two vehicles, one with the science stuff + landing legs, that flies to mun, lands, jettisons the science gear, takes off to mun orbit. The return ship has re-entry stuff and parks in munar orbit waiting for the brave kerbonaut to EVA across. That architecture might work out if the single launch just falls short, since we're not saving much delta V (with aerobraking, low munar back to Kerbin is the easiest part of the mission, but perhaps the heat shield/chute/radiator mass left off the outbound stage will help. BTW when i say "best launcher", this is a "no rockets" challenge. It's a disposable panther/terrier spaceplane, that jettisons every single part of itself, that puts the upper stage in orbit !
  14. Should there be an option in career mode to buy the island runway? Perhaps not necessarily upgrading it like with the space centre but being able to fly and build aircraft from there to? I know that the space centre is right next door but it could be fun and add a bit of choice? ☺ Would be nice to see options for multiple space centre sites to. would it be that difficult to implement?I'm not a programer. .
  15. So, I have yet another career overhaul suggestion that tries to add a touch more realism. It's always bothered me that you get science by putting mystery goo on Mun and that somehow let's you build a better rocket, as I'm sure most people agree. My thinking is to tie research to how many flights you've had certain parts which would unlock further improvements. So you start with very basic 1.25 m tech, and each time you launch more 1.25 m flights with the latest equipment it gives you more science towards the next level. But to get better 2.5 m tech you have to use more 2.5 m parts. And to get more solar panels you need to deploy more solar panels, etc. Going to different planets and moons would give a boost, but maybe not biomes. And each part progression is independent, but can be simultaneous. However, you have to cough up some money to actually purchase the next upgrade once you have the science for it. This has probably been suggested before, but I want to add one more component: money. Basically, you will have a budget that you can assign to rockets or to improvements or to science, so that you can get quicker science progression at the cost of not investing in other improvements. And your budget goes up with reputation, but you can supplement it with private sector contracts. The science experiments would contribute to rep allot, which means biomes remain an important part. Also, your rep would fall pretty quickly if you don't launch anything or only launch to Mun a million times (repeated launches to the same body would give a penalty to any rep you gain, that goes away as you launch less to it). So if you try and cheat by just time warping until you get money you'll see your overall budget grow slower and slower until it's 0.
  16. Permadeath Space Program

    I've always wanted to write up some mission reports, and I feel since it's now summer (woohoo!) and seeing as I'm an unemployed student (awww) I might as well spend the time I'm wasting of my life doing this! To freshen up the Kerbal experience I'm using ResearchBodies as well as (as of right now) the Outer Planets Mod and my own Planet Collection (I've spent so much time making these planets, but never gotten to them legitimately). I am however going for a really stock feel with this. Most importantly, as a sort of personal challenge, I will not be quickloading or reverting flights in this playthrough, meaning that Kerbals are going to die a lot. ======================== Career mode - Normal difficulty Visual Mods - PlanetShine + Distant Object Enhancement ResearchBodies - Only Kerbin and the Mun unlocked from the beginning Planet mods - My Planet Collection, Outer Planets Mod ======================== Part I, Pros and Cons *Note to self: Do not send Kerbals into space before looking over the rocket for more than 3 seconds. Things went fine for the first launch, when valiant Valentina became the first Kerbal to leave the ground (apart from like, you know, jumping) in the first rocket in Kerbal history, riding aboard the Petit Mk I. The design of the Petit Mk I has its pros and cons Pros: Cheap, can fly Cons: After reaching the apex of its trajectory, tends to dart straight down. Also partially explodes on landing. The important part is, Valentina's flight yeilded valuable scientific information, which Wernher von Kerman tells me can be used to improve our rocket designs (how that makes any sense, I have no idea). This data lead to the creation of the Gros Mk I, a larger cousin of the Petit featuring two stages and an experiment bay. Jebediahs flight was meant to only reach the upper atmosphere, but unbeknownst to me the Gros is in fact capable of reaching space, thus making Jeb not only the first Kerman to go to outer space, but the first to go there by accident. Of course, those aren't the only firsts Jeb set today. You see, the Gros also has a few pros and cons. Pros: Can make orbit! Cons: I might have maybe (just maybe) forgot to add a heat shield. Coupled with the accidental suborbital flight and well... Jeb also became the first Kerbal to die in space. ======================== Part 2, Accident™ ======================== Like I said before, it's my first time writing up mission reports, so please leave feedback! Thanks for reading, I'll post another part soon.
  17. I am a begginer in this game, and I have a question about hidden options in "carrer mode". Which "upgrade" I have to do to make it possible to set apses in the "map"? I can get to the spase, but I can't set a maneuver on the map, help me please.
  18. Links to topics that will be discussed here: This thread is solely for didcussing the gamemodes in KSP. Please take other discussions elsewhere.
  19. Hey guys! So I have to build an unmanned probe for a contract and I have all the requirements down (solar pannels, batteries, antennas) but first requirement is still not ticked off. I did launch the rocket with a command module and Jebediah inside but got back to Kerbal with an escape pod, so the satelite is up there, unmanned, has a sputnik thing on top so can be controlled, but I did not fulfill the contract. Is it really because I flew Jeb up there? If so then that's dumb -.-"
  20. I have a few questions regarding interplanetary transfers. 1) Do you travel to other planets in career mode or do you do them in sandbox or science mode? Reason for asking is, the ships I made for say, a one-way trip to Moho, was so expensive moneywise I find it hard to imagine this would be something I'd do on a regular basis in career mode. If you do go to other planets in career mode then 1.1) Any tips on keeping the costs down? All tips, no matter how obvious or mundane they may seem, are welcome as long as they are constructive. I do use a few mods but right now the only parts mods I use are MRS and SpaceY (waiting out on KW to see what will happen with KSP 1.1). Pricewise the parts are fair to stock parts I feel, comparable parts have pretty much the same pricetags to them. I am aware that by missing the transfer windows can make huge differences in ship design and costs, which brings me to the next question 2) Not every window is the same. Take Moho as an example. The inclination makes for most efficient windows being few and far between (unless you have a tip, of course on how to deal with a 7* inclination costing in the neighbourhood of 2000 dv. Add to that the eccentricity of Moho's orbit and you get windows that vary greatly in terms of delta v, ship costs and travel time. So, the question: On average, in your experience, would the dv "cost" be for a trip to Moho, or Eeloo for that matter, and what would you consider "good" in terms of dv on one hand and travel time on the other, and what price range are we looking at? 2.1) What would your never exceed limit on dv or time be, or costs, if you play career mode? I do use the Kerbal Engineer mod for info, RT for commlink fun and automated control and I'll probably get KOS installed again at some point but I'm reluctant to use MechJeb or similar mods. I'd prefer to do the setup myself. With that in mind, on to 3) How do you set up for interplanetary transfers? By setting up a node for an encounter not looking at dv or any sort of costs, or is there some good planning ahead in the way you do it? Or do you go all out free form jazz improvising everything knowing everything can be sorted out somehow?
  21. Good news everyone! Rescuing kerbals early in career mode is a daunting task. But fear not, we have an answer to your kerbal recovery needs! Farnsworth rocket surgery is proud to introduce the Kerba-Not rocket series! The Kerba-Not rocket's are designed to recover kerbals that are stuck in orbit around Kerbin, the Mun or Minmus. The standard Kerba-Not rocket will recover kerbal in low Kerbin orbit. The long range Kerba-Not rockets are for Mun or Minmus recoveries. The MK I Kerba-Not Rocket is available fairly early in the career mode game and the other designs will become available as you acquire more science. And yes, the MK IV may have received some design cues from the Boeing Dyna Soar. All rockets are designed to be used with the Stage Recovery mod. If you don't want to use Stage Recovery then the extra chutes can be removed for part count and weight reduction. I hope you enjoy them! I will have them available on KerbalX shortly.