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The history of Eve SSTOs and reusables For a long time it was said, Eve SSTOs are impossible. Even going there and back reusable was unthinkable. But then a hand full of brave Kerbonauts put all their efforts in proving this wrong. This is their story. 03.09.2015 - V1.0.4 - First SSTO plane from Eve's surface to Orbit @astrobond was the first to do the impossible. He created this SSTO which was capable of getting from surface to orbit using stock parts and physics. To stay in the narrow margin, the control was given to KOS. 05.07.2016 - V1.1.3(?) - First reusable trip from Kerbin to Eve's surface and back @Stratzenblitz75 was the first who managed to do the entire trip from Kerbin to Eve's surface and back completely reusable. He is using a spectacular and never seen before suborbital catch of the lander, as well as massive SSTO launch systems. 19.08.2016 - V1.1.3 - SSTO rocket from Eve's surface to Orbit @Kergarin (I) was inspired and motivated by @astrobond's SSTO to start playing around with different SSTO designs. Coming to the conclusion, that SSTO rockets actually seem to work better than planes, giving a larger margin and payload. 23.08.2016 - V1.1.3 - First SSTO Lander from Eve's orbit to surface and back @Kergarin (I) was then able to scale it up to a bigger version, with enough payload to equip it with isru and seats for all our 4 brave Kerbals. Resulting in the first ever SSTO wich can not only launch from Eve but also land on its own in one piece. By being refuelled in low Eve orbit, this craft could have done the entire trip Kerbin to Eve and back reusable. My plan was, to do a reusable trip to all landable bodys in the Kerbol system based on this lander plus an orbiter, but this plan should be crossed soon... 11.10.2016 - KSP 1.2 release - an increase in Eve's atmospheric pressure changes the rules The pressure of Eve's atmosphere was increased, resulting in even higher drag and giving all engines lower thrust and Isp, making Eve SSTOs even harder... it seemed. The change in the Mammoth engine thrust for example: For reference Eve's atmospheric pressure in 1.2.2: After this change my SSTO lander stopped working, at least with the needed payload for ISRU. While the change in pressure made SSTO rockets harder, it will soon turn out that SSTO planes now work better again. 29.10.2016 - V1.2.2 - the first asteroid refuelling assisted SSTO plane from Kerbin to Eve's surface and back @EvermoreAlpaca built this craft initially in 1.1.3., and when 1.2 came out, this plane worked even better, opposed to SSTO rockets. This craft can get from Kerbin to Eve's surface and back to Eve's orbit independent. It then needs orbital refuelling, to get back to kerbin, which is realized by the craft itself moving an asteroid to low Eve orbit in before, which is then used for ISRU refuelling. 28.01.2017 - V1.2.2 - SSTO rocket from Eve's surface to orbit achieved again @Kergarin (I) managed to make my small SSTO rocket work again in 1.2.2. But scaling it up did not work as good as back in previous versions. The ISRU lander would have become unhandleable large. So I cancelled this concept. 20.05.2017 - V1.2.2 - infinitely reusable trip to Eve (and first ever to everywhere else) and back Since my Eve SSTO lander doesn't work in 1.2.2 anymore (and I didn't want to do this in an old version), I adoptet @Stratzenblitz75's concept of suborbital docking and developed it to a single ISRU ship wich splits in two for the Eve landing with his friendly permission (thanks again!). (Creating the first ever ship which can independently and forever travel between all 14 landable bodys. But that's on another page.) Skip to 3:40 for Eve landing (caution: flickering scenes in fast forward) 07.03.2018 - V1.3.1 - smallest ever SSTO plane from Eve's surface to orbit @astrobond the creator of the first ever Eve SSTO comes back to the game. Presenting us the smallest ever seen Eve SSTO. Also it's the first not to use the Mammoth engine, but the Vector with a slightly lower twr. 11.06.2018 - V1.3.1 - reusable two stage plane from Eve's surface to orbit and back to surface @OHara created this reusable two stage plane, which can be used for crew rotations of 4 Kerbals per flight. It launches horizontal and then transitions to vertical ascend pushing the ap far above Eve's atmosphere. The second stage then undocks and accelerates to orbital speed before the first stage reenters and glides back to its starting position. The second stage can also be landed and then redocked to the first stage. The craft then needs some external refueling to be reused. 29.10.2018 - V1.5 - First completely independent SSTO plane from Kerbin to Eve and back SSTOs to Eve's surface and back to orbit were now proven to be possible, and they seemed to be the limit of possibilities. All of them need some kind of orbital refuelling or catch to escape from low Eve orbit. But then @EvermoreAlpaca did the unthinkable. A massive independent SSTO from Kerbin to Eve's surface and back to Kerbin. He managed to raise the payload on Eve ascend that much, that there was enough margin to fit an ion drive with enough dV to escape Eve's gravity and then send the ship back to Kerbin using some gravity assists, without any dependencys. 04.12.2018 - V1.5 - First stock electric prop SSTO plane from Eve's orbit to sea level and back to orbit (plus from and to Kerbin by external refuelling) @EvermoreAlpaca continues doing the impossible by presenting us this stock electric propeller assisted Eve sea level SSTO. It ascends from sea level to above 19km sole on electric props, then continues its way to orbit on conventional rocket engines. It can also launch and land at Kerbin, but needs external refueling to do so. 28.01.2020 - V1.8.1 (+ Making History + Breaking Ground) - First Breaking Ground electric prop multi engine SSTO plane from Eve's orbit to sea level and back to orbit @realseek was the first to show us a working sea level SSTO using electric rotors and blades from Breaking Ground, packed into cargo-bays to reduce their drag, after switching to rocket engines. It reaches 16km on electric props (two EM-64S rotos with 16x R25 blades on each. The rotors run at 60% power and a max RPM of 400). To escape Eve's still dense atmosphere, it uses a combination of 3 Vector engines and 2 Nervs to circularize. As if an Eve sea level SSTO would not be enough, this craft can land fully fuelled from orbit , also carries the extra weight of ISRU quipment without even needing it, because it can launch from Eve below 100% fuel and stiff make it to orbit with hundreds of m/s dV left to spare, while the craft even looks good. This is just insane! More pictures and details: https://imgur.com/gallery/afVyAv1 15.02.2020 - - V1.8.1 (+ Making History + Breaking Ground) - minimalistic Breaking Ground electric prop single engine SSTO plane from Eve's orbit to sea level and back to orbit (+ to and from Kerbin with a separate tug) @Kergarin i was a little to slow on this, and humbly take the second place. Props alone work great, and rockets alone work great. But in combination the drag of props after igniting the rockets is horrible. The way to deal with this, is placing them inside cargo bays, to shield their drag when they are not used. It would be beautiful to use hydraulic cylinders to make them stick out, and while this would be possible in term of weight and drag, they sadly the flex way to much to even lift off. I've tried a lot of designs for this since BG came out, and while @realseek found the mixed engine design work best for him, I found a single enige design work best for me. This craft uses two EM-32 Rotors with 6 R25 blades on each which run at 100% torque and max RPM to climb to 17km. To escape the dense atmosphere, this craft uses a single vector Engine on full thrust, and then carefully throttle adjustment to not overheat and circularize. This was done as grand finale in my reusable career playthrough: This far Kerbalkind conquered the purple monster as of the beginning of 2020. Can they go even further? Disclaimer:
As the game has evolved, there have been many things that are commonly considered, or were once considered, impossible, until someone (often Brad Whistance or stratzenblitz75) proved them possible. Examples would be "no SSTO from EVE", "no SSTO from EVE sea level", "no orbit on only ions", "no SSTO to Tylo and back". What are some other once though "impossible" feats, and what are examples of them being beaten? I'll go first: "SSTO from Jool is not possible" This is a stock+dlc SSTO from Jool's lower atmosphere. (Admittedly a ton of part clipping) It has 17 RTG's powering 2 medium rotors with 24 of the largest fan blade each, giving it a top speed in Jool's atmosphere of 440m/s at 115km. Fuel is provided by 32 mk1 liquid fuel tanks clipped into the fairing, 14 big-s wings, and 4 big-s strakes. It has infinite range in atmo thanks to the RTG's, and can fly all the way down to 0 elevation, then fly back up to 115km. At the time of ignition it has an ISP of approximately 558s, with a local TWR of 0.294, but by the time it reaches local mach 1 it has reached a hefty 0.389 local TWR and ISP of 636s. After that point it's smooth sailing all the way to orbit, the low drag of the craft coupled with the high lift and the low heating of the Joolian atmosphere means that burning up is never a real danger, and it reaches a stable orbit with 452m/s of fuel remaining, 35 min and 1 sec after lighting the nukes. There is still obviously a lot that could be done to refine this craft, for example, we have 17 perfectly good RTG's lying around, why not use them to power a couple of ion engines? Likewise for the EC being provided by the nukes during the burn. More wing + more fan blades might possibly allow a higher prop flight ceiling and top speed, potentially saving more fuel/dv on the early stages of the accent than it hurts you due to the extra dry mass, or even enabling dropping an engine (saving a lot of dry mass). So the next question, with further improvements is Jool sea level -> Kerbin possible? 1880m/s or so gets you a Laythe encounter, from which you can setup a good Tylo encounter for a minimal dv transfer to Kerbin, then perform a gravity assist to lower entry velocity enough to survive on the next pass, or setup a KKE if you want to be extra cautious.
ImpossibleDrives EM-Drive This is the EM-Drive or the impossible drive(It works in KSP anyway) It is based after the real world model but I gave it a bit more thrust(1kN), just to make it a bit more Kerbal ;P. The engine uses a massless propellant what makes it have an infinite amount of delta V. There is also a cooler because this engine produces a lot of heat. GyroDrive This engine produces thrust by swinging the fuel in the tanks around and pumping it to the other tank at the same moment. It produces 1.5kN thrust but it is bigger than the EM-Drive. It even got the swing animation Download: Curse Spacedock License: All Rights Reserved This is my first mod, so feedback is welcome. And do not forget to report bugs.