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I made this mobile base a while back that could take seven kerbals along Eeloo's surface and get some sweet science points. As small as the base itself is, the delivery craft has the delta-V to make it all the way to Eeloo and safely land the rover on the surface. All I need to do is get some scientists to process the data gathered on Eeloo, and we're cooking.* * ironic since Eeloo is practically a giant snowball.
The Mobile Base Challenge Not open yet, looking for feedback on rules before going live I've always been fascinated by large mobile bases and the even larger rockets needed to launch them. To this end, I've decided to have a go at creating a challenge involving them. The rules are designed to create large, self-sufficient mobile bases. Preliminary Rules 1. Stock parts only. This includes any part editing via ModuleManager or otherwise except for as defined below with adding approved modules to capsules. As much as I love mods, it's much simpler to score and share craft files if everything is stock. If there's enough interest, I might consider adding a modded craft category later since there are some pretty cool wheels/tracks/etc in mods. 2. Information and autopilot mods are allowed. MechJeb, Kerbal Engineer, Throttle Controlled Avionics, and other information/autopilot mods that don't alter the parts are fine. If using MechJeb (or other information mods that require parts to function), please use a module manager config (like MechJeb and Engineer For All) to add it to the command pods instead of using the MechJeb parts. 3. Stock solar system only. There's some cool alternative solar systems out there that provide a lot more challenge, but I don't want to have to come up with planet score multipliers for all of them. If someone else wants to extend this challenge to include modded planets, go for it. 4. Mobile base must be able to drive on the surface of a planet using electric rover wheels. Additional rockets/jet engines/landing gear are fine if you want your base to be capable of higher speeds on appropriate terrain or be amphibious. 5. Mobile base must be self-sufficient and include power generation, ISRU, drills, ore tanks, and at least one of each fuel tank type (for refuelling other craft if the base doesn't make use of the fuel itself). There should be enough energy generation/batteries to allow 24/7 operation (drilling, refining, science research) on the target planet. If you need to use fuel cells to get through the night, that's fine. 6. Mobile base must include the following parts: At least four electric rover wheels At least one science lab At least one ISRU refinery module At least one drill Enough space for at least 8 kerbals At least one of each fuel tank type LOX capacity should be at least equivalent to the 1.25m long tank Monoprop capacity should be equivalent to 1.25m inline tank Ore capacity should be at least equivalent to one 2.5m tank Xenon capacity should be at least equivalent to one 1.25m tank At least one probe core At least one of the largest comm antennas 7. Mobile base must be launched into orbit, flown to the planet, and landed on the planet. No hyperedit/cheat menu shenanigans outside of testing. Orbital and in-situ assembly is acceptable for very large bases. Preliminary Scoring (Please help with this based on relative difficulty) Point multipliers based on target planet: Minmus: 0.5x Mun: 1.0x Eve/Duna/Ike/Dres: 1.5x Laythe/Eeloo/Moho: 2.0x Tylo: 3.0x Bonus points: Base is capable of short range powered hops on target world: Multiplier based on world (help with this) Base is amphibious on Eve/Laythe: Help me determine this Base is capable of launching into orbit from target world and flying to another planet: Lots of bonus points, based on world (if you manage this on Eve, you win). Submission Requirements: Pictures of your craft in a VAB, on the launchpad, after each staging event to orbit, doing the interplanetary transfer, doing the landing deorbit burn, just before landing, and once the rover has landed. Extra pictures and video are always welcome. If your rover is built using multiple launches, have pictures at each of the above stages for each distinct craft up until they're added to the main base. Craft file is also required to validate entry. If you rover requires multiple launches, include all craft files. As you can see, this challenge is still a WIP. Any and all help is appreciated with ironing out these rules. Later this weekend I'll put together my own craft to demonstrate the challenge.
Greetings, kerbonauts! I've accumulated a sufficient amount of designs that I believe it is prudent to put them all in one place. Henceforth, I present to you Brightsong Development, where I shall consolidate information on my current craft and also post future developments. Before I start, I would like to give a very special thanks to @Rune, whose SSTO and Surface Base designs were in large part the inspiration for my own craft. If I mention that something is designed to fit into a cargo bay, chances are it was made with his SSTO fleet as the first consideration. And without further delay... Modular Mobility The initial offering for the modular mobility section is the Kentipede, a rugged mobile base. I have personally driven it off the edge of the Dres canyon and ridden it out completely intact. No word on the Mohole yet; It seems that my launch vehicle can no longer survive physics initialization, interrupting plans to test it there. Nonetheless, should you be able to haul it to orbit, each module possesses provision for landing, with aerospike engines, parachutes, and a fuel reserve. Kentipede modules are built out of Mark3 cargo bays, so they will not fit into them for obvious reasons. KerbalX Next up is the Katerpillar. While just as capable in terms of onboard facilities as the Kentipede, the Katerpillar is designed to fit into a Mk3 cargo bay, so it lacks the sheer ruggedness and the ability to self-deploy. It resembles earlier prototypes of the Kentipede, but boasts a much lower part count, as well as regular module length. so extant deployment solutions are much more feasible to use. The wheels were, of course, an issue, but I discovered that they still work even if attached at an angle. If you have an open-ended cargo bay, say, one with a ramp at the end, it can even drive itself out after decoupling. Quite satisfying to pull off. KerbalX After designing a base to fit in a Mk3 bay, the obvious next step was to design one for Mk2. Thus was born the Krawler. No driving out for this one, I fear, but it is rocket-powered, due to the necessity of using landing gear instead of motorized wheels. Thus, if your Mk2 spaceplane has to deploy it before landing, it is theoretically possible to land under its own power on, say, Gilly, though it is recommended that you just flip the cargo bay in the SPH. It lacks the power, of course, of its older siblings, but is still capable of research and ISRU operations. KerbalX And of course, the logical extreme of the preceding process is to make something that fits into a Mk1 cargo bay. Enter the Kreeper. There is not actually a Mk1 cargo bay in stock KSP, however, and the 1.25 Service Bay is too small and fragile to be much use in this scenario, so instead I used the Structural Fuselage as my design guide. There are very few 0.625m modules in stock KSP, therefore making an actual *base* was out of the question, but if you staff it with an Engineer kerbonaut it should be capable of gathering science indefinitely in any rocky environment, provided it doesn't explode on the way there. KerbalX That concludes the initial offering for Modular Mobility, but I have several concepts I wish to explore. Modular seabases? Modular aircraft? I'd look into modular orbital bases but I think that's already kind of standard. Landers, however... Miscellaneous Inspired by the "experimental aerospike" from the comic book series Atomic Robo, from which it draws its name, the Tesladyne is a "light chemical SSTO", that, while not of much utility, has proven quite fun to fly. It's design is not, in fact, based off its inspiration, but was instead an attempt to see how tiny and tidy I could make a Mk2 SSTO. I deemed it a success after making it to orbit and back intact, but I am not a very good SSTO pilot so chances are the veterans around here can do better. Any similarity to designs by a certain dropship dealership is purely coincidental KerbalX And that's it, for now, but I do expect that I shall continue to experiment, and at least some of those experiments will likely end up here. Brightsong Development: Did somebody order a bright idea?
After completing a contract for a mobile base, I noticed that there are few published mobile bases, most of them single-service. I decided to try my hand at creating a modular model. I succeeded, technically, though there is no provision for launch or for assembly. I recommend that existing infrastructure be used to assemble it on-orbit, or simply that it be launched in one piece under a giant fairing. The download can be found at KerbalX, along with an Imgur gallery and a silly toy-commercial write-up. Updated on 10/25 with a slightly reduced wheel height. The whole thing should now actually fit inside of a Size3 fairing(fairing included in craft file for demonstration). Additionally, I've replaced the Swivel engines with Vectors, which should allow a fully assembled Kentipede to land under its own power, if you can provide the deltaV(I recommend drop tanks. A Big Red, attached at the rear, provides roughly 1400 dV, and can serve as a lithobrake when depleted.).