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  1. Well, I started a new RSS save, and I figured I'd share it on the fora. Welcome to RSS. Basically, everything is harder. dV map for example: Currently I'm having problems with visual mods beyond the Earth-Moon system, so there likely won't be any adventures to atmospheric planets. Mods (mostly): All the Near Future mods Cryo Engines + Tanks Vessel Mover FMRS RSS RVE64k Kerbal Reusability Expansion Ablative-Airbrake RealPlume stock config Stockalike Station Parts Expansion Redux And a lot of informational mods. What's a space program without lifters? Here's the first iteration of a reusable lifter: Liftoff: Beginning gravity turn: Booster separation: We'll be getting back to these. The core continues: Upper stage separation and fairing deployment: Again, we'll get back to the core. The upper stage continues its ascent to orbit: Finally, orbit is achieved: Back to the side boosters. Maneuvering into position for a targeting burn: Burning: Slowdown: Here's a video of the landing: booster landing.mp4?dl=0 It should be previewed in Dropbox, so you don't have to download the entire thing. Now, the core stage: Landing: Landed: For some odd reason the landing legs bounced off the booster, but it still remained upright. Finally, back to the relay. Raising the orbit: Deploying the relay: Circularizing: Done: Now the upper stage deorbits: Atmospheric entry: Beginning the landing burn: Here's a video of the landing: stage landing.mp4?dl=0 And that's all for today! Likely next I'll deploy a couple more relays and maybe build a refueling depot in LEO. Thanks for watching/reading!
  2. Hi and welcome to this thread! I am a big fan of the current progress LinkSpace is doing. Their NewLine-1 rocket is paving the way for reusable launch vehicles on Chinese ground. That's why I am inspired to make this mod. This mod will include the following parts: First stage engine (has 2 engine modes) Legs based on the design of NewLine-1 S1 fuel tank S1 guidance interstage S2 vac engine with 4 smaller engines that gimbal S2 fuel tank Payload deployer Fairing half Known issues: Legs clip inside the ground. Doesn't harm the rocket but looks weird. Trying to fix this. Required mods: Kerbal Reusability Expansion For the fins Recommended mods: Community Category Kit For an extra icon in the VAB to see all the parts SmokeScreen To see the mighty plumes Download here: Massive thanks to @Nessus_, @JadeOfMaar and @neistridlar for helping me with the balance and plumes! And a special thanks to @EmbersArc for helping me with getting the legs working (Kind of). Any of the configs will be distributed under CC-NC-SA-4.0 License. All Textures/models will be distributed under CC BY_NC-ND 4.0 License. SootyShaderLoader is based on the custom shader importer by shadowmage and modified with permission by DMagic & Blowfish with custom modules and settings. All Rights Reserved License. CKAN support is coming.
  3. this challenge is for a fully reusable mun mission there will be a separate thread for entiers and contest winners. has to be 100% stock DLCS allowed
  4. Howdy y'all! Some of you might remember me from some of my previous mission report series but for those who don't, I'm Stephen and this is On the Shoulders of Giants. Before we get into the thick of things I just want to give a shoutout to everyone and everything that allowed me to build, fly and write this series. To the outstanding mod makers who are the engine behind this game, to the poor stand-up guys who read my drafts, to Squad, to the writers who continue to inspire me every day, to the people who helped me troubleshoot my install, and to all the mad lads coming up with wild ideas in the space program, I say thank you to all. None of the things I've done would be possible without y'all and I dedicate this to you. Anyway, soppy stuff over, welcome to On the Shoulders of Giants! Like I said I'm Stephen and in this series we're going to be looking at the transition between the first generation of reusable launch vehicles and the second generation, as well as anything beyond, in a JNSQ 1.8.1 install. The overarching idea behind this series is, unlike previous series I've done where we look at one or two launch systems, we're looking at several spread across the globe. Along with that, expect a few vignettes along the way. The full mod list can be found here, and a special thanks to Zorg and his TUFX profiles that can be found here. So, without further ado, I humbly present for your viewing and reading pleasure: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PROLOGUE: The Space Transportation System Booster "Enterprise" on the pad ready to liftoff on STS-161 The Crew Chief could see a lot of long days and oceans of paperwork ahead of her. As the hangar door closed, the warm sunlight of the late afternoon was replaced by the cold halogen lights of the building. Three years with her leading the bird's sprawling hangar gang and not a single hiccup. Until today. She chafed at the thought. She was grateful it was in mostly one piece, and she offered a silent toast to the pilots who brought her back on a wing and a prayer. As if on queue, the STS-161’s booster commander and flight engineer walked over to her after surveying the damage for themselves up close. They looked ashen, like they'd just seen their own ghosts. “What say you about this, Chief? Enterprise is your bird after all.” the commander asked in his wide drawl. “I'd say you two are the luckiest sons of guns out there.” She led the two back to the looming engine section, battered and blackened. One of her four massive main engines completely gone, and the other three in various states of damage. “When number three blew, shrapnel was about an inch from taking out your aileron hydraulics line.” She pointed her flashlight on the hole punched out by the offending hunk of metal, hair raisingly close to the yellow hydraulic lines. The Chief then pointed at the damage sustained by engines two and four. “It was a good call opting for single engine abort. Trying to restart two and four would've sent the two of you to an early grave.” The three of them got quiet for a second, fretting at the thought of the great booster Enterprise plummeting out of control at Mach 5. “Well,” the flight engineer started, “I estimated us at about Pucker Factor 9.0 at the time. Something tells me my estimate was way low.” “Like I said, lucky.” The commander crossed his arms and furrowed his brow, unsatisfied, but couldn’t think of any reason why his very presence in the hangar couldn’t be explained by plain luck. He looked past the Chief at the two suited men being pointed in his direction by one of the investigation team. “That must be our ride down to the capitol,” the commander took a deep breath, “I don’t know who has the more unenviable task Chief.” She laughed, “Definitely you two, I don’t have the patience for congresscritters. Enterprise might be a cranky old girl, but she’s my cranky old girl.” The three shook hands and over his shoulder the flight engineer called out, “Take care of her, she’s a good bird and I hope to see her again soon.” “Me too,” the Chief said quietly to herself. The Chief wasn’t Enterprise’s first handler, or even her second or third. Enterprise was getting old, the entire booster fleet was and The Chief knew it. She stepped outside and took a good long look across the Cape. Past the gaggle of press outside the hangar, out past the company launch pad, was the competition. Younger, meaner and leaner. Securing contracts that her team couldn’t. She felt a breeze, and over the hills to the west she could see thunderheads. Change was coming to town. What seemed like an eternity later she flopped onto her bed, but after a concerted effort she found sleep elusive. Her future, a future with the Space Transportation System program, wasn’t so sure anymore. Minutes and hours ticked by as she, consciously or not, weighed different implications for today’s events. She decided that sleep was a fool’s errand tonight and rolled out of bed and lumbered to the coffee pot, making a pit stop at the liquor cabinet on account of the late hour, and over to her desk. It might’ve been paranoia, or good sense, but either way the Chief gave her resume a thorough update. As the first whispers of dawn started blotting out the stars she was satisfied and sat back in her chair, feeling sleep finally sneak up on her. Before tucking in, for giggles, she took out her rolodex and looked up the contact information of NASA’s chief astronaut she’d met at an STS contractor symposium. Attaching her working life’s story to the email she was confronted by a blank page asking to be filled. She thought for a second and decided to let the liquor take the wheel. “Per aspera ad astra.” She hit send, shut down her computer, and settled in for the night. "Enterprise" in the hangar after its harrowing launch
  5. 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. This craft uses clipping for the stock props as well as engine clipping, but is honored in this list for being the first of its kind. 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: 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: 28.05.2020 1.9.1(?) First stock (no DLC) electric prop SSTO helicopter rocket to sealevel and back without clipping (+ from Kerbin and back) @Stratzenblitz75 returned to Eve, almost 4 years after he was the first to do a completely reusable roundtrip from Kerbin to Eve and back using suborbital docking. This time he uses an SSTO rocket which is first lifted by insanely large counter rotating koaxial like props to 39km, and then ignited to get to orbit on rocket power in a single stage. The props consist of stock bearings, but they are not powered by the usual way of using reaction wheels. To reach the record height of 39km, large rover wheels power the props, which is obviously way more efficient. The craft features ISRU, and can therefore land and launch unlimited often and completely independent on Eve. The craft takes of from Kerbin using a single reusable launcher, and is pushed to Eve and back by an orbiter. This far Kerbalkind conquered the purple monster as of the middle of 2020. Can they go even further? Disclaimer:
  6. After designing my previous craft, the Eve Infinity ( I thought that this craft could be altered to make a grand tour possible. The main changes were a full mining equipment also in the upper stage and two landing legs so that the upper stage could land vertically. The result is the Reusable Grand Tour Vessel ( The mission is performed on a new sandgame game with normal difficulty. The surfaces of the bodies are visited in the order: Minmus, Mun, Minmus, Ike, Duna, Dres, Laythe, Pol, Tylo, Val, Bop, Eeloo, Gilly, Moho, Eve, Gilly, Kerbin. Mission Report: The kerbals on the mission a the pilot Jebediah and the Engineer Bill. Firstly the whole craft flies as a single stage to the surface of Minmus. There the upper stage decouples and flies to the Mun surface. This landing one the moon is the only one where no mining is done because the upper stage still has enough fuel for the way back to Minmus. Then the whole craft flies to and lands on Ike. After that the upper stage lands on Duna and docks back to the lower stage in Duna orbit. On the next destination, Dres, only the upper stage lands. The craft reaches the Jool system with an intercept tangentially to Laythe orbit an can easily aerocapture and land. The ascent from Laythe takes quite some fuel so the next stop is the low gravity moon Pol to get full on fuel again. For the Tylo landing the lower stage is left in an elliptical orbit. The Tylo landing succeeded on the first try. The fuel runs out as the craft is hovering closely above the surface and it lands without damage. Back in orbit the lower stage is about 20m/s short of reaching the other stage. The other stage only has reduced control because it has neither long range antenna nor a kerbal on board. So Jebediah goes on EVA to fly to the other stage and bring it back. Flying from elliptical Tylo orbit to low Val orbit it does not take that much delta-V so there is enough fuel left to be transferred to the upper stage. After the upper stage has visited Val the whole ship flies to the last of the Joolean, Bop. The next stop is Eeloo. Only the upper stage lands there. Now Jebediah and Bill would like to go to Moho. But the delta-V requirements for going directly are way too high and the ship isn't even full on fuel. So Bill has the idea to stop at Gilly to refuel. But Jeb responds: "We don't have enough fuel to reach Gilly either." "Then let's use gravity assists." Bills responds. So they leave Eeloo and head for Duna. After leaving the SOI of Eeloo they notice that the Duna encounter won't get them anything useful. So they change their plan and make a course correction to make a Kerbin gravity assist. That works and brings them on a course to Eve. At Eve the speed is more than 5km/s and too high for an aerocapture. So the capture is mostly done by retroburning at an height of 81km above Eve. The apoapsis is now on the height of Gilly. After putting the periapsis out of the atmosphere and correcting the inclination to match the one of Gilly they notice that they don't have enough fuel left to reach Gilly. But Bill has an idea: "Lets transfer fuel to the upper stage, so that it can reach to Gilly and shuttle fuel back to the other stage." That works and after redocking the craft has enough fuel to reach Gilly as a whole an finally get refueled up completely. The craft leaves Gilly at a point in time where Eve's and Moho's orbit intersect. The ejection burn contains a normal component to match the inclination of Moho's orbit. When the craft reaches its Kerbol periapsis which is at the height of Moho's orbit, Moho is not there. Performing some retroburning in deep space however gives an encounter with Moho one orbit later. When reaching orbit around Moho, Bill and Jebediah notice that they don't have enough fuel for landing the whole ship. So they do the same trick as for reaching Gilly. After two shuttle missions there is enough fuel for the whole ship to land. After refueling, the ship ascends to low Moho orbit. Bill notices: "Going to orbit has cost us quite some fuel. We could shuttle more fuel up by using the lower stage. I don't want to get stranded in deep space." Jeb: "You can do that if you want. I stay in the orbital stage while you do that." After around seven refueling runs the ship is as full on fuel as possible. Jeb got routine in doing so and by using the board computer he found it easy to rendezvous back and dock back with the orbital stage even without maneuver nodes. Jeb even risked putting less than 1000 m/s of delta-v into the tank some times when leaving for Moho surface. Nearly full on fuel it is easy to transfer to Eve. There is even enough fuel for lowering the Eve apoapsis with a retroburn instead of mulitple aerobrake passes to save time. They make a final retroburn of more than 1000 m/s to descent to the highest mountain of Eve. They decided not to land directly on top but at the side of the mountain because there is a better landing area. After mining a bit of fuel they roll up to the very top of the mountain. Now it is time to say goodby for Bill and Jeb. Bill would stay on Eve to operate the lower stage that can push an upper stage into a suborbital trajectory. Jeb promises to come and visit Bill soon. Bill takes a seat in the lower stage and Jeb in the upper stage. They disable the fuel crossfeed so that the upper stage is full on fuel when decoupled. The craft takes of horizontally and quickly climbs to an angle of around 70 degrees then switches to prograde for a gravity turn. The throttle is at 100% all the time. When the fuel runs out in the bottom stage the vehicle travels at around 1700m/s and has an apoapsis at around 105km. Jeb pushes the upper stage into orbit while Bill returns the lower stage to the surface of Eve. The high wing area of the lower stage is needed to survive the reentry. The speed vertical component exceeds 1km/s at times and the resulting g-forces reach 9g. Nevertheless Bill manages to land it safely. Jeb flies the upper stage from low Eve orbit to Gilly. When approaching Gilly Jeb becomes a bit worried. The current speed relative to Gilly equals the remaining delta-V left. Jeb decides to continue anyways but without capturing into an orbit first. He waits with the burn until he is very near the ground. After burning all his fuel, the speed is down to 1m/s and he is 3m above ground, safe for Gilly. After landing horizontally he puts the lander up vertically using the reaction wheels. This is only possible to the low gravity of Gilly. The vertical position has the advantage that the craft does not mystically wise sink into the ground when time warping during mining. Full on fuel again Jeb heads back to Kerbin. He descends at a steep angle because the craft does not glide as well on Kerbin as on Eve. With the landing on the runway of the KSC he has completed the 'Grand Tour' in less than 60 years. Screenshots of the mission:
  7. Hi and welcome to this thread! I am a big fan of the current progress LinkSpace is doing. Their NewLine-1 rocket is paving the way for reusable launch vehicles on Chinese ground. That's why I am inspired to make this mod. This is currently the dev thread of mod. Please report any bugs and features you would like to see.
  8. The Legendary Saturn V, re-imagined in a more modern and cost saving way, now with the ability to be completely reused! Craft file: This behemoth has a few changes that make it stand out from the original, such as legs, wings, and extra boosters! 4 extra vector engines on the first stage second stage uses 5 vectors instead of skiffs as it needs to make orbit quickly Lunar module has only one stage instead of two to get the whole thing back service module is now a spaceplane capable of verticle landings, instead of a boring command pod no Launch escape tower (safety is for cowards) No mods required, other than the Making History expansion Here is a video of the craft flying:
  9. Designed a new Launch vehicle in KSP using KOS. This is the testing of the Launch Escape System.
  10. After starting a permanent outpost on Eve, I remembered (much to my relief) that I remembered to build a surface-return vehicle. However, it's completely disposable and horribly unsuited for rotating crew on/off Eve to an orbital station (then back home). The cost to return all those homesick Kerbals, let alone rotate crew, would be astronomical... Goal: Build a reusable vessel that can land on Eve, refuel (with pre-existing infrastructure), take a Kerbal to LEO (Low Eve Orbit), then land to refuel and repeat. Required payload: 1 Kerbal. That's it! However you bring him up is... up to you! The idea is to have a crew shuttle that can be reused within the Eve system infinitely (until you break something ). Note: Your vessel doesn't have to be an SSTEO! Reassembly (with parts you already launched) is allowed. To save time, you will be allowed to cheat in pre-existing infrastructure (see rules). Winning criteria: Completing the challenge earns you a spot here. Entries ranked byspent. If the design is an SSTEO (SSTO but for Eve), I will create a 2nd list. Rules: You may cheat in pre-existing infrastructure. Your vessel may start at LEO. Disable commnet (built-in antennas will reach LEO anyways in career). You may simulate refuels with Hyperedit, but only when: 1) In a stable orbit around Eve (simulating refueling at a station). 2) Landed on Eve (simulating refueling at an ISRU base). Take screenshots. Upload your craft so we can use it too. I have several Kerbals stuck on Eve... Normal difficulty or harder. PIlot aid/build aid/planning/cosmetic mods are allowed. If I can use your vessel with similar results in pure vanilla, it's OK! Stage recovery mods are allowed. If your rocket isn't an SSTEO, you must reassemble your rocket (with the same old parts you originally launched) in some way so that you can reuse and refuel it infinitely within Eve's SOI without shipping new parts. There's one reasonable way I can think of to do this, and one that requires Jeb's piloting skills and precision landings! Good luck!
  11. This is one of my best creations: a reusable launcher made with stock parts only. Average payload is between 20 and 40t: in career mode it prevents huge funds wasting, making contracts more profitable and missions more affordable. However, you can boost it up to 70t with some modifications as extra fuel tanks and a few boosters. For a full technical excursus on how to make this thing fly you can check craft's page on KerbalX or the video I made appositely. For a rapid overview I made a Quick Guide album on imgur, which pics are available after the video. Some specs (from KerbalX): Type: VAB Class: lifter Part Count: 110 Pure Stock!! Don't get mad with those fancy mods which just drain power from your gpu... Mass: 282.41t Cost: 159,700.0 (My average funds recovery rate is between 98% if I land ON KSC, 96% if I land in a range of 100km) I hope to get some feedback of any kind. I hope you enjoy! I hope you'll fly safely =.= Upload huge craft files to the space consuming no gigabytes, or just some fuel tanks... ...and no, you won't waste 'em either. Take advantage of re-entry warming up your snack on the cockpit. Get back to KSC in time for dinner. Land safetely enjoying all those balloons!
  12. At the Kerbal Astronomical Conference 2K17, a certain young and rich Kerbal by the name Keylon took the stage. What he presented would upend the Kerbal universe. Taking a direct dig at KASA and the KLA, he accused them of not innovating in decades, and sticking to throwing away boosters, or trusting some unkerbal forces to recover their parachuted boosters. To add to this, he presented a preliminary work, done by his upstart company KAS:3X Industries, which focuses on eliminating the unknowns in the industry, and establish reusability on a scale no one has ever seen. This booster was built out of mostly current and stock KSC hardware, except a computer the size of a toaster. This debunked the KASA theory that computers get fried in space, and the achievement gave Keylon a cult following. Further, Keylon vowed to eliminate the automatic recovery option, and recover boosters manually. He claimed this would drop costs further, and demonstrate a new space age, where every Kerbal could access space at a reasonable cost. Now, all eyes are on the next major space conference, as Keylon has posted a teaser of a much larger orbital rocket on kReddit.
  13. Ever get tired of stock's shoddy landing legs that don't work as advertised? Solution: build your own. Easier said than done. It is easy enough to build a set of legs, but not ones that start folded and then deploy at landing. But I managed! Here it is on the pad. Planning on using an expendable upper stage and sending a relaysat to KTO, but bringing the first stage back with RTLS, SpaceX-style. Detail view of the landing legs on the pad: The legs start folded, held against the side by paired docking ports. I could have done it with decouplers, but I wanted them to be refoldable, at least in theory. The leg itself has a crossbar which is suspended between paired structures coming out of the rocket body to form dual hinges. On the pad, the rocket is held up by double-docking-port clamps, which are themselves held to the pad with launch clamps which will not be used. When the rocket launches, the lower docking ports release by action group. These same docking ports become the locking mechanism for the landing legs later on. I went with five engines because I wanted to do it pure-stock; otherwise I would have tweakscaled down the Vectors and done it with nine engines, just for kicks. Ignition: And clamp release! Very thrusty off the pad, but that's what five vectors will do. Throttling down around Max-Q, mostly to help loft my trajectory a bit. The higher and slower I stage, the better shot I have at getting the boostback burn just right. I turned off fuel flow for the bottom tank, so I don't have to worry about how much fuel I am reserving. Down to fumes, so I cut the outer four engines and throttle the single engine back up in preparation for staging: Staging! Switch view to orbit to point more downrange, then back to the booster for the boostback burn. This is a rapid sequence of events. Set SAS to Orbit-Radial-Out to begin the RCS flip, activated the airbrakes, mashed X to cut throttle, and turned the lower tank fuel flow back on. Single engine back on and burning hard. Switched the navball back to surface so I can see when my surface prograde marker noses back over toward the west: Money shot of the boostback burn, with detail of the lower landing leg locking clamps: The prograde marker is now over on the west side of the navball, so this should be enough for a boostback. Cutting the engines and heading back to the second stage. The second stage has just cleared the atmosphere, so I'm blowing the fairing and nosing down. Burning halfway between Radial-In and Prograde in order to push to orbit as quickly as possible. Throttling down and following the prograde marker would be more efficient, 'tis true, but it's time-consuming and I don't have much time. You can see the first stage is still climbing: Almost to orbit... Made it! Throttled down and switching back to my first stage. Quickly set surface orientation and retrograde. The airbrakes form a nice little landing crosshair. I should come down just off the coast. I won't need an entry burn. Here come the gees! Punching the engine to full throttle just after the accelerometer shows terminal velocity. In pad testing, I used separatrons to force the legs down to snap into place. I thought I might have to do the same, but it turns out that the upward thrust of the landing engine results in enough differential force to pop the legs out, once they are released. I set the docking port release to the Gear action group, just to make it more authentic. Just about to throttle down... The legs cannot be released at a high airspeed, or the airflow holds them up no matter how hard I thrust. Which works well, because I need to drop the gear pretty close to the ground anyway. Gear dropped! At this point, all four separate landing legs are viewed by the game engine as debris. So they are falling separately from the stage. However, the hinge keeps them stuck to the stage, and the gees on the stage itself from the engine lifts it up, causing them to rotate down: Oddly, there's always one leg that rotates slower than the others, but it's never the same one. I guess that makes sense, because they are all separate parts. Punching Z again to make sure I get a good inertial lock on the legs. As soon as the ports touch, it is viewed as a docking event and the game switches views and turns off my engine. So this was a lot of constant Z-mashing. Then I quickly switched SAS to Radial-Out and throttled down to avoid air-launching. I think I kept my TWR above 1:1 the entire way down. A bit of a bounce, Bulgariasat-Style: But I recovered! There she is, standing tall and not at all wobbly. Detail view of the leg locking assembly. And done!
  14. The Reusability Challenge! My first challenge! After watching a lot of KSP reusable rocket videos. I realized that the rockets were not reused other than hitting "recover" and launching again from the VAB. So I thought: Is that really reusable if it is recovered and launched from the editor again? So I came up with this challenge. Wimp mode: Make a rocket where at least the first stage is reusable and demonstrate its reusability. (Falcon 9, anyone?) Easy Mode: Previous rules apply, but the payload must reach an orbit of at least 100KM. Hard Mode: Previous rules apply, but the entire rocket must be reusable. Harder Mode: Previous rules apply, but after the parts have landed. They must be reassembled outside of the editor and relaunched. No recover button. If any piece lands in the ocean. Recover with a boat or seaplane. Insane Mode: Impress me. Mod rules: The ship must be stock, but mods such as KAS and KIS may be used in order to reassemble the spacecraft. FMRS may also be used. Other mods must be announced. Also please launch your spacecraft from the launchpad. SSTOs are way too common. Proof of your completion must be posted in this thread. This can be in the form of pictures showing relevant stages of your attempt, a gif, or video. Awards include bragging rights, and a badge that can be used in your signature. Good luck! THIS THREAD HAS BEEN CLOSED! Thanks to all who participated! Badge made by @cubinator
  15. Recently found a post about the replica on the Soviet rocket Energia-Uragan. It was reliable enough and I decided to recreate it myself. The main problem for me is reusable fairing. After I asked the author he said this is part of one mod. As he said the mod is Bluedog Design Bureau. I installed it, but have not found this detail. Maybe someone knows the name should mod includes this detail? That mod is Near Future Launch Vehicle - link Thanks to @Dr.Wolfram Energia-Uragan replica ( original post
  16. In the age of reuse, space agencies have a decision to make: TSTO rocket or SSTO spaceplane? Of course, until Skylon flies (if it ever does), TSTO rockets are the only game in town. But in Kerbal Space Program, spaceplanes fly with ease...which brings us to this challenge. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to build either an SSTO spaceplane or a TSTO rocket to carry commercial payloads into orbit over Kerbin. Every stage of your launch vehicle must be reusable, and you must use the exact same vehicle to launch each of the following three payloads: A 15-tonne survey satellite to polar orbit (150x150 km or higher). The survey sat must be fully functional. (ADDED OPTION: 15-tonne sat constellation in the same orbit) A 6-tonne relay comsat to Kerbostationary Transfer Orbit (75x2863.33 km or higher). The relay must be able to self-circularize into an equatorial KSO; the relay must be fully functional. A crew vehicle containing at least 7 kerbals to rendezvous with an equatorial space station (200x200 km or higher). The crew vehicle must have independent maneuvering capability and power generation, and must be recoverable. You do not actually have to have an equatorial space station, though if you do, awesome! The challenge is to build a launch vehicle with the lowest possible dry weight. Rules: General: All entries must use 100% stock parts. No piloting mods, though other mods are fine. Obviously, no infinite fuel or similar cheats. TSTO rocket: Both stages must be recovered and must land propulsively. The crew vehicle must have abort capabilities and must also land propulsively (chutes okay for backup; e.g., on abort). Payload fairings, assorted decouplers, and engine shrouds may be jettisoned without recovery. First-stage recovery must be reasonably close to KSC; second stage (and crew capsule) can be recovered wherever you want, as long as it comes down on land. Chemical fuel only (other than on payload). Vertical takeoff from the launch pad. SSTO spaceplane: Takeoff and landing must take place on the runway. Must launch and land with probe only; no crew (except for the crew-vehicle launch). No nukes, ions, or solids. Other than RAPIERs, the only rocket engines permitted are low-thrust OMS engines. All payloads must launch and deploy from inside a payload bay. The crew vehicle must be able to dock back inside the payload bay for re-entry. It does not need to have 0/0 abort or independent re-entry. An expendable solid kick stage is permitted for KTO injection of the relay comsat. To reflect that Skylon will need to carry liquid hydrogen for its precooler to work, LF tanks may not be more than 50% full at launch. Oxidizer tanks may be filled completely. This is a community challenge, so here's how it works. You can submit either a TSTO rocket, an SSTO spaceplane, or both. There will be a leaderboard for lowest-dry-weight rocket and lowest-dry-weight spaceplane, but the overall competition will be between rockets and spaceplanes. The winning leaderboard will have the lowest total mass from the three leading entries. Good luck!
  17. In my recent career save, I tries to recover everything w/o disposable parts - separators, fairing, and heatshield. To achieve this, I usually design fully recoverable launch vehicles. e.g. I'm curious about how many of you plays like this - Have you played like this once? Is your playstyle involved with reusablity? Or would you rather dispose of anything you don't need?
  18. After all the advanced technology usage decided to take my knowledge down deep to the days of the beginning. This is space shuttle for small payloads, pretty small and pretty cheap. As this science stage has no proper wheels it lands in water. Everything but the boosters is recoverable. Price without the probe pictured is 14,506 credits (cargo is at the tail, since there is no cargo bay and drag in front would mess things up). I suppose an mk1 crew cabin would serve just fine there for crew transport as well. Struts are necessary since the command pod tended to fall off at landing ... and the front of the plane is normally not expected to fall off. Parachute is for reducing drag only, not used really. Takeoff is designed upside down due toe drag from the rudders, no point to fight it: Somehow forgot to take the screenshot from releasing the probe (had to go out to eva with the pilot and nudge it since it is so tight there). After detaching the probe pictured and doing the deorbit burn - i even had some fuel left (Jebediah knows he is in for a bonus). One must be very conservative with electricity though. Just remember one thing - there are no wheels, you have to land in water (at 50m/s horizontal speed it survives, or use the parachute (which i added to reduce drag only) and rocket engines to land on tail): Quite a scenic landing site. Full gallery from 2 flights can be found at
  19. Flight manager, we need it. Due to understandable limits in the physics bubble dynamics and not being two pilots at the same time we can't do things like launching rockets from planes or falcon like recoveries. And unfortunately it looks like development on flight manager stopped at about 1.1. Bit sad really.
  20. Hey all, I don't know how to do this more succinctly so I apologise but I will clearly label each section for your convenience. BACKGROUND It's my understanding that there is an umbrella system to dealing with debris in an attempt to encourage more efficient rendering and physics calculations in game. Basically the rules are that debris is over 2km from the main craft in atmosphere or on a suborbital trajectory then it is simply removed from the game. EDIT: Debris 25km from main craft <25,000m altitude = auto-deleted So in the case of recovering a spent stage from a launch, you would need to switch focus to the debris once ejected and stay focused on it till it touches down. Then if you wanted to actually get returned funds, it must have a control capable part attached (usually a probe body). I can't find a way around this and tutorials I have seen have been from a couple years back before the new aerodynamics system, so simply having a steep suborbital trajectory doesn't work so well for the ejected stage simply burns up. You might be able to help this with late tech larger heat shields but you're kind of stuck early in your career. QUESTIONS (read dot points below questions for further explanation) What is the point of having settings in the menu like "Max Persistent Debris" and "Tidy up debris cluttering KSC"? It seems to me that the majority of debris will be generated by launch vehicles and spent stages, which are likely to be left in atmosphere or a suborbital trajectory and thus they are going to be cleaned up by this umbrella system anyway. Could this umbrella system be a tweak-able option like the 2 listed above? Leave this option to the discretion of the user depending on the capabilities of their gaming system. Any ideas on how to recover stages early in career? CONCLUSION It just seems silly to me that you need to leave your craft effectively uncontrolled for the sake of guiding 'debris' back to the surface. Although I understand the idea of making sure the game is running as efficiently as possible, it seems to me that the 2 tweak-able options in the settings are there for that purpose but allow more user control. This umbrella system just seems more restrictive to me but please share your thoughts and ideas.
  21. HELLO ALL This "1 Station 1 Rocket" Idea is essentially the concept of using 1 booster stage that you may not recover by going into the VAB or SPH again. LEADERBOARD: to put a space station into an orbit of any altitude. Station MUST be 3 modules or more, each module must (tbd) contain it's own probe, batteries, it's own way to generate power and must be 1.25m and be a fair size, just... Honor code people, no cheeky .625m Oscar B sized modules. STEPS: - Build a booster stage to get the payload to a point where it can use it's onboard engines to boost it to orbit - Build a fuel truck to refuel the rocket after landing the booster - Build a crane to put the module on the rocket Put the module on the booster however necessary - Pack enough fuel in the modules to assemble a space station using only one rocket ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HARD MODE: 1 Moon base 1 Rocket STEPS: - Same thing as station except put it on the moon ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- SCORING: I will keep a leaderboard of the scores, essentially you will be rated as to the mass of the station and rocket (KGs) minus the cost in funds (station and rocket), just so we have a cheap but large space station. (If you have a better idea plz comment)