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Found 18 results

  1. 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! Preview of the badge Badge made by @cubinator
  2. 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!
  3. 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?
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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)
  8. Previously I've tried to launch a SSTO but to no avail: you just can't seem to do that with low-tier tech. So I've decided to approach the problem with a different solution: a spaceplane on top of a reusable first stage. The design will be similar in concept to Dyna-Soar and Boeing X37-B.
  9. So I decided to take on the challenge of building a fully reusable launcher in KSP. Second stage recovery proved to be a bit more difficult than I thought. But in the end I'm happy with the result. Both the Booster Stage and Upper Stage are fully recoverable, in the configuration in the video the crewed module is also reusable. The only piece of discarded hardware besides the fairings is the O.M.P or Orbital Maneuvering Pack. The Skywalker Booster is designed to return to the launch site for LKO missions. In the event the Skywalker Booster needs to be used for GTO missions or beyond, it can be recovered at an alternate landing site downrange. The Skywalker Launcher can also be used for Polar Orbit Missions with recovery sites prepared to accommodate both stages.
  10. Fuel Station Mun Is designed to extract ore from any body at Mun or smaller levels of gravity, and bring them back to the station to create an orbital fuel base for passing ships. DOWNLOAD:
  11. If you are a KSP veteran, you know what I mean. The "Parts:999" that was in the part's stats. What I'd be very interested in would be a mod that allows for this, by making a recovery allow you to reuse the same parts for a fraction of the cost. For example, a "space shuttle" recovery would allow you to either re-fly the whole craft, with a given name even, for a fraction of the launch cost for the orbiter, OR you could pry the recovered parts apart- this would mean that if you pried that orbiter apart and then used those parts to just fly the same orbiter, it would cost a bit more. This would mean that you could fly a Gemini-style capsule up, like Gemini 2, and then you could refurbish it, allowing you to send up another mission- like OPS 0855- using the same capsule. Another option of the mod would be renaming the part- that is, it would function like a separate part with only the cost, amount of resources in the capsule, and name changed- for example, "Mk1 Pod 'Atlanta'" could be one.
  12. So after successfully reusing a medium booster to deliver smaller payloads to LKO, I set out to build a bigger, heavier and more capable reusable booster. Here is the result.
  13. So I recently made a video showcasing 3 reusable booster designs in KSP, you can see it HERE. As soon as Kerbal Essences saw it he challenged me to actually reuse the booster. After several hours I successfully designed the required ground support systems to not only put the booster back on the pad but also mount a second payload to it for a second flight. As long as the booster lands in-tact, this system allows for the booster to be reused indefinitely. Hope you guys enjoy!
  14. Decided to make some stock reusable boosters. The result was actually pretty cool, ended up with 3 different versions. Check it out!
  15. First post here; joined to discuss rocket designs, SSTO, and reusability. Air-augmented rockets (also known as ejector jets or ducted rockets) are a sort of cross between turbofan jet engines, ramjets, and pure rockets. Ramjets depend on a ram-compressed flow of atmospheric air for combustion, making them useless for launch and for orbital insertion. An air-augmented rocket uses a stream of atmospheric air only as added reaction mass, greatly increasing specific impulse in a fashion similar to a turbofan bypass. They can afford to use fuels with greater energy density, because so much of the reaction mass is external. Best of all, because their core is more or less an ordinary rocket, they have no problem functioning from a standstill or in a vacuum. (For reference, there was a prior forum post on air-augmented rockets here, though it didn't go into many details.) The most efficient turbofan engines are built with extremely high bypass ratios, exceeding 10 kg of bypass air for every 1 kg of airflow through the central turbojet. Of course, the primary difference between a turbofan and an air-augmented rocket is that the power is delivered to the air mechanically in the former case, but thermally in the latter case. Air-augmented rockets have not historically been very successful. In most cases, adding a shroud around the outside of an existing rocket was a large weight cost in exchange for only a modest increase in thrust specific fuel consumption, and because they weren't optimized for using the air as reaction mass, most of the added thrust was the result of secondary combustion between the fuel-rich rocket exhaust and the atmospheric air, making them essentially very inefficient ramjets. If, however, an air-augmented rocket engine were designed in an inside-out configuration with a central bypass rather than an external bypass, you'd end up with a much simpler, more compact, potentially much more efficient design: Such a design could allow a really, really high bypass ratio, causing thrust specific fuel consumption to drop ridiculously low. The combination of really high thrust and really high specific impulse is pretty nice. I wonder whether this could be made large enough that the thrust augmentation more than overcomes additional drag. Thoughts?
  16. SpaceX prefers vertical powered landing to horizontal winged landings for their booster to do RTLS since it requires little modification to the booster and because it would also work on airless bodies. However, using wings may offer an advantage. Based on the lengths of the burns for the return portion of the boosters flight on the Orbcomm-2 mission, I estimate the amount of propellant that must be reserved for the booster RTLS as ca. 46 metric tons (mT). This results in a large performance hit of a 30% loss of payload according to Musk. However, estimates of wing weight are about 10% of the landed weight, which probably could be reduced to 5% with carbon composites. So for a F9 booster with an estimated dry mass of 20 mT to 25 mT, you would only need an additional 2 to 2.5 mT, and likely half that with composites. This would results in large reduction of the payload loss. But the question is could we use wings to allow a RTLS when the booster flies at hypersonic speeds, say, at ca. Mach 7? I think it might be possible, or with minimal propellant burn, if your airfoil has high hypersonic lift-drag ratio. To be sure this would be very different from the Space Shuttle's delta-wing shape. The shuttle has been described as akin to a flying brick with a hypersonic L/D ratio of only 1, though its subsonic L/D is better at about 4.5 However, airfoils of high hypersonic L/D are known: Waverider Design. So my challenge to Kerbal-mavens is if you have a Mach 7 L/D of about 7, could your first stage booster at a max speed of Mach 7 do a return to launch site? Bob Clark
  17. We have many challenges about reusable, single-staged, and/or airbreathing vehicles. This one is about the viability of reusable multistage transport on a non-atmospheric body, the Mun. Create a lander consisting of two parts A and B. Part A must hold one or more kerbals, all in pressurized modules. Part B must contain some fuel and at least one engine. Neither A nor B may disassemble themselves any further. There are two ways to perform the mission, "ascent first" and "descent first". Ascent first: Launch from the Mun. While suborbital, detach part B and have it land back at the launch site. Reach a 10-km circular orbit with A. Demonstrate reusability by landing A at B's location and docking the parts back together. Descent first: Deorbit your lander from 10 km over the Mun. Detach B and have it reach a stable orbit. Land with A. Demonstrate reusability by taking A to a rendezvous with B and docking the parts back together. Screenshots of the following are required: initial orbit, if Descent first craft's initial mass situation just before splitting the craft part A after circularizing or landing part B after landing or circularizing craft's final state after docking final orbit, if Descent first Your score is the whole lander's full mass (tons) divided by the number of kerbals transported. Lower is better. No refuelling, teleporting or cheat menus during the mission. Information mods are allowed, active autopilots are not. Only stock parts or their equivalent rescales. My attempt: Leaderboard 1. SchweinAero: 1 kerbal, 1.76t, score 1.76