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Kerbal Interstellar Colonization Space Program WIP (KSP challenge proof of concept)

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Note: This is not a complete challenge which other people should try out. Instead it is a proof of concept or a first draft of the challenge. I am putting this out there to get my ideas for a challenge out into the Kerbal Space Program community,with the hope that with community feedback I could then improve and eventually finalize the challenge for full publication on these forums.

This challenge isn't something that I myself can do right now, but it is going to be a goal for me to aim for, something that I want to accomplish in my time with Kerbal Space Program. My hope is that by watching others more experienced complete this challenge I will learn from them in my endeavors to complete this challenge myself.

So... here is my ideas for the challenge.

Backstory; Life on Kerbin is going to be over in the next 100 years. (either through global warming, global catastrophe, or whatever you can think of.) So the governments on Kerbin have banded together to create the Kerbal Interstellar Colonization Space Program.

Their plan: They want to be able to evacuate at least ¾ of all kerbals on the planet. Some of them will be placed in a colony on Duna, but everyone else will be heading off to seed kerbal life on distant star systems. The idea is that when Kerbin becomes habitable once more, the colony of Duna will send out a message to the other stars that Kerbin can now be returned to.

You have been put in charge of the first phase of this interstellar program. You're charge is not to see this plan come to fruition, but to lay down the ground work for it; doing the needed research to improve the technology kerbals have available, and to conduct the needed tests that will makes this plan a reality.

Objective: You will need to build a prototype interstellar colony ship which is self-sustaining. With only the colony ship in the immediate area, kerbals must be able to:

Build and Launch new rocket ships, probes, and satellites.

Collect resources for fuel and rocket parts

and finally be able to build self-sustaining colonies on distant planets.

This ship cannot be built in orbit of Kerbin or any of it's moons because the governments fear that kerbals with telescopes will see the construction and panic. Best place to build it is in orbit of Duna which will need it's own colony as well. Building a self-sustaining colony on Duna (of 30 or more Kerbals) may actually help with the construction of the interstellar colony ship.

Once constructed, the ship will need to go on it's maiden voyage. This voyage must be captained by none other than Jebudiah Kermin, and hold 100 kerbals for colonization. The ship will go on an interstellar journey to any one star system outside the Kerbal system, will then plant a colony on one of the available planets, and then it must return to the Kerbal system so that Jebudiah can land back on Kerbin to report his success.

From that point onward, the ship that you have built will become the schematics that all the goverments on Kerbin use to build all the other colony ships to evacuate Kerbin.

Here is the needed timeline that this needs to occur by:

20 years from the start of the program, the interstellar colony ship must already be under construction.

30 years form the start, the colony ship must be ready to go.

And after 50 years from the start, Jebudiah Kermin must be back on Kerbin to report his success.

The reason for this tight schedule is because the goverments on Kerbin must begin the construction process for all the other ships by the second half of the century so that they have enough time for the evacuation to commence.

One final note: The challenge can not be completed in Sandbox mode. Science mode is acceptable, but you can try career mode if you want an even greater challenge.

Challenge entries are done either by recording a video of the interstellar colony ships maiden voyage, or by streaming it on twitch (although a complete series of the challenge on YouTube or twitch would be nice for those wanting to learn how to do it themselves,) or creating a KSP After Action Report thread on these forums. (pictures are a must.)

So that is the basic idea of the challenge in a nutshell.

Here's some required mods for the challenge (although this list is not completely comprehensive.)

Remote Tech


Either Kethane, Karbonite, or other alternative resource for fuel mod. Your choice.

TAC Life Support

Extraplanetary Launchpads

USI Kolonization Systems

KSP Intersellar

any mod that adds more star systems to the game.

For even greater challenge, but not required; are these optional mods:

Rastorpropmoniter with vessel view and Probe Control room mods.

Your choice of aerospace dynamics mods(FAR or NEAR)

Deadly Re-Entry.

So I am not sure entries would be scored. One idea that i have been playing with is time-based scoring.

For example:

1. you must start construction of the ship by year 20 as per the rules. Eveyone who does so gets 100 points. However, you can get 200 points for starting it by year 15, 300 points for starting it by year 10, and 400 points for starting it by year 5.

2. The ship must be complete and tested by year 30 as per the rules. Eveyone who does so gets 100 points. However, you can get 200 points for doing it by year 25, 300 points by year 20, 400 points by year 15, etc.

3. Jebudiah must be back by year 50 as per the rules. Everyone who does so gets 200 points. You get more points the early he comes back, as before.

So that is it. Again this is only a proof of concept, or rough draft. Please let me know what you think of it, and if there is anything that I can do to improve it. This challenge requires community feedback to be finalized.

Edited by OpenWorldAddict
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Actually I just launched a cruiser that is just about what you were thinking, minus Interstellar. I also don't use mods that add planets (yet).

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The main challenges were:

1) Deciding where to go. Fully fueled, it has 20k m/s dV, assuming my calculations are correct.

2) Deciding how much fuel do I actually want on this monster, because a full refuel will take about 60 days assuming I only had 1 miner with 12 drills on Minmus. Yes, this big boy actually took off the launchpad by itself, with a little push from some boosters.

3) Deciding what parts could I cut out to reduce the horrible lag.

4) Trying to combine all of the MKS/OKS stuff in a single launch so I don't waste the money. The B9 HX parts are incredibly expensive on career mode. This cruiser cost about 9 mil IIRC.

Edit: About time based scoring, I think this will be greatly influenced by the contracts that you receive. The easy parts-testing contracts with massive payout will make launching such a ship much easier. It might be a good idea to ban contracts and have everyone use something like Science Funding to standardise the rate of financial advancement.

Edited by Frostea
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I have been considering what's going into the second draft of this challenge all week, which I will work on in a word document later this week before posting it here. Just to give you an idea about what I've been thinking about.

I still think that this a good idea for an epic start to finish space program challenge, but I think it needs to be broken down into measurable phases. I have some ideas that I saw in some of the other challenges in this forum and will be contacting the authors of those challenges to incorporate into my challenge as part of the different phases.

Just to give you an overview of what phases I am talking about:

Phase 1 would be missions around kerbin and it's moons. It will include gathering as much science as possible from the planet and moons, building a communications network around the kerbin planetary system, building a refuel and repair space station in geostationary orbit directly over KSC, and a mining colony of the mun.

Phase 2 would be a misson to eve to get as much science from it's planetary system as possible.

Phase 3 would be a mission to Duna to set up the permanent colony there, a mining colony on ike, and the space station that will become the intersellar colony shipyard. Also during phase 3 would the precendent to set up a more permanent program architecture and transport system.

Phase 4 would see the start of the construction of the Interstellar Colony ship in orbit around Duna while a small interplanetary colony ship is being built around Kerbin with a planned mission to Jool to colonize Jool's moons, get as much science from them as possible, and to build mining colonies on them returning to Kerbin with all the science and resources.

Phase 5 Would see science missions sent out to the other planets to finish the research on the intersellar technologies.

Phase 6 Would see the launch of the Interstelllar Colony Ship.

Each phase would have it's own timeline of when it needs to start and when it needs to finish in order fit everything into the timeline of the challenge.

On further thing that the person who posted above brought to my attention, people playing on career mode must start with the least of amount of money possible as well as cutting down rewards from contracts to %50.

However, science mode is still going to be the preferable mode for this challenge.

and so that is my idea. Of course I will flesh them out more fully in the second draft of the challenge. Of course if anyone has any other ideas to make this challenge better, let me know.

Edited by OpenWorldAddict
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I think about it when making the second draft. However, I think Duna is better for a consistent communications network, and it does make it more challenging. I take back what i said about having people in career mode changing their initial difficulty setting because in draft 2 I am going to require some mods for those using career mode that will be a partial financial drain. As I said before I will explain everything in the second draft.

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Laythe is not anywhere near Duna, and I think I am going to go back to what I originally said. Duna is Kerbals equivalent to our Mars, which is why i chose it for the permanent colony, and the idea is that Duna would have a communications system to tell the Kerbals when it is safe to come back to Kerbin. Laythe is just too far away from Kerbin.

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  • 1 month later...

To make it more inclusive for more people, you shouldn't have any required mods. Stock now has resource mining, as well as improved aerodynamics and re-entry heating. An epic challenge like this might take a while to build enough momentum to get people to actually do it. Breaking it into parts would be a good idea. Maybe have three levels, similar to Jool 5 or Eve Rocks.

For all levels, you have to be able to create a self sustaining colony. All fuel used must be able to be replenished, and any craft except the initial colony ship must be completely reusable, or able to be replaced using Extraplanetary Launchpads. You have to have some way to get from the colony ship to the surface, and from your surface base back up to the colony ship, as well as have a way to travel around on the surface, for example a rover, plane, or lander that can hop from one place to the next.

As an example,

Level 1: Travel to Laythe or an interstellar destination successfully.

Level 2: Level 1, plus, use any life support mod.

Level 3: Don't know, you can think of something.

Also look at the Duna Permanent Outpost Mission Architecture Challenge, if you haven't seen it already, you can borrow some of its ideas.

Edited by sdj64
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