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Stock Payload Fraction Challenge: 1.0.5 Edition


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KSP 1.0 has brought a lot of changes, both to aerodynamics and the specifications of many parts. The requirements for a successful launch to orbit have changed, so let's find out what makes the best lifters with the new version.

The Challenge:

Build and fly the most mass-efficient lifter possible to low Kerbin orbit.

The Rules

- Stock parts only. KSP version 1.0.5 only, entries from earlier versions will not be considered. Make sure you have 1.0.5.1028.
- No cfg editing, save editing, debug menu, or any other shenanigans.
- No physics exploits, the vessel must be lifted by thrust and aerodynamic lift alone. Decoupler force is permitted between propulsive stages, multiple stacked decouplers are not.
- Payload must be mounted to a decoupler or docking node and separated from the lifter in a stable orbit with a periapsis of at least 70km. The decoupler/docking port must stay with the lifter.
- Payload must be inert and contribute nothing but incidental body lift and command authority to the lifter (one crewed pod or probe core is ok, its reaction wheel and battery may be used but not its monopropellant, if any). All additional reaction wheels, batteries and fuel tanks in the payload must be disabled via tweakables.
- New: Entries must be a single launch, with no interaction with any other vessels already in flight or launched afterward.
- New: Parts placed on the bottom nodes of engines may not be moved using the offset tool.
- The base of the lifter must be close to the pad surface, preferably touching it. No kilometer-high launch clamps please.
- Please keep part clipping to a minimum. In particular, do not clip engines at all.
- Please do not make a cargo bay the root part of your craft, to avoid a glitch/exploit discovered by Nao here.
- Images or video of your design is required for entry, showing launch mass, payload mass in stable orbit, and enough in between to show how your vessel works. Craft files are encouraged so we can learn from each other's techniques.

Permitted mods: Visual/immersion mods, informational mods, autopilot if that's your thing. This is primarily a design challenge.

Forbidden mods: Anything that modifies stock parts, adds new parts, or changes the game's physics in any way.

Aside from that, be creative. Build big or small, use exotic staging, mix and match propulsion types, whatever makes it more efficient.

The Scoring:

Score is a percentage, computed as PayloadMassInOrbit / TotalLaunchMass * 100. Higher is better, and round to two decimal places.

There are now four categories:

Unlimited - Use any type of propulsion to get to orbit, no recovery necessary.

Unlimited Recoverable - Use any type of propulsion to get to orbit, all non-payload parts must be safely recovered.

Rocket Only - Rocket engines only (no ions, jets, or Rapiers in open cycle mode), no recovery necessary.

Rocket Recoverable - Rocket engines only (no ions, jets, or Rapiers in open cycle mode), all non-payload parts must be safely recovered.

The Leaderboard:

Now for version 1.0.5:

1.0.5 Leaderboard
Unlimited Recoverable Unlimited Rocket Only Recoverable Rocket
  1. 57.16% Rhinoplane Mk2 by Nefrums
  2. 13.22% ORION MkII by Psycopyro
  1. 58.00% Stingray Mk14 by Nerfums
  2. 57.88% Drake Mk2 by tewpie
  3. 53.35% SSTO C-1 Payday Mk.8a by Val
  4. 50.84% SSTO testing by Nich
  5. 31.37% Goose x6 by g00bd0g
  1. 26.84% Long Stick Mk1 by Nefrums
  2. 26.19% Space, Vector by Jouni
  1. 20.80% RLS Mk1 by Nefrums
  2. 15.57% Hurricane Trio Block III by Temstar


Overflow seating, for entries that were later beaten by the same entrant:

Spoiler

 

1.0.5 Additional Entries
Unlimited Recoverable Unlimited Rocket Only Recoverable Rocket
  1. 56.20% Rhinoplane Mk1 by nefrums
  1. 56.63% Stingray Mk13 by Nerfums
  2. 56.45% Scarab Mk6c by tewpie
  3. 56.04% Stingray Mk12 by Nefrums
  4. 55.80% Scarab mk6 by tewpie
  1. No entries yet
  1. 15.55% Hurricane Duo Block II by Temstar

 

 

 

 

Past Versions (Odd formatting, links broken):

Spoiler

 

Now for version 1.0.4:

[table=width: 850, align: left]

[tr][td]Rocket Only

 

  1. 28.61% This Week's Timesink by Right (Multistage)
  2. 28.48% Bigger is Better by Nefrums (Multistage)
  3. 28.32% NightBlue3 by Nao (Multistage)
  4. 27.56% SYNC.ARTS by Nao (Multistage)
  5. 27.10% V2 by djmad (Multistage)
  6. 26.16% A4 by Jouni (Multistage)
  7. 25.24% Juggernaut IX by wolfman29 (Multistage)
  8. 25.13% Juggernaut 6 by wolfman29 (Multistage)
  9. 23.63% fraction_23 by Slugy (Multistage)
  10. 23.30% Needle by Jouni (Multistage)
  11. 23.25% Mamz6 by MoeslyArmlis (Multistage)
  12. 22.62% Fractionator 4 by Norcalplanner (Multistage)
  13. 22.39% Ore Really by Red Iron Crown (Multistage)
  14. 22.17% Vulkan by Rune (Multistage)
  15. 22.10% Orebringer Mk1 by LittleBlueGaming (Multistage)
  16. 20.98% Rocket Flyer Mk.8 by Val (Multistage)
  17. 19.22% Rocket Flyer Mk.4 by Val (Multistage)
  18. 11.98% Excelsior by BigFatStupidHead (Single stage)
  19. 7.08% eeloo Heavy lifter mk3 by Lego8_bit (Multistage)

[/td]

[td]Air-Breathing

 

  1. 57.02% Drake by tewpie (Multistage)
  2. 56.30% Stingray Mk3 by Nefrums (Multistage)
  3. 54.29% Scarab Mk4 by tewpie (Single stage)
  4. 53.75% Stingray Mk2 by Nefrums (Multistage)
  5. 53.66% C-1 Payday Mk.7 by Val (Single stage)
  6. 53.37% Scarab by tewpie (Multistage)
  7. 53.07% Scarab Mk3 by tewpie (Single stage)
  8. 52.52% Stingray Mk1 by Nefrums (Multistage)
  9. 51.22% 51 by Nefrums (Multistage)
  10. 50.57% SSTO C-5 Modular Mk.3 by Val (Single stage)
  11. 50.30% gray screen by Nao (Multistage)
  12. 50.03% White Knight 6 by Bomaye (Single stage)
  13. 49.79% Simple Is Beautiful by tseitsei (Single stage)
  14. 49.26% SSTO C-5 Modular Mk.2 by Val (Single stage)
  15. 49.12% White Knight 5 by Bomaye (Single stage)
  16. 47.33% Der Snorkenklugen by g00bd0g (Multistage)
  17. 46.78% payload by tseitsei (Single stage)
  18. 45.69% SSTO C-4 Crate Mk.1 by Val (Single stage)
  19. 44.86% White Knight 2 by Bomaye (Single stage)
  20. 44.56% A.L.P.A.C.A. by rocx (Multistage)
  21. 44.45% SSTO C-1 Payday Mk4 by Val (Single stage)
  22. 44.38% SSTO V8 by Nich (Single stage)
  23. 41.23% Alpacalypse 3 by rocx (Multistage)
  24. 41.15% Mk3 Cargo 1.04 by Slugy (Single stage)
  25. 40.34% Spaceplane V15 by Nich (Single stage)
  26. 38.23% PFC - Prototype B by selfish_meme (Single stage)
  27. 36.08% Xylol 5RB by RuBisCO (Single stage)
  28. 35.51% HypersonicCarrier2 by xebx (Single stage)
  29. 34.81% HyperPelican by quasarrgames (Single stage)
  30. 33.02% SSTO Mk LIV - Longsword RecordBreaker B by Rune (Single stage)
  31. 32.17% MK3 Cargo SSTO 1 Bay -record by g00bd0g (Single stage)
  32. 32.12% LKO Ore Bust by Starhawk (Single stage)
  33. 31.36% Longsword 2.1 by rocx (Single stage)
  34. 27.88% Archer Mk2 by LittleBlueGaming (Single stage)
  35. 27.23% Moray Delta II by Frank_G (Single stage)
  36. 25.79% Commite' by selfish_meme (Single stage)
  37. 24.99% Skylon by CaptainTurbomuffin (Single stage, replica)
  38. 24.32% Hot Cosby by silks (Single stage, low tech)
  39. 18.81% Untitled Space Craft by rolftehcat (Single stage, low tech)
  40. 16.16% Gigantor payloade by parzr (Single stage)

[/td][/tr]

[/table]

 

 

  1. 50.23% Test1 by metaphor (Serially staged Jet/RAPIER/Skipper hybrid)
  2. 45.45% metaphors Test1 by Anthill3 by antbin (Serially staged Jet/RAPIER/Skipper hybrid)
  3. 44.01% _fractionjet by Slugy (Serially staged RAPIER/LV909 hybrid)
  4. 39.96% Challenger 3 by Slugy (Single stage RAPIER spaceplane)
  5. 37.68% Aerosparagus by Red Iron Crown (Asparagus staged Jet/RAPIER/LV-N hybrid)
  6. 33.08% 2-stagea by KerikBalm (Single stage RAPIER/LV-N spaceplane)
  7. 32.14% Xylol RB by RuBisCO (Single stage Turbojet/RAPIER spaceplane)
  8. 29.30% MK3 SSTO Cargo 1 Bay by g00bd0g (Single stage RAPIER spaceplane)
  9. 26.08% Tonnerre - 2.1 by Maukse (Single stage RAPIER/LV-N spaceplane)
  10. 25.45% silly efficient rockets by maccollo (Asparagus staged rocket)
  11. 24.78% Longsword by Rune (Single stage RAPIER spaceplane)
  12. 21.97% fraction 22 by Slugy (Serial staged rocket)
  13. 21.69% Cheap and Cheerful 2 by Norcalplanner (Serial staged rocket)
  14. 20.54% Megalifth 2 by Maelstrom Vortex (Single stage RAPIER spaceplane)

 

 

1. 48.27%

Test Rocket 1.1

by mightyhuhn (Single stage RAPIER rocket)

2. 31.29% the struggle by mightyhuhn (RAPIER spaceplane)

3. 27.58% silly efficient rockets by maccollo (Asparagus staged rocket)

4. 27.29% JATO3 by Shrike99 (Multi stage jet/rocket hybrid)

5. 26.29% MT by Nao (Asparagus staged rocket)

6. 26.10% Jeb's Ore Truck by cybersol (Asparagus staged rocket)

7. 24.08% Untitled Space Craft by Radam (Asparagus staged rocket)

8. 22.72% Untitled Space Craft by metaphor (Single stage rocket)

9. 22.17% Efficiency Lifter 01 by SanderB (Single stage rocket)

10. 20.32% Untitled Space Craft by Overfloater (Serially staged rocket)

11. 20.16% Interplanetary by tetryds (Asparagus staged rocket)

12. 19.35% Simple 80-ton lifter by Pds314 (Serially staged rocket)

12. 19.35% Fraction Rocket by Commander Jebidiah (Multi stage RAPIER/rocket hybrid)

 

 

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Kudos to you for the previous payload fraction challenge, mhoram, it was the inspiration for this one. :)

Potential entrants are strongly recommended to take a look at some of the designs in mhoram's thread linked above.

Edited by Red Iron Crown
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Made a simple lifter that put 80.53 tonnes in orbit with 416.1 tonnes on the pad and generous remaining fuel. 19.35% payload efficiency.

Javascript is disabled. View full album

I believe this is the first entry, unless I've been sniped. No doubt somebody can probably do far better with either a spaceplane, nuclear launch vehicle, stratospheric ion-plane stage, asparagus-staging, tighter fuel margins, better flight profile, or a craft that isn't basically made by trial and error with no informational mods or fancy mathematics.

EDIT: First image replaced with correct payload after orbital insertion showing mass at 80.53 tonnes.

Edited by Pds314
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Is this for single stage lifters? or are multistage designs allowed?

Cause my single stage designs are capping at around 8%, 5 if i make the lifter reuasble.

I haven't really messed around with multistage et

No restrictions on staging. Feel free to enter a single stage design, I'll note it's an SSTO on the leaderboard and split those off if there's enough of them.

Pds314 and Overfloater, thank you for your entries, I've updated the leaderboard. Those are excellent payload fractions for serially staged designs, under the old aero system such payload fractions would have required more exotic staging. :)

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Hey! Cool! Are jets allowed?

Absolutely, all stock parts are allowed. If there are enough entries and jets start to dominate I'll split them off into a separate leaderboard, for now I'm keeping them together and noting which entry uses what.

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Asparagus is not dead:

p24pAaR.png

ibyM5ks.png

Gay1wLR.png

xSPAdhE.png

19.66%

Lost efficiency by:

Huge asparagus tanks on the side.

3.5m to 2.5m adapter that receives (much) more drag than it should (new aero issue).

Fairings being ejected.

Not orbiting perfectly at 70km.

I could fix that, but I am satisfied with the results.

Fix2: Removed clamps when measuring total rocket mass, and measuring it on the map screen.

Rocket mass: 251.51 tons

Payload mass: 50.71 tons

Final efficiency: 20.16%

Edited by tetryds
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- Payload must be inert and contribute nothing but command authority to the lifter (crewed pod or probe core is ok). All reaction wheels, batteries and fuel tanks in the payload must be disabled via tweakables.

(...)

Leaderboard:

1. 20.32% Untitled Space Craft by Overfloater (Serially-staged rocket)

(...)

3. 19.35% Simple 80-ton lifter by Pds314 (Serially-staged rocket)

(...)

These two above entries are disqualified by the above rule since with the new aero, the payloads add lift, i.e. they are lifting bodies. You should make a note that the payload must be enclosed in stock fairings.

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These two above entries are disqualified by the above rule since with the new aero, the payloads add lift, i.e. they are lifting bodies. You should make a note that the payload must be enclosed in stock fairings.

I think I'd rather just revise that rule to permit incidental body lift, rather than invalidate entries that followed the spirit of the rules I intended. Thanks for pointing that out, I'll update the rules.

Excellent challenge: to the point, simple and solid rules.

Will try after office hours. And wife hours. Sleep hours, what's that?

Great, looking forward to your entry!

Edited by Red Iron Crown
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With my pure rocket (ie. not air breathing) I've achieved 22.52% (link). I left the decoupler attached to the payload because it wasn't specified that I couldn't even though I think it's not quite kosher because it's usually not part of the payload.

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Just got show this new aero isnt the end of asparagus... Just watch.

B09A7918C4AAD9EFA8F87A14E55B1DD26771029D

5CBD9187873BC848606C5BD872253854AD976984

AD3B0E8679272F4C58403E98FE0CB555A23E5F73

Ok sure, maybe Ive clipped the tanks a bit. This is a 0.9 craft I havent even touched since. Started with 4260t craft, ended up with 863t of fuel left. Thats 20.2% fraction just in fuel. If you add the fraction for lightest tanks, this becomes 23%.

Curiously Ive only used 3230 ms of delta V.... Some say it can be done with even less.

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Just got show this new aero isnt the end of asparagus... Just watch.

http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/534018071202674783/B09A7918C4AAD9EFA8F87A14E55B1DD26771029D/

http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/534018071202675470/5CBD9187873BC848606C5BD872253854AD976984/

http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/534018071202676193/AD3B0E8679272F4C58403E98FE0CB555A23E5F73/

Ok sure, maybe Ive clipped the tanks a bit. This is a 0.9 craft I havent even touched since. Started with 4260t craft, ended up with 863t of fuel left. Thats 20.2% fraction just in fuel. If you add the fraction for lightest tanks, this becomes 23%.

Curiously Ive only used 3230 ms of delta V.... Some say it can be done with even less.

But it's not biggest weight to orbit, it's biggest payload, so you cannot use any part of your payload on the process, and you need to eject whatever you used to bring it there.

Neat rocket, by the way, haha.

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Radam, your entry is interesting but doesn't decouple its payload so I'm afraid I must disqualify it. I invite you to throw something on top of that thing and see what it will do!

mightyhuhn, sorry, but the intake does break that rule. Sorry if I seem a stickler about it but it's a slippery slope that I'd rather not start down. Think it would work with a radial intake or two on the booster?

zekes, cool, I'll wait on your pics before adding you to the board.

SanderB, thanks for reworking, I'll update your leaderboard entry. :)

Edited by Red Iron Crown
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mightyhuhn, sorry, but the intake does break that rule. Sorry if I seem a stickler about it but it's a slippery slope that I'd rather not start down. Think it would work with a radial intake or two on the booster?

even the nose cone explodes so i don't think so.

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