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The K Prize - 100% reusable spaceplane to orbit and back

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@Mycroft Nice plane. If you're open to suggestions, perhaps using larger landing gear at the back would be a good idea. As it currently stands, there appears to be severe risk of a tail strike on takeoff or landing.

Also don't worry about the shared name; I expect it's a reasonably common name for spaceplanes actually.

Edited by eloquentJane
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I might re-name it, if I can think up another name.

Just now, eloquentJane said:

@Mycroft Nice plane. If you're open to suggestions, perhaps using larger landing gear at the back would be a good idea. As it currently stands, there appears to be severe risk of a tail strike on takeoff or landing.

I thought so too. But I cannot seem to get it to pull up fast enough for a tail strike. I will change the landing gear at some point though.

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Thanks for the feedback!

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This is my entry for the NISP XII (nuclear interplanetary space plane version 12), and my first K-prize post since 0.18. Here's a little prelude:

btTZ0gg.png

Here's the full mission report:

Spoiler

 

Takeoff!

75jb3up.png

d7iEQPU.png

SXXhLyr.png

9D9mNZ8.png

Activating nerv engines:

Tvae3EH.png

Switching Rapiers from air-breathing to closed cycle:

ZOIGTXG.png

Circularizing (and very scenic image :wink: ):

ucgmlEK.png

Orbit!

jQStVXG.png

Interplanetary transfer burn:

74qDhJ5.png

Duna aerobraking (sorry, I forgot to take screenshots of the approach):

PJNUXCf.png

Y4gSmSL.png

Finally landed!

67lL5aR.png

And then came time to have some fun :D

to8H4Db.png

ELAc7OC.png

Tanny showing off:

5jLxIjD.png

bPnjFM3.png

Everyone back on board, the rover was left on Duna next to the flag. I maneuvered the plane so that it faced 90 degrees (I have absolutely no idea why the oxidizer wasn't shown in the resource bar btw).

TjfZMCM.png

Using up what's left of the oxidizer (and the hill) to boost off the surface:

OLwM9Ds.png

Aaaand we're off!

sTEriur.png

BwUtbuP.png

RjrYpBe.png

Burn back to kerbin:

0ttBaeC.png

hem9uvN.png

mM9vOv8.png

wtexJoT.png

Some adjustment burns to bring the orbit back over the KSC:

RvkAvlS.png

Some more aerobraking:

BSZSjSK.png

Final approach:

Qc6juGI.png

q1mRNFW.png

xEYU725.png

VEC7V6p.png

Obligatory mission success group photo:

9Zs82mg.png

 

Plane stats:

ZEDLqyW.png?1

It was my first real mission since I started playing this game again 4 days ago. All the prep, building and testing required to make it happen refreshed my knowledge of this game. All in all lots of fun, I hope that you enjoyed the mission report, cause I sure enjoyed the mission!

PS: Look at Tanny's facial expressions if you haven't already :wink:

Edited by kepicness
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@kepicness, love your mission! @everybodyelse, [:wink:]  what happened to the thread? It looks like it just died!

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ARROW INTO THE SKY

The Kerbal Times-Acceleration, 3 September 2016

Arandeen Aerospace Corporation issued a press release today concerning the state of its long-dormant spaceplane program. Having had a spate of failures, layoffs, cost overruns, and eventual departures of many key staff, it was revealed in this press release that AAC lead engineer Bill Kerman had decided to return to the very basics. Using a simple spacecraft, massing just under 17 tonnes, the orange-clad problem-solver was able to enter a stable orbit and land back on the runway inside of an hour. Photography of the craft in flight shows a very controlled and extremely stable flight; the lessons learned from this flight, says Kerman, will be increasingly scaled up as AAC returns to the fold of designing large single-stage spacecraft.

The release also revealed the use of advanced avionics produced by Mechanical Jebediah Flight Controls, LLC., which Arandeen states subsidiary Jebediah Kerman's Junkyard and Spaceship Parts Co. produces in-house under license. Arandeen refused questions regarding the future of this partnership, but speculation amongst the space community is that AAC will be bringing these rare and expensive flight computers to the masses.

With the days of Arandeen's previous craft, Mockingjay and Fletchinder, long past, Arandeen also stated his desire for spaceflight monitoring authority BoolyBooly to pass judgment on Project Archer. "It's a great day to be building [EXPLETIVE] again," he said while KCC officials scrambled for the bleep button. "This hasn't been the best year for [AAC], but hopefully this is sign of things to come."

 

Photography of the test flight has been posted online: http://imgur.com/gallery/m2kdp


 

Edited by Samniss Arandeen
Updated Imgur link.

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It is with great pleasure that the K-Prize committee offer congratulations to...

Mycroft Advanced Pilot Precision Award with the Shooting Star.

kepicness Expeditionary Utilitarial Distinction (Duna), Advanced Pilot Precision Award with the NISP XII.

Samniss Arandeen Advanced Pilot Precision Award with Project Archer.

... for completing the K-Prize mission successfully. Thankyou for your detailed mission reports and welcome to the roll of honour aka the K-Prize party guest list.

Edited by boolybooly
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5 hours ago, boolybooly said:

It is with great pleasure that the K-Prize committee offer congratulations to...

Mycroft Advanced Pilot Precision Award with the Shooting Star.

kepicness Expeditionary Utilitarial Distinction (Duna) with the NISP XII.

Samniss Arandeen Advanced Pilot Precision Award with Project Archer.

... for completing the K-Prize mission successfully. Thankyou for your detailed mission reports and welcome to the roll of honour aka the K-Prize party guest list.

Thanks! You just forgot the advanced pilot precision award since I also managed to land back on the runway :P

Edited by kepicness

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7 hours ago, boolybooly said:

It is with great pleasure that the K-Prize committee offer congratulations to...

Mycroft Advanced Pilot Precision Award with the Shooting Star.

kepicness Expeditionary Utilitarial Distinction (Duna) with the NISP XII.

Samniss Arandeen Advanced Pilot Precision Award with Project Archer.

... for completing the K-Prize mission successfully. Thankyou for your detailed mission reports and welcome to the roll of honour aka the K-Prize party guest list.

Thanks for the invite, but there'll be time to party when we get Project Ghibli done. I'll keep you posted.

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12 hours ago, boolybooly said:

It is with great pleasure that the K-Prize committee offer congratulations to...

Mycroft Advanced Pilot Precision Award with the Shooting Star.

kepicness Expeditionary Utilitarial Distinction (Duna), Advanced Pilot Precision Award with the NISP XII.

Samniss Arandeen Advanced Pilot Precision Award with Project Archer.

... for completing the K-Prize mission successfully. Thankyou for your detailed mission reports and welcome to the roll of honour aka the K-Prize party guest list.

Ooh sweet!!! Thanks a bunch! I’ll join everybody backstage when I have leave from managing CMAU! Nice challenge!

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DOUBLE UP

The Kerbal Times-Acceleration, 5 September 2016

Samniss Arandeen, already in the news recently for Project Archer, is already showing progress. After amateur video reportedly showed Arandeen mentioning a "Project Ghibli" in his reasoning for not attending the party, spacecraft enthusiast communities are speculating as to the as-yet-unknown master plan behind the Arandeen Aerospace Corporation.

Legendary pilot Jebediah Kerman, reportedly in the midst of efforts to train additional Kerbonauts, reported to us in a Times-Acceleration exclusive report on "a most promising student". Described by Jeb as a curious young soul, the up-and-coming Kiki Kerman accompanied Jeb on the recently-declassified "Project Bowstring" in order to learn the finer points of SSTO spaceplane flight. In addition to gathering valuable flight hours and, for Kiki at least, the experience of a lifetime, the two of them helped collect flight data and observations for Bill's new, larger spacecraft. "Project Bowstring", as it's been dubbed, appears to be research into the characteristics of multi-engined craft and larger airframes. Unfortunately, neither Bill Kerman nor Arandeen could be reached for comment.

Jeb's remarks also revealed a glaring weakness in the craft's design. Insufficient battery power rendered the reaction wheels ineffective, and destabilized the ship so badly that Kiki needed to give up on a KSC landing. Fortunately, a landing just west of the nearby mountains proved effective enough, and the vessel was safely recovered along with Jeb and Kiki. Says Jebediah Kerman, "Kiki enjoyed herself up there. I'm sure she can't wait to do it again."

Jebediah made sure to include mission photos, which can be seen here: http://imgur.com/a/AksFS

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My first submission to this thread -- the Archangel 1CL. It's not my favourite of the Archangel series, but it is -- so far -- the most likely to impress. All parts are stock, and other than Renaissance, no mods are in use.

As things currently stand, the Archangel series consists of the 1T (Tanker), 1P (Passenger), 1C (Cargo), and 1CL (Cargo, Long). Maximum take-off weight that I've succeeded with is just north of 120 tons. That'll haul up nearly 3000 units of fuel+oxidiser (T), 40 passengers (P), or a space station module (C, CL) -- in this case, a heavy refinery, hitchhiker container, cupola module, medium-sized Rockomax with Terrier, some RCS tanks, and RCS, plus solar panels and what not.

The reason the CL isn't my favourite is because of KSP's drag model -- that cargo makes the plane really tedious to haul up to around 10k where I can accelerate it to orbital take-off. The tanker and passenger versions don't suffer from that and just punch right off the runway past the sound barrier and into orbit, with about the only adjustments to the trajectory a pitch change from about 10 to 15 degrees around 6k and 15 to 30 around 12k, and punching the rocket at around 15k of course.

The craft is somewhat nose-heavy when fully fueled and loaded, making take-off a bit ornery; on the other hand it remains controllable even at dead-stick. Re-entry is easy if I pump fuel back and forth between the forward and aft tanks to adjust the centre of gravity as needed. Landing is quite easy as the big wing gives the empty (=light) craft a lot of lift; it can even survive a ditching in a pinch.

Anyway, here's the Archangel CL's latest test flight. The design isn't final -- what design is? -- but it's pretty good for what it is. I think a cargo this size is pushing the limits of the design, though.

Accelerating into orbit; jets have flamed out.

WNRkpbv.jpg

In orbit.

y8qOQvD.jpg

Delivering cargo.

MMHidNa.jpg

Re-entry.

latQT7Q.jpg

Back home on the runway.

VicOdz2.jpg

 

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On 8/28/2016 at 6:15 PM, kepicness said:

This is my entry for the NISP XII (nuclear interplanetary space plane version 12), and my first K-prize post since 0.18. Here's a little prelude:

btTZ0gg.png

Here's the full mission report:

  Hide contents

 

Takeoff!

75jb3up.png

d7iEQPU.png

SXXhLyr.png

9D9mNZ8.png

Activating nerv engines:

Tvae3EH.png

Switching Rapiers from air-breathing to closed cycle:

ZOIGTXG.png

Circularizing (and very scenic image :wink: ):

ucgmlEK.png

Orbit!

jQStVXG.png

Interplanetary transfer burn:

74qDhJ5.png

Duna aerobraking (sorry, I forgot to take screenshots of the approach):

PJNUXCf.png

Y4gSmSL.png

Finally landed!

67lL5aR.png

And then came time to have some fun :D

to8H4Db.png

ELAc7OC.png

Tanny showing off:

5jLxIjD.png

bPnjFM3.png

Everyone back on board, the rover was left on Duna next to the flag. I maneuvered the plane so that it faced 90 degrees (I have absolutely no idea why the oxidizer wasn't shown in the resource bar btw).

TjfZMCM.png

Using up what's left of the oxidizer (and the hill) to boost off the surface:

OLwM9Ds.png

Aaaand we're off!

sTEriur.png

BwUtbuP.png

RjrYpBe.png

Burn back to kerbin:

0ttBaeC.png

hem9uvN.png

mM9vOv8.png

wtexJoT.png

Some adjustment burns to bring the orbit back over the KSC:

RvkAvlS.png

Some more aerobraking:

BSZSjSK.png

Final approach:

Qc6juGI.png

q1mRNFW.png

xEYU725.png

VEC7V6p.png

Obligatory mission success group photo:

9Zs82mg.png

 

Plane stats:

ZEDLqyW.png?1

It was my first real mission since I started playing this game again 4 days ago. All the prep, building and testing required to make it happen refreshed my knowledge of this game. All in all lots of fun, I hope that you enjoyed the mission report, cause I sure enjoyed the mission!

PS: Look at Tanny's facial expressions if you haven't already :wink:

Can I just say that this is friggin amazing?? Can I ask if you have a .craft file?

Edited by Der Anfang

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i have many ssto-s, but  in this weekend i build this cargo-vessel monster becouse don't have any science for hi-isp atmo.engines except "panthers"

but...8 panthers can take 16 tonn payload to orbit and land ssto back (of course).

To save fuel i shut down any rocket engines in hi altitude (50+km) except poodle

SSTO named Progressor-Heavy-mk1

 

ps: sorry for my poor english

c42b24d357c4.png

da3b7dd8bcf3.png

cc45a7bdd30a.png

 

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Sooo, despite playing KSP for two years I've never built a functioning SSTO spaceplane! I've built shuttles, I've tried dreamliner style, I've tried spaceship one style. What finally forced my hand was a Simple Jool 5 mission and a need for it at Laythe. All been done on the 1.2 prerelease, which meant no mods :( so no idea of dv, twr!

 

Yzmw2gb.jpg

Laythe Dragon 3 (don't ask about 1 & 2, they were badly behaved so were sent back to the hanger to think about what they did), due to mission requirements it needed to have docking ports at either end and later would be fitted with RCS thrusters.

Take off light and simple, though in future the rear gear need moving forward.

lyF1Hih.jpg HPtYjFo.jpg

At about 5000m acceleration run starts, 

6VGR6v9.jpgTweSkoF.jpg

Switch from air breathing to close cycle, speed roughly 1,100m/s. pushes the apoapsis above 80km8fIVqYE.jpg Coast to orbit, extend solar panel

p92oqYy.jpg Did orbital insertion burn

XJe0mth.jpg Packed wayyyyy too much oxidiser, and gets worse I forgot to fix this for the laythe mission...

Deorbit burn over crater lake, and had to get mandatory dramatic screenshot... 

hncrtEX.jpgmYo2Naw.jpgPreparing for reentry, stow solar panels and orient nice and high, shove all fuel backwards, airbrake up and have an icecream.

UQ2OlwP.jpg262ra8P.jpgde-orbit got a bit hot, but nothing blew up... Those shield docking ports need more shielding though!

6v8rVWK.jpg The mountain above is mount whoops too short, had enough Liquid fuel to drop into ksc nicely

wzCqqiw.jpgNeed to sort out the trim on it though cause flying this thing was awkward.

Bounced on the runway and turned, apparently I was level, got a bit worried at this point

5xWUjwI.jpg But was able to stop by skidding and airbrake

4LM0pfy.jpg Taxied her over to infront of the SPH, permanent memorial to this flight and maybe future spaceplanes...

Fd2Bts5.jpgLXKZmKx.jpg84XnZR5.jpgWHK7DzS.jpg 

Edited by Kertech
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I saw this thread today and said, "Hey, it's been a while since I knocked together an air-breathing SSTO, I should do that again!" So I put one together in about five minutes, took it up, flew it around the world, and landed back on the runway.

Then I said..."I should do that again and take pictures!" So...I did. Presenting the QS-1 Needletail light SSTO (intended mainly for very long range Kerbin survey work, maybe applicable to Laythe too). Made in 1.2 prerelease, no mods of course.

3V8Whj3.jpg

The Needletail lined up on the runway, ready to take off.

H8fZ16q.jpg

Accelerating upward. It took me a while to figure out how to coax it upwards in speed, it wasn't quite as easy as with the first version.

ShKRQuy.jpgBy this point, I had figured out how to make it get up and go...

oR08BnI.jpg...so I went until my apoapsis hit 75 km. Did a bit of closed-cycle burning once I hit about Mach 3 and 22,000 meters.

UMxM1m2.jpg

Once I hit the top of the arc I lit up the engines again and burned into a nice orbit...

COph7wA.jpg

Apoapsis of 83 km...

8twjX0k.jpg

...periapsis of 75. Then I had to stay in orbit for a while, since as you might have noticed it was night at the KSC and I wasn't going to try landing in that. In the meantime...

SQTwh3f.jpg

...I got some glamor shots of the plane lit up...

keqb83v.jpg

...including one flying over KSC. Well, it's daytime now, so I made a little deorbit burn and waved goodbye to the Mun as I hit the atmosphere...

lhfiV94.jpg

...and start a shallow glide for KSC.

oYjwnr5.jpg

Some parts get a little toasty as I descend below 50,000 meters, but none of them come even close to overheating.

qTCuNzD.jpg

I keep gliding until I have KSC in sight...

ala7ozF.jpg

...then turn the engine back on as I fall towards Mach 1.

7dOWAyx.jpg

I have to admit that getting to the runway was pretty tricky and I was too busy to take any screenshots until I touched down.

VTyBB31.jpg

Actually, that was my third touchdown. The first two times I bounced (did I mention I was busy? Also that the landing wasn't perfect?). At least I managed to stay on the runway...

KolugTn.jpg

(I did slide off, but I managed to get back on! That counts as a runway landing, right?)

I just noticed this, but I never opened up that cargo bay for inspection. Didn't cross my mind because it was empty, honest.

Edited by Workable Goblin
Added version information.
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1.2 is looking good, while it is in beta both versions are on the first post roll of honour. 

 

Congratulations are well deserved for the inspiring missions of the following K-Prize mission directors...

 

v1.1+

Samniss Arandeen - with Project Bowstring.

agent 902 Advanced Pilot Precision Award with Gustav Vasa 1.

Brikoleur Utilitarial Commendation, Advanced Pilot Precision Award with Archangel 1CL.

*Major Tom* Utilitarial Commendation, Advanced Pilot Precision Award with Progressor-Heavy-mk1.

 

v1.2 (beta)

Kertech Advanced Pilot Precision Award with with Laythe Dragon 3.

Workable Goblin Advanced Pilot Precision Award with QS-1 Needletail light SSTO.

 

... thankyou for your mission reports, feel free to wear the badge with pride and welcome to the K-Prize party guest list aka the Roll of Honour.

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I just flew a SSTO to get some crew back from a Jool mothership. I think that the trip may qualify for the K-prize... so I thought I'd post it here. It's my 3rd spaceplane, based on the Mk2 fuselages (I made a bunch more on 1.25m, and exactly zero successful ones on Mk3 stuff). 

 

Made an imgur album out of it (here: http://imgur.com/a/SBqmq). I think that it is just another Mk2 SSTO (they all look the same, no?), so I will post only 1 pic here. 

This pic is taken as I am about to circularize. Had to use the RAPIERs for another short burst as the NERVs alone were not enough to circularize.

1mknzGr.png

Note: I read that docking with some other ship qualifies for some extra kudos, but I have to be honest that I controlled the other mothership (which had more RCS) to do the actual docking procedure, with this SSTO just hanging in space, waiting. Mothership can be seen in the album. 

The final pic in the album is my favorite: 5 crew members that all got 33 XP extra, as they got back from Jool/Pol/Bop, and this was just the taxi to get them home. :) 

Edited by Magzimum
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Here's my entry with STS-2 "Dark Forest," a 1.1.3 light spaceplane able to bring one ton to LKO

VuSq0ne.png?2

For this entry, "Dark Forest" placed a biome mapper in polar orbit. Full imgur album here.

Some of the highlights of this flight:

LBM2QZ5.png

Atmospheric flight

f7dlzzT.png

Payload delivery

hjRTj3L.png

End of re-entry and S-turns

JH2XXVe.png

Crew posing for press shots

Edited by valens
specified KSP 1.1.3 version

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Congratulations to...

 

Magzimum Advanced Pilot Precision Award 1st Class with SpacePlane Mk3.

valens Utilitarial Commendation, Advanced Pilot Precision Award with STS-2 "Dark Forest".

... on successful completion of the K-Prize mission. Thanks for you mission reports and welcome to the party guest list aka roll of honour. I am assuming both were completed in the current release version and not the 1.2 beta.

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17 hours ago, boolybooly said:

I am assuming both were completed in the current release version and not the 1.2 beta.

“Dark Forest" was built with 1.1.3 indeed.

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