boolybooly

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

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Here's my latest beastie the MK3 Cargo SSTO.

She hauls 2 Jumbo tanks to LKO. Super easy to fly. Fully functional with RCS, docking port, extra lights, etc... No mods or cheaty clipping or anything like that.

 

 

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Something a bit different from me, a heavy cargo SSTO.

It can put nearly 324 tons into LKO, and has a payload fraction around 37.5

 

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Decided to finally re-fly a project I did a lot of work on back in 1.0.5.

I present a unique entry: the AS-3A Skystreak. This SSTO can be built with only a Tier 2 R&D facility, and it also doesn't require the High Altitude Flight node (but may fly more optimally with parts from it). It has an incredibly tight error margin on the ascent profile, and it doesn't get to orbit with that much dV, but it gets up there. With a good ascent, it has enough dV to do part retrieval missions in an unconventional manner, and was the primary objective behind designing this SSTO- do part retrieval missions cheaply, instead of sending a rocket with stages that have to be expended or recovered, which cuts into the profit margin.

i guess the imgur album embed thing doesn't work
 
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Edited by Box of Stardust

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The Griffon Mark II, my second try at an SSTO, and my first successful ever. It is capable of lifting 1-2 Tonnes into LKO size permitting, it is capable of being re-fit depending on how much cargo space you need, granted it is riding the limits of its fuel, so lengthening it is more viable. I refueled it using KAS and KIS, and is alot of fun to handle.

TakeoffOrbitingPayload DeploymentPayload Deployment 2Payload Deployment 3SunshineRe-EntryRe-Entry ForwardReturning to BaseOver-CityFinal ApproachFinal Approach 2Touchdown and Taxiing to RefuelPre-LinkingPost-LinkingRefuelingRefueling CompleteReady for Re-flight!

Edited by Bitrefresh
Incorrect Words

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6 minutes ago, Bitrefresh said:

The Griffon Mark II, my second try at an SSTO, and my first successful ever. It is capable of lifting 1-2 Tonnes into LKO size permitting, it is capable of being re-fit depending on how much cargo space you need, granted it is riding the limits of its fuel, so lengthening it is more viable. I refueled it using KAS and KIS, and is alot of fun to handle.

TakeoffOrbitingPayload DeploymentPayload Deployment 2Payload Deployment 3SunshineRe-EntryRe-Entry ForwardReturning to BaseOver-CityFinal ApproachFinal Approach 2Touchdown and Taxiing to RefuelPre-LinkingPost-LinkingRefuelingRefueling CompleteReady for Re-flight!

That looks like a well developed SSTO :)

However, be careful in making an even longerer version - the length parts add some weight which has fuel implications, and then it will also throw off the COM/COL balance, so you will have to spend some time to reposition the wing, and then that can have knock on effects for handling, especially when you come down....... And in the end you will end up with a completely new design!

It is very hard to make variants that work!

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1 minute ago, Andetch said:

That looks like a well developed SSTO :)

It probably helps that I have alot of experience designing aircraft in KSP. Not only can I make them visually pleasing, but functional too! lol.

Quote

However, be careful in making an even longerer version - the length parts add some weight which has fuel implications, and then it will also throw off the COM/COL balance, so you will have to spend some time to reposition the wing, and then that can have knock on effects for handling, especially when you come down....... And in the end you will end up with a completely new design!

It is very hard to make variants that work!

I agree, which is why I would, rather instead of adding moar fuel, just try and design a new one that works with heavier and bigger payloads. As the saying goes, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.'

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3 minutes ago, Bitrefresh said:

It probably helps that I have alot of experience designing aircraft in KSP. Not only can I make them visually pleasing, but functional too! lol.

I agree, which is why I would, rather instead of adding moar fuel, just try and design a new one that works with heavier and bigger payloads. As the saying goes, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.'

I agree it looks great! I am not so good at making good looking planes. I tend to just go for the most pointy nose I can find and then it is all about functionality!

I see it can be used unmanned as it has a probe core, have you considered scrapping the cockpit and adding fuel tanks in it's place?

Will you be putting this onto KerbalX for people to download and play with?

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1 minute ago, Andetch said:

I see it can be used unmanned as it has a probe core, have you considered scrapping the cockpit and adding fuel tanks in it's place?

Will you be putting this onto KerbalX for people to download and play with?

That isnt a bad Idea! I put it there so it had electric charge for the mission, but I never thought to use it for actual control, lol, will definetily try it and see if I can get better fuel margins from it! Griffon Mark II/Q!

I am doing that as we speak ;P

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The cockpit also has reaction wheels - I don't think the probe core has so much reaction wheel control. What I would do is instead of the cockpit, add a long pointy shaped fuel tank, then a reaction wheel, then a tail piece, turned around, so then it has a really long pointed nose..... Oh, and I would also adjust the wing position to account for the new weight distribution, and possible adjust the flow priorities so the fuel in the nose drains slower, keeping the COM from moving so rapidly.

Edited by Andetch

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1 minute ago, Andetch said:

The cockpit also has reaction wheels - I don't think the probe core has so much reaction wheel control. What I would do is instead of the cockpit, add a long pointy shaped fuel tank, then a reaction wheel, then a tail piece, turned around, so then it has a really long point nose..... Oh, and I would also adjust the wing position to account for the new weight distribution, and possible adjust the flow priorities so the fuel in the nose drains slower, keeping the COM from moving so rapidly.

That sounds tricky but fuel flow seems simple enough. the higher the number the slower it drains and all. I'll see what I can do. SSTOs are a nice new thing to try out and I'm glad I may have a knack for them.

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14 minutes ago, Andetch said:

The cockpit also has reaction wheels - I don't think the probe core has so much reaction wheel control. What I would do is instead of the cockpit, add a long pointy shaped fuel tank, then a reaction wheel, then a tail piece, turned around, so then it has a really long point nose..... Oh, and I would also adjust the wing position to account for the new weight distribution, and possible adjust the flow priorities so the fuel in the nose drains slower, keeping the COM from moving so rapidly.

With SSTO it is all about having the COM and COL aligned properly so you don't spin out coming back empty.

It is something a lot of people miss.

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1 hour ago, Bitrefresh said:

The Griffon Mark II, my second try at an SSTO, and my first successful ever. It is capable of lifting 1-2 Tonnes into LKO size permitting, it is capable of being re-fit depending on how much cargo space you need, granted it is riding the limits of its fuel, so lengthening it is more viable. I refueled it using KAS and KIS, and is alot of fun to handle.

TakeoffOrbitingPayload DeploymentPayload Deployment 2Payload Deployment 3SunshineRe-EntryRe-Entry ForwardReturning to BaseOver-CityFinal ApproachFinal Approach 2Touchdown and Taxiing to RefuelPre-LinkingPost-LinkingRefuelingRefueling CompleteReady for Re-flight!

We saw, we liked.... We copied...... Not landed it yet as I don't have time - but I will later! Need to adjust the amount of LF/O it carried as I took a whole load of oxidizer to orbit with me that I can't use! And I am having imgur issues and it wont let me upload all the pictures.. NOWRNre.png

UAGVNeh.pngMO1iaVe.png

 

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I have a family of Mk 2 SSTOs I haven't posted anywhere yet.  The variants are the Pup C with a small Mk 2 cargo bay and an inline docking port, the Pup P with the cargo bay replaced with a passenger cabin, and the Pup XC with no docking port and the long cargo bay.  I will post pics and links when I get home.

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So it turns out my ascent profile on my AS-3A Skystreak was just junk and overly complicated. With a much more straightforward, flat ascent, building up speed through the atmo instead of climbing high to do it, 3A Skystreak can achieve around 300m/s combined dV in orbit, which is plenty enough to do some rendezvous and stuff. I have a 3B version which uses High Altitude Flight research node parts and LV-T45s which can achieve at least 500m/s combined dV in orbit, or potentially carry a light payload. Not bad for a Tier 2 R&D SSTO.

 

imXTEoi.png

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Congratulations to ...

@XLjedi Advanced Pilot Precision Award with SR-13 Venom.

@g00bd0g - Utilitarial Commendation (72t), Advanced Pilot Precision Award with Mk3 Cargo.

@JacobJHC - Utilitarial Commendation (324t), Advanced Pilot Precision Award with Heavy Cargo SSTO.

@Box of Stardust Advanced Pilot Precision Award with AS-3A Skystreak.

@Bitrefresh Utilitarial Commendation, Advanced Pilot Precision Award with Griffon Mark II.

... for successfully completing the K-Prize mission. Well flown all, thankyou for your mission reports and welcome to the K-Prize Party guest list aka the roll of honour. 

It will be interesting to see the promised mission reports when your craft have landed safely @Thor Wotansen

 

Edited by boolybooly

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Rebuilt one of my STS shuttles to function as an SSTO, just to bump the thread :wink:

 

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Thanks for your interest and mission report @hoioh 

Is this intended as a gate crasher? :cool:

Please correct me if I am wrong but apart from the not insignificant matter of an exploding airbrake isnt your sturdy and useful looking ship using modified parts?

If so I must draw your attention to rule 3 and the K-Prize sister thread for modded missions.

Quote

3. All fuel tanks, wings (ie lift generators & aerodynamic environments) and engine parts must be stock, for fairness.

https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/168274-the-k-prize-100-reusable-spaceplane-to-orbit-and-back-modded-version/

The reason I think it is using modded parts is the onscreen text in a dialogue box which indicates the presence of a SpaceY mod thrustplate as part of the engine array, as revealed in the blocking notice for the NearFutureSolar blanket PV array... also the cargo capsule is non stock, as all stock cargos have swing doors and this part is significant because it contributes to aerodynamics. Also I dont recognise the main wings as stock though its hard to tell with the part colouring mods available. 

Besides this the exploding airbrake, which sent the craft into a potentially disastrous spin from which it was skillfully recovered by the pilot, unfortunately breaks rule 1. 

So while I am grateful for your kindness in bumping the thread, I believe the mission should be linked as a Gatecrasher. Alternatively would you like some time to complete a stock mission successfully and expunge the Gatecrasher listing? Or would you prefer to join the ranks of infamy!? If you want to do a stock mission then I will delay until you are ready.:D

Edited by boolybooly

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@boolybooly I would be happy to join the party as a gatecrasher as the submission was obviously intended to crash a couple of gates! :cool:

I was not under any impression that this submission conformed to just about any of the rules of the challenge other than taking off from the runway and landing right back onto it just for fun and to show how simple an SSTO can be when built properly.

I did lose the airbrake (this was my third attempt and I could be less stressed for not losing any significant part, like a wing or some such) and apart from the airbrake and maybe the landing gear just about all of the parts are non-stock or modified in some way by means of tweakscale annd the like.

 

In the interest of fairness I will be submitting a proper "by the books" SSTO for your (re)viewing pleasure just for the sake of it in the 'near future' ;) 

Edited by hoioh

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Now that the gate has been crashed it is time to make an entrance :wink:

 

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Thankyou for your second (in this version) mission report @hoioh 

You have earned both a K-Prize listing and a Gatecrasher's quip. As you may know you are entitled to display either, neither or both badges as you require and to request the removal of the Gatecrasher listing if you so wish (I just thought you might like to have both). I made up a name for your stock ship but will replace it with any you care to specify.

So in the time honored tradition ... congratulations on completing the K-Prize mission successfully with the additional accomplishment of hauling a space lab into orbit and returning to land safely on the KSC runway. Welcome back to the K-Prize party guest list aka the roll of honour.

hoioh Utilitarial Commendation, Advanced Pilot Precision Award with By_The_Book.

And here for the record is the Gatecrasher quip.

hoioh suggested there was no such thing as bad publicity. 

 

:D

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Thank you @boolybooly for the apt naming of my shuttle, I think I will christen the other one the "By_The_Back_of_a_Beer_Coaster" for the sake of completionism ;)

I will proudly wear the Gatecrasher badge alongside the official one

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My latest try at a high dv shuttle: over 4800 dv in LKO

https://imgur.com/gallery/4LwaAdO

 

Slow but steady. Takeoff is best described as "gentle".

zjRpeEN.png

 

4924kv in LKO

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For all I ask is a tall ship, and a star to sail her by.

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Ship holds position quite well for bleeding off speed.

KFmawRb.png

 

 

Landing is similarly as gentle as takeoff.

BtUfNqL.png

 

 

And we're back - with more than half our fuel.

sEFxzju.png

 

 

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Congratulations @beomagi on completing the K-Prize mission successfully and returning to land with great precision on the KSC runway for which feat of daring do the K-Prize committee (me) awards the highly regarded Advanced Pilot Precision Award.

Thankyou for your mission report and welcome to the K-Prize party guest list aka the roll of honour.

:D

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Thanks Booly :D Decided to roll another craft, trying to push the DV higher.

This space plane has nearly 6000dv after getting to LKO. So I visit every station I've made in Kerbin's influence with a dock.

I dock with 5 stations and land on minmus without refueling. 

https://imgur.com/gallery/YGaB6BS

Spoiler

Images resized to 500px wide to keep it easier on DL - or just use link below.

https://imgur.com/gallery/YGaB6BS

mDNchCw.png

The Journey begins quite slowly. 380m/s on passing the island. An easy benchmark for spaceplanes. This one will be sluggish, but the 4 oxidizer tanks will let the rapiers give enough push later for the nuke engine to finish off orbital insertion.

nTOFSmi.png

At about 1400m/s between 10k/11k altitude, I switch on the nuclear engine. not much acceleration, but it helps keep speed up while i angle up between 10-15 degrees.

WFFynqV.png

At ~29km altitude, the rapiers kick into closed cycle mode, and get pretty close to orbit. the nuclear engine only has to put out ~300dv more.

Qsw5G7m.png

At just shy of 6k dv, i may as well visit a few places. First up is an probe i did a few versions ago - "Mega Station III"

o5ReK2Y.png

Setting up rendezvous...

jieIwyy.png

Almost there, alternating burning retrograde and at target a couple times.

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At the first station. Getting out or kerbin's gravity well is always a bit punishing. I didn't use the most efficient burn for rendezvous, so 1600dv later...

6iOvUa2.png

Docked! As large and convoluted as this seems, it's nothing compared to the last station on the list. Jeb inspects the station and science team. The team feasts on mun cake and minmus cream. Considering the station in tip top shape, Jeb tearfully departs.

t5cy4ki.png

Next up is Moon Base Alpaca. Jeb does a flyby of the Mun.

wUrDfi3.png

And squeezes into orbit. A short bit of plotting later, Moon Base Alpaca at the intercept!

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Pulling up to Moon Base Alpaca. This was a station created to fulfill a contract. Long since abandoned. Still has mid-stage thrusters and fuel. Last nuke stage was untouched. Maybe it should head to another system...

BH0Pc6C.png

Docked! Note to self - angled docking ports are a pain.
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Mimus is next. Once clear of the moon, dv requirements really fall quickly.
1OwqB1K.png

Insertion and minor piloting to the Minmus ore miner.
DQHqg9B.png

Ore miner overhead. Not a large station, but several s4 tanks make it a useful stop for refueling.
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Easy does it... not as easy without rcs.
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And Docked! Jeb inspects the miner. It's in working order. No fuel was taken, since there's simply no need.

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Jeb does a little space work to earn his inspector's gig.
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Next up is another contract base, creatively named "base mun" base mun's orbit is shockingly low with a periapsis under 5800m.

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It's jolting seeing the ground up this close while docking.
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Took several tries to dock. When i finally did, Jeb's jostling of the station had knocked the orbit's periapsis to just over 3000. Jeb decided the low orbit was a little too dangerous, even if it was damned cool to see mountain peaks almost upon the craft. A proficient pilot, he activated only the 2 engines in line with the docked craft, with the one farthest from it at 40% thrust for balance.

ZEBMcbr.png

Jeb left the station at a 12k circular orbit. Glancing at the tiny moon, he figured, "why not"?

yZABjUo.png

May as well visit minmus for the secret ingredients to "Minmus cream".

FGBpHQL.png

Landed, and watching the station he just left passing overhead.

KhyWUin.png

Takeoff from the flat areas in a "light" spaceplane isn't bad. Retracting/extending the forward landing gear kicks up the nose a little. With the light Minmus gravity, the nuke engine easily pushes the ship to orbit.

VPk1jp3.png

Almost 3k dv left, time to head back to Kerbin for our last visit. An asteroid base in polar orbit.

26m5gyG.png

Jeb came in from above minmus, which put him on the wrong orbital direction. close to 3000m/s at periapsis, 50m/s at apoapsis. Not an expensive error.

RyRM3hI.png

Jeb gets into Polar orbit, and works on the minor inclination. Next up is setting up a rendezvous.

VjmT8em.png

Even small changes around Kerbin add up.

DVTX15q.png

But he makes it. A dual base asteroid. This was made long long ago, before autostrut. Thankfully the Kraken hasn't disintegrated it.

6vuQpPL.png

Frame rate is punished under the load! Almost ignored docking here.

Zqc09VN.png

Jeb still manages to dock. The larger of the stations was sent up here with a few emergency escape crafts. We can see there's one left for scientists to exist the station, with enough dv and a lander to get to Kerbin.
7Dzn58m.png

Say cheese Jeb! That is one crazy looking amalgam...

vrSQKbo.png

His mind back on the job, Jeb goes back to inspecting the station. This was a good opportunity to autostrut as much of these stations as possible. On docking, the stations were swaying. That stopped after most parts were autostrut, so hopefully future krakens were put to rest.

rHl5Siq.png

Even spacewalks around this monstrosity are tough with the frame rate hit. Jeb takes a look at Kerbin, knowing the last part of his journey is probably the most dangerous.

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Final beauty shot!

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Time to land. Jeb will be coming in with an effective crosswind. First part of doing this safely is to transition to LKO.

QnTGF9z.png

Close enough Jeb.

ARuok4b.png

Jeb waits a little for the KSC to get along his path. Once there, a little retrograde sets his little craft up for home. not much fuel is left.

1BfAl8o.png

Jeb's curious how the air braking will work here. Effective air speed is higher coming in polar.

iPLV0v0.png

Land ho! Jeb angles the craft to get lined up with the KSC and maintain altitude.

TGtBJ53.png

93KM from the KSC. Jeb can taste home!

rbfjOAi.png

Most of the speed bled off, but at this altitude we don't need a drop of fuel  to do a nice gentle turn, and land.

H7ok5Cp.png

LANDED! No fuel was needed from the retrograde burn that put Jeb on the path the the KSC - which is good because we had almost none left.

dv diary!

5944 - in orbit
4336 - first station intercept point
4095 - second station (Mun orbit) intercept point
3804 - third station (Minmus orbit) intercept point
3698 - fourth staion (second Minmus orbit station) intercept point
3450 - landed on Minmus
2405 - polar orbit of Kerbin
1901 - fifth station visit intercept point
1053 - LKO
883  - setup approach to land

 

Edited by beomagi

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