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


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1 hour ago, boolybooly said:

Either way you can now display the gatecrasher badge if you so wish, if that was the shiney medal you were looking for.  ;)

HMMMM, im torn. I know it's a very minor thing but at the same time im a "by the book" type of person so I will most likely go back and try a more efficient and qualifying approach :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just realized that my latest Jool 5 mission has an SSTO that should qualify for this, though I've made a bunch of SSTOs over the years.

The Indefinite SSTO launched from the runway, went to orbit, remained in orbit for years waiting for the Kerbals to return from Jool, was docked with, transferred Kerbals, deorbited, and landed at the KSC bouncing off the runway and onto the grass...

 

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@dawg can you please clarify, the linked account is not self consistent and I would like an explanation before recognising it as a K-Prize mission.

How did the SSTO achieve anything related to the primary Jool 5 mission if the mothership was at Minmus and the SSTO was in LKO? Did I miss something?

Did the SSTO navigate to dock with the mothership or did the mothership navigate to dock with the SSTO? If so how many times and where, was there any fuel transfer, if so which way?

Did you not use a spaceplane to land on Laythe? If so did you have two spaceplanes named Indefinite? (The mission report above your linked report shows a combined spaceplane mothership in a vertical launch.) Did you launch a second space plane? Or did you separate the spaceplane from the final launch of the mothership.

What is going on in this mission pls thx ;)

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17 minutes ago, boolybooly said:

@dawg can you please clarify, the linked account is not self consistent and I would like an explanation before recognising it as a K-Prize mission.

How did the SSTO achieve anything related to the primary Jool 5 mission if the mothership was at Minmus and the SSTO was in LKO? Did I miss something?

Did the SSTO navigate to dock with the mothership or did the mothership navigate to dock with the SSTO? If so how many times and where, was there any fuel transfer, if so which way?

Did you not use a spaceplane to land on Laythe? If so did you have two spaceplanes named Indefinite? (The mission report above your linked report shows a combined spaceplane mothership in a vertical launch.) Did you launch a second space plane? Or did you separate the spaceplane from the final launch of the mothership.

What is going on in this mission pls thx ;)

The SSTO was used to ferry the Kerbals back to Kerbin after their return from Jool. While the mothership was in transit to Jool, I sent the SSTO up to wait for their return.

The mothership had to dock with it, because this one doesn't have RCS (didn't need it, but instead needed 5 seats for Kerbals).

The Indefinite Laythe Lander was a spaceplane based on the same design, but cut down for some weight savings; they're very closely related and based on one of my reliable SSTO designs. The lander version only carried one Kerbal and went from Low Laythe Orbit to Laythe's surface, then back to Laythe orbit (it was total overkill considering the high atmospheric density and very high altitude that air breathing works). The Indefinite SSTO ascended from Kerbin to orbit, waited there in LKO for the mission to return, then acted as a shuttle for their final leg down to Kerbin.

 

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Thanks for explaining @dawg , that all makes sense now.

Congratulations on completing the K-Prize mission and achieving a Pilot Proficiency Medal for landing on KSC terrain and an Advanced Pilot Precision Award for orbital docking in the same mission, a rarely seen combination. Thanks for your mission report and welcome to the K-Prize roll of honour

 

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Dear K-prize committee members,

allow me to present not one, but two SSTOs for your consideration. The smaller, Avenger, is capable of reaching orbit from the KSC runway, re-entering and landing on the same runway, as shown in the included video. The larger Hornet has been designed to take Avenger inside its cargo bay and fly it all the way to Laythe orbit and back, where Avenger is used as an excursion vehicle to land on Laythe before returning to the Hornet and docking with it.

I rather underestimated the delta-v required for an SSTO to go to Laythe and back, so I had to use numerous gravity assists on the way. Jool orbit was reached by means of a Tylo assist, followed by a Laythe assist to lower the resulting orbit before aerocapturing at Laythe. On the return flight two Kerbin encounters and an Eve encounter were necessary to reach Kerbin with a speed that allowed aerocapture - I would have preferred a braking burn and direct aerocapture but I was running on fumes by then. Due to my resulting Kerbin orbit being inclined about 9 degrees I was unable to land on the KSC, opting for an inviting piece of grassland to the north of it instead.

Full report here: https://imgur.com/a/PhrEzbX

Some highlights:

BaD6enu.png

SSTO Hornet on the runway, with Avenger folded up inside the cargo bay.

ZGucPNE.png

Hornet in Laythe orbit, with Avenger deployed and ready for landing.

2jjycFo.png

Avenger landed on Laythe. This mission is part of my campaign Leave Nothing but Bootprints, which aims to land on every planet and moon of the stock game without using ISRU, and landing and recovering all craft involved on Kerbin.

W8Z7e5k.png

Touchdown on Kerbin.

Spoiler

 

Avenger test flight on Kerbin (note that this is an early prototype of the Avenger, with some details, such as the RCS system and docking port, missing):

And because I am super-proud of it, a small clip of the Avenger unfolding its wings. It took me the longest time to understand how the Grumman aircraft corporation achieved the same with some of its world war 2 carrier aircraft.

 

 

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The K-Prize committee are delighted to offer their congratulations to @QF9E on completing two successful K-Prize missions with Avenger and Hornet in addition to a previous successful mission with Queen Amidala. These craft comprise a capable duo but FYI the rules mean that in the case of subcraft separation the K-Prize kudos are awarded up to the point of separation and continue after reintegration. Hence the highly regarded award of an Exploratory Kosmokerbal Commendation for achieving orbit around Laythe with Hornet and returning safely to Kerbin in addition to the sought after Advanced Pilot Precision Award for landing Avenger on KSC runway taxiway.

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

:) 

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2 hours ago, boolybooly said:

The K-Prize committee are delighted to offer their congratulations to @QF9E on completing two successful K-Prize missions with Avenger and Hornet in addition to a previous successful mission with Queen Amidala. These craft comprise a capable duo but FYI the rules mean that in the case of subcraft separation the K-Prize kudos are awarded up to the point of separation and continue after reintegration. Hence the highly regarded award of an Exploratory Kosmokerbal Commendation for achieving orbit around Laythe with Hornet and returning safely to Kerbin in addition to the sought after Advanced Pilot Precision Award for landing Avenger on KSC runway taxiway.

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

:) 

Thanks for the rewards! I was aware that this would not count as a Laythe SSTO landing. However, doesn't the excursion vehicle count as payload to orbit?

Edited by QF9E
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This was going to be an entry for a low cost Mun mission challenge but the rules changed to disqualify this run. SSTO booster puts a lander in LKO and returns to the KSC. In total this mission used 180.4 funds worth of fuel and was 100% recoverable, for a net cost of 180.4 funds.

Name: "cheap mun"

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4 hours ago, QF9E said:

Thanks for the rewards! I was aware that this would not count as a Laythe SSTO landing. However, doesn't the excursion vehicle count as payload to orbit?

You are welcome, hope you enjoyed the challenge. Payload depends where you left Avenger. You stated bootprints only so I assumed it landed with Hornet, which means it is treated as a craft entire, because no payload was left behind.

Also if fuel from the Avenger was used to move the Hornet then it is part of the Hornet. You mentioned running on fumes? :)

 

 

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4 hours ago, boolybooly said:

You are welcome, hope you enjoyed the challenge. Payload depends where you left Avenger. You stated bootprints only so I assumed it landed with Hornet, which means it is treated as a craft entire, because no payload was left behind.

Also if fuel from the Avenger was used to move the Hornet then it is part of the Hornet. You mentioned running on fumes? :)

 

 

Ah, that clears it up. And I only had 50 m/s left at the end, so yeah it was pretty close.

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Congratulations to @camacju on completing another K-Prize mission with the remarkably small payload lifter "cheap mun" which lofted an even smaller kerballed Münshot vehicle into orbit and returned to land safely on KSC runway as did the Münshot vehicle for an impressively low total mission cost.

This mission, while designed for a different challenge, abides by the K-Prize rules and kudos applies to the lifter, earning an Advanced Pilot Precision Award and a Utilitarial Commendation.

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

:funds:

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I hope it is ok to enter a second flight of my Hornet SSTO.

I've flown Hornet to Duna and landed it on Ike before going back to Kerbin and landing on the KSC runway. I took Avenger with me but kept it in the cargo bay, to have a little bit more fuel available and to maintain balance. Hornet is quite delicately balanced to be able to aerobrake with a 90 degrees nose up attitude and I did not want to upset that balance.

Full report here: https://imgur.com/a/eazry3x
Some highlights:

KC7vXaZ.png

Landed on Ike

ut51pK5.png

Duna-rise. One of the most poignant KSP images I've seen recently.

Nw3VHeo.png

Touchdown on the KSC runway

 

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The more the merrier @QF9E It looks like your "Leave Nothing But Bootprints" campaign is compatible with the K-Prize when using a spaceplane so feel free to make as many mission reports as you like.  :) 

More congratulations on landing Hornet on Ike in Duna's SOI. This nets an Exploratory Astrokerbal Distinction, as well as an Advanced Pilot Precision Award for bringing Hornet back to the KSC runway.

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

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I'd like to enter my new SSTO design, Wasp. It has a lot more dv than Hornet (about 5700 m/s in LKO where Hornet had about 3700 m/s), which opens up a lot of possibilities. On its first flight I landed on Dres before returning to Kerbin and landing on the KSC runway. I'm very proud that I succeeded in reaching the KSC: my orbit had quite a high inclination, and the portion that was inside the atmosphere was quite a way north of the equator. So a standard re-entry profile would have landed a long way away from the KSC. But I managed to find a skip re-entry profile that did reach the KSC.

While there is some room for improvement, especially the stability during high speed aerocapture and in the transonic regime, this voyage was a complete success.

Full report here: https://imgur.com/a/Obov2uf

Some highlights:

ljOShki.png

Wasp during take-off

5PPSxDS.png

Landed on Dres

tlySUc0.png

Chance encounter with the Dres canyon

iZVi8Eg.png

Touchdown on the KSC runway

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Edit: don't ask for permission, ask for forgiveness instead.

Dear K-prize committee,

Allow me to introduce you to project Homerun. This projects aims at knocking an SSTO out of the park. Literally. I put my newest SSTO design, which I like to call the Nuclear Beast on a Kerbol escape trajectory before bringing it back to Kerbin to land. I suggest this lands me the Altitudinist record. If you want to be a stickler for the rules and say that technically my Ap was negative so cannot count as the highest Ap beyond Eeloo, I then put my craft briefly on the most elongated of elliptical orbits, with an Ap of 21.5 Petameters before bringing the Ap back to within Dres' orbit in preparation for a Kerbin encounter, re-entry and landing. I hope you forgive me for not actually going that far out - if only because it would have taken me 703 million years to get there.

 

Edited by QF9E
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@QF9E of course the K-Prize commitee forgives innocent misunderstandings, but I am sorry to have to inform you that awarding the extraordinarily prestigious altitudinalist record can only be done for a mission which was flown, as I recently explained to @camacju ... who later took the altitudinalist record to new heights :D using bettertimewarp mod, which it looks like you already have installed. Can you do better !?

Quote

the K-Prize has to be awarded for missions actually flown, else people could submit a high dv design from the SPH spec and noone would know if it could really make orbit and the K-Prize would mean less, so the mission has to be flown to test the craft against the game physics engine. 

 

Meanwhile further congratulations are in order for two extraordinary missions, one with the very capable Wasp to land on distant Dres and a shakedown cruise to explore the considerable potential of Nuclear Beast. 

- Expeditionary Astrokerbal Distinction (Dres), Advanced Pilot Precision Award with Wasp.
- Kosmokerbal Commendation with Nuclear Beast.

Expeditionary because Dres qualifies as a planet having a SOI bordering Kerbol SOI. Kosmokerbal Commendation for exiting Kerbins SOI and visiting Kerbol's.

Thankyou for your interesting mission reports, as always the more the merrier and welcome back to the roll of honour aka the K-Prize party guest list.

 

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Fair enough. I've briefly tried editing Better Time Warp's multipliers, and it turns out you can enter a lot of zeroes. I've actually reached 2.7 Pm during a quick test, higher Ap is possible. Will post evidence later.

The way this is going, the altitudinalist record will simply be the answer to the question: How close to 1 does the game allow orbital eccentricity to be?

Edited by QF9E
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Well, that wasn't fun. I tried to set a very high Ap record (I tried 70 Petameters, 7 Petameters and 2 Petameters) but no luck with any of them:

  1. With Ap over 70 Pm, the Ap indicator on the map screen does not show the Ap accurately. The orbital info thingie in the bottom left still does, but the map view seems capped at 70 Pm or so.
  2. With Ap of 70 Pm, orbital period is more than 2 billion years. If you advance time that far, savegames become corrupted. And if one savegame is corrupted, the loading screen does not show, meaning if you have 1 corrupted savegame you cannot load any saves anymore. And if that savegame happens to be the persistent savegame, the "Resume game" from the start menu does not allow you to start any of your campaign anymore.
  3. With Ap of 2 or 7 Pm, timewarp becomes an issue. While it is possible to add insanely high multipliers in the Better Time Warp mod, the time warp mechanism in the game does not work quite so well anymore. Meaning if you timewarp to somewhere, it either overshoots (drastically) or reduces the multiplier to such an extent that the waiting time becomes insanely long.
  4. If you manage timewarp manually and very carefully, it is possible to do an orbit to 7 Pm and back. This will take 200 million years. However, afterwards a bug in the game will be triggered which stops time if timewarp is below x10.

So I decided to set a somewhat more modest goal. I succeeded in going to 10 Terameters and back and landing on Kerbin. This flight took on the order of 7000 years. See the included video for proof. Note that the video starts when I am in a solar orbit - this is from a savegame from yesterday's attempt. One anomaly occurred on this flight: the front landing gear failed to deploy. Which is strange, given that this is the exact same craft that I flew yesterday. Fortunately I succeeded in landing on the main gear only, gently lowering the nose to keep my craft intact.

Now, there is some room for improvement, as there is considerable room between 10 Tm and 2 Pm, and the extra amount of delta-v required is negligible.But I am going to leave it to others to try to improve on my results.

 

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Today I decided to have a break from flying SSTOs with insanely high dv in order to fulfil the criteria for some kudos that I haven't got yet. In a nod to this forum's shuttle challenge I recreated the Shuttle Challenge's STS-1b and -2b missions with an SSTO. I placed a 40 ton "Sturmhauke Aerospace Industries Fuel Pod" in a 100 x 100 km orbit during the first mission, and retrieved it during the second mission. Both flights landed on the KSC runway.

The SSTO that I used is a new model that I call "The Beast" because I find it quite ugly. The original purpose of The Beast was as a quick prototype for the twin boom configuration of fuel tanks that I also used in the Nuclear Beast, but as it flies quite well and has a large payload capacity I decided to do an actual mission with it.

Mission report here: https://imgur.com/a/SbQky7X

Some highlights:

tP2k5Jy.png

The Beast, on its way to orbit. As it is powered by rocket engines and has a rather high TWR I flew a trajectory that more closely resembles a rocket launch than a spaceplane flight. This is from the second flight, with an empty cargo bay.

5tsjFkV.png

Deploying the fuel pod, during the first flight.

2msNCFY.png

Docking with the fuel pod during the second flight. Note the addition of the solar panels on the tail fins, compared to the previous picture: they were added to the second flight because my first flight almost ran out of electricity.

uUIR5ht.png

Second flight wheelstop, with the fuel pod retrieved on the KSC runway. The contents of the fuel pod are shown, to prove that none of its consumables have been used.

 

Edited by QF9E
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Well I hope that was just a warm up @QF9E because camacju already claimed 242,000 Gm. ;) i.e. 242 Terameters.

Nevertheless congratulations are again in order for achieving an unusually high altitude and safe landing against the odds with the front gear failing to deploy, which has earned a discretionary crisis management award from the K-Prize committee.

Also an Advanced Pilot Precision Award, Utilitarial Commendation (40t) with The Beast for taking a usefully large payload to orbit and the highly regarded Advanced Pilot Precision Award 1st Class with Utilitarial Commendation (40t recovery) for docking in orbit and bringing the payload back to KSC runway also with The Beast

Thankyou for your mission reports and participation. Your K-Prize party ticket count has increased to nine and all will be welcome. I had better notify the Dog & Booster to order another keg.

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, boolybooly said:

Well I hope that was just a warm up @QF9E because camacju already claimed 242,000 Gm. ;) i.e. 242 Terameters.

Darn it, I misread the thousands separator as a decimal separator. I honestly interpreted that as 242 decimal 000 gigameters rather than 242 thousand gigameters. I'll see what I can do.

Edit: I finished a flight all the way to 1 Petameter, 1,000 Terameters or 1,000,000 Gigameters  out and back, with a bonus KSC landing. If I haven't made a mistake this time I believe the record is mine. Sorry for my earlier lack of attention and thanks for your patience.

 

Edited by QF9E
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Congratulations @QF9E on acquiring the Altitudinalist Record at 1005Tm (= 1.005 Pm) with Nuclear Beast and returning to land safely on KSC runway with all landing gear deployed.

This earns the extra-special one of a kind kudos of Altitudinalist Record Holder as well as the professionally esteemed Advanced Pilot Precision Award. 

The Altitudinalist Record was previously held by @camacju and prior to that @dvader for pioneering flights which illustrious history may set the stage for things to come in KSP2. 

Thanks for your mission report and welcome to another ticket for the K-Prize party, better make that two kegs!

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