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


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@boolybooly I see my Advanced Pilot Precision Award x5 and raise myself Advanced Pilot Precision Award x8.

In VAB, first lap

Spoiler

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Craft in VAB. This is about the most mass per Rapier engine that can safely take off from the runway, and I don't like flats takeoffs. I got a similar payload fraction adding another pair of wing strakes to increase lift but that's also extra mass.

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On runway

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I accelerate at sea level until the wing incidence starts making me climb.

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I turn on the nuclear engine at 1660-1680 m/s. This is high enough that the Rapier's higher specific impulse saves lots of delta-v but not so high that the Rapier's effective Isp drops below the Nerv.

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In orbit

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Aerobraking

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Approach

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First lap complete

Second through fourth laps

Spoiler

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Ascent is easier because of less mass this time

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I turn on the nuclear engine too late here so I lose too much delta-v to drag

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In orbit

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Lap 2 complete

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Lap 3 ascent

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Nuke turns on at 1680 m/s

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In orbit

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Approach

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Lap 3 complete. I don't know what went wrong with the fuel gauge here but you can see I have lots of delta-v remaining

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Ascent, nuke turns on at 1670 m/s

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In orbit

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Approach

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Lap 4 complete

Laps 5-8

Spoiler

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At this point the wing area on this craft starts to be a bit excessive. I end up climbing a bit too quickly to be fully efficient.

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In orbit

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Lap 5 complete

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Nuke turns on at 1680 m/s as usual

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In orbit

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Lap 6 complete. I was initially only going for seven laps but at this point I realized I actually had enough fuel for an eighth.

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I took as shallow of an ascent as I could here to save fuel for the last lap because the wing area was going to start really being excessive.

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In orbit

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Lap 7 complete.

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Final ascent. At this point I can't climb efficiently anymore but I try my best

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/697644473244712983/833273745372217354/Screenshot_763.png

In orbit - 53 m/s left

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/697644473244712983/833273750383230996/Screenshot_764.png

Deorbiting - 13 m/s left!

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/697644473244712983/833273755610251274/Screenshot_765.png

Final approach

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/697644473244712983/833273755701739540/Screenshot_766.png

Eight orbits complete

 

I had 40-50 m/s of deorbit burn for each of my eight orbits for about 360 m/s wasted. I probably wasted another 200-250 m/s on orbital insertions. Maybe with a bit more fuel and better flight profiles I can fit in a ninth orbit but I probably won't attempt it.

 

Edit: Instead of "Untitled Space Craft" can you call it "Relay Race 2"

Edited by camacju
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Overall experience with youtube and the forums recently indicates that part clipping is now a fully accepted strategy. 

Interesting. I'll just say that the kerbals have found a way to hyperdensify fuel. After all, their planets are REALLY dense. 

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Congratulations @camacju on completing the K-Prize mission eight times over in one launch with a prodigious feat of endurance demonstrating true dedication to the cause of reusability!

APPA x8 it is, well flown, 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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