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MarvinKitFox

Solar Limbo: How Low can you Go?

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Its party time. Its Limbo time!

limbo02.jpg

Simple challenge:

Using stock parts and physics, what is the lowest Kerbol(sun) orbit you can achieve?

Rules:

*Pick any orbit you want, the winner is the one with the lowest Apogee.

*ship must contain a thermometer, and antenna. We want to know how hot it gets!

*no cheats. Debug menu -> physics -> Thermal -> display thermal is allowed, indeed encouraged.

Feel free to use any visual or piloting mods, but nothing that adds parts, changes parts or changes thermal physics.

Best so far:

1: LordCorwin 589,874km.

2: BurningLegion 755,010Km

3: Foxster 812,507km

4: Squiggsy 878,720km

.

.

.

17: MarvinKitFox 2636.1Mm

Sorry for the long absence, I could not access this post in edit mode.

As the challenge was posted under previous version of KSP, it will not be maintained any further.

But please do feel free to comment, post or interact as you wish.

Have fun!

Edited by MarvinKitFox
Closing

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Is it okay if I use tempgauge killer? All it does is stop temp gauges from appearing and thus the memory leak from happening.

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Is it okay if I use tempgauge killer? All it does is stop temp gauges from appearing and thus the memory leak from happening.

Considering the first thing i do is whack F10 to manually kill then, this is good. Hmm, might want to go hunt that up myself.

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But you won't have a warning when parts are about to go boom, but if you turn off PPFX you can have your RAM and temp gauges :)

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But you won't have a warning when parts are about to go boom, but if you turn off PPFX you can have your RAM and temp gauges :)

I've heard that the PPFX causes a memory leak, but I thought that was a separate leak from the temp gauges one? PPFX is actually auto disabled for me because the hardware doesn't support it. It's a pretty new (like 2 years or something) NVIDIA graphics card, so no idea why it doesn't.

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I already have two sundiver probes inbound in prep for assembly of a low solar observation station. Problem is they're both modded. Using NFP engines to cut down on size for dV, and using radiators on the second to test the viability of that close to the corona. Care to allow a modded leaderboard for those of us using these witchcraft gizmos called radiators?

EDIT: Also wouldnt the perigee be a better measurement since its lower or are you trying to force people to circularize?

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I hope he meant periapsis because it would take a ....load of deltaV to circularize close to the sun.

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I hope he meant periapsis because it would take a ....load of deltaV to circularize close to the sun.

On the plus side, the sun provides enough power to run high-efficiency ion engines to do that. Were I to do this, I would envision the smallest possible probe, equipped with a set of ion engines, solar panels, and xenon tanks to circularize near the sun. At a guess, I think we'd be looking at the 70k delta-V range. Might explain why this is a challenge, and also explains why I'm not participating :P Because I'd treat it as "Lowest orbit that can be circularized near the sun".

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I hope he meant periapsis because it would take a ....load of deltaV to circularize close to the sun.

Apoapsis.

The challenge is to build something that has both the delta-v to get a circular orbit around the sun, AND the thermal ability to survive it.

Of the two problems, the temperature is the more difficult one!

It is easy* to build a light probe with 30000 delta-v.

Making it capable of surviving the sun.. not so easy.

* The word "easy" is used in this context to mean "quite hard, but doable"

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Aww, just now realized, after building a probe with a ton of heat resistance, that it was about circularizing a low orbit.. I missed the point, and thought it was a sun-grazing challenge.

Won't be participating then, as I can't stand the tedious waiting time for ion engines to do their work... ;)

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Here is my entry!

Was fun making a very kerbal rocket, it's been ages since I've made stock rockets haha so I decided to make it a bit interesting.

Javascript is disabled. View full album

My Apoapsis was 878,720km (so if were doing it in Mm then 878.72Mm)

The heat shield was completely pointless! if I had replaced it with a service bay and put the thermometers inside that I probably could have got a lot closer

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My Apoapsis was 878,720km (so if were doing it in Mm then 878.72Mm)

Great job Squiggsy!n You take the lead, for now.

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The SunDiver 1:

LUOGHFH.png

csYtGoK.jpg

WNOlbXX.png

mlKZa5G.png

Its comfortable though because it's a dry heat :P

PS: It has 5555 dV left! So plenty of scope for heat-related shenanigans.

Edited by Foxster

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*Idly looks at "Sundiver 1" design. Does a double take. Takes notes.* Excuse me while I file the concept of that interplanetary stage, what with the nuke separated from a different upper stage by an I-beam, away for future use.

It is a glorious day, comrades! For extremely important valid scientific reasons and certainly not because of a bet with capitalist dog space programs located in alternate universes, the glorious Kerbal Space Program has launched a probe to get as close to Kerbol as possible. Obviously, the Kerbal Space Program has succeeded easily with no complications relating to substandard materials and workers whatsoever, with a heatstroke-inducing orbit of 765,000 x 765,000 Km.

This is just another victory over the capitalists, but for more victories, we need your support, my comrades.

Glory to Kerbin.

Javascript is disabled. View full album

Flying this thing has restored my faith in my own engineering. By using TAC Fuel balancer, I was able to asparagus-stage Xenon tanks, as well as do damage control when Dang It decided to try and screw me. I have something like 5500 Delta-V left, so more can be done if I wish it. I know the thermometer says it's 930K, but it was in a service bay. The temperature of actual running parts varied between 1000K for the main body & retracted panel and 1150K for the extended solar panel. Realistically, I can't bring the Sunskimmer much closer without the panels blowing up and since I suspect they're what's radiating heat from the main body of the spacecraft, S-1 will follow after that.

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I think we are at about the same place. Hovering at the edge of the oven, wary to get closer.

Any idea at what altitude the temperature starts to run away or is it very part dependant? I wonder if I might have the edge as I have no solar panels? Care to see?

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I think we are at about the same place. Hovering at the edge of the oven, wary to get closer.

Any idea at what altitude the temperature starts to run away or is it very part dependant? I wonder if I might have the edge as I have no solar panels? Care to see?

I know I'll be bringing my Sunskimmer closer until it blows up, taking shots and quicksaving every 15,000 km. I have no idea when Kerbol gets too hot to handle, so in the process of doing this I was coming a little closer, taking a screenshot, coming a little closer, taking a screenshot, until the result pictured.

Yep. I didn't want to cook the S-1 until I got an entry :P. I would have to say that it definitely seems part-dependent in some respects - the highest temperature on my ship is 1150K, and though that's scary given the part's tolerance is 1200K, the temperature of the rest of my ship is significantly lower than the temperature you've recorded, to the point where my thermometer is giving incorrect readings.

I honestly think you have the edge. My solar panels mean I can operate at maximum capacity until I run out of Xenon, but because I'm using Gigantor XLs their maximum temperature is only 1200K. They're conducting heat away from the main body of my probeship (Which would be good if I had some radiotope generators on that body), but if they explode then that's it for the Sunskimmer. The Z-1K cannot maintain thrust on an ion engine long enough to do anything relevant this close to Kerbol.

On the one hand, your ship looks like it'll have a lot more problems shedding heat than mine, but on the other your power generation components can tolerate a lot more heat than mine. It'd be interesting to see who can get closer.

EDIT: Took the S-1 in. Made it to 535,335 x 533,347 Km. Both panels exploded, and had to make the final burn on batteries. With this experience, I revise my opinion of Foxster's ship: You don't have the advantage. Without a way to rapidly vent heat, you will overheat and explode. I now believe that your Ap will be above 535,335 Km when you do so.

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Edited by BurningLegion

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Ah, now, at 700Mm the thermometers, the aerial and the PB-NUK melted. Shame.

However the craft was still quite flyable...

rvSvFIw.png

Onward and downward...

~500,000km and even the sunspots are looking cool...

Qh3mSbm.jpg

The temp is running away though. I don't think she'll last long enough for another couple of burns.

And, yes, she went poof.

I dunno what altitude to claim here. The temperature was ramping up as I tried that last burn. F3 says that the Probodyne exploded due to over-heating. I need to just switch out the Probodyne for an RC-001S (same weight) that has a 2000° limit and try it again.

Shoot me for this but I hyperedited the tweaked craft to 500000km. Looks like the parts (other than the aerial and PB-NUK that quickly blew) are stable. I'll let it cook for a bit and make sure it stays stable.

DA5VLcF.png

Edited by Foxster

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The competition is really heating up out there!

Those are some really hot designs.

Are you going to fire me for bad heat-related jokes?

Or just flame a bit? ;-)

Ok, so now we have set the bar. How far can we lower it?

So far none of the designs had anything really in the way of special heat-proof design or materials.

If you were to take a gigantor solar panel on that ship, and point it *exactly* into its own shade... Would that heat or cool, hmmm?

Edited by MarvinKitFox

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The competition is really heating up out there!

Those are some really hot designs.

Are you going to fire me for bad heat-related jokes?

Or just flame a bit? ;-)

Ok, so now we have set the bar. How far can we lower it?

So far none of the designs had anything really in the way of special heat-proof design or materials.

If you were to take a gigantor solar panel on that ship, and point it *exactly* into its own shade... Would that heat or cool, hmmm?

I got all the way to 535,335 Km apoapsis with a controlled craft that had a thermometer, and that was due to Gigantor XL panels. If I oriented them so one panel had 2% surface coverage from Kerbol, they radiated heat to keep the ship at a toasty 1100 kelvin and the panels at about 930K. I've already planned some modifications to make for the S-2, but I won't go into detail on them until after I deploy it.

Funny story - while making the S-1, the game crashed on me after I got it into Kerbol orbit. When I loaded it to bring the S-1 closer until it was done for, I noticed another dot labeled "S-1" in the tracking center. Turns out it's the old one - I'm going to rename that the S-X, and since it's a radically different design from the S-1 I'll bring it closer along with the new S-2 tweaking.

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Well, that's about it for this simple design...

O3NwOtv.png

I've run it at high warp at that altitude and the temperature doesn't hit 2000°, the failure temp of all the parts.

So I'll call it at 271.063Mm Ap, though it is also OK at the Pe too.

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Well, that's about it for this simple design...

http://i.imgur.com/O3NwOtv.png

I've run it at high warp at that altitude and the temperature doesn't hit 2000°, the failure temp of all the parts.

So I'll call it at 271.063Mm Ap, though it is also OK at the Pe too.

Very nice, but where's the thermometer to measure, and the aerial to transmit?

Rule #2 says "*ship must contain a thermometer, and antenna. We want to know how hot it gets!"

Still, I didn't think *anything* could survive that low!

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Very nice, but where's the thermometer to measure, and the aerial to transmit?

Rule #2 says "*ship must contain a thermometer, and antenna. We want to know how hot it gets!"

Still, I didn't think *anything* could survive that low!

As I said, they have a lower thermal tolerance and melted well before this. The ship was still flyable though with all the other parts. I quite understand if the rules are broken though. Edited by Foxster

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Hi, this is my Solar-probe4:

Apoapsis: 649,756,248m

The first pic shows that I've just made a Temperature transmission via antenna.

Sun_probe4_17.png

Sun_probe4_18.png

I'm trying to beat myself closing to the 625Mm, but not sure if I'll make it, at least for what it takes for the sensors. The temperature gauge still can hold a bit longer, but the seismic sensor is close to the limit!

Lord

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Ok, that's it. Apogee = 589,873,831m.

Sun_probe4_99.png

Sun_probe4_991.png

The seismic & gravioli exploded at 625Mm, but still the Temperature sensor remained.

After these images I made a mistake when trying to reach the 585Mm apogee and the entire probe exploded.

Lord

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While experimenting, I found that heat shields radiate everything. I went to 10Mm by Hyperedit; temperatures behind the heatshield reached an equilibrium around 500K. Getting even lower was tricky: it takes only two or three seconds to rotate the vessel, yet that's enough to explode many parts. The ones that survive that long, however, start to shed heat as soon as they're behind the shield.

Solar panels work a treat: rotate the craft so that the panels are exposed, briefly, and you'll harvest thousands of units in a split-second.

There's only one problem: the heatshield has to face the sun at all times. Timewarp is out of the question.

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