Vermil

Nostalgia: Your Fondly Remembered Rocket Designs

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I installed KVV on my laptop KSP recently. That experience inspired to this thread.

This is my CrazyRocket, from my pre-v1.0 game. My first real *workhorse* and a harvester of an awful lot of science points.

CrazyRocket_S.png

The name isn't particularly good. And actually, it got its name more from designs that had preceded it (and mostly failed) than from its own configuration.

I was in an early state of my KSP experience, had only access to early and small components, but pushed to design a rocket capable of visiting the Mun and Minmus.

The results - MegaRocket and MunRocket - weren't too good. So a clean slate and a new effort was named "CrazyRocket" in a rash and lack of imagination. And that name it got to keep.

For a very long service career.

This is a very rare image of the CrazyRocket_C. Actually the only one. Jebediah pilots it here in an encounter-mission with the Mun. Though the landing struts were fitted and deployed here, that's mostly for testing since he wasn't to land on this trip (and likely would have failed if he had tried, and would in any case not be able to return if so).

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The CrazyRocket_C is of considerable historical importance for me though, because a brilliant Kenbus Kerman did make the the first ever landing on another world, on Minmus, with a CrazyRocket_C. Unfortunately there are no pictures of this momentous occasion, since Mission Control had not yet discovered F1- screen capture.

There are many notable things about this milestone landing. Kenbus wasn't supposed to land. It was an encounter and orbit -mission to learn and gain experience. He may have planned it, secretly, of course, but Jebediah screaming over the microphone "Go for it Kenbus!" could also have something to do with it. Quite possible the two stalwarts could have colluded on this.

Anyway, he succeeded, and also succeeded in making it home, despite a scarily low level of electricity and fuel. Also, Kenbus did this without SAS (as Mission Control hadn't discovered <T> yet) and without navigation nodes (as Mission Control didn't have a clue about them).

So the CrazyRocket bridges over a lot of major steps forward in my first space program. It saw the advent of SAS and maneuver nodes, the first moon landings and straddled the period when manned, extra-kerbinal landings became routine.

Kenbus' landing caused a number of immediate modifications. Wider landing struts fitted on science modules. Solar panels and more battery. More fuel. These changes quickly led to the CrazyRocket_E, which is the major variant and responsible for countless Mun and Minmus missions. This picture depicts the typical launch of a CrazyRocket_E.

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Despite gaining huge amounts of science points and new technology and new components, the CrazyRocket_E remained in service for a long time and was probably responsible for the major share of Mun science.

This is typical of a mission. The very generous fuel load let the pilots maneuver and choose landing spot at leisure. As that long tank was finally dumped just before the landing, it was usually still half full.

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The configuration that the CrazyRocket_E landed in, remained the same during the return flight and landing on Kerbin. This was before v1.0 so no heat shields were needed. The astronauts also didn't have to retrieve science from the modules as they were all carried back home and recovered.

screenshot82.png

This image of Kenbus on Minmus (again) is believed to have been taken during the very last CrazyRocket mission.

Edited by Vermil

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How did you make that first picture_? Is it generated by something?

Yes. As Alphasus said, KVV is Kronal Vessel Viewer, a plugin for KSP, activated in the VAB. Three separate images, generated by KVV, merged together and scaled in a standard image manipulation software. The text labels are also added there.

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My VTOL T-47 Snowspeeder replica. Easy and fun to fly, fast, maneuverable enough to go through the R and D tunnel. It also had surpringly long range too. I flew it tonnes on DMP, going Space Police on any of the ghost craft that kept showing up. It was a little bit of an exploity clipfest that only flew by the power of errordynamics, but it still had no fuel tank or engine clipping and wasn't really that unrealistic.

I deleted that install so there's no craft file or even a screenshot left, and it'd be completely broken by updates now anyway. Maybe it still exists on a DMP server somewhere, flying through hangars in the great island airfield in the sky... :(

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This was my first forum upload, the Lotus lander, On the old official sharing site it had over 7,000 downloads. Man I loved this thing.

DA167F70CE25903A2CE455E2A6775FF2802F57F5

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It's been just over 10 months since getting KSP! The first thing I ever put up on the forums was my Delta III, my first "true" stock replica. I think it can still fly though.

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My Dawn and MESSENGER replicas are of special importance by being the first "super-detail" replicas I built. They were hard to fly, and had ~500 parts, but they hold special honors merely because of how much effort and time I put them into the crafts, and they're probably both broke and obsolete due to aeros and changes to mods in ½ a year.

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Last but most nostalgic, the first craft I ever built, a plane that made it to the Island runway on its first try, and landed back to the KSC with just the engine destroyed. It's probably broken since 1.0, as this was a 0.90 build. :Pw0FqB5O.png

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The SpaceM Emperor III. I've been using variants of this design for big payloads since I got the game in 0.23. I no longer need the external balancing struts, but to this day it's reliable, powerful and really, really cool looking.

Lr7bMKE.jpg

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My first interplanetary craft, the Ceres V mothership. Space for eight passengers, mobile processing lab, nuclear and ion engines, and six docking pylons (she's shown here carrying two of my "Pinnacle" Munar/Minmus landers).

Z7MvEK2.png

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One of my first builds back in .20 or something, can't remember, I don't think it was as early as .18 which was the demo I think at the time

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This is the rescue mission for my first Eve landing, it also required rescuing

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I had no idea how hard it was to get off Eve when I started, it was just a nice easy planet to get to.

Edited by selfish_meme

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First Mun lander, Iron Bell III. Note the very broken engine:

1WhgA3c.png

I miss 0.13.3 sometimes. Old KSP had a certain kludged together charm to it.

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The Munarpillar was one of the coolest things I made back when I first started.

It would land like this:

xhzOSJP.jpg

Then I would detach one side, both rovers would fall over and and then attach to each other with a docking port.

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And it would carry the lander engine on its back wherever it was going. :)

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Krak05_zps496e8df9.jpg

The KrakBadger. A combination infiniglider and kraken drive that could shuttle between KSC and other atmospheric planets under constant acceleration/ deceleration without using any fuel.

DD16_zpsfcd390ae.jpg

The DoubleDipper. It could make 3 round trip runs between KSC and a station in LKO with cargo without refueling.

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LifterCeption could orbit more than it's own mass.

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Voyager3. One of the first ion gliders to achieve orbit without resorting to infiniglide.

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Kondor1. My first munar lander in the 18.2 demo.

Best,

-Slashy

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In my manned pre-v1.0 programs, the CrazyRocket was eventually succeeded by rockets built with much more modern (and bigger) components. I think the 'Eagle' followed directly. It was a failure. It did do some moon missions, three I think, and successfully, but it was really scary to fly and land. It originated as a 3-Kerbal crew, scale-up of the successful CrazyRocket_E lander, but saw substantial changes with every launch. To no avail. It remained dangerous to fly. I went to a clean slate again and designed a spectacular success. I've never had a moon-rocket that was so nimble, stable yet agile, easy to fly and impossible to crash, as the Vulture. As the Eagle was essentially 'dead' and the Vulture "ate" it, it got its name. The Vulture also went to an asparagus style of lifting rocket, instead of the earlier stacked stages. I may show the Vulture at some time, but not now. The Vulture was just another Mun/Minmus vessel, and as such not really important.

No, this is something else. My first, manned, interplanetary spaceship. The Angel.

Angel_A_Csj.jpg

The Angel is important to my game in many ways. It deserves the epitet "workhorse" as it made ten, or something, successful missions to Duna. But it also brought most of the technical concepts that all of my interplanetary rockets, Banshee (Laythe), Ikaros (Duna/Ike) and Kronos (Laythe) have been based upon since.

Most of the pre-v1.0 Duna missions were flown by Angel_A and Angel_B. I don't think Angel_C flew more than one or possibly two. But Angel_B is not illustrated as it looks exactly like Angel_C.

The difference is that Angel_C features some more science equipment and a new ladder design. The Angel_B's ladder had the unfortunate property to be impossible to scale if the rocket was leaning with the ladder in an overhanging position. When this was discovered one day, rather than leave the unfortunate (Sidford, was it?) stranded on Duna, the pilot elected to take off slightly, pirouette and land again. It burned some fuel, but that Angel_B still made it home again. Luckily, this happened at a time when I had become bored with bringing all three crew down to the surface. Only one descended, planted the flag, took the surface sample, and done. I can well imagine my face if all the crew were on the ground and none able to board the rocket again.

This is the takeoff of my first manned interplanetary mission, the Angel_A1 to Duna. As being the most skilled pilot in the universe, Kenbus has replaced Bill in this specially picket team.

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Here is a neat picture that shows how the Angel works, how it drags its tanks behind. They are dropped, one by one as they are emptied. The same nuclear engines are used for the entire trip, both ways.

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And here is the Angel_A1 at my first ever manned landing on Duna.

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And here is the takeoff. The Angel, unlike its descendants, doesn't drop the landing struts on takeoff. They're only dispensed with as the tanks they are connected with become empty.

Inefficient. But good enough at the time. Another thing to note is that the nuclear engines are also burning. As they used the same fuel tanks in pre-v1.0 and Angel had a unified fuel system, there was no point not too. It was necessary though to deactivate the chemical rocket engine asap, to avoid burning up all the precious fuel.

screenshot607j.jpg

Why the Angel_B, you might wonder. Well, just 'role-play'. It has a twice as large habitat module as Angel_A, for better comfort for the Kerbals. ...And maybe some detail improvements I've long since forgotten.

Two Angel_B once landed just about two Km apart (it was an exercise in precision landing). Walking distance, so they traded pilots before the return voyage.

Edited by Vermil

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The Vigneault : the ship I used for my very first crewed mission to Jool and it's moons. I landed on Dres, Bop and Pol and deployed 2 satellites. It was back in 0.24 I think.

JydpCkN.jpg?1

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This ,from the ol'days of 0.15 IIRC ( as you can see by the VAB design and the fact we had all the parts visible in the staging order. That was a major chore BTW :P )

WLQsJ.png

Believe it or not, this was a Laythe capable ship :D Unfortunately nowadays it would not even leave the launchpad :(

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jv9FLCA.png

Behold, the Kerbal Flyer spaceplane on its way to orbit. In this case, it's carrying a small rover for eventual forwarding to Minmus. From the days of being able to get an atmospheric periapsis while still running on the jet engine.

I built a couple of the same basic design, including the KF-F unmanned fuel drone and the KF-C cargo ship:

sPXFrBq.png

wwEQue1.png

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An early bit of fun for me was the silly Derpatron 4k

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Launcher not depicted due to extreme idiocy, but I recall it required some serious strut-stitching between the levels of the rockomax stacks.

This lead to the XenonStorm series of vehicles

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part-count busting experiments

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in fuel density

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and power consumption

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culminating in the

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a capable sun-diver

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with a neat Sword of the Stars sort of aesthetic

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And then of course there was the idiotic Helicoptopus II:

Helicoptopus.jpg

which sadly precesses out of control in the new aero due to some weird asymmetric drag.

Edited by Archgeek
Broken dang spoiler tags

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