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level one VAB only career mode


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 We do a lot of this sort of thing in the caveman challenge. In my experience you're not going to get any more than 3t of payload to orbit from the level 1 pad and VAB. Or at least not in 1 go.

 I've seen some of the cavemen "voltron" bigger launchers. This is the only way I think you'd get a lab up there.

Still... 3 tonnes to orbit is a lot if you use it efficiently. That's enough to get you all the science in the Kerbin system.




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If you're just doing an 18/30 limit, and allow other facility upgrades, that makes things *significantly* easier too. EVA and docking ports are a big deal. A few versions ago I put a Kerbal on the Mun and brought him back using rockets in the 18/30 limit and no engine better than a 909, but that mission used four separate launches and relied heavily on rendezvous and EVA.

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