Death Engineering

The "Duna Extended Research Program (DERP)"

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The "Duna Extended Research Program (DERP)"

 

Objective:
Develop a space program in a sandbox game (using some specific mods) to explore Duna and Ike. Scoring is based on: number of kerbals who venture to Duna and Ike, Science achievements, mission safety, and progress in the space program at certain "Prestige" points in your program. The overall cost of the program also factors in, so building with reuse/recycle in mind will benefit greatly.

In general, considerations for this challenge are: development/testing costs, launch pad expansion cost, rocket and launch pad prep time, life support needs, and building in redundancy/safety as losing Kerbals is going to cost your score dearly.

There is also a time-limit: all missions must be launched or rolling-out before Year 6, Day 1. Scoring for the challenge is over on Year 8, Day 200 (Kerbin-day definition). Any Kerbals not recovered (or on a Kerbin-return trajectory) and any points not yet scored by that date are lost. This is a really good plug for Kerbal Alarm Clock. 

(new) "Duna Domination" - Now that you're on Duna, why not stay awhile? :
This separate score rewards not just 'getting there', but also time spent on Duna's surface. Time on Ike is not considered. Rounding down, simply add up how many days each kerbal is on Duna's surface.

To include 'Duna Domination' scoring with your entry, keep track of how many Kerbal-days you have crews on Duna. eg: 3 kerbals on Duna for 100 days each = 300 kerbal days.

This new scoring metric does not change existing scores and including it with new or existing challenge attempts is optional


Mods:

Required:

Either (only one):

Recommended:

Other mods are permitted provided they do not provide an unbalanced advantage, EXCEPT HyperEdit.  As the general functionality of HyperEdit (testing crafts without building them) is incorporated into Kerbal Construction Time as cost-balanced 'simulations', HyperEdit is not permitted.

"Kerbal Construction Time":
When starting your challenge, you must either use the DERP config file or use the values for KCT listed below for the KCT 'Settings'. You will be given 10 points which may be allocated to either VAB or SPH, with the points determining the overall time to build or edit your spacecraft. The p
oints can be focused or can be split, but once these points are allocated, no further changes to the point spread may be made. Points can also be allocated to multiple build 'threads' to allow simultaneous building of craft. It is highly recommended to play with these a bit on a separate save game to get a feel for how you want to allocate them.

The KCT configs are going to require long build-times for first edition craft, but subsequent craft based on the same design will take much less time to build. For example, the Dynawing stock shuttle is going to take 158 days to build the first one (with focus on VAB), but the next one off the line will only take 124 days to complete. As always, there are diminishing returns, with the Dynawing "leveling off" at around 54 days to complete after building 10 of them. You may also take advantage of KCT's "rush" feature which will accelerate a build at an expense (keep track of any rush 'penalties' as part of your space program's total cost). 

The building and testing phase of your space program with KCT may require some adjustments to your regular play in order to compensate for build times and launch pad rollout times. It will be important to factor in lauchpad "rollout" times with larger craft.  With the Dynawing, launchpad prep time is 32 days. While testing does not require the launchpad prep time, there is a small fee to run a simulation.

The latest version of KCT also introduced multiple launch pads. Using this feature is completely permitted for this challenge and running two or three launch pads as launch windows approach will likely be critical. However, each extra launch pad will cost funds to build. If playing 'Sandbox' mode, you will need to keep track of these expenses and factor them into your 'Cost' score.

As KCT and Stage Recovery will inherently add multiple ways to play this challenge, everyone will approach it differently. One way to play would be to develop a low and a heavy payload lifter early on and queue up as many as will be needed for the challenge then add payloads as each lifter is ready to launch.  Another way might be to use a SSTO with moderate payload ability and use orbital construction to maximum benefit.

It is highly recommended to use the KCT GUI for all VAB/SPH/Launch pad functions and allow KCT to override the normal KSC buttons. This will give you the best flexibility for launch pad management and most consistent play. On that point, pay attention to when you use the "Recover Active Vessel" function of KCT after the launch has occurred: when this is used, you are literally recovering the active craft as-is into your inventory. For space planes, this will likely make sense as all you need to do is refuel the tanks and you're good to go. However, with traditional "capsule" style spacecraft, using the stock "Recover Vessel" button will still add the recovered parts to your inventory, retaining the build time benefits.

Preset: https://www.dropbox.com/s/d4jcvgfhtd22hjk/DERP.cfg
     Place Into: ..\GameData\KerbalConstructionTime\KCT_Presets

Settings (if you don't want to download the preset):

  • Overall Multiplier: 7
  • Build Effect: 5
  • Inventory Effect: 100
  • Reconditioning Effect: 3456
  • Max. Reconditioning: 345600
  • Rollout-Reconditioning Split: Slider to 100% Rollout
  • Starting Upgrades 10,10,10

"Stage Recovery":
This mod will recover your discarded stages, whenever possible, back on Kerbin after they are staged away during launch. It will attempt to use either propulsive or chute recovery and will let you know details of each recovery attempt. It is critical to pay attention to the Stage Recovery messages during launch as costs of the recovered stage(s) will factor into your score. Using a probe core or a piloted module will ensure the recovery will be successful if possible and Stage Recovery details after each launch will reveal landing speeds and fuel consumption where applicable to assist with fine-tuning.

"Flight Manager for Reusable Stages":
Optionally, this mod can be installed to allow you to actually pilot your dropped stages back to Kerbin's surface. Using save-game "forks" which create a snapshot of the moment a stage is dropped, you can continue to fly the main craft into space and then once safely in orbit you can then go back in time to the booster stage and pilot it back down. Once recovered, the save states are merged and you can then resume flying the spacecraft you left in orbit. This mod is best used with planes or Falcon 9 style powered recovery.

Caution: It has been noted that using FMRS with KCT's simulations can cause problem. Save often and test test test.  


Important note on Recovery: Only hardware which is reused for another launch or mission can be counted. The funds to build the hardware, once spent, cannot be recovered through some kind of sale or auction. Recovery is intended to offset or reduce the costs of building new hardware. If a stage is recovered and not used again for another mission (a booster stage or space plane), that hardware is chopped up and used as land fill. Who would do such a thing? Only Canadians.. 

It will be to your advantage to make your boosters and anything else you plan to recovery reasonably modular or similar in nature as trying to track reuse/costs of individual parts would be a challenge within a challenge.
 

Life Support:
Use of a currently supported Life Support mod(s) is required for this challenge. While the game limitations of 'life support' from any mod could be emulated in stock, don't. Life support mods and CKAN make setting up this challenge easy and will ultimately make the challenge more rewarding.

Wherever not already enabled, Life Support must be set to "lethal". Over-building, testing, safety margins and backup plans will be rewarded in challenge 'Survivability' scoring.

The latest version of USI-LS incorporates habitation/fatigue elements. To that end, please detail your choice of LS mod(s) and versions used. 

Obviously, each Life Support mod will have different balance effects (effectively, mass). Entries which use similar LS mods, and versions of those mods, will be scored together. 

 

Scoring:

Definitions:
SCIENCE LAB: A space station with any stock or mod "Science Laboratory", can generate power, has an antenna and docking port and capable of supporting at least 4 Kerbals. The station must have at least one Scientist on board.

KERBAL HAB: A surface base with any stock or mod "Science Laboratory", can generate power, has an antenna and must be capable of supporting at least 6 Kerbals. The base must have at least one Scientist on board.

SHUTTLE: Autonomous-capable reusable lander that can land and return to orbit with at least 6 Kerbals. 

Cost:
Cumulative cost of your space program. In the recommended 'Sandbox' mode, this will be up to you to keep track of. Costs will include all costs for simulating, building and launching every mission. Any launch pads purchased with KCT also must be included in your Cost score. Any stages recovered with Stage Recovery can be counted as credits to your overall cost (you will need to watch for the SR messages to track the stage recovery gains).  Remember, all missions must be launched or rolling out to the launch pad by Year 6, Day 1.

Prestige:

  • +2 At least two Kerbals are landed on Duna before Year 2, day 40.
  • +1 At least one Kerbal is landed on Ike before Year 2, day 40.
  • +3 All Kerbals landed on Ike and Duna before Year 2, day 40 are returned safely to Kerbin before Year 4, day 80.
     
  • +2 Orbiting SCIENCE LAB around Duna before Year 2, day 170.
  • +2 Orbiting SCIENCE LAB around Ike before Year 2, day 170.
     
  • +2 for each KERBAL HAB on Duna *must be in unique Biomes max 5*
  • +2 for each KERBAL HAB on Ike *must be in unique Biomes max 5*
     
  • +1 Plant a flag on Duna anywhere > 7000m
  • +1 Plant a flag on Ike anywhere > 10000m

Science:

Any points not scored by the challenge end date of Year 8, Day 200 are lost.

Duna:

  • +5 Return Atmosphere Science from at least 4 of Duna's Biomes
     
  • +2 Return any surface sample from Duna or
  • +5 Return surface samples from 3 of Duna's Biomes or
  • +10 Return surface samples from all 5 Biomes to Kerbin

Ike:

  • +2 Return any surface sample from Ike or
  • +5 Return surface samples from 3 of Ike's Biomes or
  • +10 Return surface samples from 5 of Ike's Biomes to Kerbin

Survivability:
This is a "high-stakes" challenge: a Life Support mod with "lethality" enabled is a requirement. You also need to bring home your kerbalnauts! Any Kerbal not recovered on Kerbin (or in a reasonably reliable Kerbin return trajectory) by the challenge end date of Year 8, Day 200 is considered "lost". All Kerbals must be eventually recovered safely or counted as 'lost'.

  • +1 For every Kerbal who enters Duna orbit
  • +3 For every Kerbal who lands on Duna
  • +3 For every Kerbal who lands on Ike
     
  • Lose One Kerbal: -3
  • Lose 2-3 Kerbals: -8
  • Lose 4-5 Kerbals: -20
  • Lose 6 or more: -5 each lost Kerbal
     
  • +3 Have a SHUTTLE orbiting Duna
  • +3 Have a SHUTTLE orbiting Ike

Score:
Challenge Points = Prestige + Science + Survivability

Final Score (lower is better) =

                     Total Cost
                                                        
      Challenge Points  SQRT(2) or 1.414

 

                                                           100          
(new) Duna Domination Score =   Final Score     
*  Kerbal Days on Duna


Useful Information:

Optimum Kerbin -> Duna transfers:
First window:

Departure: Year 1, day 231
Arrival: Year 2, day 56

Second window: 

Departure: Year 3, day 296
Arrival: Year 4, day 124

Third window:

Departure: Year 5, day 364
Arrival: Year 6, day 266

Optimum Duna -> Kerbin transfers
First window:

Departure: Year 1, day 155
Arrival: Year 2, day 7

Second window:

Departure: Year 3, day 239
Arrival: Year 4, day 80

Third window:

Departure: Year 5, day 296
Arrival: Year 6, day 160

Launch Window Planner: Great for Δv/ life support planning.(Mmmm, Porkchops..)

Kerbal Maps: Includes relief maps

 

About this challenge:

Q: "Why a time limit on launching and recovery?"
A: Kerbals have lost interest in the space program by Year 6, Day 1 and have turned the launch pad(s) into a Theme Park, but Mission Control is still running a skeleton crew until Year 8, Day 200.

Q: "Why do Kerbals who are not in a Kerbin return trajectory count as 'lost'?"
A: Kerbals need the "geniuses" at KSC to get back home. When Mission Control is closed down on Year 8, Day 200, they conveniently forget about helping to get their kerbal brethren back and wander over to the Theme Park.

Q: "Why can't I count recovered hardware that doesn't get reused?"
A: If the recovered hardware isn't going to be launched or reused, due to pressure from the new Konservative government, the hardware is unceremoniously chopped into little bits and used as landfill for the Theme Park. (see Avro Arrow "Black Friday") 

 

Please note in your submission the way you played the challenge and how you tracked your progress. Those who want to play in 'Career' / 'Science' mode, can do so. However, playing in sandbox is probably the most logical way to complete this challenge. Since you will need to track all the science and costs on your own, I suggest something like Google docs. 

Yes, one could edit the 'persistent.sfs' file and hack in SCIENCE and funds, but you'd also have to keep track of the massive number of funds gained as a result of the 'Worlds First' records. In my opinion, it is just easier to track the Science and funds outside of KSP.

I'm reasonably sure that it wouldn't make sense for the challenge to send a ridiculous number of Kerbals to Duna and land them in lawn-chairs and quickly bring them back again just for the +3 for each landed Kerbal. Considering the life support needs for the journey there and back and costs of launching it all, I think using a sensible number of kerbals is the key.

Regarding mods, I am not aware of any that give a specific advantage to this challenge. At this time, there are no restrictions other than HyperEdit.

There is the potential to do this challenge quick and easy or as complex as you want, so feel free to submit more than one entry. 

In-situ resource harvesting is also permitted (and encouraged).

The timing of this challenge's release is coinciding with new releases of KCT, USI Life Support and soon a new KSP. This may affect scoring or play-ability along the way. Most drastically, USI LS and how it works with MKS-Lite/MKS/OKS is about to have a MAJOR revision which now includes crew "fatigue" and base/station maintenance. You may want to plan for mod updates or freeze your KSP version and play it out as-is.

All submissions should note any relevant versions used and plan for mod updates accordingly. 

This challenge got its inspiration from the popular and one time Thread of the Month Duna Permanent Outpost Mission Architecture Challenge from @sturmstiger. Although the original was all about building a permanent/sustainable presence on Duna and this one is more about making a thorough exploration of Duna, I'm hoping that with the changes in stock and easy to implement mods, this challenge encapsulates the flavor for long-term mission goals with complex variables which came from that original challenge.

Big thanks to KCT/SR creator @magico13 for building the game mechanic that makes this challenge work.

Change log since first post:

- Science points not returned by challenge end date only score 1/2 points
- Added 1 day to early landing prestige date
- Increased KCT points from 8 to 10
- Changed challenge end date to Year 8, Day 200
- Added rule all missions must be constructed/rolling out by Year 6, Day 1.
- Changed 'Survivability' to Kerbals who enter Duna orbit (was Duna SOI)
- Added FMRS to mod list as an optional component for stage recovery
- Specified that recovered parts cannot be sold/they only offset costs of building new hardware 
- Added new scoring metric 'Duna Domination'

- Added "Kerbalism" to Life Support options 

 

The DERP'ed:

Jasonden - 1197                         USI-LS Pre- 0.3.5.0
Jasonden  -  2111                       USI-LS Pre- 0.3.5.0
Death Engineering - 5424.7        USI-LS Pre- 0.3.5.0

DBowman -  804.478                  TAC-LS
Enginerdy - 2166                        TAC-LS

Official badge:  

ihYeAUW.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/ihYeAUW.jpg

creds @The Space Core

Edited by Death Engineering
mod list

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Looks like an interesting challenge! I'm not sure that I'll get a chance to try it myself, but I'll be following along to view other's submissions and I'll be around to answer any KCT or StageRecovery related questions people may have :)

 

So, I'm working on a secret project that may or may not be a life support mod. If people are looking for an extremely lightweight and simple (simpler than USI-LS) life support mod, then hit me up after this weekend ;)

Edited by magico13

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This sounds fun will take me a little to download mods but still... Mechjeb is allowed I presume? If you want I can make a badge while Im waiting for mods. Interested?

Edited by The Space Core

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2 hours ago, magico13 said:

Looks like an interesting challenge! I'm not sure that I'll get a chance to try it myself, but I'll be following along to view other's submissions and I'll be around to answer any KCT or StageRecovery related questions people may have :)

 

So, I'm working on a secret project that may or may not be a life support mod. If people are looking for an extremely lightweight and simple (simpler than USI-LS) life support mod, then hit me up after this weekend ;)

Great to see your post first on the thread! Again, thanks for your mods. The latest update looks great, too!

Glad to hear about your new project! Playing without LS just isn't fun for me - immersion-breaking in its absence, I guess.  Looking forward to seeing it! :cool:

2 hours ago, The Space Core said:

This sounds fun will take me a little to download mods but still... Mechjeb is allowed I presume? If you want I can make a badge while Im waiting for mods. Interested?

Interested?  Y E S ! :D  A badge would be really great.. and I'm not the one to do it, hehe. Thanks for the offer!

Oh, yes and MJ is allowed, and probably should be 'Recommended' but I've been playing so long I have MJ in my head. :P

LMK if you have any questions, comments or suggestions to tweak the challenge.

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b3nZ53e.png

There free of charge as always, I know its total crap but there you are.

 

Also I'm trying to install USI survivability but the link that says download from the USI catalogue page just takes me to the main KSP forum page.

In addition the USI kolonization mod does not appear to be working. Under the kolonization tab there is only the two drills for water and minerals.

Edited by The Space Core
Added nifty gold ring to badge.

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22 hours ago, The Space Core said:

b3nZ53e.png

There free of charge as always, I know its total crap but there you are.

 

Also I'm trying to install USI survivability but the link that says download from the USI catalogue page just takes me to the main KSP forum page.

In addition the USI kolonization mod does not appear to be working. Under the kolonization tab there is only the two drills for water and minerals.

Right on! I noticed the 'gold ring' added while I was working today lol.  Thanks!   :cool:

edit: USI links point to the Github

edit2: Adding the Badge...coming soon! :)

 

Edited by Death Engineering

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12 minutes ago, Death Engineering said:

Right on! I noticed the 'gold ring' added while I was working today lol.  Thanks!   :cool:

Np might want to add it to Op. Got any suggestions for the mod issue?

 

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11 hours ago, The Space Core said:

Np might want to add it to Op. Got any suggestions for the mod issue?

 

I changed the URL in the post for all USI mods to point at the Giyhub USI catalog. Makes more sense I hope. When I get off work tonite I'll edit the OP to include the badge.  cheers!

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Just two Duna albums from my last mission there because I can't delete the post made in error;   :\

 

Edited by Death Engineering
Post in error

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7 hours ago, Death Engineering said:

 

Just two Duna albums from my last mission there because I can't delete the post made in error;   :\

 

Can I see your game data file so I know how to drag the files in there? Because I tried to install  all of the mods together and and a great majority of the parts were missing.... Otherwise IM not sure  I can do this...

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17 minutes ago, The Space Core said:

Can I see your game data file so I know how to drag the files in there? Because I tried to install  all of the mods together and and a great majority of the parts were missing.... Otherwise IM not sure  I can do this...

@The Space Core I hope this helps:

2ZmWf3y.png

 

May I recommend using CKAN to install/manage your mods?  Read about it and get it here.

It is easy to launch CKAN and point it at the specific save game you are working on, just remember to note the directory path of your install (in my case above ..\SteamApps\common\Kerbal Space Program - DERP).

Send me a private message if getting it to work doesn't come together. 

Edited by Death Engineering

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Okay, well -- this challenge is hard, but do-able.  So well-thought out by DE:  nice job dude!

It's hard enough that here's my initial crack at it, while still getting the hang of USI life support and KCT:

 

It consists of two launches sending two Kerbals to land on Duna (8 pts) before Y2D40 (Y2D13) (2 pts) and returning them to Kerbin before Y4D80 (Y3D413) (3pts).  With 3 samples (5pts) from my roving surface Hab (2pts) and a Shuttle (3pts), I calculate 23 points total.  Costs were $205,100 and $129,200 for the launches, minus 57146.84 and 57159.78 for the two recovered first stages and an estimated $21000 for each of the second stages.  I didn't count the returned capsules.  So net cost $177,933.38, for a final score of 2111.

Should serve as a target for you guys to all whoop!

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10 hours ago, Jasonden said:

Okay, well -- this challenge is hard, but do-able.  So well-thought out by DE:  nice job dude!

It's hard enough that here's my initial crack at it, while still getting the hang of USI life support and KCT:

 

It consists of two launches sending two Kerbals to land on Duna (8 pts) before Y2D40 (Y2D13) (2 pts) and returning them to Kerbin before Y4D80 (Y3D413) (3pts).  With 3 samples (5pts) from my roving surface Hab (2pts) and a Shuttle (3pts), I calculate 23 points total.  Costs were $205,100 and $129,200 for the launches, minus 57146.84 and 57159.78 for the two recovered first stages and an estimated $21000 for each of the second stages.  I didn't count the returned capsules.  So net cost $177,933.38, for a final score of 2111.

Should serve as a target for you guys to all whoop!

Fantastic!   WH:cool::cool:P indeed!

I was wondering if the challenge had appealed to anyone else, so thanks for the great submission. Enjoyed the mission report and seeing how you did your landing. The second launch's Δv was about where my test playthrough's were.  Kudos!

The challenge is designed/balanced to have those first few launches getting only a few of the possible goals, with the various ways to approach it being the early challenge. I'm glad you were successful in one of the mission profiles I did not play test!   :D

Just so I can document things, which USI LS mod version was used?

Thanks for playing!

edit: I think you can use the KCT 'Recover Active Vessel' and then load it into the VAB. It should load as-is and display its cost/value.

Edited by Death Engineering

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Can we use KAS and KIS ? i should also say is there any mods that are not allowed ? if yes what ? and thanks :D 

Edited by LividPumpkin

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33 minutes ago, LividPumpkin said:

Can we use KAS and KIS ? i should also say is there any mods that are not allowed ? if yes what ? and thanks :D 

KAS and KIS are definitely allowed. Only mod not permitted is KyperEDIT, but if something comes up that is just way out of balance might need a look.

Good luck!

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Just now, Death Engineering said:

KAS and KIS are definitely allowed. Only mod not permitted is KyperEDIT, but if something comes up that is just way out of balance might need a look.

Good luck!

Thank You ! :D

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But wouldn't that be unfair ?...because tac life support is harder than USI Life Support also in USI Life Support they don't die they only like freeze you can't use them till resupplied again(also the orange-suited kerbals are immune to life support)  However in TAC-LS they die after using all of the supplies 

Edited by LividPumpkin

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16 minutes ago, LividPumpkin said:

But wouldn't that be unfair ?

 

On 1/14/2016 at 5:45 PM, Death Engineering said:

Wherever not already enabled, Life Support must be set to "lethal". Over-building, testing, safety margins and backup plans will be rewarded in challenge 'Survivability' scoring.

 

The rules of the challenge state you have to set any life support mods to kill. TAC has a config setting to just make them "hibernate" as well, it's just off by default. USI-LS has a whole handful of options, at least one of which is permadeath. You can also disable the feature of orange suited Kerbals not needing LS (and I believe that feature has been disabled by default in newer versions).

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3 hours ago, Death Engineering said:

edit: I think you can use the KCT 'Recover Active Vessel' and then load it into the VAB. It should load as-is and display its cost/value.

Woah, just tried this out.  Didn't realize this feature existed -- I can use it to help re-use my first stages, too!  Looks like there's no way to modularly reconnect the second stage, but I can rebuild it from the returned parts.

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Just now, Jasonden said:

Woah, just tried this out.  Didn't realize this feature existed -- I can use it to help re-use my first stages, too!  Looks like there's no way to modularly reconnect the second stage, but I can rebuild it from the returned parts.

Either rebuild it or use subassemblies. Be careful with relying too much on that recovery method, since it's pretty error prone. The latest KCT version should catch any corrupted vessels prior to recovery so it shouldn't break saves, but older versions could mess things up pretty badly.

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8 hours ago, Death Engineering said:

Just so I can document things, which USI LS mod version was used?

Looks like 0.2.1.0.  I like the mechanic a lot -- but it's a little weird that the cost of the Supplies dominates the cost of my spacecraft.

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14 hours ago, Jasonden said:

Looks like 0.2.1.0.  I like the mechanic a lot -- but it's a little weird that the cost of the Supplies dominates the cost of my spacecraft.

Awesome - thanks.  That's what it looked like (pre 0.3.5.0) with the "Kerbals now consume (by default) 16.5kg of supplies per day" change. Will update the OP very soon with a leaderboard and pre/post USI 0.3.5.0 category and ones for the other LS mods (as they will all be different specs for mass, cost, etc.).

I'll even submit my own entry soon, doing one that varies from my tests so I'm not getting too much of an OP advantage. ;)

I'm also working on testing with the new heavy-consumption USI-LS with and without 'Kolonization' so see if a viable mission can be assembled with enough LS to make the trip before the launch window.  On my first attempt, a basic mission was completed in KCT 10 days *after* the Duna window. I may have to specify or highly recommend using USI-LS version prior to 0.3.5.0.  

Has anyone else attempted to build a mission with KCT using the latest USI-LS?

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3 hours ago, Death Engineering said:

I'll even submit my own entry soon, doing one that varies from my tests so I'm not getting too much of an OP advantage. ;)

Nice!  I'm working on a more thorough exploration, to include more Kerbals in the second window.  Might be a bit tho ;)

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Just saw these from the changelog:

- Increased KCT points from 8 to 10
- Changed challenge end date to Year 8, Day 200

Crud; I think that I missed the boat on the extra 2 KCT points in my current playthrough.  The extra time though will make a big difference, extending the program to a new window.  That's a big difference.

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