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Maximum Delta-V, 100 parts


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Given a payload of:

  • 1 Mk1 Command Pod (with 10 units of mono propellant)
  • 1 Mk16 Parachute
  • 1 TR-18A Stack Decoupler

Create a working, multi-stage rocket by adding up to 100 more parts (for a total of up to 103 parts) to generate the most (vacuum) delta-V possible, with these restrictions:

  • You must use stock parts. You may not use mods that alter the physics of the game or augment the abilities of stock parts. Things like KER and Mech Jeb are fine.
  • You must be able to achieve stable Kerbin orbit, launched from KSC. My expectation is that you can achieve this orbit with 3200-4500 dV. Designs that fall outside of this range may be disqualified.
  • You may not use jet engines.
  • Use of ion drives is OK, but you must meet the power requirements for continuous burn.
  • The total burn time for the entire vehicle must be 2 hours or less, but feel free to use multiple engines to lower your burn times.
  • You may use the FTX-2 External Fuel Duct, but may not transfer fuel by hand.
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17 minutes ago, KerbonautInTraining said:

Mounting engines radially and dropping tanks behind you, I think.

exactly. Do a Forum search for Starflight One, you'll see just what it involves (and probably come to realise just how complicated the dV calculation gets!)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't know what is more difficult about this challenge the 2 hour limit or the 100 parts.  I think there is definite room for improvement.

65 parts


1h57m45s burn time on the pad

19,874 dv in orbit



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I don't see a pull stage being that feasible to launch in one go as it would be a limp noodle but here is an example of an ION pull dragger I built as a prof of concept.  Only 13km dv though




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