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The Ultimate Challange


Just Jim
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I'm not sure if this is the right place for this, but here goes nothing.

I was working on my career game yesterday for my fan-fiction project when I checked into mission control, and saw a contract offer that stunned me.  It's a challenge so huge it's given me an opportunity to totally change my story plot and add a whole new section.

I've searched everywhere in the challenge section, and I'm not finding this one. 
If it's out there, and I'm necro-ing an old challenge, then I apologize and ask this be taken down, OK?
It's called the Ultimate Challenge, and the rules are simple:

Visit all 14 bodies in the Kerbin solar system in one ship and return home to tell the tale.  :0.0:

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I looked at it... then looked again, closed my eyes, held my breath, and hit accept..... 

So here's the deal.  According to the forum rules, I can't really issue this as an official challenge unless I do it, or at least make a really good attempt at it, first.  Which is what I'm going to do.  It's probably the hardest thing I can think of doing in the game... and a marvelous opportunity to exploit for my fan-fiction story.
How can I say no???
Oh, and because I'm a sadist, I'm doing it stock.

If I can do this, I'll make it an official challenge, and make a badge and all that. 
Unless someone else has already done it and wants to take over.
Which makes me wonder, has anyone done this?  Has anyone attempted it?
Am I bringing up an old challenge I just can't find?

Comments?  Ideas???  Or perhaps just some insane laughter at the thought???

Edited by Just Jim
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It's not just "a" Grand Tour. It's "the" Grand Tour, and a perfectly fine challenge, in my opinion.

Usually when people talk about Grand Tours, they mean something like the five major/relevant planets (Moho, Eve, Duna, Jool, Eeloo), and they may decouple smaller craft from the mothership to occasionally visit some of the moons. This contract however goes quite a bit beyond that, and I would wager that not many people could claim to have done it exactly as written.

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This is not just the Grand Tour--this is the ULTIMATE tour! 

Looks like Rokea isn't requiring a crewed landing, but for the purposes of this Challenge thread Jim could give bonus honors for crew, single stage (LOL) or other feats. I'm tempted to try it myself in sandbox. I can certainly do everything but an Eve landing/ascent with the ship I'm working on now, and I could always add a module to get one probe core (or one Kerbal) down and up from there. Hmmm....

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Notice it doesn't say anything about refueling or ISRU.  I wonder if they have to be done in order?  I would think it would be something that can SSTO Tylo and stage Eve are your biggest hurdles

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Hmm, do Eve last, obviously - I can see how to do it, but that is a serious piece of work, especially as Tylo is in there, too. I love that the Grand Tour shows up as a contract :) And I suspect "single vessel" would imply you land the same lander can on everything (no way is a probe getting the glory, Jeb HAS to go). I want to see a massive miner mothership combined with a heavy-G lander that can do this without leaving bits on Eve or Tylo.

Edited by Gojira1000
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6 minutes ago, Nich said:

Notice it doesn't say anything about refueling or ISRU.  I wonder if they have to be done in order?  I would think it would be something that can SSTO Tylo and stage Eve are your biggest hurdles

The only part of the order that matters is "Lastly, land your vessel on Kerbin."

Not sure how the current iteration of the contract system handles undocking and redocking when "using a single vessel" is specified.

This will be an amazing challenge in any case.

Happy landings!

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4 minutes ago, Starhawk said:

Not sure how the current iteration of the contract system handles undocking and redocking when "using a single vessel" is specified.

 

Seems like this would be the crux of the issue. I've got an ISRU lander that could do anywhere but Eve, but it has to dock with it's interplanetary mothership to get around.

And to be clear Jim, I wasn't poo-pooing your challenge, just that it sounded like a Grand Tour.

Edited by WhiteKnuckle
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26 minutes ago, WhiteKnuckle said:

Seems like this would be the crux of the issue. I've got an ISRU lander that could do anywhere but Eve, but it has to dock with it's interplanetary mothership to get around.

And to be clear Jim, I wasn't poo-pooing your challenge, just that it sounded like a Grand Tour.

No, that's fine!  I was afraid this challenge was already here somewhere.  But all I found were smaller versions, like Streetwind mentioned.  I've seen ones for the Joolian moons, but I couldn't recall seeing one for everything in the solar system.

I suppose this is a legit challenge after all.

As for re-fueling and ISRU units, I posted the actual contract, and it isn't specific.  I don't know how I would manage without at least an ISRU unit onboard.
I also have a ship from the 1.0.4 days that's done everything except Tylo, Laythe, and Eve...

Edited by Just Jim
Almost gave away a spoiler...
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If it were me, I'd put docking ports on either end of a Mk1 capsule and insert that 'ship' into a variety of landers and ascent vehicles. Finish by docking a heat shield and parachute for the return to Kerbin surface. Then I would not be able to recover the capsule and win the award, because I would want to leave it parked outside the Astronaut Complex forever to inspire future generations of cadets.

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You know, I just had a thought. 

Maybe I can make this as a full-blown challenge without actually having done it myself.  The reason I say this is I didn't actually issue the original challenge, the game itself did.  And the reason the forum rules state the challenger must at least come close to completing it to show it can be done.

But if the game issued the challenge as a contract, then someone on... or close to... the DEV team must think it's at least theoretically possible....
(I'm betting it's Scott Manley... lol) 
If the game has it as a contract offer... then it must be possible. 

So would the "I have to do it to prove it can be done" rule even apply?

I suppose it would be up to the moderators.

 

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9 minutes ago, Just Jim said:

So would the "I have to do it to prove it can be done" rule even apply?

Oh, I think it obviously can be done. Since it's well-known that it's possible to land on all of those places and return from them individually, it stands to reason that one ship (loosely defined) could do it all. I wouldn't worry.

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1 hour ago, Gojira1000 said:

Hmm, do Eve last, obviously

I disagree. The Eve and Tylo landers are likely to be the heaviest parts, so I would advise hitting one of those first. (assuming he uses staging.) Just IMO.

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With the use of ISRU mining, it is reasonably easy.

With one glaring exception.... the inclusion of that word "EVE".

 

There is no such thing as a single stage vehicle that can land on eve, and return intact. With staging it is only horridly difficult, but quite doable. But it tends to leave your ship a mere nib of its former size.

So I foresee a whole lot of orbital docking, mining for more fuel, etc... in your future.

 

Have fun!

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The thing that makes it tricky is the part where the same ship has to land on every planet. Not "different bits of the same launch," but actually the same ship. Or at least the same command pod, it might be possible to get away with wildly re-configuring the rest of the ship as long as the game continues to recognize it as the SS Untitled Space Craft and not SS Untitled Space Craft Lander/Ship/Debris/Whatever.

The flip side is it doesn't have to be a single launch, or even a single departure from Kerbin. I think the game keeps track of each component of an assembled-on-orbit ship, so it should recognize that the same command pod has been there all along, even if you stick a different descent stage on it every time. Refueling, ISRU, and sending different parts of the ship to different places should all be options, at least for the contract shown in the OP.

For instance, you might send the ship off to Duna first, land there and Ike, while at the same time sending the Eve ascent stages to Eve orbit. When you're done with Duna, you can send the command module (the part that counts) to Eve, dock it to the Eve ascent stages, do the Eve landing, then leave (whatever's left of) the Eve lander behind, and keep going with the same command module, sticking new landing stages on it each time you get to a difficult destination.

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3 hours ago, sal_vager said:

Looks possible, it's just a guideline that you should try to do your own challenge, not that you have to succeed in it :)

The guide is there to help prevent people posting challenges they didn't think through.

OK.... I suppose we have the sal-vager seal of approval.  It's now an official challenge, if anyone wants to take a shot at it.

We'll have to come up with some rules.  I suppose they're fairly easy, as stated by the original contract. 

Visit all 14 bodies in the solar system, then return home and land on Kerbin... to tell the tale, so to speak.

Obviously no cheating.  If there are no screenshots to prove it, it obviously didn't happen. 

There is nothing stated in the contract about re-fueling or ISRU units, so I suppose they're allowed. 

Smaller shuttles and the like, IDK... I suppose they're allowed.  I may have to experiment with the contract and see how it reacts.

As for Mods, other than no hyper edit, I'm not sure. I like to play stock, and I'm not too experienced with the available mods.  So I'm open for suggestions what should and should not be allowed.  Oh, mods like Outer planets will add planets, so I don't think the extra planets and moons should count if someone has that particular mod.  Only the stock plants and moons as listed in the screenshot I originally posted.

We'll also need some sort of badge... something realty cool.  But I'm fairly sure no-one is doing this in just a day, so I assume we'll have some time.

I'll also be working on it, but because it's being woven into my fan-fiction project, it's going to take me some time to complete.

Let's do this, people!  I'm curious to see if and how it can be done.

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4 hours ago, astrobond said:

Hi all :)

Don't know if someone made it full in 1.05, but @sdj64 started it in 1.04, ending in 1.05 here :

A very big challenge... but this IS possible:)

Fly safe with Valentina !

This actually doesn't satisfy the contract as it is written, because it is not the same ship landing on each individual body. That's what makes the challenge such a challenge, really. ISRU is most definitely required here.

(Though for what it's worth, sdj64 flew an awesome mission there!)

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The obvious way to do this is to have a lander can with a docking port on the bottom (and probably one on the top) that you can mix-and-match between several lifters.

I'd actually start with Eve if I was doing this, and have an ISRU unit that could successfully lift off of Moho (the largest body that has no other - smaller - bodies in the same orbit) with fuel. Eve is the only world I'm not sure I could do, and Moho's a close second. So, I'd start there and then hit the others as I went.

Dang it. Now I'm getting ideas.

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1 hour ago, Streetwind said:

This actually doesn't satisfy the contract as it is written, because it is not the same ship landing on each individual body. That's what makes the challenge such a challenge, really. ISRU is most definitely required here.

(Though for what it's worth, sdj64 flew an awesome mission there!)

This is an absolutely amazing and inspiring mission, but I have to wonder if you're right. 
Because different landers were used for different bodies, I'm not sure the contract would accept it.

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Is this a stock contract? Is there a way to make it appear?

You could test it pretty easily (once you get it offered) by hyperediting a cheesy ship from Kerbin to Eve orbit, then detatch part and Hyperedit that down to landing, then toss parts of it away and Hyperedit it back into orbit and dock it, then Hyperedit the whole thing to Moho and then land the same pod with a different lander (via Hyperedit again) and see if the "one ship" checkbox stays checked.

I though am pretty sure the game isn't going to care how much of the ship landed and returned from the surfaces so long as a single - and the same - command pod did.

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