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The Smallest and Cutest Space Shuttle in KSP


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I set myself to the challenge of making the smallest space shuttle possible in KSP still capable of reaching orbit. This was the result. It still managed to get into orbit with 900-1000 extra delta V, so apparently, it's STILL not as small as it could be.

 

Anyway, this is the full flight of the vehicle. Enjoy. I'll probably be attempting more "tiny space program" missions in the near future.

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I've built tiny Space Shuttles as well! They're quite fun to build.

Here are a few from older versions of KSP:

Spoiler

 

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^This one's the oldest; it's from 0.18.

 

Would like to go back to my Pico Space Program, but, unfortunately the small engines have taken a bit of a nerf in 1.0 and rendering many of my crafts obsolete.

Edited by Giggleplex777
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Wonderful video. Epic audio for takeoff, and I lol'd at the Airplane track for landing. Sure, there have been other tiny shuttles, but this video makes yours an 'entirely different kind of craft altogether'.

Have some tiny rep!

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9 minutes ago, max_creative said:

Kuzzter, how do I even give rep on a mobile site?

Dunno, look for a <3 shaped button that says "Like This". I have no idea what the mobile site looks like on your device, but there exists such a button on my iphone. Kudos for wanting so much to give rep though :) 

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2 minutes ago, Kuzzter said:

Dunno, look for a <3 shaped button that says "Like This". I have no idea what the mobile site looks like on your device, but there exists such a button on my iphone. Kudos for wanting so much to give rep though :) 

Like that? Oh I also am following you :D

Spoiler

Completely ignore this sorry.

 

Edited by max_creative
I can't get rid of the accidental spoiler box thingy
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@YoeriCookie

Everything depends on speed, angle, altitude, and parts.

First of all, avoid exposing delicate parts, like solar panels, batteries, and computer cores. Either keep them tucked away inside cargo bays as much as possible, or try to keep them in the trailing edge of the re-entry profile.

Second of all, you want to bleed off as much speed as you can inside the upper atmosphere. For re-entry from Leo, I usually deorbit to a periapsis height of 40-50 km. Make it a very shallow re-entry profile.

Once you start re-entry, you want to stay in the upper atmosphere for as long as possible. That's where angle comes in. Angle up at about 30 to 60 degrees. This generates lift, and keeps you hovering around the same altitude bleeding speed for a long time.

Finally, angle is important for another reason. Never lawn dart (never point your nose straight at your prograde vector). First of all, lawn darting means you don't really bleed off speed, and you'll end up going way too fast when you enter thicker air. Second of all, lawn darting means only the tiny area at the front of your spacecraft is taking the brunt of the re-entry heat. This focusses the thermal energy there, and overheats your parts one at a time till they explode. Angling prevents this. Anything from 20 to 90 degrees off angle will spread out the thermal energy across the spacecraft's entire surface. Since all that area has a far higher heat capacity than any single part, the parts would have to be heated for a long time before they'd get to explode.

Anyway, just a re-entry tip. It's actually a fairly accurate representation of the physics involved. If you're trying to reenter from interplanetary or trans munar, you'll probably have to make multiple reentries, slowing down after each time. At those speeds, you'll probably have to aim for 55 to 65 km periapsis. Rule of thumb, the faster you're going, the higher the altitude you have to reenter at.

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