rkarmark

The Elkano challenge (all versions accepted!)

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Posted (edited)

May one use engines on a rover to increase speed?

Edited by Hummingbird Aerospace
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Posted (edited)

Mun - completed using a separate stock KSP 1.43 install - no added mods.

Start and finish at 0°N 59°E - Landing zone just to the north.

Same rover used as on Minmus - a 16-wheeler with rcs and two verniers. This time I did fill the fuel tanks and almost immediately regretted it. Very occasionally I did get to 55m/s (about the speed where the engines might be used) but soon afterward was usually slowing to a crawl at the lip of a crater. There was just no real opportunity to use the verniers and the extra weight of the fuel was just dangerous given the number of craters I didn't see until I was flying over them. So I gradually burnt the fuel as soon as I could. If the verniers had been vertically mounted they would have been useful.

As it was, Rcs saved me more times than I care to remember and I stopped several times to replenish the tanks.

The first half of the trip I found difficult but slowly fell into a routine and stopped trying to micromanage my landings as much so things became slightly easier. I really like this rover because it has a tremendous capacity for correcting itself and mostly I only got into trouble when I interfered with it too much. The second half of the trip also had a few more long stretches without craters smack in the middle of my route. (Once again I managed to keep mostly within half a degree of the equator.)

This time I equipped the booster with a probe core, battery, solar panels and relay antennae so that I was not so reliant on having line of sight to Kerbin to mark my route with Kerbnet. And I left Val in one of the cans. Again though, when the sun started getting too low in the sky I time warped to the next morning.

Total mission time this time was around twenty-eight days and around fourteen hours IRL. Not only was the distance around the Mun a lot greater than Minmus but it felt like my average speed was considerably slower. This one was a grind - too many craters - and I'm glad I don't have to do it again.

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Edited by mystifeid
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24 minutes ago, Hummingbird Aerospace said:

May one use engines on a rover to increase speed?

I imagine so. I'm not sure how you would cross something like Kerbin's oceans without them.

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25 minutes ago, Hummingbird Aerospace said:

May one use engines on a rover to increase speed?

Yes but it may only use them when the rover is touching the ground. (Or in other words no planes)

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Posted (edited)

@rkarmark - what happens now? Am I a Mun and Minmus circumnavigator? (ie do I take the badges?)

Edited by mystifeid
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26 minutes ago, mystifeid said:

@rkarmark - what happens now? Am I a Mun and Minmus circumnavigator? (ie do I take the badges?)

Yes! Take all your badges, but might take a little while til you are on the leaderboard

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What if I am in the middle of reading the Maze Runner series and I am killed by the Flare?

 

JK, just wondering if there was a good map or mod I could use to plot my journey.

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On 6/17/2018 at 9:36 AM, The Minmus Derp said:

Are you allowed to ROCKETJUMP over canyons?

also, can you use a vehicle that is capable of returning to orbit,docking with a fuel thingie, and landing somewhere else (different planet)?

@rkarmark

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On 6/17/2018 at 10:36 AM, The Minmus Derp said:

Are you allowed to ROCKETJUMP over canyons?

also, can you use a vehicle that is capable of returning to orbit,docking with a fuel thingie, and landing somewhere else (different planet)?

Per rule 3 ( Stay on the ground or on/below the surface of any water present ), rocket-jumping over canyons is expressly forbidden. Small hops unpowered hops on low-gravity bodies are permitted, but rocket-assisted takeoff definitely is not.

I can't see a reason why you wouldn't be allowed a rover that can fly to orbit after it finishes, so long as that capability is NOT used during the Elcano itself. Remember, this is a challenge about long-distance land and/or sea navigation. Traveling via air or via rocket hop kinda defeats the point of the challenge.

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Just now, IncongruousGoat said:

Per rule 3 ( Stay on the ground or on/below the surface of any water present ), rocket-jumping over canyons is expressly forbidden. Small hops unpowered hops on low-gravity bodies are permitted, but rocket-assisted takeoff definitely is not.

But what if its a deep canyon that i'm incapable of traversing? Maybe KAS Grappling hooks?

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18 minutes ago, The Minmus Derp said:

But what if its a deep canyon that i'm incapable of traversing? Maybe KAS Grappling hooks?

What canyon would this be, exactly? The Mun's canyons are easily avoidable or traversable lengthwise. Ditto with the Dres canyon. Kerbin's rivers are fordable if you find the right spot to cross, and I can't think of any other noteworthy canyons.

Generally, though, I would say that your rover needs a re-design if it can't cross the terrain it needs to cross. Either that, or find a route that doesn't take you across a canyon. Polar circumnavigations are, after all, acceptable.

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Posted (edited)

I'm thinking of giving this challenge a go, but I thought I'd throw my idea out there for consideration in case others wanted to try it.

Could you do a Phileas Fogg style challenge and manually control a rover driving in a sunrise direction around Dres/planet, while a Bon Voyage controlled rover drove in a Sunset direction?

Edited by wile1411
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Posted (edited)

Pitstop on Dres

aaZxUgA.png

Dres - completed using a separate stock KSP 1.43 install - no added mods.

Start and finish at 0°N 100°E - Landing zone just to the north.

The Mun might have craters but Dres ... Dres has bumps. Lots and lots of bumps. Even the flats have bumps. It has so many bumps it's difficult to accelerate because contact with the surface is continually being lost. The usual strategy is to wait for any uphill ground before putting the pedal to the metal. It's also impossible to look ahead beforehand. The terrain requires constant adjustments to the attitude of the rover and in contrast to the Mun, perfect landings matter because landing out of shape reduces speed. Skewed landings can come in handy though, for those times when descents from the Highlands with depleted monopropellant have increased speed to 60+m/s and the rover starts bouncing higher and higher. Slight skids and locked on brakes might save you in those situations. Maybe. But most of the time a 40m/s speed seems to be optimum and the overwhelming majority of the trip is spent above the surface. Just a quick bounce and it's back up again. Just need to keep that speed up otherwise you start hitting ten times as many bumps and the stress is magnified. So, perfect landings every time.

It's very hard to maintain a straight course. Almost total concentration must be given to the rover attitude and in ten seconds it's easy to veer ten, twenty or even thirty degrees off course without realizing it. On the plus side there were very few drops so big that I needed to use rcs to slow my descent. Maybe half a dozen. One of the things I really miss with the unmodded install is a readout of the height above terrain but I'm guessing that heights around 100m were no problem at 40 - 50m/s. With 16 wheels. And not forgetting the perfect landing.

Instead of equipping the booster as a relay, this time I just took a separate relay sat and put it in a fairly eccentric orbit.

Since it became nearly impossible to drive in low light with any speed at all, almost the whole distance was covered with Kerbol reasonably high in the sky.

Finally though, I was able to fire up the verniers in anger - twice on some flats and once on a steep climb.

For anyone considering circumnavigating Dres - try a polar route - there is a very large flat area that could be included and which extends for about 20% of route. The equatorial route misses it completely.

Total mission time was around 2 years 47 days and around 13 hours IRL. Mission time for the circumnavigation was approximately 7 days.

6RqzqgJ.png

My route on Dres was pretty featureless - one place looks much the same as anywhere else and since it's nearly impossible to keep a rover on the surface, what follows are a lot of screenshots with my rover flying through the sky. (Jeb nearly died a hundred times taking these.)

 

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l4Z7Yig.png

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U6mNViG.png

 

Edited by mystifeid
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Kerbin Circumnavigation - almost stock, but because of the MechJeb part it counts as modded, even though it was only used to hold the W key and heading.

Full post here:

 

0QOUXRv.png

Stays within 45 degrees of the equator, and spent about equal parts in the northern and southern hemispheres, so it probably counts. The goal was to avoid water, but I still ended up crossing it seven times because of staying near the equator. If I did this again I might try a polar route, because if you flew the rover to a good starting spot it could probably spent more on land than I did here.

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Posted (edited)

Kerbin - completed using a separate stock KSP 1.43 install - no added mods.

Start and finish at KSC.

I meant to do something easier like Ike but I started wondering how to make a boat fast enough to go around Kerbin. Three hours later I was 30° east of KSC doing 100m/s and figured I might as well keep going.

It seems that water is much the same as solid ground in that going faster than 100m/s is a good way to invite catastrophe so I spent the trip slowly throttling back after each time I filled the tanks and I still don't know how fast the boat could go. It is an ugly thing with a drill sticking out of a cargo bay but remember that I never actually meant to start this challenge. The four panthers were used in three ways - four, two and zero afterburners on - depending on the weight of fuel being carried and my desire to stay under 100m/s. With full tanks and all afterburners on, the boat accelerated straight to 91m/s and hit 100m/s after using 10% of the fuel.

Two underwater canards, when activated, lift the front of the boat out of the water and make pitch trim adjustment unnecessary. They also help to significantly speed up the boat. However I  wondered whether you could achieve the same just by using pitch adjustment on the engine gimbals. I suspect that this is possible but would mean constant adjustment to the pitch trim as well as the throttle.

The boat was self sufficient - carrying a drill and an ISRU. I stopped to refuel seven times with each time taking around 6 days game time although I usually had ten to twenty percent of my fuel remaining when I did so. The last twenty percent would probably cover 300km at 100m/s.

One land crossing was necessary via some lakes at the most northerly part of the route seen below and my speed on land was kept around 30m/s.

If it was possible to travel straight around the equator at this speed, this would have been a quick and easy task but as it was, it took about 20 hours IRL (including several hours to build and test the boat) and 46 days game time.

fUNQyDa.png

More screenshots:

 

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nHShz0S.png

Edited by mystifeid
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On 6/19/2018 at 7:43 AM, wile1411 said:

I'm thinking of giving this challenge a go, but I thought I'd throw my idea out there for consideration in case others wanted to try it.

Could you do a Phileas Fogg style challenge and manually control a rover driving in a sunrise direction around Dres/planet, while a Bon Voyage controlled rover drove in a Sunset direction?

Well if you drive one of the rovers 100% manually it is definitely allowed, but remember the challenge is driving the rover

On 6/19/2018 at 7:11 PM, mystifeid said:

Pitstop on Dres

aaZxUgA.png

Dres - completed using a separate stock KSP 1.43 install - no added mods.

Start and finish at 0°N 100°E - Landing zone just to the north.

The Mun might have craters but Dres ... Dres has bumps. Lots and lots of bumps. Even the flats have bumps. It has so many bumps it's difficult to accelerate because contact with the surface is continually being lost. The usual strategy is to wait for any uphill ground before putting the pedal to the metal. It's also impossible to look ahead beforehand. The terrain requires constant adjustments to the attitude of the rover and in contrast to the Mun, perfect landings matter because landing out of shape reduces speed. Skewed landings can come in handy though, for those times when descents from the Highlands with depleted monopropellant have increased speed to 60+m/s and the rover starts bouncing higher and higher. Slight skids and locked on brakes might save you in those situations. Maybe. But most of the time a 40m/s speed seems to be optimum and the overwhelming majority of the trip is spent above the surface. Just a quick bounce and it's back up again. Just need to keep that speed up otherwise you start hitting ten times as many bumps and the stress is magnified. So, perfect landings every time.

It's very hard to maintain a straight course. Almost total concentration must be given to the rover attitude and in ten seconds it's easy to veer ten, twenty or even thirty degrees off course without realizing it. On the plus side there were very few drops so big that I needed to use rcs to slow my descent. Maybe half a dozen. One of the things I really miss with the unmodded install is a readout of the height above terrain but I'm guessing that heights around 100m were no problem at 40 - 50m/s. With 16 wheels. And not forgetting the perfect landing.

Instead of equipping the booster as a relay, this time I just took a separate relay sat and put it in a fairly eccentric orbit.

Since it became nearly impossible to drive in low light with any speed at all, almost the whole distance was covered with Kerbol reasonably high in the sky.

Finally though, I was able to fire up the verniers in anger - twice on some flats and once on a steep climb.

For anyone considering circumnavigating Dres - try a polar route - there is a very large flat area that could be included and which extends for about 20% of route. The equatorial route misses it completely.

Total mission time was around 2 years 47 days and around 13 hours IRL. Mission time for the circumnavigation was approximately 7 days.

6RqzqgJ.png

My route on Dres was pretty featureless - one place looks much the same as anywhere else and since it's nearly impossible to keep a rover on the surface, what follows are a lot of screenshots with my rover flying through the sky. (Jeb nearly died a hundred times taking these.)

  Reveal hidden contents

IEEC0nG.png

mvUJegI.png

x7dRTCg.png

XgMXCj5.png

ITUZwkx.png

V9E0kv9.png

3Rbwqvs.png

j4JfxwR.png

UuLD99q.png

asqh6V4.png

E28AJ80.png

HThFCuB.png

Anbp0Bg.png

4UGMSO6.png

fNp6cmu.png

wsX1OJL.png

iy91269.png

ho6TLX1.png

qa1zCRx.png

5vpMoQU.png

DKfZEZ5.png

XFYnMji.png

l4Z7Yig.png

6BTsHxj.png

oMTm078.png

U6mNViG.png

 

Cool, but I still don't know how you drove all the way around something that doesn't exist

On 6/19/2018 at 1:00 AM, IncongruousGoat said:

Per rule 3 ( Stay on the ground or on/below the surface of any water present ), rocket-jumping over canyons is expressly forbidden. Small hops unpowered hops on low-gravity bodies are permitted, but rocket-assisted takeoff definitely is not.

I can't see a reason why you wouldn't be allowed a rover that can fly to orbit after it finishes, so long as that capability is NOT used during the Elcano itself. Remember, this is a challenge about long-distance land and/or sea navigation. Traveling via air or via rocket hop kinda defeats the point of the challenge.

Yep exatly

1 hour ago, mystifeid said:

Kerbin - completed using a separate stock KSP 1.43 install - no added mods.

Start and finish at KSC.

I meant to do something easier like Ike but I started wondering how to make a boat fast enough to go around Kerbin. Three hours later I was 30° east of KSC doing 100m/s and figured I might as well keep going.

It seems that water is much the same as solid ground in that going faster than 100m/s is a good way to invite catastrophe so I spent the trip slowly throttling back after each time I filled the tanks and I still don't know how fast the boat could go. It is an ugly thing with a drill sticking out of a cargo bay but remember that I never actually meant to start this challenge. The four panthers were used in three ways - four, two and zero afterburners on - depending on the weight of fuel being carried and my desire to stay under 100m/s. With full tanks and all afterburners on, the boat accelerated straight to 91m/s and hit 100m/s after using 10% of the fuel.

Two underwater canards, when activated, lift the front of the boat out of the water and make pitch trim adjustment unnecessary. They also help to significantly speed up the boat. However I  wondered whether you could achieve the same just by using pitch adjustment on the engine gimbals. I suspect that this is possible but would mean constant adjustment to the pitch trim as well as the throttle.

The boat was self sufficient - carrying a drill and an ISRU. I stopped to refuel seven times with each time taking around 6 days game time although I usually had ten to twenty percent of my fuel remaining when I did so. The last twenty percent would probably cover 300km at 100m/s.

One land crossing was necessary via some lakes at the most northerly part of the route seen below and my speed on land was kept around 30m/s.

If it was possible to travel straight around the equator at this speed, this would have been a quick and easy task but as it was, it took about 20 hours IRL (including several hours to build and test the boat) and 46 days game time.

fUNQyDa.png

More screenshots:

  Reveal hidden contents

urfBKqr.png

2TbpRi1.png

XRn30Cg.png

ef6fhCM.png

roiilNg.png

40iVTw9.png

fapjVYA.png

XMjZt9l.png

9CiEE8w.png

qxx8IP8.png

yP9xpKH.png

a4Qz1fS.png

hIwWfQg.png

hMmHQk9.png

Hen6dK4.png

U43bevI.png

nHShz0S.png

Cool, maybe could be some inspiration for my (maybe) upcoming elcano

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7 minutes ago, rkarmark said:

Cool, but I still don't know how you drove all the way around something that doesn't exist

You might have to explain that one to me.

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Just now, mystifeid said:

You might have to explain that one to me.

It is an old joke in the ksp community that the planet dres does not exist

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1 minute ago, rkarmark said:

It is an old joke in the ksp community that the planet dres does not exist

Phew. Thought it might have been a bad dream for a second.

Ok to pin badges in my sig?

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8 minutes ago, mystifeid said:

Phew. Thought it might have been a bad dream for a second.

Ok to pin badges in my sig?

Yes!

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On 6/20/2018 at 1:11 AM, mystifeid said:

For anyone considering circumnavigating Dres - try a polar route - there is a very large flat area that could be included and which extends for about 20% of route. The equatorial route misses it completely.

I am interested where is that piece of flat area. I have driven from the south pole to the equator and couldn't find any.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, TheFlyingKerman said:

I am interested where is that piece of flat area. I have driven from the south pole to the equator and couldn't find any.

You're right - it's not nearly as good looking as I remembered. Wishful thinking. I have updated my post accordingly.

Edited by mystifeid

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Posted (edited)

Moho - completed using a separate stock KSP 1.43/1.44 install - no added mods.

Start and finish at 0°N 140°W - Landing zone just to the north.

I can't remember the last time I used Alex Moon's transfer planner to travel to Moho but for some reason, it kept giving me a really bad transfer. Or maybe it was me that was bad. So I went back to Olex's guide and took a considerably earlier window and managed to send a relay sat and my rover into orbit around Moho. Without trying to conserve fuel at all, the rover did it (orbit to orbit) with a dV of 5700m/s which is not too terrible for me.  I must have messed up the relay sat because it took about 7400m/s and only just made orbit with about 500m/s left to maneuver.

When I was braking the rover at about 20km above Moho I started thinking about moving the Kerbals into their command seats and had a real bash my head against the wall moment when I saw that somewhere along the line the Kerbals had jumped out of the ship - somehow I'd lifted off without them.

Great. Had to send a third ship to Moho.

I'd already done some rovering through the North Pole biome and found it to be fairly horrific with lots of mountains and abrupt inclination changes. The expectation was for more of the same around the equator and as luck would have it, my landing zone was in the Highlands so I was not disappointed.

The gravity on Moho is weak enough to be able to jump off the surface easily but, in rugged terrain, strong enough to then cause instant regret. Moho seems to resonate with the ghosts of thousands of wrecked rovers. The terrain became more and more forbidding on my route and there was little point in trying to avoid anything because the effort often resulted in meeting something worse than the original obstacle. My course was a pretty straight line at very slow speeds and I started to despair that I would ever finish. Then suddenly the Highlands gave way to the Midlands. The mountains flattened into hills and open spaces appeared. Just briefly though. Before long I was back crawling through the Highlands. But at about my halfway point I came back into the Midlands with interspersed craters. Now the terrain really flattened out and became a racetrack.

In the Midlands I was able to sustain 50-60m/s but in the black craters it was even better and I kicked my verniers into life to achieve 100m/s several times but after a while decided to keep it to 80m/s. It was possible to keep these speeds for maybe 40km at a time and do it nearly hands free. There were perhaps half a dozen of these black craters and after each one it was hard to concentrate such was the exhilaration.

So I drove like a madman for the second half of the circumnavigation and fortunately did not encounter any more Highlands until about 100km short of my goal.

Moho is a place where I think it is actually better not to use Mechjeb. There are constant changes in speed and direction required as well as a need to be always looking ahead from a significant height above the rover. My rover is huge and can land itself in Moho's gravity without me making much adjustment so even the Mechjeb's stability control becomes superfluous.

Compared to the other circumnavigations I've done, Moho makes the others feel like a walk in the park. Moving through the Highlands is very stressful but I can promise you that the speed through the other half will more than make up for it. Three or four times I drove into the night and was extremely unwilling to continue in low light. There is a long delay waiting for the planet to rotate enough to bring the next morning.

My total mission time was around 513 days. Since my play time was broken up into shorter sessions over three or four days I can only estimate it at 20 -30 hours.

6BwUAZ4.png

More screenshots:

 

CebHdSt.png

Yay! We get to use the 73.

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Only a 61 for the relay sat.

l2nNc09.png

Three Skippers left out of 73 ... a 70 Rockomax 64 trip. Oops. No Kerbals.

HMBR9mK.png

An hour later and I have Kerbals at Moho.

zsh1hTo.png

And they land pretty darn close to the rover.

DtUyah1.png

Just to give some idea of the size of the rover.

VD6SA8V.png

Start line.

9kbOpU3.png

Hitting one of these faster than 10-15m/s can spoil your whole day. And they're everywhere.

9hodbws.png

The rover is moving slowly but it has no problem with climbing that hill at 50m/s.

dZPSKLV.png

Fun with mountains.

PtGCtnO.png

The flat ground at the bottom can be driven over at speed. Just have to get to it in one piece.

4exDJzD.png

The first black crater and Jeb lights the engines.

ulwCy5b.png

Fairly typical Highlands.

9xQx1LZ.png

It's important the rover can go up and down walls like these.

ohxbpAk.png

A road built by some ancient civilization.

ReU0dtj.png

The steepest mountain. Can the rover climb it?

mIPUo4a.png

Yes it can!

KakycP1.png

Lucky Jeb can drive that thing because I'm not.

xnomlhS.png

A few shots to show the size of the crater. And this is a small one.

ugWN9iV.png

Zoomed out.

IUFDTFr.png

Zoomed out more.

tYN704r.png

And more. Jeb's still doing 80m/s down there somewhere.

vCsv3Ei.png

The boys.

SUDFWkx.png

All jumps are serious. Some more than others.

VMR5dBG.png

Finish line.

{/spoiler]

Edited by mystifeid
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On 11/19/2016 at 1:04 AM, rkarmark said:

ince this is challenge is more about the journey than reaching the destination, feel free to create a thread in Mission Reports so that everyone can share in it. It doesn't matter whether it fails or not, everyone there loves to read the stories, even the sad ones.

Mission Reports link broken

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Posted (edited)

Duna - completed using a separate stock KSP 1.44 install - no added mods.

Start and finish at 0°N 14°E - Landing zone just to the north

The 16 wheeler strikes again. Duna is a challenge mainly for the effort involved in staying awake. Several times I dozed off with my finger panted solidly on the forward button (keypad 8). The planet is definitely suited to the use of Mechjeb and I missed it sorely.

Speed was dictated by biome. The Midland Sea provided opportunity to fire up the verniers and reach 70-75m/s. The Lowlands were a solid 55m/s and while the Midlands could mostly be traversed at that speed, occasionally required slowing to 40m/s. The Highlands were generally dangerous at anything over 30m/s.

Duna is one of the few places where the night feels almost as comfortable for driving as the day and the only time I stopped was to wait for reconnection to my relay sat for the Kerbnet access to mark my route.

Total mission time was 1 year 47 days. The time for the circumnavigation itself was around 6 days. Playtime was spread over multiple days and I can only estimate it as being 20+ hours.

LpWV3sE.png

More screenshots:

 

Powered landing. Exposed kerbals.

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Start

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SlUEHmq.png

nTLDZzo.png

HehY0ZG.png

Ifcee3z.png

Finish

Pjh9DCk.png

 

Edited by mystifeid
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