septemberWaves

The Fancy Probes Challenge

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Most challenges I see on the forums tend to result in vehicles which are exceptionally efficient, but far from aesthetically pleasing. So this is a challenge in aesthetic design.

Mission objective: design an uncrewed space probe that looks good. It should also be able to go to somewhere, and should have a purpose beyond aesthetics.

The challenge is fairly simple, and your entry just has to comply with the following guidelines.

  • Your space probe must look good. This means no cylindrical-fuel-tank-with-experiments-glued-onto-the-sides sort of designs, and not something which looks like it's been haphazardly assembled by someone who just bought the game five minutes ago. Creativity is very much encouraged. Your launch vehicle must also look good.
  • Simplistic designs are fine as long as they're interesting to look at.
  • No outright copying is allowed. Drawing inspiration from existing space probes is perfectly fine, but you're not allowed to submit an entry that is designed to look identical to, for example, the Cassini space probe. For this reason, mods that add parts designed for mimicking existing space probes are discouraged (not disallowed entirely though, and submitting an entry that uses such parts is fine so long as you're creative with them).
  • Your space probe should be able to get at least as far as Kerbin orbit, and possibly beyond. Destination is irrelevant, but at the very least it should be able to go to orbit.
  • Your space probe needs to be able to do something. This can mean collecting science data, serving as a commnet relay, or anything else you might be able to think of. Fulfilling exploration contracts (like "Fly by [celestial body]") is a perfectly acceptable purpose, though it may limit design choices somewhat.
  • Mods are allowed so long as they are not cheaty. Warp drives are allowed if your probe is for exploring other star systems, but for in-system exploration you should stick with sub-light propulsion. Mods which increase the scale of the Kerbol system (like KScale) are allowed, though if you're using SigmaDimensions with manually-set configs then I would appreciate knowing what settings have been changed. Mods which alter physics (this doesn't count Kerbal Joint Reinforcement, as that simply fixes physics) are not allowed, except for FAR.
  • Cheating of any form is not permitted. Your space probe must be able to reach its destination legitimately.

 

Scoring is subjective, so I will respond to each entry individually with comments about what I like/dislike about the entry. Lists of all entries will be maintained below (in order of submission). The list of stock entries will include entries with mods that add planets, as well as informational mods like MechJeb or KER, if those are the only mods being used. This isn't a particularly competitive challenge, it's really for showing off and comparing spacecraft designs.

It would help if your entry has a name. If I cannot find out the name of your entry, it will be labelled as "Untitled Space Probe" in the entry list.

 

Stock entries:

Modded entries:

 

Edited by eloquentJane

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I wonder if this qualifies:

psTGitl.jpg

jkjjkD5.jpg

Craft file

Probably too simplistic, but it passes most of the criteria in the OP, even if it wasn't made for this exact challenge.

 

 

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Hey there judge, aesthete and kerb-Coleague.

Launch ready with many, many DeltaVeeses:

ZwFRr2g.png
Contains science! And serves as a relay.
53YiL9n.png
Mun bound:
zoyaXhl.png
 
 
ME
 
 

 

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Needed a new com-satellite, so I went with something realistic:

tMy3Wyc.png

Keeping with my norse theme, it's called Skadi B

W0M5Og5.png

Keeping it real...listic

ZK35ka7.png

Semi-Deployed in Kerbin Orbit

gRlnB3R.png

Deployed in Minmus-Orbit

hx6Meey.png

Beauty shot

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@Haruspex Looks pretty good. I take it that it's a relay satellite? Whilst probably not the most practical design, I like the fact that you've gone for an unconventional appearance with regards to both the probe itself and the launch vehicle.

@Martian Emigrant I like the overall shape of the probe. Clipping the science experiments inside of the conical adapter is a pretty nice touch, and the way you've attached the antennas makes for an interesting appearance overall. I also like that you've used what appears to be twelve-fold symmetry for the solar panels, since that's not a common design choice.

@Xeldrak I think the fairly simplistic design of the probe works out quite well. I like that it mostly uses 3x or 6x symmetry where possible, as that helps to tie the overall appearance together. It also looks quite useful and has a good amount of delta-v, which is a definite plus.

 

Your entries will all be added to the stock list on the first post.

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Okay, here's my entry. The Jool 1 probe, until I think of a better name for it. Complete mission report is in the spoiler.

PjuDAf8.jpg

Spoiler

MOUYwJl.jpg

Jool 1 on the launch pad. The launch vehicle is vaguely inspired by NASA's SLS.

ZjL7V1E.jpg

Ignition.

mdwyv0v.jpg

Liftoff of Jool 1.

BDT1I06.jpg

Commencing gravity turn.

07r5r26.jpg

Breaking sound barrier.

NmqxjkT.jpg

Booster cutoff.

RUDIa8R.jpg

Booster separation.

XPRZnfD.jpg

vzXnrck.jpg

KRYVOAJ.jpg

5F4fm2F.jpg

First stage cutoff.

fxKOioo.jpg

First stage separation.

ycDvcop.jpg

Second stage ignition.

LisFElv.jpg

GIlsavz.jpg

Fairing separation.

6KIC6vI.jpg

YJEmbvC.jpg

Second stage cutoff as 125km apoapsis is reached.

LHd8rAo.jpg

Second stage begins the circularization burn.

FWJRt8o.jpg

Second stage cutoff.

sGWYNDx.jpg

Second stage separation.

ueM1CP5.jpg

Third stage ignition.

u4P1ZlK.jpg

B9qJ7wN.jpg

Circularization complete.

LtFqqT4.jpg

Solar panel deployment.

7Xsj0nM.jpg

Beginning the transfer burn to Jool.

J2jSPMz.jpg

8tJGKvy.jpg

The probe has to finish the maneuver with its own propulsion system.

FXRRYhF.jpg

Leaving Kerbin.

7924SyZ.jpg

A minor correction burn is executed once the probe is beyond the orbit of Dres.

qpkv6T5.jpg

Approaching Jool. The magnetometer is extended.

9t8NX5b.jpg

Several of Jool's moons are visible in this image.

yoe7mpH.jpg

The correction burn in solar orbit plotted a Tylo flyby that would place the probe into an eccentric orbit of Jool.

xjDQtku.jpg

Flying by Tylo. Imaging equipment is pointed towards the moon for the flyby.

w3lpVSs.jpg

tZjv0oS.jpg

The probe is now in orbit of Jool.

6nbMaee.jpg

At apoapsis, another maneuver is executed to plot a second flyby of Tylo, lowering the orbit around Jool.

aJGucOt.jpg

Some details of the probe.

 

I'd appreciate any comments people have about this spacecraft design. I'll refrain from commenting on it myself to maintain impartiality in this challenge.

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aPwtnNz.png

... the heck kind of probe is that?

 

i7fWCf5.png

Why it's a fully functional orbital bar & bbq or course.

 

I dare you to do fancier.

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Well, this is what I'll be doing today. :) 

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Hello, here's my submission, a semi synchronous relay constellation around Kerbin targeting all celestials in the Kerbol system.

Mission report and details here: 

https://mobylettespaceindustries.wordpress.com/2017/01/25/overkill-kerbin-remote-tech-constellation/

screenshot52.png?w=1000screenshot33.png?w=1000

Edited by mobylettespaceindustries

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How about the highly impractical "SatBox"?

KIFH6RR.png?1

There's a bunch of satellite guts all mushed up into that little box with lots of clipping.

azq6mIi.png?1

kC9NMxa.png?1C4f07f8.png?1

uRPh4DR.png

It does surveys.

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qCQWBrM.png

And here's the whole album: http://imgur.com/a/5a27V

It has about 5000m/s of dV. Can't go at full power but bonus points for the looks, right? The only modded thing is the KER chip module.

Edited by Veeltch

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OK, not sure if this qualifies, but I'm game. :)

This is a new (mostly stock) relay and explorer satellite I built for Emiko Station. I haven't actually introduced them into the story yet, but I don't mind sharing a screenshot of one of them. They're designed to explore planets from orbit, and also (hopefully) look fairly BadS.   

kTQqZSB.png

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@mobylettespaceindustries Whilst I'm personally not much of a fan of satellites with huge numbers of relay dishes, your antenna array certainly looks practical (particularly for RemoteTech). I do rather like the way you've assembled the ion drive, and I think the enormous number of batteries is a good way of dealing with the long burn times that ion engines lead to. I'm also quite impressed by the amount of planning you've done for your satellite constellation.

@Randazzo A cubesat! I like it a lot. I enjoy large cubesat designs like that. It's rather simple in terms of appearance, but I think that that works well for your design. Monopropellant propulsion is a nice touch too; that's not a very common choice with stock designs and it makes the satellite more interesting.

@Veeltch The asymmetric arrangement of the parts makes your space probe an interesting one to look at. I particularly like the front view, as the mystery goo container lines up nicely with the xenon tanks.

@Just Jim I like that your satellite is kept quite linear in shape. Significant use of structural girders can be kind of hit-or-miss, but I think you've pulled it off quite well. Overall I think the design looks very well thought out. I'm also a fan of the shape of the ion drive.

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Fancy probes, eh? Challenge, eh? Here are my favorites from my work:

Some are designed for flybys, some to get in orbit, others are just landers while some are a combination of orbital probe with a lander attached (a-la Cassini)

Spoiler

54rv97k.jpg

hBVdYnO.jpg

iyInaiz.jpg

KYZ4ruI.jpg

RhOFiQq.jpg

hTBLk2V.jpg

VuR8n20.jpg

5AE4WV9.jpg

dMMglPJ.jpg

xaiyVVh.jpg

vnPtA4r.jpg

kTaP9SO.jpg

RhL2JjU.jpg

1j5UMgM.jpg

oFUlHhQ.jpg

P1ksHJH.jpg

fFIo2li.jpg

CbTeysu.jpg

7x78tGU.jpg

Z4jSGX7.jpg

0ETJ3in.jpg

CIKBYhf.jpg

Full album link:

http://imgur.com/gallery/Gi1eS

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I never post my attempts at a challenge but I actually was messing with this on my own before so, why not? This is my simple explorer, It exists to send back pretty pictures as it flys by.

 KKSJm9k.jpg

Launch pics follow

Spoiler

3iPbmax.jpg

n0MEVYb.jpg

6dTymqS.jpg

W4RUUy5.jpg

 

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7 hours ago, eloquentJane said:

@Just Jim I like that your satellite is kept quite linear in shape. Significant use of structural girders can be kind of hit-or-miss, but I think you've pulled it off quite well. Overall I think the design looks very well thought out. I'm also a fan of the shape of the ion drive.

Thank you! The ion engines, and large amount of fuel, is so she can go into a polar orbit to do a planetary scan if necessary. I forgot earlier, but here's a shot of the giant bobblehead I used to put one of these into orbit.

m5eF23o.png

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20170207200253_1.jpg20170207195304_1.jpg20170207195923_1.jpgAlthrought those rcs may not look like much, they could change inclanation by 20° or change orbit apoapsis from 144 000m to ~11 000 000m

Edited by Numerlor

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On 6/2/2017 at 7:04 PM, eloquentJane said:

@mobylettespaceindustries@Randazzo Whilst I'm personally not much of a fan of satellites with huge numbers of relay dishes, your antenna array certainly looks practical (particularly for RemoteTech). I do rather like the way you've assembled the ion drive, and I think the enormous number of batteries is a good way of dealing with the long burn times that ion engines lead to. I'm also quite impressed by the amount of planning you've done for your satellite constellation

 

The enormous number of batteries is just enough to handle all dishes during the night time!

The amount of planning let you spare a lot of time in definitive!

 

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@Calvin_Maclure You have so many incredible space probes there, I don't really know where to start. There are some very creative uses of parts on many of them, and they all have a very practical appearance.

@Red Shirt That's a pretty nice explorer probe. I like the way you've attached parts on structural pylons to move them away from the main body of the craft and give it a more interesting shape (it does mean that the launch vehicle doesn't look as good, but I suppose that's somewhat unavoidable with such a design).

@Numerlor It's a simple design, but quite effective. The solar panel configuration probably is a bit more power than it needs, but it looks nice.

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15 minutes ago, eloquentJane said:

@Calvin_Maclure You have so many incredible space probes there, I don't really know where to start. There are some very creative uses of parts on many of them, and they all have a very practical appearance.

Thank you kindly! Yeah it was kind of a dump of sorts. But yeah, I love to refine my designs, basically use a ''would this make any sense irl'' and take if from there. 

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Just now, Calvin_Maclure said:

I love to refine my designs, basically use a ''would this make any sense irl'' and take if from there.

Well, I think it's worked very well for you. One thing in particular that did stand out to me was the use of stock structural panels in the sides of the hex truss from Near Future Construction; I didn't know they even fit in there so well but it's probably something I'll be using in future.

Wait, that part's not from NF construction is it? I've seen the NF Construction hex truss used with the structural panels too recently, which is probably what confused me. Where did you get that regular hexagon truss from?

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20 hours ago, eloquentJane said:

@Numerlor It's a simple design, but quite effective. The solar panel configuration probably is a bit more power than it needs, but it looks nice.

I see that you didn't like that one much, it may be beacuse my idea was a bit smaller because I forgot about SAS and batteries, so I made this probe, It Is a lot more compact but also a bit bigger because of Ra-100 instead of Ra-15, Hope you like this on more (I personally like bubble like rcs on this one) I calculated  ΔV on this one and it should be around 1800 on probe core

sta_en_soubor_2.jpg

Edited by Numerlor

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