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Posted (edited)

In Career Mode, Hard Level,  plant a flag on Mun and return safely to Kerbin.  The catch is that you can only launch 5 vehicles. 

Hard version:  plant a flag on Minmus, and return safely to Kerbin, with only 5 launches.

Note:  Gathering science at KSP via a module or rover is allowed, but it counts as one of the 5 launches.  So only 5 vehicles can leave the VAB or SH.  The fifth vehicle must make it to Mun and back.

No game changing mods allowed, and the reputation must be non-negative at all times (so no Bail-Out Grants).

I used version 1.3.0, which has a slightly different tech tree than earlier versions.  Not sure if this is a help or a hindrance.

The reason why this is a "Space Race" is that there is another (imaginary) space agency that can make it on their sixth launch.

Although internally the game keeps track of how many launches there have been, there currently is not a way to reveal a log of previous launches.  So this will have to be on the honour system.

 

I don't plan on keeping a leaderboard, since either the goal is met, or not. 

Winner can be based on the in-game clock at recovery.

Edited by Kerbal Flambe
Fixed Spelling

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1 minute ago, Kerbal Flambe said:

I don't plan on keeping a leaderboard, since either the goal is met, or not. 

Would you take a suggestion? You can score based on the in-game clock when the player recovers the kerbonauts (earlier is better) :) 

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14 hours ago, monstah said:

Would you take a suggestion? You can score based on the in-game clock when the player recovers the kerbonauts (earlier is better) :) 

A good idea IMO. First you compare the number of launches. And if that is the same you compare in-game time. That way we can have a real nice competition I believe. But I am mostly interested in how low can people get on the number of launches. Is 2 doable for example? 3 probably is. Not sure though. I haven't played career that much...

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Posted (edited)

This is an interesting challenge that required some very careful planning to complete.

TL;DR 2 Launches to Mun landing, recovery time Y1, D3, 03:09:30

 

Firstly I started a fresh career on Hard mode. Then Jeb set off in my tried and tested Caveman opener, a cobbled together contraption of girders and Fleas.

JewB3Wh.png

This carried 5 Goo canisters to just outside the atmosphere, allowing us to collect plenty of science and satisfy the Launch our First Vessel, Escape the Atmosphere and Science Data from Kerbin contracts.

m8RFehl.png

Even on Hard mode there was enough science to unlock the first few crucial nodes.

lsWq4to.png

The World First's awards provided enough extra cash to upgrade the Launchpad to Level 2, allowing us to launch vessels up to 140 tons.

dvxsrIv.png

Jeb then set off in a 2nd, even more deadly contraption. The 30 part limit of the Level 1 VAB forced some...erm, interesting design decisions.

JlgubN7.png

Without patched conics we had to estimate the Mun encounter by eye.

HZZ4EvX.png

By the time we landed on the Mun, a combination of the Orbit Kerbin contract and more World First's awards allowed us to upgrade the Astronaut Complex to Level 2, so that Jeb could actually leave the capsule!

Fkoxye6.png

An unprotected Mk1 capsule is rugged enough to survive re-entry from anywhere in the Kerbin system, so a Mun return didn't trouble it too much.

oApiCNv.png

 

Full mission album here

 

On 04/08/2017 at 7:56 PM, Kerbal Flambe said:

Hard version:  plant a flag on Minmus, and return safely to Kerbin, with only 5 launches.

If I could make a small suggestion: A round trip to Minimus is easier than to the Mun, as you only need ~1,600 m/s dV from LKO (compared to 2,700 m/s for a Mun round trip) and the landing is much more forgiving. Sure, without patched conics the rendezvous can be a little tricky but it's not too bad with a little practise.

So I'd make Hard mode include both the Mun and Minimus :cool:

Edited by ManEatingApe

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Clearly ManEatingApe has the minimum number of launches.  I am actually shocked that it can be done with only 2 launches.

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1 hour ago, Kerbal Flambe said:

Clearly ManEatingApe has the minimum number of launches.  I am actually shocked that it can be done with only 2 launches.

I've actually spent the last couple of hours racking my brains trying to figure out how to include a Minimus visit in the 2nd mission as well. If only I could only squeeze another few hundred m/s out of the design I feel it's possible.

Perhaps some other daring Space Engineer can try... :wink:

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, tseitsei89 said:

Wow! @ManEatingApe that was one awesome entry!

Thank you very much, I'm honoured!

Edited by ManEatingApe

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I think the question now is "how far can you go with the other three launches?"

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Posted (edited)

Pretty far.

http://imgur.com/a/kyuCM

This was a challenge done early after full release, with a similar idea for limited career start launches.

Granted, I did not land on the moon and Val was still not picked up on Laythe, but still....

 

Edit: I did not link the actual challenge thread, sorry:

 

Edited by RocketPropelledGiraffe

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Actually, I think that this mission/challenge can be even done with 1 vehicle only.

And everyone tried to do it with rocket, and what is more efficient, spaceplane or rocket? I think it is spaceplane, so expect big spaceplane, which will make it to both Mun and Minmus in just one, and really, one launch.

It seems to be Mission Impossible, but, with great design and engine choosing, it will be way too easy.

Signed,

SLAMOVNIK989, Admiral of K.S.S. Kerbitz

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@SLAMOVNIK989 I get the feeling you didn't quite read the challenge parameters properly. This challenge is supposed to be done from the beginning of a career mode game. It's impossible to make a spaceplane with the technology available at the beginning of a career mode game without a single launch.

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Posted (edited)

I had a hunch that it was possible to unlock the elusive "Advanced Rocketry" node in the very first launch. The "Aha!" moment was when I recalled that EVA and Crew reports are per biome in "low space" and "flying low" situations respectively, providing just enough extra science to get us over the line. Amusingly, I also discovered that a Kerbal jumping from Kerbin's surface counts as a "in flight" vessel when recovered, providing a few more bonus science points.

 

Bob bravely rode the ladder all the way to space, with nothing but a Goo canister between him and certain death. There was a complex dance to collect 6 Crew Reports, 7 EVA Reports and 6 Goo experiments, shown in the short video below.

 

The most important unlocked part is the larger FL-T400 fuel tank. This should allow us to go the Mun, Minmus and beyond, within the 30 part limit of the Level 1 VAB.

It was a lot of fun flying this ridiculous contraption to space, so if anyone would like to try, the craft file is available here.

Now I must plot the 2nd mission...

Edited by ManEatingApe

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@ManEatingApe Nice! You've really been pushing the limits of caveman tech. There happens to be a way to add another 10 science because the Kerbin Shores biome is underneath the launch pad, and with a cute little trick a mystery goo container will notice it and give you a 'landed at kerbin shores' science (at least I think that's how it works). Anyways, opinions on that sort of thing vary so let me know if it's something you'd want to add in and I'll pass along the details.

I always love the lithobraking :cool:

 

I've been hooked on racing for a while, so I'll post some of my older missions that fit the bill. Thanks for the challenge, @Kerbal Flambe!

If old versions happen to be allowed (v1.2.2)- Mun in 5 launches! (and Minmus on 6, though I know it doesn't count!)
If even older versions happen to be allowed (v1.0.5)- Minmus in 3 launches! (and Mun on 4)

Spoiler

 

The music was my system audio at time of recording, which included 'Random Chiptune Mix 30' assembled by Krelez on Youtube. Other posts from this mission are here: link.  Using @ManEatingApe's techniques for a first mission would essentially replace my entire missions 1 and 2! Quite an improvement.

Also, if even older versions happen to be allowed, I've got a Minmus mission in 3 launches from way back in the day (v1.0.5) https://youtu.be/N-xqn2Mtf18?t=1180

 

 

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Cunjo Carl said:

There happens to be a way to add another 10 science because the Kerbin Shores biome is underneath the launch pad, and with a cute little trick a mystery goo container will notice it and give you a 'landed at kerbin shores' science (at least I think that's how it works).

Every little bit helps, especially on Hard mode! Do you think you could modify the W.Y.D.D.L.D. to incorporate the trick?

 

I haven't forgotten about this challenge and in the background I've been designing and testing a craft for the second mission. A few more...erm, simulations in sandbox and I'll be ready to dare try it on the Hard save file from the first mission.

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3 minutes ago, ManEatingApe said:

Every little bit helps, especially on Hard mode! Do you think you could modify the W.Y.D.D.L.D. to incorporate the trick?

For sure! No modification required. Here's the trick:

1. While on the launch pad, click the collect science button on the goo canister.
2. Launch your craft before the canister finishes opening.
3. If the canister finishes opening mid-air, you get a Kerbin shores science. ^_^

Should be enough to add the decoupler to your arsenal. Happy flying!

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After a small hiatus, resumed the save* that I started with the W.Y.D.D.L.D.

(* Well, not exactly the same save. I screwed it up a few times** and had to restart from scratch)

(** 4 times to be exact)

TL;DR With just two missions on stock Hard career mode, it's possible to:

  • Plant a flag on the Mun and Minimus then return safely to Kerbin.
  • Plant a flag on Duna (one way only).
  • Upgrade the Launchpad, VAB, Astronaut Complex, Mission Control and Tracking Station to Level 2.
  • Have a healthy fund balance and unlock some useful tech tree nodes***

(*** Certainly challenges the belief that career mode is "grindy")

Just to refresh, after our first mission we've unlocked the Level 2 Launchpad and the Tech Tree looks like:

OvKSqET.png

Crucially the  "Advanced Rocketry" node unlocks the FL-T400 tank, allowing us to "spend" more of our part count creating a larger rocket. Despite the 30 part count limit of the Level 1 VAB we can make 2 ships for the price of 1.

iYxKGR3.png

Our mission plan is as follows:

  • The solid fuel stages will get us nearly to orbit.
  • The lower craft will make LKO followed by a Mun intercept.
  • The upper craft will then land on the Mun, followed by Minimus, then return to Kerbin.
  • The lower craft will use the Mun intercept to fling itself cheerfully out of the Kerbin's SOI.
  • Then we'll wing it :wink:

Highlights:

Kerbin ascent and the Mun

Spoiler

Offsetting the upper stages slightly starts a gravity turn without needing control input.

JB8z2Js.png

Triple thumpers provide a satisfying 4G of acceleration.

4ewInbR.png

Without manoeuvre nodes we have to line up our Mun intercept by eye.

MVofvRM.png

The upper craft is surprisingly stable.

gOkgpQJ.png

Minimus and Kerbin re-entry

Spoiler

Careful rotation of the map view allows us to match Minimus's inclination by eye.

QfnRuIg.png

Our craft falls over and starts rolling away on Minimus!

5MlW5ap.png

By carefully rejecting certain contracts we can select ones that can be easily fulfilled as part of our mission.

SZRk4PZ.png

Our Kerbin aerobrake is touch and go.

cVnBNUT.png

After several passes Valentina splashes down safely.

Rz9tCnR.png

Duna

Spoiler

Using our funds from our Mun and Minimus mission we can unlock maneuver nodes making interplanetary intercepts much much easier.

9KaKRZK.png

Compared to Kerbin the Duna aerobrake is quite relaxing.

Jy8I7OJ.png

However the landing leaves a little to be desired...

HyUg4rc.png

Miraculously Jeb survives.

YvzjrA4.png

 

Full album available here

Craft file for the curious

Edited by ManEatingApe

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