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Shuttle Challenge v5 - The STS thread [Stock and Mod Friendly] - MAJOR CHALLENGE ANNOUNCEMENT! - 30.3.2020


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On 7/4/2018 at 5:15 PM, Kerbolitto said:

I forgot to post it, as I wanted your approval on STS 2 before, thought I threw the pics but I still got 'em in my files !

Alright, that happens to the most of us sometimes.... :)

About the STS-3 report - I'll need some more details. I can't quite make what the MMUs are, and which parts are the solar arrays attached in orbit - would you please provide a few more screenshots documenting the parts, and the final looks of the telecope? thanks!

On 7/5/2018 at 8:52 AM, Agent Awesome said:

Hhmm…, a few more tweaks to the STS-Titan and I’ll be ready to pick up from where I left off…

Looking forward to seeing the machine fly :)

On 7/5/2018 at 11:04 PM, hoioh said:

If i'm not mistaken somebody already has, like 2 days after you posted it, but like I said, I might be mistaken

I checked it again, and nobody completed the mission yet. So, the badge is still awaiting its firt recipient :)

5 hours ago, funk said:

A flyby heavy journey for Cassini-Huygens

That's some NASA-level gravity-assist dancing, I'm really impressed! :) How often do the planets align for this kind of Kerbin-Eve-Kerbin-Jool transfer? I cionsider myself a quite experienced interplanetary navigator, but I did not attempt that kind of maneuver yet. Really good job, and an extensive Jool system tour as well!

Here's your badge, this one is really well earned!

SHSX07C.png?1

 

Michal.don

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6 minutes ago, michal.don said:

Alright, that happens to the most of us sometimes.... :)

About the STS-3 report - I'll need some more details. I can't quite make what the MMUs are, and which parts are the solar arrays attached in orbit - would you please provide a few more screenshots documenting the parts, and the final looks of the telecope? thanks!

Damn, that's all the screenshot I got and I realise that I mistook what MMU are, thought that'd be an acronym for Module-something-something.

Well I'll refly the mission again, with a new sat design !

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14 minutes ago, michal.don said:

I checked it again, and nobody completed the mission yet. So, the badge is still awaiting its firt recipient

Well, You've asked for it!

 

My STS-4T (or T-IV, or whatever) with the skylab mission. I'm particularly proud of the final landing, that is just beautiful! (and entirely un-powered)

I cheated a little bit with the second set of solar arrays because I had forgotten to put RCS on the windmill with the antenna, but luckily I could salvage it with the tracktor module by just leaving it attached on the habitat side of the station. I might fly in later to correct that if I feel so inclined.

 

The first mission is flown a little bit chaotically, but I'm quite sure I've met all parameters. The second mission is a lot easier to oversee.

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1 hour ago, michal.don said:

How often do the planets align for this kind of Kerbin-Eve-Kerbin-Jool transfer?

Thx again for the badge.

I'm not absolutely sure, I'm using flyby finder and just from a quick search, the next low energy window was approx. 620 days after the one I've used. I don't think you can generalize it, cause even when Eve and Kerbin are in the same position relative to each other again, Jool has moved a bit further so the K-E alignment will have to move further too and so on. There will be some kind of tipping point where the alignment needs to be "restarted". Then you'll probably have a longer period to the next low-energy transfer.

As far as I can remember and without any further proove and me being an engineer with basic mathmatics/physics background only, the tipping points are one reason why non-linear systems of differential equations, like the three body problem or in chaos theory, need to be solved numerical.

Edited by funk
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This is my second attempt to STS 3, sorry for misreading the requirements about the MMU !

The telescope was completely re-design and should now fulfill everything

 

ywpkya.jpg

 

Spoiler

Payload on launchpad :

5szm87.jpg

Second stage a few seconds before circularizing :

b16uy1.jpg

MMU detaching Solar Array :

ccmeoh.jpg

Assembly phase :

fw6mcg.jpg

Kerby-scope in sight of the north pole at something like 60° angle, circularized at +/- 630km

p20zs8.jpg

Artisan v3 coming down on KSC :

rh038o.jpg

 

lcmc5l.jpg

 

This is the very first time that I design a MMU, this thing is a joy to fly, far more funny than the probe tugs with bigger docking-ports I'm used to !

Also the landing was a lot more easier, I only had to transfer a bit of fuel to the rear and with a little boost from the 2 bobcats I could get the attitude needed to flare the final approach.

Edited by Kerbolitto
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After many, many tries and many, many deaths of Jeb...I'm proud to finally present: STS-9 Can you land me?
(Little spoiler: YES I can land you!)

Spoiler

Catching an astroid needs more fuel than I used to carry with my orbiter, so...lets stuff some tanks inside of the cargobay, together with a claw and a mobile claw.
VVyKxYg.png

This is astroid IUB-373, a Class B asteroid (took some time to find a nice asteroid, as you can see in the list of tracked asteroids :o). The trajectory is inclined at ~44° to Kerbin and I'm going to catch this beautiful rock.
svzlKki.png

Lift-off for Val and Jeb
ZPjTF7p.jpg

The launch is the least interesting part of this mission, so lets skip ahead to the rendevouz maneuver
PoJrvbf.jpg

Look at this beautiful rock!
xxnckJm.jpg

Jeb switch from a warm, comfy cockpit to the mobile claw
ct3ptVX.jpg

The asteroid got a mass of ~11t
Df9D6jm.jpg

Jeb takes his place on top of the asteroid
irAig97.jpg

Lets use the Mun to change the inclination almost for free
IZHqdKN.jpg

During the first aerobreak, Jeb almost burned up but an emergency, full thrust burn will pitch up the orbiter to protect Jeb (I need to do 3 of these emergency burns...)
oPE6gvl.jpg

After 8! aerobreaks and a small burn, the orbiter got a stable orbit at 90km around Kerbin
Dh9x5pw.jpg

The tough part of the mission: reentry! Some try and error brought up some required parameter: Pe at -47km, 30° AoA and the trajectory needs to cross the surface at the longitude of a small island in the east of the KSC
EQhSvsr.jpg

Things are getting serious for Jeb but he will never achieve a temperature above 700k (he would die at 800k) because the orbiter will protect him from heating up too much
3sCSDU4.jpg

Survived the critical reentry phase
AMbqk0p.jpg

I kept some fuel for this situation...without any acceleration, the orbiter would crash into the ground right in front of the KSC
aZsL5EI.jpg

Down at the runway...with Jeb alive...you can't imagine how happy I am!
4GwrHPQ.jpg

Some final screens: Mass of the asteroid is still 11t
pJ9CiVW.jpg

Landing weight of 53.93t
ShwsyYT.jpg

And a proud Jeb
7nto86d.jpg

Album with even more pictures (yep, there is a picture for each of the 8 aerobreaks xD): https://imgur.com/a/pPlWqJ4

I started this mission ~3 weeks ago and I almost went crazy when I tried to keep Jeb alive on top of this rock so I had to take a break until yesterday...
it's just the best feeling in the world to see this dude alive and back at the KSC, finally finishing this challenge.

(ofc this is done with 100% reentry heating)

Edited by 4x4cheesecake
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On 7/1/2018 at 4:50 PM, michal.don said:

fnWt4Ns.jpg

<snip>

Kerbals consider that green aura you have now to be a sign of good health. :)   JK, looks like you had an interesting holiday.

On 7/2/2018 at 12:43 PM, michal.don said:

Also, I checked the previous version of the challenge, and found out that this version has the most replies of them all - so I'd like to thank you all for the interest in shuttle flying!

I also found out that I only added three new missions and four bonus "test pilot" missions, which is kind of meh.....

So I'd like to ask all the pilots here, especially the veteran ones, who have completed most of the regular missions - which way would you like me to continue the challenge?

- Thank you for your dedication maintaining the challenge, adding new missions and evaluating all of our reports.   And congrats on the new replies record!  It has been quite a journey!  

- I disagree, out of 20 missions total, 7, or, in other words, over a third of the challenge are your creations. I wouldn't call that meh.  Keep up the good job.

Tough question, the short answer is I want a bit of everything (including the articles):

Exploring new worlds keeps the challenge interesting in terms of course plotting and facing the different planet conditions.  Eve is particularly interesting as pointed out by others before, because it is the only body with an atmosphere that we did not visit yet. The conditions there are also EXTREME, so it should remain as the ultimate target in my opinion.  There are still several unvisited bodies, that, while not having an atmosphere, can be challenging because of the high amounts of dV needed to get there and back - Again, high end missions - .  There's also an unvisited body inside the kerbin SOI:ph34r:

Incremental infrastructure development is an aspect of the challenge I particularly enjoy, it gives the players a sense of progress, and allows planning several missions ahead of the one you are flying. So yes, we also need to return to some of our previous landing sites to bring more equipment.  However, the equipment itself has to have something special going on to justify the journey there.  The Mun base missions are a great example of this.

The test flights, being closely related to real missions, and therefore intended for realistic shuttles are a nice addition to the rest of the challenge. Kind of a spin off from my point of view.

PM with a few mission ideas lifting off in 3...2...1...

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5 hours ago, 4x4cheesecake said:

I started this mission ~3 weeks ago and I almost went crazy when I tried to keep Jeb alive on top of this rock so I had to take a break until yesterday...
it's just the best feeling in the world to see this dude alive and back at the KSC, finally finishing this challenge.

(ofc this is done with 100% reentry heating)

Serious respect for your persistence! I gave up on asteroid surfing after 3attempts or so

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2 minutes ago, hoioh said:

Serious respect for your persistence! I gave up on asteroid surfing after 3attempts or so

I almost gave up as well, at least the 'kerbal on top of the rock' part...the asteroid in my first try had a mass of 24t and I was actually able to land it but the atmospheric 'flight' was just a mess...more like an asteroid falling down to Kerbin...so Jeb died every time.

2 minutes ago, Kerbolitto said:

How can you fly something with that much drag ! : D 

Fun fact: You don't :P After several hours I've learned something: As soon as I touch the controls, everything will flip around in an uncontrolled way. So obviously, the solution is: Don't do anything :D After burning retrograde to set up the descent trajectory, I've turned the orbiter prograde and after getting past 85km altitude, I switched SAS to stability control and did nothing until I've reached ~20km. Everything beyond is just the magic of a screenshot to create the illusion of a controlled flight xD (ofc I had some kind of control but it was really, really hard not to loose it)

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1 hour ago, Kerbolitto said:

I wonder if it is possible to design some kind of super flaps that would raise the center of lift above the shuttle, to get more stability .. !

Just build a massive shuttle 

Mine was so big the asterood looks puny riding on it, hardly had any control issues either, but the shuttle i've used for the test pilot missions is already twice as big as a mk3 and the potato hunter was even bigger!

And then there's the hylarious option we've all seen recently which is to grab it underneath the shuttle and play soccer with it

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21 hours ago, Kerbolitto said:

Damn, that's all the screenshot I got and I realise that I mistook what MMU are, thought that'd be an acronym for Module-something-something.

You weren't the first one to be confused. I edited the OP so it's more clear.

 

21 hours ago, hoioh said:

Well, You've asked for it!

Yay, christmas Skylab is saved!

All the requirements are complete, no doubt about that! The only thing that I mind a bit is the inefficiency of the docking autopilot, it keeps spraying monoprop all over the place :D And the second landing was indeed beautiful, I love it when everything goes just right.... 

So, you're the first one to get the new badge, congratulations!

mag5XYH.png?1

20 hours ago, funk said:

Thx again for the badge.

I'm not absolutely sure, I'm using flyby finder and just from a quick search, the next low energy window was approx. 620 days after the one I've used. I don't think you can generalize it, cause even when Eve and Kerbin are in the same position relative to each other again, Jool has moved a bit further so the K-E alignment will have to move further too and so on. There will be some kind of tipping point where the alignment needs to be "restarted". Then you'll probably have a longer period to the next low-energy transfer.

As far as I can remember and without any further proove and me being an engineer with basic mathmatics/physics background only, the tipping points are one reason why non-linear systems of differential equations, like the three body problem or in chaos theory, need to be solved numerical.

Being an engineer myself, I can add my bit of expertise and confirm that sets of non-linear differential equations are pure evil and caused me many sleepless nights in my school days..... :D

Out of curiosity, what are the d-V requirements for correction burns in this kind of transfer? Do the planets send you the right way on their own, or are some larger burns requirerd?

 

18 hours ago, Kerbolitto said:

This is my second attempt to STS 3, sorry for misreading the requirements about the MMU !

And this time, everything is right!

MMUs are indeed joy to fly, when designed properly. And a small detail - I love the use of the tail fins on the solar array, looks great! :)

So, if I'm correct, two badges for you - one for the HUbble and one for the rescue - here they come:

9E708Vn.jpg?12LypmZP.jpg?1

Congratulations!

18 hours ago, 4x4cheesecake said:

After many, many tries and many, many deaths of Jeb...I'm proud to finally present: STS-9 Can you land me?

Wow, that's really a great achievement!

You managed to find a pretty fortunate space potato, low periapsis and a free capture/inclination change by Mun - I personally never found such a good one and always went interplanetary to get one.... Great job on the landing, and bonus points for riding the rock all the way down!

LNBL5Lo.jpg?1

 

Michal.don

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11 minutes ago, michal.don said:

And this time, everything is right!

MMUs are indeed joy to fly, when designed properly. And a small detail - I love the use of the tail fins on the solar array, looks great! :)

So, if I'm correct, two badges for you - one for the HUbble and one for the rescue - here they come:

9E708Vn.jpg?12LypmZP.jpg?1

 

Michal.don

 

Glad you like it !

And thank you for maintaining this awesome challenge, the huge diversity of the requirements really helps developping our creativity and learning new ways to get a good design !

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2 hours ago, michal.don said:

The only thing that I mind a bit is the inefficiency of the docking autopilot, it keeps spraying monoprop all over the place

I agree about the inefficiency, but it's actualy me spraying that monoprop to get the angle just right :D

The inefficiency is in the fact that it creates so much distance before it starts to align and approach, but it's still better at it than I am :blush:

 

Thanks for the shiny new badge!

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1 hour ago, michal.don said:

Out of curiosity, what are the d-V requirements for correction burns in this kind of transfer? Do the planets send you the right way on their own, or are some larger burns requirerd?

Best case, it's only the transfer burn. But their are so many variables like timing, burn, thrust angle offset through SAS even when your craft is symmetrical etc. that at least I needed some minor correction burns. I found, the cheapest way is to burn right after you leave the flyby-planets SoI. Only 3-5 m/s per burn. For fine tuning it's more like 0.1m/s. The closer you're to the next planet the more expensive it is, but easier to perform. For K-E-K-J I used totally about 15m/s dv.

I would advise you, if you like to do this kind of maneuvers, that you get used to flyby finder. When you've found a window decrease the search period to 50 days or so for departure. Then FF will find a lot of possible transfers. It's easier than you would think.

Last important point has to do with KSPs solver. You will only see the next encounter (when your craft crosses the orbit of the targeted planet). So adding an additional (0m/s)maneuver node on the resulting trajectory helps to find the next one /(x orbits later and so on).

2 hours ago, michal.don said:

Being an engineer myself, I can add my bit of expertise and confirm that sets of non-linear differential equations are pure evil and caused me many sleepless nights in my school days..... :D

Yeah diff. equations and headaches sounds familiar. Because I'm more on the electrical side, transformations and discrete math is more common and way easier imho. And for the mechanical part I was glad when I passed it. Nowadays I only need it for KSP ... thankfully.

14 hours ago, hoioh said:

And then there's the hylarious option we've all seen recently which is to grab it underneath the shuttle and play soccer with it

Ehem... it's still called football :wink:.

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8 minutes ago, funk said:

Ehem... it's still called football :wink:.

Oh no, this again :DI agree anyway

Quick, lets add some shuttle stuff and pretend no one started this discussion...
My first attempt to get enough deltaV to bring my orbiter to the surface of the Mun and back:

tHXB3kv.png

This are two separate payloads. The manned research facility on the right, on the left a lot of fuel with 4 engines, which will be docked to the cockpit and push the orbiter....in theory. In reallity, I'm still missing ~1000m/s deltaV. (The baguette tanks are clipped half way into the center tank to fit into the cargo-bay but they are also just filled with half of the fuel. This wouldn't be a challenge if I clip a lot of tanks^^)

I also tried an ISRU setup but it feels like cheating, even though it is not prohibited in the rules...

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On 7/8/2018 at 2:25 PM, funk said:

Best case, it's only the transfer burn. But their are so many variables like timing, burn, thrust angle offset through SAS even when your craft is symmetrical etc. that at least I needed some minor correction burns. I found, the cheapest way is to burn right after you leave the flyby-planets SoI. Only 3-5 m/s per burn. For fine tuning it's more like 0.1m/s. The closer you're to the next planet the more expensive it is, but easier to perform. For K-E-K-J I used totally about 15m/s dv.

I would advise you, if you like to do this kind of maneuvers, that you get used to flyby finder. When you've found a window decrease the search period to 50 days or so for departure. Then FF will find a lot of possible transfers. It's easier than you would think.

I guess I'll have to check that out, Some stuff I'd like to do will probably need to involve gravity assist dancing around the system.... Thanks for the tip ;)

On 7/8/2018 at 2:25 PM, funk said:

Ehem... it's still called football :wink:.

Also, this, million times :D

On 7/8/2018 at 2:51 PM, 4x4cheesecake said:

Quick, lets add some shuttle stuff and pretend no one started this discussion...
My first attempt to get enough deltaV to bring my orbiter to the surface of the Mun and back:

That's one way to do it..... :) If you are still a bit of d-V short, you might try adding another Mk-3 tank to the shuttle, but that will disturb the CoM/CoL balance, so some tweaking would be neccessary afterwards.....

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1 hour ago, michal.don said:

That's one way to do it..... :) If you are still a bit of d-V short, you might try adding another Mk-3 tank to the shuttle, but that will disturb the CoM/CoL balance, so some tweaking would be neccessary afterwards.....

I don't really care about CoL/CoM troubles, there is always a way to solve this. But adding additional parts to my orbiter will disturb my personal challenge to do as many challenges as possible without any major changes but I'm afraid, there is no other way to continue. I guess, I'll build a complete new design which may be able to do the remaining challenges.

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Hmmm... I might take a crack at the RTLS abort test now that that's a mission. Been developing systems for the Mun, Duna, and Laythe missions, and this should be a fun diversion, as I've been meaning to program various abort modes into my launch script, and this will finally push me to do so.

On a different note, my shuttle may soon be going from having dumb boosters like this:

Llon84L.jpg

 

...to having smart, Falcon 9 work-alike recoverable boosters based off of this:

rk1bBgK.jpg

 

That is, as soon as I can get the booster return script to land them reliably in a suitable spot from an arbitrarily inclined orbit. Shameless plug of script development video:D

 

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9 hours ago, michal.don said:

That's one way to do it..... :) If you are still a bit of d-V short, you might try adding another Mk-3 tank to the shuttle, but that will disturb the CoM/CoL balance, so some tweaking would be neccessary afterwards

The way I got around not having enough fuel is just build the shuttle with the capability to hold tonnes of fuel and then just fill up enough to finish the mission so I don’t have weight imbalance during the glider phase

and if I have to haul a heavy payload, i can dock a tanker rocket

 

As long as the Titan has a TWR of 1.2 or higher, it can make orbit.

literally when the ET is ditched, it’s still 1/3 full of fuel

Edited by Agent Awesome
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On 7/9/2018 at 7:11 PM, 4x4cheesecake said:

I don't really care about CoL/CoM troubles, there is always a way to solve this. But adding additional parts to my orbiter will disturb my personal challenge to do as many challenges as possible without any major changes but I'm afraid, there is no other way to continue. I guess, I'll build a complete new design which may be able to do the remaining challenges.

Or, another way to do that is to scale up your boosters and ET - if you carry the ET all the way to munar orbit, there should be enough d-V for landing and return to Kerbin ;) 

On 7/9/2018 at 7:28 PM, EpicSpaceTroll139 said:

Hmmm... I might take a crack at the RTLS abort test now that that's a mission. Been developing systems for the Mun, Duna, and Laythe missions, and this should be a fun diversion, as I've been meaning to program various abort modes into my launch script, and this will finally push me to do so.

On a different note, my shuttle may soon be going from having dumb boosters like this:

Ah, all those gosh darn kids with the reusable rockets, back in my day, we threw all that stuff into the sea.... :D Seriously though - I'm looking forward to seeing what you manage to do!

 

10 hours ago, iAMtheWALRUS said:

Been away from this challenge for a while.   I got sucked in to RSS and RP-0 for a few months.  Kind of nice get back to stock KSP for a change of pace.  I'd love to do these new missions, but gotta do the old ones first.  Without further ado here's my 

Welcome back! Yup, RO/RP-0 is a bit addictive, I agree to that! And building a spaceshuttle there is a whole different problem.....

 

About the missions - three of them in one go consisting of six shuttle flights are a bit overwhelming for me, so I'll just say that all the requirements were met, and the payload design, especially the station, is really nice! The atmospheric flight capacity i pretty good too, so all landings were pin-point accurate, despite having to go around once. So, good job, and here are your badges:

9E708Vn.jpg?12LypmZP.jpg?1t3gSvqs.jpg?1

Good asteroid hunting! ;)

 

Michal.don

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3 minutes ago, michal.don said:

Or, another way to do that is to scale up your boosters and ET - if you carry the ET all the way to munar orbit, there should be enough d-V for landing and return to Kerbin ;)

Already considered a solution like that but I'm already designing a new shuttle and to be honest: it is actually more fun to build something new then trying to carry the old one as far as possible.

It is still a rough prototype but I like the my new orbiter already :) DeltaV and TWR are high enough to carry a 50t payload to the surface of the Mun...and back if it is necessary^^ The wings needs some fine tuning though, without any cargo the CoL is just ~1mm behind the CoM (CoM will shift forward with lower fuel levels or any cargo) and there is no RCS yet (reentry and atmospheric flights are already possible). Oh, and I need more chutes...the last orbiter got them for style, the new one actually needs them to slow down. (Dry mass of the new orbiter: 151t, the old one: 12.5t)

Spoiler

WeFUmjO.png

(And you already thought that my old orbiter got big wings :D )

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