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


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6 minutes ago, michal.don said:

Thanks for understanding :) Good luck with your missions, and let us know when you plan on streaming your attempts, I'm sure some of the folks here would love to watch it live ;)

I stream Sunday and Monday evenings.  Sunday is my game time, and Monday is either game time or mod coding..

I will probably do the first few missions this Sunday evening.  There is also a chance I'll be streaming on Tuesday

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STS-3 Is complete. I put my replica of the Hubble Space Telescope into a 600km orbit at ~27o inclination. 

https://imgur.com/gallery/uuQg8H5

I am loving my shuttle it gets work done!

Now to launch another shuttle for scientific purposes. What could possibly go wrong?

*Edit* Booster separation motors burnt too long and burnt a hole in the heat tiles on the cockpit...

Welp Rescue mission time. With an unmanned shuttle because I can.

Edited by Starslinger999
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So almost a year ago i started these missions, but didn't get far. I made it to STS-2a and forgot to screenshot the landing. I just had to redo the landing because the comsats were deployed.

here is the landing of my STS-2a

(comsat deployment: date: february 28, page 15)

Spoiler

3CFE2B9DA8C1609854A45AEF6A7F3207BB209287

 

liftoff

Spoiler

F35105622F9CF7FF33E99CD58E0002D716A6811E

seperation of first and second stage.

Spoiler

2AAE26D5A65092DC606A80B48B9A1C2D0D8ABE4B

7194F62E0A6F4B486C97027ECDF0B8A6665FF13C

achieved orbit

Spoiler

A17720EF491A54660CA8E75A49F217136A5D6D1C

de- orbiting

Spoiler

EB2389523EF30F65BAB5B7D511945406A2AF804D

335C3648F4A89E9660D7C72A3F9E770AAA12A0AE

72EE657B9C73A8881E86D29EF099E787D7973CB2

over shooting the ksc..

Spoiler

9B2916587ABC1AECA994DD23855A33B23D9D9969

heading for the ksc

Spoiler

6B62316D4A7CBBB0E89B17F288B8F4319AAA32D3

landing.

Spoiler

E8A26D6DD662718F9F6E44AEDEC9135073346ADE

590E9BBC7731E66463D396BD08540B9EE184400A

I hope this is enough because it has been a year since I started this mission. I'm happy to be back and will most likely continue these missions.

 

mods:

-dockingportallignment indicator

-trajectories

-flight engineer

-kerbal alarm clock

 

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6 hours ago, linuxgurugamer said:

I stream Sunday and Monday evenings.  Sunday is my game time, and Monday is either game time or mod coding..

I will probably do the first few missions this Sunday evening.  There is also a chance I'll be streaming on Tuesday

actually you gave me an idea. maybe i should stream too.

can you save a stream?

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10 minutes ago, linuxgurugamer said:

The hardest thing for me in this challenge will be to actually fly the shuttle to space, I usually allow an autopilot mod to do that

I'll probably use an autopilot for testing, but will fly the missions by hand.

well you said you code so.....
If you write your own ascent code you can use it

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6 hours ago, linuxgurugamer said:

But, in a situation where I've reentered the atmosphere, am 1/2 way around the world, and have a shuttle with jets, would it be allowable to use something like Atmosphere Autopilot to just do the long-distance flying?

OK so our humble STS program director has allowed it, but that's really not the greatest idea. A good airplane makes a bad shuttle and vice versa. For long distance flying, you want a lot of lift and efficient jet engines. These cost drag, engine mass, and fuel mass. For a spaceplane (including shuttles), you want low drag, low dry mass, high thrust lifter engines, and efficient vacuum engines. The American STS was infamous for dropping like a brick on reentry. KSP is more forgiving, but even so you want as little wing area and jet engines (ideally none) as you're comfortable flying.

This is my standard reentry procedure. It applies about the same to SSTO spaceplanes also.

  1. I'm assuming you're in LKO, in an equatorial prograde orbit, landing at the KSC.
  2. Time warp to about 60 degrees west of the KSC.
  3. Burn retrograde to deorbit. Your trajectory should end off the coast, east of the island runway. The exact distance will vary depending on your craft; I generally aim for a point about 15 degrees east off the coast (about the same width as the KSC continent at the equator). Your initial height when passing over the KSC (not including drag effects) should be roughly 20-30km.
  4. Hold your nose at about 20 degrees pitch during initial reentry. If you need to bleed off speed faster, you can pitch up more or do some S-turns, but I wouldn't recommend any extreme maneuvers during the thermal shock phase (around 55-30 km usually) or you risk losing control or even breaking up.
  5. Once things have cooled down and you're lower in the atmosphere, you should be somewhere near the west coast. Check your trajectory; it should be much closer to the KSC now, around a few degrees east off the coast.
  6. To slow down and lose altitude faster, pitch up. To slow down and maintain altitude, do some S-turns. To maintain speed and maximize distance, pitch down until you find your glide angle (probably around 10-15 degrees negative pitch).

If you do it right, you should at least end up on the KSC peninsula. Nailing the runway will take some practice. I'm not quite ready to take the jets off my shuttle yet, but I'm using them a lot less lately.

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6 hours ago, linuxgurugamer said:

I understand that the reason behind this is to demonstrate flying & piloting ability.  But, in a situation where I've reentered the atmosphere, am 1/2 way around the world, and have a shuttle with jets, would it be allowable to use something like Atmosphere Autopilot to just do the long-distance flying? 

If you find yourself missing by that much (going from high orbit / Mun / interplanetary), it would be best just to wing it the spaceplane way. You'd need to learn the sweet spot (it strongly depends on the drag and width of the window depends on the lift) for reentry periapsis aiming that allows you to make choice between aerobraking into lower orbit (so you'll have a better position after an orbit), bouncing into long-range suborbital hop / upper stratospheric glide (that's what you do if you undershoot - or have no better aiming option - by half the planet. see also: skip-reentry. Additional note: if you still misaim the suborbital hop, you have a good chance to use OMS for correction) or quickly plunging into lower atmosphere if you get close enough (although, if you fail to drop quickly enough, you may overshoot by half an ocean - that's why you need to keep in mind the going for another orbit option). Of course, besides landing location there are also thermal considerations (coupled with the ability to generate enough drag for decelerating in upper atmosphere before it gets too hot) that may limit your options based on your initial speed.

This is exactly what what I did on my last mission: reentry straight from interplanetary trajectory proved a bit too hot (although, my HRO shuttles can do quite a rough plunge into lower atmosphere from Munar return), so I first aerobraked a bit into elliptical trajectory, then on the next pass I aerobraked above the southern hemisphere just enough to bounce into almost an orbit in the upper atmosphere and glide straight to the northern polar cap at which point it becomes a regular reentry.

Of course, my HRO may not be the most useful example with this much wing area (it lands more like an airliner than a shuttle, but the design specification actually was gentle landing with complicated payloads - that's also what the jets are for), but the point is that this is the main feature of a shuttle - ability not only to adjust lift direction (even capsules of Soyuz and Apollo got that feature, although the lift is pretty low), but also to rather freely change lift/drag ratio between high lift for major trajectory adjustments (or just long range stratospheric glide on low drag) and high drag (optionally negating remaining lift by changing its direction) for quicker deceleration

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2 minutes ago, sturmhauke said:

you want as little wing area

I disagree on this one :P Big wings are for big fun (probaly not the best idea for the bginning though) :D 

17 minutes ago, linuxgurugamer said:

The hardest thing for me in this challenge will be to actually fly the shuttle to space, I usually allow an autopilot mod to do that

Kinda depends on how much time you want to invest. A well balanced shuttle will fly into orbit without many control inputs but this can take some time to find a good configuration. A huge problem is the shifting of the CoM during the ascent since it will move in two dimensions. Recently, we had a little talk about this topic.
There is no perfect solution for this and each shuittle will behave a little bit different. On a 'regular sized' shuttle, I prefer to balance my shuttles by adjusting the thrust vector to point through the ACoM of the orbiter + external tank combo, than add the boosters and adjust the thrust of them to eliminate any torque during launch and I also do not add any fuel lines from the boosters to the external tank (ET). This will cause the shuttle to be pretty stable during the ascent through the thick parts of the atmosphere, so you can initiate the gravity turn. As soon as the boosters are gone, the ET will already have lost some fuel so the CoM should be close to the ACoM and you will still have just a slight offset between your CoM and thrust vector.
The more fuel you need from your ET, the more torque will build up and it is pretty easy to loose control of the shuttle at this point. You can try to throttle down at this point and/or pitch to reduce the effect on your shuttle. If you didn't use all the fuel, it's totally fine to ditch the ET and switch to the orbital maneuvering system (OMS) to skip the 'flippy' phase (maybe even carry around more fuel than required to keep balance and dump the fuel^^)

A different possibility would be a symmetrical design for your launch vehicle so you don't have to deal with a lot of torque at all. I haven't build such a design on my own but I  assume that it is easiert to balance...that's the point of a symmetrical design, isn't it?^^
Since it doesn't need much balancing and you don't have to care a lot about the CoM, this should take less time.

1 hour ago, Artienia said:

well you said you code so.....
If you write your own ascent code you can use it

I would love to see a kOs or kRPC script :)

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1 hour ago, sturmhauke said:

LOL yeah, he maintains like half the mods I use.

(PS thanks for the mods dude)

I'm not interested in writing an autopilot

1 hour ago, sturmhauke said:

OK so our humble STS program director has allowed it, but that's really not the greatest idea. A good airplane makes a bad shuttle and vice versa. For long distance flying, you want a lot of lift and efficient jet engines. These cost drag, engine mass, and fuel mass. For a spaceplane (including shuttles), you want low drag, low dry mass, high thrust lifter engines, and efficient vacuum engines. The American STS was infamous for dropping like a brick on reentry. KSP is more forgiving, but even so you want as little wing area and jet engines (ideally none) as you're comfortable flying.

 

I appreciate the comments.  I've only very recently started doing a shuttle, and while I'm getting better at landing where I want, I still like to have the ability to go where I want, if needed.  I'm using the Mk2.5 Spaceplane because it is a better performer than the stock shuttle parts.

forgot to mention, that currently, I'm launching my shuttle Buran style, at the top of a rocket rather than on the side.  Ergo the fairing, to avoid the wings causing it to flip.

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STS 4/4R is done!

https://imgur.com/gallery/Khv7jMH

Now to go build a space station with Space Station Parts Expanded Redux...

22 minutes ago, linuxgurugamer said:

I'll be doing the first mission on sunday evening, but here are the images of what I'll be using:

Here is a picture of my first shuttle for this challenge on the pad:

Xx2mxXI.jpg

I popped off the fairing so  you can see the shuttle itself:

oYQl0KA.jpg

Is that a shuttle/SLS hybrid?

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47 minutes ago, linuxgurugamer said:

I'll be doing the first mission on sunday evening, but here are the images of what I'll be using:

Here is a picture of my first shuttle for this challenge on the pad:

Xx2mxXI.jpg

I popped off the fairing so  you can see the shuttle itself:

oYQl0KA.jpg

dont wanna be rude but it looks like a giant buttplug lol

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1 hour ago, Starslinger999 said:

STS 4/4R is done!

https://imgur.com/gallery/Khv7jMH

Now to go build a space station with Space Station Parts Expanded Redux...

2 hours ago, linuxgurugamer said:

I'll be doing the first mission on sunday evening, but here are the images of what I'll be using:

Here is a picture of my first shuttle for this challenge on the pad:

Xx2mxXI.jpg

I popped off the fairing so  you can see the shuttle itself:

oYQl0KA.jpg

Is that a shuttle/SLS hybrid?

I'm not sure if you are referring to a mod or real life.

The shuttle is from the Mk 2.5 Spaceplane Parts mod, the SRBs are from SpaceY, and the engine & central core is stock

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1 hour ago, Artienia said:

dont wanna be rude but it looks like a giant buttplug lol

Well, that little giant buttplug is able to lift 40 tons to a 100+ km orbit, reenter the atmosphere and then be able to fly about 1/3 around Kerbin.  And if I removed the excess fuel for the jets, I can add another 5-10 tons to it

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25 minutes ago, linuxgurugamer said:

Well, that little giant buttplug is able to lift 40 tons to a 100+ km orbit, reenter the atmosphere and then be able to fly about 1/3 around Kerbin.  And if I removed the excess fuel for the jets, I can add another 5-10 tons to it

never underestimated it

small suprise can do a lot of stuff ;)

 

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3 hours ago, Artienia said:

never underestimated it

small suprise can do a lot of stuff ;)

 

I tested it with NRAP, a test weight part mod.  Problem is that a 40t fuel tank is a LOT longer because of the small cargo bay, having fun testing a really long shuttle.  Going up is ok, coming down empty is ok, coming down full is lots of fun

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15 hours ago, sturmhauke said:

Hold your nose at about 20 degrees pitch during initial reentry.

....and that's the kind of thing I rather leave to Smart A.S.S., so all my shuttles will be for naught.

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