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


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Welcome to the shuttle club @Yakez! Cool stuff so far.

Tyty. That challenge feels like whole different game now =).

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So now some serious action. STS-2 finally repaired, STS-5 and STS-4 was joint mission, STS-6 , 7 , 8 are done. And some bonus stuff.

Here are STS-2 repairs, STS-4 and STS5 report:

Spoiler

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https://imgur.com/a/KIdxst6 (100+ screenshots...)

Mission (merged): Maximia Maro IV (STS-5 + STS-4) + Quintina Calvus II (STS-2a repairs #2 + STS-4 setup).
Crew status: success, every Kerbal is alive, hoewer 4 kerbalnauts of MMII have unplanned vacation on Adria station.
Maxima Maro status: although landed and saved QCII crew suffered severe damage and out of commission for repairs.
Quintina Calvus: stranded after Pergula Telescope emergency on 27 degree inclination orbit, can be recovered.
Commanders: Bill Kerman, Bob Kerman, Summer Kerman (deputy).
Crew: 5 (MMIV), 5 (QCIIa), 1 (QCIIb), 1+6 (MMIVb + QCIIab).

Kerbal Space Agency decided to launch 2 available SMM in short order to go on early holidays. Maximia Maro IV was tasked to deliver Adria Station core module on 333km orbit, run some science and later perform rendezvous with upcoming CQII mission to test SMM to SMM orbital refuelling.

Quintina Calvus II had several repair/diagnostic tasks:
a) Launch manned repair pod with kit #2 to fix KSO relay network navigation systems;
b) Run diagnostics of Pergula Telescope and make SMALL orbit correction;
c) Rendezvous with MMII mission to perform refuelling tests.

Task A was completed flawlessly. Task B resulted in the catastrophic failure of software and propelled QCII with Pergula Telexcope to 27 degree inclination with elliptic orbit of ~600 - 375km. QCII had burned through all of its supply of oxidizer and monopropellant. Repair pod was lost during unplanned burn.

Some in the agency vouched for the possible rapid assembly of Aurora Arbore (third SMM in the works) for rescue mission. However, careful calculations showed that due to the nature of MMIV mission it had just right amount of fuel for at least QCII intercept and enough crew space if 4 kerbalnauts would stay at Adria Station. Also MMIV had almost full supply of monopropellant with unknown delta V. In the worst case scenario QCII would be resupplied and stranded at lower orbit for possible rescue.

Leaving Adria Station behind Summer Kerman went on solo rescue mission as deputy commander of MMIVb and was able to rendezvous with QCII. Crew was successfully transferred into Maximia Maro and with only 17 m/s of primary delta V mission started its return to Kerbin. Unlike the expectations rescue mission was able to lower its orbit to ~60 km for aerobrake with almost 1/3 of monopropellant left! 

Desert landing site was chosen for landing due to angle of orbit. Re-entry went once again a bit off and Summer Kerman piloted craft around 400 km on mach 3 to desert runway. Landing... once again Summer Kerman landed at 100 m/s and unlike on KSC smooth runway broke forward landing leg. Maximia Maro suffer severe hull damage, but overall stayed one-stage starplane. All crew members alive and walked away from landing. Fredcal Kerman suffered from shock effects.
 

STS-6:

Spoiler

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https://imgur.com/a/RBvgb0U

Mission: Aurora Arbore I (STS-6).
Crew status: Return of MM IV crew home, delivered skeleton crew for the Adria Station.
Aurora Arbore status: ready for the next mission.
Commander: Valentina Kerman.
Pilot: Valentina Kerman.
Crew: 3 + 4.

Both Quintina Calvus and Maximia Maro SMMs are technically unavailable. New SMM Aurora Arbore was finished ASAP at double time for Adria Station relief mission. As the first priority Aurora Arbore launched with Service Module / Rescue vehicle and Power Module for Adria Station.

After orbital operations and MMIV crew relief mission has successfully landed at KSC with almost text book landing.

STS-7:

Spoiler

hJzEpGQ.png

https://imgur.com/a/b9a2Ah1

Mission: Aurora Arbore II (STS-7).
Crew status: at home.
Aurora Arbore status: ready for the next mission.
Commander: Valentina Kerman.
Pilot: Valentina Kerman.
Crew: 3.

AAII mission expanded Adria station with main science and habitation module. Secondary payload was docking adapter for more safe SMM docking that can serve as additional airlock for other vehicles. Aurora Arbore was outfitted with redesigned nose payload system and performed quite good.

Orbital operations utilised Aurora Arbore as tug for installment of Habitation/Science Module and Docking adapter. Due to lack of monopropellant for this scale of a mission AAII was landing rather light and unbalanced, witch required some fuel transfer and balancing to maintain center of mass.

STS-8:

Spoiler

hlWM5So.png

https://imgur.com/a/DbCEYFA

Mission: Aurora Arbore III (STS-8).
Crew status: at home, scientist as Adria station.
Aurora Arbore status: ready for the next mission.
Commander: Bob Kerman.
Pilot: Fredcal Kerman.
Crew: 4 + 1.

AAIII mission expanded Adria station with secondary habitation module/fuel management system, second docking port adapter and antenna. Samdas Kerman was delivered as additional crewmember for the station.

Orbital operations utilised KMU and Service Module as main construction workhorses. Service Module rendezvous with SMM to decouple docking adapter and then installed it. After that SMM docked with the station and KMU detached payload from the cargo bay to install and reconfigure it.

AAIII landed at KSC.

Bonus content:

Spoiler

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https://imgur.com/a/CphDttn

Mission: Aurora Arbore IV (bonus).
Crew status: at Adria station.
Aurora Arbore status: docked at Adria station.
Commander: Bob Kerman.
Pilot: .
Crew: 4 + 1.

AAIV mission expanded Adria station to its full planned capacity, adding fuel depot and crew escape module for 4 kerbalnauts. During orbital operations AAIV utilised both KMU and Service Module for instal procedures.

Aurora Arbore now would stay for long term mission at Adria station.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Vanamonde said:

That is one of the larger shuttles I have seen. 

It was bigger... Prototype had dope forward MK3 ramp with small wings, and I think 1 extra  cargo segment and 1 extra fuel segment. Quite long... never was able to balance lift and moving center of mass. Whole Idea behind fuel distribution system was to have that extra fuel, technically not on board of the craft. Prototype had 4 vectors connected via docking port straight to the back. I even thought about recovering them inside cargo bay every mission... And it had 4 rapiers inside cargo to put it on the back. Laythe testing was against such weak jet power, so I finally went with 6 fixed Whiplash's for extra comfort and mach 3 shenanigans. 

Edited by Yakez
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This is the report of a new STS Whynot, I went back to Duna with 2 different Shuttles to deploy a large outpost, using 2 assembly rovers :)

 

https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/187136-spaceshuttle-shorpa-sts-jool-5-most-certainly-part-3-laythe-and-kerbin-heavy-beauty-pics/&do=findComment&comment=3759618

 

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qKnJB5p.jpg

 

Edited by Kerbolitto
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In my preparation for the Mun missions was busy at Kerbin testing Heavy Launch System and retrieving my SMM02 - Quintina Calvus.

Bonus mission (rescue of Quintina Calvus)

Spoiler

d2cbEhu.png

https://imgur.com/a/CUZFWgv (97 screens)

Mission: Aurora Arbore IVb / Lapis Livi I (Quintina Calvus recovery mission).
Commander: Bob Kerman.
Crew: 6.
Crew status: at home.
Aurora Arbore status: ready for the next mission.
Quintina Calvus status: needs closer examination to prevent future malfunctions.
Lapis Livi status: needs minor redesign.


4th craft of SMM class - Lapis Livi is launched. This craft is very different to the previous 3. It is unmanned and fulfil role of resupply and fuel tanker. Rather heavy payload was in need of modified Launch System. Total mass of fully loaded craft is over 160t and to deliver full tanks to the 330 km orbit of Adria Station Launch System have total launch mass of 900t over 600-640t for previous SMM.

Lapis Livi was launched and arrived at Adria Station, where it resupplied Aurora Arbore and Adria Station. Lapis Livi also had cargo of test engine cluster for upcoming mission. This engine cluster is designed for Mun and interplanetary missions.

Aurora Arbore IV mission was extended to recover Quintina Calvus. After refuelling and installing egine cluster AAIVb left the station to rendezvous with Quintina Calvus. New engine cluster was tested at front configuration and Quintina Calvus was recovered and docked to the rear port to be tugged to 120km parking orbit.

After that Lapis Livi left Adria Station for second refuelling operation. All 3 SMM were docked at 120km orbit and Bob Kerman crew joined by one pilot from Adria Station performed final preparations for decent of all 3 vessels.

All three SMMs landed at KSC and since it is rare occasion to have so many interplanetary vessels in one place they are displayed together outside the hangar at KSC.

And then I finally went for the Mun. Thought that I have overengineered delta V... landed almost on fumes... but it is most due to my inefficient reentry to Kerbin. 

MUN STS-1:

Spoiler

Hc4vRCU.png

https://imgur.com/a/Whd0wkd (137 screenshots)

Mission: Maximia Maro V (Mun STS-1).
Crew: 7.
Commander: Valentina Kerman.
Goals:
- Perform tests of FMCS (Fuel Management and Conservation System);
- Perform further tests of redesigned Nerv Engine Cluster (NEC) and KMU (Kerbal Manoeuvring Unit);
- Land at Mun Polar Crater above 69 longitude in VTOL configuration;
- Deploy manned research facility for 2 crewman;
- Ascend from Mun and refuel from FMCS leaving it behind;
- Return to Kerbin.


With return of Maximia Maro into the fleet Kerbal Space Agency finally decided to hit the Mun with 6t research facility. Mission had all the delta V for comfort operations with Heavy Launch System and FMCS.

MMV launched to the circular 125km Kerbin orbit. After that NEC was deployed from cargo bay and installed at FMCS with help of KMU. Maximia Maro performed Mun intercept burn in 2 orbits around Kerbin and later correction burn to setup almost polar Mun orbit later. 

After arrival at Mun MMV made capture burn into high orbit. There MMV had made some great science waiting for Polar Crater landing window. To land MMV went into lover orbit, then first reconfigured NEC into VTOL configuration and then detached FMCS into parking orbit.

Under the power of NEC Maximia Maro landed at Polar Mun Crater and deployed Cato Base research facility.

Now obviously a bit lighter Maximia Maro had left the Mun to intercept FMCS. After docking with FMCS fuel was transferred to the Maximia Maro (mainly oxidiser). 

FMCS was ditched at Mun parking orbit. NEC was then reconfigured into rear position for the Kerbin return.

During return NEC was detached at suborbital orbit after Kerbin aerocapture and short burn in upper atmosphere. Maximia Maro successfully landed at KSC, almost empty craft hit the brakes pretty hard and almost flipped the craft.

 

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1 hour ago, Yakez said:

MUN STS-1:

  Hide contents

Hc4vRCU.png

https://imgur.com/a/Whd0wkd (137 screenshots)

Mission: Maximia Maro V (Mun STS-1).
Crew: 7.
Commander: Valentina Kerman.
Goals:
- Perform tests of FMCS (Fuel Management and Conservation System);
- Perform further tests of redesigned Nerv Engine Cluster (NEC) and KMU (Kerbal Manoeuvring Unit);
- Land at Mun Polar Crater above 69 longitude in VTOL configuration;
- Deploy manned research facility for 2 crewman;
- Ascend from Mun and refuel from FMCS leaving it behind;
- Return to Kerbin.


With return of Maximia Maro into the fleet Kerbal Space Agency finally decided to hit the Mun with 6t research facility. Mission had all the delta V for comfort operations with Heavy Launch System and FMCS.

MMV launched to the circular 125km Kerbin orbit. After that NEC was deployed from cargo bay and installed at FMCS with help of KMU. Maximia Maro performed Mun intercept burn in 2 orbits around Kerbin and later correction burn to setup almost polar Mun orbit later. 

After arrival at Mun MMV made capture burn into high orbit. There MMV had made some great science waiting for Polar Crater landing window. To land MMV went into lover orbit, then first reconfigured NEC into VTOL configuration and then detached FMCS into parking orbit.

Under the power of NEC Maximia Maro landed at Polar Mun Crater and deployed Cato Base research facility.

Now obviously a bit lighter Maximia Maro had left the Mun to intercept FMCS. After docking with FMCS fuel was transferred to the Maximia Maro (mainly oxidiser). 

FMCS was ditched at Mun parking orbit. NEC was then reconfigured into rear position for the Kerbin return.

During return NEC was detached at suborbital orbit after Kerbin aerocapture and short burn in upper atmosphere. Maximia Maro successfully landed at KSC, almost empty craft hit the brakes pretty hard and almost flipped the craft.

 

I don't think I've seen anyone swap engines on and off the orbiter like that before. Might have to steal that one.

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31 minutes ago, sturmhauke said:

I don't think I've seen anyone swap engines on and off the orbiter like that before. Might have to steal that one.

This is the whole reason for my shuttle program btw...  :wink:

It all had started with me recreating this craft https://kerbalx.com/Yakuzi/Blizzard-Class-Heavy-Transport-TSTO

I felt like clipping fuel tanks is somewhat unfair (and here I am using fuel switch mod and clipping crew modules into tanks... half empty tanks :P)

Then I  was looking into the solution how to convert it into more controllable manned craft. First version had 4 Vectors as retrievable engine cluster and 4 Rapiers for powered landing. And this pretty much had sparked into all this switcheroo bonanza. Nervs was pretty much no brainier from there. And then I was like... "can I fit 4 Nervs vertically into the cargo bay for Minmus landing?"

Sad part is that VTOL eats up effectively half of the cargo bay. And fuel balancing during decent/ascent is necessary for moderate  RCS fuel usage. During test landings I was using Oxidizer as ballast to balance craft with top and bottom tanks.

Edited by Yakez
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5 hours ago, Yakez said:

 4 Rapiers for powered landing. And this pretty much had sparked into all this switcheroo bonanza. Nervs was pretty much no brainier from there. And then I was like... "can I fit 4 Nervs vertically into the cargo bay for Minmus landing?"

That's a good solution to cover the first ones but in the end it might hamper you to finish the high dV missions. I used that idea to dock 2 shuttles back to back and go / return to Jool but the crafts were not that efficient individually. Ultimately it's possible to create a 200t. Tylo shuttle but even with 0.12 nuke TWR it's barely manageable, so having a few tons of unused engine is a risk.

Regardless, this is good creativity and it's quite cool to use your shuttle as a toolbox, ready for almost anything :)

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4 hours ago, Kerbolitto said:

That's a good solution to cover the first ones but in the end it might hamper you to finish the high dV missions. I used that idea to dock 2 shuttles back to back and go / return to Jool but the crafts were not that efficient individually. Ultimately it's possible to create a 200t. Tylo shuttle but even with 0.12 nuke TWR it's barely manageable, so having a few tons of unused engine is a risk.

Regardless, this is good creativity and it's quite cool to use your shuttle as a toolbox, ready for almost anything :)

During initial design of SMM, before discovering this thread I was designing for Jool 5. Idea was to have 2 Shuttles docked (yea the same idea before I saw your cool creation). Also to have small refinery package for Bop/Pol. One shuttle for Laythe with 4 permanent Rapiers and ability to attach 4 more. Then leave it after Laythe mission in the parking orbit for future generations. Take the Rapier cluster back to second craft leave for Bop/Pol refinery, then do glorious vertical  landing on docking port under power of 3 orbital engines. Resupply and go for other moons. I did not tested Tylo, Vall and Pol landings, but as I checked I have TWR of 0.16 with extra fuel tank (FMCS). So it is doable on current craft.

This monstrosity:  https://imgur.com/a/hZyhxjz Is insane test rocket fuel transfer stage and obviously do not qualify for the STS challenge (4 launches).

So I need to rethink second craft to be fuel tanker/refinery and maybe use double docked FMCS as transfer stage to Jool and back. Maybe I would do Ike or Dres pit stop...

I do not want to have refinery on board of main craft. Feels just wrong. So I need to be able to land on Laythe, Tylo, Vall and return back to orbit for refueling with what I have. Maybe I would go for double Nerv cluster for Tylo landing. It can be done with current design. Refinery taxi needs second cluster anyway if I want to be more fast and "realistic".

And as usual everything would change 10 times before actual thing. Also it would be my second visit to Jool in thousands of hours of KSP... lol so I would fail measurably and need a lot of testing.

Edited by Yakez
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4 hours ago, Yakez said:

So I need to rethink second craft to be fuel tanker/refinery and maybe use double docked FMCS as transfer stage to Jool and back. Maybe I would do Ike or Dres pit stop...

Jool injection is only 2k m/s, could go even lower if you use Eve ! I don't know what would be the dV difference if you split the injection at Duna.. You can use the refinery as part of the Laythe outpost, as I did, so you only need to land on Laythe, deploy the thing, re-orbit and come back home :).

5 hours ago, Yakez said:

Maybe I would go for double Nerv cluster for Tylo landing. It can be done with current design. Refinery taxi needs second cluster anyway if I want to be more fast and "realistic".

Im not sure you can save a lot of dV by deorbiting on Tylo with nukes, the thing is you will reduce your horizontal speed quite significantly and will need a lot of rocket TWR to avoid falling directly on the surface.

By looking roughly at my screens, I burned 62ms from Pol, +100m/S correction, 700m/S to capture at 30x30 above Tylo, 2450 or so to land (1.7 Vectors TWR). So once you empty LiquidFuel and shut the nukes, it's not that hard to come with 2500 +/- rocket dV. You could also leave the nuke's pod in orbit and save lots of weight this way. Or detach un-necessary parts of Laythe's outpost !

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1 hour ago, Kerbolitto said:

Jool injection is only 2k m/s, could go even lower if you use Eve ! I don't know what would be the dV difference if you split the injection at Duna.. You can use the refinery as part of the Laythe outpost, as I did, so you only need to land on Laythe, deploy the thing, re-orbit and come back home :).

Im not sure you can save a lot of dV by deorbiting on Tylo with nukes, the thing is you will reduce your horizontal speed quite significantly and will need a lot of rocket TWR to avoid falling directly on the surface.

By looking roughly at my screens, I burned 62ms from Pol, +100m/S correction, 700m/S to capture at 30x30 above Tylo, 2450 or so to land (1.7 Vectors TWR). So once you empty LiquidFuel and shut the nukes, it's not that hard to come with 2500 +/- rocket dV. You could also leave the nuke's pod in orbit and save lots of weight this way. Or detach un-necessary parts of Laythe's outpost !

I just want to roleplay spaceasteroid mining operations in far from home Jool system :D.

Laythe is okay if I have fully fueled shuttle in orbit to start. It is by far the easiest place to land and to ascend. I think my shuttle is a bit under-powered with 6 Whiplash's and definitely with 6 Rapiers. 8 Rapiers were fine, tho. I would just need Rapier cluster to make trip far more comfortable and boost myself into orbit... After that cluster is absolute, or I can use it for return of refining shuttle to Kerbin and do not outfit it with Jets initially! (if I ever want to return refinery shuttle)

Tylo is the biggest concern for me,  do not want to bring that dirty rocket fuel... My Kerbals believe in atom! If 8 Nukes would fail... from engineering standpoint it is more viable to bring lander over 100t shuttle landing. And technically it is still Jool 5.

Anyway Duna would most likely be the testing ground for more powerful VTOL, since 4 nukes and 17 shoots was not enough, hit the ground at 50 m/s... vertically...

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14 minutes ago, Yakez said:

Laythe is okay if I have fully fueled shuttle in orbit to start. It is by far the easiest place to land and to ascend. I think my shuttle is a bit under-powered with 6 Whiplash's and definitely with 6 Rapiers. 8 Rapiers were fine, tho. I would just need Rapier cluster to make trip far more comfortable and boost myself into orbit

If it flies well on 4 Rapiers (w/o cargo, low fuel) you can use them to provide a bit of boost when ascending Laythe on Vectors ! If you're shuttle is Tylo capable and has a sleek design you'll have enough dV to get out of the atmosphere.

17 minutes ago, Yakez said:

Tylo is the biggest concern for me,  do not want to bring that dirty rocket fuel... My Kerbals believe in atom! If 8 Nukes would fail... from engineering standpoint it is more viable to bring lander over 100t shuttle landing. And technically it is still Jool 5.

Anyway Duna would most likely be the testing ground for more powerful VTOL, since 4 nukes and 17 shoots was not enough, hit the ground at 50 m/s... vertically...

That's the problem, nukes can only kill horizontal velocity, they're just too heavy to be usefull on descent.. even on Vall it's hard, you'd need 6 nukes for a 150t. craft to get 1TWR, and it would still be very dangerous to not impact. That would represent 15t. of LF (826dV) + rocket TWR to kill vertical velocity. So a lightweight solution could be to use 1 Dart and give it 200-300m/s.

Following this idea on Tylo, you'd need 50t. of LF to get 2430dV (150 -> 110t.) but 20 nukes to get 1 TWR, 60 tons of engines, which leaves only 40t. for the structure of the craft, minus the weight of the empty tanks D:
And it would still be very hard to land it :p

I like nukes too but even with 1.73TWR from 30k altitude I had troubles not to impact Tylo, I reloaded for maybe 1h30 before starting the retroburn at the precise second and still landed on the tail.

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So I was very busy with Mun. I like how my Mun missions become harder further down the line. Due to the nature of double missions I was forced to do everything in almost one go... But thematically it do fit reality, when you can do rotation of several shuttles staying at the Mun. In theory I even could cut one mission bringing total launches for 6 challenges into 3. But Kerbal Space Agency only learning to operate SMM... 

VEoXdxj.png?1

 

MUN STS-2:

Spoiler

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https://imgur.com/a/zddPBx1

Mission: Aurora Arbore V (Mun STS-2).
Crew: 7.
Commander: Bob Kerman.
Goals:
- Land at Cato Base research facility;
- Deploy 5 man rover;
- Test docking capabilities of rover and Cato base;
- Move Cato base to more  flat spot with the rover;
- Stay until Quintina Calvus III relief mission;
- Relief first crew of Cato Base;
- Return to Kerbin.


Aurora Arbore V mission was tasked to prolong stay on the Mun and provide assistance to the Cato Base crew. Also in the case of medical emergency Aurora Arbore can be used as escape craft before it is rotated with Quintina Calvus and Emergency Escape Vehicle in the future.

AAV launched into the circular 125km Kerbin orbit. After that NEC was deployed from cargo bay and installed at FMCS with help of KMU. Maximia Maro performed Mun intercept burn and later correction burn to setup almost polar Mun orbit later. 

After arrival at Mun AAV made capture burn into low orbit. To land AAV reconfigured NEC into VTOL configuration and then detached FMCS into parking orbit. This time around FMCS was used to store majority of fuel for the Kerbin return, since MMV mission provided all the data on the actual landing fuel consumption..

Under the power of NEC Aurora Arbore landed at Polar Mun Crater and deployed Cato Base Rover. Later docking capability of rover was tested and Cato base moved to the flat ground. Minor glitches due to the low gravity was encountered.

Cauntina Calvus III arrived as expected and delivered second payload and replaced Aurora Arbore as Cato Base backup.

Aurora Arbore launched to the low Mun orbit. Rendezvous with FMCS was wade when 90 m/s of delta V left. Bob was impressed with delta V guestimates of Kerbal Space Agency.

Kerbin return was very chill until everybody realized that Summer Kerman is a pilot... She went for the desert airfield where she snapped landing gear once already. After de-orbit and desert airfield transfer at almost mach 4 Summer hit the breaks so hard that knocked out the whole crew. Landing was surprisingly chill after the whole crew become silent and greener than before.
 

 MUN STS-3 and MUN STS-5:

Spoiler

Zwrs7pn.png

https://imgur.com/a/vCD35cl

Mission: Quintina Calvus III (Mun STS-3 and Mun STS-5).
Crew: 7.
Commander: Bill Kerman.
Goals:
- Deploy Orbis Station PPE at high polar Mun orbit;
- Land at Cato Base research facility;
- Deploy habitation module for Cato Base;
- Relief Aurora Arbore V mission;
- Stay until Maximia Maro IV relief mission;
- Return to Kerbin.

Quintina Calvus III is the heaviest launch of SMM so far at 913t launch mass. She had carried double payload of Mun gateway Orbis Station and Habitation Module for the Cato Base/ Without any vacant space inside cargo bay QCIII outfitted with forward cargo bay configuration. NEC was stored at forward cargo bay.

After LKO orbital operations QCIII left Kerbin to the Mun. Initial orbit around Mun was higher than usual to launch Orbis Station PPE. After deployment of PPE Quintina Calvus waited for the landing window and went into low Mun orbit to park FMCS with Kerbin return fuel. After that Mun landing was made just next to Cato base and Aurora Arbore.

Surface operations were successful and Quintina Calvus was able to relief Aurora Arbore V mission. And after prolonged stay was relieved by returning Aurora Arbore VI mission.

Return to Kerbin went as planned aside rather big transfer to KSC and far strong brake setup for empty craft drifting Quintina Calvus a bit on the runway.

MUN STS-6:

Spoiler

xM4FFBZ.png

https://imgur.com/a/ABDEpfa

Mission: Maximia Maro VI (Mun STS-6).
Crew: 5.
Commander: Valentina Kerman.
Goals:
- Rendezvous with Orbis Station PPE at high polar Mun orbit;
- Deploy Orbis Station Core module;
- Perform Orbis Station setup and diagnostics;
- Return to Kerbin.

Maximia Maro VI is the only planned Mun mission so far that do not touched the surface of Mun. Because launched vessel had such a big amount of delta V for mission it was possible to leave ASAP without proper launch window for Orbis Station.

After standard LKO configuration Valintina executed the Mun intercept burn. With all the delta V rendezvous with Orbis PPe was easy. Hoewer, during Core Module deployment some unusual glitch launched module at speed of several m/s from cargo bay. Thanks to Valentina piloting skill and Mechjeb assistance module was retrieved and docked to be tugged back to Orbis PPE. 

Core module was docked and Orbis Station went online. After short stay with several tests and diagnostics Maximia Maro left home to Kerbin.

Valentina was not in a mood to reconfigure ship and to save fuel. Return burns were made while FMCS was attached to the vessel. In Valentina report she states that she felt obligated not to litter space with used FMCS... what a bizarre view for a Kerbal.

De-orbit to Kerbin was almost tragic. Maximia Maro broke out of control into spin after afterburner testing to shorten KSC transfer. Valentina heroically was able to sustain high G spin and recover vessel when there ware mere hundreds of meters to the ground. After that Maximia Maro had arrived to KSC without any trouble.
 

MUN STS-4 and MUN STS-7:

Spoiler

0pmxOrC.png

https://imgur.com/a/TQl934C

Mission: Aurora Arbore VI (Mun STS-4 and Mun STS-7).
Crew: 11.
Commander: Bob kerman.
Goals:
- Test oversized top cargo payload;
- Rendezvous with Orbis Station at high polar Mun orbit;
- Deploy Orbis Station Habitation module and man the station;
- Land at Cato Base site;
- Deploy EEV for the Cato Base;
- Relief Quintina Calvus III mission;
- Stay for rest of Mun day and then return to Kerbin.

Some engineers in space agency were caught stuffing some led to make rocket the heaviest in history. 800kg of led was removed. While not the heaviest at 912t, but the biggest rocket that kerbalkind ever saw. Oversized fearing of top cargo bay towered over main booster of Heavy Launch System, making the whole craft ridiculous. Launches like that do push Kerbals towards distant planets and stars!

Space Agency went an extra mile and stuffed 4 extra kerbalnauts into station module inside the cargo bay. After that Summer Kerman volunteered to ride in the top cargo bay to gather extra science data... Request was denied... for now.

LKO configuration went as planned and Aurora Arbore burned to the Mun. At the Mun AAVI was able to rendezvous with Orbis Station and to deliver Habitation Module and long range antenna. All station configuration went as planned.

At the polar crater landing window Aurora Arbore left station to low parking orbit and parked Kerbin return fuel in orbit. Landing went as planned.

At the ground there was a lot of to do, since it is the first time when 17! kerbalnauts was at Cato base and Mun. Some memory photos were made and Quintina Calvus crew was relieved and she left to Kerbin.

After staying for Mun day and night Aurora Arbore left Mun as well, leaving Cato base with its crew of 5 behind. Return to Kerbin was made in rather aggressive manner making aero-capture in one go and testing SMM to its limits... in Summer Kerman style.

And as usual Summer used her favorite desert airfield to land. And the landing was sloppy and lazy touching down in the last 10 meters of runway and breaking in the desert dust...

All operations at Orbis Station and Cato base went as planned thanks to the AAVI mission.
 

 

Edited by Yakez
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So the only challenge that I do not done in Commander format so far is STS-3. Went a bit beyond... yea I do know that technically I do not meet requirements for STS-3 commander due to orbit of 90 over 25-30... But I just wanted to test some things. And it was ages ago when I made polar launch. Nuclear engine used is from Restock+ and it is analogue of 4.66(6) Nerv engines with better cooling and vectoring. Lets say it is designed for SMM with Moho in mind ;)

Other modded parts are JX2Antenna mod for telescope "dishes" and the cooling module on the telescope from Heat Control. Aside Near Future Solar panels everything else is stock as usual.

jYaXBAJ.png

"STS-3 Commander":

Spoiler

XbBZ5a4.png

https://imgur.com/a/PCdG7me

Mission: Maximia Maro VII (STS-3 "Commander").
Crew: 7.
Commander: Bill Kerman.
Goals:
- Launch to polar LKO of 150km from KSC;
- Test modified Heavy Launch System with built in utility payload;
- Test new automated interplanetary NEC type 2;
- Deploy and assemble Lux Telescope to Kerbin geosynchronous polar orbit;

After making heavy lifting with Mun program KSA went on preparing itself for the new destinations. So first of all KSA wanted to flex muscles and to launch the biggest telescope in history to polar synchronous orbit.

Heavy Launch System was able to propel Maximia Maro to polar LKO, where crew tested docking capabilities of new automated NEC and new payload system for it. During staging there was overheat malfunction of 2 RCS ports, witch is not critical, but definitely on the to-fix list for the next missions. 

After LKO configuration MMVII put itself into synchronous polar orbit where it began construction of Lux Telescope. Engineers (all 3 of them) confused left and right and released wrong solar array, but nevertheless pilots were able to manage construction as planned. After solar arrays were attached, both KMU positioned at telescope and at cooling module. After that Telescope was released and cooling module deployed for docking from cargo bay. After docking to telescope both pilots left telescope to Maximia Maro.

Lux telescope was booted remotely and short after precise orbital adjustments were made with 2 ion engines of telescope. Now Lux Telescope is set on geosynchronous orbit and would have direct link to KSC every morning.

Return to Kerbin went great with rather standard aero-breaking before KSC landing window. After 150km transfer Maximia Maro had landed at KCS slightly missing breaking mark and going a bit off from runway in the end.

 

 

Edited by Yakez
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I think this is the last time when I do double mission... to much hustle doing the same burns twice. So that imply that I need to do more engineering to rely on 1 SMM launch for any mission.  Now I am aiming to do some Minmus testing for Duna  and Laythe landing missions.

3iHcTYJ.png?1

Duna STS-1:

Spoiler

 

nyPYWun.png?1

https://imgur.com/a/vFKcE8a (119 screens)

Double Mission: Maximia Maro VIII + Quintina Calvus IV (Duna STS-1).
Crew: 4 + 3.
Commander: Bill Kerman and Bob Kerman.
Goals:
- Perform 2 separate SMM launches that would rendezvous at Duna with separate cargo payloads;
- Deploy and assemble Maris Station at equatorial LDO of 69km;
- Perform extensive reconnaissance of Duna and Ike with 2 satellites and Maris Station instrumentation;
- Return to Kerbin.

Total crew was 7, for "backup" reasons.  Both SMM launches used Heavy Launch System type 2.  While HLS could accompaniment up to 6 small boosters it was decided to alter system with 2 big side boosters for decreased critical control points of system.

After rather inefficient straight burns both SMMs were on Duna intercept course. Quintina Calvus correction burn put it 14 days ahead of Maximia Maro and after arrival and capture burn at Duna crew deployed Maris Station Habitation and Science module rigging it to the SMM power grid.

Maximia Maro had arrived and rendezvoused with Quintina Calvus. After Orbital assembly of Maris Station both crafts docked to the side ports for their stay at Duna. All 7 kerbalnauts enjoyed their stay at Maris Station spacious accommodations.

Maris Station itself is craft that can in the case of emergency act as Kerbin Return vehicle with over 9000 delta V. However it would require separate vehicle for crew transfer to surface. After the mission it would be sealed and hibernated for the next missions.

After performing reconnaissance and all the science both SMMs left to the orbit higher than Ike for the Kerbin transfer window. At the high Duna orbit both SMMs have ditched now empty FMCS modules and made Kerbin return burns.

At Kerbin both SMM went for 48 and 46 km aero-breaking and after establishing orbits lower than 600 km went for desert airfield landing. Both SMMs tried to beat each other at speed record while performing altered entry sequence and Quintina Calvus was able to achieve mach 4 speed under its own power for the first time!

Both landing were by the textbook.

 

 

Edited by Yakez
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Hello there. It's me again.

First of all, I'd like to apologize for not being around lately. The beginning of the year was quite busy for me, but lately it's been another issue - I got a proper case of "KSP burnout" - I haven't played the game in months (which would have been unthinkable before :) ), and haven't even visited the forums.

When I came back and saw the new entries and people around here, I couldn't help myslef and felt ashamed - the shuttle community here is going strong, new designs and amazing mission reports are appearing here, and I am, simply put, not doing my part. A community as involved and amazing as this one needs and deserves someone who has the time, the enthusiasm and energy for running this challenge.

So, after two years and a few months, 89 pages of over 2,200 entries (and with over 120 000 views, wow...) , I decided to retire as the challenge moderator, and let somebody else take my place, and create a v6 of this challenge.

And, since he was so kind to agree to take on the challenge, this guy will be @sturmhauke, one of the most involved people in this community, who you all know so well.

From now on, I won't be judging your entries (and I apologize to all of you who were waiting for the review for quite some time), but Sturmhauke will judge the ones in this thread and award you the proper badges before this thread will be locked and a new one, "Shuttle Challenge v6" will be started.

So, big thanks to all of you, who shared your mission reports and great shuttle designs with me and with this whole community, it has been a great pleasure to run this challenge for you, good luck to our new challenge moderator @sturmhauke, and see you soon in the new thread. I hope and believe that you guys make it even more awesome than this one.

Michal.don

 

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Thanks @michal.don for entrusting me with this challenge series. I hope that I will live up to the legacy.

To the entrants, I will review the entries over the next few days. Please hold any new entries until the new thread is up.

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15 minutes ago, michal.don said:

So, big thanks to all of you, who shared your mission reports and great shuttle designs with me and with this whole community, it has been a great pleasure to run this challenge for you, good luck to our new challenge moderator @sturmhauke, and see you soon in the new thread. I hope and believe that you guys make it even more awesome than this one.

Michal.don

 

Big thanks for the support and keeping this challenge alive. I myself had Path of Exile burnout and KSP was the thing that I haven't played for several years. So I tried it again on day 2 of PoE Delirium league and somehow stumbled on this challenge. 

I was a quite sick (not THE virus) after my travels at beginning of March so this challenge kept me busy and entertained. And now I do have at least 1 week of quarantine related to THE virus in my country, so it is quite handy to have all the stuff to do.

Thanks!

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OK, here we go with my first official certifications.

On 1/6/2020 at 8:45 AM, Togu said:

I also have a new mission ready, the STS-4T. Are two videos again, have fun with it.:cool: @QF9E

A nice, traditional shuttle design, and two textbook missions. Well done! Here is your badge:

mag5XYH.png?1

 

On 1/29/2020 at 3:00 PM, cantab said:

So I guess this actually qualifies as an STS-1a, since it flew to orbit and landed back on Kerbin. Sure, the orbit might have been around the Sun ... and Dres ... and landed there. But details.

...And here we have a distinctly non-traditional shuttle design. Also an overachiever. I like it! :D However, since you landed on a hill somewhere rather than a runway, that's a Pilot badge for you. Feel free to demonstrate a runway landing if you want an upgrade.

YgXYW8T.jpg?1

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On 2/4/2020 at 8:18 AM, Togu said:

Hello everyone,

I finally did it, the missions STS-5 to STS-8 are done. Are 4 "small" videos.

More fine work! I especially like the gratuitious functional robotics you added to the space station. A Commander badge for you:

t3gSvqs.jpg?1

 

 

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On 3/19/2020 at 11:39 AM, Yakez said:

Hey... I am really new to this challenge stuff, so I maybe did not capture everything that I need... sorry. To be fair this is my fist KSP plane/shuttle that can actually fly. It had couple of iterations, but finally I want to show this one. So I started doing STS challenges on clean save. And missions went, slightly off... as expected in the space exploration.
Mods: I could not live without Near Future Solar panels and use some more cosmetic/roleplay stuff from Restock+. Everything else is fully stock and mainly utility mods, half of witch I do not use anyway.

First off, let me say that I really like your shuttle designs. I'm also a big fan of the Near Future suite, and I like all your swappable modules.

However, and I really hate to do this to you, I can't in good conscience award you all of the mission badges yet. The missions are intended to be flown according to spec and in a specific order. STS-1 and 1a can be flown together, as well as STS-2 and 2a, but you've charged out of the gate and gotten way off in the distance, as well as mixed other missions together. This makes it difficult to judge whether the requirements have been met. So here's what I have for you so far:

STS-1 - A solid first mission, and a nice landing. Here is your Commander badge:

nTYtbyq.jpg?1

 

STS-1a - Unfortunately your orbit was out of spec. At the time of release of the fuel pod, your screenshot shows an Ap of 100.774 km and a Pe of 99.0139 km, for a difference of 1.7601 km. The mission spec requires a difference of 100 m or less at that height. I'm willing to overlook this, in light of some of the more serious issues I'll get to later... Here is your badge:

neJ4lfc.jpg?1

 

STS-2a - I'm sorry, but I cannot award a badge for this one at this time. While your 3 comsats appear to be in the correct orbits, I can't tell from your screenshot if they are arranged in an equilateral triangle. It also took multiple launches before you got them repaired and into position, when it should have only taken one. Please fly the mission again in a single launch, and be sure to show the final arrangement from one of Kerbin's poles so that I can see the geometry. Here is mine for reference:

8wRHFcP.png

 

STS-2b - Pod goes up, pod comes down, badge goes here:

d4EjEgf.jpg?1

 

STS-3 - Telescope looks good, and I like your MMUs. Here is your Pilot badge:

J8qsBMX.jpg?1

 

STS-4/4R - There are a few problems with this one. First of all, you don't have enough labels on your albums. That plus the liberal mixing of missions makes it very difficult to verify the mission requirements. Now, while the stranded shuttle appears to be in the higher, inclined orbit for the Commander level, the rescue shuttle ran off the edge of the runway and broke its nose gear. I'll allow a Pilot badge; if you would like a Commander badge please redo the rescue and landing portion of the mission.

F2x1Z9Q.jpg?1

 

STS-5-8 - I like big stations and I cannot lie. But as before, the landings need some work. The shuttles need to stick the landing on the runway for that Commander badge. Here's a Pilot badge for now:

jj3FAr1.jpg?1

 

I'll get to your Mun missions another time, but it appears you started the LOP-G series before completing the ground base series. That is definitely not the intended mission order, but I'll sort that out later. In the future, please be more careful about following the mission specs, mixing missions (when in doubt, ask first, or just don't), and labeling your screenshots better. Keep up with the cool designs though, those are good.

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49 minutes ago, sturmhauke said:

First off, let me say that I really like your shuttle designs. I'm also a big fan of the Near Future suite, and I like all your swappable modules.

Tyty. I want to create separate topic in missions reports to analyse my launch systems, engine clusters, upcoming LAME module. And also to post some unrelated to challenge stuff. There would be full mod list and most likely some craft files for key stepping stone missions when I feel that my SMM is on end spectrum of development.

Quote

STS-2a - I'm sorry, but I cannot award a badge for this one at this time. While your 3 comsats appear to be in the correct orbits, I can't tell from your screenshot if they are arranged in an equilateral triangle. It also took multiple launches before you got them repaired and into position, when it should have only taken one. Please fly the mission again in a single launch, and be sure to show the final arrangement from one of Kerbin's poles so that I can see the geometry. Here is mine for reference:

Absolutely, I knew that I screw it up, but it was the matter of me fixing that damn thing. After first failed attempt to fix it I just wanted to scrap everything... But anyway I do intend to launch better satellites with higher capacity and it would be my second geostationary launch ever...

Quote

STS-4/4R - There are a few problems with this one. First of all, you don't have enough labels on your albums. That plus the liberal mixing of missions makes it very difficult to verify the mission requirements. Now, while the stranded shuttle appears to be in the higher, inclined orbit for the Commander level, the rescue shuttle ran off the edge of the runway and broke its nose gear. I'll allow a Pilot badge; if you would like a Commander badge please redo the rescue and landing portion of the mission.

Would rescue of 16 Kerbals count? I have some Ideas with first commercial Hotel disaster... ;)

Quote

But as before, the landings need some work. The shuttles need to stick the landing on the runway for that Commander badge.

In some cases I was just making weird parking maneuver clearing the runway, I do not know why... I think I just do not understand correctly challenge conditions of: 

Quote

Land either at the KSC runway, the Island Airfield just off of the KSC, the Dessert Airfield from MH, or at any Kerbal Konstructs airport

Does that mean that I can land on runway and deviate from it or... wait... I just read it one more time and now understand that it meant about Island airfield just off the KSC... My English is not the first language and I do talk a lot of not proper English on my work, so yea I can miss some simple obvious things. Maybe you can reword that, so weird people like me would not confuse this "just off" mentioning with real just off...

I actually got firm grip on the landing/breaking with only with my recent Duna mission, so I know that Commander mastery hiding not in the F5 and F9 keys... And landing SMM without nosecone is a pain...

Quote

I'll get to your Mun missions another time, but it appears you started the LOP-G series before completing the ground base series. That is definitely not the intended mission order, but I'll sort that out later. In the future, please be more careful about following the mission specs, mixing missions (when in doubt, ask first, or just don't), and labeling your screenshots better. Keep up with the cool designs though, those are good.

No hurry. Just enjoy the slideshow. In the end I was making these albums for the pleasant view and maybe sometimes do miss the labeling while making cool screenshot without interface.

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