Jump to content

The US-Soviet Technological Collaboration Challenge (WIP)


 Share

Recommended Posts

We are all familiar with the space race of the 1950s and 60s, but what if it wasn't a race? What if the USA and the USSR had combined their resources and technology, instead of competing to see which nation could overcome the most challenges of space exploration? In essence, that is what this challenge is about.

Spoiler

Please do not turn this into a political thread. I am well aware that the political environment during the Cold War would almost certainly not have allowed this sort of scenario, but discussing that or any other political issue is not the purpose of this thread, or indeed of the KSP forums.

 

7fgj2Qe.png

Flag courtesy of @cratercracker

 

The challenge includes three phases: first is Mun exploration, followed Duna exploration and finally Jool exploration. Your task is to accomplish various goals using a combination of Soviet and Apollo-era technology. The main rules are as follows:

  1. All vehicles you use in this challenge must be either replicas or directly inspired by technology which was either used or suggested for use by the space agencies of the USA or the USSR (within reason). The technology should also be roughly appropriate for the era; e.g. you can't use vehicles which are essentially mimics of the Constellation program because that technology is too new.
  2. No asparagus staging or SSTO spaceplanes are permitted, because the technology is too mechanically complex (in reality) to have been accomplished in the era this challenge is focused on.
  3. Any mission profile is acceptable regardless of when (or if) such a mission has been proposed in reality; e.g. you're not limited to Munar Orbit Rendezvous or Direct Ascent for Mun landings.
  4. You must follow the restrictions outlined at the beginning of the description of each phase of the challenge. Not doing so will mean that you will not be considered as having completed the challenge.
  5. Mods are permitted, and modded entries will be listed in a different leaderboard (use of changed textures which do not add parts or alter physics, as well as SigmaDimensions rescaling while still using stock parts, will be considered stock).
  6. You must play using Normal or harder difficulty settings. If you have science points enabled, science rewards must be set to 100%.
  7. The funding for every mission must consist roughly half of Soviet technology and half of US technology. There is a versatile range, but if any single phase of the challenge (as well as all phases together) is funded more than 2/3 by one specific nation, then you will not be considered as having completed the challenge. Each individual launch does not need to follow this rule, but the total of all missions in a phase must follow it.
  8. There are several independent scores for this challenge. You do not need to compete for every score category, and can focus on only a few or even just one if you wish. Points for completing tasks will be listed in bolded parentheses at the end of the task description, along with a letter denoting the category of points (the different score categories will be explained later in this post).
  9. In order to make challenge judgement accurate, you must make it clear which aspects of missions are composed of which nation's technology, and include costs. A detailed overview of all vehicles you use would help, but is not a requirement.
  10. You must complete the phases in order. It is not required to complete every individual task in a phase, but you must complete at least the primary objective before progressing to the next phase.

If you have any questions about these rules or are unsure about the meaning of any of them, feel free to ask in this thread or send me a PM to ask.

 

Design Inspiration

Since a large part of the purpose of this challenge involves making space exploration vehicles inspired by real or proposed technology, here are some examples for inspiration. You don't need to make exact replicas of any of these (because this is a challenge focused on an alternate history where design requirements may have been distinctly different), but clear design inspiration is important. This means that, for example, if you're making a Russian space probe it should look like a Russian space probe, or if you're using a launch vehicle created by modifying the basic Saturn V (as NASA had plans to do before the Apollo program lost funding) this should be fairly clear based on how it looks.

Probes and satellites:

 

Crewed spacecraft:

Spoiler

Coming Soon

 

Station modules, surface base modules, and other infrastructure

Spoiler

Coming Soon

 

Phase 1: Mun Exploration

Spoiler

To explore the Mun is a vital accomplishment for the future of space exploration. Your task is to plan a mission to land at least one kerbal on the Mun and return them safely to Kerbin. After achieving this, more missions surrounding Munar exploration may be needed, or possibly simply wanted for scientific purposes.

Restrictions: Only chemical rocket engines (LFO or Monopropellant) can be used for propulsion. Only fuel cells or some solar panels may be used for power; no sun-tracking solar panels more massive than 0.2 tonnes, and no retractable solar panels. At least the first landing mission should keep one kerbal in Munar orbit inside the command module while the other crew member(s) conduct the landing mission. No ISRU may be used.

Tasks:

  1. Robotic Explorers: Send at least two uncrewed spacecraft to do some early reconnaissance of the Mun. At minimum, you need an orbital scanning satellite and a lander. (3M)
  2. Crewed Orbiter: Send your munar spacecraft with a full crew (that is, however many crew members it would have for a landing mission) to Munar orbit, stay there for the duration of several orbits, and return the crew to Kerbin safely. (7M)
  3. Mun Landing (PRIMARY OBJECTIVE): Land either one or two kerbals on the surface of the Mun, leaving another kerbal in the spacecraft in orbit. Return these kerbals safely to Kerbin. (15M)
  4. Mun Transport: Send a second landing mission (this doesn't count if it's done as part of the first landing) which includes a Mun rover with space for all of the kerbals involved in the landing (so either one kerbal or two depending on the lander). (18M)
  5. Mun Relay: Launch a reusable transfer stage capable of transporting crew or payloads from Kerbin orbit to Mun orbit and then returning to Kerbin orbit. Use it at least once to send any useful payload to Munar orbit, and then refuel it back in Kerbin orbit so that it can be reused. (10U)
  6. Orbital Habitation: Create a station in Munar orbit with at least three modules. At minimum, the station needs a habitation module (with space for at least 2 complete Mun mission crews), a science module, and a power module. (8M, 4S)
  7. Surface Operations: Modify your existing Mun lander or create a new design for taking payloads to the Munar surface. Use this cargo lander to land at least two modules of a surface base on the Mun in close proximity to each other. At minimum, the base needs a habitation module (with space for at least 2 complete lander crews) and a science module (requires experiments but does not require a lab). The modules can be independently-powered or you can link them together on the surface. Finally, send a lander crew to stay at the base for the full duration of the Mun's orbit around Kerbin. (14M, 8S)

 

Phase 2: Duna Exploration

Spoiler

Having faced and overcome every challenge posed by Munar exploration, it is time to go further. Exploring Duna is the next obvious goal.

Restrictions: Only chemical (LFO or Monopropellant) or nuclear engines may be used for propulsion. The vehicle used for transporting crew to Duna must consist of at least 2 separately-launched modules (a crew module and a propulsion module), but may consist of more. Fuel cells or solar panels may be used for power generation, but not nuclear reactors or RTGs. If you want to produce fuel on Duna, you must send all ISRU equipment to Duna at least one transfer window in advance of the crew.

Tasks:

  1. A New Frontier: Explore the Duna system with at least three uncrewed space probes. At minimum, you need to send a Duna orbiter, a Duna lander, and an Ike lander. (9M)
  2. Ground Base: Before sending the crew, you need to make sure they have somewhere to spend the time in between transfer windows. Send a surface base to Duna in advance. At minimum, you need a habitation module with space for 1.5x as many kerbals (round up if needed) as you plan to land on Duna, some science equipment, and a rover. (20M, 10S)
  3. Phone Home: Send a network of at least three communications satellites to Duna orbit, with the ability to relay commnet signals between Kerbin and Duna. (15U)
  4. Interplanetary Transport: Using orbital assembly, create a spacecraft capable of transporting a crew of at least three kerbals, as well as any payload you don't plan on transporting separately, to Duna orbit and back. (12M, 15U)
  5. Little Green Men From...Kerbin? (PRIMARY OBJECTIVE): Land at least three kerbals on Duna, and return them safely to Kerbin. (30M)
  6. Another Moon: Land at least two kerbals on Ike, ideally using a vehicle based on your Mun lander. (13M)
  7. Orbital Operations: Create a space station in Duna orbit with at least three modules. At minimum, the station needs a habitation module (with space for at least twice as many kerbals as you plan to send to Duna), a science module, and a power module, as well as some means of transporting crew between the station and the interplanetary transport. (15M, 5S)

 

Phase 3: Jool Exploration

Coming Soon

 

Scores

There are several score categories, as mentioned earlier. Points from different categories do not correspond, so there will be no grand total of all points. The categories are as follows:

  • C: Completionist. These points are awarded for a few specific achievements, focused on completing several related goals.
  • M: Mission. These points are awarded for accomplishing missions which directly further the goals of the space program.
  • R: Realism. These points are awarded for using certain settings and/or mods to increase the realism - and in doing so increase the difficulty - of the game.
  • S: Science. These points are awarded for scientific progress.
  • U: Utility. These points are awarded for tasks which do not achieve much on their own, but instead provide important assistance to missions.
  • Z: Other. These points don't fit in any other category. They are mostly awarded by completing accolade tasks.

In addition to points, another way to compare achievements is with accolades. These are special tasks not necessarily linked to a particular phase of the challenge, or which are linked to a particular phase but do not fit in with the main task line for whatever reason. They do not need to be completed in any order and should be done as an extra mission objective for tasks from the main challenge phases. Completing these tasks usually provides more points, as well as having the accolade noted by the leaderboard entry. Accolade tasks are as follows:

Spoiler

This list is not yet complete.

  • Weird Stuff: Find an anomaly. (5Z)
  • Anomalomaly: Find two anomalies, each on a different celestial body. (10Z)
  • Anomalomalomaly: Find three anomalies, each on a different celestial body. (15Z, 1C)
  • MOAR BOOSTERS: Launch a rocket with a thrust of at least 15000kN. (10Z)
  • It Is A Mystery: Return mystery goo data from 4 different biomes in total. (8S)
  • Befuddled: Return mystery goo data from 8 different biomes in total. (16S)
  • Mystery Ink: Return mystery goo data from 12 different biomes in total. (24S, 1C)
  • один небольшой шаг...: Land near the Neil Armstrong Memorial with a Soviet lander. (1C)
  • Economic Benefit: Complete a phase while keeping the total costs to each nation within 5% of 50%.* (1C)
  • Economic Equity: Complete two phases while keeping the total costs to each nation within 3% of 50%.* (2C)
  • Economic Justice: Complete all three phases while keeping the total costs to each nation within 1% of 50%.* (3C)
  • Realism: Enable the "kerbals don't respawn", "require signal for control", and "re-entry blackout" settings. Never revert flights or use quicksaves except in case of bugs. (10R)
  • Extended Realism: Use USI or TAC life support. (10R)
  • Super Realism: Use Kerbalism. Enable the "kerbals don't respawn", "require signal for control", and "re-entry blackout" settings. Set re-entry heating to 120%. Never revert flights or use quicksaves except in case of bugs. (25R)
  • Fancy: Awarded based on your spacecraft designs. I'm looking for appearances and how much your spacecraft resemble the technology they're based upon. This is not about making replicas, but about stylistic choices and whether the vehicles are very obviously inspired by particular Soviet or US spacecraft. (No points, awarded at my discretion)

Please note that for accolades with cumulative goals (e.g. the anomaly accolades) the points collected are those of the highest tier accolade only and are not added to the previous ones.

*Within x% of 50% means that each nation provides close to 50% of the total funding (based on launch costs and technology proportions), and the possible variation is x% (e.g. within 5% of 50% means that each nation contributes between 45% and 55% of the total funding).

There is one other thing which is neither a task nor an accolade, but will modify your points. If any kerbal dies, you will lose a number of points equivalent to all of the points of the task you were attempting. For example, if you were attempting to land a kerbal on the Mun for the primary objective of Phase 1, but that kerbal died during the mission, you would lose 15 Mission points. If a kerbal dies when you're not attempting a specific task (such as if you're testing out equipment in Kerbin orbit), you will lose 10 Mission points.

 

Leaderboards

There are two leaderboards: a stock leaderboard and a modded leaderboard. If you use a SigmaDimensions rescale of the Kerbol system, or any mods which do not add parts or alter physics (such as texture switching mods and graphics mods), or information mods like MechJeb, you will be counted on the stock leaderboard provided you only use stock parts (it will be noted if you use a rescale or an information mod). If you use a rescale of the Kerbol system (provided that you increase the scale of orbits and planets by the same factor) your Mission points will be multiplied by the square root of the scale factor.

Entries in the leaderboard will look something like this:

[your username] (links to your missions): [points totals] xC, xM, xR, xS, xU, xZ, [accolades], (any notes such as whether you used a rescale)

 

Stock leaderboard:

Spoiler
  1. @CairoJack (1,2,3): 10M
  2. @Andiron (1,2): 10M

Modded leaderboard:

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by eloquentJane
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, CairoJack said:

I think I have scored 3M

I think you are right. The cost breakdown is important though. Am I right in thinking that the first probe you launched entirely Soviet technology, followed by a Soviet lander on a US launch vehicle? Of course, the first task alone doesn't need to have a near-50% funding split, but overall the Mun exploration phase will have to so it's important to keep track.

If the assumption I previously stated is correct, that would mean that so far you have used 43098 funds worth of Soviet technology and 64641 funds worth of US technology, for a 40%-60% split.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, eloquentJane said:

Am I right in thinking that the first probe you launched entirely Soviet technology, followed by a Soviet lander on a US launch vehicle?

Sure. The first probe was not inspired by American or Russian missions, but I hope this is not a problem.

In the next step I will use more Russian technology

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, CairoJack said:

Sure. The first probe was not inspired by American or Russian missions, but I hope this is not a problem.

That is something of a problem actually. I'd like to draw your attention to the first rule of the challenge:

On 9/6/2017 at 7:47 PM, eloquentJane said:

All vehicles you use in this challenge must be either replicas or directly inspired by technology which was either used or suggested for use by the space agencies of the USA or the USSR (within reason).

Obviously there's going to be more leeway with this rule on some tasks (because many of the tasks haven't actually been done or attempted in reality) but spacecraft designs should be at least roughly based on real or proposed technology. I wasn't sure about the first probe you sent - since you called it Molniya I just assumed it was as close an approximation as you thought you could get with stock parts - but since you've confirmed that it's not based on either you need to relaunch it.

I'll add some details to the first post about real and proposed spacecraft for design inspiration, but for now here's a couple of images and articles about successful Soviet and American lunar probes:

There's no need to make a super-detailed incredibly-accurate replica, but having clear design influences is important.

Edited by eloquentJane
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok Ok I will relaunch my mission.

On 9/6/2017 at 8:47 PM, eloquentJane said:
  • All vehicles you use in this challenge must be either replicas or directly inspired by technology which was either used or suggested for use by the space agencies of the USA or the USSR (within reason). The technology should also be roughly appropriate for the era; e.g. you can't use vehicles which are essentially mimics of the Constellation program because that technology is too new.
  •  

I didn't understand the rules very well, I thought that i didn't need to be inspired by a specific mission but by American or Russian technology in general

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, CairoJack said:

I thought that i didn't need to be inspired by a specific mission but by American or Russian technology in general

That is the case. It has to be based on real or proposed technology but doesn't have to be an exact copy. The reason I say you need to relaunch the orbiter mission is because you said "The first probe was not inspired by American or Russian missions".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could you please clarify this:

On 06.09.2017 at 9:47 PM, eloquentJane said:

Only fuel cells may be used for power, except for the space station and surface base, which may use solar panels but only ones which do not move after initial deployment (including tracking the sun or retracting)

Clearly, Surveyors and Lunar Orbiters had solar panels. Are they banned for manned craft only?

And I wish we had non-tracking extensible panels but there's none of the kind in stock. So, the choice is limited to OX-STAT and OX-STAT-XL, right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Pand5461 said:

Clearly, Surveyors and Lunar Orbiters had solar panels. Are they banned for manned craft only?

And I wish we had non-tracking extensible panels but there's none of the kind in stock. So, the choice is limited to OX-STAT and OX-STAT-XL, right?

I think I'll change that rule actually, yes.I think I'll say no sun-tracking solar panels more massive than 0.2 tonnes, and no retractable solar panels. That still allows the larger static panels but doesn't prohibit solar panels on probes where they may have made sense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also learned the hard way that using solar panels for kermanned Mun landings with life support mods installed requires more planning than usual. Choose wrong lighting conditions, and you're caught in Kerbin's shadow near the apoapsis of an elliptical trajectory (either on the way there or back). As you run out of electricity, life support stops, kerbals are dead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've added two new accolades regarding life support mods and difficulty settings. I've also updated the first post with what happens to the score if you let a kerbal die.

I'm debating adding a new set of points specifically for realism-related things, so that stock players don't need to worry about modded players potentially getting more Mission points just by using life support (although, "just" using life support can be a far greater challenge than most things in the stock game). But currently I haven't added a new score category for this purpose. I'd appreciate some feedback on whether or not I should do this.

The third phase of the challenge will probably take a while longer for me to prepare than the first two phases, because I want to incorporate all five of the Joolian moons with their own individual goals and that gets complicated quickly. I'm sure it'll be ready in plenty of time before anyone actually gets through the second phase though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't like the idea of life support mods being counted as stock and adding extra points for them. I would argue that some mods like life support, RemoteTech, FAR, Deadly Reentry, kOS, kRPC can be accepted as "stock" but without any extra points. Or give said extra points if submitted as a modded entry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi ! Thanks for the challenge !

This is my entry for the Robotic Mun Exploration. My orbiter, launched from an Atlas Agena D rocket, is based on the US Lunar Orbiter program, but without solar panels (designed before the rule change). My lander, launched from a Molniya (R7) rocket is based on the Luna E-6 (which was used for Luna 4 to Luna 9) platform from the soviet Luna program

Link to the orbiter report

Link to the lander report

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...