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The US-Soviet Technological Collaboration Challenge (WIP)


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4 minutes ago, Pand5461 said:

@Andiron

First thought: RAPIERS???

Next thought: ah right, four nozzles...

I didn't have enough power with 20 Sparks engines :)

I don't use them as air-breathing engines, and they look cool enough for RD-107/108

Edited by Andiron
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2 hours ago, Pand5461 said:

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.

The life support mods being allowed as part of a "stock" entry was actually something I meant to change but forgot to earlier.

I probably will also add a separate points category for realism-related things as well.

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@eloquentJane OK. I'm not stock elitist, just "you need to install mods to be on top of stock scoreboard" looked as a glaring hole in the rules.

Also, maybe reduce life support bonuses for Mun missions? Kerbalism adds 5 days worth of food, water and oxygen to pods, the whole "go there, plant flag, get back" mission takes 2 days tops. Added weight is maybe 100-200 kg, not something that requires total vehicle redesign. Electricity is a concern but only with solar panels, and all you need is just time the launch properly. That said, I think 1 bonus point for 10 days of mission is somewhat fair.

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The high multiplier isn't exclusively for Kerbalism. It requires not only Kerbalism, but also the highest difficulty settings which are still reasonable. And those settings must be adhered to for every mission in order to qualify for that accolade. And on top of that, Kerbalism adds a lot more than just food, water, and oxygen. Players will have to consider living space (though that mostly for long-duration missions), radiation, communication, part failures (and improving parts to lower failure risk does noticeably increase cost and mass) and a few other things. They'll also need far more battery power than most players ever bother with.

I'm not sure bonus points for mission duration with life support mods is a good idea. Firstly because it would encourage some players to launch overengineered long-term missions just for the sake of getting extra points, and secondly because I'd rather have a precise upper limit to how many points can be obtained.

I will add a separate points category for realism-related things, and have that instead of the points multipliers with life support. The more I think about it the more it makes sense to do it that way, and it would avoid, as you say, 

37 minutes ago, Pand5461 said:

"you need to install mods to be on top of stock scoreboard"

 

In fairness though, this challenge is still a work in progress, so of course not everything's necessarily perfectly balanced.

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@eloquentJane I was talking of "Realism" bonus, not "Extended Realism". It just so happened that I play with Kerbalism currently and not really familiar with other LS mods, but they must be similar in terms of added mass for supplies.

Almost none of the Kerbalism features matter much in case of Mun program, however - the whole roundtrip is just too short (OK, still need to pack larger batteries, but c'mon...), kerbals should not die even without food or water on the ship.

19 minutes ago, eloquentJane said:

I'm not sure bonus points for mission duration with life support mods is a good idea. Firstly because it would encourage some players to launch overengineered long-term missions just for the sake of getting extra points, and secondly because I'd rather have a precise upper limit to how many points can be obtained.

Agreed, that was not a well-thought suggestion. Another thing is some may want to have faster missions instead of stockpiling supplies.

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1 minute ago, CairoJack said:

Can you please update the leaderboard ?

I have also a question: if I want to land on the mun using the lunar surface randezvous mission, how can I made it using existing vehicles ? Also, can I use the Apollo Service Module as a lander ?

Yes, I will update the leaderboard for both of the current entries.

Lunar surface rendezvous? Do you mean launching two vehicles separately and landing them near each other on the surface of the Mun? You have plenty of options for that approach. Instinctively I'd probably go for a pair of Saturn V rockets with much less payload than usual, using the S-IVB third stage to provide most of the delta-v for landing and jettisoning it before providing the small final landing thrust with a propulsion module integrated on the payload (and use two payloads to lunar surface with whatever it is that you want to land there for the mission). Otherwise, perhaps using two N1s or UR-700s or Novas might work better. Another alternative might be a Gemini-style approach, using four Titan rockets to send two payloads and two Centaur stages to low Kerbin orbit, and use the Centaur stages to propel the payloads to Munar orbit, leaving the payloads to descend on their own. And that's just a few options, but I'm sure there are other ways of doing it before.

As for your second question, the Apollo service module alone doesn't necessarily make sense as a complete lander because in reality it wouldn't have enough fuel, but it was designed to be able to ascend from the surface of the moon (back when direct ascent was still being considered) so it's certainly an option as an ascent module. If it had a smaller payload than the Apollo CSM, or used a Soviet-like landing method (wherein the 5th stage of the lunar rocket provided most of the delta-v for descent) it might've been able to be modified to serve as a fully integrated lander. Though of course, since KSP imposes different restrictions and an Apollo-size service module is plenty for a Mun landing, feel free to use it as your lander.

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Quote

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.

Huh?  Was there supposed to be some kind of required mission pack installed for the challenge that offers contracts by nation?  I skimmed through trying to find one but didn't see it.

How do I satisfy this bullet point in the rules when the game makes no mention of which nation is offering me funds?  If I gain funding from, say, a flag planting contract, who's paying for that contract?  The USA or USSR?   I don't understand.

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@Steven Mading I think mission cost is what counts.

A Luna-themed probe for 10k:funds: on top of an Atlas-themed launcher for 12k:funds: is 6:5 split in favor of USA.

Which rises another question: are there additional restrictions on how we can split cost between "countries"?

Examples:

1. Player launches a probe. Can he/she say that probe core, antenna, battery and solar panels are provided by the USA, reaction wheels and scientific equipment by the USSR?

2. Player uses the same part in multiple designs. Must it be provided by the same country across all designs or can change its origin?

3. Is saying "Liquid fuel provided by the USSR, oxidizer by USA" considered cheating?

There may be a rule that LFO and structural elements like decouplers, fairings, payload adapters etc. must be provided by the country that performs the launch (I don't feel that solid fuel should be included in those, SRBs are typically provided as a whole, fuel included).

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@Steven Mading @Pand5461

The way the funding is split is based upon the spacecraft sections you design. You can't split it on a part-by-part basis, or by saying that one nation provides the fuel tanks while the other provides the fuel (because then it'd be too easy to balance funding). What you have to do is split it by the sections of the vehicle. Here's a few examples:

  • You launch a US spacecraft on top of a Soviet rocket (e.g. launching an Apollo CSM on a Proton rocket).
  • You use orbital assembly to construct a modular space station out of a Skylab-like module and a couple of Salyut modules.
  • You design a landing vehicle with an ascent module and a descent module; the descent module (including landing legs, propulsion system, science equipment, other stuff you have on the descent module) is based on the Apollo lunar lander descent stage, and the ascent module is derived from a Soyuz command module.
  • You use a launch vehicle consisting of the first 2 stages of an N1 topped by an S-IVB stage (rather odd from an engineering perspective but not technically disallowed).

Obviously these are just examples and are nowhere near the limit of what can be done, but they should give you an idea of how things should be done. The first part of the first rule might help explain how this works as well:

Quote

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).

This means that so long as you're using sections of spacecraft which are clearly derived from real or proposed technology from either space program, it's perfectly fine to mix and match those components. And if you're unsure about a specific idea you have in mind, feel free to ask me.

 

Another thing worth keeping in mind is the fact that you don't have to mix technologies for each launch, or even for each task in a phase (provided you're not just doing the primary objective task), you just need to make sure the costs to each nation balance out for the entire phase. For example, you could do the Mun landings entirely with the real Apollo architecture, but Mun probes and the Munar station entirely with Soviet technology (though I think it'd be more fun and more within the spirit of the challenge to mix things up), as long as the total costs of all of your Mun exploration fit within the boundary imposed by rule 7.

Edited by eloquentJane
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22 hours ago, eloquentJane said:

@Steven Mading @Pand5461

The way the funding is split is based upon the spacecraft sections you design. You can't split it on a part-by-part basis, or by saying that one nation provides the fuel tanks while the other provides the fuel (because then it'd be too easy to balance funding). What you have to do is split it by the sections of the vehicle. Here's a few examples:

  • You launch a US spacecraft on top of a Soviet rocket (e.g. launching an Apollo CSM on a Proton rocket).
  • You use orbital assembly to construct a modular space station out of a Skylab-like module and a couple of Salyut modules.
  • You design a landing vehicle with an ascent module and a descent module; the descent module (including landing legs, propulsion system, science equipment, other stuff you have on the descent module) is based on the Apollo lunar lander descent stage, and the ascent module is derived from a Soyuz command module.
  • You use a launch vehicle consisting of the first 2 stages of an N1 topped by an S-IVB stage (rather odd from an engineering perspective but not technically disallowed).

 

Okay, so when you said "funded by" a nation you meant "cost of components bought from" a nation?  That would make a clearer explanation in the rules.  "Funded" implies the money coming *into* your space agency (the money the contracts give you after completion) rather than the money going *out of* your space agency when you spend those funds buying parts.

Edited by Steven Mading
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Hi ! This is my entry for the third mission, the Mun landing.

The first rocket of this mission, a R7-type, carries the lander, inspired by this 1961 study for a Gemini mission to the Moon. The second one is the same rocket I used for my second mission of this challenge, to travel around the Mun: a Titan IIIc carrying a LK-1 spacecraft

kJlmsLD.png

Link to the mission report

Edited by Andiron
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24 minutes ago, eloquentJane said:

Very nice mission. I've always liked the Gemini lunar vehicles. What's the funds breakdown for the whole mission?

LK-1 costs 16555 funds and Titan IIIc costs 39376 funds

Gemini lander costs 7546 funds and the R7-type costs 40582 funds

US costs = 46922 and USSR costs = 57137

Edited by Andiron
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11 hours ago, Pand5461 said:

I can't make a "real-life inspired" launcher for probes without it being insanely overpowered :(

Time to install a rescale mod, I guess.

It doesn't necessarily have to be proportional. And if you want it to look like the real equivalent, a couple of things which you can do are using fairings with tanks inside (which hide how much fuel you actually have while allowing you to get whatever tank shape you need) or using full-size tanks but not fully fueling them.

8 hours ago, Bottle Rocketeer 500 said:

Mun Exploration Missions 1a and 1b.

Looks good; I particularly like how you made the upper stage. What's the cost breakdown for that mission?

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