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Mavnor Space Solutions


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"Why bother Matt's Thunderbirds when you may simply leave space exploration to droids?" is our motto!

Mavnor Space Solutions aims mostly at small subassemblies that helps all those afraid of losing kerbals in manned missions yet longing to get the raw outcome of their experiments, without transmission penalties. Tired of caring for life support? You don't want any accidents involving killing kerbonauts?  It's your lucky day! 

This thread will be updated with new units as I progress in this career save. Right now I'm working on getting RAPIERS, 1-0 action groups and fancy stuff like that. Taking a stroll to our hangar is encuraged: https://kerbalx.com/hangars/25059


Designs I'm thining of:

Relay systems <check>

Stock Automatic Science Bringer for Duna&Ike (probably Apollo-style with suitable relay/return stage staying in orbit) <check, in testing>

Stock Automatic Science Bringer for Laythe (definitely Apollo-style with suitable relay/return stage staying in orbit and flying drone penetrating Laythe's biomes)

Science rover mk2 (with material's bay)

SSTO Spaceplane designed around mk3 cargo

Stock Surface Refillment Unit <check, in testing and optimalisation>


Although I'll try to keep it stock, it works really well with following mods:

Bon Voyage, USI, Scansat, x-science. I also play with USI MKS. 

1. Stock Automatic Science Bringer for Kerbin SOI

This subassembly is designed to collect basic experiments from 6 biomes (a number of goo units attached to the rover) on Mun/Minmus and return experimental storage unit full of science to Kerbin. The lander has a lot d/v (in terms of Mun/Minmus landing) so feel free to make mistakes, note that some fuel is going to be pumped to the return stage. Using this rover with science relay mod (https://mods.curse.com/ksp-mods/kerbal/252171-science-relay) generates so much science points that I'd almost count that cheating. Centre of thrust is a lil bit offset centre of mass, be careful.



Mass: 9.22t

Part count: 56

d/v: ~1,5k 

Craft file: https://kerbalx.com/Mavnor/MSS-Stock-Automatic-Science-Bringer


Feel free to download and comment ;x

Edited by mavnor
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2. Stock Science Rover mk1

This is a subassembly that I find the best for first unmanned exploration attempts. It's fairly light and it fits 2,5m cargo bay. Integrated direct and relay antennas provide good contact with vessels in orbit, experiment storage unit ensures you that rover will bring various science data and docking port gives you a chance to move that precious data into any vessel you met during your roving (return stage suggested). Batteries and light provides limited funcionality during night time.


Mass: 0.9 t.

Part count: 24

d/v: n/a

Craft file: https://kerbalx.com/Mavnor/MSS-Stock-Science-Rover-mk1

Edited by mavnor
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  • 2 weeks later...
3. Stock Science Plane mk. 1
This drone is an alternative to collecting Kerbin's science using a rover. In short words: you may rove, you may fly. Collect your basic experiments with this low-tech, pure stock flying drone. This cute, little thingy has over 12k d/v and sets off at around 30 m/s. It carries 2 goo containers, thermometer and barometer. Thanks to relatively big wing area and reaction wheel it could glide even at low speed, making it suitable for landing in the weirdest places. Great plane for beginners. Tested on Kerbin, sadly in this save I don’t have docking ports yet.
Mass: 1.34 t
D/v: over 12k
Edited by mavnor
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3. Stock Science Plane mk. 2
We’re going bigger in terms of taking measurements and experiments in Kerbin. This one has material’s bay, 3 goo’s containers, thermometer and barometer, you may build it without upgrading research lab. Basic TWR is 1.5 and it goes up to 2.21 with burned fuel. 24k d/v (22 minutes) gives you time to visit multiple biomes. When it comes to piloting, I believe this plane is even easier than mk.1, although being bigger and heavier. Care is advised when landing uphills (who does that, anyways? o_O) or you may lose the middle engine. The side ones are more than enough to fly some more tho, so no big harm would be done.
Inspired by Cupcake, Turbo Pumped and Star Wars.
Mass: 4.07t
D/v: over 24k
Edit: I just took a ride to Kerbin desert and back to KSC, this drone is more than capable. Screenshots below, leaving GUI to show d/v left. Btw. this was my first successful landing at Kerbin’s runway EVER :D
Edited by mavnor
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Nice ideas. I sometimes feel like there aren't quite enough uncrewed spacecraft around the forums (at least, ones which are designed to be just as versatile as crewed spacecraft).

I particularly like that rover lander vehicle with the science return pod. I don't remember the last time I saw a spacecraft like that (uncrewed surface sample return vehicle) that wasn't either a replica of something real, or one of my own designs.

Edited by eloquentJane
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@eloquentJane : yay, I'm so glad (as a prise junkie) someone has finally taken an effort to comment this thread! It may sound hard to believe, but with USI installed I kinda longed for missions more complex than bringing huge payloads and transferring the crew hence the idea (also, the part count was eventually killing my fps ratio), so after 2nd design I switched to 1.3.1 and started brand new career (awesome opportunity to design low-tech stuff). Playing with limited use of kerbals seemed to be a rather interesting concept and so it turned out. No crew/eva reports and surface samples is quite a handicap, but so far I'm managing without kerbal moving away from KSC more than few kilometres.

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If you're looking for complicated missions, a nice kind of space probe for later in the game (when you can go interplanetary) is a Jool orbiter with atmospheric probe. It takes a bit of planning, because you'll want to make sure the atmospheric probe drops into the Joolian atmosphere at a point when it has a connection to the orbiter and the orbiter has a connection to Kerbin so you can use the orbiter as a relay satellite to send back the data. It's also quite fun, although if you're impatient you won't like waiting as the atmospheric probe falls through Jool.

I've been looking into designing a similar atmospheric probe for my current playthrough (though that's modded and I can get to a gas giant a lot sooner than a stock game since Kerbin orbits one) and overcoming the challenges is taking some effort (it's tougher than it usually is for me to design a space probe). Getting the probe to last long enough as it falls through the atmosphere to transmit data from both the upper and lower atmospheric regions is one of the bigger challenges (though I'm using Kerbalism so transmission is slower, it's probably fine with the stock antenna system).

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1 hour ago, mavnor said:

Did you try science relay mod?

I've used it a little in the past, but with my current set of mods I prefer to transmit data directly back to Kerbin. Communications networks aren't really doable in the same way stock ones are (you have high-gain or low-gain antennae, high-gain always point directly at Kerbin and low-gain are inter-vessel communication but also very short-range) so my science gathering is, for practicality purposes, limited to either direct transmission or to sample returns.

Also, Eve is a good place to test atmospheric drop probes, although the mission specification can be somewhat different as you can land them on Eve and won't lose them as soon as they reach zero altitude. You could probably get a good approximation of Jool's entry velocity by dropping a probe into Eve's atmosphere at the periapsis of an extremely-eccentric orbit so you can get an idea of just how well it will last.

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4. Stock Interplanetary Cargo SSTO mk.2

After gathering science all over Kerbin SOI and sending some probes to other planets (without staying in orbit, due to communication's problems) I designed this interplanetary capable cargo ssto. It flies really well, also is able to land on Kerbin (though reentry could be somehow messy). Payload capacity: 4,5t and modular cargo bay included. With junior docking port at the top of the hull it's possible to refuel this spaceplane in orbit. Note that it has really poor TWR when using NERVE only, so consider multiple burns at periapsis and think at least twice before landing on different bodies than Kerbin. Ascent at ~5-10 degrees till 450m, then rise prograde marker around 10-15 degrees, activate nerve at 12000 altitude and manage speed at around 1500+ during ascent, till the intakes go off. Switch to closed cycle then, rise apoapsis to 70 km and turn RAPIERS off, use nerve to set apoapsis at 80 km and circularise.


Mass: 53.29t

D/v: over 4k when on LKO

Craft file: https://kerbalx.com/Mavnor/MSS-Stock-Interplanetary-Cargo-SSTO-mk2

4.1 Stock first stepper module

Cargo module for Stock Interplanetary Cargo SSTO mk.2 with all you need to do some first steps in other planet's SOI. It consists of 3 relay satelites (2 local and 1 that's supposed to communicate KSC) and science experiments, it weights much below cargo capacity, so don't hesitate adding stuff.


Mass: 2,8t

D/v: satelites got ~600-700 dv for orbital manouvering

Craft file: https://kerbalx.com/Mavnor/MSS-Stock-first-stepper-module


@eloquentJane: how is your satelite thingy?

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Nice spaceplane. That's a pretty good cargo for a probe-based playthrough.

As for my "satellite thingy", if you mean the one I mentioned for dropping into the atmosphere of the nearest gas giant, I still haven't finished it but mostly because I've been doing a couple of other things. The second one in this post might interest you though; it's a similar concept but rather than an orbiter with an atmospheric drop probe, it's an orbiter with a simple lander.

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5. MSS' Stock droid station

Okay, so I wanted to gather all my latest rovers in one craft file, kinda like Cupcake did with his landers, yet without awesome movies, he delivered along with his designs, this seemed poor so I attached few tanks, some engines, convertotron and so on and sent the station to Duna to get some catchy photos. Along with the craftfile, you're to get 3 rovers - light science rover (with a small rocket engine that gives it ~800d/v), science rover with 2 external seats and mining rover. 

You can strip it from tanks and refinery to get raw 3 cargo bays with rowers, each one's weight is around 1-2t so they may be easily used as a subassemblies to your lander or get turned into lander themselves (suggestion: small rockomax tank and 2 mk55 thud engines; 4 lander legs attached to the tank; probe core at the top and you'll get over 1k d/v, enough to land on most bodies). Each cargo bay has a docking port at the back designed to let rover transfer data and/or resources.


Mass: 33 t

d/v: ~2k

Craft file: https://kerbalx.com/Mavnor/MSS-Stock-Droid-Station

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@eloquentJane I'm glad you asked! There're three reasons explaining cupolas presence: rover 2 was designed after a discussion at https://www.facebook.com/groups/KerbalSpaceProgram/ (to be exact - here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KerbalSpaceProgram/permalink/1590735104317151/) and it's already equipped with 2 command seats, I like to think of this design as of a product designed to be sold to other spacefarers; secondly the station itself is a fast design for showing rover's bays in somehow more attractive environment than SPH, the basic idea of the craft was inspired by this all-in-one craftfile by Cupcake (https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/165535-mini-dropship-collection/), but I couldnt stand the sight of just 3 cargo bays strapped together, hence the idea. : P I'm also being tempted by coming back to USI:MKS, trying to design sth small for that.

Also, I've made an attempt at atmospheric probe, I need to check this with Kerbalism and your planet mod instaled, but in stock using an inflatable heat shield and a set of parachutes slowed it enough to send multpile data back to KSC. Sadly, Jool has only one biome regardless of altitude. ; (

Edited by mavnor
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