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Inter-solar Fund Raising (a.k.a The Ultimate Challenge) - My tales of Woe

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This is a challenge documentation of the Ultimate Challenge - Rebooted. The link is down below. 

Anyway, so let the story begin!

It started when Mortimer Kerman decided to come up with a fund-raiser for KASA. The problem was that KASA was running out of steam, so they needed something to boost public interest. So he decided that they would bargain to fly a 100 kilometers per 1 credit given. 

So when this was announced, it created quite the public stir. Then a billionaire arrived at the KSC

Everything from the Limousine he pulled up in outside of the administration building, from his conservative black suit and Ray-ban glasses screamed VIP. Mortimer watched in fascination as the kerbal strode carefully down the hastily thrown together red carpet. The kerbal stepped so lightly as to not dust his shining shoes. His immaculate face wore a smirk which impressed his superiority on the observers. 

Mortimer stood at the other end of the red carpet, smiling nervously. 

"Ah, you must be Hajo Black." Mortimer said in an awed tone. 

"Yes. You are Mortimer Kerman. I want to fund your fund-raiser."

"Thank you," Mortimer suddenly came to himself, "Come in, Come in. We can discuss the details inside." 

They entered the building. Mortimer felt so nervous, showing off this dingy building to the man who owned mansions. 

"Oh, I thought it would be less dusty." Black commented bluntly. 

"Oh... that's just because the funds have been low." Mortimer blushed. 

"Don't worry. I'm about to end that." He stated matter-a-factly. 

They reached Mortimer's office. After ushering Black into one of the seats, Mortimer sat down. A cloud of dust lifted off his chair, and settled on the floor. He blushed further, and cussed the cleaning-lady under his breath. 

"What was that?" Black questioned the mutterings under his breath.

"Nothing." Mortimer quickly covered up his annoyance. "How much money would you like to invest into KASA?"

"How much would it cost for an Ultimate Challenge?" He asked abruptly.

Mortimer almost fainted, "An....Ultimate......Challenge?" He gasped. 

"Yep. How much?" He looked seriously at Mortimer. 

"Millions..... tens of millions." Mortimer whispered.

"I can afford it. You'll get your money by the end of the mission to all the planetary bodies. Is that all?" Black looked at Mortimer.

Mortimer nodded, deathly pale. 

"Alright. I'll just let myself out." Black stood up and then left the Administration Building.


Table of Contents :

1. First Update

2.  Second Update

3. In Orbit / Preparing for Departure!

I'll hopefully will be doing weekly posts, one to each planetary body for the next fourteen weeks. There might be a week or two of break, but trust me. THIS TIME, I will not forget about a thread and leave it unfinished!

Happy Explosions!

Edited by Alpha 360
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A Little Bit More Back-story before Launch........

The Big Four sat around a dusty table. The big three consisted of Gus, Werhner, Gene, and Mortimer. 

"What's the progress on the designs of the ship?" Mortimer asked Werhner. There was only one ship worth talking about, the Endurance. It was fittingly name, as it would have to land on 14 different planets before completing its mission. 

"We have made leaps and bounds." Werhner replied. He turned on the projector and connected it up to his computer. 


"This is an image of the main lander and the transfer stage. The lander contains 3,000 m/s when fully fueled, so it will land on every single planetary body except Eve. Understandably, the Eve lander has been the main source of problems. The transfer-stage has 2,000 m/s of delta-v, meaning it will be able to carry the mission to where ever concerned."

"Werhner? How will the transfer stage be refueled?" Gene asked, concerned. 

"Ah, I have thought of that!" Werhner smiled widely. 

"Do you see those klaws attached to the transfer stage?" He pointed at the picture. 

"Ah.." The three took a breath. 

"I have designed two pairs of klaws. One will go on the docking port on the lander, and the other would go on the transfer-stage. The lander would find an asteroid, and then carry it back to the mothership. Then it would dock the asteroid onto the other klaw. The lander would be able to mine the asteroid and fully refill the mothership easily. Fuel will not be an issue."

The other Big Four applauded. Werhner bowed, and then flicked to the next image. 


"This is the design for the Eve lander we have decided on for now. It has plenty of power, so it will be used to move the mothership after the asteroid has been captured. The unfortunate problem is that we haven't discovered how to enter Eve's atmosphere safely, but we hope to fix this problem in the near future."

"Finally, we have selected a crew of three to go on this expedition. The kerbals nominated are Jeb, Bob, and Val." Werhner announced.

Gene punched the air, silently. They were his favorite kerbals, and he knew they could complete this mission better than anyone else. 

"Also, here is what the mothership would look like when it's all docked to each other."


"That is all."  Werhner shut off the projector. 


Happy Explosions!

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Ohh.....right. I completely forgot about that. Well, scratch Jeb, looks like Bill is coming along on this voyage! I'll try to write that into the plot....somehow. 

Anyway, I have launched the transfer stage into orbit and I have also found a candidate for the first asteroid to be mined! It is a C class asteroid which will enter Kerbin's SOI in 170 days. A transfer window will open in 15 days, plenty of time to send up the Eve lander and the Everything-Else Lander. Still coming up for special names for the two mentioned above.

Here are the pictures. 











I don't have a picture of the separation of the boosters, unfortunately, but it reached orbit safe and sound! Also, the name for the transfer-stage is the Shackleton, after an Antarctic Explorer whose ship, the Endurance, was crushed by ice flows and somehow reached an island in the middle of the world's most dangerous sea, and was picked up several months later with NO causalities. 

The is a book by the same name which I would recommend,  Endurance, but that is all I have to say for now.    

Happy Explosions!

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Second Update!

The Eve lander has been sorted out! After being completely redesigned, it now works pretty well, granted it needs to wipe off most of its orbital velocity before entering Eve's atmosphere. Also, the transfer stage has been radically redesigned so that it has two docking ports, one above and one below. It's 30 nukes can push the whole assembly at 0.5 gs. 

Here is the launch of the revised Transfer-stage - The Shackleton II.





Here is the launch of the Lander - The Cooper I - as well as the rendezvous and docking  with the Shackleton II.



The crew are Jeb, Val, and Bill Kerman. The way the mission is designed, it means that all three kerbals will land everywhere except Eve. Jeb and Val will be doing rock-paper-scissors for the honor of being the first kerbal on Eve!

Anyway, launch is nominal and they reach orbit. The launch was timed so that the Shackleton II was just behind them, and coming quickly to greet them. 


The rendezvous goes without a hitch. The second stage from the launch is detached after slowly down to 5 m/s, and the Cooper flips around and moves in to dock with RCS.

And so, this miraculous scene comes into being. 




The two vessels dock. Then, because I use auto-strut, things got wonky and krakeny. By the time I deactivated all the auto-strut in question, I had lost all the nose cones to the Shackleton. Well, that's a little less weight to take to every planet in the solar system!

Tomorrow I will launch the Eve lander, and accessories like ore tanks, solar panels, and klaws, then the tour for more funds will begin!

Happy Explosions!

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In Orbit - Preparing for Departure!

All the pieces are in place. The mothership, Endurance, waits in orbit of Kerbin. Tomorrow, it will set out for the Mun, and then the asteroid which will be captured!


The three parts are all here. The transfer stage, the Shackleton with two thousand m/s in it when everything is fully fueled up and with the cargo. The cargo consists of the Cooper primary lander, with its ability to land on every single planetary body except Eve, with ISRU


The other cargo, placed underneath the transfer-stage, is the Eve Lander,  Excalibur. The only reason I'm calling it that, is because I couldn't find another ship of some sort named Endurance with a captain to name it by.  (If you know such a captain who commands a ship called, Endurance, please tell me ;)) The Excalibur is small for some Eve Landers. I still don't understand the use of 3.75 meter parts on Eve, especially if I can land all three crew members on Eve with a 2.5 meter stage.  At least that is what I hope, because I haven't fully tested out the lander.  I do know it has 3,500 m/s in the vector stage at 2 TWR to 3 TWR, and the second poodle stage with 1.5 TWR and 2,500 m/s. Will this work?

Anyway, that is all! The only other news is that I will send up a utility rack before it heads off. Also, a brief introduction to the planned course. 

Step 1 would be the Mun. After that, the Endurance returned to Kerbin's SOI before kicking off into deep space to rendezvous with the asteroid.

Step 2 would be Eve's orbit, and a quick landing on Gilly.

Step 3 would be Eve's surface.

Step 4 would be a gravity assist from Kerbin to reach Duna, and land briefly on Ike.

After that, Stop 5 would be Duna itself. After Duna, the Endurance will discard the asteroid and then head to Dres.

Step 6 would be Dres's surface after grabbing an asteroid from the Desteroids.

Step 7 would be Jool orbit, and landings on Pol and Bop. The plan is to put the Endurance into Laythe's orbit, and explore using the lander until after Step 8, which would be landing on Laythe itself.

Then the mothership would move to Tylo for step 9, and land the Cooper.

Step 10 would be Eeloo.

Step 11 will then be a series of gravity assists back down to Moho, as well as a swing by Kerbin to pick up a third asteroid and landing on Minmus.

Step 12 would finally be Moho, and then the Endurance would leave for Kerbin. After reaching Kerbin, a crew transport would pick up the crew, Jeb, Val, and Bill,  and head down to the planet for a hero's welcome.

Happy Explosions!

Edited by Alpha 360
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2 hours ago, roboslacker said:

Doesn't the contract require all landings to be done with the same vehicle?

The contract might, but the challenge itself hasn't required it since the days when @HoloYolo was maintaining it.


@Alpha 360 Technically, sending up a transport craft to retrieve the crew from LKO is against the rules as written. I'm going to amend that ASAP though, since it doesn't really detract from the complexity of the mission.

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Thanks, @IncongruousGoat! The reason its not implemented in the vehicle, is the obvious fact that the heatshield and extra decoupler weigh at least a ton, probably more. That would kill the efficiency of the Cooper, or restrain the Excalibur from reaching orbit. 

Sorry for not starting the challenge yet, I will do so hopefully today or tomorrow. 

Happy Explosions!

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To the Mun!

(Step 1)


And now! The Ultimate Challenge begins! 

The Endurance is now leaving for the Mun, as the title implies. This will take 870 m/s to reach the Mun, out of the reserves of roughly 3,000 m/s.


This leaves us with now roughly 2,600 m/s. 300 m/s is expelled in gaining orbit of the Mun. 



Once in orbit, the landing site is planed. And beauty shots taken.. can't forget about those!


The Cooper detaches and then burns away, leaving the Endurance far behind. The landing site, the Farside Crater!


The Cooper has two modes. Efficiency mode, and Thrust mode. Efficiency mode uses the Terriers, while Thrust mode actives both the terriers and the four swivel engines. This is about the only use I can find for swivels other than in the early game, for largish landers. 

Anyway, landing takes 600 m/s. Since I used thrust mode, this left my reserves at something around 1,900 m/s. My kerbal got out and then planted the flag. 


I forgot ladders....drat. How will I recover my kerbals on Laythe? Land in the Ocean? Then... I guess I will cross that bridge when I cross it. 


And after the mandatory land has been planted, Jeb gets back into the Cooper, and the mining begins!


After two Mun days, the lander is fully fueled. Also, our transfer window to the asteroid is fast approaching. Only four more days before heading out to grab it!


A demonstration of thrust mode. Look at the exhaust, no wonder this thing can lift off of Tylo. 

Then... I'll just say it. I forgot to bring the utility parts from Kerbin. That was stupid of me. So, I launched the package to intercept and rendezvous with the Endurance. Its less than a ton, so it wouldn't have effected anything.  All it is is extra mono-propellant tanks,  klaws, and batteries. 

I docked it to the Endurance, and then I docked the Cooper to that. 


This is the fully completed design. Should I pull up a quicksave that I made back in Kerbin's SOI and send the package then, and redo the landing and entry into orbit? Please tell me, @IncongruousGoat

On that interesting note, I will end this post here. When this is figured out, then I'll head out to the asteroid and capture it. Then we will go to Eve!

Happy Explosions!

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6 hours ago, Alpha 360 said:

This is the fully completed design. Should I pull up a quicksave that I made back in Kerbin's SOI and send the package then, and redo the landing and entry into orbit? Please tell me, @IncongruousGoat.

Yeah, you should. It doesn't look like the addition of that module really affected this leg of the journey, but I've already been more lenient about this rule than I'm quite comfortable being. And hey, look on the bright side - it gives you a chance to fix that ladder problem. Laythe would've been tricky, but it would have really ruined your day on Tylo.

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Alright. I revised my plan and went to Minmus instead. The landing will occur shortly. 







The Endurance now has just a little less than 3,000 m/s left in the tanks. Hopefully more than enough to catch the asteroid proposed. The reason there's a time limit, is because this asteroid will hit Kerbin if we don't move it. 

Happy Explosions!

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Update: Landed on Minmus!

Well, sorry for the delay.  I have landed the Cooper on the Minmus Flats. The reapplied ladders makes things so much better, I'm really proud of the the ladder system I have developed.  Pics are below!





Just as a side note, I have discovered that I forgot to bring a refinery to use on Eve's surface. Luckily, its already fully-fueled which means that it should be easy enough to just drop it onto the surface without too much of a problem. 

I've been caught up with camp stuff, the reason for the delay. Probably by tomorrow I'll put up a post about the trip to the asteroid and then to Eve's SOI. Hopefully that'll all work out in the end though. 

Happy Explosions!


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Asteroid Sighted!

Well, after rendezvousing with the Endurance again, the Cooper docked with it.  Then the asteroid in question was found. After timewarping and extensive maneuver plotting, the Endurance fired up its engines for the first maneuver!


The rest of the narrative of the first asteroid rendezvous I have completed continues in the spoiler below. 


So, after maneuver number 1, there were three hefty maneuvers left. 


I had no realization of how much fuel I could mine from one, assuming that just one asteroid would be able to refuel the Endurance several times over. 

So I wasted away by Delta-v in inefficient maneuvers. 


I did rendezvous with the asteroid in the end, but it was some of the hardest work I have done in-game so far. Whew, I never want to do this again. 

So when I got into visible range, I felt a little cheated. 


The asteroid I was chasing was an A-class asteroid. Minuscule. Only 70 tons overall, with 40 tons of resources.  


The worst part of it, was that I was an idiot and wasted half of it in turning it into Liquid Fuel and Oxidizer. Well, I filled up on Oxidizer, but the gigantic tanks still remain to be filled. 



So I discovered yet another Asteroid. I knew this one to be a C-class, so I am happy about that. I will also leave Kerbin's SOI with the asteroid, meaning that it should be MUCH easier to find and catch asteroids. Also next time I will transform half into mono-propellant, and the other half into pure liquid fuel. Hopefully I'll be able to refuel most of the Endurance, if not all of it. 

That is all for right now. Finding and capturing the asteroid cost me at least two hours, and the added frustration of not being fully fueled cooled my fondness for the game. 


Happy Explosions!

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My Tales of Woe.....

Well, let me tell you my tale of woe. 

I found a class D asteroid and so I started the rendezvous protocols. After 30 minutes, I got to the asteroid. I slowed myself down to 0.4 m/s, I drifted towards the asteroid. Then I decided it would take too long to drift there, I was 100 meters away,  and then I timewarped. And then I got closer and closer to the asteroid, so I decided to stop. 

Only that my finger pressed the greater than sign instead of the backwards slash(Which are right next to each other), and timewarped through the asteroid. I could have gone all the way through, but then in my haste it hit the correct button...at the wrong time. 

An explosion later and 6 hours of hard work disappeared. :mad::/;.;:huh:

Well after I raged quit for the day, I came back to see the remains of the Endurance. To my surprise, I found the Cooper completely intact with its crew. I danced a jig, and then re-rendezvoused with the D-class asteroid and mined it. Then i decided to see if the Eve lander was intact. 

IT WAS. Except for the fact it was missing its docking port on the front. I had a claw + docking port attached to the rear, so I moved that to the front and clawed the cockpit, giving it a new docking port on the front. I then moved it back to the asteroid, and attempted to attach it's surface. After smashing a load of solar panels, which made me rage quit once more, I unleashed the Cooper from the asteroid and then docked to the claw + docking port, then headed back to the asteroid to fully fuel the Eve Lander, for I have decided to take a chance, and continue the challenge as if nothing had happened. 

That is all. Soon I will update from the orbit of Eve,  if no more timewarping mishaps occur.....

Happy Explosions!


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  • 6 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

Nope. I have deleted this save as I rage quitted the game after this XD. Sorry, took a break from my own personal projects and now am working on Project Essence. Also, my computer never has enjoyed running KSP.... just not up to spec :/

I would love to re-open this, but don't got the time or motivation. Hope that answers your question.


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