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Duna Outpost Mission Architecture Challenge

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  • 1 month later...
On 9/10/2020 at 8:51 AM, jinnantonix said:

Well, it's been a marathon, but finally here is my submission:



Just finished watching your final video and it was just epic!

Watching your base getting bigger and bigger during your Duna descent was spectacular. Really impressed with your implementation of the rules and mods to complete this challenge with a deep investment in design and implementation that really plays the ways I always envisioned this challenge to be executed.

The badge designer hasn't been online in over a year, but I'll try and cook up a new badge with my limited skills.  :D  Either way, I'll get the OP updated later today once I've re-opened the lab...


And to all my KSP-playing friends still interested in completing this challenge, I am going to have very limited time to look at this site moving forward.  That said, I will get an email in my top-shelf email if someone has a question that isn't covered in the first 24 pages of this thread, or if someone completes the challenge and has a score to add on the OP.


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Oof, it's been a while.
Mission Update 3:
Y2, D14-Y2, D156

Surface Exploration


First things first - Surface samples!

Doodnard is still in the Duna Shuttle, so a rover is deployed to retrieve him.


He's then dropped off to drive the ISRU rover back to base.

And here's the first reason this update took so long - I overlooked the small drill's tendency to overheat (remember to field test designs before launch!), which meant refueling the DAV involved babysitting the drill and ISRU for days.
And days.
And days.
When finally finished, there's the second DAV to be refueled as well...

The base is fully mobile, and getting surface samples is an objective, so after altogether too long with the fuel truck, I switch gears and go on a roadtrip.
The base can get pretty good speed, and I manage to make it to the first couple of sample sites in about an hour.

To prevent spamming this post with multiple images of basically the same thing, here's an abridged version:
The first section of the roadtrip took Home is Where You Park it North East to grab Midland & Highland samples, culminating at the NE Basin, then headed WSW to hit the Western Canyon and Midland Sea. That would have been sufficient, but for whatever reason, I decided to press on and turn this into an Elcano, which is the other reason this update took so long:
Followed the Midland Canyon NE to the Northern Shelf, then followed the Polar boundary to grab polar samples. Foolishly, I took the entire base into the Polar Crater instead of using one of the parasite rovers to grab that biome's sample, which mean a few days were spent trying to get the base back out again - the Polar Crater's walls are deceptively steep.

Eventually HiWYPi makes it full circle back to the colony LZ.

Progress seen from orbit:


Samples obtained - I think I missed a single biome? - now there's nothing to do but wait for the transfer window to send them back

Mission Notes:
Both DAVs refueled and ready for use, should they be needed, Shuttle made it down with enough fuel to make orbit, but will need orbital refueling.
Any future launches - either the one I have upcoming Y8, or post Y10 outpost upkeep - will be carrying redesigned resourcing hardware as part of the payload
Surface samples acquired for Early Mission Prestige / Biome Diversity: 13

I should be able to have a fourth(final?) update up in the next day or so, with scoring and plan for going forward post-Y10, D1

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Mission Update 4
Y2, D156 - Y10, D1



Despite the 66% payload reduction due to not being crewed and having to take the tanker down with it, the ISRU miner eventually finishes refueling.
With samples collected, nothing do do but wait for the transfer window at Y3, D247. On D 240, having been voted off the planet, Arwig and Matemone gather the collected samples and get driven out to the secondary DAV (or is it the primary? I've forgotten which one is which) and head up to the orbiting ITV. No other kerbals will be returned, as 'Contingency Plans' has been achieved, allowing the remaining 46 kolonists to stay on Duna.
They arrive at the ITV and transfer over the samples.
Because there is time before departure, Matemone takes the miner down to set foot on the surface of Ike, becoming the first Kerbal to set foot on both Duna and Ike.
Departure time. The ITV breaks orbit from Ike and gets a gravity assist from Duna, which reduces the Duna ejection burn to 468.5m/s.
With the ITV heading to Kerbin, the DAV returns to the LZ.
And begins the tedium of refueling.
Timewarp to Y4, D73 - the ITV and its two passengers make it to Kerbin.
Arwig and Matemone's return is greeted with sunrise over the homeworld.
A shuttle is sent up to bring them the final handful of kilometers home.
After a re-entry that overshoots the KSC by a continent, the shuttle comes in for a landing.
Y4, D74. Arwig and Matemone set foot on Kerbin for the first time in 4 years, with a surface sample for early prestige and a bakers dozen more for Biome Diversity.
Timewarp again, to the Y5, D352 Transfer Window back to Duna. The ITV begins climbing out of Kerbin's gravity well.
Over a trio of orbits and about 1100 dV expended, the ITV is on its way back to Duna.
Arrival (return?), on Y6, D185. While the ITV has enough dV to make a second trip to Kerbin, the absence of ISRU hardware there would make it a one way trip, so the ITV heads to Ike to refuel. The ITV's arrival after its multi-year absence also means the DAVs+ISRU Tanker secondary ITV can go back to being the backup.
At this point, we timewarp again for the last time, to Y10, D1. While I have a second SLV launch available Y8, D105, the closest Transfer Window is Y10, D30, so the second launch will not be used, and instead held in reserve to launch Y10, D2 as the first launch of post-Y10 Outpost upkeep missions to sustain the colony.

With both the ITV and backup ITV in Duna Ike orbit, and both DAVs fueled and functional, all 46 Kerbals currently on Duna can be returned home at any time.

@Death EngineeringChallenge complete, score is as follows:

Mission Value is Kerbal days before Y5,D1*2 + Kerbal days on Duna Y5, D1-Y10,D1
  -45 kerbals on Duna from Y2, D09 to Y5, D1: (1269 days*45)*2 = 114210
  -1 Kerbal on Duna from Y2,D10 to Y5, D1: (1268 days*1)*2 = 2536           Doodnard arrived 1 day after initial colonyfall to pilot the shuttle down
  -2 Kerbals on Duna from Y2, 09 to Y3, D240: (648 days*2)*2 = 1296         Arwig and Matemone returned to their home planet

    46 kerbals on Duna from Y5, D1 to Y10, D1 (2130 days * 46) = 97980
    216022 points
   Efficiency is Mission Value/NPM*launches
    Efficiency = 216022/(585*1) = 369.27



Crew safety:
    *Interplanetary expertise: 48 passengers on ITV trip to duna,  Arwig & Matemone to Kerbin (+1)
    *Backup plan: 2 DAVs (48 seats each) (+2)
    *Emergency Evac: Used the secondary DAV to launch Arwig & Matemone (+3)

Mission robustness:
    *Duna Space Station: 3 seat station in 1000x1000km orbit. (+1)
    *Duna space bus: 9 seat shuttle (+2)
    *Deep space transit: 48 seat ITV w/5700 dV (+3)

Science value:
    *Deep space laboratory: Both the Duna station and Mobile base had a MPL (+1)
    *Early mission prestige: Arwig & Matemone returned to Kerbin Y4 D75; Matemone EVA'd on both Duna & Ike, surface sample returned (+2)
    *Biome diversity: 13 additional Duna and 1 ike samples returned (+3) 

Advanced mission objectives:
    *Kerbin space station: Station supports 20 (+1)
    *Positive uplink: 1000x1000km equitorial, Polar, & Dunastationary Duna sats, 1 Ike sat (+2)
    *Advanced deep space transit: ITV has 5700dV, is capable of Duna>Kerbin>Duna>Kerbin (+3)

Surface Mobility:
   *50% Basic Rover Access: 48 kerbs, Base had 2x 10-seat and 2x 2-seat parasite rovers. Rovers were pressurized, though, so not sure if the lack of lawn chairs prevents this (+1?)
   *Pressurized Rover Access: 48 kerbs, 48 seat mobile base 'rover' + 2x 10-seat and 2x 2-seat parasite rovers.(+2?)
   *Home is where you park it: Entire habitat was land mobile (+3)

Contingency Plans: Backup Plan, Duna Station, Duna Shuttle, Positive Uplink achieved

Achievements: 29 (30?); The outpost delighted the Federation with your exceptional achievement. Your retirement will be luxurious!

Mission notes
Despite - or perhaps because of - the single mega launch there's a lot of redundancy that in a more distributed mission plan could be reduced or done away with - in addition to the DAV and backup DAV, either of which can evac the entire colony population, there's also the 9 seat shuttle that could be used for the same purpose, abet more slowly; there's also the ITV and backup ITV that can be assembled from the DAVs and the ISRU tanker, one or both of which was always available enabling the colony to evac back to kerbin at any time during their 9 years at Duna (and either could be used to return the entire colony population to Kerbin at any time post Y10, D1).

That said, there is one major potential point of failure for which there isn't redundancy - the colony is dependant on Kerbin for food/consumables, and will require a resupply before the initial supplies run out (now that the colony is down to 46) on Y10, D394.
The second launch comes available post Y8, D105; soonest TW is Y10, D30. So, if second launch fails, can the colony make it back to kerbin before Y10, D394?
-Yes. Assuming the second launch fails and resupply won't arrive before initial supplies run out Y10, D 394, worst-case scenerio the colony can safely be evac'd to Kerbin as late as Y10, D 177, arriving Y10, D390 (4 days to spare) for 5570 m/s, within the capability of the ITV's 5700 dV budget. (Presumably, if the supply launch suceeds, but breaks down mid-flight, the ITV has enough dV to intercept it during its Duna flyby.)

Post-Y10, D1 mission architecture
A SLV launch is available to launch for the Y10, D30 Transfer Window, to carry 90 tons of supplies to the colony. (Ideally this would get upgraded to in-situ life support to become fully self-sufficient, but this was vanilla KSP, so supply drops it is.) There's also sufficient extra payload budget for expansion of the colony, in the form of a second mobile base habitat to add additional 48 kerbs to the Duna colony. That said, a second base (100t) also requires:
-an additional supply cache (w/ 10t deorbit motor)-100t
-an additional DAV to still have a backup-30t (unfueled)
-an additional ITV, to still have a backup-200t
-with a remaining 50 tons that can be used to launch a second ISRU miner+tanker

The miner+tanker would remain at Minmus to provide ISRU refuelling capability at both ends of the Duna<->Kerbin route, and would refuel the DAV, which would burn to Duna under its own power, followed by the refueled ITV with base and supplies.
If further expansion is desired, the second launch would carry 5 supply caches, enabling the third launch to carry 3 supply caches (300t), a third base(100t), an additional DAV, and additional ITV to move it all.
By making the second supply launch nothing but 5 supply caches, the fourth and fifth can loft 2 supply scaches, an additional base, DAV and ITV, for 4 bases - 200 Kerbals - on Duna, with the means to return home in case of emergency - within 40 years. Further expansion to a 5th habitat base (and 250 kerbals on Duna) would require 5 launches (over the next half-century) juggling supply drops and individual elements of colony architecture, and would be the upper limit that can be supported and supplied by the SLV, as 500 of the 585 ton NPM would be dedicated to supplies moving forward. Changing the Supply pod design to be deorbited via local tug instead of disposable deorbit motor would free up 10 tons/cache, and might allow a 6th base to be snuck in, but that would require likely another 4-5 launches to get everything down, and would absolutely be the upper limit - 540 of the 585 ton NPM would need to be supplies at that point.

Final thoughts: I suspect the monolithic approach made this challenge simultaneously easier and harder at the same time - on one hand, very few launches massively reduces the amount of busywork to get stuff assembled and delivered to Duna; on the other, if anything breaks/goes wrong/doesn't work as expected (and there were a few instances of that), replacements are either at best years away, and may require completely rethinging/planning the remaining launch(es) as part of the payload needs to be that replacement instead of the original manifest, or you'd better hope you overengineered things and can achieve needed functionality from remaining hardware. As for the grading aspect of the challenge, having sufficient payload capacity to throw a large nuber of kerbals at Duna from the beginning, when they score higher than Kerbals arriving later, is a considerable bonus. It would be interesting to see how an intermediate attempt would play out, something with a NPM in the 100-250t range, just to see how it would compare to both a conventional approach and this - having enough throw weight to get boots on the ground quickly, yet being able to have enough launches to permit later arrivals and potentially hgher scores from larger end population.

Edited by SuicidalInsanity
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  • 3 weeks later...


@jinnantonix has been added to the leaderboard!  :cool: 

Congrats on a great mission and for those who like them, we have a new badge for this challenge!



@SuicidalInsanity I'll be looking over your mission tonight as long as the weather doesn't go crazy and we lose power.  Amazing score, though!  :D

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  • 1 month later...
  • 11 months later...
On 1/8/2021 at 1:52 PM, falconek said:

Hello! Is it allowed to use "Snacks" mod for life support?

I mean this one:



I used snacks on my run. I did run into an issue, though, where Kerbals were eating twice as many snacks as expected. It's probably been fixed, but keep an eye on it.


I'm also going to declare my run from three years ago (DOMA arigato, Duna!) complete as-is because the computer with the save files is now dead and can't be recovered. I was also experiencing lots of glitching and noodle-ry at the end, it was turning into a real chore when I abandoned it.

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