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Mephisto Metalworks and Aeronautics


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Mephisto Metalworks and Aeronautics.
The Future is now.

Link to Kerbalx-Hangars:

XR-Series: Go everywhere - Kerbol Exploratory

Latest Version is the XR-06 Ranger Mk III SSTA with attached Javelin Eve Landerfor four Kerbals

Older Version is the XR-02 Ranger Mk I
Four different crafts in one package:
Ranger is a powerful SSTA, Agamemnon is a lightweight Eve lander and ascent vehicle, Tycho is the final stage of the Eve lander and can be docked into Ranger's service bay. Brahe is a moon truck addon for Tycho. Both can fit into Ranger's Service bay.
The XR project was built upon results the older X-84 Akkadian / Ishtar project: Fly to every moon and planet in the stock solar system as well as in the outer planets mod and collect science with three Kerbals.

The take-off-weight of Ranger SSTA / Agamemnon Eve Lander Combo is 30 t lower than the Akkadian / Ishtar at 120t.
XR-03 Ninsianna Eve Lander and Ascent Vehicle (32t, for Beginners) https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/XR-03-Ninsianna-Eve-Lander
XR-04 Agamemnon Eve Lander and Ascent Vehicle (26t, for advanced Players) https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/XR-02-Ranger-XR-04-Agamemnon-SSTA-and-Eve-Lander

XR-01 a/b Tycho / Brahe combo

XR-02 Ranger SSTA


XR-03 Ninsianna Eve lander with 32t Ascent Vehicle

XR-04 Agamemnon Eve Lander with 26t Ascent Vehicle


XR-02 /04  Ranger SSTA with Agamemnon Eve Lander - 120t take off weight. Enough oooomph for every planet and moon.


XR-08 Behemoth Multi Mission SSTA


30t to Minmus, 10t to Tylo surface and back (with ISRU...)

XR-08 Behemoth with Space Station


Dolphin Mk V Mini SSTO


Extra Small to orbit: Small is the new big, thought the marketing guys. Here's to space on a budget.

XS-01 Viper
- upload pending-
Viper is a lightweight, single use crew transfer system with a rapier and an ion stage. At 30 parts and 5.5t take off weight, it brings one Kerbal into orbit with 7.600 m/s dv left. This should suffice for most destinations in the Kerbol system.
Fancy stuff like landing gears or parachutes is omitted. Just power up the engine and fly.
TWR in orbit for the ion stage is 0.3, which is fairly reasonable.
In order to not only bring pilots into space, it has drone core equipped.
XS-02 Sparrow
- upload pending -
Sparrow is a light weight single stage to orbit concept with one rapier and one ion engine. At 6.3t take off weight, it brings one Kerbal to orbit regardless of profession.
As the ion engine only has an TWR of 0.07 in low Kerbin orbit, getting somewhere is a game of patience.
An improved version of the Sparrow, the XS-03 Sparrowhawk has significantly greater ranger and twice the thrust in low orbit. Now even with landing gear.The larger battery pack as well as the quad ion engines allow for sustained ion burns of app. 250 m/s. The TWR of 0.12 in LKO is fairly reasonable for ion engines.
The latest excrements in ore surveillance technology.
Also knows your bad habbits and browser history.
Comes equipped with ressource scanners, regular and relay antennas as well as repeateable science experiments.
Powered by "a excrementsload of batteries and some spare ion engines", as the designers at the Kerbal Space Center put so eloquently. Comes with solar panels.
Has roughly 15.000 m/s dV with ion engines, so evading it by moving to Dres or Eeloo seems kind of futile. Better use that incognito mode in your browser more often....
3t to orbit in a single stage. Kerbal included. No science experiments, no shenanigans.

(To infinity and beyond.)

Edited by Mephisto81
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Was experimenting with lightweight SSTO concepts after watching too many videos of Turbo Pumped, Stratzenblitz and the likes.


Behold, the mighty (ahem...) X-108 Colibri




And in the SPH:



Can take off horizontally, landing with parachute assistance.

Flight profile is really fun: Take off horizontally, turn slowly to level flight. Accelerate insanely and gain altitude juuust below terminal velocity for rapiers.
Orbit was achieved with 400 m/s dV for chemical rockets, 4000 m/s dV with ion engines.

Edited by Mephisto81
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X-112 Anuki SSTO


Anuki Kerman is LOST IN SPACE.

But fear not, rescue is underway!

Naturally, Bill decided to design a brand new SPACEPLANE for the daring rescue mission.
With clever book keeping tricks, Bill managed to get proper funding for the craft.

Because space is big and scary, Bill decided to play it safe: 10 Rapiers, 3 Skiffs and 4 Nerv Engine would propel the 200 t craft.

Just in case, the craft was build with a modest error margin: The craft was able to reach the outer planets or Moho and refuel with its ISRU. One can never know. 7000 m/s maximum range with only liquid fuel tanks should be enough. As the craft is quite overpowered, Bill was pondering, whether he should also include an Eve Lander at the front? Mini Tylo Lander in the cargo bay for later?


With the main side tanks filled with LF/OX and locked, you still have 5.300 m/s dV on Nervs.


What should Bill put in the Service Bay? And notice the fairing right behind the cockpit. In a later version, I might add an Eve Lander onto the front and build a fairing around it. A small cubic octogonal strut right behind the shielded docking port allows for part attachment to a shielded docking port. Normally, they lack attachment nodes.


Wanted to save parts and did not include any retractable radiators in a chique service bay at the sides. Unfortunately, existing service bay did not meet my aesthetic requirements for radiator placement.
Therefore, Bill and I decided to omit them. What was the worst that could happen anyway?

All the heat producing parts have been bolted onto the center back liquid fuel tank (Nerv clusters, ISRU, Drills). As fixed radiators only cool adjacent parts, 3 radiator panels in the aft service bay should keep the craft from overheating and exploding. HyperEdited to Moho, turned on the Nervs. Started time acceleration and went to the get breakfast and shower. Upon return, fuel tanks where empty and the craft still intact. Passed the test.

Will this craft suffice, to rescue Anuki Kerman from low Kerbin Orbit?
We will see...

(Every landing, where you can land on your helmet is a good one.)

Edited by Mephisto81
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X-111 Universal Lightweight Lander


There was a question on the Interwebs for Duna lander pictures.  The quite underpayed, but overstaffed design bureau of Mephisto Metalworks an Aeronautics decided to answer the call. The motto of the CEO for the day was "go big and go small".
As nobody in the design bureau had a clue what the mad visionary ment, they just cobbled some fuel tanks, cheap engines and a chair together with a bunch of basic science instruments.
Final part was the sacrifice of some snacks ( as no interns volunteered) to the Kraken, and with some real DARK MAGIC (a.k.a. the offset tool), the craft was real drag optimized as well.

7.3 t take-off weight, slightly over 5000 m/s dV.
Takes one brave (or stupid, the line blures sometimes)  Kerbonaut to the surface and back of most planets and moons in the Kerbol system. Tylo rated. and Duna tested.
Has an initial TWR of 1 with full fuel tanks on Tylo.
Last-minute add of a drogue chute and ladder.


(Can you use Ion Engines for cooking?)
(Turns out, you can...)

Edited by Mephisto81
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Some teasers and updates, since work takes some time and prohibits uploads:


New and improved version of my Ranger SSTA. The XR-05 Ranger Mk II has place for 7 Kerbals.


Idea from Foxster and Rune got promptly incorporated:
Behold! The mighty frontal docking port juniour. Inflatable airlock inside a service bay.
Frontal docking port extended. Also good if you need one additional crewing space for shuffling Kerbals inside the vessel. Or to do a last minute rescue of a stranded Kerbal.
Hm, might also work as an entry hatch with retracted gears. Have not tested that yet.

Some sillyness for entertainment:

10 green Kerbals went to play on Mun. One failed his staging and exploded to a crisp.
9 green Kerbals went to play on Mun. One missed his gravity turn and speaks now to the fish.
8 green Kerbals went to play on Mun. One did not pack enough fuel and failed to circularize.
7 green Kerbals went to play on Mun. One missed his transfer window and stranded in LKO.
6 green Kerbals went to play on Mun. One missed his suicide burn, impacted on the Mun.
5 green Kerbals went to play on Mun. One forgot the ladder and plunged towards his death.
4 green Kerbals went to play on Mun. One left his helmet open and could not hold his breath.
3 green Kerbals went to play on Mun. One forgot his heatshield and cooked to "really well done".
2 green Kerbals went to play on Mun. One forgot his parachute and fell not on his head.
1 green Kerbal went to play on Mun. One landed safely at the KSC and all is good for him.

And a Teaser.

(Nanananananana .... Batman....)

Edited by Mephisto81
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The Grand Tour is underway...


Grand Tour with the Ranger Mk III / Javelin Eve Lander

62t empty on the runway, 124t take-off weight. 7.300 m/s dV max with Nerv, 2.500 m/s dV max with chemical rockets.

Still in progress, but the following moons and planets have been covered:
- Kerbin
- Minmus
- Eve and Gilly
- Moho
- Mun
- Duna and Ike
- Eeloo
- Jool (flyby only) and Laythe (some bathing at the beaches is still on the programm...)

Next steps are the other Joolian moons and Dres, then return to Kerbin.

Vessel is completely Stock+ (Making History).
Mechjeb and Kerbal Engineer have been used, as I am really not good with maneuver nodes, gravity assists and the likes.

Surprisingly, almost no aerobrakes where needed due to the raw power of the craft. Well, that saved me some hours in front of my computer...

Whole design process for SSTA and Eve Lander started some three months ago and took me over 100 hrs.

Complete mission report and upload of craft file at KerbalX will follow, when the tour is finished....

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My Grand Tour vessel, the XR-06 Ranger Mk III is on Kerbalx:


XR-06 Ranger Mk III "Grand Tour" SSTA with Javelin Eve Lander and Ascent vehicle


XR-06 Javelin Eve Lander and Ascent vehicle


XR-06 Ranger Mk III "Grand Tour" SSTA (standalone version without Eve lander)


The Ranger MK III is the latest and most powerful iteration of the Ranger SSTA series. Like its predecessors, the mission profile is to visit every moon and planet to collect science and plant flags.

It comes either standalone or in a combo package with the Javelin Eve Lander.




-          Ranger Mk III Combo with Eve lander

o   62.016t Empty weight on runway

o   124.210t take-off weight after 84 days of refueling

Range (Ranger Mk III only)

-          7.300 m/s dv maximum range with nuclear rockets

-          2.500 m/s dV maximum range with chemical rockets


-          4 Kerbals regular: 2 Pilots, 1 Engineer, 1 Scientist.

-          6 Kerbals in emergencies if science bay and forward airlock is used


-          4x Rapier

-          2x Nerv

-          2x Skiff

-          12 Vernor engines (RCS)

Additional features

-          Lightweight science bay

o   Access by airlock

o   All experiments

o   Package weights only 0.7t

-          Cargo Bay



Science Bay

The science bay contains all science experiments, as well as flight computers (a.ka. Mechjeb and KER). An inflatable airlock provides access for a scientist to reset experiments or to go on EVA.  Data can also be stored here. If the vessel is landed vertically on its back engines, the airlock can be used as … an airlock! A ladder provides easy access from the ground.
By using an airlock instead of a command capsule, clipping has been avoided and 700kg of mass saved compared with previous versions of Rangers.

Action groups:

0: Toggle bay doors, inflate / deflate airlock, toggle ladder.
9: collect all science experiments to the airlock
8: Conduct all experiments in the Science Bay

Cargo Bay


A 2.5m cargo Bay houses a docking port junior. The Tycho Space Sledge finds his garage here. The standalone version of the Ranger Mk. III already contains a Tycho Space sledge with basic science experiments and almost 2000 m/s dV.
In the Combo version, the Tycho Space Sledge is the upper stage of the Eve Lander and Ascent vehicle.  If you are interested in completing Ultimate Challenge Contracts, where one ship visits every planet and moon, the Tycho is your tool of the trade.


Frontal docking port


An inflatable airlock provides access from the front of the craft or allows for docking with other junior sized docking ports. To access the craft from the ground, retract all wheels and do a small jump. Or just retract the front wheels and leave the back wheels extended and access directly. No ladders needed.
(Many thanks to Foxster,  Rune and the Mad Rocket Scientist for the ideas





Parachutes serve two functions: orient the craft during a parachute assisted rocket landing. Or to slow the craft down at landing.

Parachute assisted rocket landing: Duna
When the atmosphere is too thin to use the wings effectively, deploy parachutes at the front. The craft will the orient itself retrograde automatically. Deploy the landing gears (action group 6) and use the engines for the final deceleration and landing. Additionally , the parachutes  will slow down your descent a little bit and save you some dV. Experiment with parachute spread angle, as this will have an effect on your descent. Also, you have to adjust the parachute settings for your target body:  for Duna, select the lowest pressure and the highest altitude available.

Parachutes for slowing the craft down after touch down

For landing on Laythe or Kerbin, you may want to reduce the way to a complete stop. Especially, when you run out of runway or even ground.  Use the center pair of parachutes for slowing down, as they are mounted near the center of mass. If you use the pair at the front, you may turn the craft unintentionally.





How does it move? Engines, RCS, Reaction wheels


The Ranger uses four different sets of engines in five different modes:

-          4x Rapier Engines: atmospheric flight, both sub- and supersonic , and rocket mode . Thrust depends on speed and altitude with air breathing engines.  420kN – 3568 kN in air breathing mode, 720kN in rocket mode.

-          2x Nerv Nuclear Engines: low-thrust interplanetary flight (120kN)

-          2x RE-I2 Skiff Rocket Engines: high-thrust chemical rockets (600kN). For just 2t of weight, the thrust

-          12 Vernor Engines:  LF/OX powered RCS Thrusters with a total of 144 kN thrust. Note, that there is no RCS thruster mounted backwards. For forward acceleration, use the other engines. 

Three large advanced reaction wheels provide significant torque, especially if combined with the RCS system.

To have RCS fuel available, consider locking some tanks in advance.

Fully fueled with LF only, Ranger has a maximum range with its Nerv Engines of 7.300 m/s dV.
With only LF/OX tanks filled and empty liquid fuel tanks, the maximum range with chemical rockets is 2.500 m/s dV. This is enough to land successfully on Tylo.

Planning ahead with tank fillings is in space as important as with your car: You have to consider how much delta V of each type is needed for the lift-off from your current body, transfer and landing at the next. For example, for a landing on Tylo roughly 2.500 m/s dV are needed with high thrust engines. If some LF is extra packed, the Nervs can support during descent, providing the craft with a higher margin of safety (a.k.a. less reloads with F9). In order to get to Tylo, I need to ascent from Pol or Bop, and make a transfer for Tylo.



Crew accommodation


The Ranger is not a pleasure craft. Luxury was not as important as saving weight. The main cockpit for Pilot and Engineer is a repurposed Munar Excursion Module inside a fairing. Simply because the M.E.M has a very low dry mass for a two person command module. The two mandibles  at the front each contain an inflatable airlock. As I said, no luxury here. At least they won’t have to spend decades in a command chair. We just pretend they have a nice computer onboard and VR goggles.

In emergencies, two additional Kerbals can find a seat in the airlocks at the front and in the science bay, although they are usually retracted during atmospheric flight.



Secrets of flight – Wings, thermals and drag


“Lift with the wings, not the body”
Most wings are angled slightly upwards. This results in a more level flight in atmosphere for the body, therefore minimizing drag compared to craft with level  wings and a more upwards body during flight.

“Is it hot in here or is that just you?”
All frontal parts of the craft are rated for 2400K heat resistance. The craft can handle supersonic flight with good tolerances. 1600 m/s at 20km height above sea level are sustainable for short periods of time. Kerbals are shielded inside fairings for greater heat resistance.
Excessive heat is radiated through three Radiator panels. One radiator in the frontal fairing cools the ISRU, the other two radiators in the aft fairing cool the mining drill and prevent overheating of the nukes during long burns and heat spread to the central fuselage. Even at Moho in direct sunlight,  with burns of 7000 m/s dV, the craft did not overheat critically.

“Drag is king”
As drag is the biggest enemy of supersonic flight, many measures have been taken to reduce the drag.  There are smooth transitions from one fuel tank to the next. The overall layout of the craft is shaped like an arrowhead. A total of six fairings are installed to streamline the profile. The fairings at the Skiff Engines are a new feature of the Mk III series – they remove the need for clipped fuel tanks for a smooth transition. The only clipped parts of the vessel are aerodynamic nose cones at the end of Rapiers, Nervs and Skiffs.

The result is a very streamlined vessel, which can easily propel 120t of take-off weight into the supersonic region with four rapiers.

If the Ranger MK III Combo with an attached Eve lander is flown to orbit, two detachable Whiplash Engines are added to compensate for the added drag of the Lander fairing.



Refueling – Drills and ISRU


A modest Convert-O-Tron 125 refines ore mined by the large Drill-O-Matic Mining Excavator. 3 radiators provide cooling for the ISRU and the drill. Ore is stored in a small radial holding tank.

Mining operations benefit extremely from an experienced engineer. A level 5 engineer can reduce refueling times drastically compared to an unmanned craft.



Electrical systems

Main consumers during flight are the reaction wheels and the drone core. The large Antennas also require a buffer, if data is transmitted. One radiothermal generator provides sunlight-independent electricity at a modest rate. Combined with the batteries, the RTG is sufficient during flight operations and maneuvers.

During mining operations, the power demands are much higher. As the efficiency of solar panels depend on the strength of solar radiation, their efficiency diminishes by the inverse-square law: At Duna, they would only provide 43% of the power compared to Kerbin, at Jool only 4%.  In order to mine efficiently in the shadow or far away from the sun (Outer Planets mod, I look at you!), fuel cell arrays are being used instead.

Two fuel cell arrays provide a total of 36 EC per second, enough to meet the demands during mining. Refined LF/OX can be used to power the mining operation the drawback of slightly longer mining compared with solar panels. 400 EC are produced from one unit of fuel.

In conclusion, power demands during flight operations are met by batteries and the RTG, power demands during mining are met by the fuel cell arrays. The power grid is independent of solar radiation at any time.

Take off and landing modes

The Ranger series comes with two different methods for take-off and landing:

Horizontal take-off and landing and vertical take-off and landing, or plane and rocket mode

On Kerbin and Laythe, atmosphere can provide lift when combined with forward acceleration. Basically, you fire up the air breathing Rapier engines, get some speed and at some point you can pull the nose up and fly. The exact take-off speed varies with speed, atmospheric density and take-off weight. The lighter your plane and the higher the atmospheric density, the shorter is your needed runway. Laythe has only 60% of the atmospheric pressure at sea level compared with Kerbin. As your wing area is fixed, you’ll need either higher speed or a lighter craft than on Kerbin.



Fly safe.

(One quarter impulse forward. Make it so.)

Edited by Mephisto81
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After having installed Outer Planets mod for 1.4.5 and finally found out, how to modify the Ultimate Challenge Contract for OPM, I still needed some inspiration for a voyage of that magnitude. Luckily, a distress signal came in....


Mini Ozymandias lost in space - Ranger to the rescue!


The new XR-08 Behemoth delivers a brand new Space Station after refueling on Minmus.  The Behemoth is my new multi-mission cruiser, designed to bring payloads of up to 60t into orbit or deliver a 10t payload to the surface of Tylo and back.


Behemoth on a Mun flyby. In the cargo bay is a space station for a contract.

Delivery into Duna orbit successful.


Delivery of next modules.


A Relay Module has been assembled for the Duna Station.


Duna Station is now a fully operational battle station! Ups, wrong movie. Again. ...

Duna Station is now a fully operational space station. Scanning and research are started.

But what is this? The new Antennas receive a distress signal from the outer planets...


There is a ship near Urlum! It is sending support requests...


It looks strangely familiar... but smaller...



It seems that Scott and Matt Kerman are stranded in space without fuel to come home...

The Mini-Ozymandias has brought them far, now someone has to bring them home!


The XR-06 Ranger Mk III has returned previously from a Grand Tour.

After having visited all stock planets and moons, it is being refurbished and upgraded for the rescue mission.

The Ranger Mk IV has now room for six Kerbals!


All set and clear in the hangar. The ground crew is taking the final inspections.


XR-06 Ranger Mk IV is now ready for a conquest of the outer planets. And to rescue 2 stranded Kerbals from the orbit of Urlum...


Engines are lit, ready for takeoff.


We will return after a short break.

Will the Ranger and its crew reach Sarnus, Urlum, Neidon and Plock?

How many centuries will the crew of the Mini Ozzy have to wait for its rescue?

Will they return safely or fall victim to the Kraken?


Stay tuned and fly safe...



(Was watching too many KSP videos on Youtube, apparently...)


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  • 5 months later...

Dolphin Mk V Mini SSTO



Dolphin Mk V

3.87t with Kerbal
3.757 m/s dV (vac)

The newest solution for space aficionados on a tight budget.
For only 22.978 Kerbucks, you can reach orbit around Kerbin and conduct a number of science experiments.
The docking port at the end allows you to carry the dolphin on larger craft as a small lander or dinghy.
Take off
Use the reaction wheel to get into an upright position under any circumstances. The strong reaction wheel allows the craft to function whithout landing gears.
Three sparks power the small craft.
Take off like a regular rocket. The margins are a bit tight, but you can reach orbit with 150 m/s dV left.

Reentry and landing
Burn retrograde until your periapsis is at around 35km.
Pitch 45 degrees up and gently reenter.
Despite having no wings, the Dolphin can glide somehow.
Try to reduce speed as much as possible and glide like an aeroplane. when you are 200 meters above ground, you should pitch up and get your speed to 80 m/s or below.
Hit retrograde, pretend that you are a Falcon rocket and do a suicide burn with the three sparks.
This maneuver safes a parachute and cost you only about 100 m/s dV, when done correctly.

Known issues
Fairings can be a bit buggy. Sometimes, the Kerbal gets stuck in the fairing upon leaving the command seat.
Did not yet happen with this craft yet, but is possible.
Just in case, try to quicksafe before leaving command seats.

(Craft might be inspired by the who-has-the-smallest-contest currently going on between Turbo Pumped und Bradley Whistance.)

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  • 4 months later...

XR-14 Icarus Eve Ascent Vehicle


The Icarus uses a helicopter stage to lift a rocket up to 20km above sea level on Eve. This reduces weight requirements drastically, as a 16t ascent stage is sufficient to reach orbit, helicpoter stage included.

Thanks to Brikoleur for the helicopter guide!

Link to craft:


[Up, up and away...]


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  • 2 months later...

XS-05 Mighty Flea 3t Micro-SSTO

Link to KerbalX: https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/XS-05-Mighty-Flea-3t-Micro-SSTO


3t to orbit in a single stage. Kerbal included. No science experiments, no shenanigans.

Take off: Activate Junos (AG1). Liftoff and and gradually transition into level flight. Stay below 1km ASL whilst doing your speedrun. The Junos can accelerate to 700 m/s. Start your climb and activate both Spark engines. Try to do an efficient climb, where you gain as much velocity as possible for an apoapsis of just above 70km ;) .
If flown correctly, you can reach orbit with about 100 m/s left.
Deorbit: Just point retrograde and fire the engines so that periapsis comes below 55km. Orient craft radial out for maximum drag.
Landing: This is the tricky part. As the craft has no parachutes or landing gears, you have to land unpowered in water. Obviously, you want to land as slow as possible. around 40 m/s landing speed with a veeeery gentle touchdown worked.
Alternatively, use the ejection seat ("Abort") and the parachute of your Kerbal. Warranty void if done so.





XS-04 All-Seeing Eye  Relay / Ressource Scanner Satellite
Link to KerbalX: https://kerbalx.com/Mephisto/XS-04-All-Seeing-Eye


The latest excrements in ore surveillance technology.

Also knows your bad habbits and browser history.
Comes equipped with ressource scanners, regular and relay antennas as well as repeateable science experiments.
Powered by "a excrementsload of batteries and some spare ion engines", as the designers at the Kerbal Space Center put so eloquently. Comes with solar panels.
Has roughly 15.000 m/s dV with ion engines, so evading it by moving to Dres or Eeloo seems kind of futile. Better use that incognito mode in your browser more often....


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JNSQ-02 Stiletto SSTO, (possibly also SSTA)


Built for the "Je ne sais quoi"-Planet Pack by Team Galileo, this craft can reach Kerbin orbit in a 2.5x scale system with 2.500 m/s dV left.
As "low Kerbin orbit" in this pack means "falling around Kerbin with 3.855 m/s, roughly 90km above ground", designing and building this craft was a tad bit more demanding than the usual SSTOs.
A combination of Rapiers, Aerospikes, Wolfhounds and Nerv finally succeeded in bringing it to orbit with sufficient delta V left over.

("One quarter impulse forward!" How fast is that in m/s? )

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  • 8 months later...

Some new additions to the fleet:

An 11.5t Eve lander with a propeller stage:



XE-02 Stingray Eve Lander

The Stingray is an extremely light, yet generous Eve Lander to bring a single pilot to the surface of Eve and back to orbit.




With only 11.5 t , Kerbal included, it consists of five stages:

  • Landing gear

  • Propeller stage with 2 rotors with 6 R-25 propellers each in a service bay

  • Aerospike stage

  • Terrier stage

  • Spark stage


A single service bay host 2 medium sized motors with 6 R25 propeller blades each. the 1.25m service bay is sufficient to shield the propellers from drag when closed.

The propellers are powered by fuel cells in the back. Toggle fuel cells with Action Group 10. 

Motor lock and propeller deploy status is bound to action group 2.

When deployed, propeller deploy angle can be modified with the main throttle.


Landing on Eve

Bring the craft to a suborbital trajectory on Eve. (It comes with a docking port at the rear, but you can also just add a fuel tank and an engine or use another craft.)

Open the service. The propeller blades can create huge amounts of drag. The drag from propeller blades and wings is sufficient to decelerate the craft enough to prevent catastrophic overheating.

Glide to a landing spot of your choosing and land.


Take off

  • Make sure, fuel cells are started (AG10)

  • Toggle deploy state and motor lock (AG2)

  • Activate motor power (AG1)

  • disengage brakes

  • use main throttle to adjust prop angle for maximum propeller efficiency. (Show aerodynamic forces for better control.)

  • take off

Propeller stage

When in the air, stage the landing gear to reduce weight. 

Head upwards until you reach 15 km above sea level.


Aerospike stage

The rocket stage is designed to work from 15 km above sea level.

When you reach 15 km above Eve’s sea level, pitch up as far as possible, stage to discard the propeller and wings and to activate the aerospike. Throttle thrust to maximum.

Pitch up 45 degrees and continue course until the fuel in this stage runs out. (You might want to monitor a fuel tank from each stage to time your staging better.)


Terrier stage

When fuel in the aerospike stage runs out, stage to the Terrier stage.

The goal of this stage is to get your apoapsis to 90 km. 

As with previous stages, stage when fuel tanks are empty.


Spark stage

The final stage consist of a single spark engine, whose job it is to get your Kerbal to a circular orbit. It has more fuel than needed: circularization can be achieved with 900 m/s dV to spare.


Good luck and have fun!



A proper Eve SSTO:
hard as nails to fly, but can bring three Kerbals to low Eve orbit and back again. Can refuel itself with onboard ISRU.





The XE-Series
The new XE denominator is for Eve related crafts. The Apex Mk VI is the first one to reliably reach Eve orbit as an SSTO from sea level. 


This has been made possible by a combination of of three different engine types:

  • propellers to reach a certain flight level, 

  • vectors to launch the craft into suborbital trajectory and 

  • Nervs to complete the circularization


Our RnD-Team spent literally weeks in reverse-engineering crafts by realseek, Kergarin and Chargan to escape the hellish boundaries of Eve’s thick atmosphere and high gravity in an SSTO.

Go check out their work here: 




As drag is a major issue with getting up to Eve orbit, several measures have been taken to minimize drag:

  • overall craft is highly streamlined

  • fuel tanks have been clipped inside a fairing

  • propellers are inside service bays. Once rocket motors are ignited, service bays are closed.

  • As weight for ISRU / Crew / landing gear is almost consistent, switching to the larger 4 vector / 3 Nerv approach compared to realseek’s 3 vector / 2 Nerv version offered bigger margins in term of TWR and dV.






Crew and Control

MK1 Lander Can inside a fairing offers seating for a Pilot (or Engineer during mining). Two additional crew members can rest comfortably in the womb-like confinements of an inflatable airlock.

Access is provided by the trademark MMA “frontal airlock in a servicebay” technology


Remote Control capability is provided by a RC-001S Remote Guidance Unit and a single RA2- Relay Antenna.


Propeller flight

Six service bays host 2 medium sized motors with 5 R25 propeller blades each. the 1.25m service bay is sufficient to shield the propellers from drag when closed.

The propellers are powered by a total of four fuel cell arrays near the front. 

The fuel cells toggle with the same key as the motor power (action group 1).

Motor lock and propeller deploy status is bound to action group 2.

When deployed, propeller deploy angle can be modified with the main throttle.


For takeoff, do the following:

  • Toggle deploy state and motor lock (AG2)

  • Activate motor power and fuel cells (AG1)

  • disengage brakes

  • use main throttle to adjust prop angle for maximum propeller efficiency.

  • take off 


For transitioning to rocket flight, do the following:

  • disengage rotor power (AG1)

  • Activate brakes

  • Toggle deploy state and motor lock (AG2)

  • Close service bays (AG10)


Rocket flight

Propellers will bring you to about 15 km above sea level on Eve.

Try to gain as much velocity as possible with rotors. Engage Vectors and stow away the propellers.

Ascent can be divided into several phases:

  • 15.5 km ASL: use vectors together with a very small climb (about 5°) to gain enough speed and to break the sound barrier. At around 500 m/s, engage Nervs as well.

  • Pitch up: pitch up very gently to about 25°. Try to minimize drag by flying mostly in prograde direction

  • Max Q: at around 39 km above sea level, velocity and air pressure put the highest amount of stress on the craft. Use the indicator for overheating on the frontal fairing to reduce thrust if overheating is reaching critical levels. When overheating gets down, throttle up again to maximum thrust.

  • Fly prograde and getting suborbital: after passing max Q and being back on max throttle, fly prograde for the rest. You should reach almost 2.800 m/s when oxidiser runs out and an Apoapsis of 110-120 km. Anything lower than 2.700 m/s is really hard for the circularization.

  • Circularize: continue flying with Nervs and try to complete your circularization burn.


Known bugs

When using Hyper Edit to teleport craft onto the surface of Eve, the impact from landing gear combined with the huge amount of clipping can get you explody results. For this, I used the cheat menu to increase joint strength and prohibit damage.
Remember to uncheck them again for take-off. The craft flies nicely without them.



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  • 8 months later...

It has been quite a while. Welcome to 2021, everyone. Time for some updates!

Hyperion Mk IV refit



Refit of the venerable Hyperion Mk III from 2017 with modern tech.

Contains seating for 22 Kerbals, ISRU, Mobile Lab, Mining Drill, lots of experiments.

The engine layout is very powerful for a vessel of its size: it can even take of vertically.

For short take offs, vectors in the back can provide additional thrust. Bobcats in frontal service bays help to bring the craft into the air.



XS-11 Ifrit (Panther / Aerospike / Nerv Testbed)



The Ifrit is a small craft, intended for carrying in a cargo bay.
It serves two Kerbals as a landing and exploration craft.

With full oxidiser, it has a range of 2,333 m/s dV with the aerospike.
add some additional liquid fuel for the Nerv, and you can land on Tylo as well.

With liquid fuel only, the Nerv engine has a range of 4,500 m/s dV.

The onboard ISRU with the small mining drill allows refueling wherever ore concentration is 5% or higher.

Onboard experiments can be stored on the drone core.

The inflatable airlock allows docking with small docking ports. RCS thrusters support docking procedures.
Kerbals can also replenish EVA fuel for their jetpacks when entering the inflatable airlock. Flags are replenished as well.

To aid in horizontal take off, the craft has four airbrakes. Deploy the airbrakes for easy take off.

On Kerbin, the Ifrit can reach orbit on its own: to save mass, only a 1.2t heavy panther engine provides airbreathing thrust.
Use the Panther for take off and activate the wet mode to reach maximum velocity near sea level.
When speed is maxed out, climb higher and add the aerospike and the Nerv. Orbit can be reached with about 500 m/s dV left. With this, you can dock with a mothership.


XR-27 Sagitarius



Another iteration from the trusted line of long range explorers, Sagitarius brings 8 Kerbals with some level of comfort to almost any destination in the system, even Tylo.

Equiped with plenty of science instruments and a mobile lab, onboard scientists will find plenty of new things to discover.

The ISRU and Mining drill ensures the longevity of your explorations.

4 Rapiers, 2 Wolfhounds and 2 Nervs bring you to the stars.

Max range on Nervs: 6,400 m/s dV.
Max range on Wolfhounds: 2,700 m/s dV.
Max range on Rapiers (rocket mode) and Wolfhounds combined: 2,390 m/s dV.


Collapsible Rover in a box






XR-29 Agathon - Orange tank to Tylo (in style)




The primary mission of Agathon is to bring a 32t orange tank to the surface of Tylo.

However, you can change the payload to any other you deem fit.


  • Crew of 3 plus 16 Passengers
  • Large Cargo Bay for 32t payload to Tylo
  • Sturdy landing gears
  • Mining Drills plus small ISRU for refueling on bodies and asteroids
  • plenty of storage space with new parts


(Forward, unto dawn!)

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