Kerbalstar

Micro-challenges for all! (Continuation of Newbie Central.)

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Working off of the ramp jumping idea, I came up with something a little more... Kerbalish.

Your challenge is to take a rover, land it on Gilly, then use the natural topography as a ramp, and jump into ORBIT! It's totally possible, I have an imgur album to prove it.

2yY2HpP.png

Check out the complete album: https://imgur.com/a/7P0r3Xi

The low gravity and ease of landing make this a fun but tricky stunt. Keeping the wheels on the surface is impossible at even the lowest speeds, so you'll need some thrusters to provide downforce. You have to make sure that the point you 'jump' from is at the right angle to carry you around the planet. Your final speed is critical - too slow and you impact on the surface, a little too fast and you achieve escape velocity!

Rules - the glue of life that regulates the fun for everyone:

1. Your thrusters have to turn off the instant you leave the ground for your final launch. No using them to adjust your orbit! You can see from my screenshots that I came off the ground and kept them on - that was because I was still trying to reach the right slope. After that shot, I set back down and rode on the wheels.

2. Mods are fine, as they'll have little affect on this challenge.

3. You can get your rover to the surface of Gilly however you like. I used the cheats menu to put it in orbit, then landed it with a skycrane. You can use the same method or Hyperedit, or whatever you prefer. The challenge isn't getting their, it's getting off!

4. You have to get at least one full orbit. Because the surface is so irregular, what looks like a good orbit might have a mountain the way when you make it around the planet! 

5. Wheels can be your only form of locomotion! No rockets or maneuvering thrusters pushing forward. Rockets pushing down are okay - as you'll need them.

Kudos if you can dock with your skycrane after the orbit!

I'm putting together a cool badge, hope to have it ready in a few days.

Happy explosions!

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20 hours ago, doggonemess said:

4. You have to get at least one full orbit. Because the surface is so irregular, what looks like a good orbit might have a mountain the way when you make it around the planet!

It might be worth noting that the uneven surface (and the fact that Gilly is rotating) is the only thing that actually makes this possible. If you're jumping off the surface and applying no thrust afterwards, you're never going to get your periapsis above the altitude where you jumped off. Thus, you'll eventually hit the surface again. But if you're lucky and keep missing the mountaintops, you might be able to complete several orbits before that happens.

That is unless, of course, you manage to leave Gilly's sphere of influence entirely. But that's still not going to give you a stable orbit; you'll just end up in an Eve orbit that intersects Gilly's SOI, so you'll keep getting Gilly encounters until you crash into either Gilly or Eve, or possibly get ejected from Eve's SOI entirely. At which point you'll be in a Kerbol orbit that intersects Eve's SOI, and will keep getting repeated Eve encounters until... well, eventually you'll either crash into something or end up on a hyperbolic trajectory out of the Kerbol system. The former being the far more likely outcome.

Edited by vyznev

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19 hours ago, vyznev said:

It might be worth noting that the uneven surface (and the fact that Gilly is rotating) is the only thing that actually makes this possible. If you're jumping off the surface and applying no thrust afterwards, you're never going to get your periapsis above the altitude where you jumped off. Thus, you'll eventually hit the surface again. But if you're lucky and keep missing the mountaintops, you might be able to complete several orbits before that happens.

That is unless, of course, you manage to leave Gilly's sphere of influence entirely. But that's still not going to give you a stable orbit; you'll just end up in an Eve orbit that intersects Gilly's SOI, so you'll keep getting Gilly encounters until you crash into either Gilly or Eve, or possibly get ejected from Eve's SOI entirely. At which point you'll be in a Kerbol orbit that intersects Eve's SOI, and will keep getting repeated Eve encounters until... well, eventually you'll either crash into something or end up on a hyperbolic trajectory out of the Kerbol system. The former being the far more likely outcome.

That's the fun part! If you "jump" off the correct peak, the rotation of the moon will carry that peak out of the way and you'll complete one orbit. I've managed to do four orbits before hitting a peak.

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4 hours ago, doggonemess said:

That's the fun part! If you "jump" off the correct peak, the rotation of the moon will carry that peak out of the way and you'll complete one orbit. I've managed to do four orbits before hitting a peak.

Right. I figure that the optimal way to do this would be to:

  1. Find the highest spot on Gilly. (Fact of the day: it's located at about 124° W, 29° S, on top of a ridge that runs roughly north-south. Now you know.)
  2. Land somewhere close by, a bit north or south of the highest peak.
  3. Drive towards the peak at a nice orbital speed (somewhere between 20 to 25 m/s should be fine) while applying downward thrust.
  4. Once you're at the peak and your prograde marker points as close to horizontal as possible, turn off thrust.

Done right, that should yield a nice polar orbit with a periapsis that just touches the highest point on Gilly, pretty much guaranteeing that you won't hit the surface on the next pass.

So, of course, I had to try it:

Spoiler

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More images in the full imgur album: https://imgur.com/a/EJgx4RY

My periapsis ended up a few meters lower than the peak, probably because I may have been a fraction of a second too slow to cut thrust after crossing the top of the ridge. (You can also tell this from the screenshot where I've left the surface, but the periapsis marker is still ahead of me.) Because of that, I can't tell for sure whether there might have been a brief moment during which I had the rocket engine on after losing contact with the surface. I hope this still counts as a valid jump; at least I'm sure the engine was always pointing radially straight outwards, so any possible extra thrust after takeoff would only have lowered my periapsis.

Lessons learned:

  • This totally works. :) 
  • KER's new landing marker display is really, really useful. (OK, I knew that already. But it was amply confirmed.)
  • The trick to landing on Gilly is to burn surface retrograde to kill your velocity a few meters above the ground, and then just float gently down to the surface. It doesn't really matter if your only engine is on the top of your vehicle pointing up, since you'll have plenty of time to flip around between stopping and landing. 
  • No matter how gently you try to land, you will bounce off again. That's what the upwards pointing engine is for. ;) 
  • Actually driving on Gilly for any distance eats fuel at a ridiculous rate, due to the need to thrust down to stay on the surface. If you actually want to get somewhere efficiently, just fly there. :D
  • The highest peaks on Gilly are high enough that, as soon you leave the surface, the game considers you to be in "high space". 
  • Gilly's escape velocity is about 36 m/s. Driving faster than that is totally possible, but then you'll fail the challenge because you'll leave the SOI before completing a full orbit. (Yes, this happened to me on my first attempt.) 
  • Nope, it doesn't work on Minmus. :( Wheel max motor speed < orbital velocity. Yes, I tried it anyway. :P 
Edited by vyznev

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14 hours ago, vyznev said:

 

My periapsis ended up a few meters lower than the peak, probably because I may have been a fraction of a second too slow to cut thrust after crossing the top of the ridge. (You can also tell this from the screenshot where I've left the surface, but the periapsis marker is still ahead of me.) Because of that, I can't tell for sure whether there might have been a brief moment during which I had the rocket engine on after losing contact with the surface. I hope this still counts as a valid jump; at least I'm sure the engine was always pointing radially straight outwards, so any possible extra thrust after takeoff would only have lowered my periapsis.

Way to go! This is almost exactly what I did, and this totally counts. Timing the shutoff for the thrusters has to have a little leeway, as we're only human, so it's going to be off by a second or so. Your lessons learned were the same ones I came away with! :) I tried for other moons, too, but none had the low gravity to allow this. I wonder if there is one where you could do a RATO-car version of this and get it into orbit. 

You are definitely a badge winner. Thanks for the post!

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OK,  I'll try setting this as a micro challenge as I don't know if there will be enough entrants to justify a full thread :-)

Challenge Suggestion -  Build a Liquid Fuel only  SSTO, attempt to pilot other people's entries!     

 

There are two separate award categories - piloting and design.

The piloting award is a test of whether you can operate a craft designed by someone else.   For the piloting award,  attempt to fly the last four valid craft submissions that their creator was avle to get to orbit, (does not include any of your own aircraft) and report success/failure.

One Star Piloting Award - Managed to get one of the previous four entries to orbit.

Two Star Piloting Award - Managed to get two of them into space

Three Star Piloting Award - Three out of Four entries were successfully flown to orbit.

Hot Shot Award - All four attempted flights were successful.

 

The design awards are based on how much success other people had when trying to fly your airplane.

One Star Award -  You were able to  get your own airplane into space without cheating, even if nobody else could.

Two Star Award - At least one other person succeeded in putting your design in orbit.

Three Star Award - More than one, but less than half of the people attempting to fly your craft, were able to get it to space

Four Star Award -  Your craft has been flown by a minimum of four pilots, and more than half of them were able to reach orbit in the vehicle.

 

Anyway,  here's my example entry.  To force myself not to overengineer like i normally do ,  I made myself build it quickly whilst being recorded, and kept testing to a minimum.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zsw71d2g9qqc7d7/sPARROW.craft?dl=0

Edit - players can attempt to fly this craft as part of their piloting award.   You'll just have to believe me when i say i can put this thing in orbit (around the Sun, actually), but since no-one has attempted to fly it yet,  I can only give myself a One Star for the design award and I don't earn any piloting badges yet, since i've only flown my own craft, which doesn't count.

 

Flying the Sparrow -

Spoiler

 

1.  Stay close to prograde when climbing to orbit,  it's not overpowered and you'll suffer with drag if you start yanking the nose far off axis.

2.  Initial climb angle should not exceed 20 degrees, keep the nose fairly close to prograde but dont go faster than 200 m/s.

3.  Around 6km it will start wanting to level off and go supersonic.  You can help it by selecting prograde till over 400 m/s,  or just let it be.

4.  Once over 400m/s, let the nose rise, but once you reach 10 degree climb angle use Prograde Hold or SAS  to try and stop it rising further as  we're aiming to level off at 17km for our speedrun.

5.  Level off at 17km for the speedrun.   You should be able to get over 1000 m/s on the clock, (1300 is possible) in level flight, then stage the nukes on and let her climb again.    Keeping the nose 3 to 5 degrees above prograde is optimal. 

Contingency Procedure 1

If you climbed too steep while supersonic and overshot 17km (very easy to do , i've noticed),  you got three options

a) just stage the nukes on and keep climbing.   You'll lose delta V by not getting max velocity from jet engine,  but provided you don't let the nose get more than 5 degrees above progade, you  should still make it easily.

b) stay on prograde/maintain constant pitch, and let the airplane do a roller coaster surge up to high altitude, dive back down into the atmosphere, and get more speed on the next zoom climb.  Next time she passes 17km, if over 1000 m/s, start the nukes and shoot for orbit.  

c) Gently try to supress the zoom/dive cycle by staying prograde /applying gentle nose down input when over 17km / climbing steeply,   and bringing the nose 5 degrees above prograde when diving down, to stop the descent rate getting too steep.

 

Contingency Procedure 2 

If the plane starts descending while on nuke power above 20km,  don't fight it by pitching up more and more.   That creates drag, cosine losses and costs delta V.    Just maintain a nose angle at between 3 and 5 degrees over prograde while the craft continues to accelerate.    Learn to trust that it will start going up again eventually, and won't blow up !

 

  

Edited by AeroGav

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19 hours ago, doggonemess said:

the correct peak

What peak is that?

Edited by The Minmus Derp

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Thank you for your challenge suggestion @AeroGav.

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1 hour ago, doggonemess said:

I tried for other moons, too, but none had the low gravity to allow this. I wonder if there is one where you could do a RATO-car version of this and get it into orbit. 

Judging by this video, yes there is:

(That one used a ramp, but I'm pretty sure that it's totally unnecessary.)

Actually, after taking a look at this entry to an older challenge, I'm now wondering if it might be possible to reach Minmus orbit using a combination of electric rover wheels and reaction wheels:

It only requires a little over 150 m/s, which might be achievable by an SAS-powered roller or something similar.

(Actually, other entries to that challenge got way above escape velocity using reaction wheels, but they all flung the craft off a separate launcher. The tricky part would be doing it without breaking any parts or leaving anything behind.)

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Entry for "One Star Piloting Award - Managed to get one of the previous four entries to orbit."

I piloted your SSTO and managed to successfully get it in orbit

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Edit: Tried to land too and deorbit and I managed to land in a desert place after swinging up to use the surface area as drag

Edited by adamgerd

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28 minutes ago, adamgerd said:

Entry for "One Star Piloting Award - Managed to get one of the previous four entries to orbit."

I piloted your SSTO and managed to successfully get it in orbit

xzxLk3u.png

You do realize that this is not a challenge right? It is just a suggestion. The current challenge is the Gilly Rover Jump Challenge, which will one for one week from the day of posting. This challenge suggestion may or may not be made into a challenge at some point by the team. Thank you.

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On 9/18/2018 at 3:39 PM, AeroGav said:

OK,  I'll try setting this as a micro challenge as I don't know if there will be enough entrants to justify a full thread :-)

Challenge -  Build a Liquid Fuel only  SSTO, attempt to pilot other people's entries!     

So, uh, wait... is this a challenge suggestion, or did you join the team and post this as an official micro-challenge? Because I don't see the word "suggestion" anywhere in your post, but I also don't see your username on the official team roster in the first post, and I'm pretty sure the Gilly rover jump challenge is still ongoing anyway... :huh: [Edit: Never mind, @kerbalstar answered this above while I was writing this post.]

In the future, perhaps challenge suggestions should be split off into a separate thread to make things a bit less confusing? The way it's currently set up, with suggestions and actual challenges in the same thread, people will inevitably get them mixed up.

Or else just go full anarchy mode, and let anyone post their own micro-challenges in the thread any time they want. :confused:

Edited by vyznev

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57 minutes ago, vyznev said:

So, uh, wait... is this a challenge suggestion, or did you join the team and post this as an official micro-challenge? Because I don't see the word "suggestion" anywhere in your post, but I also don't see your username on the official team roster in the first post, and I'm pretty sure the Gilly rover jump challenge is still ongoing anyway...  [Edit: Never mind, @kerbalstar answered this above while I was writing this post.]

In the future, perhaps challenge suggestions should be split off into a separate thread to make things a bit less confusing? The way it's currently set up, with suggestions and actual challenges in the same thread, people will inevitably get them mixed up.

Or else just go full anarchy mode, and let anyone post their own micro-challenges in the thread any time they want. 

When I get to my computer today, I will edit to make the rules more clear. Thank you for pointing this out. Sorry for ninja’ng you. :)

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You might just prepare a frame to post suggestions, like using red typo for the title and a blue for actual challenges ? Just an idea :p

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3 minutes ago, Kerbolitto said:

You might just prepare a frame to post suggestions, like using red typo for the title and a blue for actual challenges ? Just an idea :p

I’m thinking of something like that, yeah.

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Rule Clarification/Addition.

To help prevent confusion from people posting detailed challenge suggestions, the following changes have been made to the rules and OP:

Note: To prevent confusion, when you make a challenge suggestion, you MUST include the words "Challenge suggestion" in your post. This is to help prevent confusion, especially when we get really well thought out suggestions, with lots of pictures and rules. We like those type of suggestions, it makes the work easier for us, just sometimes people get confused as to which challenge is the right one, the current challenge or a very well thought out suggestion.

 

Q9: I see 2 challenges in the thread, one posted by @doggonemessand one by @SomeRandomGuy, but the one by @doggonemess hasn't closed yet. Which challenge is the right one?

Only challenges posted by people on the team(see Q5), are actual challenges, all other ones are simply suggestions. Only actual challenges are eligible for challenges. 

 

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@kerbalstar: Sorry I'm late. I probably won't be able to complete the 2nd challenge, I'll wait until the 3rd challenge comes out. I wanted to participate on the original thread, but I had no idea it existed until @Alpha 360 resigned from it.

Now, though, I want to participate, so I'll wait, and then start to submit entries.

Thanks!

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2 minutes ago, RocketMan-Explorer said:

@kerbalstar: Sorry I'm late. I probably won't be able to complete the 2nd challenge, I'll wait until the 3rd challenge comes out. I wanted to participate on the original thread, but I had no idea it existed until @Alpha 360 resigned from it.

Now, though, I want to participate, so I'll wait, and then start to submit entries.

Thanks!

The 3rd challenge is out.

I have also edited the OP to include a Challenge Index. 

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Awww.. this looks like fun... to bad I cant enter....(I'm already experienced with ksp)

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13 minutes ago, dundun93 said:

Awww.. this looks like fun... to bad I cant enter....(I'm already experienced with ksp)

Anybody can enter.

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1 minute ago, dundun93 said:

Really?

Yes. Even other members of the team, or Scott Manely, or Matt Lowne, or danny2462, etc.

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8 hours ago, kerbalstar said:

You do realize that this is not a challenge right? It is just a suggestion. The current challenge is the Gilly Rover Jump Challenge, which will one for one week from the day of posting. This challenge suggestion may or may not be made into a challenge at some point by the team. Thank you.

Oh, I thought that was also a challenge

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