Fully reusable career playthrough - without contracts - V2

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There was once this challenge by @5thHorseman the "no contract career challenge". The goal was to upgrade all buildings in career mode, without accepting any contract. The money has to come from milestone rewards only.

To make this even more interesting, I have set myself the additional goal, to recover every single part I have used.

As if this was not enough, I have added the goals to put a flag on every planet and unlock the whole tech tree. 

I also intend to not do science spamming. From the moment when I leave kerbin, there will only be one science trip to every celestial body, getting sience from space high, low and surface (and atmosphere if existing). So no boring biome hopping and no repeated missions. 

My settings are normal, plus require signal for control, plasma blackout and all G and pressure limits activated.


I had a look at my old submission for this challenge, and now was verry unhappy with it. There were way too many science launches on kerbin, the crafts were ugly and still way to big.


So I have decided to start over again! :D

This is part one of our journey:

Chapter 1 - Kerbin

For a quick start, I have strapped together a few rockets, getting science from launchpad, air and water. There also come our first rewards for altitude and speed records, giving us some money.

The second launch features an upgraded version of my old 5 science points SSTO rocket, doing our first spacewalk in space low. (This rocket became verry popular, when a bigger youtuber picked up the design two weeks later.)

Next comes the second and last science rocket, bringing a bunch of science JRs to different altitudes. Giving no money but boosting science.

Our last mission on Kerbin features another SSTO rocket, which takes us one step further, and gives a lot of science from space high. Those fins are not intended to give it stability at launch, but to provide some aerobraking on reentry.


Chapter two - Mun & Minmus

We now have the parts and restrictions to land and return a Kerbal fully reusable on the Mun. For the first time in this Series we use a recoverable SSTO Booster. Well, actually we don't use its full SSTO capabilities, as we can't afford a probe core to do the reentry burn. So the Mun lander is released on an almost orbit suborbital trajectory. The lander circularizes its Orbit, while the booster reenters the atmosphere, gets braked down with help of some fins and then lands safely on preactivated parachutes. The lander does his trip to the Mun in a single stage, and then uses some passes of aerobraking before it does land on a parachute with the help of a little burn. The lander could be even smaller, but actually we only have the Terrier, which has good ISP but is way too heavy for such a small lander.

We could already have done Mun and Minmus in a single run right now, by adding a little more fuel to the Mun lander, but we won't be able to transmit all the science, as we don't have solar panels and a to low part count restriction for that much batteries. Also we have to upgrade the skills of Val for our upcoming missions. So we do this in a separate launch.
Now that we have unlocked the Spark engine, we can scale down our lander. This engines low wieght and good TWR makes it extremly efficent for lightweight landers, even if its ISP is not that high. The new dV Display can help you a lot which engine to choose.


Chapter 3 - Gilly

Our first interplanetary tour takes us to Gilly, as it is the only landable Body in our actual Com-Range. Its Orbit is still not completely covered, but it's enough to stay in contact near the transfer windows. By unlocking the lightweight lander can, we can keep our craft small. Fairings are released on a suborbital trajectory, so I would count them as recovered. The reentry is assisted by the landers main engine, and its horrible drag brakes it down quickly without overheating.


Chapter 4 - Duna and Ike

Now that we can upgrade the Tracking Station, Duna comes in our reach.
To get the maximum science (and a cool spaceplane), we launch two crafts. One to Duna and one to Ike. To save some weight on the Duna lander, the Ike lander brings a relay, which allowes the Duna plane to use the smallest antenna. The Duna plane is not really a plane, as ist CoL is way to far back. Those wings are just for some aerobraking and a little guidance to a flat landing spot. (and to make it look cool!) While a spaceplane was not really necessary, it has the advantage of creating much or less drag when you need it. We also could have done Duna and Ike using a single lander, but I absolutely wanted to have this plane on the tour :D


This was the first part of the journey, and perhaps the one with the most changes. We will see how this continues, once I will find some free time again.

If you can't waint for the continuation, here is my old version:

Edited by Kergarin

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