jinnantonix

Low cost Laythe Science Mission - with a twist

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Posted (edited)

Background:  There is photographic evidence of life in the deep oceans of Laythe.  Kerbal scientists want more conclusive evidence.  Funds are short, so private contractors are asked to bid for the chance to change the way Kerbals see their place in the universe. 

Build a lowest cost mission to Laythe, from KSC launch pad, to the DeGrasse Sea biome, do a Mystery Goo experiment, and bring the science back to Kerbin. 

The twist is:  The Mystery Goo experiment must be done on the DeGrasse Sea floor.

Rules:

  • Stock parts (including Making History) only, no mods that change game and parts physics, -  exclude command chairs (we don't want Kerbonauts going puff in the upper atmosphere), 
  • All other flight and aesthetics mods OK (except of course, NO Hyperedit, config file editing, etc).  Please check with this forum thread all mods you intend to use, and list them all when submitting.
  • The mission includes two Kerbonauts.  At least one Kerbal needs to land on the surface of Laythe.  It is optional whether the Kerbal goes to the ocean floor.  Both Kerbonauts must return alive to the surface of Kerbin.
  • No formation hang gliding.  Spend the Kredits to include a chute, and land your Kerbals safely.
  • No clipping of parts in a way that will change the physics / aerodynamics of the craft.  Minor clipping (e.g. into fairings) is OK.
  • Players may turn pressure limits off to avoid the Mystery Goo experiment exploding at depth.
  • ISRU is allowed anywhere, but not on Kerbin.  Craft must be fully fuelled for launch in the VAB/SPH

Leaderboard will be in order of cost of craft in the VAB at launch (with and without recovery of craft)

Leaderboard 1: no recovery

  1. @jinnantonix 32,985 funds.  Video  Craft   ISRU equipped, staged spaceplane with dolphin-diving Laythe landing jet.
  2. @dnbattley 33,059 fundsAlbum  Craft  Cheapo Laythe Rocket (CLR) Mk 15 a.k.a. "The Pleasuredome". A non ISRU non-recoverable craft.  Some very clever minimalist techniques are used.  Congratulations on being the first on Leaderboard 1.
  3.  

Leaderboard 2: with recovery (cost in the VAB/SPH minus 90% depreciated recovery cost + cost of any components expended during the mission).

  1. @farmerben 90,650.26 fundsPosted here.  Impressively big SSTO seaplane with ISRU, which can land and take off from the sea.  Used RTGs to sink the goo to the sea floor.
  2.  

 

Rogues Gallery:  For entries that don't quite meet the rules or objectives of the challenge, but want to submit anyway

  1. @bayesian_acolyte   26,593 funds.  Album  Craft file. Sandbox mode.  Amazing SSTO which uses a lot of clipping to reduce aerodynamics “including overlapping NERV and Whiplash engines, a weird fairing, 4 fuel tanks on top of each other, and a few other instances”.  Super clever minimalist design, showing the benefits of ISRU and spaceplane components for this challenge.  Does not meet clipping requirements.  If legal would have been a contender for winner in Leaderboard 2.
  2.  

.

Edited by jinnantonix

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Do the Kerbals need to go to the ocean floor with the goo? If not, do they need to go to Laythe's surface? If not, how far do they need to go?

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Do the Kerbals need to go to the ocean floor with the goo? If not, do they need to go to Laythe's surface? If not, how far do they need to go?

Good question.  Two Kerbals on the mission.  At least one Kerbal needs to land on the surface.  It is optional whether the Kerbal goes to the ocean floor.  Probe cores are allowed.

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Posted (edited)

This looks fun, I'm thinking about giving it a go when I have some time. I take it that money recovered post-mission doesn't factor in?

Edited by bayesian_acolyte

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Posted (edited)
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I take it that money recovered post-mission doesn't factor in?

I think it is simpler if this is excluded ...although on second thought I would be happy to have a second leader board for that if you really want to go SSTO spaceplane.

 

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Giving a go at this right now.

Great, let me know if you have any questions about rules.  No doubt there will be some

 

Edited by jinnantonix

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On 3/22/2019 at 4:12 AM, jinnantonix said:

I think it is simpler if this is excluded ...although on second thought I would be happy to have a second leader board for that if you really want to go SSTO spaceplane.

 

Great, let me know if you have any questions about rules.  No doubt there will be some

 

Count me in.

I know it is asking for a expected answer. But you mentioned no seats because of Kerbals going poof.

That's why 1.25m service bays are used with command seats in them. So they're protected. If Kerbals going poof is the criteria can I put the seat in a service bay?
And if not, can I use a seat to get to the ocean floor? And if the oceanic probe core method is divided from Kerbal EVA then do you get more points for getting the Kerbal to the oceanic floor, or not?

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Hi, @Aeroboi. , I understand the attraction of command chairs in providing cool minimalist solutions.The" no command chair" rule is there because i am trying to avoid a situation where exploiting command chairs makes them mandatory to achieving lowest cost., and also to avoid having to adjudicate on physically unrealistic entries.  Some argue that Kerbals in containers is clipping.

In the case of going to the ocean floor, there are some simple and cheap ways to do that without the need for a command chair.  i had thought that it may be considered unrealistic for a Kerbal to survive the pressure of the deep ocean., but my testing shows there is little cost difference between sending a probe and sending a scientist to do the experiment.  So it is optional, entrants can decide for themselves whether they consider this realistic.

Sorry to be a "stickler" for this rule.  i hope you choose to have a go at the challenge anyway.

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By recoverable, what do you mean exactly?  It could mean that the probe floats up, a scientist removes the goo, takes it in the command pod and goes home.  Or it could mean that the goo canister is recovered.  Or it could mean everything is recovered.

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Posted (edited)
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By recoverable, what do you mean exactly?  It could mean that the probe floats up, a scientist removes the goo, takes it in the command pod and goes home.  Or it could mean that the goo canister is recovered.  Or it could mean everything is recovered.

In all cases the requirement for recovery of science is simple.  Obtain a goo sample from the floor of the DeGrasse Sea, and recover it at the KSC.  How you do that is your choice.

Recovery ( regarding the leaderboard) means redeeming the value of the craft on return to Kerbin.  The total cost of mission (with recovery) will be the cost of the craft at launch minus the depreciated cost (90%) on return to Kerbin + plus any components expended during the mission.

Edited by jinnantonix

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Posted (edited)

I've completed this challenge with a ship costing 26,593 funds.

Here's an imgur album with a trip report: https://imgur.com/a/CjBjhuc

Here's the craft file: https://kerbalx.com/Bayesian_Acolyte/Operation-ScubaGoo-v18

y2r30EY.jpg

Although it is an SSTO, I made it for the general category without knowing there was a separate re-use category (apparently I suck at reading and somehow missed that part of jinnantonix's reply to me). I did the run in sandbox mode so I technically didn't get any money back on return. The parts returning cost 24,951 including a 406 cost popped fairing, so I'm not sure what the total returned value would be, but I mostly just care about the general leader board.

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also to avoid having to adjudicate on physically unrealistic entries.  Some argue that Kerbals in containers is clipping.

This craft made liberal use of clipping which was a first for me (including overlapping NERV and Whiplash engines, a weird fairing, 4 fuel tanks on top of each other, and a few other instances). I'm still pretty new to this challenge thing but there was no mention in the OP about clipping, and I've seen lots of clipping on some other challenges that don't explicitly outlaw it. The other challenges I've done banned clipping in the OP. I'm confident I could have built a similar craft without clipping, although it would have cost at least slightly more. I hope this isn't a problem.

Edited by bayesian_acolyte

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Posted (edited)

Hi @bayesian_acolyte , thanks for being a part of the challenge.

I regret to say, that your entry cannot be accepted.  

Firstly, and most importantly, each of your screenshots shows you have HyperEdit loaded.  As advised, this is not allowed. "(of course, no Hyperedit, config file editing, etc)".  I feel bad for you, I know I have made this error before myself.  It sucks.

With regard to clipping, I did not mention it in the OP, and probably should have.  (I am new to running a mission challenge, so please forgive my failings).  For any challenge that involves flying in an atmosphere, clipping impacts on the craft drag and aerodynamics.  It changes the physics of an aircraft.  Some clipping  may be acceptable if it is minor, e.g. for aesthetics, and the craft would work otherwise.  However your craft would not work the same without using clipping.  I thank you for raising this issue, and will add an explicit rule to the OP.

Finally, a word of congratulations on a very clever concept.  Your ScubaGoo (LOL!) design concept is ideal for Leaderboard 2, so I would encourage you to tweak it to remove clipping, remove HyperEdit, and have another attempt in a mode which will allow you to redeem the cost of the craft.  

Edited by jinnantonix

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Posted (edited)

I didn't use HyperEdit in this challenge attempt. Having a mod loaded and using it are not the same thing. Cheats are always present in every stock game via the debug menu, but they only disqualify an attempt if they are used during that attempt. I have never seen a challenge that did not allow the use of HyperEdit for the testing of designs, which is why it was loaded (but not used on the actual attempt). If it was my intent to cheat this challenge it would have been trivial to hide Hyperedit or to just use the debug menu cheats. It seems you are using this as a technicality because you forgot to outlaw clipping.

It's not a big deal though. I did this for the fun of the challenge, not the leader board.

Edited by bayesian_acolyte

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Interesting challenge. Are we allowed to use isru to return from laythe?

What exactly means ocean floor? Near the coastline this could be verry different from the open sea. Maybe you should set a minimum depth? (but please check it's above the needed parts pressure limits)

I guess I wouldn't aim for the leaderboard this time but for some cool crafts to do this

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Posted (edited)
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Interesting challenge. Are we allowed to use isru to return from laythe?

Of course

Quote

What exactly means ocean floor? Near the coastline this could be verry different from the open sea. Maybe you should set a minimum depth? (but please check it's above the needed parts pressure limits)

As far as I am aware there is no "near shore" in the DeGrassse Sea, and it is uniformly deep.  Do you have evidence to the contrary?

 

 

Edited by jinnantonix

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1 hour ago, jinnantonix said:

Of course

As far as I am aware there is no "near shore" in the DeGrassse Sea, and it is uniformly deep.  Do you have evidence to the contrary?

 

 

Oh, ok sorry. I'm not at my computer right now and did not know this biome is ofshore only.

If I find the time, my entry will be the most unnecessary complex mission I guess :D

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I'm giving this an attempt.  I've built a lot of planes that can take off from the sea, but I've never done a submersible mission before.   So this a challenge.  Depending on what payload I bring, I will probably design a new sea plane around it.  

I want to make sure I don't break rules before I start.  Mod's in question are VesselMover and Animated Attatchment.  Can I leave them installed and not use them, or must they be removed.  As far as I know, you have to be stopped to use Vesselmover.  Animated attatchment changes the way stock parts work if they are attatched to payload doors or canards and things like that.  Practical to have it installed and not use it,  allowed?

Second thing is about doing the science right... and command chairs.  hN50net.jpg

 

I came up with this little rover that sinks.  (the camera is not stock, but I can remove it).  It could drive forever on 6 RTGs, and transmit science.  But it cannot float or swim.  If I want to recover the goo, rather than just observe it, I can send a Kerbal down and have him swim up EVA style.  Is this allowed?  Do we want to remove the goo and bring it to Kerbin, or Is transmitting science the same?

 

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Mod's in question are VesselMover and Animated Attatchment.  Can I leave them installed and not use them, or must they be removed. 

These mods change game and part physics.  They can be used in testing, but must be removed for the mission.  To be specific about what I mean by "stock only", I'll update the OP.

 

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I can send a Kerbal down and have him swim up EVA style.  Is this allowed? 

Yes. 

As stated in the OP you must return the science to Kerbin, not transmit it.

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1 hour ago, jinnantonix said:

These mods change game and part physics.  They can be used in testing, but must be removed for the mission.

As far as I know, VesselMover and HyperEdit don't change any parts or physics. In fact, they shouldn't do anything unless you click the button to activate them. If you really insist on people uninstalling them before flying the mission in order to get rid of the buttons too, well, it's your challenge so you get to set the rules. But it still seems like pointless busywork to me.

(I've never used Animated Attachment, so I can't really say much about it.)

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But it still seems like pointless busywork to me.

From what I can see of these mods, it allows you to pick up and move parts around in way that is not physically possible in normal game mode.  This could be exploited to achieve an outcome otherwise unattainable if the mod is not used.  I would like to set a fairly strict rule that disallows the use of mods in this way.  The easiest way to ensure that everyone abides by this is to simply insist that the mods are uninstalled before the mission is executed.  It's not difficult to uninstall mods.

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Posted (edited)

Does returning the science in an experiment storage count too?

 

Actually the goo unit explodes due to its pressure limit shortly below 500m. So I guess this is without pressure limits?

Edited by Kergarin

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2 hours ago, jinnantonix said:

From what I can see of these mods, it allows you to pick up and move parts around in way that is not physically possible in normal game mode.  This could be exploited to achieve an outcome otherwise unattainable if the mod is not used.  I would like to set a fairly strict rule that disallows the use of mods in this way.  The easiest way to ensure that everyone abides by this is to simply insist that the mods are uninstalled before the mission is executed.  It's not difficult to uninstall mods.

By this logic any entry with no mods installed should also be illegal, since the stock debug menu performs the same functionality of moving ships in physically impossible ways. 

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By this logic any entry with no mods installed should also be illegal, since the stock debug menu performs the same functionality of moving ships in physically impossible ways. 

 

I didn't know that.  If I am being too strict, I am happy to be told so, and to relent.

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Actually the goo unit explodes due to its pressure limit shortly below 500m. So I guess this is without pressure limits?

Odd, I got to 1200m and my goo didn't explode.  If this is happening to you, suggest collecting the goo at <500m is adequate.

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6 hours ago, jinnantonix said:

I didn't know that.  If I am being too strict, I am happy to be told so, and to relent.

Odd, I got to 1200m and my goo didn't explode.  If this is happening to you, suggest collecting the goo at <500m is adequate.

I recommend relying on an honour system, rather than requiring mod removal, personally.

 

Good challenge, by the way. The best challenges IMHO force contestants to enhance their knowledge of the game, and in this case I have learned about Laythe buoyancy in making this challenge work. Now I just need to optimise the re-ascent.

As an aside I have descended goo to 2500m in stock, default, sandbox so can confirm it is possible in those conditions.

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1 minute ago, dnbattley said:

I recommend relying on an honour system, rather than requiring mod removal, personally.

 

Good challenge, by the way. The best challenges IMHO force contestants to enhance their knowledge of the game, and in this case I have learned about Laythe buoyancy in making this challenge work. Now I just need to optimise the re-ascent.

As an aside I have descended goo to 2500m in stock, default, sandbox so can confirm it is possible in those conditions.

Indeed a verry interesting challenge. Did not think there could be something giving me back the feeling of exploring and testing like in the first days of the game. Really exciting.

I noticed ship sink in a little deeper on Laythe. Not that much, but verry little. Also they are around 20% slower in laythe's oceans compared to Kerbin's.

 

I guess you all play without part pressure limits? This it turned off by default when starting a new game (no matter which type) 

You can check this in the options menu. I will switch this of as well then, to be able to reach the bottom.

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