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The Eve Rocks Challenge [1.6.1 - 1.7.x] [Reboot]

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@Johnster_Space_Program I'm trying to make a tsto, a rocket carrier plane carrying another rocket plane with ISRU.

The idea being to land the large rocket plane at 3-4000m, detach the smaller plane, glide/fly it down to sea level to do experiments, then fly back to the carrier plane to re-dock, fill it up using isru and travel to another BIOME.

The thing is, you want people to land below 2500m, does the fulfillment still count if I land higher, decouple a 2nd plane to get down there.
Mind you that I can land the larger rocket plane near sea level but my action radius is severely diminished when willing to biome hop, do you mind?

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@Aeroboi is that a level 4 or level 5 entry?  I am doing L5 now, and I have taken @Johnster_Space_Program's requirements literally:  



Level 5 (The Ultimate Challenge): Land in eve's oceans, collect a sample, then  collect a sample from the surface, and return to kerbin safely.


So I have a piloted lander craft that can drop from orbit into the ocean, the Kerbal occupant collects a sea sample.  The craft then flies to solid surface, lands again and collects another sample.  A second craft is deployed from orbit to the surface to rendezvous and lift the Kerbal and science to Eve orbit.  This craft docks with orbiter, and the science is then transported by the Kerbal back to Kerbin.

Edited by jinnantonix
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1 hour ago, jinnantonix said:

@Aeroboi is that a level 4 or level 5 entry?  I am doing L5 now, and I have taken @Johnster_Space_Program's requirements literally:  

So I have a piloted lander craft that can drop from orbit into the ocean, the Kerbal occupant collects a sea sample.  The craft then flies to solid surface, lands again and collects another sample.  A second craft is deployed from orbit to the surface to rendezvous and lift the Kerbal and science to Eve orbit.  This craft docks with orbiter, and the science is then transported by the Kerbal back to Kerbin.

The payload plane can land on water and takeoff again, it only has to decouple from the carrier space plane at a 3-4000m hill to get down there. So I'll be doing L5

Edited by Aeroboi
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The Multipede

  • Level 5 : +1500 points
  • Rocket Weighs 500-1000 Tons: +175 Points
  • Rocket Costs 0 - 250k funds: +250 points
  • Mission completed in 500+ Days: +25 points
  • ISRU Used: +225 points

Total = 2,175



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  • 6 months later...

Is this challenge still active?

I can make a report on how I fully explored all the biomes of Eve and Gilly, and collected all the possible science in one expedition, without transmitting data via radio (and without ISRU, but this was not done on purpose).

Formally, this expedition is suitable for the conditions of the competition, although it will not gain a lot of points, because the expedition lasted a long time and 4 different supporting vehicles were used (on one mothership).

PS: KSP 1.8.1. Craft is not SSTO. Not all used supporting modules were needed for the conditions of the competition (for example, an explorer of atmosphere and wheeled crane - science container loader), it was my personal challenge - a complete science. If guided only by the requirements of the competition, then everything could be done much easier, lighter, faster and cheaper.

Edited by Helmut
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So...all i need is to swim to surface ? Sounds easy, yet bothersome...I'm a maniac of high Mass...so this may end up being a bother for me, my strachechee is to land near the shores, then liftoff...this may be a tremendous (5-10 Kilotons) ones...no...IMMENSE (>10 Kilotons ) one...i'll do it for self entertainment...

With 1.7...i came up with a new plan :

One 1.25 Meter strorage full of Ores contained for the entire mission.

Surface, Sea and Gilly Samples.

No Docking No ISRU (all ores are carried from the very start)

One Kerbal (Only Simone seems to be enough to do this...ask me in JacobJHC's Server for more details...i need some break from The Ultimate Challenge Grand Tour)

I believe that literally hits 3 Difficulties all at once...

Edited by GRS
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've just completed this awesome challenge. This must be one of the most difficult things I have ever done in KSP, but it was well worth the effort. Mission report here: 

and here: https://imgur.com/a/di5MCog

In short, I completed Levels 1, 3, 4 and 5 of the challenge, all within a single mission. With a craft <500 tons, <250 k$ and no ISRU (apart from drilling for ore as required for level 4).

Some notes:

1. I used Infernal Robotics to turn my lander into a boat, driven by paddle wheels. I think it would be possible to make similar paddle wheels with the robotics parts from Breaking Ground, but I don't own it. So I hope the organizer agrees with my decision to use IR instead.

2. I accidentally forgot to disable Hyperedit on the first part of the mission. Rest assured I did not use it for the actual mission (I did use it to test my lander, but not on the actual mission).

3. In my opinion, drilling for ore is harder than the ultimate challenge (at least drilling ore from the seabed as I did). The 250 kg of extra payload made it quite hard to design a return vehicle capable of reaching Eve orbit.


Some screenshots:


My craft in the VAB.


Val landing the craft. Chutes have just been fully opened and heat shield has been jettisoned in preparation of a landing in Eve's Crater Lake


I'M ON A BOAT! https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-tweets-im-on-a-boat-spacex-video-2016-4?international=true&r=US&IR=T


4 Eve samples, 1 Gilly sample and 25 ore from Eve, all safely back on Kerbin with the crew

Edited by QF9E
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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm in the later stages of testing a 3000+ ton beast, as an entry for this challenge. All the bits work individually, just need to see if my transfee vehicle has the get and go, to get to Eve and make it into orbit.

The plan is for a 3 vehicle assembly to be delivered to Eve, an ascent vehicle that will land in the ocean, an electric boat (hopefully landed in the same ocean) for the surface sample and a return vehicle left in orbit. So drop the ascent vehicle in the sea, then the boat, then the brave crew makes their escape back to orbit and on to Kerbin.

Somehow I misread the rules as requiring a crew of 2 (no idea how) to ascend to Eve orbit and designed my vehicle around that, which increased the weight of everything considerably. If all goes well with this first attempt, maybe I'll have a stab at this another time with something lighter.

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Finished designing and testing a 500 Ton Ascent Vehicle that's aimed to land on the shores so i can get Sea and Ground samples as well as enough Delta V to land on Gilly and return home docklessly...with No Refuelers...though I'll bring drills to get the missing 30 out of 300 Ore units carried for the whole trip, I'm planning to bring 270 Ores for the whole mission...


Edited by GRS
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Ok, first off, due to misremembering how science such as surface samples are handled by the game, my entry was a complete failure.

But let's step back a bit.

My plan was to make a level 5 entry to the challenge, not a particularly efficient one, but a successful one nonetheless. This plan involved launching a huge (4919 ton) vehicle to Eve, that carried a two kerbal ascent vehicle (for some reason I had the idea in my head I had to send two of them) that would land in the sea, a boat to go get a surface sample from the land, plus a return vehicle, left in Eve orbit.

Here's how it went and where it all went wrong (Imgur album with all pics is here).

The flight of the ER 1

There she is, sitting on the pad, with Jeb and Val taking a last look around before heading for space.


Orbit... no problem, although the launcher is a bit on the wobbly side.

I went for a high orbit to do the Eve burn from, as the ISP for the transfer stage is on the low side.


A 966m/s manoeuver for Eve.


Braking into Eve orbit... no problems so far.


Heating got pretty high on some parts during the many passes the vehicle made through the upper atmosphere, to burn off some speed. In the process 2 of the 4 large solar panels on the boat exploded, fortunately on opposite sides, so the boat should still drive straight.


The return vehicle separated without a hitch, but strangely it began spinning up to a very high RPM. Hopefully it will still be in one piece when it's needed later.


The descent through the atmosphere began as planned, but when things got really hot at around 50km, one of the ore tanks, used as floatation deviced for the ascent vehicle exploded.


Finally the ascent vehicle made it to the surface, with Jeb at the controls... better get that boat down too now.


The much smaller vehicle had a much smoother ride down through the atmosphere, the only worry is that it might break through the clouds, to find that it's come in over land.


Needn't have worried, that's the sea below and the shore isn't far away.


I didn't bother with mapping the torque of the rotors to keys... just cranked up the  sliders and headed for shore.


Made it... now time to get that that surface sample.


With the surface sample collected, it was time to head for the ascent vehicle. But it's 15 degrees around the equator and the rotor blades do not respond well to physics warping. The journed to Val's ticket home took about 1.5 hours real time, but fortunately the boat keeps a perfect heading, so time to crank up the torque again and go make dinner.


1.5 hours later.


Now... the problem.

I had it in my head that science data could be transfer between docked vehicles, which is why I went for docking ports, rather than a bunch of ladders for Val to climb up. Unfortunately the data has to be carried by hand between vehicles, which leaves the surface sample stuck in the boat.

It's at this point I realise that the whole trip's been a failure.


Jeb was quietly displeased.


Ok, nothing can be done to save the goal of the mission, so let's get this ship of fail back into orbit. Fortunately the missing ore tank didn't hinder the launch.


Back in orbit, it's time to make a maneouver for the return vehicle.


No docking ports, so it's time for Val and Jeb to head across the old fashioned way.

The return vehicle still suffers from the wierd accelerating spin around its longitudinal axis. The only way to get aboard was to park the kerbal right next it it, do a momentary warp, to stop the spinning, then grab the door in the couple of seconds after warp, before the spinning became too great to get a hold of the hatch.


With both onboard the return vehicle, it was time for the burn home.


A welcome sight.


FInally home after 632 days.



So in summary, I sent a fat, expensive, slow vehicle to Eve, only to return to Kerbin with zero surface samples.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I did this at level 4, trying to be smart about it, using rhino engines for the majority of the burns (better ISP than vectors), and with ISRU on Gilly and on Eve.  Used a powered descent to Eve, and using default game settings.  For the initial launch from Kerbin, I took advantage of all the Vector engines needed for the eventual Eve ascent and could put some enormous tanks on.  I took 3 kerbals, the big ore converter and 2 drills.  I also took a module to allow a surface sample, though that didn't work out.  Didn't do any docking so that meant taking more mass on the whole trip.  I initially designed it around taking 3 kerbals.

Should be 1700 points: Level 4: +1250, Mass 1361 tons: +100, Funds 815k: +100, Mission completed in 500+ days: +25, ISRU used: +225

First screenshot is the actual Eve landing stage with the Rhino engines activated.  Not all the screenshots are from the actual run.


The actual launch vehicle.


Launch screenshots from a previous vehicle but pretty close to the one I used. It's asparagus staging with the huge tanks transferring to the main vehicle.



Refuel at gilly with actual vehicle and had barely enough delta V to land and refuel for insertion and descent to Eve.


Descending to Eve and transferring fuel to lower center of mass


The Rhino engines had burnt of in descent but that was a good thing since I didn't need them anyway.  The parachutes got me to about 8m/s and it was an easy landing.


THIS DID NOT WORK.  I wanted to use this thing to land on Eve for a surface sample, then shoot straight up, go EVA and parachute back to the main vehicle.  Unfortunately I did not balance it well enough and I ended up shooting it off (without a kerbal of course).


Eve liftoff after discarding ISRU equipment (can see one part to the left).  Center stage has 7 vector engines, outer stages have 2 vector engines per side.


Still going vertical on the central stage with 7 vector engines, and trying to balance the losses from air friction and gravity.


Rhino stage for much better ISP in upper altitudes.


Final stage is a NERVA engine that would finish the ascent from Eve take this home to Kerbin.  Actually had a ton of delta V to spare.


Landing at kerbin after intentionally burning up all the liquid fuel to lighten it.


Might do it again and design it more for lightness and more delta V.

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