sevenperforce

Salvo to Eve: Distributed Launch Mission (NOW LIVE)

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Posted (edited)

NOTE: THIS CHALLENGE IS NOW LIVE!

The "Purple Star" has long been the greatest foil and challenge in the Kerbol system, and the Kerbal Kongress has ordered KSP to make a Kerballed landing its top priority. However, after decades of delays and setbacks suffered by the Really Large Rocket (RLR) intended to lift crew and cargo together, KSP must now turn to existing, commercial rockets to execute this directive. To reduce complexity, they will use up to six launches to assemble an Eve spacecraft in low Kerbin orbit, then launch for Eve at the next transfer window.

To keep mission costs low, they will attempt to reduce the mass of each individual payload as far as is practicable. To that end...

salvo.png

My most successful challenge to date was Road to Duna: No Moar Boosters, which was actually picked up as a KSP subreddit challenge and got tons of entries.

Now we turn our gaze to the Mother of all Planets: Eve. Using up to six launches, take at least four Kerbals to the surface of Eve and return them safely back to Kerbin. You may use any mission configuration you like, including sending portions of your spacecraft to Eve orbit ahead of time. There is no time limit. Your score will be based on the mass of your largest launch payload, just as with the earlier challenge; if you only use five launches and your payload masses are 4, 10, 16, 18, and 33 tonnes, then your score is 33 just as if you had launched six payloads that were all exactly 33 tonnes.

As before, there will be multipliers to help you lower your score. First, a few ground rules:

  • You must actually take four Kerbals to Eve and they must all EVA on the surface of Eve and then on the surface of Kerbin. Plan for ladders accordingly.
  • Your landing party cannot wait for the vehicle to be assembled; they must be sent up in the last launch. If your main crew capsule is lofted early in the orbital assembly process, then you must reserve the sixth launch for crew ascent and transfer.
  • Your Kerbals must be protected during any transfer across an SOI. They can ride to Eve's surface and back in a seat, or experience Kerbin re-entry in a seat, but they cannot cross between SOIs while in a command seat.
  • Ions can be used to adjust orbits when executing a rendezvous between two vehicles in the same SOI, but they cannot be used to provide dV for injection or insertion burns.
  • The Kerbals cannot wait around endlessly for ISRU. Drilling for ore, if you do it, must be complete before your landing crew launches. Ore refining is okay, though, so you can structure your mission around that if you like.
  • You cannot transfer fuel out of your launch vehicle and count it as payload. If one (or more) of your launches is a propellant transfer mission, you must loft an actual tank, and the entire tank counts as your payload for that launch, even if it is discarded before the transfer burn to Eve.
  • Your launch vehicles can perform rendezvous and docking in LKO below 200 km only. I don't want people assembling in high orbit to squeeze more dV out of the launch vehicles.
  • A little clipping is fine for structural or aesthetic reasons, or to squeeze something 2% more closely. Just don't abuse it. If you find yourself cramming 43 Oscar-Bs into a small fairing or clipping engines wholly inside other engines, that's a bit much.
  • You can use any parts, including modded parts, for your launch vehicle, but only stock and DLC parts are permitted as part of your payload. You are also not allowed to use the accursed Wolfhound. You can use any visual/planning mods you like. I don't particularly like autopilot but I won't make a big deal out of it.

Now, for the optional bonuses that will help you to lower your score and rise to the top!

  • Amateur Bonuses. Get your feet wet...so to speak.
    • Pink Panther. Send a powered rover that will let your Kerbals move around on the surface of Eve.
    • Tilt-A-Whirl. Launch from the Woomerang launch site rather than the KSC, matching and assembling in the inclined orbit. If you do not have the DLC, you can also launch from KSC into an orbit that is more than 40 degrees inclined.
    • Ares I. Launch your crew with a working, demonstrated 0-0 launch escape/abort system. The LES will count as part of your payload even if it is jettisoned before reaching orbit.
    • Bird of Prey. Your crew executes a winged, rolling landing on both Eve and Kerbin.
    • Home Sweet Home. Land within eyesight of the KSC.
  • Pro Bonuses. Not for the faint of heart.
    • Beach Bum. Land and launch from an Eve altitude below 1500 m.
    • Keiger Kounter. Reduce radiation damage to your kerbals: don't use nukes, ions, or RTGs on craft carrying crew.
    • Room To Move. Ensure that your Kerbals have at least three seats each during any transfers across SOIs. Command seats are not allowed at any point. Kerbals may not ride in inflatable airlocks in-atmosphere.
    • Pro Pilot. Use no probe cores on any part of any payload. Beyond LKO, all craft movements must be controlled by pilots. You cannot use command seats at any point.
    • Express Service. Execute only a single transfer to Eve and do not cross any SOIs other than Kerbin, Eve, and Kerbol.
  • Elite Bonuses. You're crazy if you try it!
    • Water Park. Splashdown and return from Eve's oceans without touching land.
    • Contingency. Land a backup ascent vehicle on Eve before committing to kerballed landing, land within walking distance, and then split your Kerbals between the two ascent vehicles for return to Eve orbit. Alternately, you can ascend in one vehicle, abort mid-flight, land safely, and then complete the ascent from the backup.
    • Utter Insanity. Perform a direct ascent from Eve's surface all the way to Kerbin without any further docking.
    • Don't Chute! Do not use any parachutes at any point in the mission.

Each amateur bonus reduces your score by 5%, each pro bonus reduces your score by 10%, and each elite bonus reduces your score by 15%. Bonuses follow a straightforward reciprocal multiplication, so your score is calculated as M(0.95)a(0.90)p(0.85)e, where M is the mass of your largest payload, a is the number of amateur bonuses you've been awarded, p is the number of pro bonuses you've been awarded, and e is the number of elite bonuses you've been awarded. You can combine as many bonuses as you are able to combine but some are obviously mutually exclusive.

Anyone who successfully completes the mission will earn a personalized mission badge...and trust me, my personalized mission badges are epic.

You can also earn badge ribbons as follows: 

  • Speed Demon. Have the submission with the lowest mission elapsed time of any submission.
  • Slim Pickings. Have the submission with the lowest sum-total payload mass of any submission.
  • Great Equalizer. Have the submission with the smallest difference between your heaviest payload and your lightest payload.
  • Gunslinger. Submit the very first submission.

Other than bragging rights, badge ribbons also bump you above the next person above you on the leaderboard, provided the person above you has none.

Leaderboards:

Spoiler

Thanks to everyone who added comments and ideas to help refine the challenge. I was originally going to keep this mission in the planning phase until 1 PM today, but I am starting it early, at 11:30 EST on April 2, 2019. The officially-scored portion of the challenge will remain open until midnight EST on May 2, 2019 unless extensions are requested.

Fly safe!

Edited by sevenperforce

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So I was recommended to take a look at this by the OP, probably becuase I have my own plans for an Eve mission.

I wouldn't say I'm an expert however on this sort of thing, but I'll speak my mind if it helps.

So, what the incentive to do less launches? As it's harder to do, and will likely increase your score (the goal is minimum score, correct?). Also, instead of forcing people off of wolfhounds, why not make it a modifier, like no ions and no nukes, so instead of punishing wolfhound users, you reward none wolfhound users.

There's probably more I can think of but these were the first two things to pop out at me.

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Excluding Wolfhound seems a perspective of realism rather then gameplay. Does it really matter? It's OP but not that much after the Buff and considering their weight it doesn't always deliver that much more Dv unless you have a lot of fuel tank to go with it. That means they're better suited for interplanetary burns. But the LV-N is so much better, so if someone wants to be stupid and use a Wolfhound to tug or for a upper stage then it's not like your miles ahead of any other design that in itself might be better all around IMO.

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39 minutes ago, M_Rat13 said:

So, what the incentive to do less launches? As it's harder to do, and will likely increase your score (the goal is minimum score, correct?). Also, instead of forcing people off of wolfhounds, why not make it a modifier, like no ions and no nukes, so instead of punishing wolfhound users, you reward none wolfhound users.

There's probably more I can think of but these were the first two things to pop out at me.

I intentionally avoided any incentive to do fewer than 6 launches because I want everyone to take maximum advantage of orbital assembly. If there was a reward for doing fewer than six launches then it would end up reducing to every other Eve challenge. Your score depends on your largest individual payload, not on the sum total of payload mass (other than the Slim Pickings bonus) and so there is no difference between 4 launches and 6 launches.

Regarding the wolfhound...I honestly just don't like it and I think it's OP. Better to exclude it altogether than to try and find an excuse to lump it in with Keiger Kounter or something.

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Posted (edited)

I agree with your decision to avoid individualized bonuses for each achievement, but a totally flat bonus might be going too far in the other direction.  Maybe two or three classes of rewards?  For instance, Ares I sounds like a fun little touch to add, but I imagine it's much less difficult than Water Park.  On the other hand, Beach Bum is the easiest of all with a landing altitude requirement of five hundred kilometers :o

Edited by FinalFan

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Cool challenge! I look forward to participating. I've got a few (probably noob-y) clarifying questions:

Quote

Ares I. Launch your crew with a working, demonstrated 0-0 launch escape/abort system. The LES will count as part of your payload even if it is jettisoned before reaching orbit.

I think I understand this one except that I'm not sure what "0-0" means? Just want to make sure it's not adding some requirement I'm not aware of.

Quote

Bird of Prey. Execute a winged, rolling landing on both Eve and Kerbin.

Does this only apply to the Kerbed landings on Eve and Kerbin? For example if we land a rover on Eve using wings/wheels, but the Kerbals use a standard parachute, would this qualify for the Eve portion?

Quote

Great Equalizer. Have the submission with the smallest difference between your heaviest payload and your lightest payload.

What exactly counts as payload? Can we add dummy weight to our lightest launches to equalize them? What would be the requirements for this dummy weight to be considered "payload"?

Quote

Pro Pilot. Use no probe cores on any part of any payload. Beyond LKO, all craft movements must be controlled by pilots.

Do we have to use default Comm Network settings or can we turn it off? Also I assume we aren't allowed to strand or kill any pilot Kerbals, and that they can't count as main crew unless they are launched with the last launch?

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, FinalFan said:

I agree with your decision to avoid individualized bonuses for each achievement, but a totally flat bonus might be going too far in the other direction.  Maybe two or three classes of rewards?  For instance, Ares I sounds like a fun little touch to add, but I imagine it's much less difficult than Water Park.  On the other hand, Beach Bum is the easiest of all with a landing altitude requirement of five hundred kilometers :o

Good catch -- fixed that!

Maybe two classes of bonuses then? What does everyone else think?

Just now, bayesian_acolyte said:

I think I understand this one except that I'm not sure what "0-0" means? Just want to make sure it's not adding some requirement I'm not aware of.

0-0 means zero-altitude, zero-velocity. In other words, your LES will successfully abort and pull your crew away from an RUD even if the vehicle hasn't started moving yet. Obviously needs the same later in flight too.

Quote

Does this only apply to the Kerbed landings on Eve and Kerbin? For example if we land a rover on Eve using wings/wheels, but the Kerbals use a standard parachute, would this qualify for the Eve portion?

I will update to clarify that it applies to Kerballed landings. You could land a rover and a separate EAV on chutes, for example, and then pilot your winged lander in to match location, earning Bird of Prey, Pink Panther, and Contingency all at once.

Quote

What exactly counts as payload? Can we add dummy weight to our lightest launches to equalize them? What would be the requirements for this dummy weight to be considered "payload"?

I thought about this; was unsure how to address. Do you think it's fine to just use the honor system on this: e.g., "Please don't just add dummy weight"?

Quote

Do we have to use default Comm Network settings or can we turn it off? Also I assume we aren't allowed to strand or kill any pilot Kerbals, and that they can't count as main crew unless they are launched with the last launch?

You can pre-place relays anywhere you want using the debug menu; I'm not really worried about it. And you assume correctly. At least four Kerbals must go, and all must come home. 

Edited by sevenperforce

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4 hours ago, FinalFan said:

I agree with your decision to avoid individualized bonuses for each achievement, but a totally flat bonus might be going too far in the other direction.  Maybe two or three classes of rewards?  For instance, Ares I sounds like a fun little touch to add, but I imagine it's much less difficult than Water Park.  On the other hand, Beach Bum is the easiest of all with a landing altitude requirement of five hundred kilometers :o

Made the changes.

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That's neat! Might try this when I get back home

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Looks like an interesting challenge, one I might take a crack at.

One point about the rules and bonuses.

This rule...

" The Kerbals cannot wait around for ISRU. If you do ISRU at any point, you must complete it before your Kerbals are launched."

... seems to preclude the Pro Pilot bonus, as the only way to use ISRU, is to launch an unmanned vehicle to generate fuel, in advance of the manned part of the mission.

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Thanks for adding that no command seat bonus. :D But isn't the impact of a rule that blocks command seats and ions/nukes all together a little heavy? Especially since we have to transport 4 Kerbals, this could make a big difference in weight, I guess.

 

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What @Kergarin said.

Quite generally, four people is an odd number. A full team is three, for starters, and it's also difficult to accomodate four in capsules, which only increases the pressure to go with chairs. Four only makes sense insofar as it's the minimum number where "contingency" makes sense, which I take to be a pet peeve of our host. I wonder if it wouldn't be better to demand six on the ground, which incidentally would be two full teams.

I'm not sure if the bonus system is supposed to be fair and balanced, or if it's possible to make it so, or worthwhile to even try. But especially the ones about altitude and chairs don't even begin to cover their cost. I guess that  a 10% "low altitude" bonus should start at launch sites under 2500m or thereabouts. All the way to sea level is more like 40%.

Regarding chairs, I'm one of those who doesn't even like the very idea. Which also means I have zero experience with these things... dabbling around a bit, I get the idea that a lawnchair system where people can enter and leave at will might be rather complicated. Given the benefits I guess it's still worthwhile in any event, though. Would someone more experienced be willing to share an example, perhaps?

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@Laie well, 4 would just be our 4 beloved and well know Kerbals, I think that number is ok, and makes it more interesting.

I just think no command seats and no ions/nukes should be at least each 10% instead of both together 10%. While command seat user would still be in an advantage bigger than that.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, purpleivan said:

One point about the rules and bonuses.

This rule...

" The Kerbals cannot wait around for ISRU. If you do ISRU at any point, you must complete it before your Kerbals are launched."

... seems to preclude the Pro Pilot bonus, as the only way to use ISRU, is to launch an unmanned vehicle to generate fuel, in advance of the manned part of the mission.

Yes. If you use Pro Pilot, ISRU will not be possible. Remember that all the bonuses are optional; it will not be possible to score on all the bonuses. Pink Panther and Water Park are mutually exclusive; Pro Pilot and Contingency are mutually exclusive; Express Service precludes ISRU. This is by design. There is no "perfect way" to complete this mission; I want everyone to come at it with their own angle.

14 hours ago, Kergarin said:

Thanks for adding that no command seat bonus. :D But isn't the impact of a rule that blocks command seats and ions/nukes all together a little heavy? Especially since we have to transport 4 Kerbals, this could make a big difference in weight, I guess.

Not a rule; just a bonus. If you want to use command seats, then Keiger Kounter is off the table. I may still need to rebalance but that's the trick.

12 hours ago, Laie said:

What @Kergarin said.

Quite generally, four people is an odd number. A full team is three, for starters, and it's also difficult to accomodate four in capsules, which only increases the pressure to go with chairs. Four only makes sense insofar as it's the minimum number where "contingency" makes sense, which I take to be a pet peeve of our host. I wonder if it wouldn't be better to demand six on the ground, which incidentally would be two full teams.

Contingency would work just as well with a team of three. It was just an interesting possible bonus because it reflects real-world designs a little more closely than usual KSP fare. There is still a single part capable od accommodating 4; any more would be overkill.

Quote

I'm not sure if the bonus system is supposed to be fair and balanced, or if it's possible to make it so, or worthwhile to even try. But especially the ones about altitude and chairs don't even begin to cover their cost. I guess that  a 10% "low altitude" bonus should start at launch sites under 2500m or thereabouts. All the way to sea level is more like 40%.

Well I want to balance it as well as I can. Should I go to a three-tiered bonus system with amateur, pro, and expert?

Also I have edited out autopilot restrictions on special request.

Edited by sevenperforce

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2 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

Well I want to balance it as well as I can. Should I go to a three-tiered bonus system with amateur, pro, and expert?

I think that might be the way to go. Going back to the fact that Pro Pilot precludes the use of ISRU, to me that should place it in the highest category of bonus. The reason being that performance in the challenge is based on the mass of your launches, with bonuses all deductions from that. As a non ISRU vehicle will be massively heavier than one which has to haul all its fuel to the surface of Eve, that will make a big difference to the final score.

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6 hours ago, purpleivan said:

I think that might be the way to go. Going back to the fact that Pro Pilot precludes the use of ISRU, to me that should place it in the highest category of bonus. The reason being that performance in the challenge is based on the mass of your launches, with bonuses all deductions from that. As a non ISRU vehicle will be massively heavier than one which has to haul all its fuel to the surface of Eve, that will make a big difference to the final score.

Edited accordingly.

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Posted (edited)

I don't want to stress you out about this too much, but I'm not sure if the new group where the command seats are in has less or more impact on the weight than the old one :D

I guess getting the "room to move" bonus adds 100-200% weight to the craft. Doesn't it?

Edited by Kergarin

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25 minutes ago, Kergarin said:

I don't want to stress you out about this too much, but I'm not sure if the new group where the command seats are in has less or more impact on the weight than the old one :D

I guess getting the "room to move" bonus adds 100-200% weight to the craft. Doesn't it?

No stress -- this is why I opened it up to a development/comment phase before launching!

I removed the command seat rule from Keiger Kounter, making it easier to earn that particular bonus.

Note that Room to Move only requires extra cargo space during long cruises. Whether ISRU is used or not, the mass of the assembled stack will likely be dominated by the Eve ascent vehicle, since that's what needs to have the most impulse, and you don't need to triple up cargo pods in the ascent vehicle (at least, unless you are trying to combine Room to Move with Utter Insanity, which I do not recommend). So adding extra crew space to the return vehicle has very little impact on total stack mass.

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40 minutes ago, sevenperforce said:

No stress -- this is why I opened it up to a development/comment phase before launching!

I removed the command seat rule from Keiger Kounter, making it easier to earn that particular bonus.

Note that Room to Move only requires extra cargo space during long cruises. Whether ISRU is used or not, the mass of the assembled stack will likely be dominated by the Eve ascent vehicle, since that's what needs to have the most impulse, and you don't need to triple up cargo pods in the ascent vehicle (at least, unless you are trying to combine Room to Move with Utter Insanity, which I do not recommend). So adding extra crew space to the return vehicle has very little impact on total stack mass.

That's true, but I imagine the following:

The crew compartments for the transfer vehicle almost triple in weight. Even if this can probably be done using the same engine as for one podseat per kerbal with longer burns,  this alone would  would increase the needed fuel for that part largely.

Indeed in addition to the landers weight that few tons of crew compartment might not even be noticeable.

But for the Eve lander: closed pods will be at least around 2,5-3tons, while 4 seats in a service bay are 0,5-0,6 tons. Meanig the Eve lander needs to carry around 5 times more payload. I guess this will massively enlarge the eve lander.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Kergarin said:

That's true, but I imagine the following:

The crew compartments for the transfer vehicle almost triple in weight. Even if this can probably be done using the same engine as for one podseat per kerbal with longer burns,  this alone would  would increase the needed fuel for that part largely.

Indeed in addition to the landers weight that few tons of crew compartment might not even be noticeable.

But for the Eve lander: closed pods will be at least around 2,5-3tons, while 4 seats in a service bay are 0,5-0,6 tons. Meanig the Eve lander needs to carry around 5 times more payload. I guess this will massively enlarge the eve lander.

Combining a Mk1 crew cabin with a single Mk2 command pod is 2.56 tonnes; you can drive it down to 2.32 tonnes if you stack two lander cans in place of the command pod. If you remove monoprop from the command pods you'll drive down mass further. Four seats, four kerbals (which add non-negligible mass in a seat), and a fairing mount is at least 0.64 tonnes plus the mass of the fairing itself. Battery and reaction wheels, which provide for you, add more mass. So it's definitely a disadvantage but not an insurmountable one. It would be to your advantage to incorporate that bonus with other bonuses to boost your score.

Edited by sevenperforce

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@Kergarin Lightweight Eve lifters scale well, as you can't do it on less than a Vector, which adds a lot of mass and is overpowered for small vessels. My most lightweight ESL lifter (Mk1 pod)is 19t wet, 8t dry. My concept craft for this challenge carries 3x as much payload at 44/13t.

I'm all in with this challenge regardless of how the bonus system eventually works out. I guess we'll eventually figure out what garners the best rewards, at which point the challenge will be mostly over. By now it's no longer immediately obvious to me which bonus will be worthwhile and which not, so I think we can have some fun along the way.

That said. I think a few things should be made explicit. It seems as if the real point behind "Pro Pilot" is to punish ISRU. In that case, I'd prefer a straightforward "no ISRU" bonus (easily 10%, it makes contingency almost trivial), and downgrade the value of piloting to 5% (or maybe strike it completely, as it essentially only means to have crew on anything that lands).

Same with "no command seats on ascent, landing or SOI transition", which should stand on it's own regardless off crew cabin size. Perhaps 10% for the former, 5% for the latter?

About the wing thing: If we can dump contingency vessels and rovers on chutes and only have to do a winged landing for the crew, the phrasing should reflect this.

Finally, a word on the MH Inflatable Airlock? IMO it should be treated as a command seat.

Oh, and I think that there should be a rule that people have to disclose their landing coordinates. Don't keep that good site to yourself!

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1 hour ago, Laie said:

I guess we'll eventually figure out what garners the best rewards, at which point the challenge will be mostly over. By now it's no longer immediately obvious to me which bonus will be worthwhile and which not, so I think we can have some fun along the way.

Indeed, that is the goal. I tried to make the bonuses as balanced as possible based on my own mostly-heuristic experience with Eve.

1 hour ago, Laie said:

That said. I think a few things should be made explicit. It seems as if the real point behind "Pro Pilot" is to punish ISRU. In that case, I'd prefer a straightforward "no ISRU" bonus (easily 10%, it makes contingency almost trivial), and downgrade the value of piloting to 5% (or maybe strike it completely, as it essentially only means to have crew on anything that lands).

Pro Pilot is not intended to punish ISRU so much as it is intended to push users toward an Apollo architecture, to encourage people to send an additional Kerbal to hang out in Eve orbit. It also makes it challenging to do any orbital assembly beyond LKO because you need a pilot on both craft, potentially. Express Service is a more straightforward dig against ISRU than Pro Pilot

I don't see ISRU as such a huge advantage myself. A very small lifter with command seats has a pretty small payload and the total mass can be quite small if you aren't trying to get Beach Bum. At that scale the mass of an ISRU drill and converter and radiators and ore tanks and power might be a wash. 

1 hour ago, Laie said:

About the wing thing: If we can dump contingency vessels and rovers on chutes and only have to do a winged landing for the crew, the phrasing should reflect this.

Will fix.

1 hour ago, Laie said:

Finally, a word on the MH Inflatable Airlock? IMO it should be treated as a command seat.

Oh, and I think that there should be a rule that people have to disclose their landing coordinates. Don't keep that good site to yourself!

Simply because of the bulkiness of the airlock when inflated, I think it can be treated as habitable space, unless anyone argues otherwise.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/29/2019 at 10:22 AM, sevenperforce said:

Tilt-A-Whirl. Launch from the Woomerang launch site rather than the KSC, matching and assembling in the inclined orbit. 

Is it possible to get this bonus without Making History? For example, by using Hyperedit to move launch vehicles to the coordinates? And if so, can we do docking in Kerbin's SOI at a less-inclined angle as long as all fuel/engines/everything used is "payload" and not part of the launch vehicle?

2 hours ago, Laie said:

It seems as if the real point behind "Pro Pilot" is to punish ISRU.

IMO the most difficult part of Pro Pilot is the command seat aspect, which alone is probably worth 15%+. Getting 6 launches and not being allowed to use ISRU with the main crew changes the ISRU equation. It definitely still has advantages depending on mission design but not nearly as much as in a normal weight minimization challenge. All that being said, I wouldn't be opposed to separate ISRU and command seat bonuses.

Also it might be possible to do ISRU with pro pilot, you would just have to bring out an extra Kerbal before hand. The rule states "...before your Kerbals are launched" which might mean the main crew Kerbals, and doing it with a pre-crew pilot Kerbal might be allowed, although this could use some clarification. 

2 hours ago, Laie said:

Same with "no command seats on ascent, landing or SOI transition", which should stand on it's own regardless off crew cabin size. Perhaps 10% for the former, 5% for the latter?

 

Aren't command chairs on SOI transitions explicitly forbidden in the rules? And even if they weren't, 5% seems quite light for this.

2 hours ago, Laie said:

 

Finally, a word on the MH Inflatable Airlock? IMO it should be treated as a command seat.

Agreed on this. EDIT @sevenperforce since this reply was posted seconds after yours, the main reason I'm not a fan of the airlock is from a balance perspective. When lifting is free, weight in interplanetary travel is far more meaningful than size, so it provides a significant advantage. And from a purely selfish perspective, the airlock would shave a lot of weight off of my current working design, but I don't have MH and can't use it.

 

2 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

4 seats in a service bay are 0,5-0,6 tons

Isn't this impossible without significant clipping? Speaking of which, maybe it would be best to elucidate the clipping rules. There seems to be an understood ethos among veterans of which clipping is and isn't acceptable, but there also appears to be some minor variations, and spelling it out would help us noobs.

Edited by bayesian_acolyte

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

Simply because of the bulkiness of the airlock when inflated, I think it can be treated as habitable space, unless anyone argues otherwise.

Running out of time for today, so no pics... Three can be nicely stacked inside a fairing, bumping the gross mass to 200kg / Kerbal in a streamlined package. Add a Mk1 pod on top for convenient control,and you still end up with 1400kg for all three. Plus you gain the convenience of being able to just teleport the Kerbals into the airlocks from whatever hatch is accessible.

I plan to have an airlock near the ground for that precise purpose, access without ladders, and even that feels cheaty towards non-MH players which will have to add a 600kg Lander Can for the same convenience.

 

23 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

Combining a Mk1 crew cabin with a single Mk2 command pod is 2.56 tonnes; you can drive it down to 2.32 tonnes if you stack two lander cans in place of the command pod.

One word: drag. While not as important as many people seem to believe, it is a thing with real effects. Mk1+2Cabins (2.8t) outperforms Mk2+Cabin (2.56t). Not by much, but noticeable in a challenge context.

Edit, to clarify: I've built my rocket around a Mk2+Cabin, so swapping in a Mk1+2Cabins is trivial. The rocket then no longer works because it gains so much speed on the first stage that it burns up at 12km, I'd have to rebalance the fuel between stages or possibly re-design the rocket to make it work. 

By the simple measure of offsetting the initial speed gains against later dV loss, I'd guesstimate that the increased diameter amounts to ~500kg of payload mass. 2.5m lander cans can only be worse, it's probably worthwhile to stack them vertically and pay for a fairing (~2.9t, so the 1.25m stack still wins.).

More Airlock talk: You can also wrap four into a 2.5m fairing, such a bundle including probe core, battery and reaction wheel comes out at under 1 ton.

Edited by Laie

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