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SpaceLiner Challenge


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Since the first planes evolved, kerbals always wanted to ride them without flying them. Then, they were able too with the airliner. But ever since the founding of the Kerbal Space Center, kerbals have wanted to go to space without all the training. Well, let’s see if they can!

CHALLENGE- Build 1 (or many) passenger SSTO’s that fit with the rules, categories, and qualifications.


The craft must be an SSTO that takes off from the runway and lands on a runway (doesn’t need to be KSC, modded runways allowed).

The craft must have pilot(s) and flight attendants unless stated.

The craft must be able to land on and return from the destination.

No mods or DLC’s involved in the craft. MechJeb autopilot not allowed, though orbital information and planners are allowed. Visual and informational mods allowed. 

No cheating with hyperedit, debug menu, etc.

Craft must be of your own design. 

Please post the craft launch cost (cost displayed in SPH minus amount gained in recovery).


When posting, please put your: company name, type of category,  launch cost, passenger/crew/pilot count, and Delta V amount. Also include at least 3 pictures proving the functionality of the craft. 



Private SpaceLiner: 2-6 passenger capacity, 1 crew, 1-2 pilots. Destinations- Mun, Minmus, Gilly, Ike.

Small SpaceLiner- 12-36 passenger capacity, 2 crew, 2-3 pilots. Destinations- Mun, Minmus, Gilly, Ike, Duna, Dres. 

Medium SpaceLiner- 37-55 passenger capacity, 3-4 crew, 2-3 pilots. Destinations- Mun, Minmus, Gilly, Ike, Duna, Dres, Eeloo.

Large SpaceLiner- 56-125 passenger capacity, 5-7 crew, 3-4 pilots. Destinations- Mun, Minmus, Gilly, Ike, Duna, Dres, Eeloo, Pol, Bop, Val. 

Huge SpaceLiner- 125-250 passengers, 6-10 crew, 4 pilots. Destinations- Mun, Minmus, Gilly, Ike, Duna, Dres, Eeloo, Pol, Bop, Val, Laythe, Tylo, Moho.

Super SpaceLiner- 250+ passenger capacity, 12-30 crew, 4-7 pilots. Destinations- Mun, Minmus, Gilly, Ike, Duna, Dres, Eeloo, Pol, Bop, Val, Laythe, Tylo, Moho, and Eve (if you dare).


ADDED NOTES: The stated destinations does not mean you can only visit those places. As an example, you can take a private SpaceLiner to Ike, refuel, go to Duna, back to Ike, refuel, and go home as if they are connection flights.

When I see a craft that catches my eye, I will ask for further details and/or craft file. If it is up the the highest standards, then it will go onto the Best SpaceLiners Leaderboard. Have fun designing and flying!


Best SpaceLiners Leaderboard


Edited by DRAG0Nmon
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  • 2 months later...
On 9/15/2019 at 10:58 PM, DRAG0Nmon said:

MechJeb not allowed. Visual and informational mods allowed.

While I agree with the banning of mods that provide extra parts (and straight-up teleport you), I don't with you banning MJ since I made it standard-issue for all my spacecraft.

  • And, according to my experience, for good reason. Besides, spacecraft in the real world use computers like that to navigate.


Why is MJ not allowed? It has other purposes besides the autopilot; some of the most useful ones would arguably fall under the "informational" section. These functions include, but are not limited to:

  • Orbit info
    • Useful during the initial ascent to LKO, especially when you read the apoapsis height.
    • You will know instantly if your periapsis falls below or above the atmospheric height without having to switch the orbital info on and off all the time.
      • Plus, you know if your apoapsis is getting closer or farther away after your rapiers run out and you're stuck with rockets with a TWR of <1
  • Surface info
    • You can get more precise readings of surface and sea-level altitudes without having to switch altimeter modes.
    • It can supply your vertical speed so you know if you're in trouble during the initial ascent.
      • Also giving the user a more accurate reading of when the plane is starting to drop/rise.
    • Your current geographical coordinates are displayed whenever this function is on
  • Rover autopilot waypoint info.
    • I used it in the Neptune III missions so I know how close I am to my targets.
      • Don't worry, it's useless in the air.
  • Delta-V gauge
    • Sure, the regular game has it already, but my experience has led me to trust MJ's gauge more than I trust the in-game one.
    • It also comes with TWRs for each stage.
      • I can also see whether or not it's increasing/decreasing for the jets during the initial ascent.
  • Vessel info
    • I can see the maximum acceleration, thrust, and the mass at any moment so I know if I have the proper TWR for a celestial body.
      • Although it also comes with a TWR feature.
    • It also comes with a crew capacity tab, so you can see proof on how many people my SSTOs can carry.


Besides that, the aircraft autopilot functions are useless on Kerbin (or Laythe, for that matter). The only time I ever use it is to see how far away I am from the KSC; whenever I used the "autopilot" features, I ended up losing control and spinning around instead.


Overall, I've only ever used MJ for the:

  • Ascent guidance
    • Useless for planes
  • Maneuver planner (CAN'T GO WITHOUT)
  • Rendezvous autopilot
  • Docking autopilot
    • Although, you're probably not looking for a docking-capable plane in this case.
  • Orbit info
  • Surface info
  • Vessel info
    • This is very useful for the "presentation" part of the challenge.
  • Delta-V gauge
  • Landing autopilot
    • More or less useless for celestial bodies with atmospheres.
  • Aircraft approach and autoland
    • But ONLY to see the distance from the KSC. Everything else is useless.
  • Rover autopilot
    • But ONLY to see the distance between me and the target.




On 9/15/2019 at 10:58 PM, DRAG0Nmon said:

The craft must have pilot(s) and flight attendants unless stated.

Can it also be able to fly without any pilots at all? Aside from the fact that probe cores and antennae of at least 2G are mandatory for my SSTOs, I have placed relays everywhere in my career save. Do I still need to include a pilot when I tally my capacity, because I honestly don't need any at this point.

  • Also, what qualifies as a "flight attendant?" Can an engineer count, because they have proven extremely useful when refueling the planes.
  • What do you mean by "unless stated?"


On 9/15/2019 at 10:58 PM, DRAG0Nmon said:

When posting, please put your: company name

We can make these up on our own, right? Should our flag also be that of our made-up company, or can we use the in-game ones?


On 9/15/2019 at 10:58 PM, DRAG0Nmon said:

Please post the craft launch cost (cost displayed in SPH) and cost per ticket per passenger. Overall money from tickets must be greater that launch cost.

By how much must ticket revenue exceed launch cost? What are the minimum and maximum boundaries for the launch cost percent.

  • Realistically speaking, companies wouldn't want to sell a good/service if they only get a specified amount of money (e.g. $10 profit regardless of price, which is very annoying if the good/service in question is very expensive).
    • Profit = {REVENUE = (Launch cost - (10% launch cost))} - {LAUNCH COST} = 10% Launch Cost 
  • Then again, we can't make tickets too pricey either.


EXAMPLE: ticket revenue must also include a profit of 15% - 50% of the launch cost.


On 9/15/2019 at 10:58 PM, DRAG0Nmon said:

2-6 passenger capacity, 1 crew, 1-2 pilots.

Okay, I can see how this can be misinterpreted. Does it mean that the craft should be able to:

  • Hold 2-6 people total, with at least 1 pilot and 1 other non-tourist crewmember
    • Can pilots also count as "crew" and the pilot at the same time?
  • Hold 4-9 people total, with:
    • 2-6 tourists
    • 1 kerbalnaut
    • 1-2 pilots
      • Honestly, do you really need more than 1 (let alone 2) pilots per spacecraft? If a spacecraft with more than one pilot loses control and one pilot ends up dead, odds are the others are either dead or stranded.


I have three working SSTO models (2 Private, 1 Small) that I would like to enter in this competition. If you want a preview of them in action, please visit these posts.

  • Mun Hopper
    • Read the parts mentioning "Mun Hopper" and "Neptune III" for further information about that specific craft in action.
  • Dirtblood
  • Poseidon*
    • Late in the Neptune Mission Files entries, but it's now being used as a tourist transport while official KSP members conduct their surface mission
      • I also made a docking-capable modified variant of this plane. 


What do you think? I hope these planes qualify for the Spaceliner Challenge, because I've already commissioned them as tourist transports in my career save. Plus, they're the only working interplanetary spaceplanes I have, so you need to accept them if you want me to show more.

* the Poseidon craft known as Neptune IV hasn't made its burn to Duna yet, but I'm confident in its ability to land on Ike and make it to Laythe with ease.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry I haven’t been able to get back to you, I have been on a vacation and haven’t had much WiFi access. Now to answer your question:

Flight attendant means someone who is not a passenger, nor someone who flies the plane. They can be any type of kerbal, with the exception of tourist. They can be a pilot, but can’t be flying.

You can use in-game company names and flags or make up your own if you want.

2-6 passengers means 2-6 kerbals that do not take part in the flight (not an attendant or pilot).

Pilots with the addition of probe cores are allowed, but not solely probe cores. I only made this rule for realism, as some people would not be okay with a self-driving car with no human to keep it on the road if things go wonky. 

Mun Hopper and Dirtblood look pretty good and functional too, though I haven’t really been able to take a good thorough look at them through in-packing. I will soon!

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  • 3 weeks later...

@DRAG0Nmon, here's my first entry for the Spaceliner Challenge.





Manufacturing Company

Hyper Speed


Small Spaceliner

Launch Cost

(NO MODS) :funds:392,259

Occupant Capacity

20 Total

-       4-5 crew (minimum)

-       15-16 passengers (maximum)


~ 5,000 m/s (on NERVs alone when liquid fuel tanks full)

-       Has docking port underneath for refueling craft and transferring tourists to landers.

Additional Functions

-       Science

-       Ore Harvesting (2 x Drill-O-Matic)

-       Ore Conversion (1 x Covert-O-Tron 250)

-       Cabin ejection abort protocol (nonexistent in docking-capable model)


(Docking-capable variant exists)


Here are some more pictures of the Poseidon in action.



  • Taking off after refueling on Minmus. The rapiers were used for the initial parking orbit before getting into high-Kerbin orbit. Later, the plane would then make its node to Minmus
    • Or fly back to Kerbin, depending on the plan.



  • Image of the docking-capable variant in HKO
  • Designed as a Laythe Ascent Vehicle.



  • The (regular) Poseidon getting ready for takeoff after refueling on Ike.
    • Kyle Outpost on the right.
  • No, the plane can't land on Duna on NERVs alone --> not to mention too risky. That is why there's a docking port on the bottom, so that landers that I placed on Duna A LONG TIME AGO can dock with the plane.



  • Another reason the underside docking port exists is so that the plane can be refueled while in orbit.
  • For good measure, this ore transport is refueling the plane to maximum liquid fuel capacity so that it's a straight shot to Jool from Duna orbit.



  • Gralin Kerman over Tylo, restoring the goo container during a fly-by of the moon.
  • The Poseidon has a ladder in the drill compartment so that a scientist can access the goo container from underneath.



  • Jeb Kerman floating outside the cockpit as the plane is passing over Laythe's north pole.



  • Flying through Laythe at supersonic speed. Its immense size may reduce maneuverability, but it was mainly designed for long-range flight (including atmospheric).
  • Took a while, but Jeb managed to regain control.



  • Bill and Bob on Laythe's surface after the plane landed.



  • Landing approach on another island. Those tourists aren't going to fly themselves around the first moon of Jool.


The plane in the pictures above is still on Laythe right now.

The next few pictures pertain to an earlier design that was later scrapped due to aerodynamic issues, but you get the idea.



  • The first successful model landing on the KSC runway with its drag chutes deployed.
  • Two ladders are placed in the back so engineers can repack them for later. Don't deploy them too early or you'll end up in a nose dive to the ground.



  • A test of the cabin ejection system, to be used only on Kerbin in case of emergencies.
    • Though this plane's design was ultimately rejected, the cabin ejector still exists in the current model.
      • But not the docking-capable one.




For more details on what this bad boy can do, read the Neptune Mission Files starting at the entry from Y47D80. As you can see, it is more than capable of flying to Laythe


Act now, and you can get a (Moho-capable) Mass Ore Transport to go with your Poseidon.

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