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The amazing "Eve rocks" challenge - a mission report

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Over the past week or so I have been doing the Eve rocks challenge:

And what an amazing challenge this has turned out to be. To recap, the challenge asks you to do one of the following:

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Level 1 (I Did It!: +300 points): Land on the surface of eve, collect a surface sample, and return and land back on kerbin safely.

Level 2 (Back For Seconds: +550 points): Land on eve 's surface, but at a surface altitude of 2500m or less, collect 2 surface samples, and return back to kerbin

Level 3 (Eve AND Gilly: +825 points): Land and collect a sample from eve, then land on Gilly and collect a surface sample, then return back to kerbin safely

Level 4 (Ore From Eve: +1250 points): Land on eve and collect 25 ore with mining equipment and then return to kerbin safely, surface sample optional

Level 5 (The Ultimate Challenge: +1500 points): Land in eve's oceans, collect a sample, then collect a sample from the surface, and return to kerbin safely, gilly sample optional

Additional points can be scored if your mission satisfies one or more criteria for efficiency / difficulty:

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Rocket Weighs 0-500 Tons: +250 points, Rocket Weighs 500-1000 Tons: +175 Points, Rocket Weighs 1000-2000 Tons: +100 points, Rocket Weighs 2500+ Tons: +50 points

Rocket Costs 0 - 250k funds: +250 points, Rocket Costs 250 - 500k funds: +175 points, Rocket Costs 500k - 1 million funds: +100 points, Rocket Costs 2 million+ funds: +75 points

Mission Completed in under 300 days: +250 points, Mission completed in 300-400 days: +125 points, Mission completed in 500+ Days: +25 points

ISRU Used: +225 points, ISRU  not used: +325 points

I chose to make the challenge even harder for myself by doing multiple levels in a single mission. In short, I collected 4 surface samples AND 25 ore from Eveas well as 1 surface sample from Gilly.

Spoiler

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Sample #1: Splashed in the Crater Lake

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Sample #2: Landed in the Crater Lake (by standing on top of my craft)

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On the way to collect sample #3 (I don't have a screenshot of the actual sample-taking, unfortunately). Sample #3: Splashed in the Impact Ejecta

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Sample #4: Landed at Impact Ejecta

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Drilling for ore. We did not use ore for ISRU, we collected it to take home to Kerbin. This, in my view, is the hardest part of the challenge, despite not being the highest level: the extra 250 kg ore make it significantly harder to get back into Eve orbit.

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Sample #5: landed at Gilly's Highlands

All with a craft with mass of 477 tons which cost 235046 credits.

Spoiler

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And I did not use ISRU, other than drilling for 25 ore. I did not try to optimize mission time, my mission lasted for more than 2 years. 

All this means that I completed Levels 1, 3, 4 and 5 simultaneously, with separate samples for each mission. As far as the score goes, this gets me 1500 + 250 + 250 + 325 + 25 = 2350 points from completing level 5. I have no idea if I am allowed to add the points for the other completed levels to the total, so I'll leave it at that.

I've written a full mission report here: https://imgur.com/a/di5MCog.

And finally, a heartfelt THANK YOU to Johnster_Space_Program, for running this awesome challenge.

 

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