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How on earth do a get a rover on the Mun??


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So I'm a veteran with over a thousand hours of playtime and hundreds of mods... Ahh who am I kidding. When it comes to KSP, 1k hours is barely out of noob status!

In any case, I've been playing for a long time, I have a massive spreadsheet where I calculate everything I could ever need other than transfer windows, and I've gone to all the planets many times. There's just one thing I have done. ROVERS.

I've never felt like they're worth it! I've just built little hopping landers and just burn some fuel to visit all the biomes. I never wanted to sit for 30 minutes watching a rover do... nothing. But that all changed when I saw the bon voyage mod! I thought to myself, hey, there's finally an opportunity to make a science rover and be rewarded for it! Sweet!

And then I tried designing a rover... Turns out I'm completely stuck on HOW to land it on the Mun properly. I can't figure out how to make a rover that's fairly stable, but also land it on the mun itself. Do you guys use monoprop? Or twitch/thud engines? I just can't really figure out what configuration of engines, angles, and whatnot to properly land a rover and then ditch the engines/fuel. Do you use more of a helicopter style where the rover is hanging below a larger craft and then it just drops it onto the mun? Idk. I need ideas!

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I tend to use the large pistons from the Breaking Ground DLC and make my lander have really huge landing legs. I then place my rover underneath my ship and then just adjust the pistons so the rover is lower to the ground before undocking/decoupling it. 
 

EDIT: Kinda like this but with pistons instead.

fUoDOtk.png

Edited by MechBFP
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All sorts of ways to get a rover to the Mun, but there's a number of factors involved.

Is the rover a combined lander rover that lands using its own rocket motors?

Is the rover detached (docking port or decoupler) from a lander?

If it's detached from a lander, does that lander have radial mounted engines? If so then a rover can be attached beneath the lander, otherwise, you'll probably want to side mount it.

How big a rover are we talking, a lightweight bugger with a one or two command seats on it, or something with its own habitable part(s) for your kerbals to live in?

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Here's a few examples of mine.

Combined rover/lander.

jATpqiH.jpg

Base mounted detachable.

vsQkOHr.jpg

f9zzMMa.jpg

Side mounted detachable.

G44YGpw.jpg

aaRqMPE.jpg

 

On the Mun it's safe to just drop the rover on to the ground (if a bit inelegant), even if it's side mounted and falling from a few metres up. The main issue with dropping off side mounted rovers is ensuring they land right side up, but plenty of ways to make that likely to happen, or just put RCS onto it to be able to right it if necessary.

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Alternatives, from most pro to most kerbal:

 

1) Attack a carefully planned rover un the bottom of your lander vehicle, make room for the legs!

2) Bring a KIS container with everything you need, an engineer and tools. Make the rover on site.

3) Put wheels in the lander (BEST VALUE)

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It's on my todo list...  presently, I've only done it with a spaceplane and Mk3 hangar.  But I might prefer something dedicated and docked to a Mun orbital station that can transfer goods from surface to station.

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45 minutes ago, Fierce Wolf said:

Alternatives, from most pro to most kerbal:

 

1) Attack a carefully planned rover un the bottom of your lander vehicle, make room for the legs!

2) Bring a KIS container with everything you need, an engineer and tools. Make the rover on site.

3) Put wheels in the lander (BEST VALUE)

I may do it even more Kerbal: my rovers are basically rockets with wheels on the "belly". I land, then use a couple of RCS thrusters placed near the nose for a (semi)controlled tumble to the (hopefully right) side. Some rolling mid-tumble might be needed to avoid landing with the wheels up or to the side. :sticktongue:

Same goes for small bases.

Works 100% of the time most of the time.

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My preferred method is sky crane - this is a pretty large manned rover I landed on Minmus.  A pair of Cubs (from Making History) provided the thrust.  I have the skycrane attached to the rover via a decoupler.  Once I'm landed, I throttle the engines up a little, and stage away the skycrane, letting the engines (and sometimes sepratrons) carry it far away from the rover.  I usually stick a small docking port on top of the sky crane to provide a control point

RuDYqzf.png

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Small unmanned rovers can go inside a service bay in your lander stack. Put one Docking Port Jr. on the roof of the service bay, pointing into the bay, and a 2nd port on the roof of your rover. Undock and drive out of the bay after landing. If you use radial engines the bay can touch down flat on the Mun; bays have good crash tolerance. Another options is to use a short bottom-mounted engine; the rover will drop to the ground when driving out so be careful it doesn't flip over (quicksave before driving).

For larger rovers, others have already posted some good samples.

When I make disposable skycranes, I try to install small radial engines on the rover and also keep some fuel on board. That lets the rover hop over small obstacles while driving. The disposable skycrane part includes the fuel needed for initial deorbit and landing, and maybe additional engines for higher thrust to land.

My most excessive system for delivering a rover was a huge reusable skycrane. I don't have a picture of it but it sort of looked like the rolling cranes used to unload cargo ships. The core was a mk2 lander can with a klaw and KAS winch at the bottom. 4 thin fuel tanks extended sideways from the can in an x-pattern, went out a few meters, then had additional tall fuel tank "legs" that turned downwards. The bottom of each leg had an engine plus the largest rover wheel. The entire skycrane was a flying and rolling rover, but it also had excessive thrust in order to transport other rovers or base modules; the KAS winch was used to raise and lower things to the klaw.

 

 

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If I can, I try to pack my rovers vertically inside inline fairings. That way, I can have regular propulsion at the bottom of the stack, and after I land, I just purposefully tip over, detach the rover on its wheels and roll away the lander.

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20 hours ago, Cavscout74 said:

My preferred method is sky crane - this is a pretty large manned rover I landed on Minmus.  A pair of Cubs (from Making History) provided the thrust.  I have the skycrane attached to the rover via a decoupler.  Once I'm landed, I throttle the engines up a little, and stage away the skycrane, letting the engines (and sometimes sepratrons) carry it far away from the rover.  I usually stick a small docking port on top of the sky crane to provide a control point

RuDYqzf.png

I do like those Cubs for landers...  I was able to make a 2-man Mun lander that fits in a Mk2 cargo bay with a single Cub.  I guess I have to take back all the mean things I've said about the MH expansion now.  There is at least one useful part buried in there. 

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1 hour ago, XLjedi said:

I do like those Cubs for landers

Lately my only landers that don't have either 2 or 4 Cubs are the ones big enough to need Thuds.  Between its intended use as a vernier engine and using it as a lander engine, the Cub has become my favorite small engine

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I built this lil bugger as a sub assembly that can be added to any of my 2.5m craft. Rover weighs in at just over half a ton and just under a ton as an assembly. Can be unloaded and loaded for as many stops as I want or need it for. Includes medium scanning arm along with basic science compliment and 2 kerbal seats or okto2 for self control.

Vw5t1dE.jpg

Most recent lander I had it attached to...

GM8nfQd.jpg

And deployed with Bob at the wheel

YWWjEGb.jpg

Been very useful to me and maybe a design you could try yourself, best of luck to ya 

Shag

Edited by ShaggyTed
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I've had a lot of success integrating my landing thrusters ala the Mako from Mass Effect. I like doing it that way because I can then send the rover ahead of a crewed mission. Alternatively, I've done some R/C Car style rovers that simply go in a service bay and get decoupled.

My most elaborate was dropping a medium sized Malamute rover (from USI) out the back of a cargo spaceplane while aerobreaking at Duna.

Bill: "This is my stop!"

Jeb: "We're not stopping!"

Bill: "What?"

Thunk.

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This is what I do most of the time:

Spoiler

L4kikRV.jpg

It's very simplistic and leaves me with a lot of excess fuel. Just before touch-down I decouple while engines keep burning and let the landing stage fly away to self-destruct later on ground impact.

On bodies like Duna I also slap on chutes, because NASA did so as well.

 

But if you want to do some more hardcore deliveries, you can also build an USAF Osprey using Breaking Ground DLC and fly your rover to Eve!

Spoiler

vo3E81t.png

tB4N94G.png

avhu406.png

Yes, I am showing off, sorry :D

Edited by Shadow dream
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  • 2 weeks later...

When I first have built an all-science-rover, Sputnik, I decided to design SSTO cargo ship to take it everywhere I need it. So I designed Vikhr' SSTO with enough space for three Sputnik or Sputnik-M rovers and six (double just in case of something) KAS struts to attach them. Equipped with two Near Future NTRs, Vikhr' may take off from and land on both atmospheric and non-atmospheric bodies. It handles pretty good in atmosphere, both full and empty, so I can make precise landings on Laythe islands, for instance. Lack of TWR makes it a little hard to take off from Eve, though.

And -- yes, I landed Vikhr'-21 mission with one Sputnik-M rover on Mun just to be sure I can do it :)

P2npZ3v.jpg

I use custom tuned OPT to build spaceplanes, because I like their aesthetics. And their performance, of course.

gkZP581.png

Sputnik-M rover gets into the cargo bay. Yury Kerman awaits his turn to fasten the struts.

8zHUG1f.jpg

Vikhr'-21 on Mun. On non-atmospheric bodies I usually land it as a rocket, burning to retrograde until about 5 meters left above the surface and then performing RCS-assisted turn to the horizon to make safe chassis touchdown.

kzKjYl7.png

Sputnik-M explores landing site surroundings. Vikhr'-21 waits the completion of its mission to take it home.

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I haven't done a whole lot with rovers. The first time I tried was when I was still a noob, and I put a small rover underneath a Munar lander on my first career game. But I didn't give it enough ground clearance, the wheels broke, and I didn't have an engineer with enough experience to fix them. I ended up abandoning the rover on the surface, and switched to using hopper-style landers.

I do have a couple I'm proud of though. This one is a hybrid rover/lander with a small mining rig and ore scanner.

jXiW2iV.png

spRgNpP.png

More recently, I made this science rover with Breaking Ground parts, delivered to the Mun inside a large shuttle.

5eDGVco.png

PrjqvV5.png

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

EDIT: The robotic Rover with Skycrane requires the Breaking Ground DLC and isn't stock. My bad. And it's obviously on Eve but can easily go to the Mun too.

Two Options:

Apollo-Style (requires the Making History DLC):

Rover with Skycrane (requires the Breaking Ground DLC):

 

If you play on Steam you can download them here:

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1728759912

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1858970301

Edited by derbleifuss
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Generally I just use sky-cranes but I think from here on I'll be using pistons with docking ports on the end of them (Thanks to some ideas gained from you guys :D). This'll give me the option to reattach the rover later if I so desire. (Although on later thought, I think that'll only really come in handy when using a multi-planetary SSTO Mothership capable of delivering it... Maybe I'll do this the next time I go to Duna?)

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Usually, having some kind of stageable booster for the rover. If it's something more complex like a colony building effort, I also make a craft that can be refueled and then reorbit rovers and ore or fuel tanks as needed.

Edited by Pds314
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  • 3 weeks later...

Wow...You guys really impress me with your over-the-top-ideas and ingenuity. My method of sending a rover to the mun is just slapping it onto the side of my lander via docking ports. As for getting it off safely, I just chuck some reaction wheels on it and call it good.   

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