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Shuttle Challenge v6 - The STS thread [Stock and Mod Friendly] New missions available!


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5 hours ago, sturmhauke said:

Your mission looks good overall, but I'm not sure about that fuel pod

The fuel pod weighs something like 39.96 tons I think. Plus the main shuttle itself is completely full in orbit because I went overboard on the boosters, so it's basically as if I'm delivering 100+ tons to orbit (fully loaded shuttle + fuel pod)

STS-3 submission

vrJUP63.png

Ascent

7ePl9nH.png

Booster drop

eGwrX0t.png

Plane change and circularization

uGqmC6p.png

Bill grabs the solar panels from the cargo container

PZeqqW0.png

Telescope has RCS thrusters for station keeping. Bill welds the solar panels onto the rocket

L8Zd10W.png

The infrared telescope is fully deployed

PfIBKkf.png

Descent

D0m16Pi.png

Landed

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5 hours ago, sturmhauke said:

There's something weird happening with your video link. The embedded video won't play, and clicking on it doesn't go to the video, just the YouTube front page. I had to find it on your channel. Might want to check your links.

Technical issues aside, looks like a well-executed mission, and you got a decently large spud. Good work!

A68R63E.png

Thanks! I just tested the embedded video in Firefox and Chrome and it works for both.

Not sure what was happening there but I removed the video from my post and re-added it hoping that this fixes whatever was broken.

 

As it is the same install / modlist and my craft is still (and will remain to be) pure stock I'd like to use the golden version of the banner if that is ok with you.

Evidence: https://kerbalx.com/Fulgora/STS-v4-STS-9

 

I have removed the unused part-mods for my STS Mun-1 mission and did some general cleanup of my install... just in case :wink:

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On 1/17/2021 at 7:26 AM, camacju said:

The fuel pod weighs something like 39.96 tons I think. Plus the main shuttle itself is completely full in orbit because I went overboard on the boosters, so it's basically as if I'm delivering 100+ tons to orbit (fully loaded shuttle + fuel pod)

I'll let it go, but please try to get screenshots of all required mission parameters.

SqFdIsd.png

 

I see you're using the new 1.11 attachments for STS-3. Looks good, Commander!

RLAcd9v.png

On 1/17/2021 at 8:39 AM, Fulgora said:

As it is the same install / modlist and my craft is still (and will remain to be) pure stock I'd like to use the golden version of the banner if that is ok with you.

Evidence: https://kerbalx.com/Fulgora/STS-v4-STS-9

Right, sorry. Here you go!

oQVsUD5.png

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I have taken my Shuttle on a trip to the Mun, deploying the first part of the base:

In case Youtube botched the embedded video again here is a direct link.

 

Even though this STS Mun-1 mission did not require a high latitude deployment I have chosen to make the science lab a part of the future base.

Once I had figured out which engine settings to use on the Mun landing and takeoff (part of the design phase of the payload) the actual execution of the mission was very easy (no reloads required on the Mun). The base itself sits at 59.40°N. I did scout a place at 60° but realized that I stopped in the wrong spot only after editing was done. So I hope this is not a problem. I could of course drive / fly the module to 60° but since this spot is very level and only a hundred meters or so off the requirement for STS Mun-2-4 I hope that this will still qualify and that I can leave my base where it is without becoming a gatecrasher for the commanders level badge. If I need to move the module up north a few meters please let me know @sturmhauke.

In the end I did massively overshoot the KSC and upon realizing that I decided to take my chances at the Island instead. So the island landing  was not planned but just happened accidentally. It took a few tries though but to my surprise the island runway is actually flat now - the last time I used that runway (a long long time ago) it was very bumpy and difficult to land on. I believe this was actually the first return from Orbit to the island runway I have ever done. With the successful island landing I am now quite confident to be able to also stick a desert runway landing and might go for that in the future :cool:

Completion of the base will take some time as its quite a few launches and I don't have much time for editing at the moment.

KerbalX link: https://kerbalx.com/Fulgora/STS-v4-STS-Mun-1  <-- This is a  pure stock craft, just saying :P.

 

Mod-List (as per usual for compliance reasons etc.):

Spoiler

Astrogator v0.10.2
BetterBurnTime 1.10
BetterCrewAssignment 1.4
BreakingGround-DLC 1.5.1
CameraTools v1.14.0
Chatterer 0.9.99
ChattererExtended 0.6.2
ClickThroughBlocker 1:0.1.10.14
CommNetAntennasInfo 3.0.2
DockingPortAlignmentIndicator 6.9.1
DynamicBatteryStorage 2:2.1.10.0
EnvironmentalVisualEnhancements 3:1.10.1-3
EnvironmentalVisualEnhancements-HR 2:EVE-1.2.2-1
KerbalAlarmClock v3.13.0.0
KerbalChangelog v1.3.0
KerbalEngineerRedux 1.1.7.2
KerbalJointReinforcementContinued v3.5.1
KerbalXMod 1.1.0
Kopernicus 2:release-1.9.1-13
KXAPI 1.2.0
MakingHistory-DLC 1.10.1
MechJeb2 2.11.0.0
ModularFlightIntegrator 1.2.7.0
ModuleManager 4.1.4
Parallax 1.1.1b
PlanetShine 0.2.6.3
PlanetShine-Config-Default 0.2.6.3
ProjectManager v2.4
RealPlume 2:v13.3.2
RealPlume-StockConfigs v4.0.3
ReentryParticleEffect 1.9.1.1
Scatterer 3:v0.0632
Scatterer-config 3:v0.0632
Scatterer-sunflare 3:v0.0632
ShipManifest 6.0.2.0
SmartParts 1.9.16
SmokeScreen 2.8.14.0
SpaceTuxLibrary 0.0.4.1
Toolbar 1:1.8.0.5
ToolbarController 1:0.1.9.4
TrackingStationEvolved 6.0
TriggerAu-Flags v2.10.0.0
WaypointManager 2.8.2.6
ZeroMiniAVC 1:1.1.0.1

 

Edited by Fulgora
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On 1/23/2021 at 8:58 AM, Fulgora said:

I have taken my Shuttle on a trip to the Mun, deploying the first part of the base:

In case Youtube botched the embedded video again here is a direct link.

 

Even though this STS Mun-1 mission did not require a high latitude deployment I have chosen to make the science lab a part of the future base.

Once I had figured out which engine settings to use on the Mun landing and takeoff (part of the design phase of the payload) the actual execution of the mission was very easy (no reloads required on the Mun). The base itself sits at 59.40CN. I did scout a place at 60° but realized that I stopped in the wrong spot only after editing was done. So I hope this is not a problem. I could of course drive / fly the module to 60° but since this spot is very level and only a hundred meters or so off the requirement for STS Mun-2-4 I hope that this will still qualify and that I can leave my base where it is without becoming a gatecrasher for the commanders level badge. If I need to move the module up north a few meters please let me know @sturmhauke.

In the end I did massively overshoot the KSC and upon realizing that I decided to take my chances at the Island instead. So the island landing  was not planned but just happened accidentally. It took a few tries though but to my surprise the island runway is actually flat now - the last time I used that runway (a long long time ago) it was very bumpy and difficult to land on. I believe this was actually the first return from Orbit to the island runway I have ever done. With the successful island landing I am now quite confident to be able to also stick a desert runway landing and might go for that in the future :cool:

Completion of the base will take some time as its quite a few launches and I don't have much time for editing at the moment.

KerbalX link: https://kerbalx.com/Fulgora/STS-v4-STS-Mun-1  <-- This is a  pure stock craft, just saying :P.

 

Mod-List (as per usual for compliance reasons etc.):

  Reveal hidden contents

Astrogator v0.10.2
BetterBurnTime 1.10
BetterCrewAssignment 1.4
BreakingGround-DLC 1.5.1
CameraTools v1.14.0
Chatterer 0.9.99
ChattererExtended 0.6.2
ClickThroughBlocker 1:0.1.10.14
CommNetAntennasInfo 3.0.2
DockingPortAlignmentIndicator 6.9.1
DynamicBatteryStorage 2:2.1.10.0
EnvironmentalVisualEnhancements 3:1.10.1-3
EnvironmentalVisualEnhancements-HR 2:EVE-1.2.2-1
KerbalAlarmClock v3.13.0.0
KerbalChangelog v1.3.0
KerbalEngineerRedux 1.1.7.2
KerbalJointReinforcementContinued v3.5.1
KerbalXMod 1.1.0
Kopernicus 2:release-1.9.1-13
KXAPI 1.2.0
MakingHistory-DLC 1.10.1
MechJeb2 2.11.0.0
ModularFlightIntegrator 1.2.7.0
ModuleManager 4.1.4
Parallax 1.1.1b
PlanetShine 0.2.6.3
PlanetShine-Config-Default 0.2.6.3
ProjectManager v2.4
RealPlume 2:v13.3.2
RealPlume-StockConfigs v4.0.3
ReentryParticleEffect 1.9.1.1
Scatterer 3:v0.0632
Scatterer-config 3:v0.0632
Scatterer-sunflare 3:v0.0632
ShipManifest 6.0.2.0
SmartParts 1.9.16
SmokeScreen 2.8.14.0
SpaceTuxLibrary 0.0.4.1
Toolbar 1:1.8.0.5
ToolbarController 1:0.1.9.4
TrackingStationEvolved 6.0
TriggerAu-Flags v2.10.0.0
WaypointManager 2.8.2.6
ZeroMiniAVC 1:1.1.0.1

 

Looking good! And a nice landing at an alternate site too! The base latitude is fine, if you round up it's 60°N. Good job Commander! (I remembered the right badge this time lol)

dp7pOFU.png

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  • 1 month later...

It's been a bit quiet in here. Is this challenge still going?

Inspired by the most Kerbal of all the Shuttle-derived launch vehicles, Boeing's SRB-X concept (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9LfDM0l-XY) I built a Space Shuttle that is fully powered by Solid Rocket Boosters. To demonstrate its capabilities, I flew mission SRS-1b to deploy the 40 ton Sturmhauke Aerospace Industries fuel pod into circular low Kerbin orbit. To fine-tune my orbit I carried a pair of sepratrons on separators, but it turned out I did not need them, as I got a bit lucky with the orbital insertion: during testing I got AP and PE within a few 100 meters of each other, but this flight I managed to get them within 10 meters. I used another pair of heavily derated sepratrons to do the separation burn before deorbiting and landing on the KSC runway.

 

Edited by QF9E
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I've been trying to do mission STS-2b with my Solid Rocket powered Shuttle. Docking with SRBs only is hard! Last attempt was my best yet: I missed by just 8.5 meters  and I did not have any motors left to do course corrections. I don't want to use endless numbers of heavily derated sepratrons as that would defy the purpose of the challenge. The idea is to execute all maneuvers precisely enough that you don't need a lot of course corrections. I'll keep trying but in the meantime:

IM7m7oR.png

 

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I completed mission SRS-2b with my solid rocket shuttle. I launched an improved version of my shuttle into low kerbin orbit before rendez-vousing and docking with the pod. Afterwards I deorbited and landed on the KSC runway. To be able to perform variable delta-v maneuvers with solid rocket motors, I included two sets of motors on separators, so that I could separate them while they were running. I used this technique for the rendez-vous burn that fine-tuned my intersection distance and for the initial braking burn that completes the rendez-vous.

Even with these variable delta-v solid rocket motors it took numerous attempts to get to a precise rendez-vous and docking. In order to dock I first caught the satellite inside the payload bay by closing the payload bay doors, before letting the docking ports (whose attraction force I had set to maximum) pull the payload towards the shuttle. In order to position the shuttle "payload bay first" towards the satellite I had embedded an additional probe core in the floor of the cargo bay, with which I controlled the shuttle during the docking maneuver.

The landing was a bit iffy - with a 40 ton payload onboard this Shuttle design does not fly very well, and the landing gear brakes aren't really up to the job either. But fortunately I was able to keep her on the runway all the way to wheel stop.

 

Edited by QF9E
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On 3/27/2021 at 1:12 PM, Rocketry101 said:

um benjee shuttle orbiter allowed? ( i use a mod that alters engines a fuel tanks to make realsitc vaules because i use RSS)

Yeah that will be fine. I have some RSS badges ready to go. If you manage to get past the Mars (Duna) missions, I'll have to make some new ones.

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@QF9E, that is some truly impressive work! I've done some crazy stuff in this game, but never docked with something in orbit using SRBs only.

You already have the mission badges and even the rare Skunkworks badge, so there's not much left I can give you. Maybe you'll inspire more people to do missions.

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2 hours ago, sturmhauke said:

@QF9E, that is some truly impressive work! I've done some crazy stuff in this game, but never docked with something in orbit using SRBs only.

You already have the mission badges and even the rare Skunkworks badge, so there's not much left I can give you. Maybe you'll inspire more people to do missions.

A fellow KSP player's appreciation is more than enough reward for me :). I've got some more Solid Rocket Shuttle missions in the planning stage, hope you don't mind me sharing them here. I might even attempt to build a space station using nothing but SRBs, as I don't yet have the unmodded badge for that mission.

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I used my Solid Rocket Shuttle to deploy a keostationary comsat constellation, as per mission SRS-2a. I exclusively used SRBs throughout the mission, as is the idea of my Solid Rocket Shuttle series. I launched my shuttle to Low Kerbin Orbit, where I deployed a satellite dispenser with 3 comsats. I then maneuvered the dispenser onto its deployment orbit, with apoapsis equal to keostationary height and a period of 2/3 of the sidereal rotation period of Kerbin. At each apoapsis of the dispenser I then deployed a single satellite, resulting in an even distribution of the comsats around Kerbin. Afterwards I deorbited my shuttle before landing on the KSC runway.

Even though I used SRBs throughout, I managed to get the comsat orbits reasonably close to keostationary:

  • Inclination 0.4 degrees. A bit on the high side for my tastes, and I could have brought an extra SRB stage to correct it, but hopefully this will fulfil the mission
  • Apoapsis of 2683.6 km, which is a little bit high: ideal apoapsis height is 2863.3 km
  • Period of the deployment orbit: 3 hrs 59 min 37 seconds. This is 11 seconds over the ideal value of 2/3 times the sidereal rotation period of Kerbin. I only realized when writing this post that I made an error in my calculations - I aimed for a value of 3 hrs 59 min 36 seconds, so I forgot to carry a 10 when calculating the seconds, This means that the satellites are a bit less evenly spread around Kerbin than I would have wanted, although this is not really visible in the tracking screen.
  • Period of the comsat orbits: 5 hrs 59 min 10 seconds for all three comsats, which is about 0.6 second longer than the ideal value.

Anyway, here's the video:

 

Edited by QF9E
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I managed to complete the STS-5-8 challenge by assembling a space station in 4 launches at 350km. I decided to switch from the skylon to a much simpler vertically-launched spaceplane for this challenge because launching 4 of the  skylons was quite a hassle. My orbital rendez-vous skills aren't great, so getting an encounter with the station took a whole 5 burns once, but I got it eventually xD. The spaceplane also ended up being a bit difficult to pilot because, despite being relatively stable, it lost speed very quickly.

 

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@WojjyLooks very nice! One reason that I can see why your shuttle does not fly very well inside the atmosphere is the open construction, which induces a lot of drag. At the same time it looks pretty unique and re-using the same Mk3 shuttle parts again and again is quite boring, so kudos for doing something different.

I noticed that your NERV engines do not fire through the center of mass of your craft,  which results in rotation of your craft during engine burns and deviations from its ideal path. I wonder if that contributes to the difficulties you experienced in executing a rendezvous.

For most rocket engines this isn't that big of a deal as the SAS system will automatically compensate using engine gimballing, but NERVs do not gimbal. You might be able to improve handling of your craft by either shifting the NERVs upwards a bit or angling them down slightly. The mod Kerbal Engineering Redux shows the amount of torque that your engines exert on your craft in the VAB, try to get this as close to zero as possible to avoid unwanted rotation of your craft in flight.

 

Edited by QF9E
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@QF9E Yep, the open construction certainly isn't very aerodynamic. Also, while putting the engines higher would certainly remove rotation, this wasn't really a problem because the large reaction wheel managed to keep the shuttle relatively straight.

I took a look at your solid fuel rocket shuttle, and it is genuinely insane how you managed to place the satellites in such a precise orbit without being able to throttle. I also love the massive fins on the front of the shuttle, reminiscent of the TU-144.

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2 minutes ago, Wojjy said:

I took a look at your solid fuel rocket shuttle, and it is genuinely insane how you managed to place the satellites in such a precise orbit without being able to throttle. I also love the massive fins on the front of the shuttle, reminiscent of the TU-144.

Thank you! It took quite a bit of experimentation to get the propellant loadouts exactly right, but that's part of the challenge for me.

The main trick was to get the deployment orbit of the dispenser exactly right. Once I was able to obtain the exact same deployment orbit repeatedly I could fine-tune the propellant loadouts of the satellites to the point that their orbital periods are correct to within a single second. You'll notice that the satellite dispenser has a couple of sepratrons on separators, which gave me the capability of canceling their thrust at the correct time.

It also helps to separate the satellites in the normal direction and set the separation force to 1%: the force of separation will change the orbit of both your satellite and your dispenser. Only slightly, but enough that the process is no longer repeatable. But if you separate in the normal direction you will only perturb inclination, and only by a little bit. 

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I completed mission SRS-3 with my Solid Rocket Shuttle. I designed a couple of MMUs - fully powered by solid rocket motors, obviously, to attach the solar panels to my telescope. Since I don't allow any propulsion other than solid rocket motors I am not allowed to use the Kerbonauts' EMUs. Hence I designed an elaborate system of ladders to get my Kerbonauts to and from the MMUs. After telescope deployment I deorbited my shuttle and landed on the KSC runway.

 

Edited by QF9E
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18 minutes ago, s_gamer101 said:

@QF9ECan you also dock with your SRB Shuttle?

Yes: see my earlier post on mission 2b. I'm currently designing SRS-4 and SRS-4R that must also rendez-vous and dock to move the passengers from one to the other.

Note, however, that each SRB shuttle is subtly different. It's not a universal design. For instance, the SRS-3 version is unable to rendez-vous.

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SRS-4 / 4R: so close, but no cigar. Relative speed is a bit high for the docking ports to latch, even with their docking force maximised. After the collision, both shuttles rebound with a relative speed of about 0.6 to 0.7 m/s. Without the benefit of cargo bays that you can close around the target, docking two spacecraft using SRB only is even harder.

2WjD2NC.png

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After a few more tries I managed to dock the two shuttles! I launched the fist shuttle into a 439 x 439 km circular orbit with an inclination of about 27.8 degrees, and then launched a second shuttle into the same orbit, docked both craft, moved all crew and passengers of the first shuttle to the seond one before landing on the KSC runway. Some notes:

  • I built a passenger variant of my Solid Rocket Shuttle just for this mission. The first Shuttle launched with 2 flight crew and 8 tourists, while the second one launched with just two flight crew. This one then landed with all 12 Kerbals from both shuttles on board.
  • As I do not allow myself to use anything other than solid rocket motors, I could not use the Kerbonauts' EMU. Moreover, 8 of my Kerbals were tourists, which cannot go on EVA. Hence, the only way to transfer all Kerbals was to dock both shuttles. I installed shielded docking ports in the nose of both shuttles, and docked with those. As these shielded docking ports have quite a high temperature tolerance, I feel that this is a good way to cover the nose of a Mk3 Shuttle craft - the standard nose cones have a tendency to burn up during re-entry.
  • I launched the second shuttle exactly 1 sidereal day after the first one - the first one I launched at 0:00:00, while the second one launched at 05:59:09 on the same day - to ensure optimum alignment between both orbits. I also rotated both shuttles on the pad, so that they would fly exactly the same trajectory. While this shuttle can do a roll program, I found it hard to fly the exact same roll program twice in a row. I managed to get them within 0.1 degree of each other, so this technique was entirely successful.
  • I tried to avoid the "infinite sepratrons" method of docking with SRBs. My second shuttle had exactly two sets of rendez-vous motors, one to get a close encounter, and the second one to match speeds. Both shuttles were also equipped with a single set of docking motors with which I could fine-tune the intersection distance and dock both craft. My speed at docking was on the high side, at 1.9 m/s, but when I aligned both shuttles carefully, docking did occur.

This was by far the hardest challenge yet. Launching to the same, inclined, medium altitude orbit twice with just SRBs turned out to be much harder than I had anticipated.

 

Edited by QF9E
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