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Shuttle Challenge v6 - The STS thread [Stock and Mod Friendly] Now with RSS badges!


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Quick update....

I designed (in my opinion) a pretty cool Mun base, consisting of three modules, which is assembled by a robotic arm on the surface. Programming the arm and testing took a couple of hours, and when I was happy with it and installed the arm subassembly into the shuttle, I found out that the KAL controler programs were not copied with the arm. That sucks, big time.

Does anyone know if that is intended, did I make a mistake, or is it some sort of a bug?

Michal.don

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26 minutes ago, OutInSpace said:

Sorry if I'm missing something, but does using MJ for orbital maneuvers count as stock? I'm not sure if it counts as "altering gameplay," and I want to do pure stock entries to this challenge.

Yes, that's fine. (See rule #3.) Altered gameplay would be something like parachute mods, Infernal Robotics, parts with increased thermal resistance or engine ISP, stuff like that. MechJeb is a bit of a gray area, but it's not really doing anything you couldn't do yourself with enough practice. I'm going by precedent from previous rulings on this one.

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15 minutes ago, sturmhauke said:

Yes, that's fine. (See rule #3.) Altered gameplay would be something like parachute mods, Infernal Robotics, parts with increased thermal resistance or engine ISP, stuff like that. MechJeb is a bit of a gray area, but it's not really doing anything you couldn't do yourself with enough practice. I'm going by precedent from previous rulings on this one.

Alright, thank you! Now let's see if I can't knock out the Kerbin series...

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10 hours ago, michal.don said:

Does anyone know if that is intended, did I make a mistake, or is it some sort of a bug?

I have no idea if it's intended to work like that or a bug, but that's how the KAL always worked for me.  Using the subassembly as the main craft and attaching the ship as a subassembly should work.   Also, it is possible to move the programmed kal-1000 and attach it to a different part, however you can not duplicate the programing by duplicating the part with alt+click.   And of course the sequence for a particular servo will be gone too if you remove it from the craft.

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Anyone have some hot tips for wing design?

Spoiler

ONC5LN3.png

I've completed the boost stage (not pictured, just imagine a lot of Clysedales) and the orbiter performs flawlessly in space and through most of re-entry, but once I start to drop into the low supersonic and subsonic range I lose all control, it flips ass-down and spins like mad until its inevitable collision with the terrain. Oh, and you can't see it here, but the wings are pretty high up the side of the Mk3 fuselage to make room for the boosters.

Edit: It was my center of mass :confused:. Moved the fuel tank to the front, emptied the wings, added some more control surfaces, and yep, flies pretty well. I might add some soft touchdown boosters, but I think it's almost done.

Edited by OutInSpace
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20 minutes ago, OutInSpace said:

Alright, here is my Imgur album for STS-1! Completely stock, vaguely based off the real STS with broad overtones of "throw it at the wall and see what sticks" design, gratuitous part clipping, and a stubborn refusal to not use nuclear engines for the OMS.

MechJeb was used for ascent guidance (which appears to be okay, I searched through this thread), on-orbit burns, and attitude hold during re-entry. Final approach and landing was flown by hand with the exception of attitude hold being briefly re-activated to push down the nose during touchdown. My modlist is posted to the very top of the album.

  Hide contents

 

 

Jesus that delta wing should able to do cobra stop if you add some stability with forward control surface. Why bankrupting Kerbalkind with so many shoots. xD

 

Ok I was chilling, relaxing and just constructing new beauty shuttle full of lessons learned from my STS challenges.

yliVENV.png

The main issues that I run into with my previous designs was inability to really do high velocity capture on 3km/s+ due to bunch of part sticking out like engines, docking ports and solar panels.

Basically it is evolution on this post design:

Faring to have heat resistant nose full of batteries. Docking ports to have ability to mount any engine cluster as usual. Hidden torch engines for Kerbin orbital maneuvers. Dual Rapier / Panther upscaled slightly for powered flight. RCS ports upscaled to cut down the number to 20 from 60+. And only 1 wing segment is tweakscaled to fit the slick design. 

Weight with full tanks around 120 tons. Can take-off with 100t payload in 6 segment cargo bay... barely. But it is overkill anyway xD Most likely reasonable payload will not be over 50-60t.

Spoiler

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NefdrH3.jpg

rgu5SJL.jpg

9PAudyU.png

puGE839.jpg

1YrecmN.jpg

 

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10 hours ago, Yakez said:

Jesus that delta wing should able to do cobra stop if you add some stability with forward control surface. Why bankrupting Kerbalkind with so many shoots. xD

Because landing is not my strong suit. Much easier to get over the runway and pop some chutes. (My design can do a rolling landing. I successfully tested it w/HyperEdit and the debug menu to get it on an approach, but I have a lot of trouble replicating it when coming down from orbit, because, y'know, s p e e d.)

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6 hours ago, OutInSpace said:

Because landing is not my strong suit. Much easier to get over the runway and pop some chutes. (My design can do a rolling landing. I successfully tested it w/HyperEdit and the debug menu to get it on an approach, but I have a lot of trouble replicating it when coming down from orbit, because, y'know, s p e e d.)

It takes practice and fine tweaking of aircraft. I literally spend 90% the time creating the shuttle while tweaking control surfaces and center of mass to get good plane. Also I remember how many times it took me to start getting consistent landings... like 30+.

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22 hours ago, Yakez said:

Ok I was chilling, relaxing and just constructing new beauty shuttle full of lessons learned from my STS challenges.

oooh thats pretty. 4 jets seem a little overkill though? Maybe its just me.

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3 hours ago, qzgy said:

oooh thats pretty. 4 jets seem a little overkill though? Maybe its just me.

Technically it is 8. Panthers are clipped together with Rapiers. That STS system is absolutely can lift itself vertically from Mun just only on 4 Rapiers closed cycle.  I think I would use that for Lunex challenge.

Lift-off from Duna is also 100% on checkbox and certainly Laythe where only 4 Rapiers were not enough even for 60t Shuttle. On Kerbin I can cruise around mach 1 when Panthers are not in the wet mode and go to mach 3+ with wet mode.

Honestly since atmospheric trajectory calculator mods kills my FPS I just cannot fly unpowered gliders. I am used to have all that insane horsepower for my "near misses" with several hundred km cruises to runways. xD

Edited by Yakez
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On 11/4/2020 at 9:39 AM, OutInSpace said:

Alright, here is my Imgur album for STS-1! Completely stock, vaguely based off the real STS with broad overtones of "throw it at the wall and see what sticks" design, gratuitous part clipping, and a stubborn refusal to not use nuclear engines for the OMS.

Sorry for the delay, I'm American and I've been busy trying not to lose my mind with this election and also keep up with work and stuff. It's been a little crazy. But enough about that.

Your shuttle looks good, and the mission was a success, congratulations! The chutes are maybe a bit excessive, but that's ok. What I try to do is touch down on the wheels and then deploy chutes for drag only. I also have elevons set to deploy as split flap airbrakes - the stock airbrakes are a bit underperforming for my taste.

AX2Tsan.pngSqFdIsd.png

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2 hours ago, sturmhauke said:

Sorry for the delay, I'm American and I've been busy trying not to lose my mind with this election and also keep up with work and stuff. It's been a little crazy. But enough about that.

Your shuttle looks good, and the mission was a success, congratulations! The chutes are maybe a bit excessive, but that's ok. What I try to do is touch down on the wheels and then deploy chutes for drag only. I also have elevons set to deploy as split flap airbrakes - the stock airbrakes are a bit underperforming for my taste.

AX2Tsan.pngSqFdIsd.png

Man, I totally understand any delay. Take a whole month if you have to - like you said, there's far more important things to focus on.

And thanks for the tips on landing and airbrakes, those will definitely be worth a try!

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On 11/5/2020 at 8:43 PM, Yakez said:

Honestly since atmospheric trajectory calculator mods kills my FPS I just cannot fly unpowered gliders.

I have the same issue, but I have come up with a technique that works for me: Use the trajectory mod to get an estimate for the impact point when doing the re-entry burn, then switch it off during re-entry. But every so often re-enable it for a few seconds to see if I'm still on course.

I also found that MechJeb's landing point estimator does not kill my FPS, although it is a bit less accurate. I haven't found a way to enter my AoA during descent, and that can have a huge impact. But I found that it works well enough if your AoA is about 40 degrees, with multiple different spaceship designs.

And finally, always aim long for an unpowered descent. I usually overfly the KSC, then turn around and land from the other side. This means that you can vary the turning point based on your speed and altitude, and you can also lose a lot of speed by doing a high-g turn. However, it does mean you have to design a shuttle that can do these maneuvers, which takes some more time in balancing your craft.

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6 hours ago, QF9E said:

I have the same issue, but I have come up with a technique that works for me: Use the trajectory mod to get an estimate for the impact point when doing the re-entry burn, then switch it off during re-entry. But every so often re-enable it for a few seconds to see if I'm still on course.

I also found that MechJeb's landing point estimator does not kill my FPS, although it is a bit less accurate. I haven't found a way to enter my AoA during descent, and that can have a huge impact. But I found that it works well enough if your AoA is about 40 degrees, with multiple different spaceship designs.

And finally, always aim long for an unpowered descent. I usually overfly the KSC, then turn around and land from the other side. This means that you can vary the turning point based on your speed and altitude, and you can also lose a lot of speed by doing a high-g turn. However, it does mean you have to design a shuttle that can do these maneuvers, which takes some more time in balancing your craft.

I have method for a KSC landing that can work even without KER's impact pointer or a trajectory mod:

  1. On the opposite side of Kerbin from the KSC, do a burn to lower your PE to about 44km over the KSC. From a 100km even orbit, this costs about 44m/s. Make a quicksave.
  2. As you enter the atmosphere, either use SAS or MJ to hold your orbiter at a constant AoA (33 degrees works well for me), then monitor the map view. Once your stock trajectory intersects the KSC, set your AoA to zero and fly straight ahead. You'll probably need to tap your OMS engines a few times to stay on course, but if everything goes right, you should be down to low supersonic/subsonic speeds just as you're coming up on the KSC. Then it's simply a matter of standard landing procedure. If you find that you overshot or undershot, just reload your quicksave and tweak your AoAs.
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12 hours ago, QF9E said:

I have the same issue, but I have come up with a technique that works for me: Use the trajectory mod to get an estimate for the impact point when doing the re-entry burn, then switch it off during re-entry. But every so often re-enable it for a few seconds to see if I'm still on course.

I also found that MechJeb's landing point estimator does not kill my FPS, although it is a bit less accurate. I haven't found a way to enter my AoA during descent, and that can have a huge impact. But I found that it works well enough if your AoA is about 40 degrees, with multiple different spaceship designs.

And finally, always aim long for an unpowered descent. I usually overfly the KSC, then turn around and land from the other side. This means that you can vary the turning point based on your speed and altitude, and you can also lose a lot of speed by doing a high-g turn. However, it does mean you have to design a shuttle that can do these maneuvers, which takes some more time in balancing your craft.

I totally forgot that you can do that most likely in the mod toolbar... thanks for the tip.

 

Decided to master my STS skills with modeless craft, and I still have some commander mission to clear. Quite happy how it turned out. Have a question for future missions. Is simple Fuel switch allowed for stock craft? Simply do not want to have bunch of versions of craft with different tanks and extra clipped tank, since there is no nose tank with liquid fuel.

Here is my entry for STS-1b commander full stock. 90km orbit for fuel pod with 21m margin achieved.

https://imgur.com/a/yxOLYJt

cmLPyK7.jpg

I am totally not build Soviet inspired launch vehicle xD

Edited by Yakez
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STS 2A and STS 2B complete, stock Commander level! Take as long as you want to get to these, I can wait.

Edit: What exactly should my MMUs for STS-3 be capable of? It says that they should be used for assembling the solar panels. So should they dock to one end of the panels and maneuver it into place? Also, since I don't see a .craft, I assume that I design the scope?

Obligatory preview shots:

Spoiler

 

2A:

YQEIDEb.png

2B:

zUtSrHw.gif

 

 

Edited by OutInSpace
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eZFd9WO.jpg

Went for modless commander STS-2b, recovering fuel pod and had an excuse to start building modless station (STS-5). I want shiny silver station xD

Landing was a bit harder that usual since I no linger use large landing gear in front. But after several attempts I now can deal with medium landing gear not snapping. Shoots for the style do not really need them xD

https://imgur.com/a/3riB5W4

Edited by Yakez
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On 11/7/2020 at 1:08 PM, Yakez said:

Is simple Fuel switch allowed for stock craft? Simply do not want to have bunch of versions of craft with different tanks and extra clipped tank, since there is no nose tank with liquid fuel.

No, sorry. Altering the properties of a part counts as a modded part.

On 11/7/2020 at 1:08 PM, Yakez said:

I am totally not build Soviet inspired launch vehicle xD

Да, товарищ.

As for your latest STS-1b, everything looks good. Here is your shiny new Commander badge!

SqFdIsd.png

 

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17 hours ago, OutInSpace said:

STS 2A and STS 2B complete, stock Commander level! Take as long as you want to get to these, I can wait.

 

Nice work on STS-2a, I used the same trick for deploying my comsats. For STS-2b, the orbiter needs to come to a stop on the paved portion of the runway to qualify for Commander level. The unpaved embankment doesn't count, sorry. If you want to try again, you can reload from anytime prior to landing and then submit a new screenshot of the landing.

bGPhsRD.pngCmwOIPk.png

 

Quote

Edit: What exactly should my MMUs for STS-3 be capable of? It says that they should be used for assembling the solar panels. So should they dock to one end of the panels and maneuver it into place? Also, since I don't see a .craft, I assume that I design the scope?

The MMUs need to be able to maneuver the solar panels and attach them to the main telescope. How exactly they accomplish that is up to you. Most people attach docking ports to the solar panels at convenient points; you could also use a claw, although solar panels might be too delicate for that. Personally, I ended up reusing the same MMU design for later orbital assembly missions, although it's not required.

And yes, you design the telescope. It doesn't have to look like the Hubble; mine was modeled after the IXPE x-ray telescope concept.

Spoiler

Qrqa8jU.png

 

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22 minutes ago, sturmhauke said:

Snip

Alright, after a bit of headbashing while trying to stop the wings from flying off when I reloaded the quicksave, I just reflew the whole mission and grabbed two quick screenshots at the end. The completionist in me would never forget it if I didn't get Commander on this one mission, so...

Spoiler

 

3PHJbK4.png

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Jesus Christ,  the weight of the pod makes this thing a pain to maneuver in atmosphere. Fortunately it doesn't look like I'll be doing that again.

 

Thanks for the info on STS-3 as well. Your scope looks pretty sick!

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12 hours ago, Yakez said:

Went for modless commander STS-2b, recovering fuel pod and had an excuse to start building modless station (STS-5). I want shiny silver station xD

STS-2b looks good, nice work there! STS-5 looks good too, but as the first in a multipart mission I will refrain from issuing a badge at this time. Keep it up!

iS5yWtc.png

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44 minutes ago, OutInSpace said:

Alright, after a bit of headbashing while trying to stop the wings from flying off when I reloaded the quicksave, I just reflew the whole mission and grabbed two quick screenshots at the end. The completionist in me would never forget it if I didn't get Commander on this one mission, so...

That's more like it, thanks for the update.  And here is your updated badge:

iS5yWtc.png

As for the weight of the fuel pod, yeah that seems to have been more of a problem in more recent versions of KSP. Maybe they changed the part interactions or something, I'm not sure. Of course, I use a giant modded shuttle, so I don't have a lot of experience with large stock landings.

 

Quote

Thanks for the info on STS-3 as well. Your scope looks pretty sick!

Thanks! Just wanted to do something a little different.

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