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


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On 4/15/2020 at 11:35 AM, Yakez said:

Alright... So this was my first asteroid mission ever...

I have totally misjudged delta V.  But after calculating several detour loops to go back to Kerbin, detaching extra fuel tank, using RCS for minor burns and enabling cross-feed from front section I had enough to make an actual precise landing at KSC with 500 atmospheric delta V. Gracefully touched the land in 20ish meters from runway and hoped precisely on it with 0 fuel left. Big grey avocado is delivered for culinary school of Kordon Jamsay.  

3500 m/s reentry was brutal. Rolled quite a bit to survive.

STS-9 report at Imgur (39 images)

I'm sorry, but the mission required the retrieval of a space potato, not a space avocado. You will have to do the mission again.

Kidding, kidding. I'm sure the KSC chefs will improvise something. Looks good!

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Back on my proper stock+ shuttles. Flat bottom is good to build space stations, but I prefer my supersonic abominations. :D While I wanted to do Jool 5, I am pretty much in 500 part count fro that and do not want to put myself through that...

So I developed Laythe exclusive package for my smallest shuttle. Testing went pretty much ok. It is time to go for the Jool mission when I have time.

 

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I completed my MINMUS STS-1 mission. I deployed two satellites in polar Minmus orbit: one communications satellite and one orbital scanner, both designed around the same satellite bus. I then landed the Shuttle near a promising spot rich in ore before deploying a rover to find a good spot for ore extraction. Afterwards I got back into Minmus orbit with the shuttle before going back to Kerbin. I found a return trajectory that included a gravity assist from the Mun and managed to get the landing point on the KSC, where I landed the Shuttle on the runway. I also recovered my booster, but it failed to make it to the runway because I briefly lost control of it after re-entry. It landed in the hills 6 km west of the KSC.

Full report here: https://imgur.com/a/XPNIxc4

Some highlights:

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Scan complete. I found a promising ore site just off the greater flats, so I decided to land there, in the center of the visible part of Minmus. The small polar orbit is the scansat; the larger polar orbit is the comsat.

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Deploying the rover.

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The return trajectory, including Munar gravity assist. Due to the assist I re-entered from retrograde orbit, which marks a first for me.

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Wheel stop on the KSC runway. I badly messed up my landing and needed the entire length of the runway.

Edited by QF9E
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13 hours ago, QF9E said:

I completed my MINMUS STS-1 mission...

Full report here: https://imgur.com/a/XPNIxc4

Everything looks good! Although you didn't land the flyback booster on the runway, that is not part of the mission requirements. You got the orbiter on the runway, which is what counts.

Looks like I'll have to get the next mission ready. I have some ideas rolling around my head still, but nothing definite yet. I'll let you guys know. At any rate, congrats on your new Commander badge!

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9 hours ago, sturmhauke said:

Everything looks good! Although you didn't land the flyback booster on the runway, that is not part of the mission requirements. You got the orbiter on the runway, which is what counts.

Looks like I'll have to get the next mission ready. I have some ideas rolling around my head still, but nothing definite yet. I'll let you guys know. At any rate, congrats on your new Commander badge!

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Thanks ! And some extra Minmus missions would be fun! In the meantime I am very busy with the Eve Shuttle mission: Although I did a successful aerocapture of my Shuttle I kept losing the booster attachment point. It is one of only a handful of 2000K parts of my Shuttle, so it's not so surprising, but I'll have to think about it a bit. It may be possible to swap that part for a fairing, I'll have to see.

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I completed the EVE STS-1 mission! I am insanely proud that my shuttle, which I originally designed just with Low Kerbin Orbit operations in mind, was able to pull this one off. I only had to modify one bit:: The booster attachment point and center fuselage stub were encased inside a fairing, as the original parts had a 2000K temperature limit and were unable to withstand aerocapture on Eve.

I did an aerocapture of my shuttle at Eve before detaching an atmospheric probe that was inspired by the "rods from god" concept for kinetic orbital bombardment and sending it on a highly elliptical trajectory with PE of about 59 km. That way I was able to conduct the scientific experiments below 60 km and exit the atmosphere afterwards without any difficult maneuvers. I then re-docked to probe with the Shuttle before going back to Kerbin, where my shuttle landed  on the KSC runway directly from re-entry, without intervening aerocapture.

I decided to do the Eve mission first, as I have quite a bit of experience with Eve. While it is seen by many as the end-boss of KSP I have come to terms with the planet in multiple missions, not least of which the Eve Rocks challenge from this forum, of which I am still very proud: https://imgur.com/a/di5MCog

Full mission report of EVE STS-1 here: https://imgur.com/a/4fKoIBH

Some highlights:

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My atmospheric probe in the starboard cargo bay. In the port cargo bay some additional crew quarters to give the crew some much-needed living room during this long mission. Also in the port cargo bay: a relay antenna, which I used to remotely operate the probe.

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Aerocapture at Eve. I sent my shuttle directly inside the atmosphere from the mid course correction burn. No retrograde burn of any sort was done inside Eve's SOI, to prove that I got into Eve's orbit solely by aerobraking. I am flying sideways in an effort to reduce the orbital inclination, which was only marginally successful: I shaved off half a degree.

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Conducting the atmospheric experiments

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Back on Kerbin, on the KSC runway, with the probe fully recovered and scientific findings intact.

 

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14 hours ago, QF9E said:

I completed the EVE STS-1 mission!...

Full mission report of EVE STS-1 here: https://imgur.com/a/4fKoIBH

I still haven't been to Eve, much less sent a probe there with a shuttle. I did land on Gilly once though. After looking over your mission, now I want to go there. Good job, Commander!

quBO1GE.png?2

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I finished the DUNA STS-1 mission. I deployed an 8-Kerbal outpost in low Duna orbit, unsing aerocapture both at Duna and to get back to Kerbin, and I once again landed on the runway. This marks my second mission where my booster did not make it: this time it crashed into the ocean off the KSC. I will have to investigate what is going on, because I don't like losing boosters like that.

I rather badly overestimated the amount of delta-v necessary for this trip, needlessly trying to keep my outpost small and light. However, this will come in handy for the Duna landing mission.

Full mission report here: https://imgur.com/a/oTVF3Km

Some highlights:

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Planned aerocapture. After Eve my shuttle did not have any problems whatsoever aerobraking around Duna.

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Depoying my orbital outpost in a 69 x 69 km circular Duna orbit. I reached this orbit with 2 aerobraking passes: one capture pass and a second "fine-tuning" pass. After the second pass I was in a 106 x 32 km orbit, which I changed into a 69 x 69 km orbit by burning radially at an altitude of 69 km. In all I only burned 4 m/s in the retrograde direction.

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Aerocapture at Kerbin on the way home. Rather than doing a direct landing from flyby trajectory as I did in my Eve mission, I opted for a skip re-entry with two aerobraking passes. The first pass got rid of excess speed from the interplanetary orbit, while the second pass was fine-tuned to target the KSC runway.

Edited by QF9E
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@sturmhauke I completed DUNA STS-2. Despite numerous mishaps on the way, I successfully landed on Duna and deployed a 4-Kerbal surface base with rover. I then lifted off, back to low Duna orbit and a rendez-vous with my orbital outpost where I dropped off two Kerbals for some orbital observation. Since by that point I was almost out of fuel, I launched a support package consisting of a single large orange tank to refuel the shuttle. Once refueled, the shuttle went back to Kerbin to land on the KSC runway. I also landed my booster on the runway. This was the first shuttle flight of my new, block 3 booster design, and so far I am quite pleased with its performance.

Full report here: https://imgur.com/a/PwghXTr

Some highlights:

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Group picture of my entire crew at the newly deployed Deimos base, with my shuttle in the distance.

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Support package aerobraking over Deimos base

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Support package docked to Phobos, my orbital outpost. Meanwhile the Shuttle is departing for Kerbin. Ike is visible in the background.

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Shuttle safely back home. This must rank among my most aggressive turns to final with this shuttle design: as I flew almost directly over the KSC my turn to final turned into a split-S as I rolled completely upside down to turn towards the runway.

Edited by QF9E
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Never actually thought about sending support package to the destination. Crap. Nice one. I actually redoing my Jool mission since on the first try I was going to delta V stuck in Laythe orbit due to my error in planning and not accounting that Minmus pit stop is an actual extra 600 m/s toll booth to Jool...

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Great to see this challenge in its 6th iteration!  Sorry I've been totally absent from the forums apart from a little foray in August 2019 to Von Braun and Elcano Duna, so essentially haven't been around since July 2018.  I was diagnosed with MS last year and it took a lot of processing on top of a very busy career so I've missed out on a lot of looking, watching, and building and enjoying KSP in general.

Keep building those shuttles, and stay safe everyone!  I'm still around, and will eventually do another large mission :)

SM

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@Speeding Mullet Glad you're here, and hope to see your missions soon!

On 4/29/2020 at 8:42 AM, Yakez said:

Never actually thought about sending support package to the destination. Crap. Nice one. I actually redoing my Jool mission since on the first try I was going to delta V stuck in Laythe orbit due to my error in planning and not accounting that Minmus pit stop is an actual extra 600 m/s toll booth to Jool...

05TbIFh.png

At least you have a cute little plane?

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On 4/26/2020 at 8:21 AM, QF9E said:

I finished the DUNA STS-1 mission. I deployed an 8-Kerbal outpost in low Duna orbit, unsing aerocapture both at Duna and to get back to Kerbin, and I once again landed on the runway. This marks my second mission where my booster did not make it: this time it crashed into the ocean off the KSC. I will have to investigate what is going on, because I don't like losing boosters like that.

I rather badly overestimated the amount of delta-v necessary for this trip, needlessly trying to keep my outpost small and light. However, this will come in handy for the Duna landing mission.

Full mission report here: https://imgur.com/a/oTVF3Km

On 4/28/2020 at 9:48 AM, QF9E said:

@sturmhauke I completed DUNA STS-2. Despite numerous mishaps on the way, I successfully landed on Duna and deployed a 4-Kerbal surface base with rover. I then lifted off, back to low Duna orbit and a rendez-vous with my orbital outpost where I dropped off two Kerbals for some orbital observation. Since by that point I was almost out of fuel, I launched a support package consisting of a single large orange tank to refuel the shuttle. Once refueled, the shuttle went back to Kerbin to land on the KSC runway. I also landed my booster on the runway. This was the first shuttle flight of my new, block 3 booster design, and so far I am quite pleased with its performance.

Full report here: https://imgur.com/a/PwghXTr

Everything seems to be in order with these two missions. Despite a few hurdles, you have navigated the challenges and established a presence on the red planet. Good work, Commander!

HqSBQUS.jpg?1x6647zx.jpg?1

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1 hour ago, sturmhauke said:

Everything seems to be in order with these two missions. Despite a few hurdles, you have navigated the challenges and established a presence on the red planet. Good work, Commander!

HqSBQUS.jpg?1x6647zx.jpg?1

Thanks! These Duna missions are fun! I'm flying DUNA STS-3 while typing this. The idea is to have my lander land empty next to the base and pick up the base crew. However, all is not going to plan: despite landing almost on top of the base during testing, I have just overshot the base by almost 6 km. I think I am going to try again, 3 6 km back and forth trips with a rover with a top speed of 10 m/s is not my idea of fun.

Edit: second attempt, landed within 600 meters. The base crew is back in the shuttle after a 6 year stay on Duna!

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An emotional moment for the inhabitants of Deimos base. After years of doing research on the red planet, their ride back to Kerbin has arrived. We join the crew as they take one last look at what has been their home for 6 years.

Edited by QF9E
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Posted (edited)

DUNA STS-3. MIssion not yet complete, but satellite deployment around Eve successful!

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Although it might help to read the mission requirements carefully:

Quote

When in Eve's SOI, deploy two communication satelites - one in a circular polar orbit with a periapsis of at least 2 000 km, one in an equatorial circular orbit with an apoapsis of less than 150 km. 

Yup, I mixed them up, and I'll just have to do this again.

Hopefully, now that I know it works, the second time around will be less stressful, as this ranks as one of the most difficult things I have ever done in KSP. Two aerocaptures in Eve's hellish atmosphere within minutes of one another, no knowledge at all whether the delta-v of the relays would be sufficient for circularization afterwards (is it even possible to use the cheat menu to set up a flyby trajectory with your ship at the SOI entrance? - I have been unable to find if it is and hence was unable to test this set of maneuvers before the mission) and a near miss between one of my relays and my shuttle due to a mistake in the shuttle's attitude at satellite deployment. And all that while doing a gravity assist with the Shuttle - something I have never done successfully before, even though I have been playing KSP for years.

Edit: and we finished the mission! It took a few tries to get the Eve constellation right but the gravity assist went well, as I got a Kerbin encounter without any difficulties. Report later.

Edited by QF9E
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I completed DUNA STS-3. I once more went to Duna, this time to deliver a lander. I performed another aerocapture before docking with my orbital outpost. I then deployed the lander and landed next to my surface base, picking up the 4 Kerbal base crew. I then returned the lander to orbit and docked with the outpost again. After transfering the base crew and the 2-Kerbal outpost crew to the shuttle, it then departed for Eve, where I set up a gravity assist back to Kerbin. Once inside Eve's SOI i deployed two relay satellites, on in a high polar orbit, the other in low retrograde equatorial orbit. I then aerocaptured at Kerbin before landing on the KSC runway. As usual I also landed the booster on the KSC runway. I had the option of using the remaining fuel  that was left in Duna orbit by the DUNA STS-2 support mission, but I chose not to use any, as my Shuttle had enough fuel of its own.

Full mission report (warning: it is a long one, as this is a very complex mission): https://imgur.com/a/Ae2gnVp

Some highlights:

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My lander, landing almost on top of Deimos base.Its landing point was less than 600 meters from the base, which I think is quite good for a parachute landing.

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One of my relay satellites aerobraking at Eve

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Resulting relay satellite orbits. One is in a retrograde equatorial 100 x 100 km orbit, the other in a polar 5700 x 5700 km one.

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Shuttle on final approach to the KSC runway after a lengthy, highly complex and completely successful mission

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Posted (edited)

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This one took me a while. I never actually did gravity assists in Jool system before. Aero-breaking is way easier.

Used some tweakscale to bring down number of engines on launch vehicle. And now LAME use 9 upscaled Nerv engines instead of Restock+ ones.

At first I had bad plan with Minmus pit-stop, witch added extra 600 delta V. Then I upscaled my launch vehicle to 2 stages and added drop tanks for initial 2k Jool burn. And return took a week. I tried not to use my main "backup" plan with Bop pit-stop and slingshotted from Jool using combined liquid and monopropellant trust and very aggressive Kerbin aero capture with minimal 400 m/s burn (required a lot of rolling xD ).

So the burn/gravity assist steps that I made during the mission:

1. Jool burn from LKO;

2. Tylo retrograde gravity capture assist;

3. Laythe bounce;

4. Second Tylo bounce;

5. Second Laythe bounce;

6. Laythe aero-capture;

7. Laythe expedition;

8. Burn from Laythe to bounce from Tylo to highly elliptical Jool orbit;

9. Slingshot from Jool system;

10. Combined 1.5k monopropellant and liquid fuel burn to Kerbin to save liquid fuel for Kerbin manoeuvrers;

11. ~49km Kerbin aero-capture with ~400 m/s burn before and after atmosphere breaking;

12. Mundane landing on fumes after medium transfer to KSC.

Imgur report 112 screnshoots


And initially I planned to refuel SMM on the surface of Laythe. Never happened due to angle of shore and slight damage to suspension of refinery. So technically whole mission did not used mining aside refuel of scout plane for second round of recognizance. 

Now I really want return to Laythe on a proper flat spot with small base, refinery and submarine. Idea is to use SMM as a shuttle and haul several modules from orbit. And next time I absolutely would make huge heat shield to make straight Laythe capture.

Some highlights:

Spoiler

 

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Edited by Yakez
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On 4/30/2020 at 3:37 AM, Speeding Mullet said:

Great to see this challenge in its 6th iteration!  Sorry I've been totally absent from the forums apart from a little foray in August 2019 to Von Braun and Elcano Duna, so essentially haven't been around since July 2018.  I was diagnosed with MS last year and it took a lot of processing on top of a very busy career so I've missed out on a lot of looking, watching, and building and enjoying KSP in general.

Keep building those shuttles, and stay safe everyone!  I'm still around, and will eventually do another large mission :)

SM

Great to see you around again, my friend :) 

I can't say I know exactly what battling MS is about, but I wish you the best of luck, and of course, I'm looking forward to seeing your missions, since they've always been something special. I won't be the one awarding the badges this time, but I'll check the mission report for sure :)

Michal.don

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On 5/2/2020 at 9:40 AM, QF9E said:

I completed DUNA STS-3. I once more went to Duna, this time to deliver a lander. I performed another aerocapture before docking with my orbital outpost. I then deployed the lander and landed next to my surface base, picking up the 4 Kerbal base crew. I then returned the lander to orbit and docked with the outpost again. After transfering the base crew and the 2-Kerbal outpost crew to the shuttle, it then departed for Eve, where I set up a gravity assist back to Kerbin. Once inside Eve's SOI i deployed two relay satellites, on in a high polar orbit, the other in low retrograde equatorial orbit. I then aerocaptured at Kerbin before landing on the KSC runway. As usual I also landed the booster on the KSC runway. I had the option of using the remaining fuel  that was left in Duna orbit by the DUNA STS-2 support mission, but I chose not to use any, as my Shuttle had enough fuel of its own.

Full mission report (warning: it is a long one, as this is a very complex mission): https://imgur.com/a/Ae2gnVp

Managing several different craft at once does get a bit hairy, but you managed it well. If you're interested in more of that, you can try my Duna Insight challenge (click the signature badge). Anyway, another well done mission, Commander!

4fOA2ag.png?1

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On 5/3/2020 at 4:39 AM, Yakez said:

This one took me a while. I never actually did gravity assists in Jool system before. Aero-breaking is way easier.

...

Imgur report 112 screnshoots

You haven't mastered KSP if you haven't played Joolian gravity pinball, but you've got that milestone out of the way now. Your mission payload, while inventive, is borderline not to spec; the orbiter was still in midair when ejecting the payload. I suppose you could argue that it wasn't fully deployed until afterwards, since you had several craft docked together, waiting to be unpacked. Still, you had to hike 1.5 km to get there. I'm inclined to give you this one for the creativity at least, and the rest of the mission was well done. Congratulations, Commander!

u2FebAZ.jpg?1

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7 hours ago, sturmhauke said:

 Your mission payload, while inventive, is borderline not to spec; the orbiter was still in midair when ejecting the payload.

And there goes my plan for deploying the ISRU unit on Laythe as well: I've been practising paradrops this morning specifically for that... Things get interesting when doing cargo drops with payload bay doors on top and side-by-side payload bays, only one of which contains cargo to be dropped. Oh well, time to think of something else.

 

9 hours ago, sturmhauke said:

Managing several different craft at once does get a bit hairy, but you managed it well. If you're interested in more of that, you can try my Duna Insight challenge (click the signature badge). Anyway, another well done mission, Commander!

4fOA2ag.png?1

Thanks! I just had a peek at your Duna insight challenge, and it looks very interesting. I may well try it at some point (possibly with my Shuttle, even - it has proven to be quite a capable design to Duna). And I think I have a suitable idea for the level IV rank. But I'm going to do JOOL STS-1 first since it is already in an advanced planning / test phase.

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10 hours ago, QF9E said:

And there goes my plan for deploying the ISRU unit on Laythe as well: I've been practising paradrops this morning specifically for that... Things get interesting when doing cargo drops with payload bay doors on top and side-by-side payload bays, only one of which contains cargo to be dropped. Oh well, time to think of something else.

Couldn't you just lunch it with sepatrons from the ground and use shoots to land package? Also... launch abort system could be a thing for that if you can rotate payload :confused:... 

Like my whole paradrop reason is because I "lack clearance" with bottom doors and felt like totally new thing to do in KSP. Could done some weird sideways deployment or just put huge telescopic piston. But it is a bit unrealistic... lifting 120t shuttle to deploy stuff. Otherwise I most likely would be just releasing two layers worth of modules to clear them with current design. The plane and rover were part of initial two-layer package.

18 hours ago, sturmhauke said:

You haven't mastered KSP if you haven't played Joolian gravity pinball, but you've got that milestone out of the way now. Your mission payload, while inventive, is borderline not to spec; the orbiter was still in midair when ejecting the payload. I suppose you could argue that it wasn't fully deployed until afterwards, since you had several craft docked together, waiting to be unpacked. Still, you had to hike 1.5 km to get there. I'm inclined to give you this one for the creativity at least, and the rest of the mission was well done. Congratulations, Commander!

u2FebAZ.jpg?1

I thank you. You just not seen my clownfiesta with package. I could driven it to SMM, but tried to get to it while it was "stuck" there. I forgot to engage breaks when released it and was effectively catching it for 10 minutes cruising around Laythe shores when it finally loaded to grid... 

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I suppose I could officially allow low altitude paradrops - I mean, it's not necessarily the easiest or safest deployment method after all. :D

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Yakez said:

Couldn't you just lunch it with sepatrons from the ground and use shoots to land package? Also... launch abort system could be a thing for that if you can rotate payload :confused:...

I tried that yesterday, but did not have much luck landing the isru in one piece. Needed lots of chutes, landing legs to cushion the shock, as well as wheels to drive around to the shuttle. All that takes a rather large payload hit. I did not think of using the LES but I think it is much too heavy. (Checks) Yeah, at 1.125 tons you can have lots of sepratrons instead.

But the bigger problem with my shuttle turns out to be lifting off from Laythe. My shuttle is really good at aerobraking / aerocapture / landing but it isn't much of an SSTO. I've made an entirely new version of my shuttle that is much cleaner than the old version while looking exactly the same. The old one was glued together with cubic octagonal struts - it had lots of unexpected aero drag. Funny thing is that the new design is harder to land because it does not stop as readily :).

13 hours ago, sturmhauke said:

I suppose I could officially allow low altitude paradrops - I mean, it's not necessarily the easiest or safest deployment method after all. :D

I expect that with a center mounted cargo bay with doors on the bottom it is relatively straightforward. With my shuttle design it is really dicey to pull off. During a drop the CoM shifts sideways, unless you drop 2 packages at once from both cargo bays. I needed lots of spare fuel to pump around during a drop to keep the CoM centered. I even tried flying upside down during a drop, but that did not work so well. Getting into a steep dive turned out to work most reliably.

Edited by QF9E
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