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


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Testing out a Mun badge design. I'm not sure about Kerbin in the background, what do you guys think? The old badges had Kerbin with an icecap but no landmasses visible, which seems backwards to me. The icecaps aren't really that big.

41ViviC.png

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3 hours ago, sturmhauke said:

Testing out a Mun badge design. I'm not sure about Kerbin in the background, what do you guys think? The old badges had Kerbin with an icecap but no landmasses visible, which seems backwards to me. The icecaps aren't really that big.

41ViviC.png

I like it a lot! Much more evocative than the old Mun badges. Also an interesting contrast between the featureless Mun in the foreground, while Kerbin has details in the background. It reminds me of the business-like description of the Moon by the Apollo 8 crew in contrast with their delight at seeing Earthrise with their own eyes.

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4 hours ago, sturmhauke said:

All remaining badges have now been added. Guess I'll have to start working on new mission specs in earnest...

Great job with the badges!

And I'm really curious about the new mission. It sounds like a good occasion and excuse to build a new shuttle, and maybe claim the badges I did not have the chance to claim before... :) 

Michal.don

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  • 2 weeks later...

You can build as many extra modules as you want, but it's mainly for bragging rights. If you do something truly epic, you might get a Skunkworks badge out of it. You'll notice there are only 3 current holders of that badge, and I'm not even one of them.

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no, I had a quicksave mess, so I decided not to record most of it. Summary: Burned OMS at 30% throttle to deorbit, Reentered facing prograde due to aerodynamic instability.

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13 hours ago, tosha said:

no, I had a quicksave mess, so I decided not to record most of it. Summary: Burned OMS at 30% throttle to deorbit, Reentered facing prograde due to aerodynamic instability.

Well I'll cut you a break since you're new here and you seemed to be struggling a bit (or a lot maybe). But for future missions, please post video or screenshots of all major phases of the mission, which includes deorbiting and reentry. Congrats on your new Pilot badge, and may it be the first of many!

bqPmP52.png

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Here is my entry for the STS-3 Pilot rank: https://imgur.com/a/mcEgpd9 (I forgot to take screenshots during a few of the in-orbit burns, I hope that isn't a problem--otherwise everything should be there, let me know if you need anything else). A narrative mission report can be found here.

Mods: TAC Life Support, Dang It! Continued, Decal Stickers R2.0, Click-Through Blocker, Toolbar Control. The only mod parts on the shuttle are decals and life support cannisters. I also have Tantares installed on this save but there are no Tantares parts on either the Shuttle or Hubble.

I previously completed STS-1 and STS-2 in v5 of the Shuttle Challenge.

ZACI9dn.png

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8 hours ago, ShuttleHugger said:

Here is my entry for the STS-3 Pilot rank: https://imgur.com/a/mcEgpd9 (I forgot to take screenshots during a few of the in-orbit burns, I hope that isn't a problem--otherwise everything should be there, let me know if you need anything else). A narrative mission report can be found here.

Looks good! I especially like the replaceable experiment packs on the Hubble, that's a nice touch. Nice work!

q2hm243.png

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Posted (edited)

This is probably going to be a mess... but in short I decided to bang out STS 1 thru 8 in one sitting with the same craft (as you are no doubt intended to do XD) so apologies in advance for the trouble! I'm no whiz with video editing and my PC struggled to run KSP while recording so I switched to picture proof starting with STS-5. Hopefully I've documented enough of each flight to get credit for all the badges!

Here's the list of mods that I've used in these flights - though I've got more installed I guess you'll just have to take my word that I didn't use any of them. Craft file included below:

Spoiler

EVE/AVP, Distant Object, EEX, Kerbal Engineer, Kerbal Alarm Clock, PlanetShine, RealPlume, Scatterer. None of these changed the gameplay in any significant way so do I still qualify for stock badges?

The only parts from the DLC used are the dump valves, otherwise the craft is full stock/vanilla

Commodore w/ DLC Parts: https://kerbalx.com/NightshineRecorralis/Commodore

Commodore w/o DLC Parts: https://kerbalx.com/NightshineRecorralis/Commodore-M

To maintain proper pitch control the shutdown of certain booster engines in a certain order is necessary, using the action groups in this order: AG1, AG2, AG3, followed by booster separation and AG3&4. This allows the booster to land when not in expendable mode (see STS-7 and STS-8) once the locked fuel tanks at the bottom of the booster have been unlocked.

 

In short I believe I qualify for the Commander Rank for all these missions, but let me know what I need to improve if I don't!

 

STS-1a: Demo Flight

Spoiler

 

 

STS-1b: Fuel Pod Ascent

Note that I forgot to lock the monoprop tank in the fuel pod and a few units were drained, however there was more than enough monoprop on the shuttle itself to top it off, (which I did in the follow-up mission STS-2b) so I still think it counts, right?

Final Orbit of the pod in case it wasn't clear is 100.621km x 100.599km, only a 23m deviation

Spoiler

 

 

STS-2a: Comms Network

I know I didn't show me fine tuning the satellite orbits in the video but I included a screenshot of them a few in-game days later once the orbits were properly aligned.

Spoiler

OztB8Az.jpg

 

STS-2b: Fuel Pod Recovery

I topped off the fuel pod (due to circumstances outlined above) and once landed I think I showed rather clearly it was completely full.

On landing I blew up an RCS thruster. It's rather loud so just be warned. I didn't realize I also captured other sounds on my computer x_x

Spoiler

 

 

STS-3: Telescowope

Not gonna lie I really struggled with my MMU design so I kinda bent the rules a little and instead of installing the solar panels on the telescope I installed the telescope on the solar panels. I'm sure you understand :) 

Oh, and I can't read so I launched it into a 25 degree polar orbit rather than a 25 degree equatorial orbit. Can I still get the Commander Rank? Pretty Please?

STS-3 Craft file: https://kerbalx.com/NightshineRecorralis/Commodore-STS-3

Spoiler

 

 

STS-4/4R

This one had a lot of fun docking in it! It was also the first mission where I was able to recover a booster, but unfortunately the first recording broke and I had to go back and redo the mission - the video is spliced in the middle where I made a quicksave.

This mission also demonstrates how overbuilt the Commodore is for Kerbin applications, though why it's so big will be seen in STS-7 and STS-8. This was also the first 'shallow' reentry profile I attempted with this shuttle ad I was impressed that it could hold a 5:1 glide ratio.

Spoiler

 

 

STS-5: Space Station Hab Module

So begins the first of 4 Space Station missions, all of which are documented in pictures and not video as my computer would just stutter and even crash otherwise.

Are albums still borked or am I dumb? https://imgur.com/a/6lEhLsN

Commodore STS-5: https://kerbalx.com/NightshineRecorralis/Commodore-STS-5

 

STS-6: Space Station Service Module

https://imgur.com/a/hvuRV3C

Commodore STS-6: https://kerbalx.com/NightshineRecorralis/Commodore-STS-6

 

STS-7: Science Module

The first Commodore mission with a fully expended main booster, le gasp

https://imgur.com/a/ac3w1vr

Commodore STS-7/STS-8: https://kerbalx.com/NightshineRecorralis/Commodore-STS-78

 

STS-8: Science Module 2: Electric Boogaloo

https://imgur.com/a/UoKkdAp

 

Here's the completed station:

rW2bi5H.jpg

 

Edited by NightshineRecorralis
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3 hours ago, NightshineRecorralis said:

This is probably going to be a mess... but in short I decided to bang out STS 1 thru 8 in one sitting with the same craft (as you are no doubt intended to do XD) so apologies in advance for the trouble! I'm no whiz with video editing and my PC struggled to run KSP while recording so I switched to picture proof starting with STS-5. Hopefully I've documented enough of each flight to get credit for all the badges!

Welcome to the challenge! That mod list is fine for stock; that rule applies to orbiter and launch vehicle construction, game physics, and flight control. Visual and utility mods are fine. I saw in the v5 thread that you qualified for STS-1a and -1b already (link), which will make some of what I'm going to say a bit easier. Most of your submissions look fine, but unfortunately I will have to ask you do redo a few parts. Details to follow.

 

STS-1a: Everything looks good here, nice work! And with a flyback booster too!

AX2Tsan.png

 

STS-1b: I'm sorry but the fuel pod was not full at the time it was deployed to orbit. Also, due to KSP version updates with 1.7, the Mullet Dyne fuel pod became underweight and therefore out of spec. I recently added an updated fuel pod in the mission description; while I had initially kept the old one, I have decided to remove it to prevent confusion.

The good news for you is that since you already earned this badge, I can issue you a new one.

SqFdIsd.png

 

STS-2a: The comsat constellation looks good, nice work there!

bGPhsRD.png

 

STS-2b: I'm sorry but I cannot issue this badge at this time. The fuel pod was not full at the start of the mission, and by my assessment would not have been at the required 40t mass even if full due to the version changes. However, you do not have to fly the entire mission over. If you wish, you can place a new fuel pod that meets the requirements using the cheat menu (or HyperEdit etc). You can also place your orbiter in position for a rendezvous, and then start from docking with the fuel pod until landing.

 

STS-3: Your mission qualifies for a Pilot badge. Unfortunately I have to be stricter with the Commander rules, especially with orbits. Think of it as training for more difficult missions later. And as a side note, while your assembly method is unorthodox but legal, I reserve the right to make your life harder on a future bonus mission. Maybe those solar panels will need to be replaced at some point, who knows? :cool:

q2hm243.png

 

STS-4/4R: Rescue mission looks good, and it looks like you have room to spare too! Good job!

vnayumf.png

 

STS-5-8: That is an impressively large station. And while it meets the requirements, you may want to consider such things as how well it can perform maneuvers, how easily you can dock with it, and how easily it can be expanded. (I can neither confirm nor deny rumors of a planned fuel depot...) Nice work!

p5sBhgu.png

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18 hours ago, sturmhauke said:

Welcome to the challenge! That mod list is fine for stock; that rule applies to orbiter and launch vehicle construction, game physics, and flight control. Visual and utility mods are fine. I saw in the v5 thread that you qualified for STS-1a and -1b already (link), which will make some of what I'm going to say a bit easier. Most of your submissions look fine, but unfortunately I will have to ask you do redo a few parts. Details to follow.

STS-1b: I'm sorry but the fuel pod was not full at the time it was deployed to orbit. Also, due to KSP version updates with 1.7, the Mullet Dyne fuel pod became underweight and therefore out of spec. I recently added an updated fuel pod in the mission description; while I had initially kept the old one, I have decided to remove it to prevent confusion.

The good news for you is that since you already earned this badge, I can issue you a new one.

 

STS-2b: I'm sorry but I cannot issue this badge at this time. The fuel pod was not full at the start of the mission, and by my assessment would not have been at the required 40t mass even if full due to the version changes. However, you do not have to fly the entire mission over. If you wish, you can place a new fuel pod that meets the requirements using the cheat menu (or HyperEdit etc). You can also place your orbiter in position for a rendezvous, and then start from docking with the fuel pod until landing.

 

STS-3: Your mission qualifies for a Pilot badge. Unfortunately I have to be stricter with the Commander rules, especially with orbits. Think of it as training for more difficult missions later. And as a side note, while your assembly method is unorthodox but legal, I reserve the right to make your life harder on a future bonus mission. Maybe those solar panels will need to be replaced at some point, who knows? :cool:

 

Well, can't say I was surprised that you're electing to be strict! I reflew these mission and hopefully they should be up to par now :D

STS-1b:

Done with the new fuel pod - didn't realize the old one was out of date x_x

 

STS-2b:

The fuel pod doesn't seem to like landings... but after a few tries I got it settled XD

 

STS-3:

This time put in the proper orbit and with upgraded MMUs!

 

And youtube links apparently are broken for me now... sorry.

 

Oh! And in response to your comment on my station - everything is symmetrical with the service module in the middle, and since every module has RCS and SAS it's actually super easy to make maneuvers with :D 

I eagerly await the upcoming unconfirmed mission, then <3 

Edited by NightshineRecorralis
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That looks much better, thank you! I'm not sure what's going on with the Fuel Pod RUD, I'll have to look into that myself. But you did manage to land it, at least. Here are your new badges:

SqFdIsd.pngiS5yWtc.pngRLAcd9v.png

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9 minutes ago, sturmhauke said:

That looks much better, thank you! I'm not sure what's going on with the Fuel Pod RUD, I'll have to look into that myself. But you did manage to land it, at least. Here are your new badges:

What I think is happening is that under a lateral load, the joint between the ore tank and the fuel tank just likes to snap - as evidenced since I can pull 15Gs in flight but anything above 2Gs on landing breaks it. Of course someone with a better grasp of the game's mechanics might correct me but that's the most obvious solution.

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Here's my entry for Kerbin STS-1a:

The Charon S-0, a simple mk2 shuttle mounted atop a small cryo booster.

I didn't land on the runway at first, but I did manage to land in Research and Development, taxi to the runway, and use the sloped ground to do a quick "hop" and land on it. Not sure if it counts for Commander.

y4mZYaRpJz_n1KePdQB0dCJgi1-jvKpbWhh5IrbZ

Spoiler
Mods:

...oh no...

-Astrogator

-Procedural Wings

-Cryoengines

-Cryotanks

-Far Future Tech (I didn't use it though, it's not like I could fit any of those engines on a shuttle anyway. And it's really overpowered, which makes sense.)

-FMRS

-Free IVA

-KIS and KAS

-Kerbal Atomics

-Kerbal Engineer Redux

-Kerbal Reusability Expansion

-Mark IV system

-Navball Docking Alignment

-Near Future pack (I have both the new Near Future Launch Vehicles and the old engines installed on top of each other, so I can use the new LFO engines and the old methalox ones)

-Kerbal Planetary Base Expansion

-RealPlume

-Restock Plus

-Station Parts Expansion Redux

-Throttle Controlled Avionics (I don't use the autopilot, I mostly installed it just for hover control for my VTOLs and skycranes)

-Breaking Ground DLC

-RosenTools, a set of custom patches that add cryo versions of jet engines and add Free IVA to mod parts. It also has a few patches to make Restock load things.

I'm surprised it loads as fast as it does.

Anyway:

Launch

y4mZYaRpJz_n1KePdQB0dCJgi1-jvKpbWhh5IrbZ

The launcher is powered by 4 1.25m Erebus cryogenic engines, and the shuttle itself has a single vacuum engine and a pair of cryogenic Wheesleys for atmospheric flight. I wanted to make it reusable but didn't have time.

Clearing the clamps

y4mTw-0egu_hFW_-pxDB5nIwSUcK6iHtfZE6oKFn

Gravity turn

y4mfLosqA9Yio_lbw20SUNOd-CzBdzr6na6ZMlUZ

A fun shot with the KSC in the background

y4mxQDkFYAApGa0tHN9uOt0KfnPm_qUOFcJ_5RT4

Stage separation. I couldn't do a normal gravity turn because the cockpit overheated and I had to revert to launch.

y4mPBNqrlNoxRoOxri8NgrXKXw82Q1L2cIhhhucG

Circularization and orbital injection

y4m0wOQUBAL_NIfGSO7fKL2PG0ka09AGSez5cOON

Still circularization. Cryogenic engines don't have much thrust.

y4mfo9XN5RL42cTFx0wCuwODljAsDfg2NGimIRlY

In orbit.

y4mFA5CjYzQ5XPqRkmIWgexNeUII1KMBf-lyK2wE

Deploying the payload, a small interplanetary probe.

y4mhTDA6u9a1UtagXjZ0S35hbysoYKzQclJMoNGx

It turns out OKTO2s don't have reaction wheels, so I had to get Val out and push it out of the cargo bay.

y4mli9RP2xjwg-RG-BnXm0Li0pNxL3oAv-_KQRXP

Firing the ion drive to go nowhere.

y4muYPBjzb-LUaoTov8gTneihP7oetcyaYw66GRP

Deorbit burn

y4mOMxE3XJKlIh4oZN27kI5jwh4si3XbGcZRafyN

Reentry: I undershot, but forgot to take a screenshot of reentry the final time.

y4m02XNVG_zQuOcMdDajzQqRMvSW6EpuQ8OB6xWd

Dumping the oxidizer and flying to the KSC. It got a bit scary when I remembered drain valves had thrust.

y4mm0txk10eqYvWGgnDd_OSEUUKXeDqEL3bvfroM

I put the CoL way too far back and it isn't very maneuverable, so I taxied through Research and Development.

y4m1FtAgRlcEytPesMr92dWlvIlj5GMkeeemJrIY

Taxiing to the end of the runway in a desperate attempt to "land"

y4mlrCnwz9U5TXFBXrNkU_sQzrB3w06QV4FF4qnh

According to KER, I was "flying low" just before I touched down on the runway. So technically, I "landed!"

It's fine if I just get Pilot though, I can redo it. I probably should, since it's about as agile as this:

y4mEgSqNQyYbfnGzNrOAacJI0ZUZjlAfOR3nw0cJ

Also, in "preliminary testing," I found out that the fuel pod likes to explode itself unless you autostrut it. I'm currently working on STS-1b, and it involves a very big booster, a big 5-meter one that would put a Clydesdale to shame. I'm actually thinking about putting Clydesdales on it for the booster recovery mission, but it already has 2.3km/s delta-V with a fully loaded shuttle, so it would probably be useless.

Sorry about the long blank part in the spoiler, a bunch of emoji appeared out of nowhere and caused the massive gap. I still can't fix it.

Edited by GummiRevolution
Can't fix horrendous formatting! Ack!
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@GummiRevolution welcome to the challenge! Your modlist seems ok, as long as you avoid the Far Future engines like you said. It's otherwise similar to my own. What are the stats on those cryo jets though? I'm not familiar with that mod. As long as they're balanced like stock engines or a bit better (like NF), they're fine.

Regarding the landing, yeah that's not sufficient for a Commander badge. If you stick the landing on the runway and then taxi off afterwards, that's fine, but you did it the other way around. ;)

As for the fuel pod, I'll review and maybe post an update. That's now the second complaint. We should terminate that contract... oh wait, we can't. But we can at least demand repairs.

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I flew a couple of test landings with my older Bustard orbiter and was unable to reproduce any breakage. It's large enough to hold both fuel pods at once, and I flew it both with and without autostruts enabled. On closer inspection I think the issue is with the landing gear. Bustard is rated to land with 100t of cargo, and is therefore fitted with two extra large stock landing gear for the tailwheels and two KS-FAT-29 Huge landing gear for the nosewheels (from Airplane Plus - similar load rating to the stock XL wheels, but shorter and with steering). I have a few other orbiter designs, but they all have beefy landing gear in common.

@GummiRevolution, I don't know what landing gear you were testing with, but @NightshineRecorralis, you appeared to be using 2 small nosewheels and 4 medium tailwheels. Even doubled up as you have done, I don't think they have sufficient shock absorption or ground clearance for a large shuttle. You did scrape off an RCS thruster too, I noticed.

For reference, this is my STS-2b submission from the v5 challenge:

And because that album doesn't really show Bustard's ground clearance, here's another screenshot from STS-3:

R3zitGo.png

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3 hours ago, sturmhauke said:

I flew a couple of test landings with my older Bustard orbiter and was unable to reproduce any breakage. It's large enough to hold both fuel pods at once, and I flew it both with and without autostruts enabled. On closer inspection I think the issue is with the landing gear. Bustard is rated to land with 100t of cargo, and is therefore fitted with two extra large stock landing gear for the tailwheels and two KS-FAT-29 Huge landing gear for the nosewheels (from Airplane Plus - similar load rating to the stock XL wheels, but shorter and with steering). I have a few other orbiter designs, but they all have beefy landing gear in common.

@NightshineRecorralis, you appeared to be using 2 small nosewheels and 4 medium tailwheels. Even doubled up as you have done, I don't think they have sufficient shock absorption or ground clearance for a large shuttle. You did scrape off an RCS thruster too, I noticed.

My in the works Mun shuttle is designed with a much higher ground clearance, is smaller, has higher rated gear, and has more wing area - I'll be sure to test the fuel pod in that thing. I think my main issue with the Commodore is that it was designed primarily for large item lifting and not landing - but off camera I figured out that as long as I touch down with less than 1m/s of vertical speed it would survive, like, 90% of the time. In these cases it makes me believe that the problem is due to my design but not in the way you described. I can't quite figure out why, but something about a large lateral load just broke it on my save in particular. I say this because the breakage occurs at the same place between the tanks and not at the docking port, which traditionally is the weakest point. I almost wonder if the RCS tank's autostrut might have something to do with it but clearly I need to do more testing.

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As for the cryo and methane jets, it's just a MM patch that adds a B9 Part Switch module for switching between LH2, LF and methane. I kept the stock stats for methane, and increased the Isp a bit for the cryo versions. I can PM you the patch if you want. And it's fine I only got Pilot, I'm planning on moving the CoL forward and trying again today.

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