It'snorocketscience Posted April 16, 2020 Share Posted April 16, 2020 (edited) Design a SSTO that uses propellers or rotors instead of jets during atmospheric ascent I like useful challenges, and I hope this one may be considered as such. The goal, besides challenging oneself, is to create a new type of SSTO that can explore atmospheres with props or rotors, thereby saving fuel and enabling the exploration of oxygen-free bodies, like Duna. This would enable a craft to biome-hop for science or transport resources much more effectively than slow rovers and fuel-guzzling rocket planes/landers can in said atmospheres. While these kinds of biome-hopping and transport crafts do exist, they don't seem to exist in reusable SSTO form, it seems. Props and rotors, unlike jets and intakes, also have the benefit of not being dead weight on Duna. So while props may offer worse performance on Kerbin, they'll pay you back during Duna ascent. Or at least, that's the theory. Requirements: No airbreathing engines. The craft must be capable of flight using rotor/prop power alone in the destination planet’s atmosphere, but you can obviously use rockets to get to and fly in space. Self-sufficient SSTOs only. So, ISRU mining is allowed, but no assistance from external ships (asteroids are OK). You may not jettison any parts other than payloads that don’t help the main vessel in any way. Normal difficulty or harder, but for convenience, you may ignore commnet—pretend a network is already in place. The SSTO must be useful in career mode. There’s no point in a spacecraft if you can’t bring any Science, Kerbals, or payloads along. Carry at least one kerbal (chairs allowed), OR if you wish not to carry kerbals, carry at least 0.2 tons of parts from the “science” category, OR deliver a payload weighing at least 0.5 tons. You may drop payloads once you are landed at your destination. If your destination is Jool, you may drop it low Jool orbit or into the depths of Jool. Payloads must be attached/detached using docking ports, not decouplers. No mods or part tweaks other than official DLCs, FAR, aesthetic mods, and piloting or planning assists. Challenge Tiers: Tier 0: "Proof of Concept" (Normal): Build a prop/rotor SSTO that makes it to Kerbin orbit. Must be capable of takeoff/landing in Kerbin’s atmosphere on rotor/prop power alone. Example: Reddit user u/chargan’s Orbital Chopper Tier 1: "Practical Problems, Sober Solutions" (Hard): Fly your prop/rotor SSTO to Duna's surface and back. Must be capable of takeoff/landing in Duna’s atmosphere on rotor/prop power alone. The challenge is simple in concept, but hard in practice. But, if you manage to accomplish Duna, there are other destinations to try, where almost no SSTO crafts have ever gone before... Spoiler Tier 2: "Insane Issues, Impractical Improvements" (Harder than hard): Fly your prop/rotor SSTO to Eve's surface and back. DISCLAIMER: While YouTube user Brad Whistance has flown a prop SSTO to Eve and back, it was huge and laggy. To be fair, he didn’t use Breaking Ground props nor ISRUs, but consider yourself forewarned. The SSTO must be capable of takeoff/landing in Eve’s atmosphere on rotor/prop power alone. Tier 3: "Impress Jebediah" (Hardest-est): Fly your prop/rotor SSTO to the “flying low” boundary on Jool (120,000m) and live to tell the tale. WARNING: Impressing Jeb and/or escaping Jool with a single stage might be impossible, even with props and rotors to get out of the atmosphere, so beware. ISRUs are allowed, but even if you can escape the atmosphere, the nearest moon will be a long burn from the depths of Jool’s gravity well. You could tow an asteroid to low Jool orbit for refueling, but first, you have to get it there… Bonus Badges:Within each tier, entries can receive the following awards. Ordered roughly by importance in career mode. (ISRU comes last as you are strongly encouraged to use it.) V: Heaviest payload delivered IV: Greatest tourist capacity (No chairs - tourists can’t go on EVA) III: Cheapest craft II: Lightest craft (Wet mass, excluding payload mass) I: No ISRU (Multiple entries can earn this.) Leaderboard: Spoiler Entries are ranked by tier, then by number of badges. If there is a tie in the number of badges, the badge types will determine ranking (An entry with the “Heaviest payload” award outranks an entry with the “No ISRU” award, BUT if the "No ISRU" entry happens to have the "lightest craft" award, it will have 2 badges and therefore outrank the "Heaviest payload" entry). Tier 3: Prop/rotor SSTO to Jool's lower atmosphere and back: (No entries yet.) Tier 2: Prop/rotor SSTO to Eve and back: (No entries yet.) Tier 1: Prop/rotor SSTO to Duna and back:Itsnorocketscience's "Duna Phantom" No payload/tourist capacity. Cost: 40k. 15.6t wet mass. ISRU.III: Cheapest craft + II: Lightest craft xendelaar's "Honey bee"No payload/tourist capacity. Cost: 176k. 127t wet mass. ISRU. Tier 0: Prop/rotor SSTO to LKO and back: (No entries yet.) Good luck! If you have any trouble completing the challenge, browse this thread or just ask for help—there are many posts here with tips and links and instructions. Edited June 23, 2020 by It'snorocketscience Fixed spoiler, formatting and words. Increased clarity. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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