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Getting an SSTO to Eeloo when it is at or near apoapsis without gravity assists

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the way it is worded, it would mean that i can make an ssto, then once in orbit ditch stages. which would be easy, it's just a matter of an ssto with an eeloo rocket as payload.

then again, the other interpretation - no stages whatsoever - would be exceedingly difficult, as it would require some 8000 m/s in a single stage. though most of it can be provided by ions, so it should be feasible

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27 minutes ago, Bej Kerman said:

Does not compute

as ssto goes to orbit in a single stage. nothing then says it cannot use stages after it's gone to orbit.

my donkey launcher is an ssto for 25 tons in LKO. it drops the payload, then deorbits and gets recovered. so, it i send the donkey with a 25 ton probe in orbit, then deorbit the donkey and make an eeloo mission with that probe, i have made the mission with the ssto.

or would i have to bring the whole donkey launcher to eeloo?

how about landing? if i orbit eeloo and then detach a lander, the lander lands and orbits again, rejoins the orbiter, then goes back to kerbin, does that still count as ssto?

and what about isru? if isru is allowed, then the objective really becomes "bring an ssto with a convert-o-tron to minmus", because once you start refueling, you can go anywhere.

the challenge needs to be defined better

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