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The Gaelan Space Race (entries closed again)


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Thread of the month! To celebrate, entries will be open again for the whole month of October- if you've just found this thread and want to join, send your agency name, flag and slogan in a PM and I'll add you to the list.

The Gaelan Space Race

Tales of the Kerbals' great Space Races have reached their distant cousins, the Gaelans. Though less technologically advanced and with a society less focussed on industry than Kerbin, the citizens of Gael are eager to strike out and explore the many planets and moons of the Ciro system- and maybe even its close neighbour Grannus.

Obviously the discussions about how to set about this astronomical task immediately broke down into bickering, name calling and eventually a full blown food fight. The Gaelan High Council eventually had to step in and restore order- by starting a Space Race of their own, complete with spectacular prizes for the winners.

Spoiler

The Rules

  • Completing an objective fastest will gain you bonus points- 1 for phase 1, 2 for phase 2 and so on.
  • The race is based on Universal Time (UT) in game, not real time. This means that the fastest time for a particular objective might change and bonus points will be reallocated as a result, so just because you're taking a long time in real life time doesn't mean you're out of the race.
  • Maximum two objectives per craft- e.g. if your probe claims first flyby and orbit of Iota, landing that probe on Iota won't get the first landing objective too. For crewed missions, if you launch an orbiter and lander on the same rocket (Apollo-style), that's one craft.
  • No reverts or reloads allowed, except in case of game glitch/Kraken attack that means a mission cannot be completed. Bad piloting and bad designs are not glitches :huh:.
  • Any crew fatalities result in an immediate mission failure, any objectives completed by that mission up to that point are void and you'll need to start again. In addition, all crews must be returned safely to Gael before beginning the interstellar objectives and if any of them die, you'll need to repeat their objectives. (I'm not going to make you repeat all the other subsequent objectives if you have to repeat one out of sequence, that would be plain cruel...)
  • You can launch other missions that don't complete any objectives to get extra science points, these won't count as "active" if they don't claim any objectives- but you can only launch a science mission if you've already completed the objective e.g. no sending additional landers to Iota or Ceti before the first one has landed successfully.
  • At the very beginning of the race, cheat yourself 10 science points and unlock the two tier 1 tech nodes at 5 science each, otherwise it's just a painfully slow grind to get going with the poor returns of early Kerbalism science experiments.
  • No Kraken drives or other cheaty propulsion devices allowed.
  • All claims for completing objectives must include supporting screenshots or videos which must include UT game time. Include a screenshot of the launch as it leaves the pad, screenshots of all completed objectives and in the case of missions that return to Gael, a screenshot of the craft safely on the ground- all with the UT clock in them. To claim a "first orbit" objective, the craft must complete at least one full orbit (include two screenshots with the orbital period visible, at least one orbital period apart). The Historian mod can add some of this information automatically to your screenshots, please consider using this as it will make my job of keeping track of everything much easier!

The settings

Science mode, start with difficulty settings on hard, then make the following changes:

  • Science multiplier 100%;
  • Part and Kerbal limits on;
  • Plasma blackout enabled;
  • CommNet strengths to 1;
  • Kerbal respawns off;
  • Stock craft off;

The prizes

I'll make badges for the top three. (Don't expect an artistic masterpiece...)

Spoiler

The Objectives

Split into five phases. Each objective must be completed in order, and all objectives in each phase must be completed before starting the next.

Phase 1: First small steps

These are all uncrewed objectives, to be completed with probes only. Maximum two active missions at once- an active mission will complete one or more objectives, once it has completed those and won't be used for anything else it is inactive.

  • First launch- must reach 5km AGL;
  • First to reach space- must leave the atmosphere;
  • First orbit- must complete one full orbit;
  • First orbit and return- must complete one full orbit before returning;
  • First flyby of Iota;
  • First impactor on Iota- must hit the ground at >100m/s;
  • First orbit of Iota;
  • First soft landing on Iota;
  • First flyby of Ceti;
  • First impactor on Ceti (>100m/s velocity);
  • First orbit of Ceti;
  • First soft landing on Ceti;
  • First interplanetary probe- leave Gael's SOI to claim this one, however you can aim at another planet if you want!
  • Sample return mission to Iota- must soft land on the moon, run an experiment and then transport the data/sample back to the surface of Gael intact!
  • Sample return mission to Ceti- same conditions as above;

Phase 2: New Horizons

These are also uncrewed objectives, to be completed with probes only. Maximum three active missions at once.

  • First interplanetary flyby of another planet;
  • First interplanetary orbit;
  • First interplanetary landing;
  • First interplanetary rover- must visit three biomes and gather scientific data from each;
  • First to put five probes in orbit of five (unique) planets and/or moons (beyond Gael’s SOI) at the same time- this means five different crafts each orbiting a different celestial body, can include craft that completed first interplanetary orbit;

And one of:

  • First landing on Icarus;
  • First landing on Lili;
  • First landing on Tarsiss.

Icarus orbits Ciro very closely (much closer than Moho), Lili is a tiny target and Tarsiss is a moon of a moon so each landing is a unique challenge. Note- you'll need to complete all three of these at some point!

Phase 3- Gaelans in space soonest

With the exception of first Gael orbit and landing on the moons, all crewed vessels for this phase must have at least two crew and at least three internal(!) seats. Maximum two active missions at once (a vessel carrying crew to a base or station counts as an active vessel, as does the base/station itself until the crew board the station/base).

  • First crewed orbit of Gael- must complete one full orbit and then return to the surface alive!
  • First crewed orbit of Iota;
  • First crewed landing (with flag!) on Iota;
  • First crewed orbit of Ceti;
  • First crewed landing on Ceti;
  • First space station around Gael- must have at least six (internal!) seats, launched empty and then complete an orbit with at least two crew aboard to complete this objective;
  • First space station around a moon of Gael- same rules apply as for the Gael space station;
  • First surface base on a moon of Gael- must have at least six internal seats, launched and landed empty then be occupied by at least two crew to complete this objective.

Phase 4: To boldly go

Crewed interplanetary ships must have at least six internal seats, have at least three crew and at least one free seat per two crew. To clarify- any ship that leaves Gael's SOI is an interplanetary ship and must meet this requirement at all times. Landers should have a crew of at least two, but the free seat is not necessary. Maximum three active uncrewed missions and two active crewed missions at once.

  • First crewed vessel to leave Gael’s SOI;
  • First crewed interplanetary orbit;
  • First crewed interplanetary landing;
  • First to have ten interplanetary probes in orbit around ten different planets and moons beyond Gael’s SOI at the same time;
  • Complete the three landings on Icarus, Lili and Tarsiss;
  • First to land crew on five different bodies outside Gael’s SOI;

Phase 5: Grannus

Assuming you get this far, well done! The JX-2 antenna and/or GEP-CommNet (level 4 tracking station) can now be used to provide interstellar-range communications. Interstellar ships need 10 seats and at least six crew, with one free seat per two crew; landers must have at least two crew and three total seats. Clarification- any ship that travels to Grannus' SOI is an interstellar ship and must meet this requirement at all times. Return all crews from interplanetary missions before beginning Phase 5. Due to the long transit times to Grannus, up to ten active uncrewed missions and five crewed missions are allowed.

  • First probe to enter Grannus' SOI;
  • First probe to orbit Grannus or any child body (planet, moon, moon of a moon...);
  • First probe landing on any body in Grannus’ SOI- can be a planet or a moon;
  • First crewed mission to enter Grannus' SOI;
  • First crewed mission to orbit Grannus or any child body (planet, moon, moon of a moon...);
  • First crewed landing on any body in Grannus’ SOI- planet or moon;
  • First to land probes on ten different bodies in Grannus' SOI;
  • First to land crew on five different planets or moons in Grannus’ SOI.
Spoiler

The mods

After some testing it looks like KSP 1.12.2 is stable enough to run everything, but feel free to use any KSP version from 1.10 and up.

Required

  • Galileo's Planet Pack and Grannus Expansion Pack;
  • Kerbalism and Kerbalism Science-only config;
  • Probes Before Crew;
  • And that's it!

Permitted

  • Graphics mods like EVE, scatterer etc. and skyboxes- GPP comes with its own cloud textures and EVE configs which you can download via CKAN;
  • Utilities like MechJeb, KER, Transfer Window Planner, KAC and so on;
  • Waterfall;
  • Kerbal name/appearance changers and custom space suits;
  • JX-2 antenna and GEP-CommNet, but only for the interstellar phase as they're overpowered otherwise;
  • Historian, to add more details to your screenshots;
  • Better Time Warp or other mods that make time warp faster, otherwise those interstellar trips will take forever in real time.
  • Mods that automatically apply autostruts, but only after unlocking struts in the tech tree;
  • Mods that improve resource transfer, but only after unlocking fuel ducts in the tech tree.

Banned

  • All parts mods- stock parts only!
  • Mods that change the stock parts' appearance e.g. Restock, Ven's stock revamp, TURD;
  • Mods that improve structural integrity of rockets, without the need to unlock struts in the tech tree;
  • Mods that allow resource transfer, without unlocking fuel ducts in the tech tree;
  • Any construction mods e.g. extraplanetary launchpads, MKS,  as well as KIS/KAS and stock EVA construction mode. Vessels must be built in the VAB/SPH and cannot be modified once launched.
  • Any new launchsites- KSC launchpad and runway only.
  • Both DLCs- this ensures a level playing field for everyone.
  • Automated launch/supply mods e.g. KSTS, GRAPES and so on- you want something in space, you launch it there.

Anyone who wants to take part, please send me a PM with your agency name, flag (please make this KSP flag sized, 512 x 256) and a one-sentence slogan/blurb. Entries will remain open for one week after the race starts.

The competitors

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Lewie Space Program by @Lewie

Through blunders and F9 to the Stars

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Gael Corporation by @GuessingEveryDay

For Greebfap!

SpaceK by @minerbat

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To space for fun and explosions!

Nacho Average Space Program by @Spaceman.Spiff

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Where we're going, we don't need cheese!

Society of Monolith Priests by @Selective Genius

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Through Exploration, Salvation

Sundowners in Space by @jinnantonix

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Pretending to be at work

Drunken Space Pirates by @Turbofreak

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Having good times in space Collecting valuable artifacts and science

Well, it's the first of September so looks like it's time to-

LET THE GAELAN SPACE RACE BEGIN!

(Entry is now closed)

Edited by jimmymcgoochie
A little bit of rule clarification
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12 minutes ago, GuessingEveryDay said:

Does it matter if we do Science or Career?

Science mode. I should probably put that in the rules!

Career is too grindy with all the limitations it imposes, you'd spend more time grinding contracts to upgrade buildings than actually completing the objectives.

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i want to play but school starts soon again and im going to a new school so that will take a lot of my time, especcially if i want to make youtube videos about it. so i dont think i will join unless you are okay with me only making really slow progress?

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In case you missed it-

LET THE GAELAN SPACE RACE BEGIN!!!

I've been faffing about trying my own challenge and so far, so good- starting with 10 science makes everything a lot easier, it's possible to make orbit very early depending on how many tiny fuel tanks you're prepared to stack (spaghetti rockets, I'd forgotten about those...), and hurling a cluster of probe cores with barometers and thermometers into the upper atmosphere can net a lot of science very easily ;).

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could there be some kind of build time rule or mod? i understand playing on science mode instead of career because of grind but i feel like that takes away much of the strategy of a "space race" as you can have unlimited parts and max upgrades from the start.

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14 hours ago, minerbat said:

could there be some kind of build time rule or mod? i understand playing on science mode instead of career because of grind but i feel like that takes away much of the strategy of a "space race" as you can have unlimited parts and max upgrades from the start.

Just because you can build huge rockets straight away doesn’t mean you should- trying to build large rockets with many small parts usually ends in rockets that fold themselves in half at the first opportunity. I tried a very early tech Iota probe using the smallest fuel tanks and a bunch of Thumper SRBs to give it some oomph off the pad; it bent close to 90 degrees and very nearly tore itself apart, only booster burnout so the main engine could drag things back on track with its gimbal saved it.

I put in the two active missions rule to prevent anyone from spamming launches too fast, which will also make failures more of a problem as you can’t launch a replacement for potentially years if the original fails.

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19 minutes ago, jimmymcgoochie said:

Just because you can build huge rockets straight away doesn’t mean you should- trying to build large rockets with many small parts usually ends in rockets that fold themselves in half at the first opportunity. I tried a very early tech Iota probe using the smallest fuel tanks and a bunch of Thumper SRBs to give it some oomph off the pad; it bent close to 90 degrees and very nearly tore itself apart, only booster burnout so the main engine could drag things back on track with its gimbal saved it.

I put in the two active missions rule to prevent anyone from spamming launches too fast, which will also make failures more of a problem as you can’t launch a replacement for potentially years if the original fails.

i dont see a rule saying that i am only allowed to have 2 active missions at the same time, only that a single mission can not complete more than 2 objectives. also here is my flag: https://imgur.com/Nysamo2

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