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Getting back to the Mun! A Nova-C Lunar Lander Challenge Contest


StarSlay3r
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For millennia we have stared in awe towards the sky and wondered about the nature and the mysteries of the celestial objects we are able to see at night. Besides the sun, no other object has sparked more fascination in us than the Moon, inspiring countless myths and legends across cultures and nations. In 1966, the Luna 9 spacecraft became the first spacecraft to successfully land on it, and only 3 years later, aboard Apollo 11, humans stepped on lunar soil for the first time, a feat that would not be repeated after Apollo 17 in 1972. For many years, we shifted our attention towards other parts of the solar system, but in the past decade, interest in revisiting our only natural satellite has reignited. Attracted by its natural resources and as a possible hub for interplanetary travel, the Moon has become once more the focus of various space agencies and commercial companies in a reinvigorated modern space race.  

Target Location.jpg


As one of nine contractor companies selected by NASA in November 2018 to submit bids for the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program, Intuitive Machines will launch its first out of three lunar landers, the IM-1 Nova-C lander, in summer 2022 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. Nova-C will be the first U.S. vehicle to softly land on the lunar surface since 1972. The lander features the VR900 engine, which uses methane and liquid oxygen and produces 4,000N of thrust, as well as advanced autonomous landing and hazard detection technologies. Capable of carrying 130kg of cargo, the IM-1 Nova-C lander will land on the Moon within 1 degree of 25 N latitude, 50 W longitude, in Vallis Schroteri in Oceanus Procellarum, in a chosen 200-meter landing site, and will ferry numerous experiments to explore and test technologies to process natural resources of the Moon. As such, it will become the first commercial company to bring NASA and commercial payloads to the lunar surface. 
 


To celebrate this milestone, we have partnered with Intuitive Machines for an exciting KSP challenge, where you'll have the opportunity to win an invitation to join their team in their brand new and modern Mission Control Center in Houston, TX, for the real IM-1 Nova-C moon landing!

So, what is this challenge about? Simple, build a Nova-C lander and recreate the IM-1 mission as close as you can! The closest you get to the real thing, the better.

To successfully complete this challenge, you’ll need to:  

  • Build a Nova-C analogue and load it with scientific experiments. 
  • Launch it aboard a Falcon 9-like rocket.
  • Decouple the lander and perform a direct throw TLI to get to the Mün.
  • Perform a soft landing in the Canyons North of the Farside Crater as close to the actual landing site as possible.

Map.png

  • Perform some experiments. 
  • Post a video* showcasing your successful mission on this thread or on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram with the hashtags #NovaCChallenge and #Contest. (Remember to show the coordinates of the location where you have landed).
    *Videos should not contain any music that you do not personally own. 
    (KSP in-game music is ok, just no adding in extra music unless it's something that you created and own the rights to. Licensed music, cover songs, "copyright free" music, etc. is not allowed.)
     

Scoring details:

  • Up to 30 Points for a realistic Nova-C recreation. (appearance, size, and mass all matter)
  • 20 Points for decoupling and performing a direct throw TLI to get to the Mün.
  • Up to 40 Points for landing safely at the right location.
  • 2 Points for each experiment you bring with you and perform. (Maximum of 20 points)
  • 20 Additional points if you perform a vertical takeoff, cruise, and landing to another location of the Mün after you have arrived at your first destination.
  • 30 Additional points if you safely land the Falcon 9-like rocket on Kerbin.
  • In the event of a tie, the winner will be determined by a panel of judges. 
     

Mods are NOT allowed. Cheats are NOT allowed.
This challenge is intended to be completed in Stock KSP. This means players can not utilize DLC or any other add-ons to complete the challenge. Add-ons are classified as any original or derivative work intended to expand another work by adding or replacing files. (Including, but not limited to: informational mods, visual mods, autopilot mods, and utility mods) We are allowing the use of custom flags only.

Note: Please make sure to maintain a copy of your saved game as you may be asked to submit it for further review.

You have until March 23rd, 2022, to complete the challenge. The winner will be announced on March 31st, 2022. One grand prize winner will win a trip to Houston, TX to join the Intuitive Machines team in mission control for the real Nova-C moon landing. The winner will also get a tour of the Intuitive Machine spacecraft production facility while they’re there! Airfare and a 2-night, 3-day stay at Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake for the winner are included.

Good luck!


OPEN ONLY TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE FIFTY UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. MUST BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE. CONTEST BEGINS AT 9:00 AM PT ON MARCH 1, 2022, AND ENDS AT 11:59 PM PT ON MARCH 23, 2022. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED SUBJECT TO THE OFFICIAL RULES LOCATED AT http://bit.ly/kspnovacchallengerules



Wireframe images:

Wireframe-1.jpgWireframe-2.jpg

Wireframe-3.jpgWireframe-4.jpg

Wireframe-5.jpgWireframe-6.jpg

Additional Nova-C images/ size specs:

Nova-C 2.jpg

Nova-C 1.jpg

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29 minutes ago, KSPStar said:

For millennia we have stared in awe towards the sky and wondered about the nature and the mysteries of the celestial objects we are able to see at night. Besides the sun, no other object has sparked more fascination in us than the Moon, inspiring countless myths and legends across cultures and nations. In 1966, the Luna 9 spacecraft became the first spacecraft to successfully land on it, and only 3 years later, aboard Apollo 11, humans stepped on lunar soil for the first time, a feat that would not be repeated after Apollo 17 in 1972. For many years, we shifted our attention towards other parts of the solar system, but in the past decade, interest in revisiting our only natural satellite has reignited. Attracted by its natural resources and as a possible hub for interplanetary travel, the Moon has become once more the focus of various space agencies and commercial companies in a reinvigorated modern space race.  

Target Location.jpg


As one of nine contractor companies selected by NASA in November 2018 to submit bids for the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program, Intuitive Machines will launch its first out of three lunar landers, the IM-1 Nova-C lander, in summer 2022 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. Nova-C will be the first U.S. vehicle to softly land on the lunar surface since 1972. The lander features the VR900 engine, which uses methane and liquid oxygen and produces 4,000N of thrust, as well as advanced autonomous landing and hazard detection technologies. Capable of carrying 130kg of cargo, the IM-1 Nova-C lander will land on the Moon within 1 degree of 25 N latitude, 50 W longitude, in Vallis Schroteri in Oceanus Procellarum, in a chosen 200-meter landing site, and will ferry numerous experiments to explore and test technologies to process natural resources of the Moon. As such, it will become the first commercial company to bring NASA and commercial payloads to the lunar surface. 
 


To celebrate this milestone, we have partnered with Intuitive Machines for an exciting KSP challenge, where you'll have the opportunity to win an invitation to join their team in their brand new and modern Mission Control Center in Houston, TX, for the real IM-1 Nova-C moon landing!

So, what is this challenge about? Simple, build a Nova-C lander and recreate the IM-1 mission as close as you can! The closest you get to the real thing, the better.

To successfully complete this challenge, you’ll need to:  

  • Build a Nova-C analogue and load it with scientific experiments. 
  • Launch it aboard a Falcon 9-like rocket.
  • Decouple the lander and perform a gravity assist around Kerbin to get to the Mün.
  • Perform a soft landing between the Northern Basin and Northwest Crater biomes as close to the actual landing site as possible.

Map.png

  • Perform some experiments. 
  • Post a video* showcasing your successful mission on this thread or on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram with the hashtag #NovaCChallenge (Remember to show the coordinates of the location where you have landed).
    *Videos should not contain any music that you do not personally own.  
     

Scoring details:

  • Up to 30 Points for a realistic Nova-C recreation. (appearance, size, and mass all matter)
  • 20 Points for decoupling and performing a gravity assist around Kerbin.
  • Up to 40 Points for landing safely at the right location.
  • 2 Points for each experiment you bring with you and perform. (Maximum of 20 points)
  • 20 Additional points if you perform a vertical takeoff, cruise, and landing to another location of the Mün after you have arrived at your first destination.
  • 30 Additional points if you safely land the Falcon9-like rocket on Kerbin.
  • In the event of a tie, the winner will be determined by a panel of judges. 
     

Mods are NOT allowed

You have until March 23rd, 2022, to complete the challenge. The winner will be announced on March 31st, 2022. One grand prize winner will win a trip to Houston, TX to join the Intuitive Machines team in mission control for the real Nova-C moon landing. The winner will also get a tour of the Intuitive Machine spacecraft production facility while they’re there! Airfare and a 2-night, 3-day stay at Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake for the winner are included.

Good luck!


NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. OPEN ONLY TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE FIFTY UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. MUST BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE. CONTEST BEGINS AT 9:00 AM PT ON MARCH 1, 2022, AND ENDS AT 11:59 PM PT ON MARCH 23, 2022. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED SUBJECT TO THE OFFICIAL RULES LOCATED AT http://bit.ly/kspnovacchallengerules

Nova-C_IM-1_Wireframe.zipUnavailable

Consider me interested!

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Darn. Canada is so close, yet just far enough from this offer. Exciting prize though, best of luck to the winner!

EDIT: Hang on, the bolded part on this forum post only mentions the USA, but the KSP website includes Canada. Interesting!

Could someone clarify this?

R20NAlN.png

 

The bolded part says USA only, then Eligibility includes Canada. So can Canada participate or not?
One last thing: Challenge mentions no music you don't personally own - so, no music from KSP itself?

Edited by The Destroyer
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The contest is open to legal residents of the fifty united states and the District of Columbia only. 

The previous inclusion of Canada in the rules was a typo which was removed prior to the contest going live, however it appears an issue on our website with Cloudfare prevented the page from purging and updating. We are correcting this now via a manual purge. Our apologies for the confusion caused.

Regarding music:
- KSP in-game music is ok to use
- Any music created by the player themselves that they own full rights to is ok to use
- Any cover songs (created by the player or others) can not be used
- Any licensed or "copyright free" songs can not be used 

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When you say "Mods are not allowed," what kind of mods are you referring to? I assume that part mods are disallowed, which I think is reasonable, but would any of the following also be disallowed?

-Informational mods (Kerbal Engineer Redux, Trajectories, etc)
-Autopilots (kOS, MechJeb)
-Visual mods (Waterfall, Astronomers Visual Pack)
-Other utility mods (Kerbal Alarm Clock, BetterTimeWarp)
-DLCs
 

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5 hours ago, KSPStar said:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. OPEN ONLY TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE FIFTY UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. MUST BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE. CONTEST BEGINS AT 9:00 AM PT ON MARCH 1, 2022, AND ENDS AT 11:59 PM PT ON MARCH 23, 2022. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED SUBJECT TO THE OFFICIAL RULES LOCATED AT [link]

I know this is a bit of a silly concern, since almost all of us already own KSP, but how do you propose one would submit an entry into this challenge without making any purchase? The challenge is to do something in KSP, and KSP is a product you must purchase to use.*
*Technically this may not be the whole truth, but expanding on that would be against forum rules.

Also, are we supposed to be able to download that wireframe model at the bottom of the OP? It says it's unavailable for me.

Edited by RyanRising
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40 minutes ago, Lunar Sea said:

I'm not understanding why a gravity assist around Kerbin is required to get to the Mün. How does that work? 

I don't have any idea either what this is talking about.

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1 minute ago, Tundra said:

I don't have any idea either what this is talking about.

You do a trans-munar injection burn like usual (except it's early) but don't quite reach the Mun. You make a full orbit around, decouple the transfer stage, and complete the rest of the burn to the moon at periapsis.

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1 hour ago, Lunar Sea said:

I'm not understanding why a gravity assist around Kerbin is required to get to the Mün. How does that work? 

It's not a gravity assist. It's just splitting the trans-lunar injection into two burns.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you all for your questions and feedback. We're working on updating the challenge post to fix issues and reduce confusion. So far the following changes have been made. : 
- The wireframe zip file has been removed and individual wireframe images have been added. 
- Clarified what music is and is not allowed
- Clarified "no mods" statement
- Updated "gravity assist around Kerbin" to "direct throw TLI to get to the Mün"

Edited by KSPStar
Updated list of changes
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Can I still do this challenge for the fun of it I live in NZ but I want to do this challenge just for the fun of it and not be hired as I am not at the right age to be hired

Edit: Me always don't read thing properly. To clarify the age part is that I cannot even travel to America because I need a legal guardian and I am not a legal citizen in america as I live in a different country.

Edited by obnox twin
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2 hours ago, Tundra said:

Huh, I guess that's a gravity assist?    More like oberth effect.

Right? Call it what it is then. Gravity assist implies you're coming in from outside SOI. Needlessly confusing. 

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DLC isn't considered stock? F

The lack of DLC really limits what we can do in terms of accuracy of movement

What's the rules on config editing or custom flag textures? Those can both add miles to the detail of a replica but would probs be in kinda a grey zone 

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10 hours ago, KSPStar said:

 

  • Build a Nova-C analogue and load it with scientific experiments. 
  • Launch it aboard a Falcon 9-like rocket.
  • Decouple the lander and perform a gravity assist around Kerbin to get to the Mün.
  • Perform a soft landing in the Canyons North of the Farside Crater as close to the actual landing site as possible.

Map.png

  • Perform some experiments. 
  • Post a video* showcasing your successful mission on this thread or on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram with the hashtag #NovaCChallenge (Remember to show the coordinates of the location where you have landed).
    *Videos should not contain any music that you do not personally own. 
    (KSP in-game music is ok, just no adding in extra music unless it's something that you created and own the rights to. Licensed music, cover songs, "copyright free" music, etc. is not allowed.)
     

Scoring details:

  • Up to 30 Points for a realistic Nova-C recreation. (appearance, size, and mass all matter)
  • 20 Points for decoupling and performing a gravity assist around Kerbin.
  • Up to 40 Points for landing safely at the right location.
  • 2 Points for each experiment you bring with you and perform. (Maximum of 20 points)
  • 20 Additional points if you perform a vertical takeoff, cruise, and landing to another location of the Mün after you have arrived at your first destination.
  • 30 Additional points if you safely land the Falcon9-like rocket on Kerbin.
  • In the event of a tie, the winner will be determined by a panel of judges. 
     

Mods are NOT allowed
This challenge is intended to be completed in Stock KSP. This means players can not utilize DLC or any other add-ons to complete the challenge. Add-ons are classified as any original or derivative work intended to expand another work by adding or replacing files. (Including, but not limited to: informational mods, visual mods, autopilot mods, and utility mods)

You have until March 23rd, 2022, to complete the challenge. The winner will be announced on March 31st, 2022. One grand prize winner will win a trip to Houston, TX to join the Intuitive Machines team in mission control for the real Nova-C moon landing. The winner will also get a tour of the Intuitive Machine spacecraft production facility while they’re there! Airfare and a 2-night, 3-day stay at Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake for the winner are included.

Looks like i'm coming back!

Nervous with the point system though:

-Seems like the science thing can be exploited, plus, are all science experiments equal? Because a Mystery Goo and a Science Jr. are not created equal... and do we count duplicates? Like can we have 20 thermometers? Because there aren't 20 unique science items in stock ksp.

-What do we count as landing safely? Are we saying "no horizontal velocity" is there a speed limit we are considering? Same question for Falcon 9

-having realistic mass is also a hard one to define... Because we can just clip fuel to give the ideal mass. Plus, the dry mass and wet mass in KSP is unrealistic compared to real life? So what counts as realistic mass?

-Can we use flags for aesthetics? Because that would improve the looks of our crafts, but does it violate the "no mods?"

 

I ask these questions because with such a large prize (going to see Nova-C moon landing in mission control,) it feels like this challenge will be very easily exploited in many ways. 

 

I hope that questions clarify the rules, and excited to participate to do my best :D 

 

Edited by Madrocketman
removed redundant words
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2 minutes ago, Madrocketman said:

for the benefit of everyone participating

Thanks mate. :rolleyes:

GetAtt.html (fcc.gov)

NASA - NSSDCA - Spacecraft - Details

Nova-C IM-1 - Gunter's Space Page (skyrocket.de)

Some quick links for people to check out the internal details on the lander.

1 minute ago, Random-E said:

Woah! No DLC!? :valsob:

I can't imagine they'll say Breaking Ground and Making History aren't allowed considering the F9 is a 5m diameter rocket. We'll just have to hear back from them to know for sure.

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2 minutes ago, James M said:

I can't imagine they'll say Breaking Ground and Making History aren't allowed considering the F9 is a 5m diameter rocket. We'll just have to hear back from them to know for sure.

I have no idea how anyone is gonna do realistic landing legs without using some game exploit because of this...

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1 minute ago, Madrocketman said:

I have no idea how anyone is gonna do realistic landing legs without using some game exploit because of this...

Oh the F9 you meant. Yeahhhh....

Edited by James M
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Getting started on the lander and I had a feeling this would happen. The lander so far consists of 1 probe, a structural fuselage, and 19 panels and already weighs in at 1.565t (1565kg). With an expected wet mass of 1980kg and considering

12 hours ago, KSPStar said:

appearance, size, and mass all matter

I'm not sure how you're supposed to do this with stock parts. Being creative can only take you so far when you're limited on part options and none of those parts are comparable weight -> efficiency wise relative to their real life counterparts. Heck the smallest liquid fuel tank weighs in at 0.1238t (123.8kg) so you only get 3 of those, and you can forget all about adding those two 0.3038t (303.8kg) Baguette tanks to the side of your lander unless you want to otherwise sacrifice accuracy of appearance. 

Idk obv going to keep trying but I think I'm going to drop size accuracy since everything in Kerbal is scaled down anyway to allow for more a more realistic design.

Edited by James M
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