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Low Mass Duna Challenge Continued

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The challenge: send a kerbal to Duna and back with the lowest launch mass possible!

Continued from: 

The original post has been inactive for many years, and I would like to get rid of the "launch in a capsule" restriction, in order to pursue the absolute limit.

I would be excited to see someone breaking my new record!

A mission with a Juno engine should probably get the launch mass below 2 tons.

The Rules:

- No infinite fuel or hack gravity, or any form of cheating. (obviously)

- Stock and DLC only, no modded parts. Information mods are OK. If you are not sure, ask in your submission.

- No kraken drives, no KAL overclock, no magic wings (heat shield or flag wings), no cfg change.

- The Kerbal must return to Kerbin.

- Re-entry heating must be set to at least 100% 

- Mass does not include launch clamps.

- Mass does not include pilot, but inventory of the pilot should be included. In other word, reported mass=mass on launch pad – 45 kg.

- The craft should launch by itself, on any of the launch site in the stock game. But DO NOT transport it to a different launch position using other crafts.

- Part clipping is allowed but should be stated clearly in the submission.

- Missions below 5 tons are very welcome. Missions above 15 tons… There is plenty of room for improvement, since launching in a chair is allowed.

- In case you don’t know yet, a sandbox save with Commnet disabled allows engineers to create maneuver nodes. This is encouraged so that you can push the limit further using EVA construction.

Submission Rules

- Have a screenshot from inside the VAB showing the craft's mass or show it in a video if you are submitting by video.

- If you are submitting by screenshots, make sure to screenshot every major burn and the landing on Duna and the return to Kerbin.

- If you are submitting by video remember to show the mass and all major burns.


- My own submission: Propeller + rocket, a very unconventional approach. I am posting this challenge because I broke BW’s record. Very little part clipping (and not really necessary). 2.291 Tons

- @EvermoreAlpacaPrevious world record from the legendary Bradley Whistance. Likely the limit of this challenge prior to the introduction of DLC – 2.998 Tons

- @astrobond: Another legendary player who invented the world first Eve SSTO. To both Duna and Ike (remains world record in that category). – 3.995 Tons


A few submissions from the original challenge that are below 10 tons:

- @tseitsei89 Low mass duna mission 4.609t - Imgur, Jet engine launch, spark booster to help speed up, ions to orbit. Tiny lander using a pair of spider engines - 4.609 Tons

- @ManEatingApeachieved 1700+ meters per second using a rapier, used a tiny wheel like lander and a tiny ion shuttle, utilized aerobraking at both Duna and Kerbin saving fuel. - 4.992 Tons

- @Eidahlil : Very awesome craft, rapier engine shot it out of the atmosphere, the lander and ion shuttle assisted each other in achieving orbit, lander has no parachutes, Kerbin and Duna captures both done manually by the ion engine. - 5.473 Tons

- @Nefrums Small Duna - Imgur, Rapier launched, spark engine assisted in orbit, ion-powered transfer stage, Duna lander made of cockpit of launch vehicle, Mun assist into Kerbin Orbit, glided down to KSC, powered landing on a spark engine. Very impressive, especially the powered Kerbin landing. - 7.5 Tons



Edited by Alpaca Z
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  • 2 weeks later...

Pardon me.

I found a Chinese player made a 2.291 ton duna return rocket,with the same mass as yours!

2.3 吨载人往返Duna | 再破世界纪录_坎巴拉太空计划 (bilibili.com)

Hope you can understand Chinese.:confused:


Edited by Kerbal123_Furry
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3 hours ago, Kerbal123_Furry said:

Pardon me.

I found a Chinese player made a 2.291 ton duna return rocket,with the same mass as yours!

2.3 吨载人往返Duna | 再破世界纪录_坎巴拉太空计划 (bilibili.com)

Hope you can understand Chinese.:confused:


zgqh ladder, zg alpaca, and Alpaca Z are infact, all the same person

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