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SSTOs! Post your pictures here~

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21 hours ago, linuxgurugamer said:

If you uploaded the plane to KerbalX, even if you don't save it, it will give you a list of the mods that it detects in the plane

Ah, I just made an account there and uploaded two of my space crafts. I really like the analytics and user friendly-ness of their site.

Anyhow, here's the link https://kerbalx.com/Andrew2070/SSTO-H-BroadSword-mk7

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I recently realized that my largest launch vehicle for my largest rover is able to reach orbit and land on Minmus without dropping any of its stages, making it by far my largest SSTO.

After refueling on Minmus' surface, this flight plan lets me land the rover on Moho or Tylo.


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Dragonfly XL landed at Laythe. Yesterday I completed my first SSTO mission to the watery moon and back to Kerbin. No ISRU was used, and I landed on the KSC runway at the end of the mission.


Dragonfly XL in LKO, just after launch. I optimized this craft for dv only, it does not have any payload capacity. Its sole aim is to plant flags on the other moons and planets.

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On 7/7/2021 at 10:52 PM, fourfa said:

I've been playing a lot with drag optimizations.  I found you can shield whole RAPIER engine nacelles from drag with a fairing, hide the ugly fairing bases inside nesting fairings, hide a rear vacuum engine from drag, hide attitude control thrusters from drag, hide landing gear from drag...

The most interesting to me was making an ultra-high temperature SSTO nose, from a heat shield and service bay.  Heat shields with open attach nodes have *absurd* drag, to help capsules reenter.  Make sure something is attached to the front node, then hide that thing in the service bay, and it becomes practically frictionless.  Nose temp has always been my limiting factor for air-breathing SSTO speed - this has 3300K front-most tolerance on the heatshield, then 2900K on the service bay, then 2700K on the cockpit.  This is temp-limited by the wings and V-tail at 2400K, not much more you can do about that...!  Max airbreathing speed 1650+m/s with its max 45T/4U payload.  It's by far the fastest cargo SSTO I've ever made, which means the rest of the burn to orbit can be done with significantly less propellant.



My question is about the nose.   My MK3 has a generic nose cone on it (rated at 2400) that keeps overheating and even burning off.  You say your heat shield needs to be set back and also have something in front of it, but I can see nothing in front of your heat shield.  A nose cone in front doesn't seem to get much help from the heat shield.

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9 hours ago, miklkit said:

My question is about the nose.   My MK3 has a generic nose cone on it (rated at 2400) that keeps overheating and even burning off.  You say your heat shield needs to be set back and also have something in front of it, but I can see nothing in front of your heat shield.  A nose cone in front doesn't seem to get much help from the heat shield.

Sure, good question.  There's a trick involving the service bay right behind the heat shield on the nose.  Attach the service bay, then attach the heat shield.  If you leave it like this, you'll find the heat shield has crazy drag, like ten times the whole rest of the craft, and probably can't even break Mach 1.  So add a basic nose cone in front of the heatshield (occupying that drag-causing attachment node) but then use the SPH offset tool to move the basic nose cone backwards, into the service bay.  Now it's hidden from drag, the heatshield is super low drag, and the high heat tolerance of the heat shield (3300K) and service bay (2900K) work for you.

You can skip the service bay too - just put the heat shield on the Mk3 cockpit, then the basic nose cone in front of it, then offset the nose cone backward behind the heat shield.  Not hidden from drag any more but not a big deal.  On my craft the service bay is doing a whole lot more than just hiding the nose cone, so I need it there.

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VTOL SSTO Tail sitter

Mass: 10.56t
Cost: 49,760.0
No. of Stages: 2
Crew Capacity: 1
Part Count: 34
No. of Struts: 0
Root Part: Mark2Cockpit
Built in KSP: 1.12.3
Size: 3.51 x 9.36 x 6.2
Resources: ElectricCharge, IntakeAir, LiquidFuel, MonoPropellant (No thrusters), Oxidizer
KSP DLCs: Breaking Ground
Kerbal X page:
A lot of explaining on the page but to be brief it's a nice sports car kind of SSTO. There's some very simple steps to getting into orbit and because of the nature of them it is very easy to get quick consistent results. A small change on the craft followed by the same steps to orbit give good feedback in apo reached, delta v remaining etc. Neat and tidy.
Lots of different flap settings, control authorities for each phase of flight. Re-entry is the most tricky to be consistent with, the thing tends to glide a long way at high speed sitting right up high. A small difference in AOA, a small difference in energy at re-rentry,  a small difference in angle and you over shoot by an ocean....lucky that it has the Juno engines which were only added to get the craft off the floor from stationary. Rapier too sluggish from a standstill. It's a small craft so after re-entry, with all of the LOX gone and not much liquid fuel left it's very light and will happily fly around on the two Juno alone with only a small helping from the canards to compensate for a heavy nose.
After you get the landing procedure right it is very easy to land safely every time....just not so easy to be accurate about where you land. Also lacks a method of exiting the craft after landing but at that time i though simply survival was enough. Tip, set parachute to instant deploy.
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I'm playing career mode and it took a while to unlock enough technologies to make SSTOs worthwhile.  But since I got them working I've become a convert.  They're fun to design, interesting to fly, and save a lot of funds in the long run.


Gazelle was my very first successful SSTO, a Mk1 based crew transfer spaceplane.  It uses liquid fuel only (Whiplash + NERV) and won me my first K-Prize.


Skipjack is a baby Skylon, a fully autonomous light launch vehicle powered by three RAPIERs.  Mk2 parts get a bad rap but I wanted to make use of that cargo bay for probe launches, and I'm satisfied with the result.


Its big sister, Sittang, took a lot more work to refine as the early versions were prone to exploding on touchdown.  But it's now my standard medium-lift vehicle and my go-to for rescue and retrieval in Kerbin orbit.  I'm particularly proud of the self-deploying payload arm.

(Links are to the relevant KerbalX page or forum thread.)

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14 hours ago, NyetiArts said:

Skipjack is a baby Skylon, a fully autonomous light launch vehicle powered by three RAPIERs.  Mk2 parts get a bad rap but I wanted to make use of that cargo bay for probe launches, and I'm satisfied with the result.


At what speed does the Skipjack's wheels leave the floor ?

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SSTO don't have to be exotic. I use these for my no contract career challenge





These only require level 1 R&D technology and are cheap.

I have uploaded the lightest model to Kerbalx


It costs about 1000 funds to launch after recovery, and a Kerbin satellite contract normally pays tens of thousands, that is some profit margin :D.



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  • 2 weeks later...


Tanto on its way to orbit in Kerbal Space Programm with the Je ne sais quoi mod.

JNSQ takes place in a system with 2.5x the size, meaning orbital velocities are higher and crafts have to be redesigned to cope with the higher demands in reaching orbit or reentering from orbit.

The Tanto is equipped with 6x Rapier engines, 3x Wolfhound engines and 2x Nerv engines to be able to reach a low kerbin orbit with an orbital velocity of 3.800 m/s.

It has enough fuel left to reach Kerbins second small moon, Minmus, and use its mining equipment there to replenish its fuel tanks for further voyages.

It can handle the heat from low kerbin reentry as well.

Link to KerbalX:



Mephisto (Flying like a leaf in the wind.)


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Looks like this thread is still alive !

Then, please welcome... The DeltaVee ! Don't be fooled by the Rapiers' propulsion block being jettisoned during the flight, it's only for the Mun Mission.

The DeltaVee is a FullStock 1000t Craft able to fulfill a broad range of missions. It can be tuned in multiple versions such as:

- 500+ passengers SSTO for commercial tourism and able to land anywhere on the globe.

- 50+ passengers SSTO for orbital luxurious conferences, seminar, teambuilding (lol) , 0g-restaurant, glass-transparent top and bottom.

- 50t payload to moon surface.

- 20 scientific crew members for long duration moon mission.

This video showcases the last version. The whole specification is based on the very first IRL KSP Hackathon tournament, held in France and of which I was an organizer. The goals and constraints were the following:

- 20+ scientific crew for a 6+ months duration stay on Moon.

- Modules need to be linked or within a 50m radius distance.

- Emergency Escape system for the whole crew.

- Maximum mass on launchpad / runway is 1000t.

- 10 hours hackathon challenge, 4 minutes speech to a jury including professionals: ESA, ArianeWorks, VOS... Yeah, that was intense ;)

I chose to go the SSTO route and did not respect the 10 hours limit. At all. More like 100+ hours if we count the craft (50-65 hours) , the video recording, video montage, etc. :p The craft is fully Roleplay designed. The pressurized area is one big realistic space that can host every module a ground moon mission would require: labs, equipments, personal living rooms, etc. The 20 members limit is set accordingly so that they actually have proper room to live and work in, it feels fairly reasonable. Everything is connected for real, crew won't have to swim in fuel to go from a part to another one. There is no non-legit clipping. And design was a must as well, while retaining functions. It's able to refuel on the ground thanks to the belly bay that embed the whole harvester and converter system, as well as side solar panel and radiators. It also features some modules at the rear: a relay satellite, a resource scanner, a rover to explore and settle up the right area after confirming a flat surface and resource availability. It has an emergency escape system at the very front composed of the 4 crew cabin and the 16 crew module in which the 20 crew members sit during risky phases. It can get back from moon surface to KSC by its own. Took a looooooong time to get everything right and i'm very proud to be able to showcase the final version to you! I really hope you'll like it as well as the video in iself :)

Enjoy! Feedback appreciated, of course, be they negative or positive.

Wanna try the craft ? Sure ! Here you go: https://kerbalx.com/Dadkitess/DC-SSTO-DeltaVeeV57

Edited by Dakitess
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Upgrades for my JNSQ-Fleet:
JNSQ X-8 Tethys SSTO



Just completed the first mission with my new SSTO in "Je ne sais quoi" to Minmus and the Mun.
Has room for 8 Kerbals and can collect lots of science.

  • Command pod for Pilot and Engineer
  • Passenger Seats for four Kerbals
  • Science bay in starboard service bay
  • Full ISRU complement (small ISRU, large mining drill, fuel cell arrays, RTG, ore tank)
  • Frontal docking port junior via inflatable airlock at the bow
  • Frontal parachute for parachute assisted landing (Duna, etc.)
  • Breaking parachutes for quick deceleration after landing (Kerbin, Laythe, etc.)
  • Sensors and scanners for ore detection
  • Docking port senior at the stern. In space, an Engineer can put the cover on the upper part of the craft.
  • Free service bay for future upgrades at the front. (Rover, micro lander, satellite, etc.)
  • Special emphasis on high temperature and high impact tolerance for key parts: wherever possible, parts with high stress and temperature tolerance have been used to compensate for higher thermal loads in Je ne sais quoi mod.
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