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The Eve Rocks Challenge (v0.90 only)


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@Starlionblue: does that ship fit entirely inside the circle on the floor of the VAB? That looks really wide at the base.

That's a loooooong trip to make out in the cold of space with no comfy command pod to stay in!

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@Starlionblue: does that ship fit entirely inside the circle on the floor of the VAB? That looks really wide at the base.

AGH! Forgot to read that requirement. It is quite a bit wider unfortunately. I guess I don't qualify then. Oops. Pretty sure I can redesign. I'll get back to you.

That's a loooooong trip to make out in the cold of space with no comfy command pod to stay in!

Yeah those Kerbal adult diapers are super absorbent. :)

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You might want to wait and see if Laie cares before you do it all over again. I only mentioned it because I wasn't able to do any useful staging for my Kerbin launch because of the circle restriction. I had this huge bundle of fuel tanks that made it to orbit with the brute force of a long burn time. It did save me a few parts for decouplers and sepratrons, but I would not have built it that way if it wasn't for that rule. The all-in-one launch is a lot harder to do if you are restricted in size.

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You might want to wait and see if Laie cares before you do it all over again. I only mentioned it because I wasn't able to do any useful staging for my Kerbin launch because of the circle restriction. I had this huge bundle of fuel tanks that made it to orbit with the brute force of a long burn time. It did save me a few parts for decouplers and sepratrons, but I would not have built it that way if it wasn't for that rule. The all-in-one launch is a lot harder to do if you are restricted in size.

I'm looking at it and the redesign seems relatively simple. I can squeeze in the last two rings of boosters next to the one that fits in the circle. I'll get exactly the same delta-v. Just need to fiddle with decouplers, Sepratrons and fuel lines a bit...

I love this game.

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I'm looking at it and the redesign seems relatively simple. I can squeeze in the last two rings of boosters next to the one that fits in the circle. I'll get exactly the same delta-v. Just need to fiddle with decouplers, Sepratrons and fuel lines a bit...

I love this game.

I rearranged the lower stages and they now fit inside the ring. Some of the early stagings are gnarly, with bits bumping, but the vehicle consistently makes it fine to Low Kerbin Orbit. Once there, has pretty much the same delta-v left as the earlier version. The upper bits are identical. I'll go to Eve now but I think that means I made it. :D

VAB pic of new version here.

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Ok, here's my second attempt at a mission report. Again, I'm new at this, so your patience is appreciated.

Craft files available if needed.

They're not needed, thanks.

Congratulations, you've completed the Eve Rocks Challenge on Level-1!

An interesting change from the usual Aerospike setup, though you should have left that KR-2L at home. You've been running it at a time when you were still in the deep of the atmosphere, at a horrible ISP.

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This is my Level 1 Submission.

(0.90, $1.2M, 312 Parts, Single Lift, One Kerbal to Eve Surface)

Wow, I learned a lot by taking this challenge.

Looks like you did -- that's a tidy and well-designed vessel you've got there. Nowhere enough pictures from landing and ascent, but rather than ..... and moan I got the craft and tried it myself. I had some trouble with spontaneneous disassembly when staging, but nothing that couldn't be handled with some experience (that is, on the third or fourth try...).

Congratulations, you completed the Eve Rocks Challegne on Level-1!

- - - Updated - - -

As the mission, I have compiled a video of short events that conclude my entree. I hope this is alright,

I have to watch my bandwidth, so I don't like videos too much. Yours wasn't so big, but on youtube you never know what you're getting yourself into.

However, as others have already mentioned: the challenge rules require a command pod. Seat-only is a no-no.

I see that you've already grabbed the badge for yur signature. I kindly ask you to remove it again.

- - - Updated - - -

Sure, my brave Kerbalnauts had to ride the whole way in external command chairs, but I made it with more than 2000 delta-v to spare!

Never mind the diameter (I'm generally not too strict about that), but as said above: seat-only won't do.

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My dreams are filled with purple and wreckage and lag.

The lander alone is 727.8 tonnes and 385 parts. Oh yeah, and we actually tested the ladder on this one. :)

The entire single launch is 9033.7 tonnes and 1171 parts, and the cost is 4205541 kurrency.

I originally thought that I could make it much smaller and more efficient than this, but I'm still climbing that learning wall.

Not at all! Something on the order of 200t per Kerbal is quite respectable -- and that's using the lander cans at 660kg per Kerbal. You brought the three-man pod which is more than twice as heavy. And you apparently didn't even drain the monoprop, another 120kg right there. So in terms of how much payload you took up from Eve's surface (almost sea level, no less), your lifter is among the most efficient. Probably even the single most efficient so far, but I'm not going to verify this.

Congratulations, you completed the Eve Rocks Challenge! On level 3, I presume? You don't show it, but having landed at 60m I expect that you took a stroll to the shore.

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Not at all! Something on the order of 200t per Kerbal is quite respectable -- and that's using the lander cans at 660kg per Kerbal.

Thanks, I appreciate the encouragement.

You brought the three-man pod which is more than twice as heavy.

Yeah, I set the goal for myself and at times I felt like I was banging my head against a wall. There's something to be said for perseverance. :)

And you apparently didn't even drain the monoprop, another 120kg right there.

Oops! I had intended to only leave enough for docking, but it seems I always forget something.

On level 3, I presume? You don't show it, but having landed at 60m I expect that you took a stroll to the shore.

Yes. After all, if you go to the beach, you have to at least take a dip. :) Thanks again, Laie!

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(Mk1-2 pod) Yeah, I set the goal for myself and at times I felt like I was banging my head against a wall.

I took it as a given that this was not an oversight, but that you wanted to use this pod. Considering this, I don't think there's much room for making the rest of the vessel any smaller.

However, part count seems to be largely a function of how many aerospikes one uses (chutes and legs too, but I'm just looking at the "lifter" part of the problem right now). There may be a lot of grey area where replacing spikes with mainsails (or even mainsails with quad clusters) would reduce the part count by a lot, at only a modest increase in mass. Pulling numbers out of my nose, I guess you could have a 900t vessel at 220 parts.

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Considering this, I don't think there's much room for making the rest of the vessel any smaller.

I sure spent a lot of time trying different designs and tweaking them. I kept thinking I was missing something. I didn't want to spend a lot of time looking at other designs, because I wanted to accomplish my goal and then go back and look at what others had done. So I didn't realize nobody else had taken the Mk1-2 pod down. Anyway, it's good to have some feedback indicating I'm not totally over-engineering.

However, part count seems to be largely a function of how many aerospikes one uses

Yeah, my first Eve lander back in 0.24 was based on something I saw on youtube. Just FLT-800's and aerospikes. Multiple tanks, a decoupler, and untold numbers of struts for each engine. I've learned so much since then.

There may be a lot of grey area where replacing spikes with mainsails (or even mainsails with quad clusters) would reduce the part count by a lot, at only a modest increase in mass.

I think you're probably right, and after that mission, I would be willing to sacrifice in terms of a bit more mass in order to reduce the part count. Fewer tanks = fewer decouplers and fewer struts. (The struts needed on this 'thing of a thing' just killed my part count.)

I also think I probably had way more lander legs than needed. I didn't test them to failure and I'm not sure of any 'load rating' numbers for them. I made touchdown at about 2 m/s or so and they appeared very solid.

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@Starlionblue and @manni01

The OP states that command chair lifters are ruled out.

Oops darnit. ;) Ok I'll rethink in a bit. Need to take a break from this after four weeks. I do think I am close. Just need a bit more fuel for the early Eve departure stages I think. I seem to have plenty of thrust.

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Oops darnit. ;) Ok I'll rethink in a bit. Need to take a break from this after four weeks. I do think I am close. Just need a bit more fuel for the early Eve departure stages I think. I seem to have plenty of thrust.

Ok I think I did it now. 3 Kerbals from the KSP to Eve and back to Kerbin. One launch. No refueling or docking. Vehicle fits within the circle in the VAB. No command chairs used.

And hey, I had all of 42 delta-v left over on return to Kerbin. Personally, I'd have been sweating bullets!

Pics here. (I'm not allowed to post attachments yet.)

Craft file available on request.

Data as per OP:

  • weight and part count of the vessel on the launchpad. 956 parts in 31 stages. 5507.1 tons.
  • weight and part count awaiting liftoff on Eve. Around 496 parts in 16 stages, weighing around 640 tons. Numbers approximate because it depends on how much fuel is used for braking maneuver in the last few dozen meters of Eve descent.
  • the approximate price tag of your entire mission, if at all possible. 2,718,391
  • game version. 0.90
  • mods used. MechJeb. Enhanced NavBall. Kerbal Alarm Clock.
  • tell me how you found your landing site. "I tried until I got lucky" is perfectly alright, but inquiring minds want to know. Got lucky the first time. Highlands. At night but still fine. On earlier attempts I made small adjustment burns to change my Eve periapsis.
  • if there's anything that your are especially proud of, be sure to point it out (provide a direct link to a picture if applicable). a) I like how I got the lower lander engines are firing all the way from the KSC by making a big hole in the middle of the Kerbin launcher. That way I'm not carrying nearly as much dead weight. B) I got the idea for the jettisonable parachute towers from a design I saw online, but I shaved weight off by using Sepratrons for jettison instead of the LES. c) I have an action group to shut off all but nukes for the midcourse correction towards Eve. This saves quite some fuel.
  • please also mention the things that didn't work out so well / required a lot of saveloading / you would do different next time. This was about my 20th design, so by now I've worked out most of the kinks. Still, with closely spaced heavy separating stacks like this Sepratrons positioning always requires some fiddling. There's also a bug where they detach from some parts on firing , which means they have no effect and you have to add other Sepratrons to an adjacent part. Very annoying.

Edited by Starlionblue
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  • 2 weeks later...
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Here's my entry. I ended up getting Jeb to the surface and having to start over from scratch, this time with a ladder. I landed at almost exactly 2000m and made it to orbit with about 500m/s to spare.

A very fun challenge, that requires a lot of thought in the ascent ship design!

Here's the stats:

[table]

[tr]

[th]Ship[/th]

[th]Part Count[/th]

[th]Launch Weight[/th]

[th]Cost[/th]

[th]Craft file[/th]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Eve Ascent 6 (2)[/td]

[td]449[/td]

[td]962.9[/td]

[td]491,140[/td]

[td]Eve Ascent 6 (2).craft[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Eve Rocks Refueller[/td]

[td]121[/td]

[td]795.76[/td]

[td]329,039[/td]

[td]Eve Rocks Refueller.craft[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Fueller 2[/td]

[td]63[/td]

[td]313.49[/td]

[td]165,710[/td]

[td]Fueller 2.craft[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Totals[/td]

[td]633[/td]

[td]2072.15[/td]

[td]985,889[/td]

[td][/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

The ship, at liftoff from Eve, weighed 102.525t and contained 276 parts. I made my landing through (much) trial and error, and I wasn't sure I could do it from 2000m, but it worked out. The game version was 0.90 and I used PreciseNode, MechJeb, and (mainly) VOID, which is an awesome mod. I didn't use any parts mods other than MJ.

The coordinates of my landing are lat 15.6554 S, long 105.9824 E.

Edited by godefroi
added landing coordinates
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Looks like you did -- that's a tidy and well-designed vessel you've got there. Nowhere enough pictures from landing and ascent, but rather than ..... and moan I got the craft and tried it myself. I had some trouble with spontaneneous disassembly when staging, but nothing that couldn't be handled with some experience (that is, on the third or fourth try...).

Congratulations, you completed the Eve Rocks Challegne on Level-1!

Thanks for hosting the challenge! And thanks for just checking my craft file rather than complain about my light picture count. I had a TON of fun doing this. It is great that there is such an involved KSP Community doing stuff like this.

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I'll have to give this a go. My last Eve ascender - the Phoenix-M - was command seats only, so not eligible for this challenge. However, it should be possible to add a Mk I Lander Can so it can lift one kerbal in style.

Here's a picture of it just before launch. I get the feeling it's a good deal smaller than a lot of the successful entries, but size isn't everything!

1024x640.resizedimage

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I think that is larger than the circle on the floor of the VAB. It would also be disqualified for that reason.

I can't check right now, but I don't think so. According to this post upthread, the circle is at least 26.25m in diameter. I estimate the central core of the Phoenix to be about 5m wide, and the Gigantors to be about 7m in length, with a <2m separation between them and the core. That gives an approximate size of 23m, which should fit nicely.

It might look bigger because of the angle of that particular photo. Here's one looking down on it from above.

1024x640.resizedimage

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As you may have heard, I'm again trying the Laythe Capitalism Challenge. The good thing with long burns is that I finally get to review some Eve Rocks entries...

Here's my entry. I ended up getting Jeb to the surface and having to start over from scratch, this time with a ladder.

"Eve Ascent 6" -- yeah, I know how it goes. But she's a solid vessel and brought Jeb back home. Congratulations, you've completed the Eve Rocks Challenge on level 1!

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I think that is larger than the circle on the floor of the VAB. It would also be disqualified for that reason.

I'm not too strict about that; and anyway, that rule is supposed to put an upper limit to the lifter size (turns out to be so high that it hardly matters, but hey). I won't fault anyone for using the huge wheels.

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Ok I think I did it now. 3 Kerbals from the KSP to Eve and back to Kerbin. One launch. No refueling or docking.

For a challenge submission, this is a little thin. I like what I see, but I don't see much. A few more pics (especially of the ascent) would have been alright, and I for one (and other challenge hosts too) like to see a few good shots of the vessel(s) -- just hit F2 and use the whole screen for a good view. An timewarping until daylight for the ascent would have been a good idea as well.

That said, before you add a crapton of pictures, I think it would be easier if you could provide the craft file. May be another week until I look at it, though.

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I'm not too strict about that; and anyway, that rule is supposed to put an upper limit to the lifter size (turns out to be so high that it hardly matters, but hey). I won't fault anyone for using the huge wheels.

It certainly appears that way - after worrying about a potential redesign, I've now checked to find that not only does it fit within the circle, it fits within the yellow lines too.

1024x640.resizedimage

I've played around with a Lander Can version. I might see what I can do about putting a mission together this weekend.

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