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The Eve Rocks Challenge (v0.90 only)


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Done! Level 3. Home again, home again, jiggity-jig.

No energy yet to try to put together any sort of coherent narrative out of the 100+ screen shots. Took almost a week to build it, another day to learn to fly it. 2 HOURS (at 4x physics zoom) to swim to shore and another 2 hours back. I discovered that my Peet's Coffee scoop was exactly the right weight and shape to hold down the W key so I could read a book while Jeb swam.

I'm not saying I'd want to do it again, but I don't think another landing would be too difficult or time consuming now that I have it figured out, and if I landed on the shore, or nearer to it anyway, it would save a lot of tedium.

300+ tons for the lander, 1900+ tons, 600+ parts, 33 stages for the lander and its launcher. Another 235 parts, 1600+ tons for the ship to go get Jeb and bring him back from orbit. Unquestionably the most ludicrous thing I have ever built, and quite likely ever will build.

One or two things of note about the ship, but mostly it's just massive asparagus and a few ideas I stole from other players. Will follow up with pics.

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VERY excited--the Evorama Mk1 Lander/Ascent vehicle and KSS Wasabi Maru are in Kerbin orbit, tanked up and ready to go. I just need to send up my cargo plane to deliver a replacement rover (first one got Kraken'd) and the mission crew, and I am ON for this challenge!

ig7kIp5.png

...from left to right, the Evorama, the Wasabi Maru, and the final drone tankship.

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I'm not super-proud of the design, except that it demonstrates persistence. Only thing really interesting about the ship is the way I used the increasing tank size on the outer asparagus stages to control TWR so I could run the engines full-throttle without wasting too much energy on air resistance, which naturally gave rise to an exponential curve like the pipes in a pipe organ.

I used MechJeb for the take-offs (33 stages, come on already) and KAS to refuel (which turned out to be a mistake). The retrieval ship was the same launcher, minus the 300t lander, with a docking port on the bottom so I could refuel it safely, and a three-Kerbal capsule. I never used Hyper Edit before, but if I had not used it to test the lander over and over during the build process, this would have taken months. Naturally I did not use it during the mission.

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So what happens now? Does a TV crew show up at my house to deliver the badge?

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So what happens now? Does a TV crew show up at my house to deliver the badge?

Sure feels like you deserve it, doesn't it?

Nice mission report.

Laie hasn't been around much lately (see his post on the previous page), so it may be a while before your entry is adjudicated.

Happy landings!

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So what happens now? Does a TV crew show up at my house to deliver the badge?

Well done, have some rep. Good thing you got this out of the way before v1.0, your "pipe organ" would likely play a minor key fugue with the new aero model :D

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I sent three ships, two of which were assembled in orbit (and then disassembled, reassembled, etc),[...]

I think I found my landing site by starting with kerbalmaps and looking for highlands along the equator.[...]

I didn't want to build/send a behemoth of a lander, [...] that's part of the reason I went for a high-elevation site.

The lander design went through at least six major revisions and a lot of little tweaks.

I should probably fail you for about one hundred small technicalities, but then again, this is just the kind of mission I had in mind when I set up this challenge. I guess you put a lot of thought and many hours into this, and the outcome is beautiful. Come and take your badge, you earned it.

- - - Updated - - -

In the rocket design here, I took a perverse pleasure in ignoring aerodynamic efficiency.

*laugh* Yes, I know exactly what you mean. Your design is pretty straightforward, the choice of engines unusual. I should probably say more about the latter, but through no fault of you own you ended up in the shadow of Commander Zoom -- sorry about that. Nice job well done, though.

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I should probably fail you for about one hundred small technicalities

... such as?

Yes, I did put a lot of time and thought into this mission. And I believe I followed all of the rules of the challenge, and the submission guidelines. There shouldn't be any question whether I earned the badge (and if there was, I'd expect to be told, so that I could clarify or correct as necessary). But after doing all that, and then waiting a full month for official confirmation, only to receive it in such a backhanded and reluctant manner...

Keep it. I don't want it any more.

Edited by Commander Zoom
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That's bad.

I've been playing way too much KSP over the past year. And not only playing; I guess that for every hour of gameplay, I was spending two hours on these forums, giving advice, comparing notes with others, and commending people on their Eve missions. KSP as a whole has been soaking up time and energy like nothing else in my life; which wouldn't be so bad if there weren't so many other things that have remained undone. That's why I've been trying to pull myself away from it.

This thread has been a big problem. People keep posting new entries and I can no longer bring myself to pay as much attention as their missions deserve. Or do these missions deserve any attention at all? My loved one has her own opinion on that matter. Still, having started this I feel obliged to look after it -- this is what keeps pulling me back. But then again, I find that I can't live up to my own standards anymore.

Hey, Commander Zoom, do you know how much work it is to really review a mission like yours? You've done a lot of cool ...., which is great in a way. But it doesn't make review any easier. You've been putting a lot of effort into this thing, as best I can tell it's the most advanced Eve mission I've seen so far -- which maybe isn't fair to Lou, who's seemingly straightforward mission also is quite tricked out. Do you even know that? While you've been waiting for me to heap praise on you, have you even bothered to look at other people's submission? It's not as if I'd be the only one who may commend people for their neat tricks, cool ideas or just generally well-played missions, though more often than not it felt like that.

Can't say that I've been any better, having tossed my Jool-5 mission at Ziv's feet without looking left or right, wondering why Ziv wouldn't respond immediately. After all, my mission was the greatest and best of them all -- how could he not be enthralled by it?

But back to the topic at hand: I'm trying to distance myself from KSP, at least for a while (though sanity says that it should be forever). I'll also try hard to not care about this thread anymore. I don't know what should become of it -- simply asking a moderator to lock it would be bad, I guess. This kind of Eve mission will soon be a thing of the past, but right now there's still a number of submissions that need review, and it seems as if more are coming. Maybe you people can device a scheme to rate your missions among yourselves. Maybe someone will volunteer and start the new and revamped Eve Rocks Challenge... but if you do that, be sure to ask Ziv whether he's still OK with how the badge is going to be used. Maybe I'll lapse and try to chime in, and maybe you will chose to ignore me. Depending on how things have evolved, you may even be right in doing so.

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While you've been waiting for me to heap praise on you, have you even bothered to look at other people's submission? It's not as if I'd be the only one who may commend people for their neat tricks, cool ideas or just generally well-played missions, though more often than not it felt like that

Yeah, I have. Left rep comments on several, in fact. Didn't feel it was my place to "clutter" the thread, though. I also, in my imgur albums, gave credit in a couple of places to those whose previous submissions and designs were influences on my own.

If you don't want to administer this challenge any more, that's your prerogative. But IMO, the courteous thing would have been to say so, when you made that decision, and close the thread or at least the submissions queue. Or put out a call for someone else to take it over. Not just wandering off with a vague hope that others might eventually figure out you're not coming back, and take up the slack.

I guess maybe I should be glad I at least got a (grudging) acknowledgment, along with norup; what about the five people after us? Are sephirotic, Lou, Tiaga, Perry Apsis, and Kuzzter (assuming, as seems likely, that he finishes his mission) ever going to get reviewed, or added to the OP?

Edited by Commander Zoom
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I can empathize with both sides of this discussion; I've posted things hoping for praise, and I've managed a challenge--though not one as important or high-profile as this one, as IMO there IS no harder single feat in the game than designing a ship that can return from Eve surface. I suppose that's why emotions are so high here.

Laie and Zoom, maybe let's step back from the edge a bit. Longer term I think the best thing to do is have more than one volunteer reviewer on the thread, just as with the other elite-level challenge Jool-5. Short term, maybe taking back some words typed in haste, the facts seem to be that:

(1)CDR Zoom did indeed return a Kerbal from what looks like BELOW sea level on Eve.

(2)The design used is...inelegant (Zoom himself admits to being more proud of his persistence than the results).

(3)Laie reviewed the mission and awarded the coveted Badge, with reservations not specified but possibly related to item (2).

So, maybe let's imagine that [F5] was pressed several posts ago...now hold down [F9], start again from the facts, and get back to the fun like nothing happened.

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These challenges are a great and fun experience. One of the things that I find attractive about the forum is the challenges.

When I joined and made an entry for the K-Prize challenge, I remember looking at the thread and thinking about the time and dedication it requires to run a challenge of that magnitude.

@Laie - I fully understand being conflicted and struggling with competing demands on you as a person. My wife and I have discussions about how much time I spend on this game. What I also understand is that it's really hard to find balance, especially when a lot of emotion is involved. The thing I really realize from what you say, is that you care about the effort that people put into this, but at the same time, you care about the people in your life. I hope you find a balance that still involves KSP at some point.

@Commander Zoom - I recognize the effort that goes into an entry to this challenge. For me, it imbued the thing with a lot of importance and emotion, just because of the planning, thought, and time put into it. I waited on pins and needles for Laie to look at it and pass judgement. I understand that the response you got was completely underwhelming and disappointing. It is my hope that you can understand that it seems Laie is having a tough time between being pulled into KSP and away from KSP at the same time and that may be affecting the tone and enthusiasm of his responses. I recognize your point that there are other ways this could have been handled, but it's often hard to make what others see as the best choice when you are conflicted or struggling.

Challenges need to be fun both for those entering and for those running the challenge. If someone who runs a challenge decides to disappear without a word, that shouldn't be a problem.

I probably didn't say any of this very well, but hopefully a few of my points got across.

Happy landings!

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(1)CDR Zoom did indeed return a Kerbal from what looks like BELOW sea level on Eve.

(2)The design used is...inelegant (Zoom himself admits to being more proud of his persistence than the results).

(3)Laie reviewed the mission and awarded the coveted Badge, with reservations not specified but possibly related to item (2).

Okay, the facts then:

1 - Nope. My landing point (plotted for 0° 1' 40" N, 15° 39' 40" W, actually more like 0° 1' 42" N, 15° 39' 58" W) was 5630 meters ASL, in the mountains west of the central crater sea. I make no claim to landing anywhere near sea level. Image links: 1 - 2 - 3

2 - "Inelegant" is not a word I would use. Personally, in the context of this challenge, I would tend to apply that to some of the massive one-launch-from-Kerbin craft I've seen; I tend to prefer multiple launches, orbital assembly, and (particularly for interplanetary missions) multi-ship "flotillas" or "armadas" over putting everything on one giant rocket. But that is, of course, a matter of opinion and personal taste. (I also tried to make a relatively small and light lander, rather than a large one.) I admit to being curious why you chose such a label.

Please also keep in mind that the Eve-landing-and-sample-return was only part of a larger, long-term mission which also included exploration of Gilly, establishing a permanent space station in orbit of the planet, and multiple probes of both bodies. I'm quite proud of those results. If I was concerned only with fulfilling the terms of the challenge, I could have done it with just one ship (Eve 2), omitted the heat shields - purely there for RP - and stuffed a single kerbonaut into the lander can for the entire trip there and back.

3 - I cannot speculate as to Laie's reasons or motives beyond what he has so far described. He suggests that there were many ("about one hundred") technical violations for which he "should probably fail" me, but provides no further details nor opportunity to address them. This is in contrast to the original post, which lists six hard rules (which, again, I believe I have followed) and concludes with:

Other than that, well, almost anything goes. As long as you play fair, I don't want to be mean or interfere with your playstyle or inflict pointless tedium. You may use all the mods you're used to as long as they merely solve a problem rather than make it go away entirely.
Edited by Commander Zoom
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Well I owe both Zoom and Perry Apsis some apologies--in my ham-handed attempt at peacemaking I looked at Perry's submission (the giant pipe organ, which landed in the ocean and launched from underwater) and confused it with Zoom's. Hence my comment about being "more proud of persistence", which is something Perry Apsis said.

Commander Zoom: I'm sorry for not paying sufficient attention to sort out whose post was whose, and for undeservedly calling your ship 'inelegant'.

Perry Apsis: Sorry for calling YOUR ship 'inelegant'! Again, I used the word thinking it was a summary of your own assessment, but it was improper none the less.

OK, I'm done with trying to sort this out. As it is written, "It is easier to achieve Eve orbit with LV-Ns than it is to mediate an argument on an internet forum."

ETA-- but now that we've dealt with my transgressions, I still still hope that both Zoom and Laie will press that [F9] and let bygones be.

Edited by Kuzzter
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I vote for Laie's sanity over having a silly badge or internet recognition. I still think this thread serves a purpose in looking at other peoples design ideas. I posted my submission because I landed the large and very heavy 3 kerbol command pod on eve and I thought it was cool. I think my submission also highlights how overpowered those little red rockmax 48-7s engines are. The flexibility and power they offer are very good. The only reason not to use them is if your trying to reduce the part count.

My suggestion would be to make a very large note in the first post and say that new submissions will no longer be reviewed.

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I vote for Laie's sanity over having a silly badge or internet recognition. I still think this thread serves a purpose in looking at other peoples design ideas.

Sanity is a good thing. When I do it (and I'm almost there! See latest update) I will post a summary here so other interested designers can see how I did it. If my peers review it and award me rep and badges, of course I'll be pleased. I plan to make a concise list of mission parameters including disclosure of any cheats, clips, and shortcuts to make the review easier. And I'll be patient. My grandfather fought in WWII and did not get his Pacific Theater Campaign Ribbon in the mail until the mid-1990s. If he can wait for that, I can wait for this.

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Tiaga,

That looked like an interesting design but I couldn't for the life of me figure out what you had done with the upper stages. Can you tell us a little about the construction?

Here is a picture of the bottom of the lander if that helps.

http://imgur.com/1CrO3WH

There are 20 of the tall skinny tanks (with the landing gear) that arn't setup properly for asparagus staging, but they should be empty by the time you land and they all fall off at the same time. As soon as those tanks drop everything is asparagus staged. There are 4 larger tanks that drop off first (in sets of twos) that do not have any engines on the bottom. Basically those got slapped on at the end of the design when I realized I didn't have enough delta V. Then The largest engines drop off next. Next are the skipper engines to go and then the center section with the tiny red engines.

Here is a picture showing the underside of the interplanetary transfer stage.

http://i.imgur.com/PkODMvX.png

It has one of the medium long, extra large tanks with 8 nuclear engines around the bottom of it in the very center. And then 8 smaller tanks around it with one nuclear engine on each.

Edited by Tiaga
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I'm still bathing in the warm purple glow of WIN after returning one Kerbal and two surface samples from Eve to the KSC runway.

Respectfully submitted for your consideration, my entry for Level 2 of the Eve Rocks Challenge.

Executive Summary

Cruiser KSS Wasabi Maru and Evorama lander docked in orbit and were refueled for transfer to Eve. Wasabi Maru was unable to use the main LV-N engine set for the transfer due to an exhaust impingement problem, but successfully towed the lander using auxiliary aerospikes. A drone rover was dropped to the landing zone in the region of 10deg S, 170deg W. This site was chosen via Kerbalmaps for its proximity to ocean, relative flatness, and mean altitude of ~2000m. Evorama landed near the rover, which drove to it autonomously. Tedgee Kerman collected a suface sample at the landing site and drove the rover ~120km in each direction to collect an additional sample from the Explodium Sea. Tedgee piloted the Evorama successfully to orbit and docked with KSS Kerbin Maru for the return home. A Bumblefly medium SSTO met the ships in LKO, took the crew and lander can aboard with all the surface samples, and delivered same to the KSC runway.

Parameters

Game Version: v0.90. Mods used: EVE, Kerbal Engineer, Alarm Clock

Total Weight and Part Count (Kerbin liftoff): 580t and 360 parts not including service missions (see below)

Lander @Eve Liftoff: 158t, surface dV 10,700, altitude 1925m

Mission Cost: approx. 1.5 million funds (note: KSS Wasabi Maru still in service)

Ship Details

Two major vessels left Kerbin for Eve:

Eveorama Lander: 180t loaded, 199 parts. This ship went to LKO under its own power, single stage. There is some incidental clipping of the Oscar fuel tanks in the upper stage but I think nothing egregious.

4cUrPlC.png

KSS Wasabi Maru utility cruiser. It lifted mostly empty and refueled in LKO. It carries a surface rover in the cargo bay. ~180t and ~100 parts fully loaded in orbit. Aesthetic clipping only, mainly around the LV-N engine cluster.

hPrhYFu.png

Refueling of both ships in LKO was accomplished by three drone tanker flights. (not pictured). Each drone cost about 305,000 funds. Two service flights by SSTO cargo planes were also made, one to replace the rover and one to bring the crew and Eve landing capsule back to KSC.

Mission Details

I've posted these in the Mission Reports forum, but here are the albums in sequence:

1. Ships to LKO and prep for transfer

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2. Service missions

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3. Interplanetary transfer

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4. Surface Ops

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5. Ascent, Kerbin return and recovery

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Finally, a shot of the recovery screen showing the recovered can and its two surface samples.

UZyWyA1.png

This was something I ALWAYS wanted to do and I couldn't be happier. Special thanks to all the ones who went before and were generous with their advice and help, and to Laie for maintaining this thread. As stated before I am in no hurry to get a badge--I know I've been to Big Purple and lived to post about it.

Edited by Kuzzter
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How did you get -614.7 Science? (Last Picture)
I think that happened when Tedgee fell on his head :)

...no, seriously, I am using the "Patent Licensing" and "Open-Source Tech" strategies to convert all my science points to funds and reputation since my tech tree is complete. See http://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/Strategies. What you're actually seeing on the screen is that I got zero science, because 614.7 points were subtracted.

Edited by Kuzzter
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