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Biome Hopper Challenge (Open for v0.90!)


Claw
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Just got a manned pod to a tundra biome in my 0.90 career... and all I had to do is botch my launch about 20km south of KSC. :P

Kind of beats the point of making a pod to go all the way to the poles.

I'm designing a very low tech munar hopper for the challenge, will post when I finally get to test it. It sadly needs more than 30 parts and about 100t (I'm gonna use the same ascent module)

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@Claw: I just used a variant of your spider to do a survey.

Thanks for the feedback. :D I actually did most of the flying without parachutes for a previous Ultimate VTOL challenge, so I guess I'm used to it. I did, in fact, add the parachutes to make it a little easier for this challenge, since part of the idea is to showcase hoppers for other folks. Although I might need to redo this one to bring an engineer along (I didn't anticipate that restriction!)

I assume by biome hopper you're referring to the missions where you have to go somwhere, EVA, crew report at x altitude... etc?

I'm not sure if this question is directed at me, but by "biome hopper" I just mean something that can transit to multiple biomes. The method of movement isn't specified, except to rule out some "god like" powers. This challenge actually doesn't require any "airborne" science, but you can check the rules for what science is required. Any entries are more than welcome to gather more than the minimum science. The minimums were chosen to ensure some diversity of capability.

Kind of beats the point of making a pod to go all the way to the poles.

I'm designing a very low tech munar hopper for the challenge, will post when I finally get to test it. It sadly needs more than 30 parts and about 100t (I'm gonna use the same ascent module)

It does sort of defeat a bit of the challenge, although I didn't rule it out. (I did rule out KSC specific biomes though.) I look forward to seeing your entry!

Claw, with addition of biomes outside the Big 3, are we allowed to break rule 5, or must I single-stage it to Eve or Duna? =)

Hmm. You raise a valid point. Rule 5 was enacted to keep ship sizes somewhat restricted inside Kerbin's SOI in anticipation of v0.90. It was set up that way because I intended that when going interplanetary, what you take with you is all you have. I'm not sure if that reasoning makes sense, but that's what I did at the time.

In any case, yes, rule 5 will change. I just have to think of how to word it to still meet my intent. What I don't want is simply sending a swarm of identical ships launched in succession (that's not much of a hopper). I mean for it to be some kind of cohesive science expedition that all travels together.

Hopefully that makes sense. I just need to figure out how to word it. The existing rule 5 was a simple way to enforce that within Kerbin's SOI. I'll think about it a bit and try to update this rule soon. It may become tied to additional refueler restrictions. Probably something along the lines of: "The ship must be complete before leaving Kerbin's SOI." (but don't hold me to that yet!)

Cheers,

~Claw

Edited by Claw
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5. The craft must be built and launched in a single launch from the VAB or SPH. No launch pad, field, or orbital assemblies. And once the craft is launched, it’s launched. Don’t recover it part way through and launch it again (unless you’re starting over).

- 5a. You may recover the craft and/or any released sub-components anywhere on Kerbin. Anything recovered counts toward completion but may not be relaunched.

- 5b. You may detach and reattach components to the craft. Examples include dropping science pods, detaching and reattaching a rover, or docking with a science lab.

Claw, with addition of biomes outside the Big 3, are we allowed to break rule 5, or must I single-stage it to Eve or Duna? =)
Hmm. You raise a valid point. Rule 5 was enacted to keep ship sizes somewhat restricted inside Kerbin's SOI in anticipation of v0.90. It was set up that way because I intended that when going interplanetary, what you take with you is all you have. I'm not sure if that reasoning makes sense, but that's what I did at the time

I'm not sure I understand the problem? Rule 5 doesn't say you have to single stage to anywhere. All it says is you must launch the vehicle in one launch. Seems reasonable.

If you want to allow orbital construction but not allow refueling later, I'd suggest you modify rule 5 to say that you can launch any number of ships and do anything you want, but as soon as you take one reading from one biome, no new ships may be launched.

But really I don't see the need for it.

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I'm not sure I understand the problem? Rule 5 doesn't say you have to single stage to anywhere. All it says is you must launch the vehicle in one launch. Seems reasonable.

If you want to allow orbital construction but not allow refueling later, I'd suggest you modify rule 5 to say that you can launch any number of ships and do anything you want, but as soon as you take one reading from one biome, no new ships may be launched.

But really I don't see the need for it.

The current rule 5 is fine. In fact, I'd say that allowing refueling as rule 6 does is probably generous, because this sucker here

80214DA324E6A1A9EC5875D27918648BF53D1335

F9ACAD228809FB4EDD9B3BA316326ED5B7D4A12A

9954B590137B5A2A3FCBE1D05C078D0529B78E39

7E07D521587761F975F611773918192925A74ACC

Should in theory be capable of visiting every biome in the game, excepting oceans, Eve and Tylo (and Tylo I may be able to make happen). 92, all told, assuming a final splashdown on Kerbin.

Haven't checked or tested it thoroughly yet to confirm that, but the landing unit is capable of Kerbin orbit + extra and the transfer bus should have upwards of 4.5km/s dV, allowing a Moho drop (though TWR may complicate that, a matter for further testing). The lab should enable reuse of the goo. Bill and Bob can go in the lab, Jeb in the lander. None of them are in that launch because I have a probe core as the root and forgot to add them manually (derp). Both the lander and a small deorbit&docking tug carry radioisotopes to guarantee they have power, since their operation is mission-critical; the transfer bus mounts solar panels mainly for the purpose of looking cool.

Edited by foamyesque
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I'm not sure I understand the problem? Rule 5 doesn't say you have to single stage to anywhere. All it says is you must launch the vehicle in one launch. Seems reasonable.

Very true. I missed the nuance in the previous post of "single stage." The rule is actually for single launch, but not Single-Stage.

The current rule 5 is fine. In fact, I'd say that allowing refueling as rule 6 does is probably generous, because this sucker here

Very nice craft! And thanks for the input for rule 5.

All that being said, I also don't want to limit anyone's ability if they are somewhat limited by part count. So perhaps I will leave this as it stands for a bit longer, unless it becomes a real problem for people. It's supposed to be a fun design challenge, not a "how awesome is your computer" challenge. :D

Hopefully soon (after the bugs and support requests die down a little), I can build some new biome hoppers too!

Cheers,

~Claw

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No worries. I was able to get this fat pig of a plane I made into orbit, and refueled it from there. Unfortunately, KSP is crashing on me like crazy, even with half the mods I had before. I'll try and post some screens tomorrow after work.

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All that being said, I also don't want to limit anyone's ability if they are somewhat limited by part count. So perhaps I will leave this as it stands for a bit longer, unless it becomes a real problem for people. It's supposed to be a fun design challenge, not a "how awesome is your computer" challenge. :D

I was actually really surprised how few parts I needed: just 265 for the full launch stack, and I've thought of a few ways to shave that. The bigger 3.25 parts and the more rigid joints added in .25, I believe it was, make a big difference. I'm used to something like that wobbling to death without a million struts. :D

By contrast, something of roughly the same mass from older versions of KSP would've needed four or five times as many parts.

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Sorry I'm late to the party. KSP is crashing left and right, due to memory limitations, and my stubborn refusal to refusal to delete the environmental and atmosphere mods, which make trips to Eve so much more rewarding.

The Eve Biome Surveyor (how original!) is a Karbonite-powered turboprop plane designed to withstand the rigors of Eve's crushing atmosphere, gather, process, and transmit science from anywhere, and replenish is fuel stores from nearly any place on the surface. The total cost, including the fuel tender to top off the tanks in orbit was roughly 248,000 bucks. B9 SABREs were used to get it to Eve, and were jettisoned before entering the atmosphere.

The ship made extensive use of K.Yeon's Large Diameter Spaceplane mod, B9 Aerospace, and Karbonite. All this in a package built with FAR in mind, so the wings were greatly strengthened, and all the science and refueling components neatly tucked safe inside a cargobay.

The original design made use of the Karbonite oceanic extractor, to fill the tanks by simply rolling to the water's edge, and lapping it up! Sadly, there's no Karbonite in Eve's oceans after 0.90, so the design was changed to use a drill to extract the stuff from the ground. Not as challenging, and not as cool. :(

Nevertheless, the plane flies like a dream in Eve's atmosphere. With flaps down, it's 26-ton fram can land a very gentle 80 knots. Speedbrakes and reverse prop thrusters help to slow it down quickly, before the bumpy terrain can take it's toll. To help keep the ship in one piece, since there are no replacement parts, small Firespitter wheels were added to protect againt tail and wing strikes.

The monster Karbonite turboprops will get the beast to just over Mach 1 at high altitudes.

I wasn't able to complete and document an entire mission, due to the constant memory crashing, but I hope the pics and the fact it has access to a limitless fuel supply, speak to its viability! Oh, and it's fun as all get out! :cool:

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Sorry I'm late to the party.

You're not late at all! :D

Your plane looks pretty sweet, especially with purple Eve as a background. The only thing I wasn't sure about was the good. Are those modified goo canisters, and are they reusable? (It's sometimes hard to tell goo vs. monopro.) I didn't say you can't use them, but I was curious to see how people handled their one time use.

Cheers!

~Claw

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Ah. The big tanks on the sides are to hold Karbonite. The Goo Pod is on the front cargobay wall, and can be cleaned out with the science lab. Forgot to clarify that. :( The fuselage section just aft of the cargobay is a science lab, and holds four Kerbals. :D

EDIT: It dawns on me that none of the pics show that. Here's the third iteration of the design, using SPP wings, rather than B9. Same weight and performance, all around. Yeon updated his mod, so the part models are slightly different. (and cooler!)

ea5WtNk.png

Edited by Voculus
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The Goo Pod is on the front cargobay wall, and can be cleaned out with the science lab.

Great picture! :D

Although that's the Science Jr (Materials Bay) and not a Mystery Goo container. But since I'm feeling like a Santa Claws, I'll let it slide :P. The only thing extra that you would have needed to deal with for Mystery Goo vs. Sci Jr is the surface attachment. Although I think your craft could fit it in the same spot. Some smaller craft would have to deal with asymmetric mass distribution, but not the case for your location.

In any case, Ho Ho HO!

So my last question for your accomplishment board entry: How many biomes did you end up hitting? (A single map view with all the flags would suffice.) I see that it's capable of all, but I've also been listing the number people actually did.

Cheers,

~Claw

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Santa Claws, LOL! :D I generally don't do Science stuff, and I was under the impression that the Materials Bay was just a better version of the Goo Containers. Shows what I know. Luckily, as you pointed out, there's plenty of room in the cargobay, so I'll add those parts, and give it another whirl. I'm going to strip out as many mods as I can, to help with my RAM issues, so I can do a full-on Eve exploration mission, and earn a spot on the board, instead of just producing a proof of concept. Might be a bit, though, since I'll be busy later today with the family. Have a Merry Christmas!

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Yeah, baby! Somehow I missed the Peaks Biome. When landing, I must have just rolled past it, into a neighboring biome. Nevertheless, I consider this a successful mission, even if the seven Kerbals are all stranded there forever. :D Now I need to do something for Duna. Or Tylo. This was truly an awesome challenge, Claws.

DxzqHS6.png

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I actually built this ship and did the mission in October. I was partway through my first 0.25 career when I saw the youtube video of Scott Manley beating First Contract in two missions. I wondered if I could finish unlocking the tech tree with one mission. So I built this lander.

7dNX4CT.png

I had a fair bit of the tech tree unlocked, including a node or two on the last tier so this lander has the seismic and gravity sensors in addition to what the rules here call for. I'm afraid there isn't anything very interesting about the design. I did set it up to return all three Kerbals home after the mission.

The ship is 100% stock, and the cost, as you can see, is 179 640. Only 10 300 is recoverable, but it's about the science, right? :D

Visited 11 munar biomes, doing the landing, reorbit, rendezvous, and docking cycle each time. For efficiency, no batteries or solar panels were added to the lander (translation: engineering staff forgot). This made for a couple of interesting rendezvous situations. Fortunately, there is plenty of RCS, so I could maneuver and dock, even without any power. While it is short of electrical power, the lander has more fuel capacity than it needs to land, reorbit and rendezvous, so you won't get stranded, snackless, on the Mun.

A pic of the second landing at a very dicey location in the NW Crater.

esl5IBb.png

And one from the edge of the Canyons. Took three tries to successfully land in the area.

c12JT4x.png

A look at the Mun map after the final redocking.

k81Ix2G.png

And, finally, the mission is completed.

KcS50Ix.png

More than enough science to unlock the rest of the tech tree. I think I had about 800 science points left over.

Edited by Starhawk
typo
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Here's my entry: The Crabby Patty

CrabbyDresmidlands_zps5e10cc81.jpg

Craft file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bjt8xotec1nu3j4/Multi%20hopper%206%20w%20lifter.craft?dl=0 (100% stock).

Dres mission - http://s395.photobucket.com/user/FoxMouldy/Science%20hopper/story (umm, don't know how to embed this in the post). Just two screenshots of the biomes, forgot to snap the others :blush:

The Crabby Patty can explore the Mun, Minmus, Moho, Duna, Ike, Val, Bop, Gilly, Pol, Dres and Eeloo - with enough delta V left to return to Kerbin.

Process is:

Go to the planet/moon and land at first biome

Run all the experiments, doing "Keep Data" for each.

EVA and collect the data from each instrument (walk over the junior and goo to reach them)

Get the science from an EVA report and a surface sample too.

Return to the lander can and all the data will be stored in the can.

Detach the used science junior and mystery goo to shed the weight (do in pairs to maintain balance)

Hop off to the next biome

Return to Kerbin for a Noble Prize for being cool

The lander has 10K+ dV, which is plenty to land, visit 7 more biomes and return to Kerbin.

Edited by Foxster
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So I built this lander. The ship is 100% stock, and the cost, as you can see, is 179 640. Only 10 300 is recoverable, but it's about the science, right? :D

That's right! And very nice work. I would say even though it seems expensive, you did a lot with it! :D

That's a nice looking lander. Very classic, simple, and highly effective. Added to the achievement board. Congratz!

Cheers,

~Claw

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Here's my entry: The Crabby Patty

I love the way that spider web of struts makes it look. Certainly does look a bit crabby. :D

I like the idea of dropping off the science modules, since the weight dropped is probably a LOT less than dragging around a science lab (although I haven't compared the costs).

I added you to the accomplishments board also, but listed as 1 biome. If you have a picture with flags or other pictures of landing sights, let me know and I'll update the board.

Great Job!

~Claw

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Craft Name: Science Rover & Lab Rover Module

Stock: (KER for engineering data)

Celestial Body: Kerbin

Number of Biomes: 4 Grasslands, Highlands, Mountains, Desert. (Could have hit up Shores and Tundra but they are within the 5km cut off of KSC. In theory all Kerbin land biomes are within range if you are insane/patient enough)

Total Mission Cost: 86,739 for combined rover modules, 80,185 recovered (92.4%)

Highest Science Tier: lots (I've unlocked everything in this career save so I don't know really)

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It's actually quite fun to go the scenic route via rover, and discover giant trees, MGLs and Cavorite deposits. It would have been a better idea to park up the lab and just take the science rover up into the mountains then return and re-dock to the lab. I might make some minor tweaks to this design but next step is deploying it to the Mun.

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Craft Name: Science Rover & Lab Rover Module

I like it! I wouldn't have guess it works well given how long it seems. Does it drive/turn okay?

I'll give you credit for the 4 biomes and note that you can get all of them. I might have to reduce the 5km bubble a little because it's primarily meant to exclude KSC, and not the shores or beyond.

Nice job! You've been added to the achievement board!

I might make some minor tweaks to this design but next step is deploying it to the Mun.

Good luck! Can't wait to see. :D I suppose this design is capable of just about everywhere.

Cheers,

~Claw

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I like it! I wouldn't have guess it works well given how long it seems. Does it drive/turn okay?

The turning circle isn't great, but it can turn fairly well, only the front two pairs of wheels and rear two pairs are set to steer. On mostly flat grassland it's ok clipping along at 25m/s FFx3, but I generally deactivate steering on the rear two pairs of wheels if going fast. It's wide enough to be stable on pretty steep inclines. The docking port connection gives some flex to the system too. It took on some pretty serious terrain in the mountains and did better than I expected it would. The whole thing drives pretty well. The 6 wheel rover at the front is a delight to drive by itself though. A full string of modules in a mobile-base-train-rover is a bit of a beast to turn though.

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I love the way that spider web of struts makes it look. Certainly does look a bit crabby. :D

I like the idea of dropping off the science modules, since the weight dropped is probably a LOT less than dragging around a science lab (although I haven't compared the costs).

I added you to the accomplishments board also, but listed as 1 biome. If you have a picture with flags or other pictures of landing sights, let me know and I'll update the board.

Great Job!

~Claw

Thought I'd have another go and remember to take all the photos this time. For a bit more of a challenge I decided to tackle Eeloo, so built the Krabby Combo:

Eelooglaciers_zps3b97d331.jpg

Craft file here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/n7aamwnjhc1dg5v/Multi%20hopper%208%20w%20lifter.craft?dl=0 (100% stock).

This variant has a lot more dV, about 27,500 at Kerbin lift off, with 14,700 on landing at Eeloo for exploration and return. It uses a number of stages on the lander, shedding weight from dropped engines, tanks and used experiments as it goes.

All seven biomes on Eeloo were visited plus I had a junior and goo left over so picked up some extra science in Eeloo low orbit on the way back.

Pictures here: http://s395.photobucket.com/user/FoxMouldy/slideshow/Eeloo

Edited by Foxster
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