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    ssto enthusiast
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  1. What are the rules for drag reduction techniques? It's possible to SSTO on Jupiter with stock parts and all the aero tricks in the book, but I don't think it fits with what you're thinking.
  2. The issue was that it wasn't a simple grand tour. Even something like designing the structure connecting the landers to the main craft was a puzzle that required several days, and we still didn't get the optimal end point as we stopped on something that would be relatively user friendly.
  3. At the core it's really similar to the low mass Jool 5 that I already did, I guess it's up to you to decide where it fits better (you're the challenge manager after all) but please remember to also credit Ultimate Steve (: about that... There's actually a fair amount of improvement in the mission. Once we got it below 8 tons the primary focus was to preserve our sanity while flying it. We possibly could have gotten it below 7 tons but this already took nine months and I'm unsure if the maximally optimized version would ever be finished.
  4. For the past nine months I've been working with @Ultimate Steve on a grand tour mission: This doesn't quite make it on the low mass leaderboard, but I think it's pretty cool regardless.
  5. I think launch clamp trickery should be banned because someone is going to just start in interplanetary space and that isn't really fun. You could have the rules say the craft has to start stationary and in contact with the surface of Kerbin, which does allow mountain launches but that's a bit more interesting than just sticking a 1 million km long launch clamp on the craft.
  6. If you're going for a spot on the table then the crafts are gonna be light enough to not need KJR. Autostrut is perfectly fine for anything here. Actually, a lot of the time, you will want to not use autostrut, for example with DLC propellers. Yes, at least that's what I've been using
  7. For the record, you don't need to use craft file editing to align the Spider engine thrust and the kerbal. All you need to do is get close enough with angle snap turned off, and use the engine gimbal to compensate for any imbalance. Edit: I'm pretty sure we cannot allow all forms of craft file editing, because you can get negative fuel in a fuel tank and that makes a mockery of this whole challenge. I would err on the side of no craft editing, and if there's any doubt, have a requirement to show the in-game construction method that was used.
  8. Latitude -25, longitude -158.5 Pretty sure this is the tallest mountain on Eve and it's got a nice smooth takeoff area
  9. It's actually a lot easier to skip Gilly entirely and just go direct, you'll use more fuel slowing down to land than just continuing your escape burn. There are a few different ways to do it. Since this challenge requires no propellers, I would suggest starting with one of Astrobond's designs: From there you can tweak ascent profile, wing area, and thrust-to-weight ratio. Try to get as much payload in orbit as you can. Another thing to try is to assist the ascent with nuclear engines. If you fill the wing tanks with liquid fuel, you can have zero additional dry mass (besides the engine), which is nice.
  10. One fairing is the entire fuselage of the craft. Fuel tanks are clipped inside the fairing along with the vector engine. The blue stripes up front is an ISRU module because I was trying to do a full self contained mission at the time. The fairing is the root part of the craft so drag is reduced but this is probably not strictly necessary.
  11. Ok, I'm not sure if this is a good topic for this forum because it might or might not be possible. I was playing around with some Eve SSTO designs and got this: This craft uses a single Vector engine for the ascent - no propellers. It actually has enough payload capacity to fit in some ion propulsion and go all the way back to Kerbin. This alone is nothing new - Brad Whistance did it years ago. But this is a much lighter design and has a greater payload fraction, which leaves another possibility. The main question I have is: Is it possible to go from Eve's surface to Kerbin's surface in a single stage, with no propellers and no ion engines? I've done some calculations and it seems like it may be possible, especially if the craft is scaled up and a Mammoth engine is used instead of four Vectors. I know that it's possible to go from Eve to Kerbin with propellers and no ion engines, but propellers definitely make the challenge easier. I think this will push right up against the limit of what's possible on a purely rocket-powered Eve plane. More detailed rules: -The craft should be able to start on the surface of Eve (stationary) and end up stationary on the surface of Kerbin. -No staging (also: no docking with or clawing anything, no burning off parts or removing them through EVA construction) -No ion engines (because we already know that's possible) -No propellers (Stock props should already be disallowed through the no staging rule, so just don't use any parts from the Breaking Ground dlc. If there are any loopholes they will be patched) -ISRU optional (you can edit the craft to Eve's surface if you want) but if you manage to take a set of ISRU equipment as well then I will be impressed.
  12. Yeah, I got the idea from Ultimate Steve's grand tour. It's a bit annoying to take off successfully because of seams in the terrain but it's a lot lighter than normal landing gear.
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