Jump to content

The Elcano Challenge: Ground-Based Circumnavigation (4th)

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Nazalassa said:

could someone help me please?

You should probably make a thread about it elsewhere. Troubleshooting on linux gets complicated and could easily add another page or 2 to this challenge if it were done here. I'll leave you with some advice though.

if you've run an update and haven't rebooted since, try that. Nvidia drivers can come unloaded after a kernel update and the easiest way to load them again is to reboot.

Run glxinfo from a terminal. Your system may not have it by default, I don't know what package it comes from on ubuntu. You'll want to see your graphics device mentioned by name in it's output, and the correct driver. For nvidia it's nvidia, for AMD and intel it's mesa. If you see llvmpipe that means your system isn't using it's graphics card at all.

Try running ksp through a terminal. You can do it through steam, but the easiest way is to navigate to your ksp folder from the terminal (usually ~/.steam/steam/steamapps/common/Kerbal\ Space\ Program) and then type ./KSP.x86_64 It should spit out a bunch of messages and, if it fails to run, an error message

Also, all installations of KSP are portable. The game has no DRM, you can just copy it into a folder straight from the steam install and run it on a pc without steam or anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
5 hours ago, Watermel00n said:

Can i eva attach wheels?


Keep in mind that the Elcano mission has to be launched and flown from KSC (or any launch site on Kerbin), including all support missions.  Bringing extra wheels would be considered a support mission, which is allowed.  As long as you do not cheat the parts to your rover- you have to actually fly them to your rover from Kerbin.

If you are having traction issues, have you tried adjusting the wheel settings?  In particular, the friction control defaults to automatic.  You can adjust the friction value of the wheels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Sp1f, nice job on your Minmus run!  I really enjoyed reading the reports!  I still like your upside-down rover cabin, that's awesome.  I've added your Minmus run to the leaderboards.  Also, I originally had your Mun run listed as 'Stock Craft', but after re-reading your reports it looks like both Mun and Minmus were in a 100% stock game?  I changed your Mun entry to 'Stock', just let me know if that's not accurate..

@Watermel00n, looking forward to seeing your progress!  Your rover certainly looks more that capable of going the distance.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Mun entry was technically "Stock Craft".  I am pretty sure the only mod I had installed at the time was Trajectories, so it didn't really affect much, though.

@Watermel00nGood luck! The Mun is my favorite so far. Mun gravity seems like a sweet spot where you can do fun stunts but still feel like you are driving with decent control.

I am making preparations for my next circumnavigation and will post more soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vall circumnavigation complete! This was the first part of a three-part mission in which I plan to do an Elcano for Vall, Bop and Pol using the same rover. 

Launch of the “Micronova” (basically a scaled down version of the absolutely ridiculous Kilonova, but named “Micronova” because just naming it “Nova” seemed cliché). It will use only chemical rocket engines.



The mission was sent to Jool as part of a fleet of ships, most of which were bound for Laythe.

Vall arrival and landing 




Bivouac and Fortitude Lite rover landed at ~1°S, 83°E


Undocking the rover (the docking port is mounted on a retractable piston that allows it to be re-attached for ascent and transport to another world)


Flag planting and science setup



I actually thought of a way to work around the problem of Kerbals only carrying one flag by default: it turns out that you can get as many flags as you want by just planting the flag your Kerbal is currently carrying and going back into the lander, which replenishes the flag. By doing this over and over again, I was able to get a total of 12 flags for the mission before I got bored. I then had Jack Kerman go and pick up all of the flags to use later on.


From there, it was off to the South Pole. (I did another polar circumnavigation for this mission, and I’ll probably be doing one for Bop too. Although dangerous, the poles in KSP are simply intriguing to me, and as you’ll see, Vall did not disappoint in this regard.)

Some Screenshots:





Seismic scanner got set off when one of the front headlights exploded (not that it was really needed anyways, the kerbals’ EVA suits provide plenty of light).


Cryovolcano Alley:






Climbing a mountain range:





Nearing the South Pole (see other spoiler for screenshots of the pole itself)





IDalKPP.jpgFloating Kerbal




Cool view 




I feel like Vall has some pretty underrated scenery.


Somehow the grip pads got moved forward when I flipped the rover. Once Bill Kerman sat back down in his seat, they teleported back into position.



Almost there




The Finish Line




Reattaching the rover










The reason I landed at precisely 83°E longitude is that that is the longitude of the Vallhenge Easter egg, which I had only visited once before this mission (also with a rover).



I could have sworn that some of these pillars were floating off the surface last time I was here. I guess they’ve since been lowered so that they’d all be in the ground.

Jack Kerman climbing up the pillars:




Leaving Vallhenge:


The Poles:


When I said the poles did not disappoint, I was not kidding. Vall’s poles are probably the most extreme I’ve seen so far other than the infamous Mohole. The South Pole was located at the top of a gigantic cliff face, which made getting to it difficult, and leaving it took several attempts of driving off the cliff and trying to land successfully without blowing up.

And once I actually got there, I still had to tightrope my way to the exact pole to plant the flag.


Which was because jetpacking resulted in this:


After carefully tightroping his way to the pole, Jack Kerman planted the flag and jetpacked back to the rover.


Which I then messed around with for a bit before I drove it back down.


Broke a wheel for the first and only time, all repair kit uses apart from this were to fix the scanning arm that kept breaking.


The North Pole was also located on a mountain, although the cliff face was less steep.


Actually getting to this pole was a little bit easier, however, as I could actually jetpack there without falling off. At one point I tried to drive the rover up there, but this failed as its brakes could not hold it in place on the near-vertical terrain.



(Jack looks over at Tylo and remembers the north pole there)

Getting down from the north pole took way longer than it should have, and even ended up corrupting my save file after I closed my laptop after a failed attempt at getting down. Luckily, I was able to fix the issue by deleting the quicksave that had been corrupted and exporting another save to a new game.

Ring of flags:

It’s off to Bop for me next!




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bop circumnavigation complete! This was by far the quickest I've ever been able to complete an Elcano challenge, with me doing the entire circumnavigation in the span of just a few hours. This was the second part of a three-part mission in which I will circumnavigate Vall (just finished), Bop, and Pol. 

Getting to Bop was easy, as I just had to perform a transfer with my mothership, the Micronova, to get it from Vall to Bop, although Bop's high orbital inclination meant that the insertion burn delta-V was greater than I would have liked, especially considering that I'm running low on fuel.


Once at Bop, it was a pretty straightforward undocking and landing sequence, as is typical on any low-G world.




Once landed, however, I decided to make some modifications to the Bivouac, seeing as I was running low on delta-V and there were many parts that were not entirely necessary. I would later do the same thing to the Micronova. I embraced my inner Mark Watney and removed a bunch of fuel tanks, struts and science equipment from the lander in order to lighten the load a little.



Once the flag was planted and all of the mass reduction stuff was sorted out, it was time to begin the circumnavigation. Driving a rover on Bop was certainly off the beaten path for what I was used to driving rovers on, and as such I was not prepared for the nearly constant air time that I would be getting throughout this Elcano run. In fact, I went airborne almost immediately after leaving the landing site thanks to the low gravity. The low gravity also meant that it was easy to flip over, but the reaction wheels meant that this wasn't really a huge problem, and for most of the drive I could easily do 30-40 m/s safely.


More Screenshots:


Jack Kerman tumbling down the hillside after being ejected from his command seat from the first of many roll-overs.


Jool and the three large moons looming far away


Gravel pile


Got flung 550 meters into space during a joyride



Peaks (which reminded me of the first time I ever landed on Bop and had to send a rescue mission to solar orbit)


Got flung almost 1 km off the surface during an uncontrolled high-speed jump. I hit the ground at over 80 m/s, and, needless to say, that didn't end well when the RTGs exploded.


Ribrim getting flung 1.4 km away from the rover after being ejected from his seat





A rift in the terrain which I later called the "Great Wall of Bop" due to it obstructing my path and me having to drive several kilometers downwind in order to find a suitable place to corss



Jumping the Great Wall of Bop



Yeah, being ejected from command seats and being smeared against the ground can do some pretty weird things to a Kerbal, apparently.


The glitch even persisted when I got Ribrim back into the rover, which made me laugh pretty good.


Almost there




Reloaded rover










As you may have guessed, I decided to visit the Kraken easter egg during my Bop Elcano. I specifically chose a landing site that would bring me near to it over a polar trajectory, and planned to intersect it by the time I got to 60 degrees south. However, upon checking the wiki for its location, I then realized that it was instead at 60 degrees north latitude. By the time I realized this, I had already passed its location, and as such I decided to have Ribrim Kerman use his EVA pack to fly over there and investigate.


During the descent to the location, I spotted a strange flickering dot among the otherwise dark terrain, which I thought must be the Kraken.


My suspicions were later confirmed when Mission Control reported an interesting discovery of "the corpse of an unknown lifeform" on Bop.


Ribrim then landed next to the fallen beast, and proceeded to plant a flag in its proximity. Maybe one day I'll build a base here for fun.




Once this was complete, Ribrim flew back to the Fortitude Lite using the remainder of his EVA fuel.



The Poles:


The poles on Bop were a little bit lackluster compared to the crazy nature of those on Tylo and Vall, but the South Pole still ended up being a little fun to explore.

The North Pole was pretty much just a small ripple in the terrain and was almost entirely normal. Pretty surprised by this, to be honest.



The South Pole, however, ended up being a little more fun to explore. It had the same sort of terrain glitches as those on Vall and Tylo, which allowed one to get under the terrain and explode.


Unlike the poles of Vall and Tylo, however, I was able to drive the rover right up to the pole without falling off a cliff.


Which felt kind of eerie...


At one point, I tried to plant a flag on the exact pole, but it was somehow teleported over 500 meters away (ignore the mistake where it says "North Pole" when it should be "South Pole".


So that warranted a replanting, especially after the flag got deleted by me quickloading after Ribrim fell into the void.




Flags around Bop (or most of it, I didn't screenshot the full ring after I finished)

I kind of like how in this screenshot it looks like I planted a flag on Jool.


So that's it for Bop. Definitely the quickest circumnavigation I've ever done, but that was to be expected, seeing as it is so much smaller than any other body I'd done an Elcano on up to this point. 

I guess it's off to Pol now!




Just need @18Watt to verify please!

Edited by Jack Joseph Kerman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pol circumnavigation complete! This was the final Elcano of the three-part Micronova mission to Jool, in which I circumnavigated Vall, Bop, and Pol using the same rover, the Fortitude Lite. As with my Bop circumnavigation, I was able to complete the Pol Elcano in only a couple of hours, thanks to Pol's small circumference. Before I left Bop for Pol, however, I had to make some modifications to the Micronova using the EVA construction menu, as I needed to remove parts to make it light enough to be able to come home. So Ribrim Kerman got to work removing everything that wasn't absolutely necessary, such as excess lights, struts, empty fuel tanks, antennas, and even one of the three parachutes on the command pod, as two would be plenty to slow us down safely. Bill originally protested this move, but it was deemed safe by Mission Control.


Once that was done, it was off to Pol!



Upon arriving at Pol, I detached the Bivouac from the Micronova and began my descent.


Landing was easy, as it is on any body with as low a gravity as Pol.


Once landed, I detached the Fortitude Lite rover, planted the flag, and began the journey!



The trip itself was pretty short, so I didn't bother to take too many screenshots. I'll include them in a spoiler anyways, though, just to save some space.


Jumping over a rock spire



Ribrim and Bill apparently thought that the rocks on Pol were made of gold. Upon closer inspection, however, it was revealed that they were made of space cheese aged over millions of years.



Jool way off in the distance. Even this green behemoth of a planet looks pretty small in the sky from the nearly 200,000 kilometers distant Pol. Its other moons were merely specks upon the backdrop of the galaxy. 



Spring Valley (I'm having allergies as I write this)


Broke a wheel and one of the RTGs after a pretty hard fall from several hundred meters up. We'll be alright as long as we don't lose the other one. That'd spell big trouble, seeing as I've lost all of the batteries apart from the one in the probe core.


Towards the end of the trip, I went through an extremely rugged mountain range, one which I called the "Tartarus Mountains" for the frustration it inflicted upon me passing through them. I would constantly lose all of my speed to a bad landing, and building up speed is not easy somewhere with gravity as low as Pol. Here's the Fortitude Lite doing a Jump through the mountains.



Almost there (the rover's steering has now stopped working for some reason, meaning that I'm turning entirely on reaction wheels)


Totally didn't fly straight over the lander..


Had to drive backwards a bit to make my way back, as the steering was busted.




It's now time to leave the Fortitude Lite to rest on the surface of Pol, as it would be dead weight back in orbit. It's served us nicely, but its purpose has been fulfilled now. Also, its steering is busted and it's been damaged anyways, so there's that.






Now that the mission had been completed, it was time to move all of the science samples from the Bivouac to the Micronova. The lander would be left in Pol orbit for any potential future mission that may want to land there. After the science had been transferred, it was time to plot a course back to Kerbin, one which would utilize a Tylo gravity assist to reduce the fuel requirements.



Tylo flyby. All three crewmembers of this mission (Jack, Bill, and Ribrim) were veterans of the Odyssey Tylo Elcano mission, which was my first Elcano Challenge. A bit sentimental, I guess. I can still recognize some of the surface features on Tylo that I visited during that mission, such as Blackhead Plateau and Mare Nadir.


The Micronova will return to Kerbin in about two years' time. I'll probably do a Minmus Elcano next, as I feel that I should have gotten to it a while ago now.

Just need @18Watt to verify

Edited by Jack Joseph Kerman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/29/2021 at 3:19 AM, 18Watt said:

That also means you can't intentionally remove wheels or pontoons when they are no longer needed.  The vehicle needs to complete the entire circumnavigation as-is.  If parts blow up or get knocked off, well, that's the Kerbal way, and that's

Does that mean that if i leave 2 landing struts detached by eva construction, im disqualified?

I got into an accident where the middle section of the car was broken and i had to eva repair it but the landing struts were in the way and i couldnt attach it, so i threw them off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think from the previous Elcano threads it's very much about respecting the spirit of the rules and whether you intended when you set out to leave parts behind. Sail across Kerbin on something with a wheeled vehicle docked on its deck, undock at the edge of the ocean and drive away - not OK. Take off two struts because they're in the way of repairs - absolutely OK.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/12/2022 at 1:52 AM, Watermel00n said:

Does that mean that if i leave 2 landing struts detached by eva construction, im disqualified?


On 4/12/2022 at 7:08 AM, damerell said:

Take off two struts because they're in the way of repairs - absolutely OK.

What @damerell said.  EVA repairs are absolutely OK.  Intentionally reconfiguring your rover during the circumnavigation is not really allowed.  However, stuff breaks, and EVA construction can be finicky.  I don't see a problem with what you described.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry about the late update folks.  Been busy at work, and had limited access to the internet the past few weeks.

I've added THREE entries from @Jack Joseph Kerman to the leaderboards, for Vall, Pol, and Bop.  You're on your way to completing them all!  

On 3/28/2022 at 2:36 AM, Jack Joseph Kerman said:

I actually thought of a way to work around the problem of Kerbals only carrying one flag by default: it turns out that you can get as many flags as you want by just planting the flag your Kerbal is currently carrying and going back into the lander, which replenishes the flag. By doing this over and over again, I was able to get a total of 12 flags for the mission before I got bored.

Pure genius!

Also, @DunaManiac completed a run around Minmus, with a very capable-looking rover.  Nice work!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kerbin circumnavigation complete! This circumnavigation was done by sea in a vessel that I’ve named the K.E.L.P (Kerbin ELcano Propeller boat), as it is powered by propellers. 


In addition, I also made a custom flag just for this mission:


Image album


KELP on the runway ready to go. The rotors were a bit finicky to set up, as I wanted to be able to at least use 2x time warp during the mission. As such, I had to limit their RPM to 235, as anything above this would cause the fan blades to glitch out and explode.


Planting the starting marker flag


Getting our feet wet


Operating on water with a top speed of 51-52 m/s





First land crossing over the peninsula east of the KSC




Heading back out to sea



Jeb watching the sunset on the high seas


Nearing the main land crossing up north (the area with the two lakes)


Underwater tree??




I have now seen everything.


Starting the long land crossing. Only exploded the front nose cones and had to reload the game about 6 times. I really should have moved the front landing gear farther forward or used shorter nose cones. 



In the lake




Back out to sea again


Later on, I saw that I was headed towards a small island. Normally, I would have steered away to go around it, but this island had very smooth terrain, and as such I decided to just drive over it.


IVA view


A few beauty shots of the Mun on the horizon 



Going pretty far south in the ocean west of the KSC in order to utilize geodesics and cut down the distance I would have to travel versus just staying near the equator.


Another Mun shot. Since sea circumnavigations are pretty boring in comparison to land-based ones and require less maintenance, I often found myself just zooming in on stuff with Bill Kerman in the upper MK1 cockpit IVA view. 


100 km to go



I see the KSC!


Leaving the ocean for the final time


Celebratory finish-line flag planting



Now that its mission had been completed, I decided to park the KELP in front of the Astronaut Complex instead of just recovering it. Might make for a good target if I ever feel like destroying it for whatever reason.



Map of the approximate route I took:


Edited by Jack Joseph Kerman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Jack Joseph Kerman said:

Kerbin circumnavigation complete!

Wow!  You've been busy!  Nice job!

8 hours ago, Jack Joseph Kerman said:

The rotors were a bit finicky to set up, as I wanted to be able to at least use 2x time warp

That's one challenge with propellers I haven't overcome.  I've used props successfully on Kerbin, Laythe, and Eve.  In all cases, I found it difficult or impossible to go beyond 2X.  Even at 2X strange problems arose.  I found them most useful on Eve, where they work extremely well.

Great boat!  Propellers are challenging, especially on a boat where you need to mount them above the COM to keep the blades out of the water.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi! I'm new to the forums but here is my first entry:

Long story short i drove a six-wheeled rover around the mun. I documented the adventure in my mission report 
around the mun in hopefully less than 80 days

but for fast reference here is the rover and rute


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ooh Forgot to mention This is a stock craft in a modded game

Click thru blocker
Module Manager
Toolbar Controller
Kerbal Engineer
Zero Mini AVC
Better Timewarp
Camera tools
Kerbal Engineer With KER for all
and Scatterer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, CapPenguin said:

Hi! I'm new to the forums but here is my first entry:

Leaderboards updated, and welcome to the forums!  I enjoyed reading your mission reports, nice run!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My rovers are too big...

I'm constatly redoing them.

Takes a while since I can't really play KSP because of driver issue etc.

I have an idea to play the game: play on another computer, just so I can do stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Nazalassa said:

I'll do something small.

Smaller is usually better in this challenge, as the less wheels you have, the more you can use time warp without having to worry about kraken attacks. (I.e. the run takes a lot less time). Having less mass also makes it easier to climb up steep slopes.

I’ve done seven Elcano runs so far, and, usually, the smaller my rover was, the less time it took.

In chronological order:

Tylo: Odyssey 2, 70 tons. Took easily over 50 hours.

Duna: Fortitude, 7 tons. About 10 hours to complete.

Mun: Fortitude, about 7 hours 

Vall: Fortitude Lite, 2 tons. 8 hours

Bop/Pol: Fortitude Lite, about 2 hours each.

Kerbin: KELP(sea), 12 hours.

Edited by Jack Joseph Kerman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...