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Weekly Challenge #5 - Land on Duna!

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Hello Kerbonauts! 


This week, the KSP2 Weekly Challenge is Land on Duna. 



  • Primary: Land a vehicle (crewed or uncrewed) on Duna.
  • Stretch: Land a crew on Duna, then return them safely to Kerbin.
  • Jeb Level: Land a crew on Ike, take a picture of them with Duna visible in the background. Then land them on Duna and take a picture of them with Ike in the background. Then fly them all home to Kerbin.
  • Val Level (Watney Edition): Land an empty Kerbin return vehicle on one of Duna's polar ice caps. Land a crew somewhere other than the ice caps. Drive that crew, using either a wheeled or aerial vehicle, from the second landing site to the first one. Then return to Kerbin.

Happy Launching! 

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Am I first? Alright.

Forget the hydrogen, I don't need that. In methalox I trust. Normal chemical rocket brought me to Duna (note how I got a nearly perfect maneuver for current stage to get me on trajectory to Ike because that's where my first stop was)


Here in orbit, just before separation


And on Ike, after perfect landing.


Nothing to worry though because not long after we were reunited back in orbit


Dropped the useless weight of the lander and went for Duna


And here they are


Obligatory rock statue


And went back home, passing by Mun on the way


And landed safely with the same spacecraft, claiming this new strange land called Kerbin


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This was my first non-kerbin system landing in any ksp game! After warming up the night with my first mun launch + return and then topping that with my first minmus launch + return i decided I should try to figure out some transfer windows. So after some very helpful youtube videos I managed to get Jeb on the surface of Duna!!!!


I may have forgotten to pack enough dV for the return trip so Jeb is gonna go read up on his biology and put on some 80s disco in the tin can.



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Hi All :)

Here is a video of my attempt for the Jeb Level:


Craft file here as bonus ;)



Copy/Past in VAB link: (WARNING bugs: struts not connected and fuel methane tanks to set 1.6)



Don't forget QuickSaves !!! xD

Edited by astrobond
Copy/Past in VAB link added
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Standard Challenge - uncrewed lander (plus orbiter)


In Duna Orbit:



Circularization burn:



Transfer stage separation:



Lander separation:



Braking burn:



Lander above Duna:



Parachutes deployed:



Braking burn #2:



Landing burn and chutes inflated:



Landed on Duna!




Duna Orbiter:




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I wanted to attempt this as a 'tourist drone ship' - a mix of Jeb and Val.

But even though I could get to Ike (technically landing at not-the-poles), and should enough dV on my tested to get to Duna poles to catch a second similar ship home, I discovered a flaw in my plan.

Hitchhikers don't EVA, but I saw Duna and Ike:



I'll be back! If I get time this week...

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Here's my entry.  I'm going for Val Level (Watney Edition).

Return craft delivery to Polar Ice Cap (northern one):


Return craft in VAB.




Orbit of Kerbin, preparing to burn to Duna.


Polar orbit of Duna.


Lots of parachutes, but still needed to use the engines to slow down enough for a safe landing.


Landed.  Phew!


Rover delivery:


Rover delivery vehicle.




In LKO, dropping the first stage.


Fairing deployed, in polar orbit of Duna.


Aiming for a point close to the ascent vehicle, but not on  the polar ice cap.


Chutes deployed.


Looks like I'll end up about 46 km from the ascent vehicle.


Another shot of the rover under canopy.


Landed.  Now I need to eject the parachute tower.  That did not go as smoothly as planned, but it worked.  When I staged the parachute tower away, it glitched badly, nearly destroyed my rover.


But, it worked in the end.  The rover is ready to drive to the ascent vehicle.


The drive:


Starting the drive.  Rovers work ok, until they don't.  At random times the rover would yaw violently, causing loss of control.  It seemed like the rover was hitting large rocks, although the rocks were not displayed on the screen.  So kept hitting large invisible rocks, which was frustrating.


Hitting 45 m/s.  No idea how fast the rover can go, the random invisible rocks always spun my rover out before hitting top speed.


Here's a bug:  When I EVA'd a Kerbal from the seats, the game teleported my Kerbals 127 m away from the rover.  That is annoying, but here I was able to just walk back to the rover.  Later on the teleportation bug will be a major problem..


Walked back to the rover, ready to go again.


The terrain is beautiful.


Climbing a steep slope, getting close to the ship now.


Reached the ship!  Now I just need to walk over and board the Kerbals into the ship.


When I took the Kerbals out of the seats, the teleportation bug was back.  However, now it was teleporting me just below the surface.  Every time I EVAd a Kerbal, they would fall to the center of Duna.  This was a serious hurdle.


I finally managed to get the Kerbals out of the rover.  I had to EVA the Kerbals while the rover was airborne (from jumping it off a hill..).  I had to get the rover moving fast, jump off a hill, and EVA the Kerbal when the rover was 8-10 m above the ground.  This still resulted in the Kerbal teleporting 120 m from the rover, but they at least ended up above the surface, not below it.  Grr.


Return to Kerbin:


Ready to launch from Duna.


The landing site is visible behind the ship.


Flyby of Ike.


Another flyby of Ike.  The symbols for SOI entry and departure are backwards from how I expected them to work.  I assumed the blue circles which are closing in on themselves would indicate SOI entry.  Nope.  Anyway, I made some navigation errors on the return trip, so good thing I brought extra fuel.


Atmospheric entry at Kerbin.


I accidentally staged away the bottom part of the return vessel.  With 7 parachutes I did not need to do that, oops.


Crew safely back on Kerbin.



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18 hours ago, 18Watt said:

Climbing a steep slope

I've seen people reporting that they can't get any climb from their KSP2 rovers.  I did a little testing around the KSC and I've noticed the same.  Did you do anything specific to your wheels to get good climbing ability, or did you use these with "out of the box" settings?

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1 hour ago, Poppa Wheelie said:

I've seen people reporting that they can't get any climb from their KSP2 rovers.  I did a little testing around the KSC and I've noticed the same.  Did you do anything specific to your wheels to get good climbing ability, or did you use these with "out of the box" settings?

No, I did not do anything special to the wheels.  However, I also have had problems getting up slopes in the area around KSC, which was concerning.  Especially troubling was that the slightly bigger new wheels gave me lots of trouble around KSC, I was very concerned that the smaller wheels I used in this challenge would have a lot of issues with slopes on Duna.

The only changes I made were to turn off steering for the rear wheels.  Otherwise, I did play with the settings somewhat, but found that I wasn't able to improve the characteristics of using the 'auto' settings.

Edit to add:  Oh, I forgot to mention that the wheels I used had no problems at all with the slopes on Duna.  I had some unrelated issues, but the wheels actually seemed to work quite well, even on slopes.

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Jeb Level

I wanted to minimize opportunities for bugs, so the Duna Challenger 1 was built with no landing legs or docking ports.  I saw the rover wheels as too problematic also, so that ruled out the Val Level challenge.   I still saw a few bugs, including the "Ap and Pe keep changing in very low Ike or Duna orbits", "projected Pe changes through SOI transitions", and "projected Pe does not always show on trajectory path" bugs.  But, the biggest headache I faced on this mission was the "Projected Kerbin Return from Duna Trajectory is Way Wrong" bug, which I spent about an hour, and near 400m/s of reserve dV, resolving.

Because Jeb did my only previous Duna landing (in my KSP1 career), Val told me in no uncertain terms that she was doing this mission.  She can be quite persuasive.

Travel to Duna system


Duna Challenger I liftoff.  I had some wobble of the SRBs, and of the central column, but not too bad.

In Orbit

Maneuver Plan to Duna system

Kerbin escape burn

Arriving in the Duna system

Ike Landing


Orbital Insertion at Ike

Next, I lowered the Pe for the Ike landing.  But these next two screenshots were taken a few seconds apart, with no thrust input from me.  The Pe (and Ap) were changing the whole time.

Ready for Ike landing

Separate empty fuel tank


Landed on Ike

Required image on Ike with Duna visible in the background

Duna Landing


Departing Ike for Duna

See the Duna Pe change as we leave the Ike SOI

Descending through Duna's atmosphere

Chutes fully deployed

Landed on Duna.  I landed on the fuel tank at under 16m/s.  The fuel tank we're sitting on has a 20m/s tolerance, so no problem.

Val with lander and flag

The required photo of the crew with Ike in the background was difficult to get.  This was actually my second landing location because the first one had Ike below the horizon.  This time Ike was too high above the horizon.  It looked like I could only get an image of both Val and Ike from below the surface, but I eventually got a shot from barely above the ground.  In the first shot, if Val was to extend her right arm, she would be touching the faint crescent of Ike.  In the second shot, Ike is down and to the right of the FPS display.

The "Projected Kerbin Return from Duna Trajectory Is Way Wrong" Bug


As I was building the Maneuver Plan for the return to Kerbin, I had vehicle prograde pointing in the direction of planetary retrograde, as you can see in these screenshots

However, the maneuver plan showed a planned trajectory outside of Duna's orbit, as if vessel prograde had been pointing in the direction of planetary prograde

Only after executing the burn, and departing the Duna SOI, was the "actual" trajectory revealed.  This meant I had to fire "blind", with no indications that I had or had not achieved a Kerbin encounter, and then fix everything after leaving the Duna SOI.

Return to Kerbin


Liftoff from Duna

In orbit

Escape burn

Departing Duna system

It took 361m/s (and about an hour of my time) to recover from the "blind" escape from Duna and achieve a good Kerbin encounter.  See that I now have 88m/s remaining.  Also note that Kerbin Pe is not displayed.

I didn't know the Kerbin Pe until I entered the Kerbin SOI.  I spent another 36m/s to adjust this Pe.  We'll finish the mission with 52m/s remaining (vacuum).

Reentry has begun

Chutes deployed

Chutes fully inflated


Does anyone know whether any of these numbers are accurate, or useful?

Successful return to Kerbin.  Mission complete.

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This is my first time on a challenge... I hope I'm doing it correctly

Val Level (Watney Edition):

  • Send a probe with one empty seat to the north pole of Duna


  • Send Bill somewhere else of Duna - Second image shows distance from return craft and where Bill landed



  • Make Bill travel to the return craft. What a perfect landing!


  • Board the return craft


  • Safely return home



Edited by vianna77
removed some break lines
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I did a Duna mission pre-patch, but had to use a bunch of cheats to get over the various bugs, such as fuel disappearing, or the docking bug.  I wanted to see if I could do it (along with the Ike visit) without any cheats.  I still came across some bugs, but not nearly so bad this time around.  I went for Jeb level.


Duna from Ike

Ike from Duna

Back at KSC


Edited by Soda Popinski
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My try on Val Level:
It was a bit buggy and I needed a few tries. Especially the Return Vessel spawning 300m under ground as I approached with the plane was a real pain. I had to fiddle around with the save game, but got it working in the end.
But I have to say, I LOVE the Duna soundtrack! It really sets the mood for exploration!

 Launch of the unkerbaled Return vessel 

Landing on the Northern Icecaps

Sending the Krew to Duna

Gliding to the surface

Planting the Flag

Approaching the return vehicle

Let's get back home

Finally! "Uuuhhhmm, have so seen Bob???"

Full video:


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Finally had the time to finish this challenge.

I sent Jeb, Tim C. , and Derpont to Duna and Ike for the Jeb level challenge.

This is the Duna II.



Pretty thin margin for going to Ike and Duna and then returning home to Kerbin.  Nice and simple.

On the pad.


Here we have Duna intercept.


A tiny mid course correction to adjust inclination and lower periapsis to the equatorial plane of Duna.


A massive 4 m/s dV expenditure and the trajectory goes from the blue line to the orange line.


In Ike orbit.  Interestingly lumpy in places.


And there's Duna.


And after the landing, here's the obligatory beauty shot with the whole crew.


And here we are leaving Ike.


And headed for Duna.


7 minutes of terror, indeed.  I don't remember how many times I had to retry this landing.


But the view was worth it.  The Kerbals stacked themselves to celebrate.


And here we are back home, safe and sound.



Happy landings!

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Patch 1 is great, but I think there are still a few issues :/

I kept wondering why the back end was falling on launch, so I emptied the fuel tanks and launched again. Now it makes sense! It looks like some part linkage is failing. Perhaps this is a result of having multiple crafts in a workspace? We'll see.



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I'm a bit late to the party, but here's my second attempt at Cinematic submissions.

The goal was to return to the Interplanetary tug (AKA the Pontoon) via the drop vehicle. I severely underestimated my DV need for LDO. So we're starting our own base, with black rocks and hydrogen. 

I present:

Oscar 2 Duna


Although technically not a "OneOscar" (the 2x model is much like the even more egregiously misnomered XL model that uses an XS methane tank as it's base part) this is still a submission for the "OneOscar" Fan Club. At this rate we may need to take it to EVE, so that we can do a Kerbol Atmospheric Tour" (for all of the 100 meters it will be able to fly there).

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I'm doing Val++ mode! Landing an unmanned return vehicle on Duna's South Ice Cap, then taking Val, in a separate craft, first to Ike, then to Duna's red sands, and then driving her to the lander on the ice cap to come home. All this while defending against the kraken!


This is the return vessel.



Val's flying rover for a Duna + Ike landing and then a nice lazy several dozen (hundred?) kilometer drive...



The return vehicle, seen here on its way to its periapsis a good month after Val landed on Ike. It launched first! By a lot, actually, like, 19 days. But you know Val; she's such a great pilot, she beat it there by double that!



Here's Val standing beside her nuclear-powered sports-rover on Ike, with a crescent Duna on the horizon.


Entering Duna's atmosphere with the rover.



Emulating the "Belly Flop" maneuver to decelerate.



Final landing with chutes and dorsal rockets.



Val posing for a photo as she repacks the rover's parachutes, mostly for practice for when she reaches the return ship on the opposite side of the South Pole.



A mere 39 days late, the ride home finally lands...



...a rather long way away. Something like 200 kilometers, I think! I hope the rover is up to the task! (It's nuclear powered and as close to invincible as I could make it in Patch 1...)



Now that she knew where to go, Val began to drive in twilight, heading toward daylight so she can actually see! (Spotlights are rather dim and short range, Devs...)



Up and down turned out to be pretty scary! In one particularly nasty tumble down a hill, she lost one headlight and both tail lights! So Val quickly learned to ridge-run, despite the icy landscape.



50 kilometers left! Almost there!



"One more ridge, and it should come into sight... okay, maybe two."



"I can see it! I can see it and it's still stand—"



"—oh. Crap. Seriously? Just as I get to it, it falls over out of nowhere?" Landing legs are a but, er... wet noodly. I mean, everything is pretty noodly right now. Did you guys really think most of the community likes floppy rockets? So much that we want severely limited part count forever, and can thus add even more parts to avoid the wobble? (Seriously, have you considered a dynamic welding system? In normal flight, there's little reason to allow the main body of a craft to bend and flex, so maybe just count them as a single object, and only "disassemble" them back into individual rigid bodies during a predicted impact event or the like?)

"Oh well... I'ma still plant the flag, dammit!"



A Wild Bob appears out of nowhere! For real... see how there's no bob in the previous image? Jeb also teleported into the empty return capsule half way to Duna. Yes, I'm sure he wasn't there at launch. See how Bob just appeared? Bug report submitted. Bob left behind. Jeb, uh... well, he splatted after I made him eject in space on a Duna collision trajectory. Sorry, Jeb. Shoulda stayed at home like a good boy, huh?

Bob, I have good news and bad news, buddy. The good news is, that rover is nuclear powered! Even at full speed ahead, it's got five or six years of fuel in it! The bad news is... uh... that's all the entertainment you'll have for the rest of, well... eternity. Sorry. See above scolding of Jeb's, er... gooey green splat in the sands? Maybe you can go find him!



You do not want to know how many attempts it took to get this thing upright, intact, coordinating the rover and rocket... at least tripled by falling through the ground on 2/3 loads as I attempted it again and again... Bug report submitted.



Does 2495 m/s of dV seem a bit low for a polar return from Duna? Why yes... yes it does! I uh... may have used more fuel than I planned to during landing, to avoid a nasty slope. You... don't want to know how many launch attempts it took me to find the perfect gravity turn schema to launch from Duna! Okay, this one was only maybe ten, unlike the 50+ to get the rocket upright.

Even then, it was awfully close. Actually impossible with simple Hohman transfer. This was two Ike assists, one of which was a pretty close shave!



and then eighteen years waiting to get the perfect transfer window, since I had just enough dV in Kerbolar orbit to get to Kerbin's orbital altitude from Ap. Seriously... look! 55 m/s to spare! Not my closest call (that would be getting out and pushing to get a Mun assist to get back to atmo in KSP1), but sheesh! 18 years!



But at last, sweet, sweet oxygen!



But Val will Val... first thing she did on setting foot in grass was complain about how uninteresting it was and ask to get back out there! Oh Val...


Edited by FirroSeranel
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3 hours ago, DAFATRONALDO2007 IN SPACE said:

I love these missions and spaceships. In honesty though, as a friendly suggestion, maybe its best to put the pictures in a spoiler so people like me don't have to cook their potato pc to load the page :wink:

Good point... edited mine to have _most_ of the pictures in spoilers, minus a couple of signature pics.

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I went with the simplest design I could manage. Got lucky with a relatively flat landing zone on my first try. I have to say this nose cone is quite handy. I can see myself using it a lot.




Next time I visit Duna I will have to bring a rover, or something with wings.

On 3/30/2023 at 11:57 AM, Bingmao said:

But I have to say, I LOVE the Duna soundtrack! It really sets the mood for exploration!

It's nice. You can hear faint music on approach, then a great orchestral swell as you enter the atmosphere or low orbit, and another more relaxed track once you're on the ground.

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On 3/30/2023 at 9:57 AM, Bingmao said:

Gliding to the surface





Great job! I briefly considered a plane, but I wasn't sure how far I could fly on Duna without some sort of electric propulsion, so I went rover, but that's very cool looking!

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On 3/29/2023 at 9:26 AM, Poppa Wheelie said:

I've seen people reporting that they can't get any climb from their KSP2 rovers.  I did a little testing around the KSC and I've noticed the same.  Did you do anything specific to your wheels to get good climbing ability, or did you use these with "out of the box" settings?

I did quite a bit of fine-tuning, though most of it was on Duna to maximize stability and thus speed, since I had a pretty long drive all the way across the ice cap.

I did a fair bit of testing ahead of time, and easily the fastest wheels (no contest at all) is the Ruggedized. They are definitely vastly under-torqued, even worse than KSP1 (they really should be traction-limited; electric motors have max torque at zero RPM so shouldn't ever really get stuck unable to turn; my mobility scooter can go up much steeper slopes in 1G than any rover in KSP2!)

However... an inability to climb a slope on Kerbin is not at all a good predictor of behavior in much lower gravity. On Duna, with traction control off, I was indeed traction-limited, and could move up any slope I could also hold still on with brakes, which was about 50° or so. Anything higher than that, and I needed some momentum. I almost got stuck in the bottom of a small crater once. I wound up sort of spiraling up out of it, using my centrifugal force to add more traction to eventually make it out. The same rover could likely go up 80° slopes on Minmus, the only real limitation there being the center of mass staying forward of the rear wheels' contact patch to avoid flipping over backwards.

But yeah... whoever initially designed the rover wheels' torque curves in KSP1 was on some pretty good drugs... and have absolutely no idea how electric motors work. They start at almost zero torque at zero RPM, then climb to a very early spike before then very sharply dropping off again at ~1/4 of their rated speed to less than 10%, and then slowly trail off from there. Then, since I'm 99% sure all KSP2's team did was copy-paste part definitions over from KSP1, all the same janky curves are there, except even weaker in the new physics engine! Huzzah!

Of course, there are variations in real-world DC electric motor torque/speed curves, depending on their winding layout and whether they use permanent magnets or electromagnets for the field generation, but most start at max torque then have a gradual decay from there.

In KSP1, I always, always modded all rover wheels to something much more sane feeling (for all the good it did with Unity's "wheels on crack" physics for colliders), so going to even weaker than KSP1 stock in this mission was... frustrating, often. Hence the eight wheel setup, and ultra-wide, ultra-long track, heh.

I wound up using a differential friction control from 1.0 at the rear, down to 0.6 at the front, so when the kraken would punt my rover into a yaw spin about once a minute, the rover would want to straighten out. Much fun as doing many many 360's was, once I came upon that scheme, I was able to use SAS and actually not be in full racing attention mode for the entire multi-hour trip, heh.

I also turned traction control off and set motor output to 100%. Turned off auto-suspension (which shouldn't even exist it's so godawful) and tuned it myself once on Duna. And also turned off Auto Steering control, and set it to 20°, but with a lower steering response for small tapping adjustments but also good counter-steer on skids and a decent turning radius (the auto-adjust steering in KSP2 right now is WAAAAAAAAAAAY too aggressive, bringing steering angle down to a fraction of a degree by like, 1 m/s...)

Edited by FirroSeranel
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