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Shuttle Challenge v7 - The STS Thread [Stock and Mod Friendly]


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SHUTTLE CHALLENGE v7 - THE 0.2.0+ STS THREAD

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Incredible artwork by @HazelPine from the Screenshots Re-imagined thread

 

This heritage challenge is now in its seventh version, and for the first time in KSP2! A history:

 

The series of challenges below represent a sliding scale of difficulty ranging from relatively simple to highly complex.

 

Updates and Clarifications

  • Minor Adjustments to existing missions to accomodate the KSP 2 mechanics
  • Cleared up some descriptions due to having non-functional links
  • Brand New Series - Moho and Dres are now live! New additions coming soon
  • Minmus Series have been temporarily removed due to huge focus on resource mining and lack of Ore Mining mechanics in KSP2 (as of version 0.2.0.0). As soon as Ore Mining is introduced in KSP2, the missions will be reinstated!

Reference Materials

 

RULES - PLEASE READ THESE BEFORE ATTEMPTING THE CHALLENGES

Official definition of a shuttle for this challenge

A "reusable" winged Orbiter which carries kerbals (and cargo for any mission beyond STS-1a) to orbit and back and is capable of a horizontal landing. It's advisable to have OMS engine(s) for trajectory changes as well as an RCS system for maneuvering. The Orbiter must be lifted into space by a Launch System that decouples or undocks once expended, allowing the Orbiter to land entirely under its own power.

When in doubt about any of the following rules, please ask first.

Spoiler
  1. You must declare any and all mods used so I can place you into the relevant category / award the relevant badge. A mission is considered stock if you do not use any mods that alter gameplay, or alter or change stock parts used for "essential systems" (see below) on any craft in the mission. If you have a parts mod installed but don't use it for your shuttle, the shuttle will still qualify as stock. Some examples:
    • all current and future official DLCs
    • purely visual mods (shaders, textures etc.)
    • information/utility mods (Micro Engineer, Transfer Window planners, MechJeb equivalents etc.)
    • "Essential systems" means anything related to the aerospace frame, propulsion, maneuvering, docking, command, power, heat management, science - basically any core gameplay functions. This does not include parts that are entirely or mostly decorative (e.g. launchpads, decals, lights), or parts that add additional functions without interfering with stock functions (e.g. life support). See this discussion from the v5 thread for more information.
  2. Modded engines used must be approximately in balance with the stock ones. For example, while slightly larger SRBs are ok, engines with both insane TWR and ISP are not. Most "near future" parts are fine, except for some of the more advanced nuclear and ion engines.
  3. All atmospheric flight should be handled manually, with the exception of self scripted autopilot programs and "attitude hold" instruments during reentry. "Mechjeb-like" tools etc. are fine for on orbit procedures.
  4. All atmosphere-altering mods (except FAR-equivalent atmosphere mods that might come out in the future) are disallowed
  5. Planet mods are allowed on a trial basis. Please ask first before running your mission so we can work out the details.
  6. You may not cheat in any way, whether it be by using plugins like HyperEdit, using the Debug Menu for infinite fuel/RCS, using kraken drives or other glitch drives, etc. Part clipping is allowed in reasonable amounts and not considered cheating.
  7. You are required to use your own shuttle when completing any of the missions below.
  8. All missions require either a screenshot album or a video showing all stages of the flight. Please organize and label your submissions as needed to make them easy to understand.
  9. Once you have completed a mission, please post your proof in this thread for my review.
  10. SSTO-only craft are not eligible for entry to the challenge. However, an SSTO-capable Orbiter with an attached Launch System is allowed.
  11. Missions must be completed in the logical order unless you are certified from earlier STS v1 - v5 challenges to the relevant level, except for the "Test Pilot" missions.
  12. Note on combining missions: Some of the simpler ones may be combined and performed at the same time. Traditionally, this has been limited to STS-1a-b and STS-2a-b. There have been a couple exceptions on occasion, but combined missions are harder to judge. Please do not combine complex, multipart missions with other missions (for example, Mun-STS-2-4). Combined missions must have a clear separation in the mission reports between one and the other. If you want to jump back and forth between them when actually performing the missions, that's up to you, but the reports need to be separate so I can make sense of them better.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Certain missions at the time of writing this (KSP2 v.0.2.0.0) cannot be reliably completed without information provided by Micro Engineer. You might consider installing it to complete the challenges until future game updates add extended orbital info

 

Badge elements and their meanings

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Veteran shuttle builders know what all the elements mean, but it was never outright stated in the rules before. So now, an overdue explanation:

  • The colors of the planet indicate the mission series and which planet (or other body) the series centers around.
  • The number of stars indicates the mission rank (not necessarily the same as the mission designation number).
  • The color of the stars indicates the mission difficulty - silver for Pilot, gold for Commander.
  • The color of the laurels indicates what type of parts were used for mission crafts - silver for mod parts, gold for stock only (including DLC).
  • The color of the outer piping indicates the type of mission - silver for standard missions, other colors for bonus missions.
  • Missions completed with a planet mod have a royal purple border and ribbon, with the relevant mod shown.

 

MISSIONS

Kerbin Series (STS-1 through STS-8)

Spoiler

STS-1: Getting the Basics Right

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This is the simplest mission - all you need to do is build a space shuttle, fly it, and land it.

 

Badges Available

STS Pilot - Rank 1a

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Build a shuttle complying to the above space shuttle definition and fly it to orbit, then deorbit and land wherever you like!

 

STS Commander - Rank 1a

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Build a shuttle complying to the above space shuttle definition and fly it to orbit, then deorbit. Land at the KSC runway, the Island Airfield off the KSC coast.

 

STS-2: Can You Hear Me?

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This mission is slightly harder - your goal is to design and deploy two or more comsats to geostationary orbits from your Shuttle and to return to Kerbin. Additional goals are required for higher-ranking badges. Geostationary orbits are circular equatorial orbits with an altitude of 2,863,334.06 m and a period of 5h 59m 9.425s - it's typically easier (and more important) to adjust the period length than to get both the Ap and Pe to the exact same value.  More information here

 

Badges Available

STS Pilot - Rank 2

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Reach an orbit of 200+ km with your shuttle, and then deploy two comsats to geostationary orbits. Deorbit and land anywhere you want.

 

STS Commander - Rank 2

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Reach an orbit of 350+ km with your shuttle, and then deploy three or more comsats to equidistant geostationary orbits (that is, 3 satellites should be placed 120 degrees apart, 4 should be 90 degrees apart, etc). Deorbit and land at either at the KSC runway, the Island Airfield off the KSC coast.

 

STS-3: Can You See Me?

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Your mission here involves some design and orbital construction - you are to launch a Space Telescope into orbit and deploy it. This will require assembly with the 2 MMUs (Manned Maneuvering Units, like this one) you will design, as the solar panels need to be attached on-orbit with Kerbals. Space Telescope must have an ASCM-A "Air Sniffer" Module (due to the lack of dedicated Telescope science module in KSP 2 at the time of writing this), an antenna to communicate with Kerbin and a probe core

 

Badges Available

STS Pilot - Rank 3

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Launch the space telescope to an orbit of your choice and deploy and assemble it; afterwards, deorbit and land anywhere you want.

 

STS Commander - Rank 3

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Launch the space telescope to a 550+ km circular orbit inclined at 25-30 degrees and assemble it. After deployment, deorbit and land at either at the KSC runway, the Island Airfield off the KSC coast.

 

STS-4/4R: Can You Rescue Me?

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This'll be the most daring mission so far - first, you must launch a single shuttle to orbit, then send another shuttle to rescue it. See this article for technical details of the IRL proposed STS-107 rescue. Resource transfer between the two shuttles is not allowed.

 

Badges Available

STS Pilot - Rank 4

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Launch your first space shuttle into a 200+ km orbit with a minimum of 4 crew, then send up your second shuttle to rendezvous with it and rescue its crew before coming in to land anywhere you wish.

 

STS Commander - Rank 4

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Launch your first space shuttle into an 350+ km orbit with 6 crew at an inclination of 25-30 degrees, then send your second shuttle to rendezvous with it and rescue its crew. Land at either at the KSC runway, the Island Airfield off the KSC coast.

 

STS-5-8: Can You Build Me?

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Your mission here is to build a 4 module space station with your space shuttle, carrying one module per launch in an order of your choice.

Your space station must have:

  • A service module with power generation, RCS, engines, and reaction wheels
  • A habitation module
  • 2 scientific modules

 

Badges Avaliable

STS Pilot - Rank 5

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Assemble your space station above 150km. After each mission, you may land anywhere you want.

 

STS Commander - Rank 5

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Assemble your space station above 300km. After each mission, land at either at the KSC runway, the Island Airfield off the KSC coast.

 

YOU MUST HAVE COMPLETED THE ORIGINAL KERBIN SERIES MISSIONS STS-1 TO STS-3 IN ORDER TO PROGRESS TO THE KERBIN BONUS SERIES

Kerbin Bonus Series (STS-1B through STS-2B)

Spoiler

STS-1B: Fuel Pod Mission (Do you even lift?)

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Standard Fuel Pod can be downloaded here!

 

The shuttle program unfortunately had to cancel its contract with Mullet Dyne due to unforeseen manufacturing issues with its 40t Fuel Pod. OJT Aerospace Industries has issued an updated 30t Fuel Pod, and has contracted you to take it up to the highest possible Kerbin orbit. Since it requires special on-orbit activation procedures, unmanned expendable launch vehicles are out of the question; it's up to you to take this behemoth to orbit and then return to land. Not only that, but they require a very precise orbit: The final orbit eccentricity must be no greater than 0.0001 - as circular as possible. Orbital altitude is at your discretion. Eccentricity can be shown through orbital information mods such as Micro Engineer. Can you do it?

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Example from KSP1: this orbit would not qualify

 

If you have successfully taken the Fuel Pod to orbit (70+ km), you get the special Flight Director badge, the ultimate display of piloting and engineering prowess and skill.

NOTE: if you are using a narrow-bodied shuttle and the standard Fuel Pod will not fit in the cargo bay, you may construct your own custom Fuel Pod instead. It must:

  • weigh a minimum of 30t fully loaded
  • have a similar ratio of Methalox, Monopropellant and Hydrogen (16/9/1.25 tons of respective fuel in Standard Fuel Pod)
  • have at least one docking port (resource transfer should be disabled), probe core, battery, and reaction wheel
  • have sufficient electrical generation to run them

 

Badges Available

STS Pilot - Rank 1B

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Take the fuel pod to orbit, then deorbit and land anywhere you want.

 

STS Commander - Rank 1B

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Take the fuel pod to orbit, then deorbit. Land at the KSC runway, the Island Airfield off the KSC coast.

 

STS-2B: Fuel Pod Recovery Mission (Do You Even Land?)

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OJT Aerospace has contracted you to recover their 30t fuel pod from where you left it, after contaminates were discovered in the fuel. Can you land the thing!? Do not use any of the pod's resources - it must be completely full when landed! If you have successfully landed the 30t fuel pod (from where you left it), you get the special Flight Director - Rank 2 badge, the ultimate display of piloting and engineering prowess and skill.

 

Badges Available

STS Pilot - Rank 2B

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Retrieve the fuel pod from STS-1b, then deorbit and land anywhere you want.

 

STS Commander - Rank 2B

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Retrieve the fuel pod from STS-1b, then deorbit. Land at the KSC runway, the Island Airfield off the KSC coast.

 

 

YOU MUST HAVE COMPLETED THE ORIGINAL KERBIN SERIES IN ORDER TO PROGRESS TO THE MUN SERIES

Mun Series (MUN STS-1 through MUN STS-7)

Spoiler

MUN STS-1: Do I have Mun-quakes?

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Landing on an airless body was never going to be easy in a shuttle, but your task is to not only successfully land on the Mun, but to deploy a small research facility of your choice to study the Mun. Oh yes you need to get back too!

 

Badges Available

Mun STS Pilot - Rank 1

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Land your shuttle anywhere on the Mun and deploy a small un-manned research facility (which you will design) on the surface and then return home, capturing however you like and landing where you want.

 

Mun STS Commander - Rank 1

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Land your shuttle on the Mun and deploy a manned research facility (which you will design) on the surface and then return home, perform an aerocapture and land at either at the KSC runway or the Island Airfield off the KSC coast.

 

 

MUN STS-2-4: Can You Explore me?

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@qzgy and his rather large munar base

 

This mission will really test your piloting skills, as well as the capability to design various payloads that you can transport in your shuttle.

Landing on an airless body was never going to be easy in a shuttle. But since you managed to do that, how about precision landings? You have to perform three shuttle missions to construct a scientific outpost with the following modules. Modules may be launched in any order.

  • A habitation module for at least 5 kerbals with power generation, an antenna, and a docking port
  • A pressurized rover for at least 5 kerbals, that is capable to dock to the habitation module
  • An Emergency Escape Vehicle (EEV) for the whole crew

The shuttles don't have to stay on the Mun, you can fly them home after deploying their payload.

 

Badges Avaliable

Mun STS Pilot - Rank 2

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Construct your base anywhere on the Mun. Dock the rover to the base, take your crew for a short ride and dock the rover back. After exploring the area, use the EEV to transport the crew to a stable Munar orbit, and rescue them however you like. Land all three shuttles anywhere on Kerbin.

 

Mun STS Commander - Rank 2

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Construct your base at greater latitude than 60° north or south. Dock the rover to the base, take your crew for a short ride and dock the rover back. After exploring the area, use the EEV to transport the crew back to Kerbin - the EEV must be capable of reentry and safe landing. Land all three shuttles either at the KSC runway or the Island Airfield off the KSC coast.

 

 

MUN STS-5-7: Can you LOP-G?

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Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway

 

This mission uses the shuttle program to expand the infrastructure around the Mun - you will build a space station in munar orbit to support Mun exploration and serve as an outpost for long duration stay in space.

The station consists of 3 modules:

  • The PPE (Power & Propulsion Element) that generates electrical power and has ion engines for orbital maneuvering
  • A science module/docking adapter
  • A habitation module

 

Badges Avaliable

Mun STS Pilot - Rank 3

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Assemble your LOP-G for at least 6 kerbals in any munar orbit with periapsis above 600 km. Land all three shuttles anywhere on Kerbin.

 

Mun STS Commander - Rank 3

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Assemble your LOP-G for at least 12 kerbals in a polar munar orbit (inclination of at least 85°) with periapsis and apoapsis between 600 and 700 km. After the departure of the last shuttle, demonstrate the orbital maneuvering capacity of the station by raising the orbit periapsis and apoapsis above 2000 km. Land all three shuttles either at the KSC runway or the Island Airfield off the KSC coast.

 

YOU MUST HAVE COMPLETED THE ORIGINAL KERBIN SERIES IN ORDER TO PROGRESS TO THE DUNA SERIES

Duna Series (DUNA STS-1 through DUNA STS-3)

Spoiler

DUNA STS-1: Can You Visit Me?

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This mission is significantly more challenging than those before it and may require extensive shuttle modifications, or even a new shuttle design for some. You must develop your own unique sub-assembly and fly an epic interplanetary mission to Duna in order to deploy a small orbital outpost. This will test the range, aero-capture, and re-entry capability of your shuttle to the limits and is not for the feint of heart! The orbital outpost must have: 

  • Room for 4 or more kerbals,
  • Power generation and storage
  • Antenna for communication
  • Probe core with SAS

NOTE: You may launch 1 support package for your shuttle using a traditional rocket or shuttle launch for this mission.

 

Badges Avaliable

Duna STS Pilot - Rank 1

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Launch your shuttle to Duna, capture how ever you like, deploy an orbital outpost at your chosen altitude, and return home, capturing however you like and landing where you want.

 

Duna STS Commander - Rank 1

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Launch your shuttle to Duna, aero-brake/capture at Duna, deploy an orbital outpost below 70km, and return home, aero-brake/capture at Kerbin, land at either at the KSC runway or the Island Airfield off the KSC coast.

 

 

DUNA STS-2: Can You Land on me?

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This mission requires not only a Shuttle capable of getting to Duna, but also one capable of landing on the red planet and successfully returning to Kerbin. You may require extensive shuttle modifications, or even a new shuttle design for this mission.

NOTE: You may launch 1 support package for your shuttle using a traditional rocket or shuttle launch for this mission.

 

Badges Avaliable

Duna STS Pilot - Rank 2

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Launch your shuttle to Duna, capture how ever you like and visit your orbital outpost from Duna STS-1 before or after your Duna landing. Return home, capturing however you like and landing where you want.

 

Duna STS Commander - Rank 2

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Launch your shuttle to Duna, bringing a new module along. The module must be able to carry at least 2 kerbals and have a defined purpose, but that is up to you. Some examples:

  • ground research station
  • refueling depot
  • exploration rover
  • aerial survey craft
  • additional orbital outpost modules (habitation, science lab, etc.)

Aero-brake/capture at Duna and visit your orbital outpost from Duna STS-1 in Low Duna Orbit before or after your Duna landing. Return home, aero-brake/capture at Kerbin, land at either at the KSC runway, the Island Airfield off the KSC coast, the Dessert Airfield from MH, or at any Kerbal Konstructs airport.

 

 

DUNA STS-3: Can You Von Braun me?

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This mission continues to build your own infrastructure around Duna, but has a small twist requiring skilled interplanetary navigation. Your task is to bring a fully reusable lander to your Duna outpost from Duna STS-1 and return to Kerbin performing a flyby of Eve. This was an idea of Wernher Von Braun for his "Marsproject" missions, which would shorten the duration of the mission.

 

Badges Avaliable

Duna STS Pilot - Rank 3

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Launch your shuttle to Duna, capture how ever you like, rendezvous with your orbital outpost from Duna STS-1 and deploy the lander for at least two kerbals. Then run a mission where you land on the surface of Duna, plant a flag and return to the outpost without decoupling anything from your lander. Leave the lander docked to the outpost. Transfer from Duna to Eve, perform a flyby and set yourself on a course to Kerbin. Return home, capturing however you like and landing where you want.

 

Duna STS Commander - Rank 3

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Launch your shuttle to Duna. Aero-brake/capture at Duna, rendezvous with your orbital outpost from Duna STS-1 and deploy the lander for at least four kerbals. Then run a mission where you land on the surface of Duna, plant a flag and return to the outpost without decoupling anything from your lander. Leave the lander docked to the outpost. Transfer from Duna to Eve. When in Eve's SOI, deploy two communication satelites - one in a circular polar orbit with a periapsis of at least 2 000 km, one in a circular equatorial orbit with an apoapsis of less than 150 km. Perform a flyby and set yourself on a course to Kerbin. Return home, aero-brake/capture at Kerbin, land at either at the KSC runway or the Island Airfield off the KSC coast.



YOU MUST HAVE COMPLETED THE ORIGINAL KERBIN SERIES IN ORDER TO PROGRESS TO THE JOOL SERIES

Jool Series (JOOL STS-1)

Spoiler

JOOL STS-1: Can You Breathe here?

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This mission is hideously challenging and will no doubt require extensive shuttle modifications, or even a totally new shuttle design. You must develop your own unique sub-assemblies and fly an epic interplanetary mission to Laythe in order to deploy a small Ground Outpost with the addition of an atmospheric exploration aircraft (for Commander level). This mission is designed to test your shuttle in the extreme, and also your payload construction and deployment methods.

The ground outpost must have:

  • Two Science modules and fuel storage with docking port
  • Room for 4 or more kerbals

The Atmospheric Exploration Aircraft must have:

  • Room for 1 or more kerbals
  • Docking port

NOTE: You may launch 1 support package for your shuttle using a traditional rocket or shuttle launch for this mission.

 

Badges Avaliable

Jool STS Pilot - Rank 1

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Launch your shuttle to Laythe, and land on Laythe before deploying a science outpost. Return home, capturing however you like and landing where you want.

 

Jool STS Commander - Rank 1

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Launch your shuttle to Laythe, and land on Laythe before deploying a science outpost and before or after deploying an atmospheric exploration aircraft. Return home, capture however you like and land at either at the KSC runway or the Island Airfield off the KSC coast.

 

YOU MUST HAVE COMPLETED THE ORIGINAL KERBIN SERIES IN ORDER TO PROGRESS TO THE EVE SERIES

Eve Series (EVE STS-1)

Spoiler

EVE STS-1: Can You Survive Me?

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Shuttles were designed for both space and atmospheric flight. This mission will test that to extreme lenghts. Will your shuttle survive Eve's infernal atmosphere, or will a new design be neccessary?

Your mission is to deliver a probe to dip into Eve's atmosphere, collect the experiment unit from the probe and return it back to Kerbin.

The recovered experiment unit from the probe has to contain:

  • at least 2 different science modules
  • a probe core
  • a battery

NOTE: You may launch 1 support package for your shuttle using a traditional rocket or shuttle launch for this mission.

 

Badges Avaliable

Eve STS Pilot - Rank 1

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Launch your shuttle to Eve, capture however you like, deploy the atmospheric probe. The probe must dip into the atmosphere below 70 km, perform the scientific experiments and get back to orbit. Rendezvous the shuttle and the probe, and get the experiment unit of the probe to your cargo bay. Return home, capturing however you like and landing where you want.

 

Eve STS Commander - Rank 1

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Launch your shuttle to Eve, aero-brake/capture at Eve, deploy the atmospheric probe. The probe must dip into the atmosphere below 60 km, perform the scientific experiments and get back to orbit. Rendezvous the shuttle and the probe, and get the experiment unit of the probe to your cargo bay. Return home, aero-brake/capture at Kerbin, land at either at the KSC runway or the Island Airfield off the KSC coast.

 

YOU MUST HAVE COMPLETED THE ORIGINAL KERBIN SERIES IN ORDER TO PROGRESS TO THE MOHO SERIES

Moho Series (MOHO STS-1)

Spoiler

MOHO STS-1: Can You Message Me?

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A placeholder picture: your picture can be here!

A brand new destination in STS Challenge series! Moho lies deep in the inner reaches of Kerbolar System, which with the lack of atmosphere to shed off some speed makes it a particularly challenging planet. Does your Shuttle have what it takes to handle the task at hand?

For your first mission you must bring along an Orbital Probe that will be deployed in Moho orbit

The Orbital Probe must:

  • have a relay antenna that can reach Kerbin
  • a probe core
  • a battery and means to generate electricity

In addition, for Commander Rank, you must also bring an Unmanned Surface Lander

The Unmanned Lander must:

  • have an antenna that can reach the Orbital Probe
  • a probe core
  • a science module
  • a battery and means to generate electricity

Burning directly towards Moho will require enormous amount of fuel that can't really be afforded for this mission. In order to reduce the amount of fuel that you need to bring along, you will need to perform a fly-by (or multiple fly-bys) on your way to Moho

NOTE: You may launch 1 support package for your shuttle using a traditional rocket or shuttle launch for this mission.

 

Badges Avaliable

Moho STS Pilot - Rank 1

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Launch a Shuttle with a Moho orbital probe inside it. You must get to Moho via at least a flyby of Eve. Once at Moho, deploy your orbital probe. Then your Shuttle must come back to Kerbin in any way and land.

Moho STS Commander - Rank 1

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Launch a shuttle with two payloads, one Moho orbital probe and an unmanned Moho surface probe. You must get to Moho via at least one flyby of Kerbin, one flyby of Eve and one flyby of Moho. You may do more optional flybys or of flybys of other planets. Once you have completed all your flybys, you must enter Moho orbit and deploy your Moho orbital probe into a polar orbit and the Moho surface probe onto the ground. The Shuttle does not have to land on Moho. Then your Shuttle must come back to Kerbin in any way and land at the KSC runway or the Island Airfield off the KSC coast.

 

YOU MUST HAVE COMPLETED THE ORIGINAL KERBIN SERIES IN ORDER TO PROGRESS TO THE DRES SERIES

Dres Series (DRES STS-1)

Spoiler

DRES STS-1: Can You Balance Me?

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A placeholder picture: your picture can be here!

There has been a lot of talk, a lot of discussions about this particular region of space for many years. Is there nothing between Duna and Jool? Does Dres truly exist? Or is it merely a myth? Now is your time to prove it!

In fact, for your first mission you will set up a base and establish a continuous presence there. And to make the base more attractive for the researchers, your base will have quite a view...

NOTE: You may launch 1 support package for your shuttle using a traditional rocket or shuttle launch for this mission.

 

Badges Avaliable

Dres STS Pilot - Rank 1

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Launch your shuttle to Dres and have it contain a Dres base containing 3 kerbals and a science module. Your base must land at the Dres canyon in such a way that the base is partially hanging. You may accomplish this via ground anchors, counterweights, or any other methods. The base itself must be stable. Your shuttle does not have to land. Return to Kerbin and Land

Dres STS Commander - Rank 1

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Launch your shuttle to Dres and have it contain a Dres base home to 10 kerbals, a science module and an observation deck with EVA seats overlooking the canyon. Your base must land at the Dres Canyon in such a way that the base is halfway hanging. You may accomplish this via ground anchors, counterweights, or any other methods. The base itself must be partially stable. Your shuttle does not have to land. Return to Kerbin and land either at the KSC runway or the Island Airfield off the KSC coast

 

"TEST PILOT" MISSIONS - NO PREVIOUS MISSIONS REQUIRED

Test Pilot Series (STS-1T through STS-6T)

Spoiler

An STS- or Buran-style orbiter and launch vehicle are highly recommended. You might not be able to complete certain missions with a significantly different design!

STS-1T: Approach and landing test

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Approach and landing tests were a series of test flights of a space shuttle prototype "Enterprise" conducted in 1977. The aim was to verify the systems behaviour and test the parametres of atmospheric flight of the orbiter. The orbiter was released at an altitude over 7,000 metres and glided to land at the Edwards air force base. A bit of reading on shuttle flight testing available here.

Your mission is to design an aircraft that will take your shuttle to an altitude over 5,000 metres, separate from the aircraft, and glide for a landing at the KSC. The orbiter can not use engines of any kind during the whole mission.

 

Badges Avaliable

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STS-2T: RTLS abort

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Let's not practice Russian roulette, because you may have a loaded gun there. [John Young, STS-1 commander]

 

RTLS (Return to launch site) was one of the procedures considered for aborting an STS mission after losing one of the SSMEs during the early stages of flight. It was considered the most dangerous abort mode, and was never used in a real mission. To read more about RTLS abort, I recommend this article, or a wiki page on all the different abort modes here.

Your mission here is to simulate an RTLS abort situation. You will launch as usual, heading to orbit of your choice. At approximately T+30, simulate a loss of one of the main engines (for example by an action group). Continue your ascent, ditch the SRBs. When you are over 50 000 metres, commence the PPA (powered pitcharound) while still burning the SSMEs, and possibly the OMS engines. Your ascent trajectory should put you out of the atmosphere for a while. After depleting most of the ET fuel, separate from the tank and glide back to the KSC runway for landing.

Badges Avaliable

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STS-3T: Cassini-Huygens

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This mission is a bit different than the two previous missions - the main focus is not shuttle flying, but payload design, mission planning and advanced interplanetary navigation. Your goal is to run a mission to the Jool system, mimicking the famous Cassini-Hyugens mission, which brought us a lot of valuable information on Saturn and its moons. If you're not really familiar with Cassini-Huygens mission, a brief article can be found here.

Your task is to launch a space shuttle carrying the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft (and its trasfer stage) to LKO. After deploying the probe, the shuttle will land on Kerbin. Then, you will carry on with the mission to Jool.

There are very specific requirements for the spacecraft and mission profile, so, please, read carefully!

  • The transfer stage must consist of solid rocket boosters only, and must separate after a single burn in LKO
  • The Cassini probe must be at least 1,5 tons, the Huygens lander must be at least 1 ton
  • The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft + the transfer stage must fit into the long MK3 cargo bay
  • The Cassini spacecraft and Huygens lander must enter Jool's SOI before separating from each other
  • The Cassini probe has to flyby at least four of Jool's moons and finish its mission by entering Jool's atmosphere, where it will meet its fiery end
  • The Huygens lander will land on Laythe
  • The only fuel tanks allowed on the spacecraft and the lander are: a single R-12 "Doughnut" (left) for the Cassini probe and a single "Oscar-B" (right) fuel tank for the Huygens lander

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Badges Avaliable

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STS-4T: Skylab boost mission

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Your mission here is to rescue the Skylab station - something NASA failed to achieve because of significant delays in the shuttle program. And while you are at it, you will improve the station a bit. There will be two shuttle launches in this mission.

A bit of reading about a possible skylab boost mission can be found here.

First, you will have to set up the station into a correct orbit. You must build your own equivalent of Skylab.  Please build it in a way so all the objectives are achievable. The Skylab can be placed in orbit through the use of cheats or launched separately, that is up to you. The orbit's Ap/Pe must be between 80 and 90 km, and inclination must be between 50 and 52 degrees

The first shuttle mission will:

  • Rendezvous with Skylab
  • Bring a docking adapter for all the future missions - the docking ports do not have enough clearance for a shuttle
  • Remove and deorbit the solar/comms array (detachable via docking port jr.)
  • Disconnect, load into a cargo bay and land the hab module (on the right of the screenshot, detachable via docking port sr.)
  • Dock a rocket stage to Skylab, which will boost the station into an at least 200 km/200 km orbit

The second shuttle mission will:

  • Rendezvous and dock with skylab (which is now in a 200 km/200 km orbit)
  • Bring a new habitation module
  • Bring a new solar/comms module
  • Bring crew of at least 3 to Skylab

Both shuttles have to land on Kerbin after their mission. You can do the "repairs" however you like - by MMUs, or some sort of probes doing the docking work. As always, creativity is encouraged.

 

Badges Avaliable

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STS-5T: Shuttle-Apollo crossover

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This mission is a bit ridiculous, but will test yet another aspect of spaceflight planning - free return trajectories, and your capacity to guide your shuttle to a precise landing from sub-optimal entry conditions. Wiki article about free return trajectories can be found here.

Your mission here will be to design an Apollo-like spacecraft for three kerbals and a lander for two kerbals. You will launch the spacecraft in a shuttle cargo bay, and the shuttle will perform a maneuver to reach a munar free return trajectory, which will place you into Kerbin's atmosphere on the inbound leg of the journey.

You may perform one small correction burn on your way to Mun. In Mun's SOI, you will deploy the spacecraft, which will then burn for munar orbit, land two kerbals on Mun, rendezvous in LMO and return the crew to Kerbin in the command module.

The shuttle will meanwhile continue its flyby of Mun and begin its way back to Kerbin. You may perform another small correction burn. Then you will perform a direct entry and land at the KSC runway or the Island Airfield off the KSC coast.

 

Badges Avaliable

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STS-6T: Booster recovery

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This mission doesn't focus on the orbiter, but on another part of the launch vehicle and the infrastructure associated with it. The SRBs of a space shuttle were supposed to be recoverable after splashdown to be refurbished and reflown in a short time. There were issues about that caused by damage from the sea water and the refurbishment was much more costly than estimated.

Your mission here has two parts: you will launch a shuttle, separate the boosters as usual, and let them splash down in the water safely. It's not necessary to fly the shuttle all the way to orbit; from the point of SRB separation you do not have to focus on the shuttle at all. Also, you don't actually have to use solid rockets, liquid rockets are fine. However it should be a "dumb" booster - that is, it should just deploy chutes and land. No flyback boosters or anything fancy. Then a vehicle/several vehicles of your design will transport one of the boosters all the way to the SPH.

 

Badges Avaliable

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HONORARY BADGES

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STS Engineer Award

Given by an STS Architect for developing a sub-assembly that ends up being a core part of this challenge, or for assisting heavily in the development of a Shuttle. If you have a sub-assembly you'd like to be reviewed, please post a detailed analysis and example mission report in the challenge thread.

 

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Skunkworks Badge

This badge is given to people who have submitted especially unique and outstanding designs which abide by the given definition of a space shuttle. Skunkworks badge holders are still eligible for the above mission badges. The full list of Skunkworks badge holders is as follows:

  • @Alchemist - A full Jool-5 run in two shuttles completed on the Jool STS-1. Mission report here
  • @Ozelui - Two shuttles going on an adventure to Duna, building crazy stuff all over the place. STS Duna-2 report here
  • @Kerbolitto - An extensive trip through the inner solar system, including a Moho landing. Mission report here
  • @QF9E - A Grand Tour with a shuttle landing on every single body except for Eve, which instead used a specialized lander and a diving bell to reach the Explodium Sea floor. Mission report (Part I) here
  • @Entropian - RSS missions but with standard stock parts, making the difficulty insanely high. First mission report here
  • @Fulgora - A Mun STS-2-4 mission featuring 3 simultaneous shuttle launches and more cool stuff, made possible by a custom kOS script. Mission report here

 

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Architect Badge

To receive the Architect Badge is a rare honor. To be awarded at my discretion, or through nomination of michal.don, Speeding Mullet, sturmhauke, mythic_fci, or inigma for my consideration, and given for acts of invaluable contribution to the challenge above and beyond the call of duty. The full list of Architect badge holders is as follows:

  • @inigma - Original Challenge Creator/Manager, Builder of highly-capable STS Space Shuttle and numerous STS-related subassemblies
  • @mythic_fci - Version 2 Challenge Creator/Manager, builder of a highly capable shuttle, and excellent giver of advice
  • @Speeding Mullet - Version 3 and 4 Challenge Creator, temporary admin of Version 2 Challenge
  • @michal.don - Version 5 Challenge Creator, expanded the STS program to Eve and Minmus and many new missions
  • @sturmhauke - Version 6 Challenge Creator, reorganized and clarified rules, made new badges, added new missions including planet mods, co-author of numerous new missions for v7
  • @Artienia - Version 6 Challenge Moderator, co-author of numerous new missions for v7
  • @xoknight - Creator and maintainer of the venerable Hubble Space Telescope across 3 versions, requiring consistent updates
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Hello and welcome to STS Challenge Thread Number 7!

At long last, one of (if not the) longest running challenges for KSP is finally coming to KSP 2. It is a great honour to be the moderator/host of this version and continue the work of earlier hosts. I would like to thank both @sturmhauke and @Artienia for support during the preparations of version 7, which would basically be impossible without their direct input and additions. Round of applause for the lads :)

As you can see, there are some brand new additions in Moho and Dres Series, as well as the returning classics such as Kerbin and Mun Series, and there will be more missions coming both for the new and already existing Series, so stay tuned :ph34r:

You will also notice that the vast majority of the screenshots are still from KSP 1. They are perfect placeholders, but when submissions start coming in, I will happily insert your pictures in their stead, so that the thread is more inline with the new game ;)

There were, however, some omissions: KSP2, while in great shape after the latest updates, is still somewhat lacking in terms of parts/features available compared to KSP1. Because of that, some missions have undergone slight adjustments, with Minmus Series outright not included due to the heavy focus on resource scanning and mining :confused:. No worries, Minmus Series will come back as soon as the Mining Mechanics are reintroduced in KSP2 :ph34r:

As always, have fun and good luck on your Endeavours &)

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Oh, a v7? Congratulations, and thanks for keeping this one alive! :) I'm not too active on the forums now, and haven't really tried the KSP2 since the launch, but I guess it's time to check how it looks now, and if I remember how to build and fly shuttles..... :) 

Michal.don

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6 hours ago, Aeolica said:

If there is SSTO, why do we need a shuttle?

We choose to go to the Mun. We choose to go to the Mun in a space shuttle and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. - Jonamon Fitzbitz Kerman

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3 hours ago, sturmhauke said:

We choose to go to the Mun. We choose to go to the Mun in a space shuttle and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. - Jonamon Fitzbitz Kerman

Why not choose to go to the Mun in a dishwasher?It is harder. XD 

Edited by Aeolica
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On 1/16/2024 at 7:38 AM, OJT said:

Space Telescope must have an ASCM-A "Air Sniffer" Module (due to the lack of dedicated Telescope science module in KSP 2 at the time of writing this)

wouldn't a WSRL be closer to a telescope?

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15 hours ago, Aeolica said:

If there is SSTO, why do we need a shuttle?

Well, the point of these missions is to complete the tasks while flying a shuttle. You don't build a ropeway to cross a river when you were asked to build a bridge, even if you can cross the river on both

On 1/24/2024 at 6:51 AM, tremonthedgehog said:

quick question, for the test pilot mission 1, do we just have to have one shuttle design tested in the atmosphere? Does that design have to be used on other missions? also, can this be in ksp 1 or 2?

You can build as many Shuttle designs as you want. You can have a brand-new Shuttle for every single mission if you want to, as long as you complete the given tasks. No limitations on that part :)
As for the game, it's KSP2 only: we've had 6 Challenge threads spread over 9 years dedicated to KSP1, and seeing as KSP2 is the currently supported game, I thought releasing v7 on KSP2 will be the right choice looking ahead

4 hours ago, OrdinaryKerman said:

wouldn't a WSRL be closer to a telescope?

Honestly, does it really make that much of a difference? The "telescope" is a placeholder anyway until we get an actual telescope part

14 hours ago, michal.don said:

Oh, a v7? Congratulations, and thanks for keeping this one alive! :) I'm not too active on the forums now, and haven't really tried the KSP2 since the launch, but I guess it's time to check how it looks now, and if I remember how to build and fly shuttles..... :) 

Michal.don

Oh yea, we're still going. And I would be happy to review your submissions :)

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On 1/26/2024 at 8:56 AM, sturmhauke said:

How about Minmus in a washing machine? :cool:

 

For an interstellar mission, a washing machine may be more suitable than a shuttle:lol:

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Edited by Aeolica
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  • 2 weeks later...

This challenge really appeals to me. 99% of my KSP career has been focused on rocket style designs. Shuttles have always scared me away. I think I’m finally ready for the challenge. 
 

Few Questions: 

do I post my submission here, or do I start my own post and link back to this thread? I’ll be tackling this slowly, part by part. It won’t be one nice upload, so I’m thinking it’s best I make my own thread. 

I mostly play in exploration/career mode. In KSP2 a lot of the shuttle stuff is locked pretty deep in the tech tree. Are we allowed to post multiple shuttle builds? I’d like to tackle multiple missions while progressing exploration mode and unlocking tech trees. This will require a few shuttles and rebuilds of each. 
 

 

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On 2/9/2024 at 6:55 AM, Icegrx said:

This challenge really appeals to me. 99% of my KSP career has been focused on rocket style designs. Shuttles have always scared me away. I think I’m finally ready for the challenge. 
 

Few Questions: 

do I post my submission here, or do I start my own post and link back to this thread? I’ll be tackling this slowly, part by part. It won’t be one nice upload, so I’m thinking it’s best I make my own thread. 

I mostly play in exploration/career mode. In KSP2 a lot of the shuttle stuff is locked pretty deep in the tech tree. Are we allowed to post multiple shuttle builds? I’d like to tackle multiple missions while progressing exploration mode and unlocking tech trees. This will require a few shuttles and rebuilds of each. 
 

 

You can go either way, it's totally up to you. I personally created my own thread when I did my submissions and posted the links in the STS Thread, so yes you can do so if you want
If I understood your second question correctly, then yes. You can redesign the Shuttle inbetween the missions (you can even build an outright new design if you want to)

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