Super-Heavy Lander

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Revision as of 10:50, 19 December 2015 by Peteletroll (talk | contribs) (Description)
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Super-Heavy Lander - a giant with decent RCS

The Super-Heavy Lander is a stock craft that can land on celestial bodies with low gravity, and ascend to orbit again. It has RCS ability, so it can dock and refuel and land again. As a lander it is a kind of payload and needs a launch vehicle to reach the orbit, and a proper spaceship to reach the given celestial body's orbit too. The mass of this lander is almost 20 tonnes.


This lander may be heavy, but it packs a lot of RCS fuel and has a very funky boarding ladder.
Launch vehicle sold separately.



Based on its fuel fraction and engines' specific impulse, the Super-Heavy Lander has about 1.7 km/s of delta-V. However, because its engines are angled outward by approximately 25 degrees, its effective exhaust velocity (and thus specific impulse and delta-V) is reduced by an inefficiency factor of about 90%, leaving it with 1.6 km/s. Real aerospace vehicles, such as the Mars Science Laboratory "sky crane", may have outward-canted landing engines to ensure that any dust kicked up is blown away from the vehicle (to avoid damage), to provide a means of horizontal velocity control by throttling the different engines up and down, or avoid damaging any payload underneath. However, in stock KSP, there is no way to control individual engines' throttles with translation controls, dust effects are only cosmetic, and the Super-Heavy Lander has no underslung cargo, and so the canted engines do not provide any benefit.

Because so much of its mass is monopropellant, a more optimal flight profile is to get 400 m/s from the RCS thrusters and then use the more efficient LV-909s to get 2 km/s out of the lighter lander, although the RCS is only useful in space. With this flight profile, the Super-Heavy Lander has enough delta-V to land on any solid body (provided aerobraking is used on bodies with atmospheres), though attempting a Tylo landing requires perfect efficiency and the complete exhaustion of the RCS fuel supply, and so is not recommended outside of an emergency or challenge. After landing, the lander will have enough fuel to return to orbit from any solid body except for Kerbin, Eve, Tylo, and Laythe.