When did you land on the moon?

Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager (SPM) Road to the Moon is the ultimate game of space exploration.

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kaizer
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When did you land on the moon?

Post by kaizer » Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:40 pm

When did you land on the moon?

The earliest I've done it is about mid 70's, has anyone managed to do it by late 60's?

Did you use Apollo?

lordshipmayhem
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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by lordshipmayhem » Sun Dec 21, 2014 7:27 pm

Earliest so far is 1972, in GSA/Sandbox mode with Apollo. I intend to try one of the Gemini options.

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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by einarson » Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:01 pm

US - Q4 1968
USSR - Q1 1968
GSA - Q1 1970

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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by einarson » Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:21 pm

Improved GSA to first landing Q3 1969. Al the games I have been playing are campaign mode, normal difficulty.

Sakirneh
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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by Sakirneh » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:50 pm

1969 Q4 with Apollo mission. This is the 2nd time I managed to land before soviets.. 1st was somewhere at '72. Playing on "normal" diffculty.
Also, I had some problems with money (in screenshot you'll see it), because I started Apollo missions too early and the successful mission was just second, `cause first ended badly (also, possible to see in screenshots). AND I started making suits too late (66% ON SECOND FLIGHT), so I had to risk..
imagizer.imageshack.us/a/img538/8016/AD8IcM.png
imagizer.imageshack.us/a/img537/6914/1HInpS.png
imagizer.imageshack.us/a/img540/411/IBM7bz.png
Last edited by Sakirneh on Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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KyleS
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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by KyleS » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:29 am

USSR 1967 Q3 - normal difficulty

The route I took was to use only human-rated rockets. There are only two probe missions necessary to reach the Moon as the SU - orbital satellite (use Vostok human-rated rocket) and lunar flyby probe (use Proton-KD). Aside from that I did Vostok, Voshkod, Soyuz lunar pass in Earth orbit then the actual lunar pass, and then the UK/UR-700 direct ascent in Earth orbit then lunar.

The Soyuz lunar pass was not, strictly-speaking, necessary, nor did it really help me much towards landing on the Moon. But it gave me something else to do with the Proton-KD, and gave me and my team something to do while waiting to get enough money to start the UK/UR-700 and get its reliability up. And having guys zip past the Moon in 1965 was fun.

USA was busy messing about with heat shield tests in Earth orbit and things like that, I think they were some years behind...

I don't think there'd be enough money to use this strategy on Hard/Buzzhard difficulty. I'm about to try :)

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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by Bolter » Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:02 pm

The best I've managed to do was Q3 1969 on Buzz Hard with the GSA

I went with the Gemini Direct Ascent option as it requires the least amount of component development. It has the added value of transferring quite a bit of the orbital Gemini capsule's reliability to the DA Gemini at project start.

I did have to boot-strap the development of the big booster by launching un-manned sub-orbital flights starting at 65% reliability. This is best done with one-man capsules, to keep costs low, and so your 2-man project doesn't suffer from reliability setbacks in the middle of the orbital test program. Even with the odd blow up it is still faster than grinding research at 2-3% per quarter. I wouldn't try it on normal difficulty as you have way more money to hire/train extra scientists, controllers & astronauts, so you can launch multiple missions per season.

I do not feel that an Apollo or Soyuz-LOK landing can be accomplished in the '60s in Buzz Hard difficulty. Both of the landers are notoriously flaky even at high reliability, and one mishap can put you back years from a manned landing. The soviet Direct Ascent project may be possible in the '60s if started earlier than I started the Gemini DA because it hardly gets any reliability carry-over from the Soyuz craft.

Bolter

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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by lordshipmayhem » Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:46 am

Based on what I've read on this thread (and others) and some experimenting, I've modified my game strategy for the first four years:
- I still start out the first season by building the Astronaut Centre and Mission Control Centre, and expanding (just the once) the SET Centre, waiting until the second season of 1995 to start the Vehicle Assembly Building (as otherwise it would sit around unused for one season while I waited for researchers to come out of Advanced Training). I'll start the VAB expansion in Season 2 of 1958, the SET Centre in the third season, and the Mission Control Centre in the fourth. That way, they all are ready for growth the first season of the next four-year cycle, using the minimum of first-cycle resources.
- For the scientists, engineers and technicians: Split the first five into two human-rated rocket specialists, two probe specialists and one crewed-ship specialist. Throw them into the appropriate Advanced Training for one season. As soon as the expansion of the SET Centre is complete (Season 3 of 1995), hire 4 more researchers to fill out my slots for Probe and Human-Rated Rockets and one to start training up on regular rockets, throwing them too into training. The first season of 1996, hire 4 more researchers: two each for regular rockets and Crewed Ships. That gives me 14. Two will research the rocket that will be used for my first capsule (say, Atlas) and another 2 will research the cheapest available probe (Explorer in the NASA/GSA versions), switching off the two lowest-efficiency ones as they graduate from Advanced Training. The six rocket and crewed-ship scientists stay in training until after I've successfully launched my first probe into orbit, at the end of 1958.
- Hire 3 astronauts as soon as the Astronaut Centre is open (read as "Cosmonaut Centre" if you prefer). Set training to continue until they crack 80% for first Stamina, then Piloting and finally Leadership (as the system autoselects based on Leadership, so I don't want someone with 85% leadership but only 35% stamina). By the time my first manned program is ready, so are 3 astronauts. I'll start hiring more with the second four-year cycle, avoiding hiring more than 3 at a time - that way, I keep getting the best candidates and don't end up with a bunch of Kosmic Kowboys that'll take forever to train up and cost me a fortune in salaries and training costs.
- Hire the maximum number of controllers. Using the sort buttons, select the five best candidates (at the moment, I'm just picking up the 5 at the bottom of the list. Looking forward to the next upgrade with its promised ability to sort when hiring). The best flight director gets put into training based on the session's estimated training gain (best score next), the rest get sorted into four specialties: Propulsion, Trajectory & GNC, Systems, and Crew & Payloads - they get set to "train to 85%" (and I'm still experimenting with presetting at 80 or 90%). I'll do the same thing with the next group of 5 I'll hire in Season 1 of 1959

This combination of program/booster/staff/structures seems to keep me just hovering on the positive side of break-even until the end of 1958. If I can get my Extended Mission off before Season 4 ends, I'll close the program (right after scheduling and assembling it for launch on the extended mission) and start the next payload, even if it's still 1958. I'll accept a deficit for the final quarter, as long as the finances have been in balance up until then.

That means I start my second four-year cycle with a crackerjack team of regular rocket researchers and crewed-ship researchers, speeding up the development process for my first crewed ship immensely.

Anyone got any other tips or hints to try?

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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by Sakirneh » Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:29 pm

Sakirneh wrote:1969 Q4 with Apollo mission.
A huge step for me :) 1968 Q4. With Gemini on Hard. In first 4 year managed to do Explorer extended mission, all X-15 (or something like that (plane)) missions and lunar flyby. Never doing that again.. Got as much money as I always got without lunar flyby...
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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by flamerboy67664 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:33 am

Q1 1965 with ch8s in the savegame. (PM me if you want to know how to h4x and ch8 on the savegame)

Cheers, SpaceEagle.

KyleS
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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by KyleS » Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:41 pm

Soviet/Hard.

Using the strategy outlined above, of only using human-rated rockets - Vostok, Voshkod, Proton KD and UR-700 - did manned lunar pass with Soyuz in 1967, and landing 1969.4. I took a 10% hit on reliability by going straight from doing an Earth orbital mission with the UK-700 to a lunar landing with it (skipped unmanned lunar pass, manned lunar pass, un/manned orbital). But with 90-95% reliability on the UK/UR-700 system, and plenty of MCs with 80-90% skills, it wasn't insane.

So the human-rated rockets only approach works on Hard as well as Normal, it just takes a bit more careful balancing. You really only have the money to do a Sputnik 1 and Sputnik 1 - extended mission in the first cycle (up to end 1958), and can only launch a few Vostoks in the next cycle (to 1962). Voshkod is a bit limited for the first couple of years until you've saved up money, and you don't have anything spare to do Venus/Mars missions, Zond or the like. By the end of the third cycle (ends 1966) you're starting to be awash in money. Still, if the US player were aggressive and/or lucky, and you were unlucky with some big failures, they might get ahead of you since this is an "all your eggs in one basket" kind of thing.

The US at the time of the Soviet landing was doing Apollo tests in Earth orbit, including lunar landers, AND Gemini heatshield tests at lunar re-entry speeds. So they were doing both programmes, which is obviously going to slow you down unless you're swimming in cash. I would guess they were about 2 years away from a landing, unless they took big risks.

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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by Sabratha » Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:17 pm

Q1 1967 GSA. Used Soviet rockets exclusively, US payloads exclusively.

As soon as I had the Vostock rocket, I at once started to research Proton and very soon UR700. You will not need any other rockets - Vostok will suffice for all your earth orbit missions, Proton for all long range probes, UR700 for manned moon programs.

Also, I used Gemini direct ascent. In general I found it the faster method than Apollo and more cost-efficient.
Last edited by Sabratha on Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BARIS70
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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by BARIS70 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:23 am

My best is Q4 1965 on normal. I think I could have done it a season earlier if I didn't close the Thor Rocket too soon. The big trick in my mind was to close all the unused programs, rockets and fire the extra employees. I used Gemini Direct. 98,017 Prestige - 7 Astronauts, 16 SET, 16 MC. My last move was to close all but the direct program, fire 1 Astronaut and 4 SET so I could launch with only $123.4 left to spare. It worked.

Thor - Titan II - Centaur - Saturn V
Test with Explorer
All the Moon Probes (Used some to test Saturn V)
Gemini

I'm going to try the harder levels next.

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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by Sabratha » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:16 pm

BARIS70 wrote:My best is Q4 1965 on normal. I think I could have done it a season earlier if I didn't close the Thor Rocket too soon. The big trick in my mind was to close all the unused programs, rockets and fire the extra employees. I used Gemini Direct. 98,017 Prestige - 7 Astronauts, 16 SET, 16 MC. My last move was to close all but the direct program, fire 1 Astronaut and 4 SET so I could launch with only $123.4 left to spare. It worked.

Thor - Titan II - Centaur - Saturn V
Test with Explorer
All the Moon Probes (Used some to test Saturn V)
Gemini

I'm going to try the harder levels next.
That is impressive. I understand how money was tight, but I wonder more what were the reliability rates of the Saturn V and the Gemini when you first launched these?

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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by BARIS70 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:19 pm

By the time I go to the moon, I'm in the 90's on Gemini and the Saturn V.
I might be in the 70's on the Moon Space suits. I go on after successful test of the Direct Module in Earth Orbit.

I just played again on Hard and My best there is Q1 1968 with 106,448 total prestige.
On that game Saturn: 95.5 Gemini: 96.5 Direct: 81.1 Space Suits 59.5
My MC are very well trained and balanced.

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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by N_Molson » Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:24 pm

Achieved the Soyuz LOK lunar landing in 1971 Q4. Not too proud of myself, but casualties limited to 3 cosmonauts. I planned poorly the N1 development, which got in late. Quite realistic in fact !

After a quiet start, the AI was very challenging mid-game then went on a "full Gemini" strategy, but obviously had trouble with the Gemini DA program itself, which saved me. :wink:

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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by Kalesin » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:24 am

flamerboy67664 wrote:Q1 1965 with ch8s in the savegame. (PM me if you want to know how to h4x and ch8 on the savegame)

Cheers, SpaceEagle.
Q1.1965!!!!

I have a new challenge!

Edit:
If I remember correctly, my best time is Q2.1968 with the Soviets.

BARIS70
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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by BARIS70 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:12 pm

I just did Q2 1965 - 98,191 Prestige - No cheats.
I would love to finish in 1964, but I can't see how yet. I think it can be done.

Update:

I just did Q4 1964
89,605 Prestige

I canned the Centaur Rocket and some of the moon probes.
I'm curious if someone can do better. It's possible, but I'm getting near the limit I think.

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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by BARIS70 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:40 am

Ok, now I'm just being silly...
Q4 1967 -- Only women. All women crews, astronauts, scientists, and mission control. Pretty crazy.

ladlas
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Re: When did you land on the moon?

Post by ladlas » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:37 am

Heck, and I thought that my 1967 Q2 with Gemini EOR was impressive enough, 1965? Wow.

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