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About Aegolius13

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    Junior Rocket Scientist
  1. Two possibilities seem... possible. First, if your ship was not facing completely retrograde, the pod might have been exposed to enough direct heat to cook it. As mentioned above, using a bigger diameter heat shield can guard against this. It can also help to design your reentry vehicle for stability (mass at heat shield end, drag at opposite end), and/or to include more reaction wheels or rcs for attitude control. The other possibility is that enough heat leaked through the shield via conduction. Even with ablation, the heat shield was probably hotter than the critical temp for the hitchhiker. You could try putting a high heat tolerance part, like a service bay, in between. Ultimately, the hitchhiker is a somewhat fragile part, and I don't love it for reentry. The Mk 2 and M3 cabins and the Mk1-2 command pod tend to be more robust.
  2. I would wager any class of Kerbal could do this on EVA. Or, as mentioned above, you can Klaw on a module with more batteries or solar panels.
  3. I'd say precision landings -- especially trying to land on top of a derelict vessel with a Klaw. Ugh.
  4. I can't speak to modded engines, but the stock turbofans (Wheesley and Goliath) can go well past Mach 1. Yeah, it's unrealistic compared to real-world equivalents, but I guess they figure KSP players want a little more speed (and I still find these engines too slow for my own use). Maybe it would work to either use fewer engines, or if you want to keep the same number around for aesthetic purposes, turn down the thrust limiters.
  5. And just to reiterate, that is from LOW orbit, meaning you've already presumably used your engines (or less likely, aerobraking) to get into such an orbit. If you're trying to go straight from an Eve flyby to reentry, the velocity is going to be a lot higher. Every time I have tried that, every unshielded part goes poof pretty quickly.
  6. I would advise against trying to base components together on the surface. It's a notoriously fussy process, since you have to align the various docking ports perfectly for them to join right. If you land on the flats it's a little easier, but still not what I would consider fun (your mileage may vary, though). There are also various workarounds, like using KAS ports rather than physically joining parts, but they may not result in the kind of base you're looking for. So if you need to assemble your base, I would suggest doing so in orbit. But more generally, I think you can likely launch your base in a single piece rather than doing assembly work later. And probably the same for the orbital station as well. Lots of people on here seem to choose to do space station construction on a modular basis, maybe because of influence from the ISS. If that seems fun, go for it. But if it doesn't (and I generally think it doesn't), you can launch just about anything pre-assembled.
  7. I almost always do a multipurpose mining vessel with ISRU included, so I bring up fuel rather than ore. By the numbers, this is slightly less efficient since the ISRU has to be hauled up and down. It also potentially adds tankage weight, since my ships carry both LF and LFO tanks, and sometimes I only want one or the other. But this saves some in-game time (since the drills and converter can work at the same time). It also avoids the need to dock with the refining station every trip (I can send my miner straight to the ship I'm refueling). Finally, having the ship carry fuel gives it potentially huge range when repositioning. My mining ships can launch, top off on one of the moons, there go pretty much anywhere. Whereas a mining ship that only carries ore is limited to its dedicated fuel supply.
  8. What @Spricigo said. I assume you got that 353Mm number based on talking to a fully upgraded ground station (per the wiki Commnet page). But when you use a relay in between, that relay's power will bottleneck your range. And the HG 5 is a LOT less powerful than those ground stations.
  9. This seems like more of a suggestion than gameplay question.... anyhow, sounds like an interesting concept. A bit like the KAS/KAS explosives, but without the need for EVA to execute. Of course to the extent you care about realism (some people do, some people don't), it's tough to see how this would work in a story-type sense. Would it deborit the ship? That would take a certain amount of delta-v (i.e., fuel, even if the part still had workable engines). Or you could assume it would blow the ship up to smithereens, like the KSP explosives. But that option (like the explosives) raises issues about the Kessler syndrome / Gravity style effects of turning one big piece of debris into many, many small pieces of debris. You can also kinda, sorta get this effect by having the game keep very little debris saved.
  10. Yeah, I would second the suggestion of KAS/KID. It's a little fussy to use but you can do a lot with it. However, you probably cannot complete the Mun station contract with your existing station. The game requires craft to be newly launched after the contract is accepted to compete these contracts. Adding new parts to an existing craft will not satisfy this. Though you could always use the alt-f12 menu to complete the contract, if you're satisfied with what you have.
  11. I would say yes - Ike has a very large SOI relative to its parent. This can make maneuvers tricky, and you have to be careful about leaving ships in orbit that will get captured later. Long term orbits should either be pretty low over Duna or pretty high. But this also makes travel between the bodies, and gravity assists, cheap and easy.
  12. I can only speak to #1. Number of antennas does not really matter; it's the total strength of the antennas that really counts. And since you get diminishing returns, you're much better off using fewer big antennas rather than a whole bunch of small ones. I have a network of 4 commsats at around 1Mm orbit. The job of these things is to make sure my ships in LKO do not hit dead spots between the ground stations. I've found that a single 2 Gm relay antenna is more than plenty for this purpose. But you might need more oomph if you're planning to route interplanetary communications through them (i.e., if you have the extra ground stations off). I would go with at least one 100 GM antenna for this purpose, but you might need more if you're planning to route signals from Eeloo or something. I put my interplanetary commsats in extremely high polar orbits (i.e., out past the orbit of Minmus) so they spend the least possible amount of time getting occluded. Then they could easily bounce signals through my 2 GM sats if needed.
  13. Recently in my last career I suddenly lost about 1/3 of my ships, all over the system. I'm career they did not all hit something at the same time, and the Kerbals did not show as killed. They were just.. gone. Not even listed in the save files. I could not figure it out, so I took the opportunity to start a new career.
  14. Agree with all the Vector, Mammoth, Dart talk. If I remember, the Dart actually has top ISP at sea level, the Vector is briefly more efficient around 1 atm pressure, and then the Dart gets better again in the thinner air. Of course, the Vector destroys the Dart in TWR, and has gimbal. So a Vector core stage with radial Dart boosters has worked well for me. Vacuum engines work fine in a surprisingly large chunk of Eve's upper atmosphere, but I don't recall quite where the cutoff is. I've generally used the Dart as my second stage to ensure good ISP, but that lack of gimbal can be a hassle. Poodle or Terrier are also second stage options if your booster has enough delta v to get you relatively high.
  15. I believe the M700 does not work like most science parts. There is no experimental data to transmit or recover manually... it just generates a little science bonus when it does its scan thing. So I don't think you'll get any extra science for recovering it, but as you said you will get some cash. You can also use the same scanner to scan multiple bodies, if you have enough fuel left.