FungusForge

Do you recycle orbital debris?

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Something I've planned into rockets before, was being reused after being dumped in orbit. Particularly I did it with shuttle tanks, or large center stacks that made it to a stable orbit. I'd put docking ports on them so they could be easily grabbed, tugged around, and refilled. I didn't have any particular plans for most of them, but the idea was that asteroid wranglers, large interplanetary vessels, and refueling stations would be able to make use of them whenever I need it since it'd already be in space. Unfortunately, I never got to extensively try any of this because my hard drive died before I ever got any missions underway to make use of it. But, now that my computer lives again I'll once more have an opportunity to try it.

Have you ever tried, or do you not think its worth the time and effort?

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I focus on not creating orbital debris in the first place. 

Launch stages either stay suborbital or have some fuel and a probe core to deorbit themselves (never manually recovered, but I've used the Stage Recovery mod before). I initially plot transfers to either crash in to my target, or crash in to Kerbin on a free return, so I can discard the transfer stage. The same principles apply for returning, but I've never brought anything back from further than Minmus, so can't talk too much about doing it for seriously big missions. 

I think the challenge of doing it this way (and just living with the occasional failure leaving stuff in space) is much more interesting than the grind of cleaning debris up after the fact. 

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Posted (edited)

28 minutes ago, stibbons said:

or have some fuel and a probe core to deorbit themselves

Or without the probe core, just putting on the stage several separatrons, combining them in one action with decoupler. Once the stage is decoupled, separatrons get fired and drag it back, also decreasing its perigee.

Edited by kerbiloid
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It wasn't really debris, but I re-used this:

tguSWmG.png

But since its got power, propulsion, reaction wheels, and a probe core, its not debris. Its a discarded stage of this:

AKDGVc9.png

Which ejected the main ship and the SSTO (balancing that thing just right was difficult) for a jool intercept, and then retroburned with the LV-Ns to stay in kerbin SOI and aerobrake to lower Ap and allow it to be refueled.

Spoiler

All engines firing:

2izqC12.png

Decouple the ejection stage and finish the burn:

KstLoFi.png

(I had PE kicked already so the final burn wasn't so demanding)

tgfWjDL.png

 

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I try to land my first stages like spacex. I do land some of them and it's only for the dollars. The rest of my discarded staged are filling up LKO nicely. No one is going to get hurt, bring on Kessler syndrome. I am so hoping some orbital debris take out one of my career launches. Epically awesome that would be!

 

oh yes I always put an extra dockingport on stages for 'just in case' and for extra debris should my Kessler dreams come true. 

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There was that one instance where I put a probe core and antenna on my transfer stage for a Minmus Rover mission...

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I tried once to land a stage SpaceX style...and this is the part where I tell you it failed spectacularly, right? Wrong! It worked perfectly, but the booster was too expensive for practical usage (considering at points it was 7.5m across at a cost of 200k creds) so the project was scraped. I haven't dabbled with it too much since then, I don't think my computer could handle another one (that's not really saying something, since [for a scale of my lag normally, 1 in-game second is equivalent to 4 IRL seconds] I play at 6-9 FPS on a good day! :confused:)!

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Not yet, but I have Reduced and Reused.

My boosters do not normally go to space; the payload puts itself in orbit, and all staging is done within an atmosphere or while/nearly landed.

Beyond the very early game, anything that goes to orbit will be capable of being refueled with ISRU even if that tech hasn't been researched yet, so it never ends up as space debris.

 

I did once send up an overpowered booster instead of redesigning a lighter variant, and after bolting on some docks and a probe core with KAS, I reused it as a fuel station.

 

I had some plans for an LKO station with an extraplanetary launchpads recycle bin to hoover up all the junk capsules the other space corporations keep stranding Kerbals in, but it never panned out. 

Turns out that there's no real need for LKO construction, and no space garbage elsewhere.

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Same stuff I already said on another thread, I try to ditch all debris on a crash or aerobraking trajectory or destroy it in the tracking station if I have to.

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My intercepting skills are 0, but I am good at actually landing my stages on planets like Mun or Minimus, and then using a rover with kas/kis to drag them where I want them, and then reusing them from there.

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Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, bonyetty said:

Kessler dreams come true

There's a mod for this, conveniently named Kessler Syndrome :P It counts the number of debris you have above your vessel at said inclination to calculate a chance of impact.

EDIT: btw I reentry most of my booster/upper stages. In my new save I have only 2 debris in orbit, one was a capsule from a rescue mission (not much I could due) and a upper stage the didn't had enough fuel. I am still in early/mid career

Edited by VaPaL

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I tend to have a waste management system. So things either burn up or stay in a very low orbit, which brings on the issue for recovery in that it takes quite a lot of fuel to get an orbital rv in a low orbit (like around 70 - 100 km) so I just leave lots of debris there that doesn't get burned up!

I have built stages that lift and fall down as in spaceX style, however this brings the issue of controlling two things in the atmosphere (more than 20kms apart and it disappears), so my launch stage landed fine, just the payload vanished.

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Spoiler

I used to be militant about not leaving any debris in orbit and that does add a nice extra bit of design and piloting challenge. But now that you can just switch off debris from being shown in map mode and KSP has got better (although still not great) at having lots of debris left around, I've gone in the other direction and in my last career I've been intentionally messy.  Partly to see how well the game copes with it and also trying to increase that rare chance of having a mission compromised by debris impact (yeah I know, odds of that happening are really low).

I've also been doing something else with some smaller spent stages.  I've been shipping them off to Minmus (usually picked up by a collector craft and transported) to "Bill's Scrap Yard", a base where (with KAS/KIS and a couple other mods) the stages are broken down and reassembled into new craft, refueled with on-site mined resources and launched.  It's been quite fun (and really time consuming) to build craft on site with engineers (using KAS/KIS) and without any of the build tools that you get in the VAB/SPH.  Quite a bit of the base itself has also been built from recycled stages so it's got quite a scrap yard feel to it.

This is one probe being built and you can see the pile of parts from stripped down stages behind.

IkNqD8U.jpg7t7mB46.jpg

And here it is ready for launch to Duna (one section was to remain in orbit while the lower section would land to conduct experiments).

7FR0mun.jpg

Unfortunately none of the probes launched from this base have actually completed their full mission plans, mostly due to lack of dV.

But what has been successful is assembling little rescue missions to go and pickup rescue contracts in Minmus orbit.  This is one rescue mission about to launch. The process is to take up a couple parachutes which are strapped to whatever needs rescuing and then setting them to be deployed before shunting it into a return course to Kerbin (and then the rescue craft turns around and returns to base).  I feel that's a suitably haphazard and budget approach to rescue contracts!

All this by @katateochi. Its just incredible what they did.

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8 minutes ago, Bill the Kerbal said:
  Reveal hidden contents

I used to be militant about not leaving any debris in orbit and that does add a nice extra bit of design and piloting challenge. But now that you can just switch off debris from being shown in map mode and KSP has got better (although still not great) at having lots of debris left around, I've gone in the other direction and in my last career I've been intentionally messy.  Partly to see how well the game copes with it and also trying to increase that rare chance of having a mission compromised by debris impact (yeah I know, odds of that happening are really low).

I've also been doing something else with some smaller spent stages.  I've been shipping them off to Minmus (usually picked up by a collector craft and transported) to "Bill's Scrap Yard", a base where (with KAS/KIS and a couple other mods) the stages are broken down and reassembled into new craft, refueled with on-site mined resources and launched.  It's been quite fun (and really time consuming) to build craft on site with engineers (using KAS/KIS) and without any of the build tools that you get in the VAB/SPH.  Quite a bit of the base itself has also been built from recycled stages so it's got quite a scrap yard feel to it.

This is one probe being built and you can see the pile of parts from stripped down stages behind.

IkNqD8U.jpg7t7mB46.jpg

And here it is ready for launch to Duna (one section was to remain in orbit while the lower section would land to conduct experiments).

7FR0mun.jpg

Unfortunately none of the probes launched from this base have actually completed their full mission plans, mostly due to lack of dV.

But what has been successful is assembling little rescue missions to go and pickup rescue contracts in Minmus orbit.  This is one rescue mission about to launch. The process is to take up a couple parachutes which are strapped to whatever needs rescuing and then setting them to be deployed before shunting it into a return course to Kerbin (and then the rescue craft turns around and returns to base).  I feel that's a suitably haphazard and budget approach to rescue contracts!

All this by @katateochi. Its just incredible what they did.

If stock ksp let me do that, I'd have so much fun creating a minmus scrap yard base. But for now, I just try to leave my debris on a sub-orbital trajectory and delete what I can't. I'm not the best at the game, nor at math (calculating dV and such), so my ships look pretty ordinary for the most part with mostly one mission/function in mind. Leaving a trail of debris behind at worst, is just a by product of my laziness and lack of design skills

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Planned to remove debris manually? Yes.

On a more roleplay side. I never got to actually doing it because patches tend to kill savegames and the mods related to them. Note that patches are just tooooo damn good to pass on, especially when 1.2 came with code cleanup. That helps losers with loooow-end laptops like me a ton.

 

But back to debris stuff. I have already planned this agency which is basically a Kerbal Retrieval Program , tasked to retrieve kerbies and debris in Low Homeworld Orbit.

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I don't leave debris. Every staging event leaves the spent stage on a collision course.

Best,
-Slashy

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In my current career game, I'm taking Slashy's approach. I've got a few bits floating about due to accidents (Jeb was having a drink and when he put it down it hit the space bar and voila... debris orbiting the Mun! :wink: ) but I've been being very careful to have debris either re-enter an atmosphere or pile into a celestial body at orbital velocity, so the vast majority of orbiting debris are capsules left from rescue missions... and now that I have the claw future rescue missions won't be leaving them up there either.

At some point I may make a big high dV tug with a claw to go around and clean up the leftover capsules from my early career rescue missions... but I think I can safely put that off for a while yet.

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*Mod Idea* salvage bay, which allows the user to recover objects labeled as "debris" from orbit. You grab the debris and select salvage and this in turn removes the craft from space while simultaneously rewarding funds at a greatly reduced salvaged recovery base. The mod could be name Kerbal Trash Program. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Currently I don't really care about debris. I will avoid it when possible but I don't mind if something stays in orbit.

But in the past I had a play through where I actively hunted down debris to scrap and recycle it with EPL. I even had a Toybox and Fishbone .

6 minutes ago, Leafbaron said:

*Mod Idea* salvage bay, which allows the user to recover objects labeled as "debris" from orbit. You grab the debris and select salvage and this in turn removes the craft from space while simultaneously rewarding funds at a greatly reduced salvaged recovery base. The mod could be name Kerbal Trash Program. 

 

EPL does can do this to some extent. It won't reward funds for captured debris. But instead it scraps it into metal which can be reused to build new rockets.

Edited by Tex_NL
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3 minutes ago, Tex_NL said:

Currently I don't really care about debris. I will avoid it when possible but I don't mind if something stays in orbit.

But in the past I had a play through where I actively hunted down debris to scrap and recycle it with EPL. I even had a Toybox and Fishbone .

EPL does can do this to some extent. It won't reward funds for captured debris. But instead it scraps it into metal which can be reused to build new rockets.

huh... I have EPL and never realized that :P. time for a scrap ship!!.

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I don't really go into space much, but I've never really recovered my boosters. I just ditch them, and once or twice dropped them to reenter and burn up. I have no idea how to protect boosters from heat.

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21 minutes ago, TheKosanianMethod said:

 I have no idea how to protect boosters from heat.

Mostly, just let them reenter engine(s) first.  The engine bells can take almost as much heat as a heat shield.  One of the better YouTube videos on "how to fly to orbit" is based on very low tech level -- Swivel engine (or Reliant, this may have been old enough you got the non-gimballed engine first), bunch of short 1.25 m tanks, Mk. 1 pod, parachute, but no heat shield or decoupler yet.  They orbit, deorbit engine bell first, and then use the engine to slow down their descent just before landing in the sea so nothing explodes.

I routinely watch my discarded stages reenter (from orbits halfway to Mun, in many cases, after they flew through command pod recovery), and even entering fast enough to burn all the experiments off the outside of a command pod, they hold together long enough to hit the ground unless they go way too deep for periapsis on their reentry orbit.

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1 minute ago, Zeiss Ikon said:

Mostly, just let them reenter engine(s) first.  The engine bells can take almost as much heat as a heat shield.  One of the better YouTube videos on "how to fly to orbit" is based on very low tech level -- Swivel engine (or Reliant, this may have been old enough you got the non-gimballed engine first), bunch of short 1.25 m tanks, Mk. 1 pod, parachute, but no heat shield or decoupler yet.  They orbit, deorbit engine bell first, and then use the engine to slow down their descent just before landing in the sea so nothing explodes.

I routinely watch my discarded stages reenter (from orbits halfway to Mun, in many cases, after they flew through command pod recovery), and even entering fast enough to burn all the experiments off the outside of a command pod, they hold together long enough to hit the ground unless they go way too deep for periapsis on their reentry orbit.

Cool, thanks. I just got a day off tomorrow, so I know what I'm doing!

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Yes, absolutely worth it!  Makes the game much more interesting.

I've collected several cast off stages from the orbit of Minmus, collected stranded Kerbals, added a few spare parts brought from home (heat shields, parachutes, docking ports, etc).  Put them together, refuel (I have an ISRU setup on the surface), then send them back to Kerbin.

To do this you have to figure out which parts you need, and look what's available.  Then assembly of the return ship (via KAS) sometimes is challenging.  I have a large platform I work off of, with a collection of parts just for this purpose.

I just recently sent back two separate rescues on a single ship put together from salvages.

sLyVCt5.png

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Posted (edited)

Yes and no. I'm trying to get to a point where I don't need to send up to much that is new that cannot get back on its own. As well s sending up only ssto planes that either carry Kerbals or very small payloads.

Edited by Aragosnat

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