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Hordern

Stuck on an 'easy' satellite contract

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Posted (edited)

Hi all

Sooo, I had what looked a pretty easy first satellite orbit contract, just had to take a thermometer on a powered satellite to a polar orbit with an Ap of 5,602,500 and a Pe of 3,878,404. Well, I got pretty well aligned but it just didn't seem to want to complete, so tweaked here and there and I've managed to get myself within 296m of the Pe and 1,750m of the Ap (I was pretty smug about the Pe...). Still no luck. I read up on things a bit and double and triple checked and now I want to cry. I'm flying the wrong way around Kerbin >.<

What's the best way to reverse my orbit, or should I just scrap my satellite (or perhaps save it for a 'move to orbit' contract in the future) and just launch a new one?

I'd best go and check my other satellite now that's heading for a much more distant orbit and see if it's going to go the right way *sigh* (Edit: I've checked and thankfully that one's going the right way already though I could probably have adjusted that one OK).

Edited by Hordern

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Welcome to the forums -- too bad it's under these conditions.

Reverting the flight is a really good answer if available.

Second best answer depends a little on how high your orbit is. If it's pretty high, and your orbital velocity is low enough, you can do as Alshain said -- set to retrograde to get pointed in the right direction, set to Stability mode to hold that direction, and burn until you are going the other way. If your orbit is rather low, you can burn to raise the Ap really high, and then reverse your orbit at the Ap, and then lower it back down again. It won't cost as much fuel that way.

Third, the game has a cheat tool called the Debug Menu. If you do all the work of creating the right orbit, only to find that you made an innocent mistake that's going to cost you a lot of pain -- hit Alt-F12. Go to Contracts. Select the Active tab. Find the specific satellite contract and click the "Complete" button. And then promise yourself not to do it again. :)

 

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Notice you can save quite a lot of deltaV if you raise your apoapsis to the edge of SoI,  reverse the orbit there and circularize back in the desired orbit. 

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18 hours ago, bewing said:

Third, the game has a cheat tool called the Debug Menu. If you do all the work of creating the right orbit, only to find that you made an innocent mistake that's going to cost you a lot of pain -- hit Alt-F12. Go to Contracts. Select the Active tab. Find the specific satellite contract and click the "Complete" button. And then promise yourself not to do it again. :)

An alternative to this, if you are already considering using the Alt-F12 option: 'Set Orbit'. Fill in the parameters as required and place it in the correct orbit. The contract should get completed when you focus on the sat, and as a bonus, you also get to have the sat where it was intended to be.

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If you want to get really complicated, just set up a gravity assist with the Mun ... if the sat's a writeoff anyway, messing up won't cost anything.

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Posted (edited)

The best way to reverse your orbit is a pure retrograde burn (unless you can get a Mun encounter) Go sub orbital and back again.  You might as well try, if you have enough fuel.  If you don't, you haven't lost much in trying.

Edited by Alshain

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29 minutes ago, Alshain said:

The best way to reverse your orbit is a pure retrograde burn

I'd counter by saying the very best way is "revert flight". :wink:

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1 hour ago, Cpt Kerbalkrunch said:

I'd counter by saying the very best way is "revert flight". :wink:

Except he said he switch craft to check his other satellite.  No reverts available :wink:

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Generally speaking, as I understand it, completely reversing an established orbit's inclination is going to cost double the orbital velocity, you can remedy this by taking the Apokerb out to a point where the orbital velocity is much lower, but added Delta-V to do that may offset the saved delta-v.  Your best bet is probably to write it off and launch another.  Just make sure that you dispose of the first satellite beforehand, or else you'll end up smashing the two together at twice orbital velocity.

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Thanks very much everyone :)

While it's not a low, low orbit, it is reasonably fast and i didn't set out with tons of fuel, I took 'plenty' to get me to the orbit, but I don't expect I have the Delta V to just turn around and go the other way. Thanks for the tricks on other ways to reduce the delta V requirement, useful info for the future, and as for reverting to launch... yeah... I've done a good 8 or so other contracts and gained a bunch of science since I launched that satellite (though it would mean I wouldn't have yet launched Jeb's ill fated attempt to land on the moon but forgetting to take any solar panels because I thought all engines produce electricity... Rather than lose him stuck in a Muner orbit I just let him hit the SOI and then come back with some high Mun science).

I think I shall probably use belwing's third suggestion of the de-bug menu this once as it was a genuine 'I thought I was going the right way' sort of thing because I thought I had to be going up to the Apo on the side where the Ascending node was, and towards the Per on the Descending node. It seems that these are associated with your own orbit rather than the required orbit >.<  I do however now know for future so if I mess up again it's absolutely my fault and I shall either have to revert, turn around, or just send up another.

Having said that, sending up a new one and seeing if I can get such a spot on orbit that I can collide them would be quite fun :D

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14 hours ago, Alshain said:

Except he said he switch craft to check his other satellite.  No reverts available :wink:

Yeah, I saw it in the OP. Was just being a Smart S. :)

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On 5/13/2017 at 8:58 PM, Alshain said:

The best way to reverse your orbit is a pure retrograde burn (unless you can get a Mun encounter) Go sub orbital and back again.  You might as well try, if you have enough fuel.  If you don't, you haven't lost much in trying.

Disagree.  The cheapest way to reverse is to raise your apoapsis to the SOI and do your reverse burn out there.  If you have an atmosphere do the reversing burn so as to leave your periapsis high in the atmosphere and let the atmosphere bring your apoapsis down, finally burning to circularize when it's low enough.  (Note that this will take a while!!)

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8 hours ago, Loren Pechtel said:

Disagree.  The cheapest way to reverse is to raise your apoapsis to the SOI and do your reverse burn out there.  If you have an atmosphere do the reversing burn so as to leave your periapsis high in the atmosphere and let the atmosphere bring your apoapsis down, finally burning to circularize when it's low enough.  (Note that this will take a while!!)

You disagree with what?  I never said anything about the cheapest way.

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