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So, I finally decided to try mining an asteroid. Figured I'd capture something relatively medium sized to start off with so I went with a class C. Designed a system that used four LV-N's and was little more than engines, solar arrays, a couple small fuel tanks, a claw, and a mining setup. My thought was to have the drone refuel by mining the asteroid and making its own fuel instead of carrying monster amounts of fuel up with it.

To my great surprise, I discovered that asteroids are barely worth any fuel at all. The 46 tons of mine-able material translated to something like 2000 ore and was barely enough to refill the small tanks on my miner (which only carried like 2100 LF/O, though I'd drained them of Ox before launching as the LV-N's didn't need it).. let alone serve as any sort of orbital fuel station. I spent more gas rendezvousing with the asteroid than I could even mine from it.

Now, obviously a larger rock is going to be worth more.. but they're also going to take significantly more to do anything with. I'm left wondering what the point of all this is, as it doesn't make much sense when it comes to gameplay. Wondering what everyone's thoughts are on the subject.

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That really sucks. I was looking forward to build ing orbital refuelling bases but I doesn't seem worth the trouble. Can anyone confirm that most asteroids are that poor in Ore? Maybe that one was a dud?

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So, I finally decided to try mining an asteroid. Figured I'd capture something relatively medium sized to start off with so I went with a class C. Designed a system that used four LV-N's and was little more than engines, solar arrays, a couple small fuel tanks, a claw, and a mining setup. My thought was to have the drone refuel by mining the asteroid and making its own fuel instead of carrying monster amounts of fuel up with it.

To my great surprise, I discovered that asteroids are barely worth any fuel at all. The 46 tons of mine-able material translated to something like 2000 ore and was barely enough to refill the small tanks on my miner (which only carried like 2100 LF/O, though I'd drained them of Ox before launching as the LV-N's didn't need it).. let alone serve as any sort of orbital fuel station. I spent more gas rendezvousing with the asteroid than I could even mine from it.

Now, obviously a larger rock is going to be worth more.. but they're also going to take significantly more to do anything with. I'm left wondering what the point of all this is, as it doesn't make much sense when it comes to gameplay. Wondering what everyone's thoughts are on the subject.

Had the same feeling with a class B asteroid.. but i was able to mine like 600 ore. Barely enough to fill the Rockomax X200-32 Fuel Tank.

Edited by Beduino
wrong ore amount
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Well we didnt need mining to get anywhere before and we dont need mining to get anywhere now so its just a little extra thing you can do for the sake of doing it.

Yeah, I don't know about that. Kethane was the first mod I got followed by Karbonite. Those where the only mods I got. Its really very hard to explore past Duna without fuel mining, and not very much fun as you can only take fairly small craft, or massive ships that take a dozen launched to construct in orbit and are only good for one mission after that.

And yes, asteroids suck. You use more fuel matching velocities than you get out of them.

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Yeah, I don't know about that. Kethane was the first mod I got followed by Karbonite. Those where the only mods I got. Its really very hard to explore past Duna without fuel mining, and not very much fun as you can only take fairly small craft, or massive ships that take a dozen launched to construct in orbit and are only good for one mission after that.

And yes, asteroids suck. You use more fuel matching velocities than you get out of them.

You may struggle without mining resources but I've landed and returned from all bodies multiple times without having to refuel seriously its not hard to get anywhere in KSP.

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What is worth it, however, is to building a mining base on Minmus and sending the ore/fuel up to an orbital base for refueling. That's a lot easier to do than refueling from Kerbin.

yeah, but it's a chore. You need a mining rig, a rover/lander with large capacity and maybe a tanker without all the rover gear to go between Minmus and Kerbin. And then you have to land the rover next to the mining rig again. Asteroids are simpler: capture one, put it in LKO, stick a miner on it and then everything goes to dock with the asteroid. You could even launch the payloads with little fuel, saving a lot in first stages.

So, the question is, which is the text file we need to edit to make them worthwhile?

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I'm not sure which text file handles asteroids, but...

If you're playing sandbox, trying to refuel by mining asteroids is very difficult compared to other options.

If you're playing career, those crazy contracts to eject asteroids from the system just got a lot more appealing!

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What is worth it, however, is to building a mining base on Minmus and sending the ore/fuel up to an orbital base for refueling. That's a lot easier to do than refueling from Kerbin.

Does 1.0.x's resource system provide any reason to mine on the surface and send the ore up to an orbital refinery, rather than mining AND refining on the surface and sending the finished fuel up to an orbital fuel depot? I tried both in 0.90 with the Karbonite mod and realized that, although orbital refineries are an awesome idea, there didn't seem to be much reason to use them.

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yeah, but it's a chore. You need a mining rig, a rover/lander with large capacity and maybe a tanker without all the rover gear to go between Minmus and Kerbin. And then you have to land the rover next to the mining rig again. Asteroids are simpler: capture one, put it in LKO, stick a miner on it and then everything goes to dock with the asteroid. You could even launch the payloads with little fuel, saving a lot in first stages.

So, the question is, which is the text file we need to edit to make them worthwhile?

Chore for some is fun supply chain setup for others...

Does 1.0.x's resource system provide any reason to mine on the surface and send the ore up to an orbital refinery, rather than mining AND refining on the surface and sending the finished fuel up to an orbital fuel depot? I tried both in 0.90 with the Karbonite mod and realized that, although orbital refineries are an awesome idea, there didn't seem to be much reason to use them.

Ore I don't know. Karbonite was too heavy to bother hauling in raw form. Refine first then transport.

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Does 1.0.x's resource system provide any reason to mine on the surface and send the ore up to an orbital refinery, rather than mining AND refining on the surface and sending the finished fuel up to an orbital fuel depot? I tried both in 0.90 with the Karbonite mod and realized that, although orbital refineries are an awesome idea, there didn't seem to be much reason to use them.

If you plan to make multiple trips, ferrying the Ore means you don't have to build the refinery into your lander, or it means you don't have to dock with the refinery on the surface.

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What is worth it, however, is to building a mining base on Minmus and sending the ore/fuel up to an orbital base for refueling. That's a lot easier to do than refueling from Kerbin.

This what I am doing, as I used to do with Kethane. I prefer refueling as a mater of preference because it means I have more freedom to design what I want, and not worry super hard about fuel capacity. Besides, it gives me a whole lot of ships to build and missions to fly on the side, so it keeps you busy.

With Kethane, I used to use a small refinery on the miner to top off it's fuel tanks on the surface, rather than use fuel refined by a station. I'd have the rest refined by a station which was more efficient, but the refinery was also quite heavy. Planning on using the same setup with ore, though I think now I have to refuel with the stuff I refine in orbit, which is a pain (the drills seem to have a converter option, but I assume it doesn't work). At this point though, I'm just having fun and seeing how this all works.

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I've never really bothered with the whole landing/mining/taking off/redocking/rinse/repeat thing. Was WAY too much work for too little benefit in almost all cases. It was always just easier to launch more fuel up from Kerbin and send it on its way. Heck, I had a space plane that could pull 21k LFO to a Kerbin escape if I wanted, so refilling my LKO or HKO (out past Minmus at maximum Kerbin orbit) stations was always super easy.. the stations could literally come back and land for more fuel, and they had a decent endurance out of the Kerbin system as well. While I can get most anywhere without refueling if necessary.. I do like to place refueling stations in a few places, and I had hoped this might provide an alternative method of setting up a station that had a somewhat longer lifespan for the extra work involved. Making it actually cost more fuel to set up than you can get by mining it is just silly - realistic or not (I don't know that we could even mine an asteroid for fuel..) it's a rather wonky gameplay design.

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The way you would run out of resources in Kethane is why I switched to Karbonite, Bases didn't make any sense in Kethane.

And neither do orbital refineries. Its expensive you move stuff around so it makes sense to move fuel rather than ore, or at least it should. With 1:1 ore fuel conversion it doesn't matter but 1:1 is also terribly unrealistic.

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For me, I suppose it comes down to my being pretty good at docking, and not so good at interplanetary transfers. Running down and grabbing some fuel is pretty easy, while sending it out from Kerbin tends to be the bigger headache for me.

I did get my orbital refinery and miner set up. The refinery made its way from Kerbin under its own power, while the miner took over once it hit Minmus. One load of 3000 ore was enough to top off the fuel tanks and mono prop in both ships, with a little left over. With my Atlas lifter, I should be able to carry up to at least a 60 tonne payload to a Minmus intercept using the lift stage, and I should be able to insert 50-55 tonnes right into orbit (if I can make the construction a bit more rigid). I figure that should be enough for one trip to refuel the miner and a couple arriving payloads, so I'm pretty happy.

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I did this is exact same thing yesterday and my results were the opposite. I captured a Class C asteroid and there's enough ore to create at least 20,000 of each liquid fuel and oxidizer. I filled one of the medium size 2.5m fuel tanks and there's still 93% resources remaining on the asteroid.

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Are you playing with resource frequency reduced? If so, to what level?

ETA: Looking in the part.cfg for asteroids reveals this:

MODULE
{
name = ModuleAsteroidResource
highRange = 95
lowRange = 50
presenceChance = 100
resourceName = Ore
}

I suspect you hit close to the lowRange, aka got unlucky. Send tiny prospecting probes to locate asteroids that are actually worthwhile. (This is a guess, not an authoritative claim.)

Edited by Jovus
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