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Debris recovery missions


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I got a contract to recover a stranded kerbal AND the debris/remains of his ship from around Minmus.

After sending out a scout probe, I found that the debris the contract was talking about is a 3-man Mk1-2 Command Pod that he's in.

The tricky part is that it has no docking ports, no heatshield, nothing.

I have the claw grabber, so I think I can get it back to Kerbin without too much trouble, but getting it down to the ground in one piece is another matter.

Anyone have any luck doing these missions? Any neat tricks?

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Um, can't the pod survive re-entry without heatshield? I think it can.

If it really can't, then do the opposite of launching it - have a craft that burns retro instead of only relying on the atmosphere. Not much, just to go slower, hence less heat.

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I'd make like a small grabber module with a small amount of fuel, excessive SAS and a load of parachutes, kinda like this (just rough untested concept)

F0S9Ucxl.jpg

(that design would give you about 500dV with the pod attached, which is plenty to get it back home.

Bring it up on another craft, disconnected from the launch craft, move it into place and grab the pod as close to it's center as possible. Move the pilot over to the pod being rescued so the SAS can be used and with excessive SAS it should be ok if you don't get the pod exactly center on. Sometime like that should work.

No heat shield is not a problem. while you are in a high Kerbin orbit (having just left Minmus's SOI) adjust your orbit to set the Pe to about 32km (you'll probably need to do a couple trial runs to find the right Pe) and you should be ok without a heat-shield. I've been routinely bringing a much larger craft back from Minmus and entering the atmo prograde (with it's Mk1-2 Pod entering face first) and aside from a couple solar panels it survives just fine.

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This is exactly one of the reasons the Shuttle existed. :-)

What? No it isn't. By the time the shuttle was developed, we were no longer sending manned command capsules into space.

As for using a shuttle, it could work but you won't be able to timewarp after grabbing it, otherwise it will float right out.

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*snip

As for using a shuttle, it could work but you won't be able to timewarp after grabbing it, otherwise it will float right out.

It's for this use that I made this suggestion; the gist of it is that "loose" parts inside a cargo bay would be magically docked with the craft as you enter timewarp and then be undocked as you return to normal time.

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Everything I'd need to get a MK3 shuttle into orbit (including the cargo bay itself) is pretty far beyond my current tech level

I guess I'll experiment with bringing things down without a heat shield. After losing one early mission when the command pod flipped backward on re-entry from a simple low orbit, I didn't even consider that it would be possible to come back from even higher without a heat shield.

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Is that all you are worried about? You don't need a heat shield, just parachutes. Set your periapsis to 45km and you will barely even see any flames. The command pod issue was patched out in 1.0.2. You can turn off SAS now and it will hold stable as it should. Re-entry heat was apparently effectively patched out of 1.0.2 as well.

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^ What these people have said. The Klaw has a surprisingly strong grip, more than enough to carry down a parachute-less ship of several tons. I've successfully recovered space debris several times before using a small tug fitted with a bunch of extra parachutes and a Klaw.

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New take on this old problem! I grabbing it with the claw, but with it attached on the front of the ship, the physics engine wouldn't let me return to Kerbin. Was unstable out there and the more I burned, the more delta-V was required. 

I safely put in inside an MK3 cargo bay, but when I leave orbit, the debris (crew room) stays behind??? 

Anyone know how to get this piece home?

Joshua 

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32 minutes ago, JoshuaKSP said:

New take on this old problem! I grabbing it with the claw, but with it attached on the front of the ship, the physics engine wouldn't let me return to Kerbin. Was unstable out there and the more I burned, the more delta-V was required. 

I safely put in inside an MK3 cargo bay, but when I leave orbit, the debris (crew room) stays behind??? 

Anyone know how to get this piece home?

Joshua 

why you say that the physics engine wouldn't let you return?

i can see two problems:

1) aerodinamics is now bad and you burn up in the atmosphere. which shouldn't happen, i brought back whole boosters from orbit without any kind of thermal shielding. as ong as you rprobe does not contain sensitive parts and you are starting from a low orbit, you should be fine

2) rocket misaligned with center of mass - so burning your rocket now send your ship spinning. which is an actual problem, but can be mitigated by using the rocket at low thrust, or by giving short bursts and then stopping the rocket and letting the sas system realign the ship. in both cases it's basically like having low thrust. a good gimbaling engine helps a lot.

if none of those helps, post pictures  and we can try to sort out your problems

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12 hours ago, JoshuaKSP said:

New take on this old problem! I grabbing it with the claw, but with it attached on the front of the ship, the physics engine wouldn't let me return to Kerbin. Was unstable out there and the more I burned, the more delta-V was required. 

I safely put in inside an MK3 cargo bay, but when I leave orbit, the debris (crew room) stays behind??? 

Anyone know how to get this piece home?

Joshua 

Not to be a n a l or anything, but making a new post rather than "necro" a post from 5+ years ago might be the way to go in the future, but as to your issue...

If your vessel is composed of more than one command pod, either you or the software has to decide which pod controls the vessel. This includes when you dock with another pod, whether with a docking port or the klaw. Each command pod defaults to priority "10" and if the user has not changed any of the command pods to a higher priority, it "arbitrarily" chooses which pod will take control. This is likely why, after docking with the "debris" which happened to also be a command pod, the debris became the control point. Of course your engine thrust is not aligned with the orientation of the command pod in the klaw and the result is what you experienced.

Right-click on the original command pod (the rescue ship) and set the control priority to something higher than 10 and you should at least have control of the vessel as you did before attaching to the stranded vessel.

As far placing items in a cargo bay to recover them, I have no experience, so I can't be of any help with that part of your problem... sorry!

Good luck!

Edited by Wobbly Av8r
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15 hours ago, JoshuaKSP said:

I safely put in inside an MK3 cargo bay, but when I leave orbit, the debris (crew room) stays behind???

When you warp each craft is put 'on rails' in it's orbit, and physics interaction are not calculated. Just happens that the debris inside the cargo bay is considered another craft by the game, and it go right past the cargo bay wall during warp.

 

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