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Why does my rocket keep exploding?


Clear Air Turbulence
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Hi all

I hope I am not posting in the wrong forum with this. I am hoping for some mentoring in this flying to minmus thing.

I am in sandbox mode.

Basically, I flew successfully to Minmus in an adapted version of the Kerbal X (just a bit more fuel for the lander) & landed safely.

But, (long story short) Jim Kerbal somehow bumped into the craft and tipped it over. Attempts to right it failed and the thing exploded. I have three surviving Kerbals on Minmus, and I need to send up an unmanned craft to rescue them.

So now I am trying to get a lander up there and back. My problem at this stage is building ze rocket.

Three components:

Launcher (asparagus staging, mainsail engines)

Transfer (Rockomax & Reliant)

Lander (with plenty of fuel to get back)

And because I am a n00b, I am still using mechjeb (blush)

Picture below.

My problem is this: the thing behaves oddly in flight.

Initially it got off to to a grand start and managed to get to the top of the atmosphere without exploding.

But at the last stage of the launcher, i seemed to lose steering authority, or whatever it is called. The nose just dropped and we headed back home, going back into the atmosphere at more than a km per second. Not good.

I added some fins to the central stage, making sure they were not tangled up with the asparagus trappings.

But now the thing explodes violently the moment the first stage (the boosters to right and left in the picture below) detaches.

I can't figure out why.

They cut off and fall away as they should, and then suddenly there is a huge explosion & then boosters 3 and 4 zoom off on their own, ram into the top stage, and blows everything to kingdom come.

Any advice would be appreciated?

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Edited by Clear Air Turbulence
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Check your booster placement is on top of the decouplers.

That's interesting. When fixing the Kickbacks on my new ship, I noticed that somehow they won't go on the top of the TT70s. The end up fixed to the body of the main booster, with the decouplers somehow inside them. That looks bad, but try as I might I can't get it to sit properly

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No first time I landed without mechjeb all right.

Quicksave was my friend.

But the rescue mission is going to be a real challenge. I have to land in a specific spot. That will be interesting.

In general I use Mechjeb to check whether a given ship works, eliminating my own cack-handedness as a factor. If it does, I know I should be able to pilot it manually thereafter without disasters.

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That was interesting.

I did not have enough fuel to get back all the way.

But I think I sort of by accident ended up doing a gravity slingshot in reverse using Mun. One of my orbits had me going into Mun encounter, then mun escape with a drastically slower velocity.

Now I have just enough monoprop left to try aerobraking. I may just get these guys home.

Edited by Clear Air Turbulence
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If all else fails point the rocket retrograde and have the kerbals get out and push with their jetpacks.

Note that this trick relies on the fact [exploit] that kerbal jetpack monopropelant is infinitely restored by going back in the capsule. In practice, this is terribly slow even for single-kerbal capsules that are "almost home", so I don't know how long it will take for the bigger capsule. On the other hand, it will take nearly as much delta-V for a rendezvous as to get to Minmus (air braking saves a *lot* of delta-V).

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Note that this trick relies on the fact [exploit] that kerbal jetpack monopropelant is infinitely restored by going back in the capsule. In practice, this is terribly slow even for single-kerbal capsules that are "almost home", so I don't know how long it will take for the bigger capsule. On the other hand, it will take nearly as much delta-V for a rendezvous as to get to Minmus (air braking saves a *lot* of delta-V).

Indeed it is slow, but I'd rather do that than revert/quickload because my craft ran out of fuel with a 71km orbit

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