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High speed surface braking / crashing / squished


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Whilst contemplating the rescue of my Kerbal from a particularly ill judged Tylo mission, I realised what a total pain in the bottom Tylo is. It came to my mind that the only way to slow down on this moon without burning tones of fuel is to hit the ground ....slowing said ship to a stop sans fuel.

Which brought me to War Of the Worlds ... the proper version not the Tom Cruise one, in which the Martians landed by 'crashing' into the surface of the Earth. This to my mind is a perfect solution to my Tylo issues. All i need now is a new part that can handle the gentle surface braking of about 2,000 m/s. Possibly some paracetamol could be included for the occupants of the 'lander'   

 

 

Edited by RonaldRayGun
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The part with the highest crash tolerance is oddly enough the Launch Stability Enhancer at 100 m/s. However since you can't exactly take those with you that doesn't really help.

Some of the girder/beam parts are as high as 80 m/s which is fairly impressive. However it's a far cry from the 2000 m/s you are looking for.

Maybe with enough of them you could absorb some of your impact speed but...I wouldn't want to be the Kerbal who tests it!

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Hmmmmm...

Maybe there could be a place for a 'Lithobraking Ablative Impact Absorber' that works a bit like an ablative heatshield, or more closely like a brake pad on a car.  If you contact the ground at a shallow enough angle you slide (rather than tunnel), losing speed and ablative until you run out of either speed (and you stop) or ablative (and you crash horribly).  The LAIA would presumably be a fairly heavy part, and would probably need a selection of sizes, but it may be an interesting addition.

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I think the largest issue is actually the physics here - when moving that fast, the game doesn't really register one part of the craft hitting the ground first. Instead, you just have one physics frame where the craft isn't touching the ground at all, and then next frame everything is suddenly underground and explodes - which means it's really hard to have a single high impact-tolerance part which protects other parts.

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1 hour ago, GluttonyReaper said:

I think the largest issue is actually the physics here - when moving that fast, the game doesn't really register one part of the craft hitting the ground first. Instead, you just have one physics frame where the craft isn't touching the ground at all, and then next frame everything is suddenly underground and explodes - which means it's really hard to have a single high impact-tolerance part which protects other parts.

That's a good point. I'm not sure what the 'speed limit' would be for that.  That could wreck that idea.

I guess you would not plan to land at normal orbital velocities though.  I envisage it would be used to supplement parachutes on places like Duna where they have much less effect and act in place of landing gear when the speed is far too high to use them. Or on smaller bodies where the orbital speed is less to start with so you can use retro thrust to slow down enough before impact without coming in too steep.

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