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PSA: The 0.625m heat shield won't protect early probe cores


zarakon
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If you're planning on returning some science to the surface using a probe in career mode, be aware that the 0.625 heat shield won't do you much good with the early probe cores.  The OKTO, HECS, and Stayputnik are all too wide for it, so they'll stick out into the airstream and go poof.

I think it's fine for the QBE and OKTO2, but those are from a later tech node.

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All you need to return science data is the science container, a heat shield, and a parachute - no probe core is required. Deploy the parachute before decoupling the return package, and it will deploy at a safe time because they're automatically set to deploy when safe. There's no need to return the probe core, which is rather convenient because you could send up a dual mission for science returning and a relay satellite and leave the relay probe in orbit whilst returning the science.

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Also, have you tried putting something between the heat shield and the probe core? The protected zone is a cone, so you might have luck if you move the wider parts further away from the shield. Of course, that might introduce other (flipping) problems.

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35 minutes ago, Kobymaru said:

Also, have you tried putting something between the heat shield and the probe core? The protected zone is a cone, so you might have luck if you move the wider parts further away from the shield. Of course, that might introduce other (flipping) problems.

The actual mission probe that I lost was a HECS mounted directly behind the heat shield.  I also experimented with a Stayputnik which had a round battery and small reaction wheel in between.  It seemed to last a little longer but still died

 

40 minutes ago, eloquentJane said:

All you need to return science data is the science container, a heat shield, and a parachute - no probe core is required. Deploy the parachute before decoupling the return package, and it will deploy at a safe time because they're automatically set to deploy when safe. There's no need to return the probe core, which is rather convenient because you could send up a dual mission for science returning and a relay satellite and leave the relay probe in orbit whilst returning the science.

Hm, cool idea.  Do you know if that would satisfy the contracts that ask you to return a vessel to Kerbin from a destination?

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9 minutes ago, zarakon said:

Hm, cool idea.  Do you know if that would satisfy the contracts that ask you to return a vessel to Kerbin from a destination?

I believe a "vessel" is basically any part that you recover. Doesn't even have to be controllable or anything.

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2 hours ago, zarakon said:

If you're planning on returning some science to the surface using a probe in career mode, be aware that the 0.625 heat shield won't do you much good with the early probe cores.  The OKTO, HECS, and Stayputnik are all too wide for it, so they'll stick out into the airstream and go poof.

I think it's fine for the QBE and OKTO2, but those are from a later tech node.

I reentered an OKTO core just yesterday with the 0.625 meter heatshield perfectly fine in career, after landing unmanned on three biomes of the Mun, and returning to LKO with spare fuel before reentry.

BT5dTBu.png

4BMeXyY.png

GW3Q55m.png

I didn't take any completely-head-on screenshots, but looking at it head on, it appeared quite streamline with almost nothing sticking out, too.

Edited by LaytheDragon
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I've used separations, point thereturn capsule retrograde and fire separations, decoupler, and chute all at once.  Or you could thrust your probe to drop the pe deep in atmosphere, drop the return capsule, then reboost to a stable orbit. Then switch vessels to the return capsule and ride it to touchdown.

Edited by tg626
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On 20/10/2016 at 7:34 PM, Kobymaru said:

Also, have you tried putting something between the heat shield and the probe core? The protected zone is a cone, so you might have luck if you move the wider parts further away from the shield. 

I'm pretty sure it is a cylinder, despite the appearance of the graphics. 

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13 hours ago, Jestersage said:

How did you deorbit without a probe core and thruster?

Release the return cargo on a suborbital trajectory (trigger the chute before release), get the probe back to orbital and switch to the science package before it gets deleted as scrap.

The you can ride the science package back to the surface.

A little fiddly but very useful in early game, esp with the bleeping Science Jr being a pain to recover.

Edited by Curveball Anders
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