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Greylin

Rescue Mission Contract Preview

Question

Greylin    2

I just started playing 1.2.1.  I'm a career-mode junkie, so I'm back to testing stuff on the pad, in-flight and all the simple stuff you start with.  I accepted my first rescue-from-kerbin-orbit mission, glad that I get to start building up my team and having fun with rendezvous.  I go out to the tracker to sync up my launch and I see the craft on a sub-orbital trajectory with the Mun!  It's going to crash in one day, so there's no way that I'll be able to get to it in time.

 

1) Is this a bug?  Why would they give you a contract that you will not be able to fulfill?

2) Is there a way to preview a rescue mission prior to accepting it?  I don't want to blow more $$$ and prestige points if I'm going to be given a contract that I can't complete.

 

Thanks for the help!

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Geschosskopf    4247
47 minutes ago, Greylin said:

1) Is this a bug?  Why would they give you a contract that you will not be able to fulfill?

Because Gene is actually an avatar of The Kraken.

Seriously, however...

Rescues in Kerbin orbit come in several flavors.  With 1 star, they're usually in a low equatorial prograde orbit, no problem.  With more than 1 star, the various orbital parameters are randomized.  This mostly happens to Ap and Pe, sometimes also you get retrograde orbits, but rarely is there any significant change in inclination.  And this is a problem because the game creates the rescue missions without any regard for where Mun is at the time.  With the orbit still essentially in Kerbin's ecliptic and the Ap high enough to come near Mun or even cross its orbit, the Kerbal's orbit is unstable.  Sooner or later, he will encounter Mun and either go splat or be ejected from Kerbin's SOI.  You MIGHT sometimes have a chance to rescue him before this happens, but 2-star Kerbin orbit rescue missions are NOTORIOUS for not giving you the chance.  So my advice is, avoid 2-star Kerbin orbit rescue missions unless you're willing to risk failure.  Stick with the 1-star missions.  After all, you're doing them to get the Kerbal, not make money.  If you want to do a harder rescue for money or rep, then do those in Mun orbit.

 

47 minutes ago, Greylin said:

2) Is there a way to preview a rescue mission prior to accepting it?  I don't want to blow more $$$ and prestige points if I'm going to be given a contract that I can't complete.

Not that I know of.  For some reason, satellites show up but not Kerbal rescues until you accept the mission.

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monstah    2233

1) Kinda no, perhaps. Can't be sure, but from the description I think the craft spawned on a highly elliptical (although perfectly OK) Kerbin orbit, but by bad luck ended up in the SOI of Mün (or it's not there yet, but its orbit has an unfortunate encounter). That sort of thing is probably hard to predict beforehand, so as far as it knows the generator is outputting a perfectly valid orbit.

2) I don't think so. Satellite contracts ("reach this orbit") and survey contracts ("do science here") show their waypoints on the Tracking Station, before you accept them. I believe rescues don't, but I am not sure. Open your Tracking Station while the contract is offered, but before you accept it: if you don't see any ships there that aren't yours already, then you're out of luck unfortunately :( 

So, in my opinion, it seems like you had really bad luck, and you couldn't have done anything to prevent it.

Yeah, space is hard sometimes...

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Kevin Kyle    55

Rescues dont show their position until you accept the contract, choose wisely. All the ones that say in low orbit are always in approx. the same orbit. If they dont say low orbit, they are likely to be anywhere. Same with stranded on planet or moon, likely to be anywhere. I like the low orbit ones, I gather them up until I have 4 in ,low orbit then send one ship to rescue them all at once. In early career I of course got them one at a time or maybe 2 at a time.

A little thing I do........when I get to said rescue, I swap to the other craft, right click it and I set the craft type as "debris" prior to EVA. That way I know in the tracking station, that I have completed that rescue at a glance and dont confuse it with future rescues. Not all can be set that way. Sometimes they are not in a command pod and cant be marked as debris.

The crashing into the Mun before you can rescue doesnt sound right to me and maybe a bug but I cannot confirm that. Maybe one of the devs or mods and verify that situation.

Edited by Kevin Kyle

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Aegolius13    280

This can be a really big issue with "rescue a Kerbal in orbit around Duna" missions.  Since Ike has such a big SOI relative to Duna, It will tend to grab and gravity "assist" (i.e., wantonly fling) the target craft all over the place.  On one mission I was playing catch-up for a long time, but at least the target never actually hit Ike.  

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monstah    2233
6 minutes ago, Kevin Kyle said:

 Not all can be set that way. Sometimes they are not in a command pod and cant be marked as debris.

Go into map mode (or the Tracking Station), click the info icon on the right, then double click the ship's name. That can rename anything. 

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FancyMouse    362
1 hour ago, Greylin said:

It's going to crash in one day, so there's no way that I'll be able to get to it in time.

Depending on if it's a full day. One full day until crash is plenty of time. Just pack some extra fuel and do catch up!

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bewing    1272
1 hour ago, monstah said:
1 hour ago, Greylin said:

 I go out to the tracker to sync up my launch and I see the craft on a sub-orbital trajectory with the Mun!  It's going to crash in one day, so there's no way that I'll be able to get to it in time.

An overpowered rocket can get to the Mun in under 5 hours. So you do still have a chance, if you really want to take it. "All you have to do" is manufacture a rendezvous within 2.2 km and the rescue victim can EVA themselves and blast like crazy to get themselves into a low munar orbit for later pickup.

 

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bewing    1272

OK, after some testing it looks like the game is plunking the kerbal into a supposed "Kerbin" orbit, and then it turns out the Mun happens to be at that spot when you accepted the contract. If you can go back to a savegame before you accepted the contract, and wait an extra day or two before accepting the contract, then the Mun won't be in the same spot and your rescue mission won't be an emergency.

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fourfa    794
22 hours ago, Kevin Kyle said:

Sometimes they are not in a command pod and cant be marked as debris.

You can change those (and all the others, incidentally) from the Tracking Station.  Select the pod in question, click the 'I' in the lower right, then double click the orange bar at the top of the info pane

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