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Do you recycle orbital debris?

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Like so many here, I plan my missions to leave no debris in any stable orbit around a world.

I will allow stable orbits around the Sun, though, as realisticaly speaking there is 0 reason to care about them.

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Think it also depends on the size. If it i some tiny junk, it is not worth it. On the other hand, though, I had not tried using demolition tools.

 Career mode tends to be tricky at times to worry about deorbiting stuff. I had some bad ascent profiles and stuff just managed to remain in eternal orbit.

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To date, I mainly dispose of stages via sub-orbital trajectories, recover it, somehow re-purpose it, or just use an SSTO. I wish KSP had a persistent/permanent vessel system so recovering, refurbishing, and reusing stages/vessels felt a bit more compelling. (KCT is the closest thing...)

I did clean up a launch I did once that left stuff in stable orbits. It was just Tracking Station Self-Destructs though. Too lazy to do it manually via rendezvous. (Plus I had one piece in a pretty elliptic orbit as it was discarded in the middle of a Munar transfer burn.)

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11 hours ago, Bill the Kerbal said:
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I used to be militant about not leaving any debris in orbit and that does add a nice extra bit of design and piloting challenge. But now that you can just switch off debris from being shown in map mode and KSP has got better (although still not great) at having lots of debris left around, I've gone in the other direction and in my last career I've been intentionally messy.  Partly to see how well the game copes with it and also trying to increase that rare chance of having a mission compromised by debris impact (yeah I know, odds of that happening are really low).

I've also been doing something else with some smaller spent stages.  I've been shipping them off to Minmus (usually picked up by a collector craft and transported) to "Bill's Scrap Yard", a base where (with KAS/KIS and a couple other mods) the stages are broken down and reassembled into new craft, refueled with on-site mined resources and launched.  It's been quite fun (and really time consuming) to build craft on site with engineers (using KAS/KIS) and without any of the build tools that you get in the VAB/SPH.  Quite a bit of the base itself has also been built from recycled stages so it's got quite a scrap yard feel to it.

This is one probe being built and you can see the pile of parts from stripped down stages behind.

IkNqD8U.jpg7t7mB46.jpg

And here it is ready for launch to Duna (one section was to remain in orbit while the lower section would land to conduct experiments).

7FR0mun.jpg

Unfortunately none of the probes launched from this base have actually completed their full mission plans, mostly due to lack of dV.

But what has been successful is assembling little rescue missions to go and pickup rescue contracts in Minmus orbit.  This is one rescue mission about to launch. The process is to take up a couple parachutes which are strapped to whatever needs rescuing and then setting them to be deployed before shunting it into a return course to Kerbin (and then the rescue craft turns around and returns to base).  I feel that's a suitably haphazard and budget approach to rescue contracts!

All this by @katateochi. Its just incredible what they did.

That is pretty awesome.

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sometimes, I've repurposed some of the more...interesting space junk

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I usually just delete debris, but I have experimented extensively with recovery & recycling, especially in hard difficulty careers.

Rockets built around the Twin-Boar are exceptionally easy to recover because it's got the most excellent drag profile for re-entry (basically being fat it slows down like a dream and the heating isn't too bad). I've even gone so far as to recover ejection stages: This involves a Twin-Boar central core with ~1000m/s of dV leftover in orbit. It starts the ejection burn and once reaching Kerbin escape (having expended ~950m/s) is decoupled, the remaining vehicle goes on to the complete the transfer burn while the Twin-Boar turns around and does a burn to un-escape. Now on a highly elliptical orbit it can be aerobraked back down and recovered. While technically possible with any engine (especially doing many tedious areobrake passes) the Twin-Boar's drag profile makes it particularly pleasant and it's much less likely to burn up than say a Mammoth or Mainsail would be.

I also use SSTOs and SSTOs that cheat (by slapping on a bunch of SRBs) a good deal, often refueling on Minmus to get two 5000m/s burns out of them which is enough to get almost anywhere without creating any debris. I've also experimented with recycling LV-N based ships a lot, essentially by always joining the payload using a docking port rather than a decoupler, so after it's job is done the LV-N stage is left with a little fuel and can be refueled and reused for some other task. Most the cost and much of the weight of a LV-N stage is in the engine itself, so once you've put the thing in orbit it's relatively cheaper to refuel it than to launch a whole new one, and it's a lot cheaper to deliver tanks of liquid fuel to other worlds than whole new LV-N engines. The end result is many of my missions have been nearly completely recovered, recycled or reused with next to no debris creation. Still, I can't always be bothered, so usually now I just end up deleting debris.

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No, I never recycle debris.I play sandbox only,so I have infinite money! There's no need to recycle them for me,and I also have no time to do that.:)

As you can see,More debris,more fun,isn't it?:sticktongue:

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I Play the USI constelation and every piece of debris is like a goldmine for me.

A small clawed tug who goes for every littel junk and has some containers on it.

My spacestations mostly never need any supportruns for fuel or MaterialKits. Recycling at purest? XD

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Nope, the fuel cost of retrieving, dragging around and refilling fuel tanks means it's not really worth it from an economic perspective, and definitely not from a tedium perspective.

Further, the fact that there is no micro-debris to cause damage means that any amount of debris, even in a relatively tight orbit, poses next to no threat to any stations, no less a craft just passing through the debris belt.

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no

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10 hours ago, SpaceHips said:

Further, the fact that there is no micro-debris to cause damage means that any amount of debris, even in a relatively tight orbit, poses next to no threat to any stations, no less a craft just passing through the debris belt.

Micro-debris isnt a real Problem, but slaming on the ascent in an old upperstage can make you throw the computer out of window. 

And Stations... let a big pile on highly ecentrical orbit after a longrange satelite start for misuse of Oberth... and you have a potential timebomb. Gamenoob+ curiosity=Megaboom. On other hand Kerbin get a nice Ring....

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Isn't that why they made the space shuttles, because it was getting to expensive for them just making rockets over and over again?

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Am I the only one who just goes to the tracking station and deletes unwanted debris? 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Dr.K Kerbal said:

Isn't that why they made the space shuttles, because it was getting to expensive for them just making rockets over and over again?

Well, that was the idea.  Of course, by the time Congress was done with it, the Shuttle cost more to operate than expendable rockets to do most of the jobs it was intended to do.  Why would you need wings and a crew of seven to launch an interplanetary probe?  After Challenger, they retasked it for only missions that required crew, and ISS operations -- and it still cost more per payload ton than it would have to use (for instance) a Titan with its man rating recertified and restart the Apollo capsule line.

Not to mention that even before Challenger, they were spending delta-V after reaching orbital height and velocity to ensure that the ET burned up rather than leaving it in orbit, where it might have been possible to repurpose the spent tanks...

Edited by Zeiss Ikon

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5 hours ago, Zeiss Ikon said:

Well, that was the idea.  Of course, by the time Congress was done with it

It wasn't just Congress that interfered, the DoD wanted a piece too ...

But the result was the same, and one should be aware that bringing hardware back isn't the same as getting it back into safely usable condition ...

A rocket engine is an expensive piece of kit, but reconditioning a used engine that has been in orbit isn't always cheaper than building a new one from scratch.

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On 3/13/2017 at 1:31 PM, GoSlash27 said:

I don't leave debris. Every staging event leaves the spent stage on a collision course.

Best,
-Slashy

Ha ha, one has to ask, on a collision course with what?

Of course, I'm kidding. I assume you put the debris on a suborbital trajectory with the closest planetary object. Me too. Feels messy to leave debris in any orbit.

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I keep all of my debris up in space, I just don't really care that much. Only one time I was launching a relay satellite and I missed my space station by around 1km. Besides I think it looks kinda cool later in the game, it shows you what you have done and where you've been.

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On 3/19/2017 at 1:54 PM, Curveball Anders said:

It wasn't just Congress that interfered, the DoD wanted a piece too ...

But the result was the same, and one should be aware that bringing hardware back isn't the same as getting it back into safely usable condition ...

A rocket engine is an expensive piece of kit, but reconditioning a used engine that has been in orbit isn't always cheaper than building a new one from scratch.

Yup, even those famously re-usable SRBs got utterly worked over by the salty ocean water they splashed down in.  The things even managed to suffer enough electrolytic corrosion that some design shenanigans took place to reduce it.

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I play 64k with RealFuels, so debris does not usually stay in orbit (with my designs, anyway) due to the higher delta-v requirement for orbit.

My current launcher (a SLS lookalike) has a 2-and-a-half stage design; 3.75m core stage, 1.25m solids, and 3.75->2.5m upper stage with adapter. The solids are dropped a minute into the ascent. The core stage is disposed of about 3/4ths of the way out of the atmosphere. The upper stage completes circularization, but it's also equipped with four separation motors that pushes it into a suborbital trajectory once it's separated. No debris remains in orbit.

Salvaging may or may not be profitable. Most of my OMS/RCS systems run on storable hypergolic fuels, so if I run across a discarded service module from a ship I'll gladly plifer its tanks. On the other hand, salvaging the aforementioned SLS upper stage (which runs on kerolox) might be profitable, though the liquid oxygen is still rather volatile. I rarely use hydrolox, but it would be a moot point anyhow - liquid hydrogen is ridiculously hard to keep in a tank without it boiling off.

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