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Best 'abort' procedures


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You know when you're flying a plane or rocket or rover, and something starts to go wrong. You know, when it will not pitch up, or your wings get torn off, or you lose a tail fin or engine. Or, when a stage fails to separate. You pretty much have only 3 options (two, if you've disabled the feature): Accept your eventual doom or try to get down safely, click 'revert flight' if you have that enabled, or quit to the space center, knowing that it will give you the 'last save was -time- ago, returning will revert it'. But, what about the 'Abort' button? What 'abort' systems do you have in place for the safety of your crew? Do you EVA and hope for the best? Do you separate the command module? Or do you have other systems to save your precious Kerbals. Anyway, tell me your abort systems.

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Back in previous versions, when parachutes were near instantaneous, or didn't get destroyed at high airspeed, I would have one or two mounted on the cockpit part of a spaceplane, and if it was nosediving, try everything else (control Authority limiting/removing, RCS, any remaining staging etc) and then pull the chute at about 500m.

Now, you can't do that so much, so it's more of a do everything I can to reduce airspeed, then pull the chute, and hope to slow down enough, or at least hit tail first.

I have tried ejectable cockpits, but they take more kerbals than they save, because I'll almost certainly need it in a non-standard situation.  For example, an upward firing cockpit ejection is unhelpful when in an inverted nose down dive, at about 50m altitude.

For rockets, a good old Apollo style abort system does the trick.  But you need to do something silly to need one of those.

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8 minutes ago, cratercracker said:

You know.

I always have a C4 (k4) from KAS placed somewhere in the craft.

I never have failures, in case I have, I don't have a "failure", I have a successful self-destruction.

Then, you don't have a launch failure, you have a successful fireworks show!

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On both airplanes and on rockets, I strap 2 sepratrons to any part with a crew in it, followed by a decoupler, then about 6 or 8 other sepratrons facing the opposite way on the rest of the craft. In the event of an emergency, the crew gets thrown forward while the sepratrons do their best to slow down the rest of the ship (since the main engines are normally still going) and then a parachute (or retro rockets if not on an atmospheric body) activate to land safely. I use dangit, launch failure continued, and kerbalx krash systems so a failure is almost guaranteed on anything I launch (not to mention my jeb's horrible piloting skills :D).

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I never have failures so i dont have any abort system. But a good way to abort a spacecraft is to smash spacebar untill the parachutes opens, it even works in Realism Overhaul!

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On shuttles I have two backup jet engines at the rear, mounted on the bottom, so as the increase the list. They are also equipped with CONTARES parafoils and stock parachutes, and well as the Vanguard Technologies ejection seats. And on my capsules I always have a LES.

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I usually have a custom launch escape system.

I work with a reusable spaceplane cockpit, kind of like a small, specialized, dyna-soar, mounted on a rocket.

The only issue is... it is heavy compared to a command pod. The stock LES kind of just tapped my pod off the rocket, so it could fall onto the launch pad I abort near the ground. (Which happens more than you would think when I am testing rockets...)

Had to put a crap ton of sepratrons on some empty mk 0 jet fuel tanks.

Looked horrible, but worked pretty great. Sometimes it could even give the pod enough velocity to start sea level flight.

I'll post pics later. Imgur is blocked on the internet I am using right now :l

22 hours ago, Kuzzter said:



Also, look at that aerospike,

The comic is old.

Where did you get it?

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If it's a design I'll use more than once I write a KRPC script to manage abort modes.  For example on a shuttle launch when it detects an abort it might - 

  • Do nothing but lock steering to prograde as long as  SRBs are burning, then
  • Separate the SRBs.  
  • Decide based on altitude and thrust whether it's an Abort To Launch Site, Abort Down Range, or Abort to Orbit
  • Inform pilot which abort to fly and put range and altitude markers on screen for selected landing site, or fuel and orbit stats for ATO - release steering to pilot

For a station I might run an abort script that sees the action group and separates the command pod, orients it retrograde, and deorbits then eventually triggers parachutes all on it's own.

I think that writing software for rockets is as important and fun as designing the hardware in the VAB!  

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