JDCollie

Skirting Death - Share Your Closest Calls

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was going for low mun orbit at 5k AP or so and a mountain snuck up and tore off 3 out of 4 engines engines, flew back home with thrust barely on because the craft just wanted to spin. i managed to land back after 10+ passes around kerblin to slow down enough.

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This is from quite some time ago, but Jeb had a trip home from the Mun go not QUITE as planned...

EBzcrZO.png

Another instance of the craft in a "pristine" state.

gDGvinM.png

The craft after Jeb tried too hard to skim the ground on take-off and found a ridge the hard way ... and Jeb still made it back home somehow!

LEqJn4p.png

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On 8/12/2017 at 11:23 AM, eloquentJane said:

@Hotaru was that a nuclear lightbulb engine on that lander? It's a good job KSP doesn't model radiation, or your kerbals definitely wouldn't've been so lucky.

Yep, they make great lander engines if you aren't bothered about irradiating the landing site. Almost as good as those new nuclear aerospikes from NFT.

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4 minutes ago, Hotaru said:

Almost as good as those new nuclear aerospikes from NFT.

You use those for landing? They're designed for launch vehicles. Are you trying to land whole cities at once?

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2 minutes ago, eloquentJane said:

You use those for landing? They're designed for launch vehicles. Are you trying to land whole cities at once?

No, I haven't used them at all yet. But I do like large landing craft...

 

PS. On the topic of both large landing craft and the actual topic:

m7TjGDR.jpg?1

The close call here was that not only did no kerbals die (it was a pretty low-speed crash), but that station the ship is about to crash into was completely undamaged (although it was knocked out of position a bit.)

Edited by Hotaru

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It was a Duna trip I believe. Spent too much dV on the way down in the lander. I knew it wasn't possible to return to the mothership with everything as it was. I planned for the unexpected though, and had a fully stocked KIS/KAS locker to work with. Inspired by a certain book, I went to work stripping down the lander to its essentials. Landing legs? Off. Science crap? Off. The launch window comes and I blast off. I spend my last drop of fuel and check the trajectory. Suborbital. Game over, right? Not yet. RCS comes online. Poof. RCS gone. Jeb leaps out the hatch and starts RCS burning. It's close as hell but I get a stable orbit. To be safe, Jeb sits tight and the mothership comes to him. The dV I spent doing that would cost me big later. For now, Jeb goes into cryo sleep. Years later, when the return window finally arrives, the ship begins its departure burn as scheduled. We sail out of the Duna SOI. In interplanetary space, the ship ignites the engines one last time for the return burn. Poof. Not even close! Not again... It's ok, I've planned for this too. The command and life support modules detach from the massive mothership and RCS comes online. Again, it's not enough. Game over, right? Never! I've been in this position before, and there is a way to get back with a little luck. Jeb thaws. You can actually get out of the command module and PUSH with your RCS pack! So Jeb gets out and starts pushing. I'm getting closer, closer, SOOO close...when....poof. EVA RCS gone. I watch in horror as Jeb floats away into pitch black interplanetary space, to die alone with zero chance of recovery. As I'm desperately searching for something I could possibly do, I notice the drill still in Jeb's inventory. I get a crazy idea, an impossible idea...but just maybe. I reload the game to when I detached the command and life support modules, and burn most of the RCS again with Jeb still frozen. I'm headed for Kerbins SOI, but I'm not even close to a direct intercept. I let the ship sail all the way until I'm in Kerbins SOI. As far out as life support allowed, Jeb thaws and EVAs, drill in hand. I detach the heat shield from the command module. Using KAS connector ports, I attach myself to the back of it, and start burning. Pe drops below 70, with fuel to spare. And thus Jeb became the first Kerbal to survive an EVA reentry. One of my greatest regrets in life is that I didn't record this...it was just a casual Duna mission and wasn't supposed to be worthy of recording.

Edited by Zapo147
unthaw isnt a word

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I was farming Funds through Mun and Minmus orbit and flyby space tourism contracts. Eventually i decided to try and make a slightly bigger ship. I strapped stuff that made sense and hit the Launch button. Horrible ship design, carelessness, and a rough launch left me with 750 units of LF and its equivalent OX with a 20 ton spacecraft in LKO. I thought, "eh, screw it" and went ahead on my mission. First part was the Minmus orbit insertion. Nothing wrong there. After exiting Minmus orbit, I plot a flyby to the Mun. Only when I got close did I realize that my stupid self just set a collision course for the Mun. I had to do a course correction burn and entered an orbit that is milliseconds of prograde burn away from exiting Mun SOI. After doing the prograde burn, I see that I was at 100 units of LF left, not enough to deorbit back home. As i messed around with the maneuver nodes, I realized I can flyby the Mun again to decelerate. I tried one flyby and it wasn't enough. I tried it again, making two full flybys to decelerate to 2,500km apoapsis. As i ran out of fuel in deorbiting, the periapsis was at 46km, so i decided to decouple the service module early, giving me a 1km kick. As I reentered, I realize that there weren't enough parachutes, and I was coming in to land at 13 m/s. Fortunately, the heat shield took the impact, and all seven passengers made it home alive. I earned about 700 000 Funds after the sweet, sweet recovery button.  By the way, I didn't opt for a rescue mission because I am still puzzled by this fascinating subject called Orbital Rendezvous.

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OK, my best, and funniest, was by far the Flight of the Valkyrie!!!  lmao!!!

OK, quick backstory. I did this a few months ago for one of the weekly challenges, the "Destroy the KSC" challenge. It took me a couple days to get everything right, but I used an airship to decimate the runway, LP and Tracking station from the air, then landed and unloaded a little tank rover to take out all the rest...

Now... the only building left standing is the VAB, and my plan is to do a suicide run straight into it at top speed with the airship to take it down... :0.0:

yeah... that was the plan...  :rolleyes:

Instead, this happened:

 

I couldn't do that again in a million years... roflmao... :cool:

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1 hour ago, Just Jim said:

OK, my best, and funniest, was by far the Flight of the Valkyrie!!!  lmao!!!

OK, quick backstory. I did this a few months ago for one of the weekly challenges, the "Destroy the KSC" challenge. It took me a couple days to get everything right, but I used an airship to decimate the runway, LP and Tracking station from the air, then landed and unloaded a little tank rover to take out all the rest...

Now... the only building left standing is the VAB, and my plan is to do a suicide run straight into it at top speed with the airship to take it down... :0.0:

yeah... that was the plan...  :rolleyes:

Instead, this happened:

 

I couldn't do that again in a million years... roflmao... :cool:

Hehe, that is pretty good!

Not actually sure about my closest call in KSP.....I'll have to think about it.

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On 8/14/2017 at 2:19 AM, AeroGav said:

Caught on camera...

What do you think the Euro-NCAP rating of this spaceplane should be?

This has got to be the most kerbal video I've ever seen. It's a spaceplane where everything explodes, and yet the kerbal somehow survives. That describes like 70% or more of ksp

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Oh hey, thread bump.

The two that I remember were a Mun mission where, on the return leg, I had to get out and push (with a jetpack) in order to get the periapsis within Kerbin's atmosphere.  Just a little short...

Then there was the time when my Duna mission arrived in orbit, and while checking through the various ships, I was startled to find that the outbound burn(s) had nearly emptied the tanks of one; out of a full orange Jumbo, only 15 units of fuel (and 18 of oxidixer) were left.  Fortunately, that was the one that was going to be broken up for parts anyway; the hab, lab, rover and lander would all be going down to the surface, either under their own power or by skycrane.

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I've landed a few Kerbals without any ship whatsoever...one from LKO and one from Minimus.

This was pre-parachute.

First time,  I had a separate re-entry vehicle I was using...after my de-orbit burn, I jettisoned the landing pod only to realize Adnand Kerman, my pilot, was still at the controls of the main vessel, which was about to burn up. Tried to EVA him over, but bounced off the hatch. This was before EVA fuel was limited, so I was able to use that to slow down enough not to cook in his suit, then miraculously impacted on a very long smooth slope. Walked away with minor contusions.

Awhile after that, Adnad was screwing around on Minimus, knocked over his ship and broke it. Having survived one re-entry, he just took a big leap and EVA'd back...and survived the second re-entry as well.

In more recent history, Valentina fell out of a spaceplane on re-entry and hit the ocean. She also used EVA jets to slow her descent...that was after fuel was thing for those, but she was at sub-orbital speeds to start with.

-Jn-

Edited by JoeNapalm

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22 hours ago, JoeNapalm said:

In more recent history, Valentina fell out of a spaceplane on re-entry and hit the ocean. She also used EVA jets to slow her descent...that was after fuel was thing for those, but she was at sub-orbital speeds to start with

How do you fall out of a plane?

On a similar note, I had a new space plane that I wasn't paying any attention to during re-entry (watching netflix and flying, definitely a safety hazard). I retro burned too long and then forgot to nose up. About 18km up and going over mach 7, the right wing burnt off. During the resulting tumbling the left wing removed itself. I was able to stabilize by opening the cargo bay but I was never going to be able to land. Valentina and crew bailed out. Parachutes are an excellent addition to the game.

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6 minutes ago, AngrybobH said:

How do you fall out of a plane?

Per KSC General Counsel, I cannot comment on any matter that is currently pending litigation.

-Jn-

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In my early attempts at building a spaceplane, I put wings on my 2.5 meter service module. I could glide the thing to the space center, but when it was time to land the thing was going 200 m/s and the nose (a 3-person capsule, since this was just a modified CSM) was really heavy. I was about to crash land, but my abort system for launch failures featured about twenty-four sepatrons at the base of the capsule, so I hit backspace and pitched up as hard as I could. The service module with wings crashed into the runway, and I made a safe parachute landing off to the side.

Later on, I was trying to build a big Duna SSTO on a laptop that, among other things, featured a bizarre keyboard problem (probably with the board) where some keys would be shifted within their rows. For example, function is spacebar, spacebar is left arrow, 1 is 4, 4 is 7, etc. Suffice it to say this laptop was not up to the task, but neither was this SSTO, which I had taken on atmospheric test flights and never once landed successfully. I came around to land, poised my fingers on the spacebar to deploy the drogue parachutes, and began my flare, immediately after which, I panicked at the sight of the space center flashing by at 175 m/s and lowered the nose. In super-slow motion, I watched the nose gear thud into the runway, and soon my screen was filled with smoke. Five seconds later, I got another frame, and noticed the runway was destroyed. After fifteen seconds and three more frames, though, I noticed something:

The SSTO was still rolling.

It reached the next runway segment and destroyed it, too, which was probably good because the nose wheel dug into a crater and the whole thing stopped very quickly. The smoke cleared and the SSTO sat tilted on the destoyed runway... but it was alive.

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Most recently (2 days ago) while trying to visit a Mun arch, got distracted until about two seconds before impact, managed to burn just enough for the gear, engines, & 2 fuel tanks to absorb the impact, leaving a pod, reaction wheel & 1 solar panel intact.

96XrkLU.png?2

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14 hours ago, Cavscout74 said:

Most recently (2 days ago) while trying to visit a Mun arch, got distracted until about two seconds before impact, managed to burn just enough for the gear, engines, & 2 fuel tanks to absorb the impact, leaving a pod, reaction wheel & 1 solar panel intact.

96XrkLU.png?2

Or, as Jeb calls it :

 

"A perfect landing."

 

 

-Jn-

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A few years back when it was announced that docking ports were coming to the game, I decided to get a head start on practicing orbital rendezvous (before maneuver nodes mind). Since ships couldn't actually dock yet, the plan was to get two craft right next to each other and do a crew exchange.

To complete this mission, I launched two very different craft. The first was an unmodified, 3 person, Munar Lander. This craft launched first with the objective of achieving a perfectly circular 100km orbit around Kerbin, well within its capabilities. Because it was a purpose built Munar Lander, it did not feature an RCS system. That will be very important in a moment.

The second craft launched was a small on man craft built for this mission, and was to perform the actual rendezvous. Naturally, it featured a fairly beefy RCS system. Like the Munar Lander, it was designed to jettison the entire engine assembly for landing. Again, this will be important.

 

The first launch went off without a hitch. The craft made it to orbit without issue, and easily put itself in a near perfect orbit 100km above the equator.

The second launch too was uneventful. The launch was reasonably well timed, with the second craft inserting less than a quarter orbit behind the larger lander it was to meet at 90km to catch up. Thing proceeded according to plan from there. The small craft quickly closed the gap on the larger, and at the appropriate time burned to establish orbit at 100km. I briefly switched to the larger craft as I was waiting reach Ap for my circularization burn to make sure it was ready, and quickly switched back to the small craft, hit space to start the circularization burn, and watched helplessly as the engines I had just jettisoned floated away.

This was a problem. There was no way a rescue craft was going to be able to match an eccentric orbit of 90-100km, and the craft had no way to get itself back into the atmosphere. The fully crewed Munar lander floating 2km away was the only help the pilot was going to get. Judging the 2km between craft in unsynchronized orbits to be highly risky for an EVA, the crew of the Lander decided that their craft would have to make the rendezvous itself. In a ~15 tonne lander without an RCS system. Without lateral thrust to provide course corrections, and a limited rotational speed, it took several attempts before the lander was able to get itself within 500m and reasonably stationary, and a quick check of the orbits confirmed this wouldn't last very long.

The stranded pilot, who I'm pretty sure was Jeb, quickly went on EVA and flew over to the lander that was to rescue him, grabbing onto the ladder running the length of one side.

 

This presented a new problem. The Lander was not equipped to support a fourth Kerbal, and establishing a circular orbit to wait for rescue could put everyone in danger. Or at least make them uncomfortable. A daring plan was put into action instead.

The lander was basically a 3 man pod ontop of a standard fuel tank, to which the lander gear was attached. There was a parachute on the lander nose and a decoupler between the command pod and fuel tank. Attached radially to the fuel tank were 4 smaller diameter fuel tanks, providing some extra fuel, and mounting points for the 4 LV-N engines that propelled the lander. Each of these engine pods was topped with a chute. Two had drogue chutes, and two had parachutes. Usual landing procedure was to cut the engine chutes and jettison the entire engine assembly prior to landing. This was going to be interesting.

The burn was made to bring the craft out of orbit; gently, to keep Jeb from sliding off the craft, and on a shallow trajectory. The landing gear was deployed and the engines used as much as possible to keep the speeds down, though decelaration had to be carefully managed so that Jeb didn't slide off the craft (I set the engines to a low burn and took control of Jeb through this part, and had him climb the ladder whenever he slid down too much). Once that was done, the drogue chutes were deployed very high up to stabalize the craft, and again, and the engines were pushed closer to full power to scrub speed (again, I would have to periodically take control of Jeb and move him back up the ladder). Parachutes were deployed one at a time at high altitude to minimize the chance Jeb would get ripped off the craft.

Against all odds, all the chutes managed to deploy and open with Jeb still hanging on for dear life. The ship was coming in over water to help cushion the blow, and facilitate the crux of the plan. Jeb's chances of surviving the actual landing if still attached to the ship were not good. The craft simply didn't have enough parachutes and thrust to assure a safe impact speed. It could be done in theory, but had never been tested from orbit before. Instead, the crew killed the engines at 100m, and I took control of Jeb and had him jump off around 20m from the water, narrowly avoiding being hit by the lander which splashed down a moment later and promptly broke into several pieces.

 

 

Another short story of a very close call. I am prone to underestimating the gravity on the Mun when I haven't landed there in a while. One such time when I was landing there for the first time in a while, I inadvertently left the deceleration burn quite late. As I watched the speed and altitude indicators, I started to get pretty worried that I hadn't started the burn early enough, and switched from burning retrograde to a strait radial burn. Turns out it was the right call. By the time it started to gain altitude it was so low it was barely able to clear hill it was screaming towards with a lateral speed north of 250 m/s. I figure that if I had more than a couple seconds slower switching to a radial burn, that ship would have been a pancake.

Edited by Randox

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Well, there were no Kerbal lives at stake, but I just had what is probably the closest shave that I've ever unknowingly experienced in KSP.  I sent a mining probe to Minmus.  To get some extra fuel, I had filled the ore tanks before launching and refined it en route.  I landed with the green fuel bar at about 5%, no problem.  But when I looked at the fuel tanks I had about 5 units left of oxidizer.  Turns out I didn't refine the fuel types equally. 

(The reason I almost ran out of fuel was that I was also transporting a pod of klaw probes on top of the miner, that I was burning for some extra engine power.  Only it turns out that my solar panels were blocking the thrust so I was just wasting fuel until I noticed it on the Minmus deorbit burn.  I had been burning them since before Kerbin circularization.) 

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