Krow

How much of your staged rockets do you recover?

Recommended Posts

So it definitely feels like I'm in the outlier here. Dunno why but expendable stages always seemed wasteful to me, even though it doesn't really cost anything in real value.

 

I really should learn to build an SSTO. Seems like the logical next step.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I play hard career I often recover bits and pieces. It's not hugely important but finances can be tight sometimes (particularly if you get RUDs) and stage recovery is a secondary income stream.

Twin-Boar SSTOs are very cost-effective even as disposable rockets, highly unlikey to RUD (no stages = no staging mishaps) and very easy to recover on the surface. I basically use a SpaceX approach, where you make low-cost rockets and try to recover them but if you don't it's not a huge deal because the rocket was still the cheapest on the market, I find that much more logical than making high-cost rockets and rely on recovering them to be economical. The Twin-Boar is definitely the champion both for low-cost rocketry (it has the cheapest thrust of any liquid engine) and easy recoverability. For example, in comparison, the Mammoth is almost twice as expensive per unit of thrust and its prone to burning off during reentry, so you have much higher costs if there is a RUD and there are more scenarios which result in a RUD. To recover a Twin-Boar you can literally just add 2 radial parachutes (set spread to 10) and drop it in the atmosphere near the KSC with the chutes pre-deployed and follow it down. Probe core optional.

Sometimes I use the Stage Recovery mod. Unfortunately, it's not sophisticated enough to recognize that a Twin-Boar booster is much more robust, if you want to use it for orbital recovery you need to add some random heat shield (it even needs ablator, unlike when you accompany a stage down!) and lots of parachutes because it doesn't respect the fact some engines can land at 20m/s. I normally just use Stage Recovery for recovering first stages and side boosters. For example SRBs will be dropped off very close to the KSC so you get 97% or so recovery, it's sort of a pittance (probably the decoupler is more valuable than the empty SRB!) but its basically no effort to do and you get 97% of the parachute value back too. One nice thing about Stage Recovery is it can do powered landings, so if you're using liquid boosters you can add a probe core and a tiny amount of reserved fuel (like literally a couple of oscarB's for a Twin-Boar side booster) and a parachute, it's smart enough to use the parachute then use the fuel for the final touchdown. This gives maximum payoff for velocity and isn't very expensive.

Edited by blakemw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Falcon 9-like lifter than, when the total mass is <100t, can be fully recovered (except for the fairings) while being an SSTO. The second stage is the payload.

I could almost recover my lifter with it's maximum weight of ~104t, but it would lose SSTO capability, so I'd have to land it on the other side of Kerbin somewhere. I could probably just make a Falcon Heavy-like lifter out of it, though.

Edited by Delay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of my launches are the moment are with a quad Mainsail powered SSTO that can lift 45 tonnes to orbit.  I also use it to deorbit my crews by transferring a hitchhiker to it, meaning I'm not wasting money/payload on return capsules.

I consider it a very bad landing if I only recover 95% of the parts cost, it's not hard to land them within a few km of the KSC.  I agree this is a bit over powered compared to the real world though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that SSTO rockets are very useful, but recoverable stage rockets, like the Falcon-9, are better. I have FMRS, which allows me to jump back and forth between stages to recover them. Very useful mod. 

This means I can use staged recoverable rockets which I find can carry a much higher tonnage to orbit. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stage recovery takes extra time that I'd generally prefer spending on the fun parts of the mission, so cheap & disposable it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the expensive parts are in the final stage, so I will often build it to be recoverable. Core, power, reaction wheels, any science parts, and communications come back, while I allow fuel tanks, engines, and fins to fall to destruction. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been ages since I even launched a staged rocket... if you get interstellar with fusion reactors almost everything becomes an SSTO. But I have never recovered stages, unless they were powered by some expensive engine or still had lots of fuel in them

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I often recover large, expensive Mammoth boosters that make orbit by a combination of parachutes and engine power, splashing them down in the ocean off the coast of the KSC. It doesn't take many parachutes or much fuel.

Sometimes I'll add parachutes to strap-on boosters if they will be jettisoned at low enough altitude to land before I get out of physics range.

That's about it for reusability in career mode for me, unless you count crew capsules and a rocket plane that has expendable boosters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to make SSTO's that land and stuff. I should bring them back.

4Z2LyZE.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.