Rock5

My solution to an unfortunate oversite

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So here's the story. I'm at a point where missions and debris has been building up around Kerbin. When I've been doing Kerbin orbit cleanup, I've been sending up a tug on a rocket and then deorbiting with the target. This was taking too long so I decided to take a shuttle plane with multiple tugs. I redesigned the tugs so they fit in 1 cargo bay and put 3 cargo bays and 3 tugs on my shuttle.

All was going well. First target I encountered was poor stranded Sierigh. Next was an upper stage rocket I failed to deorbit. Then, as I was getting to my third target, quite pleased with myself I might add, I realize I had no crew. I could have swore I added a pilot and tourist at one point. Grrr.... I immediately realized that I've been using the tugs to control the plane. If I decouple the last tug the plane will be stranded and I'll have to add it to the list of orbiting junk I need to collect.

First I had the idea to try and carry whatever the target is in my cargo hold but when I finally saw what it was, I realized it wasn't going to fit ... or is it?

This was my solution. I was amazed I was able to pull if off. Definitely the most skilled docking I've done to date. Just to be clear here, I never undocked the tug. This was all done while still connected to the plane.

 

 

uYhoKWI.jpg

More pictures here. https://imgur.com/a/sgB5h

 

 

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Two things:

1) A very Kerbal picture there. 

2) You decide to call it a plane,and not a boat.  I thought planes had wings?  :)

Edited by Gargamel
to two too

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4 hours ago, Gargamel said:

2) You decide to call it a plane,and not a boat.  I thought planes had wings?  :)

Well... it does have Tail Fins, so it can be flown. And of course the whole body is like a wing. In this case I was just gliding it in.

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"Kerbal Space Program announces new re-usable Solid Rocket Boosters!"

or

"Magnus Effect solar sails for fun and profit!"

Nice pic!

In the past I have used a probe with a claw and a decent amount of fuel ( both rocket and mono prop ) to grab things and slow them down, then release them and go after something else.

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I did that at first but, when I started needing to save Kerbals and retrieve parts for contracts, I had to change my methods. Plus I like the idea of salvaging parts instead of just burning them up.

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1 hour ago, Rock5 said:

I did that at first but, when I started needing to save Kerbals and retrieve parts for contracts, I had to change my methods. Plus I like the idea of salvaging parts instead of just burning them up.

My answer to these missions is usually to make use of KIS and install a parachute, a small inline SRM (5-gallon bucket of boom? :cool: ), a probe core, battery, and a small reaction wheel. Quick, cheap, compact and effective. I'll only go to the trouble of removing something from orbit with a cargo bay if it's expensive and prone to spontaneously combusting upon reentry.

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37 minutes ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

Not to be a spoil sport, but the "delete object" button in the tracking station works fairly well, lol.

Some people like to roleplay. However, kis or KAS mods do include explosives to destroy parts remotely. Iirc

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Just now, sardia said:

Some people like to roleplay. However, kis or KAS mods do include explosives to destroy parts remotely. Iirc

Hey, I like to roleplay!

I just haven't been able to get Jeb to put on the saucy french maid outfit I bought him yet. :wink:

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2 hours ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

Hey, I like to roleplay!

I just haven't been able to get Jeb to put on the saucy french maid outfit I bought him yet. :wink:

You need to get him to drink more liquid fuel... That's how I managed it. :D

Back on topic...  I don't use the 'delete' option for debris either (unless it's on the ground) for my main sandbox save, but just de-orbit rather than recover.

Edited by pandaman

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I deleted the first pod after my first rescue and then decided that was a mistake. I haven't deleted any since. The only thing I delete are stray decouplers. No chance in hell I'm going to go on a mission to clean up decouplers.

My first choice is recovery. I've designed few missions, especially around Kerbin, where the first stage nearly gets me to orbit. After a short burn to get my second stage in orbit, I switch to the first stage and follow it down as it deploys it's parachutes and lands safely. Then I switch back and continue. Usually I return the second stage after the mission is complete.

If I can't recover, then burning up in the atmosphere is acceptable.

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Personally I make sure first stage debris never makes orbit and all other stage are going elsewhere... occasionally this isn't possible so I have a designated "dirty orbit" where such debris piles up without me having to worry about it hitting anything important :)

I also like the simplicity of your design there and the fact you didn't just abandon that particular mission (or send up a crew)... I've never built a ship for sea landings... might give it a go!

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I terminate debris, with a twinge of regret. I wouldn't if it didn't aggravate the stuttering issue. Cleaning it up properly would be an excellent late-game project.

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You don't actually have to de-orbit your tug/boat/plane for each piece though. 

It takes less about 50Dv to drop something from a 100km orbit deep into the atmosphere.

  • Attach your recovery tug to the debris
  • burn retrograde to drop the PE into the atmosphere
  • release the debris
  • flip the tug around and burn to raise back up into an orbit.

You can do this over and over with the same tug as long as your fuel lasts.

Note that KSP only deletes if the PE is below 25Km, but any PE within the atmosphere would, in reality, cause the object to de-orbit, it just might take a few orbits. So, you're well within roleplay to drop the PE anywhere below 70Km and then delete it from the tracking station. You've successfully completed the de-orbit, it's just a quirk of KSP that leaves it in an untenable orbit.

 

Edited by Tyko

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Ah, you missed a previous post. I said I used to do that but had to change my methods when I had to recover the debris or rescue kerbonauts.

Actually the last mission, in which I recovered the first stage, I didn't go to it immediately because I remembered that it wont degrade until I follow it down. So I continued my mission then went back to the first stage later, even waiting for the best orbit to have it drop as close to KSC as possible.

I haven't done this yet but, theoretically, you could have multiple recoverable stages and just ignore them until the end of the mission. As long as they are in degrading orbits over 25k they'll wait for you.

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