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I know that sometimes space stations fall out of orbit and crash onto Kerbin. But, has anybody tried to do that INTENTIONALLY? And even then, how much money can you get from debris recovery?

 

Here's the story. I was preparing an interplanetary spacecraft (named the U.S.S. Enterprise) for assembly in orbit. Hours after I launched my first idea, I figured out a way to put in a station with more fuel tanks (and docking ports) attached to it. Since the first variant was very expensive and is currently unmanned (has a standard-issue probe core and MechJeb), I thought about cutting my losses and crashing it into the ocean so that I can collect debris money and have only one Enterprise ready. How profitable is that strategy?

 - also, has anyone tried rendezvousing two space stations (in my case, the two Enterprises) together and docking them? I'm considering transferring most of my fuel from the first ship to the second one before crashing it.

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4 minutes ago, Mars-Bound Hokie said:

I know that sometimes space stations fall out of orbit and crash onto Kerbin. But, has anybody tried to do that INTENTIONALLY? And even then, how much money can you get from debris recovery?

 

Here's the story. I was preparing an interplanetary spacecraft (named the U.S.S. Enterprise) for assembly in orbit. Hours after I launched my first idea, I figured out a way to put in a station with more fuel tanks (and docking ports) attached to it. Since the first variant was very expensive and is currently unmanned (has a standard-issue probe core and MechJeb), I thought about cutting my losses and crashing it into the ocean so that I can collect debris money and have only one Enterprise ready. How profitable is that strategy?

 - also, has anyone tried rendezvousing two space stations (in my case, the two Enterprises) together and docking them? I'm considering transferring most of my fuel from the first ship to the second one before crashing it.

I crash my space stations sometimes just for fun

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It's really hard to even guess at all of this without seeing the ships, but...

4 minutes ago, Mars-Bound Hokie said:

I know that sometimes space stations fall out of orbit and crash onto Kerbin

Well, as long as their orbits are above 70km x 70km, that won't happen.

5 minutes ago, Mars-Bound Hokie said:

But, has anybody tried to do that INTENTIONALLY? And even then, how much money can you get from debris recovery?

Sure, I bet people de-orbit stations all the time.  As far as recovery, it depends.  Depends on how much of the station remains intact on re-rentry, and how close you "land" it to the KSC.  Distance from the KSC affects recovery money.

6 minutes ago, Mars-Bound Hokie said:

 - also, has anyone tried rendezvousing two space stations (in my case, the two Enterprises) together and docking them? I'm considering transferring most of my fuel from the first ship to the second one before crashing it.

If your ships have open docking ports, then sure.  Wouldn't be any different than rendezvousing and docking anything else.

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16 minutes ago, Geonovast said:

If your ships have open docking ports, then sure.  Wouldn't be any different than rendezvousing and docking anything else.

I'm also concerned that the stations' size and docking port placement may harm the Enterprise-B (the ship I'm keeping) - I've already sentenced Enterprise-A (the first variant) to death, so unless it affects fuel transfer I'm not worried about some light/panel dings on A. One idea I had is to send A in close proximity to B, then launching a "fueling pod" to transfer fuel between ships.

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Well, that idea didn't work. I crashed Enterprise-A - now completely drained of fuel and monopropellant - in the water about 100 km from the space center and I got nothing even though the ship was more or less intact right before splashdown. Any ideas why?

 

Also, the middle section of (both variants of) the Enterprise seems to wobble when I make it turn. I put reinforced girders in the middle section to try and reduce it, but that means I won't be able to do that if I dock any other sections to the ship? Any ideas on how to fix this problem, or if I should even replace the Enterprise in the first place? Since space stations apparently aren't insured, I would leave Enterprise-B in orbit as a gas station while I took Enterprise-C (the third variant) to Eve.

 - So far, it hasn't broken even during re-entry. Should I be concerned at this point, or just relax?

Edited by Mars-Bound Hokie
Forgotten detail

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When I deorbited my first station, even after reentry and lithobraking most of it was still intact. Of course solar panels went poof, and some parts sensitive to high temperatures as well, but... I still have no idea how, but I think I had a picture somewhere

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3 hours ago, Mars-Bound Hokie said:

 I got nothing even though the ship was more or less intact right before splashdown.

The car had not a single scratch right before it hit the wall. Why won't you give me a complete refund?

 

If it broke up into several pieces you probably have to collect them one by one in the tracking station.

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1 hour ago, THEdragon said:

I certainly hope you all evacuated your kerbals out of your stations before de-orbiting them.

Oh shoot.:o

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12 hours ago, Mars-Bound Hokie said:

in the water about 100 km from the space center and I got nothing even though the ship was more or less intact right before splashdown. Any ideas why?

Nothing?  Or very little?   There's a big difference.  One's a bug, the other is a game mechanic we'll need to explain. 

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1 minute ago, Gargamel said:

Nothing?  Or very little?   There's a big difference.  One's a bug, the other is a game mechanic we'll need to explain. 

"Right before splashdown"

It probably either disintegrated on impact, or broke into a ton of pieces that need to be recovered individually.

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1 minute ago, Geonovast said:

"Right before splashdown"

It probably either disintegrated on impact, or broke into a ton of pieces that need to be recovered individually.

Regardless of the number of parts remaining, or the distance from KSC, you should recover some funds.  So if it's truly nothing, then there's a bug.  But if it was only pennies, then we need to educate the OP on how the recovery mechanic works. 

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If you had crashed it on land you might get something back, but splashdowns without any braking beforehand tend to destroy every part, as they get destroyed on impact without having any change in velocity applied to them or parts behind them. So the first part hits the water, "disappears" without slowing down the part behind it, which does the same on impact and so on until the entire thing is gone. At least that's my personal findings from crashes vs splashes. If you want to get some pocket change back, aim near the mountains west of KSC, impacting land seems to impart motion before destruction which can lower impact velocity of following parts and allow some to survive.

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5 hours ago, dire said:

Awesome video @MR L A Thoroughly enjoyed watching it.

Don't thank me, thank SWDennis for making it :) I'm just happy to share it on his behalf 

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