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Pthigrivi

Ideal Local Mining Operation?

What bear is best?  

27 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you usually configure your KSOI mining operations?

    • Processing on the surface of Minmus
      17
    • Processing in orbit above Minmus
      4
    • Asteroid mining or some other madness
      6


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On 11/18/2018 at 2:26 PM, Sharpy said:

I did more of that than reasonable.

Two fundamental factors to consider. 1. How much work is it to get a tank of fuel into LKO (where it's needed). 2. How much of that fuel will be left once you finish.

Orbital processing is right out. Hauling ore into orbit is a terrible chore, and then you still need to bring the fuel *somewhere*.

A surface installation with a good tanker is doable... but you end up with relatively little extra in LKO if you need to return the tanker to Minmus.

A good asteroid mining tug is the cash. Don't bother with class A-C. Only class E, or mod the game for even bigger. A good class G asteroid in LKO is superb.

The two alternatives are hauling the ISRU with your mission, refueling on the surface of wherever you land (and possibly leaving the ISRU behind), and Extraplanetary Launchpads; a base somewhere - Minmus, Gilly, Bop? - and just building ships there.

Let me just say if the refueling job requires more than one round-trip with the fuel, ore or whatever, you'll get thoroughly sick of it fast. While "on paper", taking different solutions, you may find some more or less optimal, don't underestimate the value of your own time and patience. I made some wondrous refueling solutions. By the time I finished them I was too sick of them to ever want to use them.

Has two types of carriers, pure fuel and fuel + ore or other resources.  
PNuNZjJl.png
Fuel in back, ore in middle, passenger ship in front. 
You could obviously make the ships higher carry 6 MK3 tanks. 

Benefit of ore is that you can adjust your needs, currently has too much oxidizer in LEO, don't use much, cost of getting to LKO from minus surface is not much. 
Tend to do heavy refueling in Minmus orbit anyway, you can dock an ore carrier to an base with irsu and let it make fuel

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How about a combination tanker/tug?

On occasion I have put a lot of engine on an ore tanker with a converter, and then used that for a big chunk of the escape burn, leaving the ship in transit with mostly full tanks.

A lot less time-sensitive than gravity-assists, although a fair bit of over-kill for the Kerbin system unless you are heading to Jool or Eeloo(in which case it is only moderately over-kill).

 

Can be tricky making sure you have enough fuel left for it to get back to Minimus however...

Edited by Terwin

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I think it really depends on your objective for the mining operation. I don't think it matters where you have your ISRU from an efficiency standpoint.

I'm playing a career game that through contracts has had me build bases and stations. I play my game to reuse as much as possible, so stations serve as fuel depots for science and tourism landers. The stations need periodic refueling. In early career this meant boosting fuel from Kerbin, but once contracts had me start drilling at the Mun and Minmus I added an ISRU. At the Mun it's on the surface to use with a probe controlled tanker to refuel the Mun station and LKO station.

Minmus is a little different in that I have a LF only asteroid interceptor based at the orbiting station in addition to science and tourism landers. To deal changing fuel mix needs, the ISRU is on the station in orbit and I use an probe controlled ore shuttle. I limit my use of timewarp to nothing longer than the transfer from LKO to Mun orbit in one shot, so it might take days of game play for transfers between Minmus and Kerbin which make the Mun more convenient for me to support Kerbin orbit operations than using Minmus. So, I didn't have a need for a fuel tanker at Minmus. 

The only case I can see for and all-in-one drill/ISRU/tanker is where you don't want to set up a permanent base. Otherwise it makes no sense to haul the dead-weight to support mining and refining with your fuel tanker. I feel the same way about having the transports being manned. The added weight for a command pod and life-support (if you use it) isn't worth it and I don't mind leaving a ship for weeks at a time getting filled if it's just a probe. 

My feelings about the all-in-one extend to asteroid mining. Besides being further away from the stations I need them to support, it would be adding a mining complex at a location that will eventually be depleted which I don't have to worry about on surface installations.

Just recently I set up a second ISRU on Minmus surface with additional fuel storage that I plan to use for fueling interplanetary manned missions. I'm not sure that I have enough fuel storage at my orbital station and it's been Kraken bait when I try to expand it, so a big tanker will rendezvous from the surface when needed. This base started with the twin drills and some small storage tanks on the the rover to satisfy a contract. Over time more drills and  bigger ore tanks were added and a small ISRU (for fertilizer) and finally I went big with the drilling rig, ISRU and storage tanks for fuel. 

UsYG6WM.jpg

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I play with KAS and EPL, so building surface outposts is a lot easier.  That being said, my most recent mothership was designed to be able to land itself on a minmus sized world, and refuel there with no support equipment.  

UKvLTjt.png

There is the mothership launching from my minimus base.

The line of tugs that I am working on right now for my Duna and Dres missions will have an accessory craft that can land them on any mun sized object and refuel there.  

 

In the kerbin system I have a minmus station and surface base that can refuel visiting craft.  The ease of getting ore off minmus compared to the mun made it the logical choice for me.

 

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12 hours ago, magnemoe said:

Has two types of carriers, pure fuel and fuel + ore or other resources.  
PNuNZjJl.png
 

e6XHJBv.png

By the time I finished building it, I was so sick of it I never used it to refuel anything.

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On 11/18/2018 at 5:46 PM, I_Killed_Jeb said:

My general solution now is a klaw-equipped rover with all of the mining equipment waiting on a light moon. The craft lands, and the rover meets it to refuel. Simplest solution I could find.

Within Kerbin SOI I don't do miner refuels except for rescue purposes, I find it much less time-consuming to just launch up a boat of fuel from KSC.

Example -

 

p3CK3WV.jpg 

 

 

Edited by I_Killed_Jeb
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51 minutes ago, I_Killed_Jeb said:

My general solution now is a klaw-equipped rover with all of the mining equipment waiting on a light moon.

 

p3CK3WV.jpg 

 

 

That, sir, is neither light nor a moon.

Edited by 5thHorseman
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20 hours ago, 5thHorseman said:

That, sir, is neither light nor a moon.

Hahaha touche my good sir, it's my one exception that proves the rule! Eve's too crazy, needs bespoke solutions!

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6 minutes ago, I_Killed_Jeb said:

Hahaha touche my good sir, it's my one exception that proves the rule! Eve's too crazy, needs bespoke solutions!

I have this mental thing against the claw attaching itself to anything but an asteroid,... like isn't that thing puncturing my hull in all kinds of ways I don't want? At the same time launching little green men from the solitary planetary construction of their race on a planetoid that defies rational physics is completely fine with me. Some excuse about internal logic.

Edited by Pthigrivi

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3 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

I have this mental thing against the claw attaching itself to anything but an asteroid,... like isn't that thing puncturing my hull in all kinds of ways I don't want? At the same time launching little green men from the solitary planetary construction of their race on a planetoid that defies rational physics is completely fine with me. Some excuse about internal logic.

Headcanon is the only canon! I might abandon the claw anyway and bite the bullet on KIS/KAS, it seems it's a little more picky about surface orientations than I recall from the past...

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