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Celthon

Assemble and/or swap parts in space (or elsewhere) after craft launched?

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As my Kerbals gain XP/levels and/or I upgrade the facilities of the Space Station on Kerbin, will I be able to change out parts on craft or assemblies, or add additional parts, after they have been launched...for example could I go to a satellite and add more solar panels, different battery or antenna, etc.?

If I cannot 'upgrade' something, such as a satellite, is it possible to bring it back to recover some of the cost...but if it was not designed originally for re-entry don't know how it could be 'recovered'.

Sorry if this is basic stuff covered somewhere, but I'd not seen it...have had the game only 9-days and so much to learn about the game mechanics.  I'm playing Career Mode, on desktop PC, without mods or add-ons.

Thank you for your time and assistance.

Edited by Celthon

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Upgrade is possible in a way, 

If you build the satellite with a docking port, or in multiple section docked together then you can upgrade it by adding new sections. 

 

Recovery is also possible, either by building a  shuttle, or another craft with a heat shield to dock with the craft, or snare it with the claw, 

and then bring it back. 

 

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Might I introduce you to the glory that is Kerbal Inventory System? You can remove and/or install parts in the field with your engineers and a tool that comes with the pack. I have had it as a part of my installs for several years now, and honestly can't imagine KSP without that functionality.

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Great question as I was wondering about this also. How do engineers fix things like broken solar panels?

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Just now, Dan Kerman said:

Great question as I was wondering about this also. How do engineers fix things like broken solar panels?

They can't fix solar panels.

AFAIK they can only fix broken wheels and re-pack parachutes.

In order to swap parts, you will need KIS/KAS.

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Hmmm..  they don't sound very useful. <shrug>

 

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As @MaverickSawyer said, your need Kerbal Attachment and Kerbal Inventory System. You can go so far as to assemble entire rockets on other planets or in space, you just have to keeps things a bit simpler than what you can do in the VAB/SPH; part clipping is almost impossible to do and you don't get any symmetry assistance. But for replacing or adding parts (great for when you forget a ladder!) it's a great mod.

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Moving to Gameplay Questions.

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The stock way to modify a craft after it's been launched is with the Klaw (Advanced Grabbing Unit). If you need to add more electrical generation, you fly up a new ship with more panels, and dock it to the existing ship with a Klaw.

 

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