mcwaffles2003

No Xenon from ISRU

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Why is this a thing? I know, and I have, that I can just add a bit of code into the ISRU.cfg file but why isn't this a stock feature? Is there a reason for this I am unaware of?

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Mostly because it's not actually a thing in real life, at least not from the mining that's in stock.  We don't mine for Xenon on Earth - we distill it out of the air.  Stock KSP has no parts for that type of resource utilization.

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3 minutes ago, DStaal said:

Mostly because it's not actually a thing in real life, at least not from the mining that's in stock.  We don't mine for Xenon on Earth - we distill it out of the air.  Stock KSP has no parts for that type of resource utilization.

Fair enough but youd think there would be an ISRU for harvesting from atmospheres then though

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I think another reason - both for in-game and in real life - is that ion engines are not really suited for planetary landers. If a body has enough gravity to keep an atmosphere, then you cannot realistically launch with only ion engines. Distilling Xenon out of the soup that surrounds Eve should indeed be rather straight forward, but then what? You don't have enough TWR to get off the ground.

In-game I also didn't feel the need for mining Xenon: it is easy to bring enough Xenon for a couple of hours at full throttle. Mining even more Xenon would mean that I would have to wait even more hours while the craft slowly accelerates...

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9 minutes ago, AHHans said:

I think another reason - both for in-game and in real life - is that ion engines are not really suited for planetary landers. If a body has enough gravity to keep an atmosphere, then you cannot realistically launch with only ion engines. Distilling Xenon out of the soup that surrounds Eve should indeed be rather straight forward, but then what? You don't have enough TWR to get off the ground.

In-game I also didn't feel the need for mining Xenon: it is easy to bring enough Xenon for a couple of hours at full throttle. Mining even more Xenon would mean that I would have to wait even more hours while the craft slowly accelerates...

Well I built a large ship with ~30 dawn thrusters and several lander ships attached. The idea was send these lander ships out to collect ore, process it into xenon/refuel, then send them back to the mothership so they can resupply its xenon stores (I had well over 50 full xenon tanks and have run out).

QmUY43i.jpg

Edited by mcwaffles2003

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1 hour ago, mcwaffles2003 said:

Well I built a large ship with ~30 dawn thrusters and several lander ships attached. The idea was send these lander ships out to collect ore, process it into xenon/refuel, then send them back to the mothership so they can resupply its xenon stores (I had well over 50 full xenon tanks and have run out).

Oh, I didn't want to say that it is impossible to run out of Xenon, or anything like that. And having "infrastructure" (i.e. different craft that mine/collect the Xenon and other that actually use the Xenon) is certainly something that can be done in KSP and makes some sense. (Might even make more sense in real life - if we ever get that far to build serious infrastructure in orbit of other planets.)  I just wanted to give some possible reasons why SQUAD didn't implement in-situ Xenon mining.

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Interesting fact I ran across relative to xenon the other day (in conjunction with a dark matter detector): refrigerated xenon liquid is so dense that granite will float in it.

Its high atomic weight is responsible, which is also why it's used for ion engines -- still light enough to electrically accelerate to extreme speeds, but dense enough to produce usable levels of thrust (for values of "usable" that don't include making spilled milk hit the floor before you can grab a towel).

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The other reason Xenon IRSU isn't really a thing is primarly the fact that it's a Noble Gas, and a rare one at that......So the concentrations of Xenon in planetary atmospheres are pitiful (1 part per 11 million). It almost makes me ask the question if using a Nuclear Reactor and somehow tapping off the Xenon-135 and intentionally bombarding it with neutrons to convert it to Xenon-136 (Half life is something around 2.165 X 10^21 years, so basically stable); this also would make your reactor harder to poison (Which makes me think this is difficult/impossible because otherwise it'd likely be done commercially).

Though even the crazyness of intentionally poisoning a reactor to create and collect Xenon seems less of a challenge than seperating Xenon from an atmosphere; it's inert and basically not even there which makes chemically seperating it difficult (Nothing bonds with it so you have to filter everything else out, including other much more common Noble Gases like Argon and Krypton). Meaning your only "Real" option is cryogenic seperation; which requires entire industial parks and massive amounts of energy on earth. Perhaps you could use the Cryogenic LOX in some kind of heat exchanger on the ship to ingest and cool the surrounding air to it's liquid state, but even that would add an immense amount of mass for the needed radiators and loops. And it would result in the slow loss of your fuel (Though making Oxygen to liquify is muchhhhhhh easier than making Xenon).

All of this though is assuming you have the sheer energy to run the various equipment needed to do this; all of which is on top of your normal life support and science equipment. And that's an assumption which also means you're using truckloads of solar (Which wouldn't fit on a reasonable sized lander) or you're using nuclear power (At which point perhaps). And all of the heat exchangers, compressors and other refigiration equipment also means your ship has to carry a massive amount of extra dry mass you may only use once or twice.

But all of this is coming from a realism standpoint, which in KSP isn't really relevant since we mine generic "Ore" and convert it into a number of substances without any of this.

I'll be interested to see if anyone knows of any realistic way to handle and manufacture cryogenic liquids in something that doesn't look like a floating industrial park xD

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The reason that I once added Xenon to the ISRU's cfg wasn't because I wanted to power ion engines, it was because (somewhat Cowboy Bebop inspired) I wanted to setup a space trucking program.  I wanted to have a reusable process for mining something out there [gestures vaguely] and bringing it back to Kerbin and recovering it back at KSC...for profit. I wanted a system of reusable canisters that could be hitched up in a train and hauled by a rig (designed around the ones from that ep in Cowboy Bebop), taking the empty canisters out to be filled and bringing them back.  Doing it with fuel just wasn't worth it from a returns point of view, mono-prop being the most valuable per ton, but that needed huge containers.  Xenon was far more valuable per ton and more dense, so it fitted the idea better. 

Ideally what I want is some sort of precious metal/gem resource that could be mined on certain planets and brought back to Kerbin, to give some reason for having craft capable of hauling cargo back to Kerbin rather than always away from it.

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34 minutes ago, katateochi said:

The reason that I once added Xenon to the ISRU's cfg wasn't because I wanted to power ion engines, it was because (somewhat Cowboy Bebop inspired) I wanted to setup a space trucking program.  I wanted to have a reusable process for mining something out there [gestures vaguely] and bringing it back to Kerbin and recovering it back at KSC...for profit. I wanted a system of reusable canisters that could be hitched up in a train and hauled by a rig (designed around the ones from that ep in Cowboy Bebop), taking the empty canisters out to be filled and bringing them back.  Doing it with fuel just wasn't worth it from a returns point of view, mono-prop being the most valuable per ton, but that needed huge containers.  Xenon was far more valuable per ton and more dense, so it fitted the idea better. 

Ideally what I want is some sort of precious metal/gem resource that could be mined on certain planets and brought back to Kerbin, to give some reason for having craft capable of hauling cargo back to Kerbin rather than always away from it.

Hoping for something like this in ksp 2 with colonies becoming industrial space mining complexes, possibly automating the logistics of their products to be used as fuel/materials for future tech

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39 minutes ago, katateochi said:

The reason that I once added Xenon to the ISRU's cfg wasn't because I wanted to power ion engines, it was because (somewhat Cowboy Bebop inspired) I wanted to setup a space trucking program.  I wanted to have a reusable process for mining something out there [gestures vaguely] and bringing it back to Kerbin and recovering it back at KSC...for profit. I wanted a system of reusable canisters that could be hitched up in a train and hauled by a rig (designed around the ones from that ep in Cowboy Bebop), taking the empty canisters out to be filled and bringing them back.  Doing it with fuel just wasn't worth it from a returns point of view, mono-prop being the most valuable per ton, but that needed huge containers.  Xenon was far more valuable per ton and more dense, so it fitted the idea better. 

Ideally what I want is some sort of precious metal/gem resource that could be mined on certain planets and brought back to Kerbin, to give some reason for having craft capable of hauling cargo back to Kerbin rather than always away from it.

This is awesome....

Also we should totally get Spice Geysers from Spore because why not.

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41 minutes ago, katateochi said:

The reason that I once added Xenon to the ISRU's cfg wasn't because I wanted to power ion engines, it was because (somewhat Cowboy Bebop inspired) I wanted to setup a space trucking program.  I wanted to have a reusable process for mining something out there [gestures vaguely] and bringing it back to Kerbin and recovering it back at KSC...for profit. I wanted a system of reusable canisters that could be hitched up in a train and hauled by a rig (designed around the ones from that ep in Cowboy Bebop), taking the empty canisters out to be filled and bringing them back.  Doing it with fuel just wasn't worth it from a returns point of view, mono-prop being the most valuable per ton, but that needed huge containers.  Xenon was far more valuable per ton and more dense, so it fitted the idea better. 

Ideally what I want is some sort of precious metal/gem resource that could be mined on certain planets and brought back to Kerbin, to give some reason for having craft capable of hauling cargo back to Kerbin rather than always away from it.

I think The Gold Standard mod should still work:

(If not, something similar/updated shouldn't be to hard.)

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KSPI-E has some forms of xenon capture/production. It is a huge mod though. I personally like it but it can be a bit much for some people. Xenon is produced in reactors or can be harvested from atmospheres that have it. Bonus is you can power the ions with the reactor that produces xenon, though you will need another source too.

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1 hour ago, AngrybobH said:

KSPI-E has some forms of xenon capture/production. It is a huge mod though. I personally like it but it can be a bit much for some people. Xenon is produced in reactors or can be harvested from atmospheres that have it. Bonus is you can power the ions with the reactor that produces xenon, though you will need another source too.

Near Future Electrical has a reprocessor which takes DU and converts it into Xenon, it also can convert Ore into Enriched Uranium.

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Having Xenon aerodistilleries or whatever would be nice. They would process the air into xenon. This would also balance it a little better as being able to collect Xenon from Pol or Minmus or Gilly or somewhere could be fairly OP, whereas getting it from Laythe where you can't just fly off with it without a jet, or Duna where you're gonna find doing a xenon SSTO with a lot left pretty challenging, is maybe more balanced.

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43 minutes ago, Pds314 said:

Having Xenon aerodistilleries or whatever would be nice. They would process the air into xenon. This would also balance it a little better as being able to collect Xenon from Pol or Minmus or Gilly or somewhere could be fairly OP, whereas getting it from Laythe where you can't just fly off with it without a jet, or Duna where you're gonna find doing a xenon SSTO with a lot left pretty challenging, is maybe more balanced.

Near future has something like this; a scoop that only works in atmosphere that allows you to get the levels of Xenon and Krypton. And a small 1.25M IRSU device for them.

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Someone made a mod for this a while ago.  It was called "Xenon InductoCatalyzer"  and used some existing parts to make it possible.
The part needed lots of power and a thick atmosphere for it to work right.
I haven't used it in quite a while and it was developed for version 1.0.5

I don't see why it would not work tho, you might want to google it and try it out.
I wonder if I could make an atmospheric craft capable of skimming Gas Giant atmospheres that could also get back into orbit after being filled up.
Prolly not given the time intensive nature of ISRU code the part was using. 

Good luck.

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