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I did do a search for this topic, but didn't see it asked anywhere.  

However, I'm kinda still new.  (landed at Mun and returned)

Is it possible in 1.8 (without mods) to build a ship that could essentially retrieve debris from previous missions?

When I say retrieve, I mean - go get it.  secure it onboard (I guess?), return to Kerbin with it.  And bonus - get credit for the part when tallied up :)

-OR- what do you think about rendezvous with debris, tow it to low orbit (where it will get sucked down), let go, get the hell out of there!  

Yes, I know there's no practical reason for this, I just want to be able to do it.

 

Thanks!

 

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You can grab debris with an Advanced Grabbing Unit (AGU), aka "the klaw". It's similar to docking but you don't need a docking port on the debris, just the AGU on your ship.

Put an AGU on the nose of a new salvage ship. Grab debris in space. Return your salvage ship to Kerbin.

For more advanced work, you can put the AGU near the bottom of your ship and land on surface debris at Mun or Minmus.

The mk3 shuttle cargo hold can grab debris in orbit, too, but when you close the bay the debris is still considered a separate ship. Bad things can happen if you timewarp; the debris can phase into other parts of your ship and explode coming out of warp. Put AGUs inside the cargo bay to actually grab the debris.

If you play in contract mode, some contracts will spawn new debris and Kerbals that you have to return to Kerbin for credit.

https://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/Advanced_Grabbing_Unit

Edited by DeadJohn
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Oh this is an even better response than I was crossing my fingers for.

This AGU is definitely something I want.  I haven't moved through the research tree far enough to have the AGU available.  

Now I'm really looking forward to getting one.  It make the 'science grinding' a little more tolerable.

Thanks for the quick replies!!

 

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2 hours ago, LMksp said:

This AGU is definitely something I want.

The AGU is great in some circumstances and frustrating in others. It's more likely to connect when hitting a flat surface at 90 degrees, or by sliding it into a large engine bell where it gets captured. Lightweight, curved targets risk deflecting without connecting.

Consider practicing in sandbox mode. Create a target craft and AGU craft (you can use 2 identical craft, just don't try to connect them by their klaws). Add RCS thrusters. Turn on unlimited fuel so you can keep practicing.

 

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Depending on how elaborate you want to get, you could even transport a loader like this one created by @klond

https://kerbalx.com/klond/front-end-loader

and dump the stuff in a cargo bay.

 

If you have Breaking Ground, it will definitely give  you more options for achieving this.  BTW, I think it is a great idea and would make a great challenge.

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 Sounds nice and difficult without being impossible.  Maybe post a sandbox save file with a pile of random Vanilla parts on Kerbin/Mun/Minmus.  Maybe do points for most crap returned/burned-up or cheapest flight etc.

On 1/23/2020 at 9:53 AM, LMksp said:

there's no practical reason for this

 That's the best reason!

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