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Parachute never comes out in a dozen tries


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I've done the basic Flea module and capsule configuration a dozen times and am approaching mass-murderer level success rate.

I put the 0.2 and 1000 numbers into the parachute module, I press the staging key at 22000 feet, at 14000 feet going up at 16000 feet going down at 20000 feet going down and wipe out always.  The symbol for the chute is snow white and when I press the space key and the sound of a cold beer opening comes. But I crash every single time. 

During Training it always comes out but when I do it without the trainers it always fails. I look at the the mission statement at the end and the fact that I pressed the staging key is never mentioned.  Something says "no target" on the screen.

Am I  in Reversed Gus Grissom mode or what?

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When you stage it, does the colour of the chute change? When you right-click on the chute after you've staged it, what does the description say?

Does the colour of the symbol for the chute change at any point after you've staged it?

Where is the chute installed?

There are only three reasons a chute won't deploy:

  1. You didn't actually stage it although you thought you did
  2. The chute is inside a cargo bay or fairing
  3. You're going to fast for the chute to deploy safely

If it's none of these then there's something wrong with your installation, but let's rule them out first.

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Thanks for the attention.

When the craft is rising and reaches 18000 ft, the chute symbol is white on a gray background and since the trainer staged the chute at 14000 ft I stage it here at 18000 ft.

I stage at this point, it makes the staging noise and after staging the chute it turns pale blue on a gray background.

At this point the box with 0.2 and 1000 in it, says "safe to deploy".  And then it crashes. Again.

The chute is on the nose of the craft, there is no cargo bay or fairing.

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When you stage the chute, what is your speed?  The chute may actually stage but never deploy due to speed, so check how fast you are going when you stage.  Also, pay attention and see if you are getting a message in the middle of the screen that says the chute was destroyed due to heat and force; thats another big indicator you are going too fast.

I'm assuming you are aiming straight up as you mention hitting 18km.  Change the altitude on the chute to 5km.  Turn east during launch, towards the water, trying to keep your Ap under 8km.  Deploy just as you start to descend.

Edited by Popestar
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It's nearly impossible to read the speed.  The altitude is in large easy-to-read numbers but the speed is a very small circular indicator less than a cm in diameter. On top of that, how fast is too fast? The instructor in the tutorial said it would deploy 'at the right time.'

I'll try that over the water bit and also the 5000 adjustment. But the instructor in the tutorial never said anything about modifying direction of flight...

 

Edited by Sequoia
clarity
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I raised the number to 5000, staged at 14000 m going up and it crashed.

I kept the number at 5000 and reduced the other from 0.2 to the minimum value (about 0.05) at 22000 m coming down I staged and the chute came out--and was destroyed by heat and aero-forces. And I crashed again.

I put the chute values back to 1000 and 0.2 and guided it over the ocean. The chute came out when I staged at 10000 m and was destroyed by heat and aero-forces. And I crashed into the drink.

Is this supposed to be the way Kerbal Space Program operates?

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18 minutes ago, Sequoia said:

and was destroyed by heat and aero-forces

Sounds like you came in way too fast, too steep, try a shallower trajectory with a higher Pe

Edited by VoidSquid
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3 hours ago, Sequoia said:

I've done the basic Flea module and capsule configuration a dozen times and am approaching mass-murderer level success rate

You are not alone.  Kerbal Space Program has many traps for new players.

One trap that matches your description is that in-game rockets fly higher than the training rocket:

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You are moving too fast.  The non-drogue chutes are usually safe to deploy at around 300 m/s. 

You can read the speed off the top of the navball. By default in the bottom center of the screen. 

If you're moving well beyond that speed you can usually scrub off a fair bit of it by tumbling. Or slap on some drogue chutes, they have a higher speed tolerance, in around 600 m/s iirc.

As for it being the way that KSP should operate... yes it is. KSP isn't as simple as some space video games that most people come from player.   But, it ain't like MS Flight sim or X-Plane either.  It has a steep learning curve with few guardrails. But, once you learn it you appreciate the lack of guardrails.

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1 hour ago, Sequoia said:

It's nearly impossible to read the speed.  The altitude is in large easy-to-read numbers but the speed is a very small circular indicator less than a cm in diameter. On top of that, how fast is too fast? The instructor in the tutorial said it would deploy 'at the right time.'

I'll try that over the water bit and also the 5000 adjustment. But the instructor in the tutorial never said anything about modifying direction of flight...

 

The speed you are traveling is at the top of the navball, as I've highlighted in the below screen shot.  Traveling too fast will, as you've seen, result in the chute being destroyed.

My suggestion is to build the following craft and test this.  It's close to what the trainer wants you to do, but tweaked a bit to make it a bit easier to drive.  from the top down:

  • Mk16 Parachute.  Leave the default of .04, but change the height to 5000 (maximum)
  • Mk1 Command Pod
    • After placing it, click it to pick it up and hit E once; this will orient the exit of the craft towards the water
    • Right click on it and remove all of the Monopropellant.  This will reduce both weight and cost
  • Flea Solid Rocket Booster
    • If you want, you can right-click on this and reduce the thrust
  • 4 x Basic Fin

The craft will look like the first shot below in the VAB.  Launch, and as soon as you hit the space bar to stage the SRB, hit and hold S; this will have you flying over the water at a decent angle.  Your Ap might get up around 8km or so.  Just be sure that you don't hold the S key too long or you may end up speeding right at the ground.  Keep an eye on your speed relative to your height; when it starts to really slow down, you'll know that you are approaching your Ap.  As soon as you start to descend, stage the chute.

I hope this helps.  If you find that this isn't helping, or that things are still whackoid, post a few images of the craft you built.  In the VAB, in flight, speeding towards certain doom so we can see what is happening

ieozojH.png

WOPIkHo.png

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Post a pic of the rocket/thing you're trying to return. And also, which direction you're pointing it at on return too. Speed is massively affected by drag. The basic capsule on its own, is purpose-designed to be very draggy backwards (retrograde) and very aerodynamic forwards. If it enters the atmosphere, or returns, forwards, it will inevitably overspeed, the chutes will never even deploy because its "Unsafe" and the thing will make a nice crater onto the ground. KSP game makes it easy to return in that in the retrograde direction, its aerodynamically stable and will stay in that position even without control or SAS, but you will probably need to turn it to face that way initially. At some point it becomes too late to turn it, so do it early (when its high up and there's barely any air to produce aerodynamic forces).

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5 minutes ago, Popestar said:

The craft will look like the first shot below in the VAB.  Launch, and as soon as you hit the space bar to stage the SRB, hit and hold S; this will have you flying over the water at a decent angle.  Your Ap might get up around 8km or so. 

This will work great.  I hope @Sequoia is still interested enough in KSP to try it.

The original post referenced the in-game Training, which sets a trap for new players. (bug 27250)

The first Training, "Basic Construction" tells a new player to build: nose-parachute + 1-man pod +  'flea' booster

Then the second training mission "Basic Flight" tells the player to fly that craft "in a nice high arc".  In the training, even if you go straight up, the drag is enough that your parachute opens on the way down.

In the real game, a craft built with the same parts gives the symptom reported here.

When above 10km altitude, the air is thin, so the airflow-forces are low enough that the parachute is "safe to deploy".  The game makes the mechanical deploy sound, even though the game simulates waiting to deploy the parachute until the set atmospheric pressure is reached.  The craft speeds up as it falls into thicker atmosphere.  By the time we are back in 0.2-atmospheric pressure, where the Training had us set the pressure trip, the aerodynamic forces are now high enough to destroy the parachute immediately, so the visible parachute never deploys, and the game never simulates the parachute interacting with the atmosphere.

The craft crashes with the parachute appearing to be still in its case.

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2 hours ago, Sequoia said:

I kept the number at 5000 and reduced the other from 0.2 to the minimum value (about 0.05) at 22000 m coming down I staged and the chute came out--and was destroyed by heat and aero-forces. And I crashed again.

That's your problem -- you're going too fast when the chute actually deploys. This can easily happen if your craft is very slippery, instead of slowing down as you descend, it picks up speed, and while the chute would have been safe to deploy when you staged it, it no longer is when it hits the pressure/altitude that it actually deploys.

So you need to figure out how to go slower. If your problem is that you're coming in too steep, re-enter at a shallower angle. If your problem is that your craft is too slippery, redesign to make it draggier. The basic command pod + heat shield + chute combination will work if your trajectory isn't too awful.

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@paul_c already said it, but it is a really important point so I'd like to stress it again:

3 hours ago, paul_c said:

The basic capsule on its own, is purpose-designed to be very draggy backwards (retrograde) and very aerodynamic forwards. If it enters the atmosphere, or returns, forwards, it will inevitably overspeed

In other words, you should always point the bulky end of the pod in the direction you're going (aka retrograde) when you are going to land.

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On ‎2‎/‎10‎/‎2021 at 2:50 PM, Sequoia said:

I reduced the amount of fuel. Now it lands.

*Claps Sequoia on the shoulder*
<Alec Guiness voice>That's good. You've taken your first step into a larger world. </Alec Guiness voice>

Now, challenge yourself. Try and land one with all the fuel. You can add parts as needed.

Edited by steuben
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On 2/10/2021 at 4:41 AM, Sequoia said:

I've done the basic Flea module and capsule configuration a dozen times and am approaching mass-murderer level success rate.

I put the 0.2 and 1000 numbers into the parachute module, I press the staging key at 22000 feet, at 14000 feet going up at 16000 feet going down at 20000 feet going down and wipe out always.  The symbol for the chute is snow white and when I press the space key and the sound of a cold beer opening comes. But I crash every single time. 

During Training it always comes out but when I do it without the trainers it always fails. I look at the the mission statement at the end and the fact that I pressed the staging key is never mentioned.  Something says "no target" on the screen.

Am I  in Reversed Gus Grissom mode or what?

What about manually opening it.

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