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In the Kerbalisim mod what does turning on lifetime radiation do?


WilliamW2010
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That means your kerbals will be irradiated for life. As long as they are members of your space program, all radiation they absorb will be retained and accumulate over time until they die, or are treated in a sick bay.

With lifetime radiation turned off, their radiation level resets to 0 when you recover them after completing a mission.

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22 minutes ago, WilliamW2010 said:

Oh ok does it change the difficultly a lot?

Yes and no, interplanetary missions are very hard regardless, because kerbals can easily perish in the span of 9 months from harsh radiation if you aren’t careful. With lifetime radiation turned on though, you are more likely to retire Kerbals early and replace them more frequently, which might be a strain on funds in career mode.

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With lifetime radiation turned on, if Jeb goes up and gets 50% radiation exposure on a mission before landing on Kerbin and recovering him, he'll start the next mission at 50% radiation; with lifetime radiation turned off, he'll start at 0%. I assume that the lifetime radiation on setting is for more "realistic" gameplay, and would probably suit those who don't want to use the "magic" active shield and the radiation detox unit in the Hitchhiker, both of which substantially reduce radiation exposure on long voyages.

Either way, radiation is the single biggest threat to any crew with Kerbalism installed, but a few little tricks can make a really big difference:

  • Make the propulsion section of your interplanetary ship (the engines and fuel tanks) at least one size bigger than the crew section- so if you're using Hitchhikers and MPLs for your crew, make the fuel tanks at least 3.75m wide- and point the engines straight at the sun; the fuel tanks will act as very effective radiation shielding, completely blocking solar radiation as long as the crew modules are completely concealed by it. This is the only way to survive frequent solar storms.
  • Shielding is averaged across the entire ship so having one module heavily shielded as a radiation shelter doesn't actually work; divide it up evenly or according to weight distribution or ease of launch/construction if you like.
  • Passive shielding is heavy but effective against high radiation levels, active shields work better against background radiation and require power to operate but are a bit lighter. For going to Duna, a couple of active shields and pointing away from the sun will be enough to prevent any radiation exposure at all, but it's always a good idea to have some passive shielding in case your active shields fail or you blunder into a planetary radiation belt.
  • The radiation detox unit (RDU) is an upgrade for the Hitchhiker that can actively heal your crew's radiation exposure, using oxygen and power to do so. It's unlocked late in the tech tree and is very slow, so don't rely on it as your only means of defence against radiation exposure; it can only work for one crew member at a time per Hitchhiker too and uses quite a lot of power, but it can make the difference between life and death.
  • Do not- repeat DO NOT- try and gravity assist your way into Jool orbit. Just don't. Jool's radiation belts are insanely powerful and the outer belt will kill you in mere days even with maximum radiation shielding on every module; the inner belt will fry you in mere minutes.
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Just now, lemon cup said:

That means your kerbals will be irradiated for life. As long as they are members of your space program, all radiation they absorb will be retained and accumulate over time until they die, or are treated in a sick bay.

With lifetime radiation turned off, their radiation level resets to 0 when you recover them after completing a mission.

Oh ok does it change the difficultly a lot?

Just now, WilliamW2010 said:

Oh ok does it change the difficultly a lot?

Also just a random detail about me since this is a comment the notification sound scared the crap out of me until I saw what it was

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