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You Will Not Go To Space Today - Post your fails here!

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Sorry if there is a thread like this, but I don't remember one from before the server crash and I would like to help get the forum going again with some conversation, specifically funny stories and pictures of our fails. Sometimes it is nice to see that even seasoned veterans that can pull off amazing missions and creations can have bonehead moments. Makes the newbies feel better, like myself.

I will start with the story of my first Mun landing. In the "Post a Pic thread" I mentioned my first Mun landing and posted a pic, seen here:


What I did not mention is what a cluster of fail it was and that it took two retries. First, I got frustrated after my three man lander repeatedly crashed into the Mun. So I decided to step back to a one man lander and slapped one together. I did so without testing it. This will be important later. I also thought I would get fancy and set it up with asparagus staged drop tanks and then later drop the outside engines and fly home on the central core. "But Mastodon", you might say, "there is no engine on the central core". Yeah, that was one of the fails, and why it is important you should test things first.

So as I drop down towards the Mun everything is going well until the last few dozen meters. First I realize that I can't eject my now empty drop tanks because derp, I need the landing legs attached to them. I have also picked up a little lateral drift but got scared that I was too close to the surface and did not want to try and correct for it and smash into the Mun. so I am about to touch down, my lander is drifting, I am equally excited that I am this close to success, panicked that I am this close to failure and my heart is pounding in my chest. I thump down at a little under 11 m/s and OH GOD WHY IS THERE STUFF EXPLODING OH GOD I AM TIPPING. Fortunately for me the only thing exploding was the central engine that unfortunately stuck out below the landing gear because someone didn't bother to test the lander. Also, the lander tipped up on its two legs before settling back down gently. So Malton Kerman (my brave pioneer) climbs down, steps on the surface, explores a bit, poses for pictures and gets back into the lander for takeoff. He lifts off, ditches the drop tanks, tips over to begin his gravity turn, and is almost to a comfortable apoapsis and DEAR GOD HOW ARE WE OUT OF FUEL. Well, we aren't out of fuel. In the excitement of my first Mun landing I forgot to drain the fuel out of the central core (which no longer has an engine on it) into the outer tanks with engines intact. But I don’t panic. I mean, I landed on the Mun. I can handle this. So while my lander is gently floating towards apo I begin to transfer fuel to the outer engines one at a time. While still throttled up. So my lander proceeds to do loop-da-loops over the surface of the Mun as the other engine is still fuel starved. So I reload.

Back to my descent and everything is going the same as before. I have some lateral drift, choose to ignore it, my lander touches down, center engine explodes, my lander tips…and falls over. Dammit. But that’s ok. I have seen plenty of people right themselves after tipping on their side. So I retract the landing gear and then extend them just as the lander is almost upright and voila. Upright lander. I skip the whole small step thing as I already did it and begin transferring fuel. Before I take off this time. Guess I have to learn things the hard way. So I get up to my apo, circularize, ditch the drop tanks, set up a direct Kerbin reentry from Mun orbit (because I like to come pounding through atmo at 3,000 m/s like a boss), ditch the engines, ditch the central core and then pop my para….OH DEAR GOD WHERE IS THE PARUACHUTE! Apparently, when I pulled what I thought was a slick maneuver righting my lander I knocked the parachute off. Which I am just noticing at Mach whatever. Malton did not go home that day.

So I reload again and everything goes exactly the same as landing number 2, including my lander tipping over. But this time I am prepared and I am paying attention to the parachute, ready to rotate the lander (if I can) so I don’t knock it off. So I do the whole “retract and extend lander legs†procedure and…nothing. Try it again. Still doesn’t right itself. So there I am, my stupid lander jitter bugging across the surface of the Mun as I try about 7 or 8 more times. Finally it rights itself and the parachute miraculously stayed on. So I go through the whole process of fuel transfer, getting into orbit, getting into Kerbin reentry and…holy hell we actually made it. Yay!


Tl:dr, details matter.

Can anyone top that stupidity?

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Well, I definitely have some (read: a lot) of missions that can compliment this thread well!

Perhaps the most defining moment for me using the game so far was the "Munshot II" debacle. An ill fated campaign trying to follow up on my success of landing a 1 man ship on Mun with a 3 man capsule.


The design proved unwieldy and top-heavy however, resulting in an unstable tip over and crash on Mun's surface. Trapping the A-Team (Bob, Jeb, and Bill) on the surface in a crash that quite ironically looked similar to the "Mun or Bust!" crash screen seen after the game intro.


Oddly enough, I inadvertently jumped straight into character of a space program head I couldn't simply abandon the crew up there, so I immediately began a rescue program. The first 'in-character' plan was to get some kind of life support platform up there. The result was my first unmanned mission. A core with a lander module, designed for a one way trip and a goal of trying to get it within walking range from the crash site. This, at the time my fourth landing on Mun, proved difficult, and required several perilous surface-to-surface 'hops' to get it within walking range.


Next, came the attempt to bring them home. Over a dozen different modifications to the lander that crashed there (albeit now with a core attached to keep the capsule empty for pickup) were tried, and all failed. Ultimately I was forced to just add an extra 1 man capsule to the first rocket I sent to Mun, and bring them back one by one.

This was basically hours 3-7 of gameplay for me, and easily hooked me on the premise. Especially with the self-imposed limitations of "no man left behind" and "no unnecessary casualties".


Anyways, getting back onto the important subject, the failures.

Shortly after the 'Munshot II debacle' I discovered how to dock, and getting ambitious, launched my first space station. Naturally the next step was to design an one-way unmanned tanker so I could re-fuel the station and the future planned vessels that would be taking gas off the station. While I could get a small tanker to work just fine, the desire became to get as much gas as possible up in one go (1 X jumbo, 2 X R1 RCS usable delivery). The design (using newly discovered to me 'Asparagus-Staging') was this monster:


And, well, let's just say after almost two dozen tweak and attempts, the file is currently filed in the "Rejected" cabinet!


A little long winded, but hopefully the account provided some amusement!

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So I sent a Kerbal to Duna...


But in the planet frenzy of 0.17 I didn't plan any return trip. All I cared about was landing on another planet.

Eventually I decided to save him, but the lander was so horribly built that it couldn't fly straight.


Now the rescuers also needed to be rescued, so I sent two of these.


They worked like a charm and after years and years away from home, they could finally land on Kerbin.

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I don't have any screenshots, but I was once trying to launch an impossibly huge transfer module with 10km/s delta-V in the engines, tons of thrust, two docking ports (one Clamp-o-Tron Jr, one standard), intended to haul an empty lander all the way to Duna.

My launch vehicle did its job perfectly... on paper, at least.

Strange things happened at 10km.

The first version, with five Mainfails and an orange tank equivalent for each, tipped over at 5km. I responded by giving it better control - more SAS, some winglets, all you need to control a really huge rocket.

Attempt 2 tipped over at 10km - and it tipped SO HARD that the transfer module broke into small peices. I added more SAS and more winglets.

Version 3 also tipped over at 10km, but this time, it was hard enough that it summoned the kraken in its full form to destroy Kerbin.

I, of course, was not afraid of the Kraken. I had Jeb sitting in the control room flying it, with his heart stopped, and life support linked to the rocket. You know, no pressure or anything.

Version 4 tipped over at 10km - just like the two before it. It was oddly gentle though - I could've recovered if the constant torque stopped. Jeb's heart was restarted, and we switched to a supercomputer.

Version 5, piloted by Mechanical Jeb, and this time with RCS pretty much everywhere, tipped over at 10km.

At this point, I just closed the game and did something else.

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Just couple of days ago i've tested my new lander/space taxi project. Two launches of two identical ships went out without a hitch, 6 kerbals total sat on a neatly circularised orbit ready to dock...And only then i noticed distinct lack of any RCS modules on my ships. D'oh! *cue headdesk and a string of colorful language*

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I almost never go to space on the first 10 or so try's of my rockets because

1)I usually forget the landing legs

2) rtgs, never cross my mind

3) staging

4) fuel lines

5) struts

6)mechjeb modules just dont seem inportant at the time of construction

7) action groups for solar panels

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In an attempt to create my own Sputnik, my probe core died on me during the circularization. The engine kept burning and by the time it stopped, the satellite was in a possible, future Duna transfer orbit. Fail or win?

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I have had so many mishaps in KSP, it's amazing I ever got to the point I'm at now. Perhaps my favorite was a certain incident involving a trip to Duna and a bit of "unplanned disassembly"...


The mission was simple enough: land a pair of rovers on Duna and explore the frost line. What I hadn't counted on was the effects of aerobraking on Duna being far, far less drastic than on Kerbin. I only had radial-mounted drag chutes. The first simulation run revealed that, were I to try to land, they would rip the craft apart like a chew toy held by a Jack Russel terrier. Worse still, I was already beginning my aerobraking/landing maneuver when I'd run the simulation, and not landing would be just as bad an option as trying to escape back to Kerbin at that point...

So I made a tough call and simulated a powered landing. But as it turned out, due to the steep angle of my aerobraking maneuver, I was not going to have enough fuel! (I'd counted on not having those heavy rovers on board when I returned to orbit, and I wasn't going to ditch them now!) So I had to compromise: I did a semi-powered landing, busting out the chutes when slowed sufficiently, and I did my best to not crash horribly. It... didn't work out so well. The capsule (and amazingly, the rovers) survived, but the drive stage was toast.


So I had to send an automated rescue vessel, with far more fuel and much better parachutes than its predecessor had. This thing was more than capable of getting the crew home.


Fortunately, the trip home went swimmingly (no pun intended). And that, in a nutshell, was my most disastrous mission ever that nonetheless was technically a success.

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Protip: If you're in orbit in the opposite direction of a moon around a planet, you're going to be going past it at two times your orbital velocity.. Also, ion engines are horrible at correcting collision courses...



(half a second before impact, speed was about 7Km/s in reference to Vall. (below)


It's a cold and dark universe out there...


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I'm currently stuck in the demo, but here is my first (succsesful) munar landing. That was my 3rd attempt, first time I timp warped into my kerbanites' doom, second time I had too much horizontal velocity and ground my lander into mun dust. 2liu6ph.jpg

Edited by WhiteWeasel
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