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brooklyn666

How do I make unmanned probes useful with the new science system?

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So here's my problem. I'm a big fan of sending unmanned probes, but now that each science module can only be used once, I'd have to attach 10 materials bays and 10 goo canisters to hit all the biomes I pass through. This makes my probe the size of a house, and defeats the purpose of sending unmanned missions in the first place.

Is there something I'm missing about the new system? Or or there modded parts out there that make the materials bay and goo cans tiny, so I can strap a bunch on?

I know how to use the new science lab, but that only applies to return missions. I'm not taking kerbals with me, and the probes aren't coming back.

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I think you should give up on sending probes with those kinda experiments and isntead send probes with very light experiment modules like the temperature etc...

I agree that some (not all) experiments should be re-usable, otherwise voyager like missions would be very akwardly loaded with hundreds of science modules.

Perhaps a new science part like a camera which takes pictures could be a reusable science module... it's still early developement and the possibilities are many! :)

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Yep, there's an unwinnable balancing act between encouraging transmission spam and making permanent space infrastructure largely pointless (apart from, you know, the sheer joy). Ultimately I hope, and indeed presume, there will be a use for space infrastructure beyond just filling a tech tree.

Such as:

  • With ever increasing gravmax equipped satellites engineers can better predict planetary motion and thus open up, and add increasing detail to, a launch window planner in the R&D centre.
  • With enough telescope satellites we become aware of other planetary bodies within the Kerbol system.
  • Get more thermometer equipped satellites up to gain better understanding of solar radiation, adding a small bonus to all solar panel efficiency.
  • Parachutes become more tweakable the more barometer readings you've taken.
  • Manned space stations give better understanding of zero-g effects on physiology allowing for tailored kerbonaut recruitment standards.
  • Wide network of sensor satellites gives better warning of comets / passing asteroids / Vogon construction fleets.

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Hi

What i will do is just to make very basic probes to get science from one biome. You can send up like 6 probes with a single launch. The other option is to have space stations with a science module and then to dock the probes there to reset the modules. What i did is to place a basic manned space station where ever i want science. Then you can send a ship out to the stations to take the science back to Kerbin. It is a lengthy process but that was the propose of the last update to give you more play time i guess.

I like the new system, it forces you to think, and forces you not to be lazy and take the easy way out.

(hope it makes sense)

Good luck :)

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I think you should give up on sending probes with those kinda experiments and isntead send probes with very light experiment modules like the temperature etc...

That's actually how I did it in .22, you will have to send a manned mission there for the EVA reports and surface samples anyway, so theres no point in weighing down your probes with the heavy science equipment. Plus it feels a bit more realistic to have the major science done by Kerbals, while probes take temperature, pressure readings and such

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I think you should give up on sending probes with those kinda experiments and isntead send probes with very light experiment modules like the temperature etc...

I agree that some (not all) experiments should be re-usable, otherwise voyager like missions would be very akwardly loaded with hundreds of science modules.

Perhaps a new science part like a camera which takes pictures could be a reusable science module... it's still early developement and the possibilities are many! :)

Which raises the problem that those experiments are so far down the tech tree that by the time you unlock them, you don't even need them. I like grand interplanetary unmanned missions, Like Voyager, Pioneer, Curiosity, Cassini...etc, and this update pretty much made them impossible. Am in in the minority of people who enjoy there type of missions?

I know there are a lot of competing interests out there vis a vis the direction this game is heading in, and I'm not offering any criticisms, this is just my personal gameplay style.

Edited by brooklyn666

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Which raises the problem that those experiments are so far down the tech tree that by the time you unlock them, you don't even need them.

Yeah, I did find myself - in 0.22 career saves - holding off on sending satellites to far flung places, even if a launch window was up, due to wanting to research more science parts to send a more complete package.

Making science parts available earlier in the tech tree is one option, but I think I prefer something like scientific exclusivity so as to prevent older satellites becoming redundant just because you've now researched a new part. Ie. current earth satellites, whist having a multitude of functions are all broadly tuned to a specific task - they may be telescopes, they may be looking at magnetic fields, solar radiation, x-rays etc. So I've launched a thermometer equipped satellite into Duna orbit, then when I later research gravity sensors I don't feel that I may as well just launch a new thermometer & gravity sensor combined satellite to Duna and ditch the old one.

But as I've said above, I think permanent space infrastructure could do something beyond just providing a one hit boost to a tech tree.

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In .22 I put together a probe mothership that put 3 landable probes with complete science packages into the Eve, Duna and Jool systems. It worked well. I'll put together another in .23 once I get the pesky gravimetric sensors unlocked. Instead of one per system, it'll be one per body.

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