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Any way to dock without killing Jeb?


Padishar
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I've got a station in Munar orbit with a couple of landers and a couple of rovers. Jeb took one of the rovers down to the farside crater to grab some science missed during my original Mun missions and, despite wasting quite a bit of fuel on the descent, was able to rendezvous with the station (had to scrub the last 16m/s of relative velocity with RCS). The trouble comes when trying to dock. No matter how slowly I approach the port, Jeb always gets thrown out of his command seat when the rover docks and gets killed by hitting something (usually the materials lab on the rover). I can be approaching the port at 0.1 m/s and, once the magnets start pulling me in, thrust back with RCS to prevent the speed building up, and still he manages to die. Given he can withstand impact with the ground at many tens of m/s, I don't see why such a little bump should make him disintegrate...

I tried EVA but the rover doesn't have any remote control so that will only let me switch him for some other unlucky sacrificial victim.

Looks like I'm going to have to make some changes to the rovers but would it be better to add remote control or make some other change that will stop the pilot getting wasted...?

If anyone fancies taking a look then it is "KSS Mun Rover Beta" in this save game, currently a few tens of metres from the docking port on the station.

Zipped save file (stock + KER and alarm clock)

Thanks,

Pad.

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I gave it a try and it worked first time, cheers.

VnrcQkz.jpg

He got rattled around a bit but managed to stick the science data in the lab and get back on board for a cup of tea.

I can probably live with doing this but if anyone has any suggestions to make it not necessary I would be grateful.

Now to go and practice my suicide burns to preserve fuel on landing...

Pad.

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mmh, i guess what happens to jeb is the same thing that happens to rover wheels in space - the surface speed is too important at the time of impact, so it kills jeb. the problem with rover wheels was solved by having the 'circular' strip at geostationnary altitude - so the surface speed is near 0, so by rotating the circular strip, they were able to create artificial gravity - in that case the rover wheels did not burst on contact (when they tried at other altitudes, the surface speed being greater than the wheels maximum speed, they bursted when they attempted to use the strip's artificial gravity)

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Well, from the 6 or 7 times I tried it with him staying in the seat, what appears to happen is that, on docking, he loses contact with the seat but he then gets a whack from the kraken (does losing his seat maybe clip him into something?) which drives him into something hard enough to kill him. On 3 of the attempts I saw the puff of disintegrated Jeb smoke fly off (each time in a different direction and at quite high speed).

My machine is seriously underpowered and I'm getting about 8 fps when docking so I suppose it might behave differently for others...

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I gave it a try and it worked first time, cheers.

http://i.imgur.com/VnrcQkz.jpg

He got rattled around a bit but managed to stick the science data in the lab and get back on board for a cup of tea.

I can probably live with doing this but if anyone has any suggestions to make it not necessary I would be grateful.

Now to go and practice my suicide burns to preserve fuel on landing...

Pad.

How did you end up getting it to work?

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I clicked on Jeb to get his menu up while still a few metres from the port and then slowly approached. As soon as the magnets started pulling in I clicked on Leave Seat and the rover docked without him. I've done it 4 times in now without a problem though one time Jeb did go spinning off at quite high speed. Was about 100m away before I managed to stop him with his rcs pack...

I'd still welcome any ideas for craft mods to stop it happening...

Pad.

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I dont sopose your rover has a probe core on it? If not you may want to send up a new set with at least the smallest core. Have jeb ride the thing up close and then just EVA over and get into the main ship and let the probe handle the docking by remote. Its probably just a weird glitch of the physics engine causing the kracken to devourer anybody on the command seat when the docking happens. I doubt any mods could fix that unless theres one that causes the external seat to be treated like a full command pod so the kerbals cant be unseated by G forces.

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Thanks, but I said most of that in the original post. I can live with the "leave seat just before port contact" method for now but if they don't fix the issues with the command seats apparently not having any sort of seat belt/harness then I could do with being able to assign leave seat to an action group (might be tricky to support more than one at once as you auto-switch to the Kerbal when he gets off so the game would have to decide which Kerbal to switch to).

When I said "craft mods" I was referring to making modifications to the rover (e.g. the position of the seat or something) so that the forces during docking don't throw the pilot out. I can't believe that every vehicle with a command seat does this when docking so I assume it has something to do with the relative position and orientation of the docking port and seat. My rover design (and launch method) doesn't really allow for much of a change. I may be able to stick the chair further forward on the lander can which might stop him hitting the materials lab but there is a 2x3 solar panel and a 4-way rcs block on the front of the can that may interfere. I guess I'll have a play around and test it on the identical station I have in 200km Kerbin orbit. I could do with more practice launching to rendezvous anyway... ;)

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