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Are probes useless??


nMitch
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So yeah, with .23 I haven't been using probes. With Transmission caps, needing a lab to use some experiments more than once, Manned missions generate more science, and solar panels in the mid of tech tree, did squad render probes useless?? If you don't use TacLife or RemoteTech than is there any real reason to use Satellites?

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It's more advantageous to bring the scientific instruments back, it's true. But there are still times when you don't need the additional mass of a piloted capsule to do that, or you don't have the tech to make a roundtrip and don't want to send Kerbals on suicide missions, in which case transmitting is better than nothing.

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So yeah, with .23 I haven't been using probes. With Transmission caps, needing a lab to use some experiments more than once, Manned missions generate more science, and solar panels in the mid of tech tree, did squad render probes useless?? If you don't use TacLife or RemoteTech than is there any real reason to use Satellites?

Now wait a minute. I just made a semi-lengthy post about how to make probes actually useful. For starters, I recommend you get DMagic orbital science. I'd also encourage you to give this a read: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/67435-How-to-transmit-sensor-data-at-100

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Probes will turn useful as soon as kerbals stop being expendable, that is when things like reputation, life support, budgets and permadeath are a full-working official thing. Once those features kick in, you won't be able to just send a Kerbal to unknown places because of the risk, the cost and other stuff, it'd also be a great idea to go full murrika and send Kerbals to a moon or planet and returning them safely just to kick reputation up. Until then probes will remain useless both in career and sandbox, except for roleplaying(or mod-playing) GPS/commsats.

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I only play career mode and I started with v.23. I also rarely use probes. When I do use them they are probes designed to return to Kerbin. I found, for example, it was easier to send a small probe to the Mun and get it back early in the game. Doing so helped me get enough science points that I could buy the tech that made a manned lander much easier to build. One key was the need for larger landing struts to make a good manned lander. Building a probe with the small landing struts was not nearly as hard.

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Well, they are really light compared to manned craft, which makes it easier to meet delta-v requirements. Compare sending a couple hundred kg to, let's say, Jool, transmitting the data and forgetting about it to sending a capsule and bringing it back.

I disagree regarding the panels, though. You don't really need anything but the static ones, and those should become unlocked once you are done with the Mun. Unil then... battery spam! :D

Edited by Ravenchant
grammar -.-
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As it stands, probes are best used for emergency science.

IE, you're stuck in a rut and want/need a node. You can send a probe somewhere with a lot of science transmit it all and bam, a nice science boost. Impactors with reusable experiments are best at it. They can grab science from several different altitudes all the way down to just before the surface and with a quick hand can transmit them just as quickly.

They're also useful for non-space station objects that you intend to leave alone for a long time, like mapping or communication sattelites (utilizing mods like ScanSat, Kethane, Remote Tech etc) that don't have much of a reason to seat a kerbal.

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Use them a fair bit.

1. When landing on mun or minmas I EVA a kerbal around the Landin site to look for other biomes (once found a different one by having the kerbal jump off the lander ladder). When I find one I use a probe to bring the lander to te kerbal.

2. Rover controls so I don't need the weight of a cockpit on my lighter rovers.

3. Most of my vessels carry emergency kerbin return vessels. For 1 ton I can have a probe core, seat, couple flat solar panels, a parachute and enough fuel for 2500 DV and thrust to clear any gravity. A 1.5 tonne variant gets 3500 DV.

4. Super light missions with Kerbals in chairs (here is looking at you eve return mission).

5. Biome hunting on minmas. I could fly the entire ship around or hunt with a little probe ship before bringing in the mothership. 6 biomes with one lander on minmas and 5 on the mun due to this.

I could go on. I rarely send a ship without a probe core.

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I unlocked the final part of the tech tree using probes. Dune, Eve and Jool

My kerbal are still only in mun and Minmus.

The main advantage ia that using a small rocket you can collect science fron distant panets withouth the need to sample return using a manned spacecraft and a heavy rocket.

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Probes has multiple uses, first as other say, rovers benefit a lot, it give the rover some torque and it can be used unmanned.

An small unmanned lander with rover wheels is nice for the Mun and Minmus follow up experiments, four small rover wheels on struts .

Plenty of gravity and seismic sensors. A 90 liter tank and a 48-7S take it from LKO to Mun and back to kerbin, you can probably do a suborbital jump too.

All sort of non science stuff like refueling, Current Mun mission uses an roverlander with an dockable module for material labs and goo containers.

land, sample two biomes, take data from lab and goo then drop it and return to orbit to refuel and get another science module, the orbital depot uses an probe.

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Its not that Kerbals are expandable.. The problem is that currently unless you bring the modules back to kerbin, you only get 1/4th of the science by transmitting. That said its pointless to send out an unmanned space craft when you have to bring the modules back to kerbin to get all the science anyways. Currently its better to just send out a Kerbal, that way you can do soil tests as well and get some extra science while u're at it. Weight is not that different with the capsule.

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I don't think probes are worthless. For myself, I sent out probes to multiple planets. Most had a return because it was much easier early on to get a probe back and down with some science gear. This is just a start though.

Almost every single ship I send has required probes. Often, it is for craft assembly. For me, it is more roleplay where launching massive interplanetaries in one launch are A: tough to design mechanically efficient sometimes, and B: So monsterously huge, they are no fun to fly. So I have main craft, then up comes the other parts on a manned vehicle, deployed from manned vehicle close by, and docked with probe hear.

Outside of that, every craft I send down that is manned, I first send down a tiny, unmanned probe that can scout an area. This can be a hover style, rover or a small UAV. On high gravity worlds, this is very important. By the time you realize that what you thought was flat from space is actually a slope, it could be too late to really correct your landing on your manned craft. When the game has more upgrades to the currency system, these scout probes could be incredibly vital since a crash landing of an expensive manned lander with return would be alot more than a disposable probe.

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I did a Jool Return Sample mission, with a winged Rockomax x200-32 tank that used a Poodle, I think, to maintain enough delta-v to swing through Jool's atmosphere, while I opened up the Goo container and the Science Jr and then back around to drop a very small final package into Kerbin's ocean. I got a #@%-ton of science out of that mission.

In other words, no.

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In addition to the traditional "one-way" expeditions probes are used for, there are other less traditional mission profiles for which probes are superior to manned missions. Since probes also allow control of unmanned vessels, they allow empty ships to fly out and collect more kerbals if anyone gets stranded, i.e. no pilot required means additional space for passengers. Probes also allow storage of data, and a lightweight method to return it to Kerbin, mid-flight. So, they have uses, but many play-styles may not use them.

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my particular mission's recently have been, send probe with science package to mun, land said science package, send lander down, to probe collect data from probe, rendering it useless, use lander to get back to mun station, transfer data to inter station shuttle, to my kerbin station, transfer data to my ssto, use ssto to land on kerbin, recover ssto, when you blanket your mun with probes and one way science packages this system only requirers a few trips and a handfull refueling missions, as sending a probe to say jool and reterning to one of my kerbin soi stations is easier (for me) than a full manned mission, for each biom i can take a rover to each probe on the mun, or my rcs bike on minmus, while there not necessary i still find a use for them and they are essential for my "low cost" game play.

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