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Asteroid Capture Difficulty vs. Your Expectations


elxverde
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How difficult is capturing asteroids, compared to your expectations?  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. How difficult is capturing asteroids, compared to your expectations?

    • Easier than I thought it would be
      62
    • About exactly what I expected
      73
    • More difficult than I imagined
      55


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Honestly, I thought I'd have a little more trouble setting up each rendezvous, but I'm 2/2 so far. I know it's basically the same as docking, but if you miss a rendezvous with another craft, it'll always come back around.

I've also only gone after asteroids withing 10,000 km (EDIT: had said 10 million) periapses, but only because those were the first two to encounter Kerbin. The fact that they were both in the system pretty quick also completely changed the way I went through the science tree. I got science, then went straight to heavy parts. I only have the flat solar cells, and went through the Heavy and Heavier rocketry much sooner than usual.

Edited by elxverde
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Seeing as I already understand the physics involved, it's exactly as difficult as I expected. Which is to say, still absurdly easy for anyone who understands the engineering principles behind an efficient rocket in KSP.

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Seeing as I already understand the physics involved, it's exactly as difficult as I expected. Which is to say, still absurdly easy for anyone who understands the engineering principles behind an efficient rocket in KSP.

This. I slapped together a stock craft that was able to get to orbit, rendezvous, and capture the asteroid on the first try, without all the KER info I'm used to. Once you know your way around the stock parts and mechanics it's pretty easy to do what you want.

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The thing I struggled with, really, was planning an encounter using the stock encounter planning. Once I figured out what was going on, it was a snap to meet with the asteroid (it was on collision coarse) and divert it to a save distance, and even bring it into an orbit.

BTW, having a hard time lining up with center of mass? Use cockpit mode, and zoom into the nav-ball really close.

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About what I expected. First asteroid I started tracking was a class D on a collision course with Kerbin. Managed to attach to it but didn't quite have the fuel to push it out of the atmosphere. Managed to kill off most of its velocity though so at least the collision wouldn't be that bad.

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I saved the kerbalkind from class d asteroid! But theres another one and its going to collide the kerbin (its class a anyway). So, i simply redirected the d class asteroid, its in 90km orbit. I like that mechjeb is not working, people learn it themselves!

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To be completely fair, I have yet to send a ship to redirect an asteroid - but what I did have happen is an asteroid spawning a few minutes into the game on a course to automatically capture itself into a stable (albeit eccentric) orbit that never comes close to the Mun. So I got one for free, which is about... infinity times easier than I expected.

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Redirecting an asteroid: easy. Steering an asteroid to someplace I want it to go (like the Mun): not so easy. At the moment, I've got a class D sitting in a highly elliptical, highly inclined retrograde 400km stable orbit.

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I voted "harder than expected", after last night's efforts.

I grabbed an "A" a few nights ago, and that was really no problem at all. My ship was overbuilt for it too. But then I tried a "C" last night, with a 200-ton tug, and uhm... fishtailing, waggling, oscillating, and SAS rips the whole thing apart. I think an "E" would actually be easier just because it wouldn't move around so much.

Getting that asteroid into an orbit (a huge polar orbit, mind you, outside of Minmus orbital radius) alone was like trying to balance on a skateboard, on a bowling ball, and ride it the whole way down to the bowling pins and get a strike... ;)

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Due to the highly inclined orbits, definitely harder than intercepting planets. Had no practice with that until now, so harder than expected.

Also it does not help that when intersection indicates a decently close approach, it changes wildly upon timewarp and ends up as a not-at-all-close approach.

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Seeing as I already understand the physics involved, it's exactly as difficult as I expected. Which is to say, still absurdly easy for anyone who understands the engineering principles behind an efficient rocket in KSP.

I'm on this side, too. There is a bit of skill/clever design required to prevent the ship+asteroid combo spinning during burns and some planning required to bring enough fuel but that's about it, all together it is IMO simpler than landing on Mun.

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I am totally with you Kasuha. Landing on the Mun took some attempts, landing in a controlled and safe way and learning the mechanics behind it wouldnt be easy without some help of tutorials. Capturing an asteroid is easy compared to that.

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The first asteroid I captured was an class D that had an periapsis of about 300 km and retrograde orbit, getting near it was hard, but docking was even harder because I didn't have enough monopropellant. It took me 3 missions to get it on circular orbit at 7000 km.

My second asteroid was class A, that I took from interplanetary space.

After docking with it it was very easy to get it into an good orbit and then visit it with kerbals for science.

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Alot harder than I thought. I didn't think it'd be easy but I'm well experienced in going to Mun, Minmus, Duna and Moho so I thought after a bit of practice I should be able do it. Then came to pictures of people doing it with fairly small rockets and people saying it's easier than going to Duna. So then I spot a class C thats going to be captured and enter a 1M PE by 42 AP orbit and think goody and launch into the nearly polar orbit it has, I've learnt that trying to go polar from an equitorial in LKO is silly. Anyway I try and set up an intercept with no luck, as the node system foes bannanas at nearly polar orbits, with the AP marker changing your AP and inclination or every marker changing everything because it hates you. After many reloads and several asteroids with no luck I MechJeb'd it, suceeded but feel no satisfaction as MechJeb did it. I'm think I may have to wait for a tutorial, which I don't want to have to but at the moment the game seems screaming at me "Everything you've learned is wrong or meaningless."

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Way easier than what I expected. I admit my first capture (100000kg C class) required more than one ship, but it included an orbit reversal (from 180º to 0º inclination) which was possible only thanks to the Mun. With the second asteroid (30000kg B class)I pulled a NASA and even used SLS replicas to do it, easy as all hell.

First asteroid is on a synchronous orbit:

GOG2YCH.gif

Second one is on a retrograde 100x100km mun orbit.

I think the harder part for most people is the initial rendezvous with something so close to Kerbin but so far at the same time (inclination/radial wise), once you overcome that, it's a cakewalk.

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I missed my first asteroid, but that was only due to time warping during its SOI change and not having the time and fuel to readjust my orbit.

I've caught every single one (and slowed down time warp on every asteroid SOI change) since. About a half dozen so far.

I expected it to be harder than it is. But I don't mind. It's fun which is the important thing. And doing fun stuff (I still want to make a space station around one) with them will assuredly be harder and more fun still.

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