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The perils of 100% recovery

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I did some experimenting in sandbox mode, by launching the same 180t ship over to the runway several times and dumping different amounts of fuel to change the landing mass.

It definitely depends on both mass and velocity. In one case, I landed 132t at 4.2m/s with no explosion. I then landed the same mass (actually <100kg less) but with some chutes disabled so the final velocity was about 4.47m/s, and that destroyed the runway. So that's ~554kNs momentum in the first case and ~589kNs in the second. Based on a couple other flights, I'm guessing the line is somewhere close to 580kNs momentum. So if I wanted to land that 382t ship safely, I'd have to drop it to 1.5m/s or below, which would be challenging to say the least.

Clearly both the runway and launchpad need to be greatly strengthened. And they need to stop exploding, tossing 382t ships into the air, when they are damaged.

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I've been on a bit of a Minecraft kick lately, taking a voluntary break from KSP. Probably get back to it soon, as MC's starting to get boring for me.

I'll admit that the physics in KSP can be a little glitchy sometimes, but this just flies in the face of logic.

To be honest, I don't think the runway should be destructible at all. It's one solid mass of reinforced concrete, several meters thick at its thinnest point. The only thing that I can think of that would actually damage it would be a direct (or indirect) strike from something like a Class D or E asteroid.

For reference, it took a ten metric ton bunker-buster bomb (the Grand Slam) to penetrate the reinforced concrete of certain german reinforce U-boat pens. That's not just 10,000kg of inert mass hitting at near supersonic velocity, that's 10 tons of mass hitting at near supersonic velocity, penetrating thru it, and exploding. Even then, it basically made a neat hole in the top and blew everything inside that WASN'T reinforced concrete to bits, but the structure as a whole remained standing.

In other words, reinforced concrete is some seriously tough stuff. The only things that can damage it are purpose-designed weapons, extremely close atomic or thermonuclear detonations, or intentional demolition (even that takes a lot of work).

Compared to that, the current runway seems like wet tissue paper.

On the other hand, I don't want to turn building destruction off, either, because the actual buildings themselves seem to be just as durable as they should be (or maybe a small bit more durable than expected).

I'd imagine it would be useful to split off runway/launchpad destruction into a separate check-box as a short term fix, unless of course it's easier to just buff the strength of the pad/runway instead. Splitting the options out, or increasing the strength of the pad/runway, or any combination of those, would all be acceptable solutions in my mind.

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To be fair, splatting an 100 ton ship on the runway in 100 m/s should damage it, ok with less too say 30 ton and 30 m/s.

However it should be a pretty large ship and 30 ton is decent, it should also come down so fast it get destroyed. Small ships like should not do this.

An successful landing of an 500 ton ship should not either.

Buildings can be as they are today, they are not massive concrete structures.

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I've not done much with the runway yet, just a few small jets with science. The launchpad however is a different story. I've had some big rockets (asparagus staging) which would settle abruptly on the launchpad scene opening, and even though plenty of TT18-A Launch Stability Enhancers were used, the drop was significant enough during settling to cause the ship to hit/ding the launchpad and - BOOM! Also, trying something different, putting the vehicle flat down to the ground while in the VAB, also caused an immediate BOOM! when the launchpad scene opened... I suspect it was because part of the vehicle was below ground level coming out of the VAB. My solution thus far, has been using plenty of TT18-A's and keeping the tail of the vehicle well above the ground, as much distance as the length of an FL-T800 fuel tank... or about 5 or 6 Kebalites in height. ;)

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This could probably all be fixed with a simple check in the code that prevents the runway from exploding if the impact isn't fast enough to make the ship explode. Or just a hard cap of 10m/s. Not perfect, but it would fix 90% of cases with minimal effort.

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