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Top 10 Reasons Your Craft Crashed Into the Planet / Is Drifting into Deep Space


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My most common in random order.

1. forget to deploy solar panels and has no power.

2. forget to add solar panels and have no power.

3. run out of fuel.

4. time warp into ground.

5. forget docking ports feed fuel.

6. time warp past point where I should do something.

7. no enough parachutes.

I can't think of any other common mistakes causing me problems.

My best stupid mistake was jettisoning a spent stage as I was approaching my station and then watching it crash into the station while I was docking. A station chunk then hit my ship. It was a less than successful mission. I never quick save so there was no recovery.

Edited by dr_jt
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Not enough fuel.

Lack of Chutes.

Going to fast when the chutes open with badly placed chutes.

Bad timing.

Not paying attention to the fact I'm landing and should have stayed and watched instead of going to get food while lytho braking.

Improperly built craft. A.K.A. Badly designed.

Lack of Batteries power.

Lack of Powerful SAS to stop spinning or over turning one way.

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Scrolling through targets starting from the sun, using TAB. Overshot by one. Hit SHIFT-TAB to go back one. Didn't work. Did it again. And again. Ultimately gave up, recentred on the sun, and scrolled through to the right target. Odd - the encounter was gone. Only then did I sort out that I had turned on engines with SHIFT and was now too low on dV for anything useful.

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I remembered that you could get science from doing EVA reports from different altitudes. I decided to do this during reentry to Duna. This is how I learned that Jeb can only hold on so tight before being ripped off the craft. I also learned that Kerbals go poof once they hit the ground and that Jeb is immortal.

Edited by Odielthen
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1) Lander tilts over and crashes into ground from hovering flight at low altitude during landing attempt. Root cause: View aligned to make lander shadow visible in external view to show height and speed over terrain, but lander not aligned with view control-wise, inducing incorrect pilot inputs based on visuals.

In short, the blasted thing tilts a little to the left, I correct intuitively by pushing right yaw - but the view is backwards so it tilts more. I push right yaw harder and throttle up, Kerbal dies in big fireball.

(No one else does that? I feel even more stupid now!)

2) Returning spacecraft enters Kerbin SOI with tons of delta V available. After expending all of its fuel, it's still fast enough to leave Kerbin SOI uncontrolled. Root cause: KSC Mission Control is clueless. "We didn't have that until recently. Kerbonauts are currently subjected to a rigid weight saving program ro increase delta V. We're also testing a new auxiliary engine type that runs on stowed-away extra snacks."

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1. Forgot the solar panels.

2. Accidentally warped past my maneuver node.

3. Accidentally hit spacebar.

4. Forgot to assign a critical action group.

5. Forgot to check crew assignments.

6. Symmetry Error, usually with a fuel line.

7. Parachutes ripped the craft in half when they opened.

8. Got all the way to the destination, then realized I forgot the science modules.

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We are SKRAM have analyzed thousands of failed missions and come up with the following list.

Ten: Watch this!

Nine: Struts, those are just for aesthetics.

Eight: I like it when things glow white hot!

Seven: TWR; If you wouldnt date it don't build it!

Six: Delta V, thats just a guideline right?

Five: The failure was due to St_ruc_tu_ral integrity?? Umm What? -Chief Engineer

Four: And only one bolt left over!

Three: I Bet you can't do ....


And the Number one reason.. JEB!

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1. Decoupler upside down , or attached to engine to it's low point. Seriously , switched to separators only.

2. RemoteTech: Ok , I just need to change main antannae to focus another relay , switch target to notarget.....derp

3. Lack of sepratrons. Or abuse of sepratrons , which kill central stage with exhaust.

4. 1000 m/s delta-v ? more than enough to land to Mun from low orbit and get back to Kerbin!


And most funny , placing 2 sats on prograde and retrograde 5mn orbits for remotetech stuff. Making their orbits nearly perfect match (except 180* rel. inc.) , and getting sat-deployer vessel destroyed by retrograde sat.

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Never actually had a drifting-into-space scenario.

As for crashing on another planet/moon, these have been my top five, from most common to least common:

1) Incorrectly estimated surface altitude and came in too fast.

2) Incorrectly gauged landing site inclination and attempted to touch down on a steep slope.

3) Attempted to land a craft with too high of a center of mass, and not wide enough of a base.

4) Parachute failure, either due to staging error or faulty connection to main ship.

5) Ran out of fuel to successfully enter orbit instead of a direct crash landing.

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1) Ran out of RCS for a rendezvous.

2) Forgot solar panels. (that has happened to me one to many times).

3) Incorrectly guessing fuel amounts for an interplanetary maneuver.

4) Putting on the wrong winglets.

5) Eve's atmosphere was much higher than I thought

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Forgetting to deploy neither solar panels nor com dish before probe goes over the horizon from KSC, still with a negative periapsis. (remotetech)

Getting panels and dish deployed in time, but forgetting to target a com sat for connection relays.

Fail to check staging during Minmus CSM launch, decouple upper stage engine at the same time as lower stage, and forced to use CSM engine to circularize orbit (and use up all the fuel).

Get the bright idea to still launch Minmus lander, dock with above CSM, transfer fuel from lander to CSM to make Minmus rendevous. Lander undocked for landing with empty fuel tanks.

Decoupled boosters a half-second too early, watched them obliterate the upper stages (but amazingly leave the capsule unharmed).

'Need MOAR boosters and delta V!'. Watched overpowered rocket melt from atmospheric friction at 5 km.

Having trouble holding a gravity turn, decide (like an idiot) to turn off port engine 'to see if it helps'. Learn what asymetrical thrust is.

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Ike got in the way.

Random encounter with something while time warping with another craft.

Kraken attack on undock = probe core at Kerbin escape velocity.

Lost remote tech control during deceleration burn, smashed into Eve @ 7km/sec. Good fireball though.

Left RCS and SAS on during phys-warp

Parachutes ripped off of ship on deployment.

Ferram decided to flip ship face first into fire on entry -> deadly re-entry had fun.

4km Orbit of Tylo's surface was fun. Until mountain.

This turned into this on undock:



Edited by Immashift
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My very first SSTo to make orbit had no solar panels, no generators, no docking ports... When the batteries ran out all I could do was spacewalk Jeb to a rescue ship.

Forgot panels again on a Munar lander. Landed OK but those two kerbals went down in a blaze of glory attempting to get back up to the orbiter when power cut out 1/2 way back up. I didn't notice the small motor I had on the lander provided no power at all (I had thought they ALL provided at least some amount of power up to then...).

Lost a number of kerbals learning how to land properly on the runway and/or takeoff in some of my more finicky designs.

As others have said, missing the 2nd of what should have been mirrored parts...

Lack of -or- too many sepratrons.

Forgetting to stop MechJeb from auto-staging at stage 3 or bad things happen with one of my designs.

A number 1 PRIORITY when docking anything is to immediately disable EVERY source of thrust other than RCS. I have destroyed WAY too many ships holding down shift instead of alt to transfer fuel.

I moved staging to ` (key above backspace) as I cannot seem to keep my fat thumbs off the space bar either.

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