I made a tug with the Klaw to rescue Valentina Kerman, who I had stranded in an orbit of the Mun, and bring her back to Kerbin. During reentry, I set the tug's parachutes to fire at a high pressure, and separated from the mun lander craft, as the tug was expendable but Valentina was not.

After watching Valentina splashdown gently into the ocean, I pressed ] to switch through active ships and observe the tug successfully splashdown as well. After the tug had splashed down, I pressed ] again and was aghast when the message "No nearby objects to focus. Use the Map View to select distant ones." appeared on screen.

I recovered the tug, checked the Tracking Station, and Mun Lander had disappeared. In the Astronaut Complex, Valentina was listed as KIA.

How did she die?

  • Yeah, this happened to me too. Attached a claw with parachutes to a lab module that was to be retrieved. Detached just before splashdown to give it a slower descent, and it disappeared. May 26, 2015 at 11:37
  • If you have respawning disabled, it is possible to recover dead Kerbals by hacking your save file. I wouldn't consider this cheating if the Kerbal died due to game bugs. (I had Valentina die because she just randomly fell over in a flat piece of desert.)
    – Thomas
    May 29, 2015 at 15:01

1 Answer 1


The thing that I can think of is this:

KSP will automatically remove some debris. In the menu, you can set the number of pieces of persistent debris. If you switched to another craft it may have removed the "debris" of the Valentina and the klaw.

Only vessels with a controlable part (capsules or probe bodies) won't be treated as debris. Did you have a probe body attached to the klaw that held Valentina?

This is from the Kerbal Space Program Wiki:

Any debris not within 2.5 km (the physics range) of the active vessel, will be removed if it is in an atmosphere with atmospheric density of greater than 0.1 atm

  • Valentina was in a full spacecraft with capsule. You are probably right; the game might have accidentally classified it as debris after separation. I accidentally deleted my save by quickloading & hadn't quicksaved for a few days, so she's back to life now... and I have to repeat my first interplanetary mission. May 26, 2015 at 15:51
  • One more option: She drowned. The capsule stays on the surface for a while, but I had it sink and drown after a while.
    – SF.
    May 28, 2015 at 14:43

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