A weird thing happened this morning, I suspect it was a bug, but I'm wondering if this has happened to anyone else.

Jebediah was coming in for reentry to Kerbin when he deployed the parachute too early causing it to be ripped off in the atmosphere. At this point all was lost so he tried something radical: at the moment before impact he jumped out of the capsule. The capsule was going about 280 m/s. He took a hard bounce on the surface and a couple of skids, but miraculously he survived! That was weird, but it gets weirder. Jebediah started trekking back to the crash site and after about two minutes of walking he disappeared into the surface with a puff of dust. The mission log popped up and said Jebediah had been killed by impact with the surface. Which makes sense given the crash, but the time log says he was killed 2+ minutes after every other piece hit the surface.

So two questions: What speed will kill a kerbin? And why did Jebediah "crash into the surface" when he was walking on it?

  • That's nothing. I've had a Kerbal survive re-entry and landing, unassisted. Bounced once, got up, and good to go.
    – Frank
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 15:22
  • I am still testing, but so far Jeb survived 45m/s leg-first. Which appears to be above his terminal velocity. Edit: 126m/s was deadly ;p
    – PTwr
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 15:29

1 Answer 1


45 meters per second is safe speed for leg-first landing. Helmet is weird bouncy thing.

After some testing I learned that as of KSP 1.0.5:

  1. Kerbal landing at over 45m/s can awaken Kraken. Kerbal can end up below surface or whole game can crash.
  2. Going over 50 ends up in "poof". Kerbal dies.
  3. Kerbal helmets are made of unobtainium. Landing at much higher speed can be made by bouncing on Kerbal helmet. Extensive testing of head-crash is believed to be source of Jeb lack of fear.
  4. Holding ladder on EVA while rocket explodes during crash can save Kerbal as well, as each exploding part greatly slows down rest of machine. Unless you broke elusive "poof" barrier, that is.

Note: With mods it is possible to equip Kerbal with parachute.

As to why poor Jeb suddenly went poof: Kraken Bug. Probably floating point precision related.

  • Thanks! I had no idea about the helmet or ladder things but that's really funny!
    – Chris
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 1:55

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