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Everything posted by KSK

  1. Here you go. There's a section on bipod redesign photos. Pretty sure another 5-10 minutes of Googling (other search engines are available) would find you more if you need them.
  2. Hills - pffff. Anyone want to start a sweepstake on how it takes for the first wrecking ball crane to appear?
  3. No - we can't affect your real life personality. But we can ignore your posts if they're annoying to read. If you want people to pay attention to what you're saying, it helps if you don't put them off with silly writing quirks.
  4. Hmmm, that all certainly rang a bell or two. I'm sure I've read something a bit like it somewhere recently.
  5. First off - another thumbs up for @steuben's post! That about sums it up in my opinion. I'm also finding that the READ part of @Just Jim's recommendation is a whole lot easier now that I've done a bit of writing myself. Rather than just letting the words pour in through my eyes, I'm finding I pay much more attention to them. Which hasn't always been a good thing for some of my favourite books. Love the stories still but oh goodness the writing!
  6. That's one small jump for a kerbal... And what can go wrong on a short sub-orbital hop. There's no time for anything to wrong. Right? ....right?
  7. Here be mindworms?
  8. Good engineering, good people and more than once, a measure of good luck. Gemini 8 nearly ended badly for example, and likewise the Vostok 1 re-entry.
  9. How about rats? Or squirrels?
  10. Oh ye gods and little fishes. @CatastrophicFailure - if you need something even more completely insane for story writing purposes, then I give you... (very, very, carefully)... http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2016/09/27/what-this-here-compound-needs-is-some-hydrogen-peroxide And more Derek Lowe gems. "Try this paper out, from the Matzger group at Michigan. It’s on the delightful hexanitroisowurtzitane compound (CL-20) that I wrote about here. Now, if you complain that this one doesn’t have enough nitro groups in it then there’s something wrong with you, but apparently there are still those who look at this structure and say “Dang, not explosive enough”. Recall that this is the compound whose cocrystal with TNT is actually less dangerousthan the pure starting material itself, and yeah, I know that sounds like the guy at the pet store packing a starved Komodo dragon into the carrier with your new dog, just to calm him down some. But there it is." "The experimental section of the paper is worth a read, and again, you can tell that Matzger’s group has good technique because everyone made it intact to the writing of the manuscript. There are pictures of the crystals themselves, which are very nice, until you realize that they’re plotting to blow you into the ceiling crawl space at the first opportunity. It says that “no unplanned detonations were encountered” during the work, which is a nice distinction."
  11. I remember enough chemistry to think that an azidozide is probably going to be bad news. Especially if you look at it funny or sneeze within a 10m radius of the stuff. The other one I had to look up and found this article by the ever dependable Derek Lowe: "So that means that someone, somewhere, has perversely made a poly-N-nitro cage compound, as if they’d been dared to cram the most bond energy into the smallest space. That, as it happens, is exactly the case. Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane, or CL-20, was developed as a highly energetic, compact, and efficient explosive. What makes it unusual is not that it blows up – go find me a small hexa-N-nitro compound that doesn’t – but that it doesn’t actually blow up immediately, early, and often. No, making things that go off when someone down the hall curses at the coffee machine, that’s no problem. Making something like this that can actually be handled and stored is a real accomplishment. Not that it’s what you’d call a perfect compound in that regard – despite a lot of effort, it’s still not quite ready to be hauled around in trucks. There’s a recent report of a method to make a more stable form of it, by mixing it with TNT. Yes, this is an example of something that becomes less explosive as a one-to-one cocrystal with TNT. Although, as the authors point out, if you heat those crystals up the two components separate out, and you’re left with crystals of pure CL-20 soaking in liquid TNT, a situation that will heighten your awareness of the fleeting nature of life."
  12. Hi @Avery616, Good to see this story getting going! If you don't mind me commenting though, there's a couple of things you could do to make it more readable. First - no need to post everything in bold. The extra contrast makes it hard on the eyes, specially for an older guy like me. Next - I'm not sure whether this is just a formatting bug caused by copying and pasting, but putting your speech and speakers on separate lines looks odd. Instead of: Just go with: “Okay so how long would it take?” asked Gerdon. “Well we would have to remove the wings from the current rocket and remove the decoupler so we could put them on the new engine,” answered Wernher. Last - try and make sure that proper names are consistently capitalised. You tend to switch from Jeb to jeb and from Wernher to wernher. It's just a small thing but again, it makes your writing a bit easier on the eyes. Keep up the good work!
  13. Whilst we're on this topic, apologies to @Matuchkinfrom me as well, if I came on a little strong in my replies. I'm with Jim though, in getting over-protective of fan-fiction - I guess there's nothing like getting involved in something yourself to get protective of it. I have to admit though that it does irk me when I see folks using 'fan-fiction' as an easy synonym for 'bad writing' and tarring the whole genre with a single brush. However, responding with my own kneejerk reaction doesn't help either. Sorry.
  14. Which would be awesomely easy for a brain-in-a-jar. Couple of milligrams of glucose (or possibly a couple of millivolts of electricity) to the pleasure centres and ol' Thompberry is straight off to Happytime Land.
  15. Well worth the wait! A tense rescue, plenty of banter, Bill and Bob get their piece at the end, and (of all the daft things to pick up on) those mobile stairs are one super-cute rover! And they look stock as well.
  16. I can't think of any good reason why not provided that you can jettison it quickly in an emergency. The Apollo spacecraft had a boost protective cover which was jettisoned in flight (at the same time as the LES I think although I could be misremembering). Not quite the same as a fairing but not too dissimilar either.
  17. Well you can't say fairer than that - thank you. Just as a (hopefully polite) comment on your last post though, it seemed to me as though you were conflating childishness with quality of execution, which I don't think is the best way to look at it. I don't think there is anything inherently childish about fanfic of any kind - rather I view fanfiction very much how I view a covers band. Everyone needs to start somewhere, drawing inspiration from someone else's work is a well trodden way of getting started and in some cases, a really good cover can say new things about the original work. As with any other form of writing, fanfiction can (and does) vary wildly in quality but just because a given piece of fanfic doesn't paint a fantastically detailed world, or deal with big literary or philosophical themes, that's no reason to dismiss it as childish. Again, everyone has to start somewhere and discouraging somebody's early attempts at writing is rather unkind. On the other hand, there's no need to gush over it either and by all means offer constructive criticism - that's the only way the writer is going to learn to become a better writer. Turning to KSP in particular, as mentioned previously, I think it's a pretty solid starting point for storytelling. The lure of the unknown, the challenge of getting there, cutting edge technologies and spaceflight. KSP has all of those, the first two are solid literary themes in any genre and the last two are sci-fi staples. Then you have the twist of viewing the whole thing through the eyes of another species - and again, using another species as a mirror to hold up to humanity is another sci-fi staple. TL: DR, in my opinion there's nothing inherently childish about KSP fanfic. Execution of course, does vary but I do disagree with your list of 'things that KSP fiction isn't'. I'm not sure which examples you've read (and this definitely isn't the place for naming and shaming) but I've read KSP stories that tackle, or at least touch on some pretty big themes. Comradeship, avoiding genocide, having to make big decisions from highly imperfect data, the loneliness of command, comparative ethics, redemption and the love of a father for his daughter are just a few that spring to mind.
  18. You could try not saying it at all, especially if you think it's going to insult half the forum. Generally, that would be regarded as trolling. Quick question - have you bothered to read, or at least hang out on the threads dedicated to, this writing that you're so blithely dismissing as childish? Quick question 2 - would you regard an author specializing in graphic novels, young adult fiction or children's fiction as 'childish'? If not, why not? Arguments? All you've offered are opinions and preconceptions - and rude ones at that.
  19. Disagree. Adding character depth and development would be one way (amongst many others floated on this forum) of adding some much needed depth to Career Mode. In my opinion a crew roster that the player is actively engaged with, with reasons to select one crewmember over another would be preferable to the current, largely generic, lineup of rocket fodder. Oh - and thank you for the sweeping dismissal of the many writers on this forum, myself included. Not that I need to justify my KSP writing in the slightest, least of all to you, but here are some reasons (in no particular order) why I believe that culture has arisen: Human beings like stories. End of. We've been making them up and telling them ever since we figured out this 'language' thing and I doubt we'll be stopping any time soon. Being inspired by other works is common to almost every type of creative or artistic work you can imagine. How many musicians cite various bands as inspiration for their own music for example? How many bands start out by doing covers of their favorite tracks before finding their own style? It may be a video game but KSP includes a lot of big sci-fi tropes that make entirely suitable jumping-off points for writers to write about. From a neophyte writer's perspective, KSP is the best of both worlds. It's an almost entirely blank setting to work in, populated with just enough detail (most names of characters, rocket parts and companies) to make it a very recognizable setting. Which makes it fertile ground for storytelling of all kinds: hard sci-fi (as you might expect given KSP's take on rocketry and spaceflight), speculative sci-fi, horror, historical, satire, and comedy of all kinds. I'll get right on that then. No wait - I won't bother. See my comments above as to why KSP is, in my opinion, a fine inspiration for writers. And perhaps if the game and/or Squad did provide more backstory or character detail, we could finally move on from this tired, out of date, and frankly unwelcome meme that KSP is just about 'simple rockets crewed by idiot astronauts'.
  20. Happy Birthday! A fine update to celebrate it with too. Edit: As you were looking for feedback, I have one minor formatting request. I get that you don't want to put Alpha's speech in quotation marks to differentiate it from the rest of the crew - that's fine. But using italics or < > brackets or some other marks instead would help to make it more readable. Cheers.
  21. I feel the same way about First Flight, although I'm flattered by @TheKosanianMethod's kind words! I guess you could probably do an 'plucky amateurs go to space' type of film based on the early days of the KIS, although it would need a lot of creativity to make a decent screenplay out of my material. The meat of First Flight - the evolving story on Kerbin and how that feeds into the fledgling Kerbal Space Program would probably make a better TV series (ideally a nice high production values one ) than a film. Too many intersecting plot threads for a good film and frankly, quite a lot of worldbuilding time where nothing overtly exciting happens. Also, borrowing @Ten Key's words: "First Flight had me a little confused when I first started reading it. My general feeling is that the best stories are character driven, and while the characterizations in First Flight are good none of them really pop out at me. . .they serve to drive the story forward, but do not always stand up well on their own. That would make First Flight a plot driven story, but it really didn't feel like it. It is engaging in a way that plot driven stories rarely are, even though there really didn't seem to be any main characters. And then it hit me. First Flight is a character driven story where the world itself is the protagonist..." Those are good comments well made and I'll happily own them! But, as I think you'll agree, they don't really shout out 'Awesome Movie Material' I'm with @Just Jim - a joint effort at a screenplay would work much better, simply because it could draw on the strengths of many different authors.
  22. Some nice ideas here - I especially like the idea that the in-game trees are markers for underground kerbal houses! As for my own head canon - hoo boy, where to start! My ongoing First Flight story (see signature for link) covers most of it, with the rest appearing in the comments to that story. First Flight is basically my version of the history of the Kerbal Space Program - how it started, why the kerbals went to space and, ultimately, why they kept going to space - mixed in with a whole lot of stuff about the kerbals themselves. However, since it's currently running at around 700 pages worth of material, have some links to the more relevant parts for this thread: A potted history of Kerbin. This is the key part - the other links probably won't make a lot of sense unless you've read this first. On kerbal cities. Kerbal children and rural life. Some leisure activities. Life and Death. Where kerbals come from (forum friendly) and their funeral rites. Some thoughts on kerbal economics and kerbal drinks. Finally, some notes on Old Kerba, the ancient language of Kerbin. Starting at the linked post and expanded on over the next couple of pages of replies. It wasn't entirely intentional but it turns out that 'kerbal' is an Old Kerba word with a very appropriate translation.
  23. Rocket. It's got a rock in it and rocks are pretty hard. Parsec. They're really, really long.
  24. Not sure of the details but potassium loss can be a problem too I think. The Apollo astronauts (may as well throw a space travel reference in here. ) suffered from electrolyte imbalance due to excessive sweating. The solution was to give them potassium spiked orange juice to drink, although apparently it tasted pretty bad and was blamed for certain gastric problems. As you can probably imagine, farts in confined spaces (like lunar landers) weren't popular.
  25. No more scary than relying on carbon-carbon composites (hey carbon burns right?) as the Space Shuttle did on the most demanding parts (nose cone and wing leading edges) of its thermal protection system. As @rkarmarksaid, cork works well as a heat shield, at least in principle. Phenolic impregnated cork has been studied by NASA as a possible thermal protection material for aerocapture at Mars and as an ablator for heat shields in general. A successful moulded cork heat shield was apparently produced and tested back in the 70s and established as a realistic product. From the paper linked to in that article: " The properties which make cork a potential ablative insulating material are, of course, its low density, low thermal conductivity, inherent stability, and the way in which it burns... *snip* The burning characteristics of cork are naturally related to its low thermal conductivity Cork, as a natural wood, burns on ignition, but with its foam-like structure the heat of combustion simply is not transferred very deeply into the material. Thus, the formation of successive layers of char is dependent upon a constant supply of heat. As soon as heat is removed, the cork will self-extinguish..." So there you go. Edit. I'm unsure why cork wasn't adopted as a heatshield material despite the fact that it was found to be a realistic product. Possibly that reliably obtaining large enough pieces of cork of the required quality (it is a natural product after all) may have been too hard.