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Everything posted by peadar1987

  1. Thanks, glad you're enjoying it! I made the map using Used the map of Kerbin off Kerbal Maps, set it as a background, and traced over it in a separate layer. Kerbal maps appears to be dead now though, which is sad, the best I could find today was the archived version:
  2. This started off as me imagining how different countries and societies might have developed on Kerbin. It eventually developed into a semi fleshed-out world, and it seemed like a waste not to set some stories in it. I've tried to avoid just creating analogues for real-world nations, although some influences and parallels are going to be pretty obvious. This is my first attempt at writing fiction since I left school over a decade ago, so any feedback is very welcome and useful! Here's the map I came up with, with the main players highlighted: We have: -The Atlavandian Empire Formerly the dominant military power on Kerbin, with an empire spanning half a hemisphere. Atlavand was torn apart a generation ago in a succession war between brother and sister, and many of their colonies around the Atlav Ocean took advantage of this to declare their independence. Now an uneasy peace exists between the Emperor of West Atlavand and the Empress of East Atlavand, with both halves isolated, paranoid, and not on the best of terms with any of their neighbours -The Eslen Alliance The largest economic force in the southern hemisphere, the Alliance is more of a trading bloc than a unified country. Think modern day European Union more than USA. It grew up around a collection of small seafaring merchant republics around the Eslen Sea. They are prosperous, liberal and forward-looking, but tend to lack direction and strong leadership -Shaland An isolationist nation that has developed along the Great Lakes. These provide a natural highway making the nation very easy to defend against enemies, but the trackless badlands and highlands further from the lakes are harder to hold, so the Shalanders long ago gave up trying. Traditionally, the warlord who controls the Narrows between the two lakes controls the country. -Tespen Confederation Another group of separate countries that have become rich from a trading network around an inland sea. The Tespen Confederation is a collection of deeply conservative monarchies who club together to snuff out change if it starts to crop up in any one country, protecting the power of the monarchs and nobility. They tend to view anyone from outside the Confederation as savages. -Yeflana A totalitarian desert nation, which claims to be a benevolent dictatorship. The economy is mostly communistic, although slightly less brutal and rigid than the Soviet system. Has a history of friction with the Tespen Confederation. In the past the strength of the Confederation and the harsh climate of Yeflana have kept the border from moving too far from its current location -Zeswurg The island of Zeswurg was famous for its pirates and raiders for many years, heavy seagoing ships making easy pickings of the lighter vessels from the sheltered Eslen Sea. More recently they have developed a reputation for uncomplicated yet reliable engineering, building on a culture that necessarily placed rather a high value on not sinking without a trace. The political system is a council that developed from individual pirate kings I'll follow up the background info with the first installment of the story over the next few days.
  3. "This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one" Oops, looks like I've neglected the fic again On the plus side I do have 45,000 words of thesis on paper now! -------------------------- The headquarters of Yeflanan Strategic Air Command in Nammard was an unassuming, squat building on the outskirts of the city, close to the international airport. Most of it was taken up with offices in which earnest Kerbals pored over reports and data on proposed new aircraft designs, industrial output, and Tespen incursions. The centrepiece, however, was the Situation Room, a giant, windowless chamber, filled with rows of desks, and dominated by an enormous screen which took up most of one wall. In front of the desk was a table adorned with a map of Yeflana, covered in small models representing Yeflanan and enemy forces. Most of the time, this room was quiet. It was designed for full-scale war, not single intruders or spy planes. Even Jadra's foray across the border three years previously had only caused a minor flurry. Therefore, Yaffie, a young mathematician in only her first year at the Command, was bored. On that particular summer's morning, she was flicking through the latest issue of Truth, the government-run newspaper. The lead story was, as almost always these days, space-related, reporting another successful test firing of the LV-7 engine. Inside, more of the usual. Vague rumours of a superweapon of unimaginable power being developed by the Tespens, urging Yeflanans to stay patriotic in the face of this threat. A popular and flamboyant party official who had been sent to a labour camp after a shock corruption scandal. A dry business story about a new tungsten mine, which was expected to alleviate the shortage that had existed since West Atlavand stopped their exports... It wasn't even sportsflying season, so she couldn't read about the exploits of her favourite pilots. Her reading was interrupted by a low-key alarm. She barely even looked up. She knew the drill, single intruder, it would fly into Yeflanan airspace, provoke a response, then turn back before it could be attacked. She was ready to start reading a story about increased agricultural output on the Kibbin peninsula when the pitch of the alarm changed and the room broke into nervous chatter. "How is it doing that?" "It's going so quickly!" "Is it still climbing?" Yaffie looked up at the screen, and it was immediately clear that this was no normal intrusion. The bogey was climbing fast, and accelerating, and its heat signature was enormous. It would cross the Yeflanan border in almost no time. "Scramble fighters! Alert the gunnery battalions! I want that craft taken down!" "Gunnery commanders reporting the aircraft is too high to target, and still climbing" "What is this thing?!" "Fighters have lost contact, altitude is 40,000 metres and climbing" Yaffie looked on helplessly at the screen as the dots representing the most advanced SAMs in the Yeflanan arsenal fell behind the intruder and ran out of fuel. "Heat signature has shut off, but we still have it on radar. Looks like it's on a ballistic trajectory. I want someone crunching the numbers on this now!" Yaffie grabbed her slide rule and notepad. Ballistic trajectories were easy compared to calculating the flight path of a SAM. It was immediately obvious that this intruder was going to loop straight over the Yeflanan defences, almost touching the edge of space before touching down in... "Nammard. Commander, it's going to hit here"
  4. I think it also had to do with the risk of the Bends in the event of depressurisation.
  5. Is the flammability of materials in oxygen determined solely by the partial pressure of the oxygen, or will a buffer gas change things? i.e. are things more or less flammable in a 20kPa oxygen atmosphere than in normal air at the same temperature?
  6. And because there aren't infinite numbers of people on earth to produce the infinite amounts of energy required to launch infinite refuelling missions. Not to mention we don't have infinite reserves of the materials needed to make spacecraft and fuel for them.
  7. Yup, they'd hear the booms alright. As to whether it would damage the planes or not, I would say no, my gut says the force from a sonic boom at that range would be less than the forces the aircraft is designed to withstand in normal operation. Although I think then wake turbulence could become an issue for both aircraft after passing each other
  8. When calculating the ISp though, you need to take into account the escape velocity of the earth. Any reaction mass you throw out is going to Newton's Third Law you back to rest unless it's expelled from the system. The escape velocity from the earth's surface is about 11,000 m/s, which means your exhaust velocity has to be at least this high to get any net thrust at all. Effectively, 1100s is going to be subtracted from your ISp straight off. This means that the only choice is really ion thrusters. Of course, this penalty will decrease as the earth's gravity does, because we're decreasing the earth's mass significantly, so we're going to get a nice integral function to solve, and the final dV is going to be hugely dependent on what ISp we start with.
  9. Well in theory we can just build arbitrarily large structures in space. If we have eleventy billion Soyuzes, we can take 5-10 years to develop a way of reliably coupling fuel tanks together like in KSP, and put anything on a transfer trajectory to anywhere. And if it blows up because it's too complicated or too untested, we just build another one, because we have eleventy billion Soyuzes. With all of the world's military budgets combined, that's about $1.7 trillion a year. That would easily pay for a permanent Mars colony (This article estimates a Mars program with 9 trips, like Apollo, would cost $1.5 trillion over the project lifetime, which given launch windows would likely be 20-ish years). With current technology, we could land people on Mars, that's just a question of Delta-V. And we wouldn't need to perfect closed-loop life support either, as sending fresh supplies is also just Delta-V as well. For $1.7 trillion a year we could just keep sending stuff out whenever the colonists looked like they might need it. Not an elegant solution, but with that sort of budget it doesn't need to be.
  10. Ah now, there's still plenty of great moments in spaceflight. Cassini... Rosetta... New Horizons... Curiosity... I wasn't around for the golden era of manned spaceflight, but there's still a load of incredibly cool and engaging unmanned stuff going on, even if the ISS isn't your cup of tea.
  11. I'm on an old version of KSP, but my MM patch a few posts up should still work.
  12. And when I was about three years younger than I am now, NASA was going to recover an asteroid to study. Boo lack of funding!
  13. Yes, but on the contrary, MOAR BOOSTERS!
  14. If you want to be really clever you just put two turrets with a half-hemisphere field of fire back-to-back. Same coverage, far less complexity.
  15. Just a guess, but if it was formed from remnants of Theia and ejecta from earth, the individual pieces would all have been on either hyperbolic or suborbital trajectories, but when they smashed together, they would change each others' paths into something that didn't hit the surface or escape the system. Then once you have an elliptical orbit in a "dirty" region of space, it will tend to circularise, as the body is hitting things harder and more often at perigee when it is moving faster. As well as circularisation due to tidal effects.
  16. I was just going to say he's probably a lot further away than the looks due to foreshortening, but I like this idea better
  17. And what type of energy are you trying to deliver to it? Kinetic? Thermal? Potential? Does it matter if the object is destroyed in the process? What is its mass? What material is it made of? Are you working to a tight timescale, or have you got as long as you need?
  18. Hammer?! Although i you want to game the question, the easiest way would be to move it to somewhere warmer than it is now and leave it there for a while.
  19. Of course. But I'm not arguing that the Shuttle is terrible, or that it is better or worse than any other spacecraft, I'm just disagreeing with Yobobhi's claim that "the Commies were bad at engineering".
  20. Cost is a pretty big handicap. If I want to put a 1000kg payload in orbit, cost and reliability are the two things I'm going to use to decide which launcher is "best". Which is why the Soyuz is the "best" launcher for a lot of the applications we've had for the past 30 years, and is still flying whereas the Shuttle has been retired, in spite of its superior technical capabilities in certain areas. All engineers are given a budget. If you meet the design brief within the budget then you're a good engineer. Bigger budgets don't make better engineers.
  21. You're completely missing the point. The 747 is better than the Shuttle at what it was designed to do. The Shuttle is better than the 747 at what it was designed to do. Heck, my lawnmower is better than the shuttle at what it was designed to do. Just using total up-mass per launch as the be-all and end-all of launcher comparison is far too simplistic. The Apollo LEM descent stage could put a payload of 4,700kg on the Moon. The Shuttle could put zero payload on the moon. Does this mean that the LEM was categorically a better spacecraft, or simply that it was designed for a different purpose?
  22. May be useful to start an arms race and bankrupt your rivals?! Other than that, orbital weapons platforms don't give any particular advantage* *Unless we start developing unprecedentedly powerful and efficient laser weaponry, in which case the huge, unobstructed field of view from an orbital platform would be of some benefit.
  23. So just after a quick google: 4.5kWth, 42kg: 4.4kWth, 29kg: 2kWth, 22kg: 4.1kWth, 35kg: These are portable heat pumps so will be designed to be relatively lightweight, but mass won't have been the #1 optimisation criterion. Specific powers are about 100-150W/kg, so I'm guessing if mass was a major issue you could probably design one with a specific power of 200-250W/kg. Again, for your temperature question, it's not something that would really come up. The temperature is a design parameter, and there's no real reason to compare systems that produce a different temperature output, you will always just go with the one that produces the minimum temperature that satisfies the design brief.
  24. Ah right, no idea. Any thermodynamic systems I've worked on are firmly attached to the ground, so mass is right down the list of parameters I'd be optimising.