Starman4308

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  1. First, that's a hair cheaty. Second, unless you're trying to use vacuum engines, 100 m/s is likely a huge overestimate. It gives you an almost negligible amount of velocity and gravitational potential energy. You do have less back pressure from atmo, bringing Isp closer to vacuum levels, but you're not going to get enough to justify switching to vacuum engines without either mods or craft file editing.
  2. There are several misconceptions in your post. 1) Just because a AAA publisher is backing the title doesn't mean they give AAA resources to the game. It's being made by a small team on a tiny fraction of the budget Take Two allocates to their AAA titles. 2) A better game engine will not help. Nobody in game design is possessed of a rigid-body physics engine meaningfully better than the one in Unity, and that is the bottleneck. 3) Unless I miss my guess, the KSP 2 team is doing something far smarter than trying to parallelize the monstrous problem that is rigid-body physics. They're probably going to do some sort of static or dynamic parts welding, treating groups of parts as a single part where the rigid-body physics engine is concerned. That scales up magnificently without requiring them to write a high-performance rigid-body physics engine from scratch. 4) Writing a better rigid-body physics engine won't help much, because the problem is inherently difficult to parallelize due to the self-consistent nature of trying to solve a large set of rigid-body constraints.
  3. I think there was at least one point where KAC stored settings in GameData, and there's some mod in my current RP-1 install that occasionally triggers an MM cache rebuild.
  4. For moddability, portability, and ease of sharing save files, flat text continues to be a good choice. Something that would add a bit of complexity would be to essentially bake MM into KSP 2, such that you can have "source" flat-text files in GameData with a cache that can be rapidly loaded if it hasn't changed. Hopefully, modders this time around remember to store settings and other mutable data outside GameData. For save files, they may consider bundling a save file converter which would let the player extract binary save files into flat text and back again This would have the effect of making life a bit more difficult for people who frequently manually edit or view save games, but is at least a compromise between speed and viewability/moddability.
  5. With RP-1, this becomes a much more substantial question due to tooling costs. Due to that, I tend to go for a low-thrust sustainer core that can just barely get off the pad, then slap on boosters as needed for heavier payloads. This results in OLV families with 0-8 boosters, occasionally including 1-booster designs, and sometimes with alternate booster selections. For example, if I need just a little extra thrust, I may slap on 2-4 Castor 1 SRBs, whereas more demanding payloads may call for a pair of LRBs.
  6. A good bet would be to park the return vessel at a Lagrange point, Eyes Turned Skyward style. It's a little bit more dV-intensive, and means a longer trip back to the return vehicle, but you can get to a Lagrange point from any point on the surface for roughly the same cost, letting you pick landing sites at will. I would rule out the high mountains unless a specialized lander is developed, as beyond the roughness of the terrain, you also need to deal with how thin the Martian atmosphere is up there. Seismic activity is likely a non-issue. Mars isn't 100% seismically dead, but it's not exactly prone to massive quakes. Radiation protection is likely a matter of mission duration. Short-duration, you can get away with minimal shielding. Long-duration, and you're probably going to want to set up your base underground... which incidentally solves some dust-related problems. Power: for a short-term mission, you can probably do solar panels + batteries (or regenerative fuel cells). Long-term, you can do either solar cells + wind turbines w/ storage, or go for a buried fission reactor. The latter also has the advantage of providing all the heat you could ever need. Heating: insulate the floor, and with how thin the Martian atmosphere is, you're probably not going to need much heating. This will be less of a concern if a fission reactor is used for power. A lot of choices depend on mission scope (30 day flags-and-footprints or multi-year base) and whether the local terrain is amenable to underground bases. I believe there's at least lunar proposals to use lava tubes to put the base in, though I don't know offhand if there are similar features on Mars one could exploit. Digging out your own cave is all fine and dandy until you try to figure out just how much Marsmoving equipment you're going to need for the job.
  7. I'm given to understand it's generally been the expectation that pilots be allowed to parachute down safely, even if it's over their own territory where they will undoubtedly be back in action the next day. It's been a while since I read about it, so I'm fuzzy on it, but I'm given to understand at least one WW 2 ace pilot was vilified for shooting pilots under their parachutes if they were over their own territory (though he did refrain from shooting pilots down over his territory under the assumption they would be captured). It does not hurt matters that there are frequently more pilots than aircraft available: the loss of just the aircraft is still a substantial blow to the enemy's capacity to wage war in the air. Now, as to whether this is morally consistent with how soldiers of other services are treated, I'm less certain, but so long as both sides agree to fight by the same rules, that's OK by me. These escape systems are probably bending the rules, and I could see countries saying "nope, you're not going to do this with us", but these systems would basically amount to a roughly ~100 mile extension of "we still won't shoot you under your parachute if you're over your own territory."
  8. I did a bit of research, and it'd be hard to pull off. The concept is more than a bit hampered by the general awfulness of trying to get buoyancy in a mostly-hydrogen atmosphere. I don't have the time to iterate over the entire parameter space, but I have a suspicion that you might want to go below the 1-bar level just so atmospheric density increases. I assumed a 1000 ton reactor producing 100 MW of thermal energy, with the hot gas inside the balloon maintained at a nice cozy 298.15K (room temperature). I ballparked the Jupiter atmosphere as pure H2 at 200K/1 bar. To maintain 1000 tonnes of buoyancy, you'd need a spherical balloon 200m in radius. I then assumed as insulation it would have 2.5mm of fiberglass (which would itself mass ~2200 tons), and I got a heat loss of 893 MW, about 9x what is being produced. Submarine reactors with fiberglass insulation probably aren't the way to go. Hyperion claims they can build a 15-20T reactor producing 70 MW of thermal energy, which is a roughly 35-45x improvement in power to mass. An array of these would get you past the break-even if the balloon itself can be made lighter. Advanced foam materials are better insulators than fiberglass, though structural integrity is also a concern.
  9. Really, I think the low temperature at the 1 bar mark is a plus. You're going to need a hot-gas balloon anyways. With a low baseline temperature outside the balloon, you don't need the balloon to be as hot to get good buoyancy. This also serves as a low temperature heatsink for fission reactors, or a nigh-endless source of hydrogen if you assume the presence of a fusion reactor. Solar panels aren't very effective out there, and wind turbines would require you to be attached to a solid surface; fusion/fission is the best idea I can conceive of anyways. I could easily envision having a fission reactor at the bottom, cooled by hydrogen gas cycled through the balloon. Convection currents inside the balloon should really help. And hey, there's one more advantage to balloons on gas giants vs. Earth/Kerbin: no pesky O2 to ignite after a lightning strike!
  10. As always with this sort of system: one constant tradeoff is that added mass means less range/speed/maneuverability, so heavy abort systems mean you're more likely to get shot down in the first place. Another factor is "how easy is this to operate for a possibly wounded and likely disoriented pilot?" There's also the (small) possibility of being mistaken for a still operational aircraft and being shot down again... this time with a lot less aircraft between you and enemy fire. And now that I think about it, while an enemy pilot might not intend to shoot you down, a heatseeker that can't tell the difference between the Sun and an enemy aircraft may not be able to tell the difference between one of these concepts and a jet exhaust... How worthwhile this is depends strongly on what sort of treatment a captured pilot can expect. Overall, I would expect these sorts of systems to lead to more overall deaths*, but that may be worthwhile against a foe with particularly poor treatment of prisoners. *Predicated on the assumption that parachutes are pretty good at getting you down to the ground alive, many of these concepts require the final stage to be a parachute anyways (thus not even eliminating parachute-related risks), higher likelihood of being shot down in the first place, and possible (accidental or intentional) double-shootdown. Many of these autogyros look a lot more like an aircraft than a guy in a parachute, after all.
  11. The impact should be minimal unless the dev team is composed entirely of 80-year-old smoking diabetics with heart disease. Productivity will take a short-term hit due to lack of face-to-face meetings and some people are simply unproductive working from home, but I would anticipate less than a week of overall development lost.
  12. There are two problems, both of which are fundamentally because Gilly is way too small for practical slingshot maneuvers. 1) Unless you can borrow NASA's supercomputers, you're going to waste more dV setting up Gilly encouters than anything GIlly actually gains you. 2) Even if you could set up the slingshots with superb precision, it would take a very long time, as each slingshot provides only a very small boost. It'd also be impossible to use Gilly for the final gravity assists. You'd need to use Gilly to kick yourself into a Kerbol-centric orbit, and then use at least a few Eve encounters to boost up to a Kerbin-crossing orbit. Eve is a practical slingshot target, but slingshots work poorly when relative velocities are low (as would be the case from a "just barely ejected from Eve" orbit), so you'd need several slingshots just to build up some Eve-relative velocity. Now, if he had a bit more dV to spare, I might suggest kicking himself into a Kerbol-centric orbit and using Eve slingshots to go to Kerbin, but with the dV he has and the absence of any practical gravity assist target within Eve SOI, he's basically stuck without a rescue mission.
  13. Clearly the answer is a series of Gilly gravity assists. A more serious answer: send a rescue mission. While I'd have to double-check with actual math, I suspect you're not going to get enough dV to pull off something like EEK, where you eject from Eve, encounter it N orbits later (it helps to make an N:N+1 resonance), and use that slingshot to send you to Kerbin.
  14. There's a difference between EA and release, but in the minds of the consumer, far less than there should be. Real EA processes fall well short of the idealized picture of EA, as developers are forced into an early cycle of addressing user feedback promptly, which can lead to things like bandaged-over code instead of taking the time to fix the root issues. The sort of title that really benefits from EA are those with a particularly novel concept (e.g. the first KSP) and those which outright lack the funding to make it through development and need a cash injection regardless of what it does to development. In the case of KSP 2, the primary positives of EA are meaningless (the devs have money and a clear idea of what they're doing), leaving just the downsides of EA (being prematurely forced into regular feedback loops and sifting through the noise of community feedback to find precious little signal).
  15. I'd definitely prefer no advanced alien life. It'd be hard to do properly and it'd take a way a bit from the appeal IMO if done incorrectly. Microscopic life would be great to see in places, and you could definitely do the simpler forms of multicellular life (e.g. sponges, plants, tube worms at deep sea vents) without too much trouble. I'd definitely like to see it in places which might prod people into learning something about Earth's history or exobiological concepts.