SaturnianBlue

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About SaturnianBlue

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  • Interests A young person who enjoys space-related things, especially spacecraft, sci-fi (especially hard sci-fi), and space warfare. I have a small interest in early 20th century warships, and has picked up an interest in writing from the KSP forums. I also draw quite a bit.

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  1. Couldn't help myself, could I!
  2. Tylo—The biggest moon in the Kerbol system, at a size equivalent to that of Kerbin. Though difficult to land on, it does have its advantages. Why Settle? First, Tylo is the farthest of the major moons from Jool. This also means that the radiation received from the radiation belt is the lowest. Additionally, Tylo has its own magnetosphere to provide additional protection. Those factors mean that vessels require little shielding. For interplanetary vessels, this is especially helpful, since such vessels need all the delta-V they can get, and shielding will decrease it. This is also important for orbital space habitats, which will require far less shielding. Peculiar for a moon far from Kerbol, Tylo is apparently rocky, and it would be unsurprising to see significant amounts of metals, which the resource scans show. That said, the resource scans are pretty much always like this, so I desired something that would give more unique details, while still making sense. I stumbled on to the DMagic science mod, which adds a lot of science instruments with detailed descriptions—just what I needed. The descriptions are quite detailed, and suggest that Tylo is in fact quite rocky, made mostly of silicates and some metal. Apparently, the craters tend to have high concentrations of titanium and iron, while more elevated locations have more aluminum. If the industrial capacity exists to create titanium, Tylo could produce high-quality spacecraft on-site. Lastly, the gravity on Tylo is a full 0.8 G, easily enough to prevent the effects of low gravity and erasing the need for any spinning habitats. Unfortunately, this would probably prevent anyone who has lived in low gravity for much of their lives from coming here, and the spacesuits would be uncomfortable to use. Issues It takes a tremendous amount of energy to get to and from Tylo’s surface. While various launch methods could be used to reduce these effects, such as mass drivers. Though mass drivers can get ships most of the way to orbit, its use in landing is limited mostly to killing horizontal velocity, requiring the vessel to burn its rockets on the way down. A better option would be an orbital ring, since cargo can be moved up and down. Space elevators can work, but a synchronous orbit is outside Tylo’s SOI, so they would only work partially. One of the first priorities for an early colony will be to build a non-rocket launch system, since they would save cost with any of these options. For the most part, Tylo is devoid of water, with both the DMagic instrument readings and the resource scans agreeing. However, there could be some ice trapped inside the poles of the moon, where it is never exposed to light. The other option is to import it from Vall and Laythe, which are virtually covered in forms of water. Colony Designs Constructing a space-rated settlement in the 0.8 G of Tylo is quite difficult, but this also erases the need for spinning habitats. Much like the Mun, the relative placement of cities may be similar, with polar cities utilizing the in-situ water ice, and equatorial cities launching ships into equatorial orbits. A combination of quarries and automated mining vehicles collect resources, with the latter becoming increasingly more useful as the surrounding area is quarried. Fast, carries a lot of material, but terrible at turning Since it would be difficult to dig into the Tylo’s rock, habitats would just use regolith for any radiation shielding. Most of these habitats would likely be rounded and inflatable, with most connections done via tunnel to avoid the loss of oxygen with airlocks and radiation exposure. When I covered similar habitats on the Mun, I mentioned how lava tubes could exist for habitats to be built inside, and also how they didn’t exist in-game. Even though Tylo’s gravity is much higher, which would impart more stress on such formations, the easter egg cave exists as an in-game example, and it is huge! Over a kilometer in size, a full sized city containing thousands could be built, with no shielding required except for the entrance point. Unfortunately, the cave will have to be coated to prevent the loss of air if it is to be fully inhabited. Colony Progression One of the major reasons Tylo may be settled is to help develop Vall and mainly Laythe—with so much less radiation near orbit, interplanetary ships can enter into Tylo’s huge SOI with no issue, and transfer their cargo at orbital stations to ships better suited for the voyage, while the interplanetary vessels are loaded up with metals and manufactured products from Tylo, and shipments from Vall and Laythe delivered by other shielded vessels. As such, there may be many space stations orbiting Tylo to support the transfer and storage of huge volumes of cargo, and plenty of space for shops for recently paid ship-crew to spend their cash away. Simply put, Tylo would become the transportation hub of Jool, provided very light radiation shielding doesn’t become viable. A flow chart of sorts—as you can see, most resources coming or going towards interplanetary destinations pass through Tylo. Most colonization efforts on the surface will be based around mining, with each major colony having a mass driver to fire their cargo up to the various space stations, or right to the nearby moons. Since mining operations will be mostly automated, the population of each colony will likely never exceed a few thousand, and would be quite scattered and somewhat isolated Since mass drivers can only do most of the work for getting to orbit and back, there’s a good chance that a space tug industry will spring up around Tylo to compensate for this, although it may become obsolete if a giant construction project like an orbital ring is built. As the population of Tylo increases, support for cave/lava tube colonies may increase. However, many younger kerbals may choose to leave Tylo for Laythe or for the orbital space stations, seeing that they are far more active places in general. Summary Tylo is rich in metal, with a fairly comparable gravity to Kerbin. Thank to the lower amounts of radiation out here, it becomes an ideal terminus for interplanetary voyages, with transportation to the other moons provided by well-shielded vessels. This effectively makes it a transportation hub, resulting in high demand for space stations. On the surface, mining colonies spring up, with the possibility of cities in giant caves. End of Chapter XVIII Thanks for reading! Next: Colonizing Bop and Pol
  3. Same, I probably have a backlog of months from that show!
  4. My personal favorites are Startalk (though I don't listen to it as much as I used to), The Skeptics Guide to the Universe, and the Infinite Monkey Cage.
  5. I'm a Delta II rocket flying over Saturn, so i'll be fine—until it runs out of fuel and plunges into Saturn's atmosphere, so it's really not the zombies that would be concerning.
  6. I've finished writing up the Tylo chapter and started taking the pictures for it. I should point out that I probably won't be that active in the next week, and the chapters after Tylo may have to wait. In the meantime, I've added a further info section to the first post for more general Sci-Fi info, since Imagining a Kerbal Future is more focused on details unique to KSP.
  7. I could see that, it explains a lot.
  8. Good idea! There's still a relative lack of space missiles, I must say.
  9. Where, specifically?
  10. An F-22 fires an AMRAAM and a few flares over the mountains, afterburners on.
  11. The smallest of the major Joolian moons, Vall rests right in between the giants of Tylo and Laythe. Why Settle? As mentioned in earlier chapters, low gravity is quite harmful—and Vall certainly is host to that, with only 0.235 G. However, this also means that landing and taking off are significantly easier, making the other moons quite accessible, and resources become quite distributable. This is helped by the fact that unlike Bop and Pol, it is located near Jool, where travel times are low, and is in an equatorial orbit. Therefore, mass drivers are quite effective on Vall, since mined resources can quickly be sent to Laythe and Tylo, with no atmosphere to stop the payload, but aerobraking is usable in Laythe's case. In terms of prospection, Vall can be seen as quite good… and… Not as good. Like many places in the Kerbol system, the amount of resources available seems to be quite diverse in many regards, though Alumina is in short supply. Combined with the relative accessibility of orbit, this makes Vall quite a good place for the shipping of raw material. However, the gamma-ray spectrometer tool seems to show that Vall is completely depleted of radioactive elements… Except for the fact that Uranium ore makes up a few percent of the total resources available. Clearly, they conflict. One possibility leaves Vall quite dependent, while the other makes it quite capable. This isn’t even the only conflict. I don't know about you, but this looks like a mini-comet with ice to me. Though Vall clearly has a rather icy surface, and it being an analogue to the icy Europa, the resource scans show only hydrates, not pure water. The rocks there are dirty ice-balls and the mountain ridges appear to be eroded craters. Each vision would significantly change interest in Vall. Without much water on Vall, it becomes significantly harder to dig into the surface for habitation, and it also makes it getting the bare necessities for life harder. This would also boost Laythe’s position even more, since they become the main source of water in the Joolian system (Tylo is apparently rocky). With water though, the picture is completely flipped, and Vall would be far better off. Edit: In practically all the biomes, the DMagic Orbital Science mod descriptions think that the composition of the surface is ice, with copper-containing compounds being the reason behind Vall's bluish tint. Issues Like Laythe, Vall has the possibility of harboring extraterrestrial life. Assuming an icy composition, the tidal heating from the other moons and Jool would heat the subsurface ice, creating a global underground ocean, where life could survive, perhaps near hydrothermal vents, the only source of energy in the deep, dark expanse. Though drilling into the ice would be perfectly fine, the ocean itself may be quarantined to protect life, though that doesn’t necessarily stop people from trying. If there is no life, the oceans could be opened up for settlement, and the conditions would be fairly mild and maintainable. Radiation from Jool would be a serious problem, especially without a strong magnetic field or atmosphere to protect equipment and personnel. Granted, Vall is a fair ways farther from Jool, but the colonists should drill underground for safety. With ice, this could be done as easily as having a powerful heat source, such as a nuclear reactor, perhaps ironically enough. This ship gets around the issue by using it's water cargo as a radiation shield and for propellant. Colony Designs A major design consideration for a colony on Vall would be the radiation, mainly by digging underground, or using nearby materials (like regolith) to protect the colonists. In the case of tunneling underground, it would save mass to just use a nuclear reactor (probably from Kerbin) to melt the ice. The water melted could also be used as a coolant and shielding once the reactor is used mainly for electricity. Once an ideal depth is reached, more tunnels can be dug to provide space for living. A likely possibility for the walls of these habitats is concrete, with both rocks for cement and water available for its production. A cut-away view of the Vall colony. This would probably support a few thousand residents. From orbit, there would be very little visible—in order to reduce radiation exposure, most operations are done underground, or automated/teleoperated. Landing pads would probably be underground, with shielded doors opening and closing to allow a landing, to reduce radiation dosage. The various chapters in the Joolian system and feedback have exposed a big problem for a Vallian colony in the beginning—energy. It would be difficult to refuel fission reactors, given the lack of fissiles. Some deuterium might be in water ice, but it would be a long time before there is any economic incentive to manufacture fusion reactors around Jool. That said, options like capturing charged particles in the radiation belts and generating electricity, electrodynamic tethers, and beaming power from the inner Kerbol system are other options, though each have their own issues—beaming power, for example, would suffer from diffraction very badly, so orbital mirrors might be needed to refocus the energy. When it comes to feeding the colonists, orbital mirrors can also be used, though their effectivity is questionable, and it takes a lot of infrastructure to support such a thing. A better option would be to use artificial lighting, which can make better use of the specific range of wavelengths used by plants. However, this exacerbates the issue with energy, though genetic and technological enhancements could make photosynthesis more effective. A more extreme colony idea would be to dig all the way down to the ocean, where temperatures are more suitable for living, and provides easy access to water. This idea, of course, could easily be stopped in the interest of protecting alien life, if discovered. The colony would probably be built on the ice layer floating on the ocean, since it wouldn’t experience the intense pressure at the bottom. The Progression of Vall (assuming an icy composition) The first incentive for a colony on Vall may be to supply water to the rest of the Joolian colonies, since Laythe would be a more difficult source requiring more delta-V and more filtering to use. The colony is set up mostly autonomously, so the colonists do not encounter much radiation building the colony from the surface. Materials collected during the mining of the colonies would partially contribute to building a mass driver that would first reduce cargo costs, and then would eventually be used for people as the track is lengthened. There would be few orbital stations here, due to the need for massive quantities of material to shield kerbals and electronics. Instead, more and more underground structures are built. In general, Vall would probably be a bit left behind compared to Tylo and Laythe, and would feature a smaller population, having both radiation and being less habitable—unless the oceans are exploited. This would be harder to do than on Laythe though, but perhaps this could work as a low gravity alternative, especially if technological advancements have not adapted the kerbal body for prolonged life in zero-g. Summary This presumably icy moon may not be as habitable as Laythe, but easy access to ice makes this a very useful world nonetheless. End of Chapter XVII Thanks for reading! Next: Colonizing Tylo
  12. Interesting! That quite the clever idea! I'll have to think about it, but it does have a lot of potential when it comes to fixing some of the issues. It would be nice if actual fleets of ships appeared, but I suppose they could just be used for screenshots, and not the actual combat. Good idea, though a Dyson sphere might be bit out of this thread's scope, but I'll consider it nonetheless.
  13. I could definitely see Laythe as being pretty rich, and the population would probably be several times more than the rest of the Joolian moons combined. Alternative launch systems are difficult to do, certainly, though a mod for mass drivers does exist. I'd probably have to be depicted in other ways. Perhaps the Kerbal Konstructs mod could be used. I've tried a bit of space warfare in KSP and it hasn't really gone great. I think damage is modeled in some level in BDArmory, but not much. As for the other issue, some mods exist for multiple ships to fly together, but it is nonetheless difficult. Missile fleets would probably be the most difficult, since any useful amount of missiles would up the part count well into the hundreds, and combined with the ships themselves, the game would perform quite poorly. The other problem is with the weapons systems, since BDarmory mostly limits weapon ranges to 10-20 kilometers, and I haven't found any mods with very powerful lasers. I suppose that does make it a decent topic for covering though, since I'll have to come up with creative solutions to it all. I'd like to, but for now the colonization series has dragged on quite a while. OPM's probably the most popular planet pack, but there's a few other major ones, and covering them would take a long time. That said, I might do a chapter on interstellar colonization in general.
  14. I'd love to—though it's definitely a pretty broad topic. However, I want to cover space warfare (specifically on how it might be done using KSP) and alternative launch systems first. Other ideas for chapters—the anomalies, and a general view on the various methods of how one might choose to depict scenes for a story they would write.