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Everything posted by SaturnianBlue

  1. Has there been any news or new information about the solar panels that will be used on the Starship? To my knowledge, aside from an appearance in the DearMoon video, there has been very little about them, not even estimates of power output.
  2. Hello everyone, 

    I realize I've had quite the absence from the forum recently. Long story short, writing the Kerbin Escape is far too much effort with my levels of procrastination, homework, and extracurriculars, and since I don't really post on threads with the exception of my own works and a small selection of others, I just don't have much to comment on. I'll lurk around the forums as I always have, just not in the capacity I have before.

  3. For how long its been overland already, it's shocking that it hasn't weakened more—after 3 hours, winds are still at 125 mph, and the pressure has only increased to 932 millibars. Georgia is going to feel impacts from a major hurricane.
  4. @ProtoJeb21 Major Hurricane Michael has continued to be a shock—while the storm seemed to have an open eyewall earlier, it has closed off with an impressive amount of convection. -80C cloud tops are usually only seen in the West Pacific, but Michael is the exception. Now that the storm's eye is beginning to clear out, the storm might have yet another round of strengthening...
  5. I'm back! Hurricane Sergio might have weakened from its stint as a major hurricane, but at the same time, it has undergone a rather spectacular transition into an annular hurricane, doubling the size of its hurricane force wind field. The upcoming u-turn will also be quite interesting to watch, as it heads towards the Mexican coast. With the ACE of the EPAC/CPAC basin at 286, only one more unit has to be created before it surpasses 2015 in terms of ACE, placing it in a close 2nd behind 1992. Leslie, wherever it ends up going, will be a strange storm—either it will affect the Canary islands, Portugal, or even continental Africa, or it may have a high chance of becoming the longest lived tropical cyclone in the Atlantic. Tropical Storm Michael will be a threat of some kind, and the threat seems to continuously rise. Even the NHC predicts a Category 2 at landfall on the Gulf Coast, and with the possibility of rapid intensification, there is some chance Michael could reach even higher wind speeds, especially since the storm will have double the amount of time over the Gulf of Mexico that Nate had last year.
  6. SECO 1, Icesat-2 is now in orbit! (Still one burn to go until it is released).
  7. Why are Delta II first stages painted teal? I've always noticed how this color is pretty much unique for a rocket.
  8. Mangkhut is an extremely powerful storm that still has the potential to strengthen, but I don't think it would strengthen like the HWRF predicts... Is 833 mb even physically possible under current circumstances? Edit: I should mention, this model run also had 307 mph winds at the 850 mb level...
  9. Thank you! My limited understanding is that magnetic confinement wouldn't get used on a gas core engine—in the designs for such engines (Engine List from Atomic Rockets) , they are depicted with regular nozzles. The part is from KSP-Interstellar Extended. If I recall correctly, it is some sort of ISRU processing plant—presumably something that Duna would want to import in the early era of colonization, which is why this ship is depicted as carrying it.
  10. 10,000 O'Neill cylinder pairs? I can relocate the entire population of Earth to cylinders in every stable orbit in the solar system and beyond! If I ignore the issue of lifting that many people into space...
  11. Space battles without mods like BDArmory are doable, they just wouldn't be particularly realistic without some unique in-game justification. Simulating the weapons are going to be the biggest problem—there isn't really a way for laser combat to happen, and combat with railguns or anything of that sort would probably be impractical—even if a projectile can get launched from a barrel, reloading would be a complicated process, and I'm not sure the accuracy would be good enough. Missile combat can certainly happen, the trouble would be with controlling multiple missiles at once, which would happen realistically, to increase the chance of a hit. However, there isn't exactly a way for countermeasures to be deployed in KSP, so even sending one missile at a time might result in a hit.
  12. @ProtoJeb21 Great work! I don't think I can write in much detail, but I will try: PACIFIC CYCLONES Note the cold wake left by Super Typhoon Jebi. POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE NORMAN After an 11 day trek that involved three rounds of rapid intensification into a major hurricane followed by weakening, Norman has finally abated—under cooler SSTs and high wind shear, the storm's convection has been ripped away from the center of circulation, and the storm is down to winds of 50 mph. With the storm heading north and thus directly away from Hawaii, there is no threat to land. HURRICANE OLIVIA Hurricane Olivia is no longer the powerful annular hurricane it was a few days ago, but it is still a hurricane—albeit appearing quite like a blob—with 80 mph winds, though it will continue to weaken once it moves into an area of high wind shear. However, the storm 's threat to land is yet to come, approaching Hawaii relatively quickly (especially when compared to Lane) as a tropical storm from the ENE. The NHC/CPHC has been predicting this consistently, though the forecast models disagree on where the landfall will happen. For example, the GFS predicts the south of the Big Island, the HWRF the north, while the ECMWF predicts Maui. TROPICAL DEPRESSION EIGHTEEN-E Once again, a tropical cyclone has formed in the East Pacific, but this storm (to be named Paul) seems to be fairly mild compared to the storms that came before it. The storm is expected to move towards the northwest and then turn more westwards, encountering increasingly cooler temperatures along the way. For now, the NHC does not even predict the storm to reach hurricane intensity, though the EPAC has consistently shown off unexpected rapid intensification. The ECMWF and GFS predict it as being a relatively weak tropical storm, and the HWRF (generally seen as an intensity model) sees it as a minimal hurricane. TYPHOON MANGKHUT Last but certainly not least, Typhoon Mangkhut is still a very formidable threat to the Marianas and beyond. The rapidly strengthening storm is passing through an area of low wind shear and very high SSTs of 29 Celsius. Speeding along at 20 knots (23 mph), the storm track has shifted to place Rota at the center of the cone—a bit north from earlier, which had placed Guam at the center. The storm is expected to pass through as the equivalent of a category 4 hurricane, and subsequently intensify into a super typhoon. After that, the GFS forecasts an impact on the southern half of Taiwan as a sub-900 mb storm, which is probably far too much. Subsequently, the GFS forecast takes Mangkhut into China. The ECMWF takes the storm just north of the Philippines and makes landfall in China north of Hainan, approaching as a very powerful typhoon. Keep in mind that such model runs are over a week in the future and very much subject to change.
  13. The launch of one Extremely Overwhelmingly Large Rocket (EOLR) was met with great excitement.
  14. @ProtoJeb21 The apparent eyeball has collapsed for the time being.
  15. Here is the view from the Key West NWS radar (as of 13:33 EDT). Tropical Storm Gordon appears to be forming an eyewall. While it isn't speeding along like Hurricane Nate, it is a good thing the storm is moving fairly quickly at 16 MPH—it would otherwise spend a disturbing amount of time over very warm water at a slower speed.
  16. The newest NHC advisory says that Norman is getting sheared, interestingly enough. Hurricane Lane managed to hold fairly well against heavy wind shear, but I don't know if what happened there applies to Miriam. Tropical Depression 17-E has formed, and Tropical Depression 6 will probably become Florence tomorrow. Earlier today, I read a tweet mentioning that what was formerly Lane has become what appears pretty clearly like a subtropical cyclone. Interestingly enough, the CPHC is directed not to issue public advisories for subtropical storms (as written in this directive here).
  17. Thank you! The series was initially meant to only maybe take half as long as it did, but I'm glad you stuck around for the whole ride! Feel free to! However, I would prefer that it has a different name, since I might write a few more chapters sometime in the future—it would be rather awkward having to IAKFs around!
  18. This should be the link. The NHC reports that Norman's weakening was the result of an EWRC. Miriam has managed to intensify, despite being under 40 knots of wind shear. Tropical Tidbits reports that PTC 6 is a Tropical Depression—we will find out momentarily with the next advisory if this is officially the case.
  19. Combined Approach Space Warfare & Epilogue Chapter XLIII of Imagining a Kerbal Future In this final chapter, we will use the combination approach presented two chapters before, to present a little of a variety of approaches. It will be a little different, however, since I won’t do a mini-game battle of sorts because of the setup required, so I will replace the minigame with writing the battle scenario with consideration of the physics. Scenario In a surprise move, the Dunan Congressional Authority declared independence from Kerbin, which recently attempted to force increased dependence on the homeworld. As Duna was able to either capture or disable the warships already located in Duna’s orbit, Kerbin has had to send an invasion fleet on its dedicated booster-carriers to restore control of Duna. For a variety of reasons, the size of the fleet was limited. Forces Duna 10 Interceptors 6 Missile Ships Numerous Defenses Kerbin 8 Battleships 8 Anti-Missile Escorts I used Sketchbook Express for the initial sketch and coloring, while further detail was with Photoshop. As the Kerbin fleet approaches Duna, they launch guided projectiles towards Duna, to strike various facilities in orbit. After this, the fleet begin to decelerate, in order to make the inevitable Duna orbit insertion burn shorter, and making it more difficult for missiles to fly past defenses. The paths are from KSP, though I did draw over some of them for clarity. The trip to Duna is where the use of KSP to track spacecraft positions is the most useful, though it will also be useful to keep track of the placement of the individual vessels, though this doesn’t have to tracked—making the positions whatever is more convenient is the bigger priority. It is at this point, that the invasion fleet encounters their first great challenge. Duna has placed powerful bomb-pumped lasers in the path of the invasion fleet, whose detectability is reduced through various measures. With very little in the way of preparing for the strike, a battleship is disabled, and several other ships take considerable damage, especially to the unarmored sides, as the ships were not prepared for the strike. However, the challenge does not last, as Duna only has a limited supply. In order to prevent the risk of damage in a kinetic strike, the interception task force is launched early to meet the Kerbin battlefleet. Using their drop tanks, they are able to accelerate to velocities higher than usual for their nuclear engines. This task force places a single interceptor at the front, and the rest of the interceptors are placed in such a way as to create a pyramid, hoping to get a side angle shot on the battleships. Behind them are the missile launcher ships, which will launch their missiles hoping that the defenses have been weakened to allow more missiles to strike their targets. The Kerbin fleet, now traveling at 7 km/s, anticipates the use of missile ships, and positions their escorts ahead of the battleships to intercept them. The length of the cone, rectangles, and other parts drawn on each ship are intended to provide an idea of armor, fuel, etc. At a distance of 500,000 km from Duna, the two fleets begin firing their lasers, having closed to a distance where they can cause some damage. The Duna fleet’s pyramid has spread out considerably, in an attempt to fire lasers from multiple angles. The two fleet converge at 15 km/s. In the beginning, the armor cones protect the ships, but pyramid formation allows the Dunan ships to get better shots, and they focus primarily on the escorts, disabling them one-by-one. The Kerbin battleships focus their efforts on disabling the missile ships, but such ships are well-armored, and their distance reduces the performance of the lasers. While the lasers and guided projectiles are able to gradually disable important components such as the coilgun missile launcher, the missile ships have already launched many of their missiles at the enemy. The relatively quick closing velocity, combine with both damage to the point defense lasers, and the reduced effectiveness of the lasers from rising temperatures mean that the Kerbin fleet’s escorts are less capable of intercepting the missiles. For this reason, the battleships prepare their nuclear charge missiles—there will be adverse effects to the battleship, but if the other possibility is massive internal damage, it is worth the risk. With many of the escorts unable to defend, the interceptors shift their laser fire towards the battleships—though more heavily armored, the shrinking range between the two vessels mean that laser fire is becoming ever more effective, and the sides of the ship are becoming more exposed. In the next minutes, the missiles zoom towards the battleships, which fire their nuclear charge equipped missiles, with some success. Despite that and the use of powerful lasers, however, some missiles manage to breach the defenses. While most strike the armor cone, limiting their damage to an extent, a couple strike a battleship from the side, puncturing the propellant tanks and the reactor, and it loses its maneuvering capability. Even the hits on the armor cone help the interceptors, which have an easier way to penetrate into the warships with lasers. Indeed, as the two fleets pass by each other, both fleets are able to strike from the side, primarily targeting the propellant tanks. Before being destroyed at closest approach, the remaining missile ships are able to launch a few more missiles from the side. As the two fleets pull away, the interceptors with a mostly intact propulsion system are able to flip around quickly enough to disable the engines of the less maneuverable battleships from the rear. However, this is the last damage they can incur, because they do not have the delta-V to chase the battleships. They will have to be rescued. A few of the battleships still have the capability to use their weapons, and use them to great extent to strike targets around Duna, and even some of the ground anti-spacecraft emplacements. The bombardment causes significant damage to Duna’s orbital infrastructure, making sure that building up a new fleet will be difficult. While Kerbin has dramatically reduced the capability of Duna to fight in space, Duna has not given up. As a result of the damage taken, the Kerbin fleet must forgo the orbital insertion burn, and link up with supply ships to make emergency repairs. However, the few ships that were held back in Duna’s orbit rush towards the supply ships in an effort to keep them from assisting. As a result, the heavily damaged ships are abandoned. Kerbin will now begin the second push for Duna. With the remaining battleships ordered to rendezvous for an attack into Duna, the chances for Duna successfully holding out are dwindling, even with the time to prepare. Chapter Conclusion This approach to depicting space battles (in a KSP setting) is still time consuming, and there will likely be significantly fewer pictures. However, there are a few key differences. First, progress tends to be fairly consistent. Unlike depicting space warfare in-game, you do not run into unexpected obstacles or bugs that might stall progress for a day or two. Second, you have greater control over what happens in the battle. This means that one has to plan the entire space battle themselves, placing a greater responsibility to get the science right. To look at it another way, it means that your battle is not limited by the game. Epilogue It has been a year and a half since I began this series. In that time, the chapters has evolved from a patchwork of short mission reports based around the future of Kerbalkind, to long writings envisioning this future on each world of the Kerbol System, writings ironically not based on any missions! While the extravagant story I envisioned I would create after IAKF might never come to fruition, I hope this series has inspired others in their effort to create a hard-SciFi future in the Kerbol System. Through this series, I’ve discovered and answered many of my questions about depicting a Kerbal future, especially where it diverges from the Human future. One question remains, and it was the first asked: “What would the future of Kerbals look like?” The fact is, there is not a direct answer—I realized this as I wrote this series. Often, I found myself unable to make a confident statement, choosing to give multiple possibilities. To compensate, I created the short stories to present a single, detailed one. In the end, I can make this confident statement: the future of Kerbals—and consequently, our future—is not definite. But we can imagine it. A thank you to everyone reading this—I appreciate it. I enjoy the discussions, input, and ideas we have had on this series. I thank the many resources I used for inspiration in many of the ideas in this series—I have included a few on the first page. A special thank you to @MatterBeam, for spending part of many busy days on reviewing drafts of multiple chapters, and providing more ideas. Thank You.
  20. @ProtoJeb21 If we ignore the outliers of Major Hurricane Ekeka and Tropical Storm Hali that formed very early in the 1992 season, the 2018 season is on par with the most active EPac season ever, and just one storm behind the second most active, 2015. Additionally, August 2018 has broken the record for the most active (in terms of ACE) month, exceeding September 1992. Here is the latest loop of Hurricane Norman's rapid intensification, courtesy of Tropical Tidbits:
  21. @ProtoJeb21 This is the first site I can find for wind shear in the EPAC, the site also has wind shear maps for other basins. As for Norman, that's likely. Currently the ECMWF and GFS both have it passing to the north completely, but since that's still 9 days out, there is a high chance of the forecast changing. The EPAC has been tremendously active this year, it has already exceeded the average Accumulated Cyclone Energy in a given year, with half the season to go! The NHC has upgraded the tropical wave to a 70% chance of formation in 5 days. Cabo Verde is in the path of the storm, should it form fairly early (which seems likely), but it does seem like the storm will remain out to sea, for the time being. The EPAC has an area of its own, which is forecasted to curve north, but in the long range might turn south, and possibly follow Norman.
  22. @ProtoJeb21 Tropical Storm Miriam is gradually strengthening again, so it has some chance of becoming a Hurricane. The cause for weakening for this storm was wind shear, which is still affecting the storm, according to the NHC Forecast Discussion. The storm has now had a burst of convection, so they have upgraded the storm slightly. Norman is already forecast to reach high-end Category 3 status in the coming days. Apparently this is one to watch for in the long-term, because it may pass near Hawaii, which would make it the third in the set of long-track hurricanes, following Hector and Lane. The current GFS has an unfortunate tendency to have storms—especially in the subtropics—intensify into super typhoons. This is the reason the GFS predicts super typhoon strikes on Japan constantly, despite this being very unlikely. Regarding the Atlantic, I do agree that the tropical wave is quite likely to form something—considering the NHC now gives it a 50% chance of tropical cyclone development in the next five days! If I recall correctly, the Florida system is expected to enter the Gulf of Mexico, which is a rather concerning storm track, with the high SSTs. The official death toll estimate for last year's Hurricane Maria has been raised to 3,057.
  23. Gone and gone... Persisting rainfall is still a major threat, but as a tropical cyclone, Lane has practically gone poof under the 35-40 knot wind shear.
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