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  1. It was named after a Roman god of death, which I think the dog was named after, IIRC.
  2. Oh. my. god Bob look at his rocket So many boosters It looks like one of Wernher's designs Who understands Wernher He only builds it so he can overcompensate I mean the rocket. It just has so many boosters. I can't believe it's not exploding. I mean, it's going to explode Look, it has no struts I LIKE BIG BOOSTERS AND I CANNOT LIE YOU OTHER KERBONAUTS CANT DENY THAT WHEN A ROCKET LAUNCHES WITH ASPARAGUS STAGE AND LOTS OF ORANGE JUMBO TANKS YOU GET SPRUNG WANNA PULL UP TOUGH CAUSE YOU NOTICED IT HAD LOTS OF FUEL IN ITS NONEXPLODING TANKS I'M HOOKED AND I WANT TO RIDE IT ONTO ORBIT JEBEDIAH TRIED TO WARN ME BUT ALL THOSE MAINSAILS MAKE ME..excited OOH, ROCKOMAX FOR THE DEPARTURE STAGE TO DUNA WELL GO AHEAD AND BURN IT CAUSE YOU AINT THAT AVERAGE STAGE
  3. REVIVAL OF AN RHOMAION: PART ONE "Empires don't die. They are merely go into hibernation" - Anonymous PROLOGUE: THE DEFEAT AT JULITOLIA Strategos Carian Kamninos of Konstantineyye was horrendously lost. The local guides hadn't been as much of a help as he expected, and the vast expanse of desert and sandstone cliffs in the Julitolian proviences of the Rhomaion Empire didn't really help with navigation at all. Behind him marched 10,000 soldiers of the finest Kerbal infantry that could be mustered from the massive Rhomaion military. It was magic; with a flick of the wrist, he could seperate them at will, send them scurrying for cover, or assemble them into formations. But that wasn't going to help him get out of the desert. He motioned toward a guide. "Haven't we passed that cactus already for the third time in a row?", he asked. A squinty Kerbal with a long grey beard and a hungry glint in his eyes, Sjuai Tianj simply shook his head. The desert was barren, true, but as a native, he knew the difference between one cacti and the other while a newcomer such as Carian obivously hadn't the slightest clue about these things. Details, details, details, he thought. Vultures circled overhead. They already knew what massive armies of gleaming steel and horses meant. Dinner. "Soon." An officer rode up, quickly catching up with Carian and saluted. The scouts were back from their long journey, and had rejoined up with the main force moving westward. Sent by the Carian only a day ago, they had ridden fifty kilometers ahead to check on enemy activity and returned back. "Strategos! The enemy warlord is ahead, we estimate to be about twelve to fifteen thousand soldiers from the lights of their campfires. " Carian nodded, and turned to his aide. He glanced upwards at the sky; the sun glared back, unhindered by the clouds, but the purple streaks of the sunset had already begun to show in the horizon. He checked on his map for the last time; he was about three kilometers east of the nearest city - that is, if he'd brought the correct map. He stopped his horse and dismounted. The campfires of the enemy army glimmered in the distance. "Give the order to halt and set up camp. Order the third Tagma to set up the nighttime perimeter. I want double the amount of guards." And with that, he had done the stuff of magic. The sun was setting, and the vultures, sensing that no dinner would be at hand, returned to their nests. The army scattered, setting up their camp and preparing to settle down for the night. ************************* He glanced to his left. Ten thousand Rhomaion soldiers from five Tagmas stood in full battle array, the sunlight glinting off their weapons and shields. Behind the lines of heavy infantry were the calvary using their lighter shields to shade themselves from the full heat of noon, and behind them were the reserve troops; mostly composed of calvary units and light infantry that would back up the assault on the enemy lines. He couldn't see the Imperial eagle, but he knew it was directly behind the center of the line and that most of the bureaucrats and Senators who tagged along would be there too. Any of the warlord's men attempting to kill them would have to fight through a thick formation of hsotile troops. The Rhomaion army had formed up in a North-South line, with most of the heavy calvary units being placed on the left flank. To hopefully delay any outflanking manuveurs, two tagmas were positioned on both flanks to at a thirty degree angle, forming a trapezoid army formation. Carians main concern was the loyalty of his native mercenaries, most of which were on the right flank. Many of them resented the indefinite Rhomaion occupation of their land, and he knew it. Equipment had gone missing, plans were leaked and sabatoged; each time, they were the main suspects. On the horizon, the enemy troops spread out amongst the desert in a slow advance like a black cloud slowly engulfing the ground as it moved. A horse snorted as two of his aides rode up. "Are the Tagmas in place?", Carian asked. "Yes, Strategos", replied the officer. "Are they clear on their orders?" "Noone gets through at all costs.", mumbled the aide. "Not a horse, not a single kerbal. We understand." "Good. And the scouts?" "The enemy is moving up their whole force. They can't let us just walk up to their main camp without losing face in front of their allies." "And that means he wants victory as desperately as we do.", Carian flicked the reins and the three kerbals galloped towards the main line of heavy infantry. Thick clouds of dust were forming on the horizon, and crossbow bolts were starting to pelt the desert in front of them. "Gentlemen, return to your Tagmas. Order the soldiers to stay restrained and not charge the skirmishers; they are merely taunting us with this light rain. Order the kerbals equipped with crossbows to hold fire." They both saluted and rode off. Carian galloped to the center of the line and observed the situation playing out in front of him. The heavy infantry had begun to advance towards the enemy, and the crossbow barrage had given way to the thundering of the enemy calvary as they charged the soldiers. The infantry, expecting this, raised their shields into a turtle formation; the enemy horsekerbals crashed against the wall and floundered helplessly against the Rhomaionian swords. Riders who dismounted didn't outlive their horses by much. With a great cry, the soldiers slaugthered them, and the rest of the skirmishers withdrew to a safer distance, only returning on occasion to fire a quick volley of bolts before quickyl scampering away. One thing bothered his mind; why hadn't the right flank reported any action? A courier rode up, his mouth foaming. "Strategos! Five thousand enemy troops, moving towards the right! They're using the dust clouds to shield their movement!" If the Rhomaion army had been in a straight line, the enemy contigent would've already been at the rear of the army. Luckily for Carian, the enemy warlord hadn't taken into account the angle of the flanking units. "I want the reserve troops to reinforce the right flank immediately!" Screams of pain could be heard from the front ranks of the Rhomaionian soldiers. The enemy had restarted their barrage, but this time twice as ferocious as before. "Yes, Strategos!", and with that, the courier rode off. The battle had just begun. ************************* Karam murmured to himself as he trudged forward, shield raised against the cloud of dust forming in front of him. Here he was, thousands of miles away from his home in Konstantineyye, fighting a distant enemy that not a single member of his family knew about, marching into a dust cloud that clogged the air between the two armies, as well as his nostrils and armor. In the distance, he could hear the screaming of his brethen as the enemy arrows swept across their lines like a scythe. Swearing under his breath and wishing he was at home with his wife and son, he marched onward with a determination shared only by his fellow soldiers. He looked around; he was on the right flank. Most of the enemy was hitting the center and taking moderate losses, although rumor was afoot that they would be attacked soon. Five thousand soldiers, he remembered. He could hear the clanging of the enemy shields somewhat in front of him. There was a yell, and he raised his sword. Arrows began to strike his formation; the screams of his comrades showed that many had struck their mark. A light breeze swpt the dust away, revealing the outline of thousands upon thousands of soldiers in front of his line. What?! The enemy army was supposed to be concentrated on hitting our center; but they're somehow here! A kerbal in front of him collapsed as a arrow skewered his head, ripping right through the helmet. The dust cloud then vomited out a thousand more, smashing into their formation. Kerbals panicked as arrows struck their shields, and the line wavered before finally collapsing. Sensing the weakness, a thousand calvary burst out of the shadows, bearing down upon the hapless infantrykerbals. The line shattered, and he began to run to the rear despite the yells of his officers to halt - not that they mattered, since the whole unit was fleeing now. ************************* Carian sat with the Senators from Konstantineyye, and looked up as one of his officers approached. Behind him was the nobility of the Empire; officials and superwealthy merchants who apparently couldn't find anything better to do with their time than to watch armies of kerbals slaughter each other. The attacks on the center were light now; despite heavy losses, the soldiers had been able to beat back the enemy calvary, running down and killing around two thousand enemy soldiers and scattered the remainder. Since then, there had been no attacks on the center - well, atleast that Carian knew of. "The men are holding up well; they're tired and have taken some losses but I doubt the enemy will attack the center again." "What about the fourth Tagma? I've heard they've lost half of their soldiers and are still under assault." "They are, but they're holding...however, we haven't gotten a report from Husilleno.." Who commanded the units in the right flank "..and we've heard rumors that they've...they've collapsed." Carian bolted up. "What?!" The flank isn't holding; they've broken through, he thought. If the flank doesn't hold, the enemy can just roll along our entire line and wreak havoc amongst our army... "Listen! I want a report immediately on the right flank! And bring Husilleno to me!". The courier galloped off into the distance toward a rising pillar of dust. He didn't return for two hours, by which time the sun had already begun to set. Dust clouds had reduced visibility to a half a kilometer. There was the steady sound of fighting in front of him, but he didn't hear any news from the flanks. "Strategos! Strategos!", the kerbal cried. He was panting, and had abandoned most of his armor. "What happened?" "They've completely collapsed. Second and Sixth Tagmas got completely annhilated; they just don't exist anymore. The enemy is rolling itself up along the rear, and we've got barely enough soldiers to keep them in." "What about the reserves I sent?" "They've punched through them too. Husilleno is totally surronded, but he's still trying to fight his way out. Most of the soldiers are just running, Strategos! They're just running!" Carian turned to his aide. "I want all the center forces to be sent to relieve the left flank. Order them to abandon positions." "Strategos, I must recommend against this action." "I'm not going to argue. Do as I say." "No!" His aide grabbed the courier. "Listen here. If we send the center forces against the enemy, we're running of risk of losing our entire army, not just half of it." "Returning to Konstantineyye with just four of the ten Tagmas I set out with isn't an appealing option. It's going to destroy my families political career." "What is more important to you, your family or your country - wait, don't answer that. I'm going to strongly advise retreat. We can regroup the army at the coast and attack them again some other time." "And what will I tell the Senate? And the Emperor?" "Your duty is to the Empire. Do you want to save three thousand of your soldiers or save zero? Atleast with three thousand, we can hold our desert territories against local revolts. Do you want to be known as the kerbal who lost all of them?" One second. "Damn you.", Carian snarled. "It will be night soon, fall back; it'll be hard on the soldiers, but it's the only chance we have to preserve ourselves and get out of here with a scrap of dignity." "Yes, Strategos", and both the aide and courier galloped off. Carian was alone now, looking off into the distance. Uncovering his own sword, he took it out and fell on it.
  4. Even so, you cannot simply "brute force" an extremely complicated spacecraft using technologies that we still haven't discovered after years of research in a mere four years. Building bunkers deep under would save mouth more people and be cheaper and easier to produce, allowing to to save perhaps the entire human population in four years.
  5. Check your history. I don't think that throwing out Liberty Ships based off a design that the shipyards had been using for decades and can really match up as to what we are doing. WW2 industrial capacity used pre-existing technology that had been worked on for a decade already (B-17 flew in the 1930's, B-29 was proposed in 1938 as a serious project for the USAF, not just some atomic researchers far-out fantasy); we only have four years. Orion hasn't been completed; the most we have are some theoretical blueprints and some data from a tests of a half-finished prototype that wasn't even fully funded. And the Manhattan project was just that. A bomb, that would run off an atomic reaction. Now Orion on the other hand, is going to need a completely new life support system that by itself,will take four years to design and test. It's going to need farms, it's going to need new advances in almost everything. Like Starman said, almost every required component of the Manhattan Project was in place except for the bomb itself, and we don't have that luxury with the proposed Orion. We don't have a regularly used space-to-orbit transit system that has been well tested (Although I wish we did). Heck, we can't even keep people alive in a oversized tin can outside of our atmosphere without sending in supplies every half-year or so. To expect us to develop a completely self-sufficent life support system and send it to space all in the manner of four years would be like trying to go to space by strapping yourself to a bunch of leftover Fourth of July fireworks and expect to live. It doesn't work like that. The only way that spacecraft would come into this is throwing dozens of satellites into orbit loaded with genetical matieral and microbes inside tiny reentry capsules. Asteroid hits, these satellites sense it and deorbit, and life begins anew under the guidance of any surviving humans in underground shelters as the remmants of the nations of the world work together to get humanity back into it's former glory and back into space exploration.
  6. I thought he mean't changing the lunar trajectory to make Pallas miss (Thus the whole debris field and new crater, nuclear warheads). Unless the Moon was already going to interfere and make Pallas hit, we have nil chance of making it do that if it doesn't. The Moon is pretty large; we have the largest Planet:Moon mass ratio in the entire solar system and sometimes are called a "dual planet system" by some astronomers. Have fun with that.
  7. It would be easier to use a screwdriver to deflect the asteroid than the Moon. At best we'll put a new debris field around the Earth and change the lunar inclination by a miniscule bit, at worst we'll look stupid to future historians (if any) and any watching aliens (if any) and have wasted our resources. It took ten years for America to go to the Moon, and that was with a pretty big budget and the threat of Soviet nuclear moonbases. While I'm certain we can get to the Moon earlier today, you're talking about refurbishing a design that has not been tested for fifty years and then building a giant spacecraft with it. We would'nt even get the spacecraft prototype constructed in four years, let alone testing it. Sure, engineering projects can be rushed, but there is a limit as to how much you can rush a engineering project. Yes, you can put in unlimited money, yes, you can pour in all the manpower and resources, but engineering requires intelligence and experience, and you can't find that in unlimited quantities to asign to all the programs and side projects.
  8. Two scientists walk into a bar, and one says "I would like some H2O". The bartender asks the other scientist "And what would you like"? The bartender says "Ok", and walks away. The scientist looks at his friend and asks "Why didn't you just say water?" The other scientist looks at the ground, angry his assassination attempt has failed.
  9. Although this is true, it is mostly just a fringe minority in some technologically backward areas in First World Nations. Not everyone cares about them, they don't need to be pleased. Politicans don't accuse each other of being shape-shifting alien lizards while on the campaign trail, and whether or not 9/11 is a hoax isn't a huge subject for debate in American households everywhere (Unless a certain family member is such a crackpot). But radio talk shows. Especially radio talk shows, will attempt to destroy humanity. The United States Congress declared war on the Japanese Empire only a day after Pearl Harbor was attacked. We didn't scale over our military, get defense contracts, or haggle over which shipyard would build which troop transport ship and what, we just declared war and did the rest later. An asteroid the size of Pallas likely will send smaller asteroids into the Earth's atmosphere probably years before impact; these asteroids will likely discredit anyone who denies the impact to the extent that simply saying that it won't hit will get you shunned as if you just called the President a shape-shifting alien lizard that landed in Area 51 from the 10th planet Nibru.
  10. Send them to the moon, have them dig their own graves next to the landing site, and follow with summary execution and improvement of gene pool. Execution through decompression is preferred, although using a recoiless rifle is also accepted. Before execution, have them write a letter of apology to all the trees that have worked to produce oxygen that they breathed.
  11. I'm an optimist, so I will say 2035. Realistically, it could probably happen in that timeframe. I'm not going to discuss why we are sending a human to Mars instead of robots or the scientifically ramifications, since flags and footprints are apparently more useful to the US Congress than actual science; I'm not going to protest that. For those who ask, the SLS/Orion is getting the funding that is being asked for; not only that, but Congress is asking for more money than the budget requests are allocating these projects in both Houses and political parties, and even passed a bill to prevent a future adminstration from cancelling them. No previous Mars project had such support, and Orion doesn't have to compete with the Shuttle for funds since it's retired or another foreign war. All said, I think we are allocating much less gratitude to Congress than they are owed. Sure, they aren't funding NASA to it's full potiental, but you can see an attitude shift towards pro-NASA than it had been in the past years.
  12. If in more than fifty years, send some people to space and keep others on the ground, in protected shelters. If in four years, then take out the shovels and hunker down. Load genetic matieral into these vaults or into satellites whose orbit will decay and bring the matieral back into the atmosphere in little capsules. Try to deflect it with the remaining rockets and nuclear arsenal of humanity; we won't be using them anyway if it hits, might as well do something about it. Space is not a valid option in a mere four years; it takes years to design and build it itself, nevermind prepare and test it for launch.
  13. You mean in 10,000 years, when all of humanity is dead from nuclear war or a dies are or a asteroid? I'd rather not wait. To believe that we will run out of water is ridiculous; we'd nuke each other first
  14. Because this vision of space combat sastifies the fantasies of scifi-geeks. Otherwise in a serious note, no reason to do much beyond on enemy satellites ASAT missiles that are fired from fighter jets in the atmosphere, which also has the same capability. The USAF ASAT missile is fired from a F-15, so we do have that capability.
  15. I believe that missiles and lasers would be the weapons that would be used in space. A craft modeled off the X-20 Dynasoar could approach a enemy satellite for a extremely close rendezvous, open a cargo door, release a missile, then retreat out of the way as the missile used monopropellant to adjust its trajectory to a collision course and fires it's motor.
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