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About KSK

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    High Priest of Kerbol

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  1. Oh, I'm sure there's a lot I'm missing with respect to AM propulsion. I only took a fairly cursory look at Project Rho and, whilst that's good, it's only a single source of information. But to answer the original question - I think that a fully loaded Orion in orbit could go pretty much anywhere in the Solar System. And as an aside to that, antimatter thermal rocketry will get you pretty far too, so I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand in favour of a pusher plate design.
  2. Okay, a couple of thoughts on this. The Project Rho website, includes figures for a liquid core antimatter engine with a thrust-to-weight ratio of 2 and an ISP of 2000. That seems like a nice middle ground with a decent amount of thrust and respectable ISP. Solid core antimatter-thermal gives you more thrust but less ISP, gas and plasma core gives you the opposite. Lets take that 800 tons of liquid hydrogen and assume a mass ratio of 5 for our spacecraft (for reasons which will become clear), which is powered by that liquid-core AM engine. So, assuming my maths is correct, that gives us a 200 ton spacecraft (wet mass 1000 tons, dry mass 200 tons, mass ratio 5) with a total delta-V of approximately 31.5 km/s, and a pretty lousy thrust to weight ratio. Can't give you a number since Project Rho doesn't give an estimated engine mass. So you wouldn't be landing on much with this spacecraft but it should be perfectly fine for getting you into orbit around somewhere. But where? Well a direct Hohmann transfer to Pluto requires a delta-V of about 11.6 km/s from LEO. So going with the original premise that we're putting this thing in orbit with a snap of our fingers (maybe we can ask Thanos real nicely like ), then it looks perfectly capable of getting us to pretty much anywhere in the Solar System and back, although to keep journey times manageable, maybe aim at Jupiter or Saturn and use a higher energy trajectory. Now, taking a quick skim through my copy of Project Orion. ( @Spacescifi - if you don't have a copy of this, I think you'd probably enjoy it), the Orion team were envisaging round trips to Saturn in 3 years, requiring a total delta-V of 80km/s (which I assume includes the launch from Earth and possibly the landing back on Earth) and requiring a mass ratio of 5. So a fission Orion spacecraft gives you nearly 3x the delta-V of the above AM rocket and presumably a rather better thrust-to-weight ratio. Now, it's unclear how much more performance you get from going to antimatter pulse units rather than fission pulse units for your Orion. In practice, I suspect there may not be that much difference in mass between the two. An example Orion pulse unit design (yield 1 kiloton) weighed in at about 140kg including fissionable core, tungsten propellant and everything else. Now that's mostly solid state and so fairly rugged and amenable to being fired out of the back of a spacecraft. The antimatter pulse unit will require a much smaller antimatter core of course, but it will still need propellant and it will probably need a fairly hefty containment unit to keep that antimatter where it's meant to be whilst it's being shot out of the back of a spacecraft. Incidentally, a 10m Orion was planned for trips to Mars. It would have used around 2500 of those 140kg pulse units. And, as a slight aside, a version of Orion was sketched out which would have been capable of reaching a velocity of 10,000 km/s (so approximately 3% lightspeed). It would have weighed 240 million tons, 90% of which was pulse units, had a pusher plate 150km in diameter, would take 30 years to accelerate to full speed and 150 years to cover the 4 light years to Alpha Centauri. And that was the 'small' version. This is why I think interstellar flight in KSP2 is rather silly.
  3. I agree with @kerbiloid. Any advantage offered by skin colour is rendered largely moot once your humans have developed even rudimentary technology (fire, clothing, basic shelter). As for habitation patterns - I would argue that technology (ability to travel over distances) and social factors (are you going to be welcomed once you get where you're going? Do you have a pressing need to move in the first place?) have a much greater impact than skin colour. Correlation does not prove causation as the saying goes. To be honest, I would ditch the skin colour part of your original post. It's more trouble than its worth given that its also completely irrelevant to your proposed scenario.
  4. Assuming that Earth Prime is still inhabitable, I invoke the Prime Directive. Let Earth 2.0 evolve in peace and maybe give rise to its own sapient inhabitants at some point. So gimme the money. There's plenty of good causes that I could donate it to. Incidentally, I fail to see why the ability having the genetic ability to spawn all skin pigment diversity in your descendants is particularly convenient. Unless you want to give the inhabitants of Earth 2.0 a reason to fight amongst themselves from the get go?
  5. KSK

    Ether One

    I think the crazy is rubbing off on you. Be careful of static.
  6. Is that a rectangular or flying saucer configuration?
  7. You see that's why you need to read all of Shadows of the Kraken (first part of the trilogy). It's got an engine that makes 10 x 5m boosters all firing together look like an RT-5 on a rainy day. Also, the Kraken punching part is nothing. The real Bad-S part happens in the chapter after that. Seriously though, Shadows of the Kraken is a lot shorter than Revelations, it's got some awesome characters, bits of it are scary as heck, bits of it will make you laugh out loud, and you'll never look at a spoon in quite the same way ever again. Give it a go. But if you insist on just reading the Kraken punching part, then here you go. Caution - also spoils a major plot twist.
  8. And since that last post has gotten me in an Old Kerba frame of mind... In spoilers because this is entirely gratuitous and not at all relevant to the story. I just wanted to see whether it would work.
  9. Aww, now that is heartening! I read back over my old chapters on a fairly regular basis for continuity's sake and it feels to me that I've improved over the years but it's wonderful to get a second opinion on that from where it matters most. Thank you and here's hoping I can keep bowling! And yeah, I have to admit that I've enjoyed the conlanging. To answer your question, my original idea was that the word order could be decided by use of hyphens (minsath-on vs min-sathon) but I probably haven't been terribly rigorous with that concept and it kind of falls apart when you get into long compound words anyway. It's also not terribly useful for the spoken word but we can handwave that away by assuming a different inflection to mark where the hyphen would be. So as a practical matter I'm going with a mix of a) and c). There's always been a reasonable amount of scope in Old Kerba for expressing the same thing in different ways, both of which are grammatically correct, which lends itself well to gradated shades of meaning and/or erudite puns. As an example, and going right back to when I first started noodling around with this (just after Ten Key's comment about the etymology of ker-bal): "...accomplisher of big deeds' (i.e. some kind of hero or respected person) is easily done. Either belda-sathmina (accomplisher of the not small deeds) or, if you wanted to be more emphatic belda-mansatha (accomplisher of the biggest deeds)" And your own example is a particularly good one! Same word, parsed in two ways, both different but both contextually appropriate! As for bolad-binat, the literal translation would be 'place which we use to understand' or, as you say, 'university'. [bol - place where I accomplish an action, bolad - first person plural of bol, and binat - to understand or comprehend.] So I don't think Kerm-binat quite works (Kerm to understand?) which is a real shame because having a good in-universe etymology for Kerbin would be awesome! We can get to a 'bin' suffix using the first person singular of binat. For example: Bin balsoathada - 'I understand the things we use to fly', or 'I understand aircraft' (or spacecraft, although I don't think they were ever contemplated back when Old Kerba was in widespread use ) But that doesn't really work. Kerm-bin would translate to 'Kerm I don't understand'. I suppose you could have the four-letter word version, Kerm! Bin! in which the speaker expresses frustration with their inability to grasp a concept but that doesn't really work either. I need to think on this some more and if you have any more ideas please do share! In the meantime, cheers for the grammar speculation - I'm always happy to digress into Old Kerba!
  10. Oh I was. That decades long interstellar probe mission I was talking about? That would be propelled by an Orion drive, a fusion drive or something similar, which is why I also said that I could see it being just about possible rather than flat-out impossible. But this is exactly what I was talking about. Our notions of what is likely to be achievable by technology and how long those achievements are likely to take, are so far apart that we're just going to be talking past each other. Cheers. KSK.
  11. Following on from the last post, Joenie's schooling has been highly atypical due to the events she's been caught up in over the course of the story. Right now she's a bit of a Kerm savant - as we've seen when she visited the Berelgan, she's probably at advanced undergraduate level when it comes to Kerm micro-ecology, but the rest of her schooling has suffered somewhat. Partly this is due to her not being very welcome at her local primary and then secondary school, which means that she's fallen behind in several classes. I did wonder about putting this in the main story somewhere but it never seemed to fit. Essentially, the whole Sage of Barkton / breaking the Law of 37 / her as a kerblet being allowed to Commune with a Kerm, hasn't gone down particularly well with the more conservative side of mainstream kerbal society. These are the ordinary people on the streets mind - they're certainly not Children of Kerbin levels of pro-Kerm, traditionalist crazy, but still, the events depicted in First Flight have overturned some very long social conventions and traditions and such things take time to be assimilated. End result, Joenie was excluded from school as a bad influence somewhere along the line. She's a smart cookie though - she'll cope. With very minor spoiler warnings and a big thanks to @JakeGrey, here's a peek at a much older Joenie, which takes place quite a bit after the events of First Flight.
  12. Okay then! First of all, a big thanks to @soundnfury for all the likes - glad you're enjoying the story. Next up - kerblet schooling, as promised to @Misguided_Kerbal A brief recap first. There are two basic castes (for want of a better word) of kerbals on my version of Kerbin. The kerman are typically urban with lifestyles and occupations that would be broadly familiar to a human observer, once you've accounted for the somewhat different social structures and priorities. The kermol are typically rural, responsible for most of the agriculture on Kerbin and - crucially - tend to the Kerm trees. The Kerm have a long and convoluted history with the kerbals but at a very basic level, they're required for kerbal reproduction. Hence, if they want to raise a family, a pair of kerbals will need to 'go kermol' at some point in their lives. It therefore follows that all young kerbals (or kerblets) start off as kermol, although there are no social barriers that prevent them going kerman when they come of age, staying as kermol if they choose, or indeed switching back and forth as suits them over the course of their life. Geographically, each kerman town or city tends to be associated with a reasonably large number of neighbouring Kerm Groves and attendant kermol villages. So - education and schooling. There are three stages - primary education, secondary education and tertiary education. Primary education The first few years are mostly given over to homeschooling, with formal schooling being worked in gradually. By the time they're ready to start secondary school, a kerblet will be spending three days a week at school, with homeschooling on the other days. Homeschooling is a mix of basic 'reading, writing and arithmetic' level education combined with more practical lessons in agriculture or one or more trade skills. It's very common for kerblets to be swapped around between different kermol parents in order to match up kerblet interests with the adult who can best teach them. Formal schooling is almost entirely devoted to soft skills at this stage. This starts off with 'learning to play nicely with others' and progresses to teambuilding exercises, puzzles (solo or team), and team games, along with lessons on citizenship and social responsibilities. Academically, a kerblet leaving primary education will be quite a way behind their human counterpart but they're typically better equipped to deal with the world around them and have a much better grounding in learning how to learn. Secondary education This is marked by a greater emphasis on formal learning and covers most of the subjects you'd expect to see in a human school curriculum. Secondary schools are almost invariably located in kerman towns (as opposed to primary schools - most Groves will have a primary school of their own or be neighbours with a larger Grove which has one), and the very wide catchment area of those schools would make the daily school run very time consuming and inefficient. As a result, most secondary schools are boarding schools with their pupils attending on a 'two weeks at school, one week at home' basis, at least to start with. The week at home is for acquiring and/or developing practical skills. The final two years of secondary education are entirely spent at school. Those years are not compulsory but any kerblet hoping to go into tertiary education, especially at one of the highly prestigious Institutes such as the Berelgan Institute or the Kerbin Aeronautical Institute, will attend them. On a slightly different educational note, it's about now that adolescent kerblets start discovering those all-important differences between boys and girls, and most parents are very glad for them to make those discoveries when safely out of the way of any Kerm trees. It tends to save a lot of unplanned grandparenthood and promising kerman careers postponed by the need to 'go kermol' at rather short notice. The end result is that a kerblet leaving secondary education will be well equipped and able to 'go kerman' or 'go kermol' as they choose. Tertiary education Very similar to human university or college education.
  13. For exceptionally generous definitions of possibility - maybe. Interstellar travel by robotic probes, on one-way trips to the very nearest stars, in human-sensible journey times (i.e. decades rather than centuries) I can see being just about possible. Although building and flying one would make the combined efforts of every single space program to date, look like nothing more than launching a single bottle rocket. Anything beyond that - and certainly the kind of interstellar travel that KSP2 looks like it's going to involve - well we're just going to have to agree to disagree on that being a real possibility. Thanks for the discussion folks. I think my views on what constitutes near-future space technology (which, thinking about it, is basically KSP1 tech with all the - entirely reasonable - gameplay shortcuts and handwaving taken out) and interstellar flight, don't really fit with the rest of this thread. So rather than winding you all up and being wound up in return, I'm just going to bow out now. Cheers, KSK.
  14. On the contrary, I’m a big sci-fi fan. Just not that particular expression of it in the context of KSP.
  15. Fair point - as mentioned, it’s been a while since I read the thing. And yeah - I can understand the reasons for TTI wanting to control the copyrights and, like you I’m inclined to believe that it’s mostly CYA. I’ve been an IP manager for long enough (in the public, higher education and private sectors) to get that. It is (or was) the part about content creators waiving their moral rights (which includes the right to be identified as the creator of that content) that always stuck in my craw, not least because I recall it being written as a straight up waiver rather than a clause which TTI could enforce or not at their discretion. I find it a lot harder to find a CYA justification for that and if that waiver has gone, I’d be very glad to hear it. Anyhow, this isn’t really fair on Jim, who’s not exactly in a place to comment, so can we agree to call it a day on this discussion on-thread? Happy to take it to PMs if you’d like.