KSK

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About KSK

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    Kerm Telegraph Maintenance Engineer

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  1. OK, I should probably correct myself. They've eliminated all the non-biological routes using chemistry that they're aware of. That's not ruling out unknown chemistry but it's hard to say much about that, it being unknown and all.
  2. Bah - might have known I'd be ninjaed. Just finished listening to the press conference - really interesting stuff. They're being understandably cagey about claiming detection of life - not least because the amount of sulphuric acid in Venus' atmosphere makes it very unlikely that anything resembling terrestrial organisms could survive. On the other hand, they've eliminated all the non-biological routes to producing phosphine - their models are falling short there by several orders of magnitude. So, as somebody pointed out on Twitter (I forget who, sorry), we've got novel chemistry, unexplained spectroscopy or possible life happening here, all of which are pretty interesting!
  3. Heck, looking at it a bit more optimistically and assuming that Superheavy can be reliably landed. All (all?) that gives us is a supersized replacement for Falcon 9 - and that's if nothing else you listed works. Although I suspect that would be something of a rocket to nowhere for anything other than launching enormous chunks of Starlink at a time.
  4. I think the most telling thing about that last Ars Technica article - and I don’t recall whether it was in the actual article or the comments - was the reminder that we’ve moved from wondering whether Falcon Heavy would fly before SLS to whether Starship/Superheavy will fly before it. The cheerleading for either side hasn’t changed much either. And yes, I’m being that person who dumps SpaceX into an SLS conversation.
  5. Godspeed SN25 “Funny - it worked last time.”
  6. You're very welcome! And, as I've said before to other folks on this thread, thank you for always coming back to it over those seven years. To answer your question, this, plus a handful of flashfics for a D&D campaign I'm playing at the moment. (My character is a bard - and what use is an itinerant storyteller without a few stories in his back pocket? ), plus another short story that I'm hoping to submit to a local sci-fi magazine when they're next looking for new material. If they end up rejecting it (quite likely), then I'll post it online somewhere. Oh yes - and I've been working my way through this writing challenge. I also have a couple of pages written for another novel - which is about as long as it took me to realize that I really need some basic worldbuilding set up first. A rough map, some country names, an outline of a military command structure, that kind of thing. Currently playing around with the map which has also proven to be a useful source of possible plot points for later on. Which is nice. So, nothing major on the writing front but I have been keeping my hand in. Thank you very much! Glad you enjoyed it and for dropping by to say so! It's always a treat to have a new reader.
  7. KSP2 will be moddable. Whether it has any mods depends on whether it attracts any modders.
  8. Ah-ha! They’re not water towers, they’re giant Pringles (TM) tubes. ”Once you pop you won’t stop”
  9. So I make that $778 per kilogram of propellant, rounding up or $354 per pound. For comparison, Iberico ham, at 2016 prices, comes in at $140 per pound. That was the most expensive pork I could find online - but it ain't got nothing on SLS pork!
  10. Your setting, your rules of course - and the way your setting is turning out sounds pretty cool. But in general, I'd say that keeping magic relevant, even in an 18th-19th century context isn't too hard. It just depends what your magic can do and how advanced your technology is. Rifles for everyone might well beat fireballs from a highly trained few in terms of shooting at the enemy but there's more to warfare than that as I'm sure you'll know. Some ideas off the top of my head. Scrying. Being able to keep tabs on your enemy from afar has obvious tactical advantages. For that matter it makes coordinating your own forces a lot easier. Invisibility. A potential boon for spies and assassins. Illusions. Terrify your opponents, confuse enemy scryers, keep your enemies distracted investigating things which they know are probably illusions - but might not be. Weather alteration. Obvious advantages even if that's only tiring your enemies out by forcing them to march through foot deep mud on the way to the battlefield Healing. Enough said. Armour. I don't care about your double line of riflemen - my six handpicked commandoes are bulletproof. Create water. Clean water on demand for a marching army? Yes please said the the quartermaster! Technology enhancements. Gun barrels that don't burst, unbreakable saddle straps, boots that remain waterproof without dubbin or wax, being able to reliably light a fire, or get a stove working even in the wind and rain? The little things that make logistics easier and keep morale that bit higher. Far-speaking. Giving orders at a distance before the advent of easily portable radios. Teleportation. Move your troops faster than the enemy can move theirs. Then there are the civilian applications of course. Edit: All in all, I'd say that the problem with magic is not keeping it relevant but keeping it consistent and balanced for your setting. My opinion only of course.
  11. Time to break the forum filter. Everyone sing along now. ”I’m just a sweet...“
  12. I guess this shouldn't come as a surprise but the build quality on SN6 seems to be noticeably improved from SN5, at least judging from the pictures that @tater linked. Or maybe that was just SN6 showing us her good side.
  13. And he knows his Ghostbusters! This man can do no wrong. "Where do those rockets go?" "They go up."
  14. Thanks! Some of it just happened as part of the story but the bits I wrote to answer questions from people were the most fun. Impromptu worldbuilding - you can’t beat it.
  15. Okay then. I have quite a lot of KSP headcanon, so I'll try and keep this to the Cliff's Notes version. Like @jimmymcgoochie, I've chosen to ignore the lack of in-game cities on Kerbin as a limitation of the game engine rather than trying to explain it in my headcanon. Likewise, I've ignored the small size and high density of the in-game planets and the Easter Eggs. So my version of Kerbin is approximately Earth sized (with distances to the Mun and Minmus scaled appropriately), with towns, villages, farms and all the rest of it, on the surface. In my headcanon, kerbal technology is roughly on a par with human technology of the 80s and 90s. They have decent computers, fairly advanced manufacturing and materials technology, and air travel is common. What my kerbals didn't have is a Cold War and all the other human-style geopolitics that kicked off our Space Race. As a result, rocketry was pretty much an academic curiosity and no sane kerbal had seriously contemplated the idea of spaceflight. Until, that is, a researcher at the Kerbin Aeronautical Institute, one Wernher Kerman, decided to show his hobby project rocket engine to his graduate student, one Jebediah Kerman. Realising what Wernher's toy rocket engine could become, Jeb founded the Kerbin Interplanetary Society; a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs who set themselves the grandiose goal of putting a kerbal into space. The difficulties though, as the KIS quickly found, were formidable. After many years of repeated failures, most of the KIS members gradually drifted away leaving a stubborn core of six who refused to let their dream of spaceflight die. They were: Jeb, Bill, Bob, Wernher, Lucan, and Geneney and they finally built and flew a cobbled together, crewed suborbital capsule on top of an equally cobbled together rocket. Bill had the presence of mind to take his camera along and his photographs of Kerbin from 35 kilometres up fired the imaginations of an entire generation. Kerbin's Space Age had begun. And not a moment too soon. My version of Kerbin is inhabited by two sentient species - the kerbals and the Kerm trees. The Kerm are key to everything about kerbal society, its organisation, its institutions, its past, its present... and its future. Very briefly, the Kerm can manipulate their local ecology to protect themselves much as plants do on Earth. They can communicate with their kerbals via a form of contact telepathy and they've developed a symbiotic relationship with them in which they provide very efficient, very 'green' agriculture, in exchange for protection, seed carrying, and companionship. After all, without eyes, you miss out on a lot of the world and its wonders. However, that symbiotic relationship comes with a price. Two ancient laws: the Law of Territory and the Law of Thirty Seven were codified in the aftermath of Kerbin's greatest disaster. They form the bedrock of all kerbal society, the consequences for breaching them are extreme, and ultimately, they were responsible for driving kerbalkind to the stars. For their part, through their long and turbulent history with the Kerm, the kerbals have developed into two loose castes: the agrarian Kermol who do most of the farming and tend to the Kerm, and the urbanite Kerman, who are more technologically inclined. Relationships between the two castes are cordial, not least because any kerbal wishing to raise a family will need to 'go Kermol' at some point during his or her life. And that's my KSP novel in a nutshell - the story of how telepathic trees drove a space program. Along the way there are bits and pieces on kerbal daily life, architecture, food and drink, medicine, funeral rites, socioeconomics, language, sporting events and much more. And of course, the Space Program itself, from its humble origins to its greatest triumphs.