KSK

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  1. SpaceX Discussion Thread

    I'm reminded of some of the original 'Orbiter plus fly-back booster' plans for the Shuttle. Hopefully technology in the form of BFR is finally catching up with aspiration.
  2. How advanced a civilization are we talking about here? If we're assuming access to some kind of FTL capability such that interstellar journeys can be completed within a reasonable fraction of the traveler's life time then I'd argue that all bets are off. To all intents and purposes, that civilization has access to an entire galaxy worth of raw materials and energy, plus the technological wherewithal to harness and exploit very substantial quantities of energy at a time. At that point, the decision whether or not to bother with planets almost becomes an aesthetic choice or a moral choice with access to raw materials becoming a secondary factor. With all that said, I like @daniel l.'s jewel analogy. A civilization that leaves inhabitable worlds as natural parks is a civilization that I'd want to be part of. Without FTL, we're trapped in the Sol system and here I think @Mitchz95 is right. Consider that the asteroid belt is estimated to only contain about 0.04 Moons worth of material. The Kuiper belt is estimated to contain about 200 times as much. That's still a lot but not so much on the scale of the whole solar system. The Oort Cloud is hypothesized to contain still more material but at a vast distance. (Put into context - Pioneers 10 and 11 haven't reached it yet.) The trade-offs between quantity of material and time/energy requirements to exploit that material become a lot more restrictive than they would be for our FTL capable super-civilization and, whilst I'd like to believe in a predominantly asteroid inhabiting civilization, I don't think planets could or would be ignored.
  3. SpaceX Discussion Thread

    It's the test flight for Zumba, which will be the all singing, all dancing version. I'll get my coat.
  4. For me it would depend how much writing you've already done. If you've written other stuff and are just looking for tips on writing about KSP then I don't have a lot to offer. I could tell you about the kind of stories I prefer but that's not remotely helpful. Just dive in and write what you want. If you're looking for more general tips on writing - that's tricky because what works for me may not work for you at all. Plus my own KSP fan-fic (warts, unfocused detours, excess adverbs and all) is pretty much the sum total of my experience as a writer, so my 'tips' should probably be taken with a large grain of salt. Also, my writing is also almost entirely prose - if you're planning to do something with a lot of screenshots or other illustrations in, then I'm definitely not the person to talk to about tips. Happily there are several others on this thread who may be able to oblige. But if all that hasn't put you off: Try and start with something fairly short and contained that you think you'll be able to finish in a reasonable timescale. You can always use that as a springboard to a longer piece if you feel so inclined. When you're writing about something as open-ended as KSP, its very easy to bite off more than you can chew, or at least to to end up with a project that's way bigger than you thought it was going to be. Believe me, this is something that I do know about . Have a plan (but not too much of a plan) and don't be afraid to change it if its not working. This one is very personal but I find that having some idea of where I'm going is helpful but too much planning leaves me writing on rails which just isn't fun. On the other hand, my story started off as a travelogue (that wasn't going to work), segued into a Space Race (which turned out not to feel right) and then morphed into its current form. Which has had its share of twists, turns and unplanned detours too! Write something (anything) and then revise it rather than tying yourself in knots trying to get everything right first time. Good luck and have fun!
  5. Thanks for the replies folks! Glad I'm not the only one who writes to the music in their head - external music being optional. @CatastrophicFailure - I don't descend into those depths of barbarity but I still have a magpie-like fondness for shiny discs (bought offa Amazon for the most part) rather than impersonal files on my computer. Speaking of which, it seems that Amazon has both soundtracks available so I'm thinking my morning commute may be getting rather more 80s in the near future.
  6. Well that was a fun night out at the science quiz. Lots of nice spaceflight and astronomy questions - I think quite a few folks here would have scored well! All questions were multiple choice format. Was secretly amused by the 'First spacecraft to land on the Moon' question which included Pioneer 4 as a choice.
  7. It's an idea that's come up a couple of times and most folks tend to come out against it, including a fair number of the writers over on the Fanworks forum. Some people prefer to make up their own stories and like the fact that there's almost no official in-game story. Some don't want a story mode at all and can't see the point in a sandbox game. Some are just concerned that it would take a lot of effort from Squad for something that most players would play through once and then forget about. Me - I'm not sure. I don't think it's a bad idea but I think it would be difficult to do well. In the meantime, you'd be welcome to join us over at the Fanworks forum if you're curious about the kinds of KSP stories that the playerbase has dreamed up. The Mission Reports sub-forum sounds like it might be a good place for you to start - as the name suggests, the stories there are all played out in-game, so there's plenty of amazing screenshots to see, tales to read and hugely imaginative spacecraft to marvel at. Up to and including a Jool 5 mission using a proper space carrier fleet, complete with a mothership having internal docking bays for all the various landers and probes. Stories in the main forum tend to be a bit more varied - if you don't mind the blatant self plug, my Fanworks Library thread (link in my signature) is an archive of links to a good selection of them.
  8. Description improvements

    Folks use them for all sorts of things. Handling notes for spaceplanes, reminders of which mod parts they've used, or just bits and pieces of roleplaying or story telling as they go along.
  9. Hang on - photons are bosons right? So there's no limit to how many of them can occupy the same quantum state? So I'm not sure what does happen when two photons having the exact same direction speed and characteristic meet each other, but I see no reason why it can't happen. Unless I'm mangling what little quantum theory I remember. Which is quite possible.
  10. Let's start with the easy question first. Typically, it takes me about four weeks to put a chapter together, maybe a bit longer. That includes drafting, passing it along to my good editors for dissection, and re-writing. Normally, I can guarantee that my Sunday afternoons will be clear for writing - I do try and make time on other days but that's heavily dependent on real life not getting in the way. First Flight is never terribly far from my mind though, and I try and jot any ideas down as and when they occur, even if I know I won't get to do much with them for a while. The 'Jeb meeting Jebediah' part of the last chapter was one such idea - goodness knows how long I've been lugging that around. As for what goes into a chapter and how I go about writing - erk. Good questions, never easy ones to answer and there are probably as many answers out there as writers. But as one amateur writer to another, I'll see what I can do. I'll also put everything in spoilers for the folks out there who are content to read the final product without peeking behind the scenes at the sausage machine!
  11. Thanks. I'll try and answer your side note in a separate post but for now... It's funny - I don't remember those lines from Interstellar at all but I did remember the 'we will not go gentle' line from *cough* the President's speech in Independence Day. So I looked that line up, figuring that if I was going to quote it, I should probably make sure I was quoting it right (or at least misquoting it right ). And of course, I found the rest of the poem which...just hit me right between the eyes. For many reasons, but so far as First Flight is concerned those last lines just captured my mood for the chapter so well. And thinking about it now after the event, the whole poem fits so well with that last chapter. Which says far more about Thomas's words than my own. "Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light." There's Elton. One of the oldest living beings on the planet, witnessing the end of days for Kerm and kerbal alike. "Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night." And there's the Council of Twelve Pillars and the government in general. All their bold words about colonizing new worlds have fallen on deaf ears. "Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light." There's the Space Program. If only they had had more time, they may have been able to do something... "Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, Do not go gentle into that good night." And if Jeb isn't a 'wild man who caught and sang the sun in flight, I don't know who is. "Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light." "And you, my father, there on the sad height, Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light." They will not go gentle. And, in their own ways, they will rage. It's time. Time for the quiet heroes to rise. Time for kerbals across the world to stand and be counted.
  12. Revelations of the Kraken (Chapter 9: Pride)

    He's seen things we readers wouldn't believe. Spaceships on fire off the shoulder of the Mun. Shadows in the dark on so many far-flung worlds. All those moments will be caught in time, preserved on his page. Time to write.
  13. SpaceX Discussion Thread

    n - where n is a constant of proportionality that must be determined by experiment.
  14. Difference duly noted. I suppose it might depend how much you cared about L/D vs. maneuverability? Genuine question - would you always care about optimizing L/D, or are there aircraft types (like fighters) where maneuverability is going to be more important than raw speed? Reading up on this (which has been interesting so thanks for starting me off on that!), I've found some articles which suggest that some designs do put the centre of mass behind the neutral point but I'm really just skirting the rabbit hole of personal ignorance on this one. I could certainly throw more citations at the thread but I'd just be quoting them without any real feel for how accurate (or otherwise) they are. Happy to wait for the better-informed to weigh in here!