SQUAD

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About SQUAD

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    Developer of KSP

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  1. This mod brings shader functions to #KSP along with a suite of utilities for loading shader and model asset bundles, a host of shader and texture-related functions to support them! By Shadowmage
  2. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. Recently a study published in Nature Astronomy shows revealing and insightful information about the formation of stars in the early Universe. This observation suggests that so-called stellar nurseries in the early Universe contained far less material than originally believed. Since the Hubble Space Telescope entered in service in the early 90s, scientists have been able to study in great detail very distant objects from when the Universe was much younger by pointing toward high-redshift galaxies. These observations, along with the coordinated work of several international teams that perform research on different scales, and countless simulations made in supercomputers, has helped astronomers and astrophysicists to develop a fair understanding of the fundamental mechanisms that regulate star formation in galaxies. Previous observations of distant galaxies indicated that the mass and size of these distant star forming regions, clumps of gas and stars, largely (sometimes even thousandfold) exceeded that of their local counterparts, estimated to contain enough gas to make over 3 billion stars like our Sun; something that suggested that in the distant past, star formation was governed by different laws or physical conditions. However, an international team of astrophysicists led by the Universities of Geneva, Switzerland, for the observations and Zurich for the simulations has tackled this inconsistency, which seems to question our knowledge of star formation when we study the early Universe, far away in time and space. They have found the first answers thanks to the observation of the “Cosmic Snake.” The “Cosmic Snake” is actually a very distant galaxy, which is located behind the core of galaxy cluster MACS J1206.2-084747. The cluster is so massive it distorts and bends light like a lens so that distant galaxy light is amplified and ends up looking like a snake. This phenomena is called gravitational lensing, which basically is the deflection of light by a massive object, creating multiple and amplified images of the galaxy. Astronomers exploited this occurrence by pointing Hubble at a huge gravitational lens, which generates several stretched, warped and almost overlapping images of the galaxy. The fact that the image of the source galaxy is repeated five times at different spatial resolutions allows, for the first time, to perform a direct comparison and to establish the intrinsic structure – and size – of the observed giant clumps. And so, this team of international astronomers have discovered that the giants clumps are in reality not so large and massive as suggested by previous observations, but that they are essentially smaller or composed of multiple and unresolved small components, something that was not possible to directly prove so far. This lucky coincidence has allowed scientists to make observations and simulations that are leading us to better understand the fundamental mechanisms driving star formation in distant galaxies. Amazing! But you are here to learn about KSP development, so let’s begin! [Development news start here] We continue to work hard on the Making History Expansion. This week in particular, the team worked on adding the ability to assign Awards to missions. The Awards System will be another means by which Mission Creators will be able to give missions their own distinctive style. On the Mission Briefing dialogue, the Creator will be able to select the Awards Tab, and there, they’ll be able to assign Awards for their Missions. The expansion will include a list of Stock Awards that can be applied to the mission - these will be separate from the Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards, and will be for things like “Completed the Mission in under X minutes”. The Creator will be able to provide the information for these awards so they can tailor them to their own needs. We will also provide graphics for each award and players will get those when the award is fulfilled. As for the Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards the Creator will need to simply add in a points value at the points those awards will be given. Mission Creator will be free to only fill in one of the Points values - for example on the rare case they only want to have a Bronze Award. A less exciting but equally important task that was performed this week was the revision of the text on all settings and nodes in the Mission Builder, while documenting any changes required, so that we can make appropriate corrections if needed. This is an important part of the development process to avoid misspellings in the game and provide better descriptions/names for all labels. The lack of attention to this kind of detail can affect the player’s perception towards a game, and as many of us aren’t English native speakers, we are placing extra care with this. The team also worked on replacing UI elements from implemented wireframes to the actual project assets for the Mission Builder. This means that the final look of user interface that you will encounter in the expansion is being implemented as we speak. The QA team also got the chance to test another batch of Nodes for the Expansion this week, so we’ll take this opportunity, as we have in previous weeks to talk about those particular Nodes, just remember that the naming might still change: Place Kerbal Node (Action Type): This node will allow you to set one specific Kerbal from the roster in orbit or on the surface of a Celestial Body. Placed Kerbals will be controllable, unless they are set as “stranded”, which will also be an option. Rescue Kerbal Node (Location Type): You will be able to set the task of rescuing a stranded Kerbal on a given location using this node. Kerbals placed with this node will not be controllable or visible in the Tracking Station until Players are fairly close to them, and in order to perform the rescue, Players will have to be within coming off rails range (default is 2.2Km) of the Kerbal’s location and then board them onto a vessel (once reaching this range, “lost” Kerbals will gain controllability). Which is the same functionality as Rescue Kerbal contracts today. Crew Assignment Node (Vehicle Type): This node is basically for checking if a vessel has the right crew in the right place, i.e., Put Kerbal A on vessel B and/or put Kerbal X on Planet Y. Vessel Crew Count Node (Logic Type): Using this node allows you to count a specific number of Kerbals in the crew of a mission, as well as setting the type (pilot, engineer or scientist) they need to be. Vessel Stage Node (Action): This node allows you to trigger a Staging of a vessel at a given moment during the mission. Science Experiment Node (Science): With this node you can have Players perform an experiment in the right situation, and also has options for a requirement to return the science to Kerbin (via recovery or data transmission), or that they simply have to perform the experiment with the selected parameters. Part Failure Node (Action): This node will cause the failure of a given part at a specific moment of the mission. On the artistic side of the development process, this week kept our artist busy with the task of creating the geometry and the textures of our Gemini-inspired capsule. Hopefully we’ll be able to show it to you soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to show the second texture configuration of the new 1.875 Tank. This texture was made specifically to match the look and feel of the parts that are currently on the game, keep a homogeneous look for your vessels when using old parts, too. In other news, the updated version of KSP on consoles continues to see improvements and bug fixes as its QA phase continues. This week a couple of them were particularly noteworthy, as they could have turned into real nuisances if not fixed. The first one caused the loss of control of the craft, specifically on the Pitch, Roll and Yaw function, while Map View was active. And the second one caused the loss of stage and Navball functionality after selecting ‘Revert To Launch’ via the Cursor Mode after a crash landing - something that is bound to happen when playing KSP, so luckily it was found and fixed. Finally, we remind you that you still have another week to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - Destroy the KSC!. So go check it out and share your creations! That’s it for this week. Be sure to join us on our official forums, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned for more exciting and upcoming news and development updates! Happy launchings!
  3. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. This week we’ll talk about A/2017 U1 - also known as 1I/’Oumuamua - an unexpected visitor from interstellar space. This story begins on October 19, when astronomers using the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii noticed an unclassified object in the sky. Being less than half a kilometer wide, it looked like a regular asteroid at first glance, but after mapping its path through space they realized that it’s moving with a hyperbolic excess velocity of 26 km/s with respect to the Sun, way too fast for an object orbiting our star. This is most likely the first known example of an interstellar object, which are hypothesized to come from planetary systems in state of formation. When the newly formed planets pass through debris clouds they should occasionally sling leftover rocks into interstellar space. Although we never had seen an object like A/2017 U1, scientist speculated that from time to time, some of those objects would enter another star system, carrying chemical clues about the place it came from. At first astronomers thought that Oumuamua was just a Near-Earth Object, a name for any large rock whose orbit passes near Earth’s. However, after calculating its speed and trajectory, they discovered that it couldn’t be an NEO: Those orbit our star and Oumuamua is going too fast to be held or even slowed down by the Sun’s gravity. Coupled with that, scientists don’t know anything along its path that could’ve sped it up that much, so this means it must have come from somewhere else. While extrapolating the orbit backwards, astronomers calculated that the asteroid had made its closest approach to the Sun on September 9, 2017 and to have passed approximately 0.161 AU (24,100,000 km) from Earth on October 14, 2017. Scientist have also been able to infer that the object appears to come from roughly the direction of the star Vega in the constellation Lyra. A/2017 U1 is currently travelling out of the solar system at about 44km/s (almost twice as fast as the average asteroid) and it will probably never come back. So researchers all over the globe have been spending these past few weeks observing the object, hoping to learn as much as they can about its composition, behavior and trajectory, before it reaches its observable threshold, something that will happen very soon, as it’ll be so far from our sun that no human telescope will be able to see it anymore. We don’t know much about Oumuamua, but for now it seems it’s the closest we’ve ever been to another star system and although its visit has been brief, it will provide scientists and astronomers with invaluable data and insight about neighboring planetary systems and our Universe. Maybe Oumuamua will pass through the Kerbol System next, and Kerbals will be able to capture it… who knows. In the meantime we can continue to learn about KSP development. [Development news start here] Let’s begin with the progress made on the Making History Expansion. This week saw work on the implementation of the “Event Node” system. These are nodes that have been flagged in the mission flow. This flag means that the objectives on the out path of the event node are not shown until that node becomes active and becomes relevant to the Mission Player. For example, let say that during a Mission where a Player is supposed to orbit Mun and then return to Kerbin, the Mission Creator has set an Event Flag during the ‘orbit Mun’ section of the mission that activates after the Player has orbited the satellite for 30 seconds and then it shows up and tells the Player to land on Mun. That “secondary” objective will only appear to the Player if the set conditions are met. Coupled with that, the team worked to complete the Mission Objectives UI display, so that Players get a more accurate list of upcoming objectives that follow the Mission Flow Path and Event Nodes in a meaningful way. The team has also been working on the Scoring System for Missions. Specifically on hooking the Scoring Information to the Mission Summary screen, in order that players are able to see their full scoring details after completing a mission. Additionally, the developers continue to advance with the implementation of the Resource Scenario in Missions. Adjustments to generate and store the resource seeds for a Mission have been made, in order to allow Players to return to a saved Mission and having consistent resources each time this happens. Simultaneously, the team implemented a button into the Graphic Action Pane’s Celestial Body display that will toggle the resources overlay. Furthermore, we want to let you know that Making History will be localized into all the languages that we are currently supporting, so regardless of playing KSP in Spanish or Chinese, you’ll be able to play the expansion in its corresponding language. The team has been working on preparing the localization strings since the beginning of the development, so that this process will be easy to realize. On top of that, this week we have been able to test another batch of nodes, which include the following (please note that the names of the nodes may still change): Explode Part Node (Action type): This node will allow you to set up a part to explode at certain point during a mission. Explode Vessel Node (Action type): With this node mission creators will be able to cause the explosion of entire vessels at specific moments during a mission. You’ll be able to select the active vessel or a specific one for the event. Resource Amount Node (Logic type): With this node, you’ll be able to check a specific amount of a resource and set a comparison operator, e.g. the Munar Rover needs to have 700 units of ore/liquid fuel/monopropellant, etc. Change Part Resource Levels Node (Action type): This node will let you adjust a resource level to another value. It may be more or less than the current resource level a player has at that point and it can also be part/vessel specific. Action Part Resource Drain Node (Action type): Using this node will allow you to drain or remove a resource over a period of time, e.g. make a fuel tank lose 300 units of liquid fuel in 120 seconds. Get In Node (Location): This node is for having a Kerbal board a vessel at a given moment during your mission. Kerbal EVA Node (Location): This one is also quite self-explanatory, as it is to have Kerbals perform extra vehicular activities at a given point in the mission. On the artistic side of development, this week we continued work on a new engine inspired by the J-2. This is an upper stage engine suitable for clustering or as a stack mount with included tank butt (similar to our F-1 analogue). While the final specifications are subject to QA feedback and testing, this engine will help bridge the gap between the 1.875 and 2.5 engines, with less thrust than the Skipper, but slightly better atmospheric performance and slightly diminished vacuum performance. As noted in a previous KSP Weekly, we’re ensuring that our new engines fill some of the larger gaps, and ensuring engines have enough variance in stats to provide a wide array of new options for players without overlapping functionality. You can see the new engine below: The updated versions of KSP on consoles continue to undertake a vigorous quality assurance process. With each new build, the testers find fewer issues, and when they do, these are being quickly fixed by our friends at Blitworks. A noticeable issue fixed this week includes a bug that prevented testers from placing maneuver nodes in the map view while using one specific controller preset. Luckily, this one was detected and solved before these version saw the light of day, so you won’t have to worry about it. Finally, we encourage you to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - Destroy the KSC! This time around, the challenge consists of destroying the KSC while using as few and as low cost parts as possible in a single launch. Are you up to the challenge? Check it out and share your creations! That’s it for this week. Be sure to join us on our official forums, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned for more exciting and upcoming news and development updates! Happy launchings!
  4. Marcus House is sending two crewed missions to the Mun and also re-landing the boosters. He is sending this fully reusable vessel on this mission entirely using the KSP kOS mod. Need to send tourists to the moon? Look no further than this awesome vessel. #KSP
  5. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. Yesterday was the 17th anniversary of the docking of the Russian spacecraft Soyuz TM-31 to the International Space Station (ISS), marking the official start of ISS Expedition 1, the very first long-duration stay on the habitable artificial satellite. The crew was composed of Commander William Shepherd, a veteran NASA astronaut, and two RSA flight engineers: Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei K. Kirkalev, both of them had previous long-duration space-flights on Mir, with the latter having spent over a full year in space. The three-person crew stayed aboard the station for 136 days and during their mission, they activated various systems on board the station, unpacked equipment that had been delivered, and hosted three visiting Space Shuttle crews and two unmanned Russian Progress resupply vehicles. At the time the ISS configuration consisted of only three modules: The Functional Cargo Block, Zarya - the first launched module of the station; the Unity connecting module, which with its six berthing locations would facilitate connection to other modules; and the Zvezda Service Module, which provides all of the station’s life support systems. In their first weeks on board, the Expedition 1 crew members activated critical life support systems and computer control, as well as unpacked supplies left behind for them by previous supply missions. At this time the station did not have enough electricity to heat all three pressurized modules, so Unity was left unused and unheated. The three visiting Space Shuttles brought equipment, supplies, and key components of the space station. The first of these, STS-97, docked in early December 2000, and brought the first pair of large U.S. photovoltaic arrays, which increased the station’s power capabilities fivefold. The second visiting shuttle mission was STS-98, which was docked in mid-February 2001, delivered the US$1.4 billion research module Destiny, which increased the mass of the station beyond that of Mir for the first time. And Mid-March 2001 saw the final shuttle visit of the expedition, STS-102, whose main purpose was to exchange the Expedition 1 crew with the next three-person long-duration crew, Expedition 2. On March 18, when the Discovery space shuttle undocked from the ISS, the first ISS expedition ended officially. As of now, the ISS has been continuously occupied since the arrival of Expedition 1, which makes it the longest continuous human presence in low Earth orbit, having surpassed the previous record of 9 years and 357 days held by Mir. And it has been visited by astronauts, cosmonauts and space tourists from 17 different nations. The station’s retirement is expected to happen somewhere between 2024 and 2028, and it’s planned to be replaced by the Deep Space Gateway project. But anniversaries aside, this week was a full KSP development news, too, so let’s begin! [Development news start here] We know a lot of you have been asking for updates on the release timing of the Making History Expansion and the updated console version of KSP, and we want to thank you all for your patience! We are getting close to being able to announce the release dates for each of these, and we want to update everyone on that timing. The updated console version of KSP will be available by the end of January 2018, on both PS4 and Xbox One. One of our major objectives for KSP was to re-release a high-quality version of the game on consoles that lives up to the expectations that our players – and we – have for KSP. We took the decision to build these new versions from the ground up, which has taken more time than we had hoped, but we’ve been working alongside our friends at Blitworks and we’re excited to be getting closer to releasing these console updates. The Kerbal Space Program: Making History Expansion will also be released early next year. We will announce the exact date as we get closer, but the team is working on many exciting updates for the expansion, which you can read more about below and in recent KSP Weekly updates. Again, we know that many of you have been waiting for news on these updates, and we want to thank you for your patience. And now for more development updates! Let’s begin with a short briefing on the development of the upcoming KSP Update 1.4. Currently our main efforts on this project consist of upgrading to Unity 2017.1, which involves a careful assessment of changes that could affect the project, such as modifications in data format which may require re-baking. Similarly, we need to identify any changes to the meaning or behavior of any existing functions, parameters or component values, as well as deprecations of any function or feature that could affect the game. It is important for us to identify any possible issue and find solutions before they arise. This update will not only include this upgrade and the benefits it entails, but also some additional goodies that we’ll be revealing soon. Moving on to the development news of Kerbal Space Program: Making History Expansion, this week we received the early version of the soundtrack that will be used in the Mission Builder. We can’t show it to you, yet, but what we can tell you is that we wanted something within the lines of the music that the VAB/SPH has: smooth and uplifting jazz, which doesn’t distract from the building aspect and gives a cool atmosphere - the new track definitely does that, but simultaneously differs enough to give the Expansion its own musical identity. Additionally, this week the team worked on the implementation of graphic banners, or ‘hero images’, into the Mission dialogs. The idea is that Mission Creators will be able to set custom banners for their missions, whether it is a hero image to accompany the mission briefing, or for the ‘Success’ and ‘Failure’ dialogs. We’ll include a few preloaded banners of course, but we want players to be able to customize theirs in a similar manner to how flags can be added in the main game by adding the files to a specific folder. The developers also worked on the implementation of warnings when there are inconsistencies between facility level limits and any vessel restrictions a Mission Creator may have defined - i.e. it’s weight, number of parts and dimensions. Moreover, the team is also working on the tutorials that will be included in the Expansion, so that you can start making the most of the new tools once you get your hands on Making History. On the artistic side of development, the team has been working on the textures of our analogue to a J2 Engine. We will show them off soon enough, but for the moment we wanted you to check out the Soviet-inspired textures for the new 1.875 Tanks. These tanks will include 2 additional textures, aside from this one, which you’ll be able to switch at will, so you can give your vessels the right look. Finally, we remind you that you still have another week to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - The KSPooky Haiku Challenge. We have been receiving an impressive amount of really cool haikus, including some written in Japanese, which has certainly given some authenticity to the challenge. We have been compiling each and every one of them, and having lots of fun doing so. If you haven’t shared yours, don’t think twice and send us your literary compositions! That’s it for this week. Be sure to join us on our official forums, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned for more exciting and upcoming news and development updates! Happy launchings!
  6. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. This Sunday it will be 19 years since John Glenn returned to space aboard shuttle Discovery and became the oldest person ever to fly in space, being 77 years old at the time. Glenn is one of the greatest figures in space history, who sadly passed away last year, and this anniversary is the perfect excuse to talk about the amazing achievements of this true legend. John Herschel Glenn Jr. was born to a middle class family on July 18, 1921, in Cambridge, Ohio. He took his first flight in an airplane with his father, who was a Great War veteran, when he was eight years old. He became fascinated by flight, and built model airplanes from balsa wood kits. Glenn also developed an early interest in science, particularly aeronautics, and a sense of patriotism that would lead him to serve his country later in life. He joined the American war effort in 1942 by entering into the Naval Aviation Cadet Program. The following year, he completed his studies in engineering and was deployed as a Marine fighter pilot in the Pacific front of World War II. After the war, he continued with the Marine Corps and served during the Korean War as a Marine Fighter Pilot. He received many honors including the Distinguished Flying Cross six times and eighteen Air Medals. He then enrolled in the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School and then joined the Naval Air Test Center’s staff of flyers. In 1957, he made the first supersonic transcontinental flight across the United States, flying from Los Alamitos to New York in under 3 hours and 23 minutes. As a response to the launch of Sputnik I, President Eisenhower launched the Space Race and on October 1, 1958, NASA was established as a civilian agency to develop space technology. One of its first initiatives was publicly announced on December 17, 1958. This was Project Mercury, which aimed to launch a man into Earth orbit, return him safely to the Earth, and evaluate his capabilities in space. Glenn applied for and was granted a position as a test pilot for NASA. When NASA received permission from the president to recruit its first astronauts from the ranks of military test pilots - and although Glenn barely met the requirements, as he was near the age cutoff and lacked a science-based degree - he and six others, including Gus Grissom and Alan Shepard, were selected and went through rigorous training and became known as the Mercury Seven. On February 20, 1962, Glenn flew the Friendship 7 spacecraft during the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission, becoming the first American to orbit the Earth, and the fifth person and third American in space. He received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in 1962 and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978, was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990, and was the last surviving member of the Mercury Seven. Glenn resigned from NASA in 1964 with the intention of starting a career in politics, was able to win the elections to the Senate in 1974, and served for 24 years until January 1999. In 1998, while still a sitting senator, Glenn became the oldest person to fly in space as a crew member of the Discovery space shuttle (STS-95). John Glenn is a true testament that with hard work, determination, and attitude, one can achieve anything. Truly an inspiration for us all. Godspeed, John Glenn. And now, KSP development. [Development news start here] For starters, this has been an interesting week in terms of optimizing aspects and functionalities within the Making History Expansion. One of these optimizations involved the Celestial Body viewer within the Mission Builder’s Graphic Action Pane (GAP). We wanted to shorten the load time for the viewer when a parameter was clicked and/or changed. To understand why this was a tricky optimization, we firstly need to remember that KSP procedurally generates the terrains of the planets in order to optimize resources and automatically create large amounts of content using an algorithm. Specifically, we use Procedural Quad Spheres (PQS), which are formed by mapping each point in a cube surface onto a sphere. These cubes can subdivide themselves into smaller ones and simultaneously gives us pretty good control over how these subdivide, so we can set the level of detail on any given point. This translates to being able to zoom into a planet and seamlessly get the terrain details as we close in from orbit-to-ground. As we had noticed that planet PQSs weren’t loading fast enough when viewing them in the GAP, we needed a way to optimize that. The developers went around this by starting to load the texture details after a 70% zoom towards a planet. By doing so, we avoid a slowdown when parameters are changed, letting players switch between planets with ease, while also allowing interaction with planets without loading PQSs. In a nutshell, faster interaction overall when using the tool. The team has also been working the method that organises a Mission - which turns the flowchart like mission into a list of objectives. As the mission can branch and join, it needs to group objectives up into these paths, which makes it a little more interesting than a simple conversion to a list. Last week we mentioned that we were working on new textures and configuration for the fairings, remember? Well, as we were doing that, we noticed a problem that has been in the game since the first fairings were introduced, and has probably been a headache for modders who have been trying to set personalized textures to their fairings. One of the developers was able to identify and fix that problem as he was working with the artists on these parts. Basically, the UV mapping that the fairings had, wasn’t displayed in an homogeneous way and so, it distorted the textures projected onto the models. See the image below. This image represents how the UV Mapping was display onto the fairings. The UV horizontal axis had a miscalculation, resulting in some very noticeable issues when using a checkerboard pattern. The vertical axis, in the other hand, was based on the height of the model instead of taking the distance between each vertex in the model into account, as well. As a result, the UV cubes were stretched and deformed if the fairings were set with irregular shapes. Once the issue was detected, it was easily fixed. You can see the current representation through the checkerboard pattern of the UV Mapping for the fairings in the image below. Big difference, right? And that’s not all, we also implemented Bump Map support for the fairings too, which basically creates the illusion of depth on the surface of the model using a very simple lighting trick. This way, no additional resolution is added to the model and we get a cool depth look for the new fairing textures. The team also added a separate UV Map for the fairing caps, so now, we’ll be able to set individual textures for those caps. Cool, right? The artist were not only busy with the fairings, but they continue working on the geometry and textures for new parts, as well as on new textures for old parts like the 1.875 Tank! In other news, we noticed that some people were interested in knowing if we were going to implement the Shuriken Particle System into the game once we update to Unity 2017.1. We want to take advantage of the various improvements to that this engine upgrade allows, so the short answer is: Yes (It’s actually being worked on currently)! We are also happy to announce that we are updating the Game Demo to our last Update 1.3.1. The demo was very outdated and we thought it did not accurately represent the game anymore. With this update, potential players will be able get a real glimpse of what KSP currently is. We’ll make an announcement once the new Demo is online. KSP on consoles continues to be thoroughly tested and improved as feedback comes in. Some of the most interesting improvements we saw in the latest build, include a bug that threw an exception when trying to switch controller presets from the mini settings, and another one that inverted the camera axes when a particular preset was selected. Inverting the axes in the mini settings menu fixed the issue in the Editors, but broke it everywhere else. Luckily, the conjoint effort of the QA team and Blitworks is allowing us to detect and fix these issues before anyone can experience them. Finally, we encourage you to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - The KSPooky Haiku Challenge. This one is different from past challenges. It’s a seasonal challenge based on a fun Mexican tradition. Click the link and learn about it and share your Kerbal-themed Haikus, whether it’s on the Forum or through Twitter. Let’s have fun, share and enjoy the KSP Haiku Challenge! That’s it for this week. Be sure to join us on our official forums, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned for more exciting and upcoming news and development updates! Happy launchings! PD: Do you want to help the victims of the Earthquakes in Mexico? You can do so by donating to any of these non-profit institutions. Your contributions will make a huge difference: Mexican Red Cross Habitat for Humanity Ambulante Topos Rescue Brigades UNICEF
  7. This interesting mod adds binary system! By SamBelanger
  8. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. This Monday the LIGO and VIRGO collaborations presented groundbreaking observations of an astronomical phenomenon which has never been seen before. This phenomenon was the merging of two neutron stars a 130 million light years away. What makes this discovery particularly exciting, is that this is the first ever detection of gravitational waves from inspiraling neutron stars, and the same event has been observed with telescopes in all areas of the electromagnetic spectrum. It all began around two months ago (On August 17, 2017), when LIGO’s interferometers identified a clear gravitational wave signal that lasted about a hundred seconds, which by the way is also the longest signal detected until now, and was consistent with the theoretical prediction for the signal that would come from two merging neutron stars. They immediately alerted observatories around the world and in a matter of hours the event had been located. The fact that the event’s location was located in the immensity of space is very impressive by itself, and was only accomplished thanks to the collaboration and contribution from over 70 observatories around the globe. The way the merging was located is quite interesting too. Seven seconds after LIGO’s first detection, NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope identified a burst of gamma rays - which have been thought to come from neutron star mergers for a long time, but the evidence has been lacking until now. To link the gamma-ray burst with the detected gravitational waves, scientists needed to pinpoint where in the sky this neutron star merger had occurred. Neutron stars emit light when they smash together and continue emitting electromagnetic radiation afterwards, so scientists knew what to look for. Using the Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope, the Fermi team identified a large patch of the sky, and with further data from the European Space Agency’s Integral Gamma-Ray Satellite, they were able to narrow down the gravitational waves detected by LIGO even further. This allowed them to identify two long strips in the sky, one of which overlapped with the existing search area. Additionally, the VIRGO gravitational wave detector, located in Italy, was online at the time and it should have been able to detect these gravitational waves but yet it detected almost nothing, which indicated that the gravitational waves must be have been coming from one of that detector’s blind spots. This helped to further narrow the search area, where around fifty galaxies were identified to be studied with optical telescopes. Eleven hours after the initial detection, astronomers located a bright spot in the Galaxy NGC 4993. The colour and brightness of that bright spot changed in the aftermath of the collision. Click here to see an awesome animation of a neutron star merger. Neutron stars are the collapsed core of large stars (between 10 and 29 solar masses) that have gone supernova and combined with the gravitational collapse, compresses the core past the white dwarf star density to that of atomic nuclei. If the remnant has a mass greater than about 3 solar masses, the neutron star continues collapsing to form a black hole, but if those cores are a bit smaller, then they get squeezed still and so electrons merge with protons to form neutrons and neutrinos and turn to the smallest and densest stars known to exist. They are supported against further collapse by neutron degeneracy pressure, a phenomenon described by the Pauli Exclusion Principle. If you have two neutron stars orbiting each other, they emit some of their energy as gravitational waves and as they do that, they lose energy while spiraling close to each other. When they get really close to a few hundred kilometers apart, the gravitational waves become intense, allowing us to detect them hundreds of millions of light years away. The collision of neutron stars creates a kilonova, which spews debris out into space. This debris emits light and allows scientists to observe what’s been created. Through these new observations with light telescopes, scientists detected heavy elements like gold, lead and platinum, which helps us to understand where some of the heavy elements in our Universe come from. This is a huge discovery and the fact that we live in an era in which we are able to detect, pinpoint and observe events like a neutron star merger is just incredible. What an exciting time to live. Sorry for this long introduction, let’s move on and talk about KSP development. [Development news start here] The team continues with the development of the Making History Expansion. This week, some developers worked on the Mission App; a display where the player will see all the objectives and their criteria along with a status (Complete, Incomplete, In-progress, etc) while playing a Mission. They created new UI prefabs, set up some code and added functionality to display the Body Node info from the Mission Builder’s canvas in the Missions App while in the Flight Scene. Similarly, some of the developers worked on the implementation of ‘tooltips’ for the Mission Builder scene and its UI, as well as for the SAP parameters. Additionally, the team worked on the design and implementation of an algorithm that maps the program flow of the Nodes to a list format that will then be rendered to the multiple places where a list of objectives is used, so that it can give a visual indication of paths through the map. This week also saw some improvements to the Orbit Gizmo, which, as we have explained in previous issues, will allow creators to set orbits for vessels as they see fit. Sounds simple, right? Well, there is a lot of math required to identify an object’s orbit and its specific position in that orbit. The game’s code uses basically three parameters to identify this: 1) The orbital period, which is the time a given object takes to complete one orbit around another object, let’s say a planet. 2) The epoch, which is a moment in time used as a reference point for an object in an elliptical orbit. 3) And last, but not least, the Mean Anomaly, which is an angle used in calculating the position of a body in an orbit - it is the angular distance from the pericenter which a fictitious body would have if it moved in a circular orbit, with constant speed, in the same orbital period as the actual body in its elliptical orbit. We can determine the position of an object in an orbit by calculating the mean anomaly at epoch - which is directly influenced by the orbital period - using basic arithmetic, but as we like to keep things simple, by setting the epoch at zero, the only parameter a player will need to set is the angle (mean anomaly) at which he would like to place a vessel. One of the developers has been playing around with the Orbit Gizmo in the Mission Builder and this clip showcases the same orbit for 6 asteroids generated an hour apart from each other (take into account that Kerbin has 6-hour-days). This is just an example of the crazy things you’ll be able to do with this tool. The team also finished testing another batch of already implemented nodes for the Mission Builder, so let’s go into further detail (as always remember that this is still subject to changes). Escape SOI Node (Location type): This node will allow you to set the objective of leaving the Sphere of Influence of a particular celestial body and travelling to another one. Vessel Splashed Node (Location type): This node will allow you to set the objective of splashing down into a body of water at specific coordinates on a planet. Flight Elapsed Time Node (Logic type): This node will allow you to measure flight time within a Mission, after a vessel has launched and do something with it. Mission Time Node (Logic type): Unlike the Flight Elapsed Time Node, this node will allow you to measure the overall duration of a mission. Vessel Mass Node (Logic type): This node will allow you to set the mass for vessels as a condition in a Mission. Part Explode Node (Action type): This node will allow you set an explosion event for a part and trigger it at a given moment during a mission. There is a different Node for whole vessels by the way. The art team is currently busy working on the geometry and texture of a new liquid-fuel cryogenic rocket engine, specially designed for large vessels and inspired on NASA’s J2 Engine, which you probably know from the Saturn V and Saturn IB rockets. It is still early for sneak peeks, but we’ll show it to you soon. The team is also working on new textures and configurations for the 1.875m and the 5m fairings. In other news, we keep on getting newer and better builds of KSP on consoles from our friends at Blitworks. Some noteworthy fixes in the last builds include a bug that caused a severe performance drop for a brief period when players entered the Tracking Station from the Launchpad and then returned to the Space Center. Another issue addressed was triggered when a player attempted to delete a save from the Resume Game Menu, instead of deleting the save, accepting the deletion would open the save file instead. A issue regarding the controller inputs was fixed too. This one was triggered when attempting to edit parts on a craft; with the new mapping the D-Pad left and right allows the player to select the parts to edit via a highlight. The top face button (PS4 triangle or XB Y) can then be used to scroll through the editor gizmos. Attempting to cancel this operation failed and left some buttons unresponsive. Luckily, you won’t have to worry about these and other issues thanks to the external testing team, our own QA team and Blitworks. Finally, the team started to work on upgrading the project to Unity 2017.1. This implementation will be included in the upcoming 1.4 Update of KSP. That’s it for this week. Be sure to join us on our official forums, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned for more exciting and upcoming news and development updates! Happy launchings! PD: Do you want to help the victims of the Earthquakes in Mexico? You can do so by donating to any of these non-profit institutions. Your contributions will make a huge difference: Mexican Red Cross Habitat for Humanity Ambulante Topos Rescue Brigades UNICEF
  9. Stock Moon Tower with a cute Speed Rover. Need a simple craft for all your base tower needs? Also need a speedy way to tour around the area? Look no further than this sweet ride! By Marcus House
  10. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. Continuing with the Martian craze, an exciting article published in Nature Communications back in July has started to get some well-deserved attention. A research team led by Joseph Michalski from the University of Hong Kong looked at huge deposits left in a basin called Eridania on southern Mars, using the NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which is currently in orbit around the planet. These deposits seem to have been formed by heated water as a result of volcanic activity 3.7 billion years ago, suggesting they formed near hydrothermal vents at the bottom of a sea. The basin would’ve hold a 500 to 1,500 meters deep sea with a volume of 210,000 cubic kilometers; holding as much as 10 times more water than all of the American Great Lakes combined and bigger than any landlocked body of water on Earth. The combined evidence of water and volcanic activity in the form of hydrothermal vents is what makes this discovery so important. This provided conditions that were similar to the ones that existed on Earth at about the same time – when early life was evolving here, but our active crust has erased most of this evidence from our beginnings, so this site can tell us about the type of environment where life may have begun on our planet too. The Eridania seafloor deposits will definitely be a place of interest for deeper Mars exploration, where evidence of life on Mars could be found, but also a place where we could learn about our own origins. Now let’s move on to other exciting news… KSP development! [Development news start here] This week we’ll start off with the Making History Expansion. As things come together, the team has been sewing up the seams so everything makes sense and works as it should. The work on the expansion’s architecture and the organizational task, like working out what items we need to make sure are listed in the to-do assignments, is crucial for the success of the project. The team also worked on the validation system that will be placed in the Mission Builder to help identify for the creator where any potential issue may be. This test system will definitely come in handy when designing missions. The team worked on a feature that will allow mission creators to set vessel specific settings to the Vessel Node. These, as an example, could include restrictions to the parts that a player could use in a specific mission, i.e., parts that are available, unavailable and/or required. But also the maximum dimensions, weight and resources that can be used on a vessel, just to name a few. The artistic side of the development had its share of progress, too. The team has been working in generating the UI design for the Nodes inside the Mission Builder. Additionally, the artists finished with our Gemini-like Service Module. Here’s a sneak peek. We hope you like it. Naturally, with all these new parts and work on the Mission Builder’s node system, the testers haven’t been short of tasks to ensure that everything works as it should. In previous issues, we’ve talked about the different Node types that are going to be included and a few specific nodes, now we’ll take this opportunity to get a bit more into detail about some of the nodes that are already implemented and have been tested by the team, so you’ll get a wider picture of how you’ll be able to use them (remember that this is still subject to changes): Message Node (Action type): This node will allow you to display custom screen messages to the player at a given point during a mission. Time Since Node (Logic type): This node will allow you to set a specific time frame since a given node was activated. For example you could have a mission player perform an action like planting a flag and then have to wait some seconds before continuing with the next task. Reach Altitude Node (Location type): This node will allow you to set the altitude that a vessel has to reach at a specific moment. Vessel Crashed Node (Location type): This node will be activated once a specified vessel has crashed. Vessel Landed Node (Location type): This node will allow you to set the objective of landing a vessel on a specific body, biome, or at a given area, you’ll be able to pinpoint. Vessel Flying Node (Location type): This node will be activated once a specified vessel is detected to be flying. For example if a vessel is grounded, the test won’t be completed until you launch it and start flying. Reach SOI Node (Location type): This node will allow you to set the goal of reaching a celestial body’s Sphere of Influence and it will trigger once the player enters that SOI. Plant Flag Node (Location type): This node is pretty self-explanatory, it will allow mission creators the ability to set the objective of planting a flag on a selected body, biome or at given coordinates. Moving on, the work on the console version of KSP continues and we’ll keep you informed and updated when we have news on these versions entering the certification process. The reason why it has taken so long is because we’ve been crafting these versions from scratch so we can deliver a product that will live to the expectations of our players. In the past few months we have been focusing in ensuring that the game performs, looks and plays as it should. And whenever the expert eyes of our QA find some bugs, our friends at Blitworks go straight into the code and fix the issues, which at this point are mostly minor. Finally, we remind you that you still have another week to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - Brick from Orbit Challenge. So go check it out and share your creations! That’s it for this week. Be sure to join us on our official forums, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned for more exciting and upcoming news and development updates! Happy launchings! PD: Do you want to help the victims of the Earthquakes in Mexico? You can do so by donating to any of these non-profit institutions. Your contributions will make a huge difference: Mexican Red Cross Habitat for Humanity Ambulante Topos Rescue Brigades UNICEF
  11. Just a bit of routine maintenance… #KSP By Cupcake Landers
  12. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. Last week we talked a bit about NASA’s Deep Space Gateway and Deep Space Transport projects, which sets up a plan for the upcoming decades for NASA and other space agencies with the ultimate objective of sending a crew to Mars’ orbit. If that wasn’t enough, this past Thursday, September 28th, at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, Australia, SpaceX CEO and Lead Designer Elon Musk provided an update to his 2016 presentation regarding the long-term technical challenges that need to be solved to support the creation of a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars within the next 50 to 100 years. Back on last year’s IAC in Guadalajara, Mexico, Elon Musk revealed SpaceX’s initial plans to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars, using huge reusable rockets. The new concept does not depart far from the original, which now features a slightly smaller rocket and spacecraft designed for a broader range of applications beyond Mars, including a Moon base and point-to-point Earth transport. The smaller design will facilitate the use of the codenamed BFR (Big Falcon Rocket… yes, originally we also thought it was a small hint at Doom) for other missions, basically combining all of the company’s vehicles into a single product line, which coupled with the cost savings from reusability will make the project more affordable. Despite being a bit smaller than originally proposed, the BFR is still a BIG rocket (bigger than a Saturn V), capable carrying up to 100 people into orbit or a payload of 150 tons. SpaceX’s previous plan called for landing its first transport ship on Mars in 2022. The timeline Musk gave past Thursday was similar; two cargo landers would land on Mars in 2022, with four vehicles launching in 2024. Two of those 2024 ships would be crewed, meaning, in Musk’s timeline, humans could walk on Mars in just seven years. This seems a bit aspirational, but SpaceX has surprised us many times before, so if there’s someone who can get people on Mars’ surface before 2030, it might as well be Elon. It seems that a crewed mission to Mars is becoming a reality and the question is who’s going to get there first. In the meanwhile, it could be interesting trying to replicate both NASA’s and SpaceX’s plans in KSP(some didn’t waste anytime doing so already); Right? But let’s move on and talk about KSP development. But first, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Sputnik (no, we did not forget about it), we launched a Sputnik-like probe using some of the new Russian-inspired parts to be included in the expansion. Check it out! [Development news start here] As you have probably noticed by now, yesterday we released Update 1.3.1. These releases usually involve many preparations to ensure its availability throughout various platforms. Fortunately, the pre-release phase was a success and we were able to gather a great deal of feedback from the community, which allowed us to add several localization corrections, many bug fixes and the implementation of a few enhancements. We’ve said this many times, but it doesn’t matter, we want to express our immense gratitude to everyone who participated and shared precious feedback during the pre-release. You can read the detailed changelog here. In other news this week, we received a new build for the console version of KSP, which incorporated improvements to the controller mapping and solved a few issues thanks to the conjoint effort of the external testers, Blitworks and the QA team. Some of the issues fixed within the latest build include a critical bug that locked up the game when the “Load Save” option in the Pause Menu was selected and forced testers to perform a game reboot to continue. Other minor issues were solved too, like one where the “Toggle Helmet Lights” binding in one of the controllers also activated RCS. Work on the Making History Expansion continues vigorously. Testing nodes continues to be an important part of the daily tasks. We are currently testing the second batch of nodes, which mainly involve vessel and flight related ones, our testers did have lots of fun playing around with that. Additionally, the team also worked on reviewing some aspects of the design for Vessel parameters within the Mission Builder, which basically is a list of Vessel based parameters, what they are and where are they displayed, i.e. vessel weight, fuel limitations and so on. Some devs spent some time working on the functionality of repairing part failures during missions. This task involves implementing the repair feature that allows a failed part that is “repairable” to be fixed by an engineer with appropriate skills. This gives an interesting layer to mission design and playability, as it gives a quasi narrative aspect to the way a mission will unfold to the player. The team also continued to work on a feature that will give mission creators the ability to define and set mission wide scoring attributes for a mission. We’ve talked about the concept of this feature in previous issues. We’ve been implementing it in the past few weeks, and currently we are defining the global scoring design and its UI wireframes. Another feature that has been recently implemented is the Biome Selector, which is basically a tool that mission creators will be able to use to set specific biome-oriented objectives to a mission, e.g. plant a flag on Eve’s Lowlands. Although some things might still change, here’s a preview of the tool’s interface. This week we wrapped up our analogue to the Apollo Service Propulsion System (the AJ10-137), too. While we’re still finalizing the statistics, it will be a vacuum engine in the same league as the Poodle. It will also have a mesh switching option, with a bare version suitable for clustering, as well as a 2.5 skirt version. You can see a picture of it here. As always, please consider these works in progress. The artists started to replace some placeholders with nicer UI elements within the Mission Builder, and simultaneously they were able to finish the last details of the MK1-3 IVA. Here’s a sneak peak of that, too. Finally, we encourage you to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - Brick from Orbit Challenge. This time around, the challenge consists of landing a craft without any parachutes. With various difficulty modes and a scoring system, both rookies and veterans can participate and show off their skills. Are you up to the challenge? Check it out and share your creations! That’s it for this week. Be sure to join us on our official forums, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned for more exciting and upcoming news and development updates! Happy launchings! PD: Do you want to help the victims of the Earthquakes in Mexico? You can do so by donating to any of these non-profit institutions. Your contributions will make a huge difference: Mexican Red Cross Habitat for Humanity Ambulante Topos Rescue Brigades UNICEF
  13. Comfortable Landing can keep your Kerbals safe and feel comfortable even in the last minute of a mission! It adds retro rockets, buoys, and airbags into stock command pod and command pod of other mod. And they will automatic deploy when certain conditions are met. By Icecovery
  14. KSP Weekly: The Munar Lunar Space Station Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. Slowly but surely we’re getting back on our feet and regaining the development pace we are used to. It will take many years until our country fully recovers from the two major Earthquakes that struck us this month. But we must go on, continue with our work and our lives, all while not forgetting about those who lost their patrimony and/or their loved ones. In a lighter note, this week we learned about Roscosmos announcing its involvement in the Deep Space Gateway project. The DSG will be a crew-tended cislunar space station, which is planned to be constructed in the early 2020s and would eventually replace the ISS after its retirement, which is expected to happen somewhere between 2024 and 2028. The station is being considered by international partners for use as a staging ground for robotic and crewed lunar surface missions, but more importantly, it would be also used as a staging point for the proposed Deep Space Transport. The DST is a crewed interplanetary spacecraft being planned by NASA to carry a human crew to Mars and its moons. It would use a combination of electric and chemical propulsion and carry a crew of six in a large habitat. These projects gives a clear purpose for NASA, Roscosmos and other space agencies for the next decades and would continue with the always fruitful tendency of international cooperation in terms of space exploration. Hopefully we’ll see them come to fruition and finally have a crewed mission to the Red Planet. You can learn more about these projects here. Now let’s move on to KSP development news. [Development news start here] Let’s start with update 1.3.1, whose estimated official release is a few days away. We’ve been collecting feedback for about a month, and while doing so, finishing with the last remaining fixes. We can’t express enough gratitude towards those who have been helping us with this phase of the release. Thank you! Moving on to the console versions of KSP, this week saw some considerable progress as a couple of critical issues were resolved and a few other minor ones were tackled as well. One of the critical issues involved an exception error thrown when entering MiniSettings from the Pause menu, which locked up the game until it was rebooted. The other one was a bug that made the game crash/freeze after a while when the player launched several vessels into orbit around Kerbin. Once one crash occurred, more frequent crashes would follow even when not yet in orbit. In addition to those critical bugs, there were also minor fixes, including an input device issue, which prevented presets changes on horizontal movements after selecting the controller presets in the settings screen. Luckily, these issues will never see the light thanks to the QA team and our friends at Blitworks. The Making History Expansion got its fair amount of attention, too. For starters the QA team has been testing parts and doing things with them that we’re sure nobody would ever think of doing. Because this is KSP. And you know that someone’s going to do that thing that you thought nobody would ever think of doing. Coupled with that, QA has started to test nodes, the pillar of the Mission Builder, which you as players will be able to select and place to from objectives and link those together into Missions. You will have a wide selection of nodes to choose from, divided in 5 main categories: Action, Location, Logic, Science and Vehicle. If you’ve been following the past issues, you’ll know that with the Mission Builder, you’ll be able to define all kinds of parameters and aspects you want players to follow in your missions, such as the flight time, the altitude, the parts available, as well as setting specific situations to be triggered at specific moments during a mission, e.g. part failures, among countless others. The team has been working on adding some features that, while simple, will facilitate the creation process. Soon we’ll be giving you a detailed description of how the nodes work and how to create missions, so keep an eye out for that. Additionally, this week the development team has been working on the arduous task of adding in the UI Components that are needed to cater for part failures, this include showing the SAP and Node Body components for the PartFailure nodes, ensuring that the undo function is working, among many other tasks. Similarly the team worked on how a mission creator will define the difficulty parameters for a mission. Some examples here include a new Settings Action Pane (SAP) parameter and object to the Mission that displays in the start node to change the mission difficulty parameters. The addition of designed difficulty settings and its system configuration to lock the difficulty components in play mode, the implementation of many parameters like Kerbal limits in Crew Management, Facility level limit, funding options, among many others that we have already revealed in previous issues. Finally, the art team is working on the geometry and textures of several new parts, including a Gemini inspired Service Module and some new engines. Next week we’ll have something to show you so, so don’t miss the next issue. That’s it for this week. Be sure to join us on our official forums, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned for more exciting and upcoming news and development updates! Happy launchings! PD: Do you want to help the victims of the Earthquakes in Mexico? You can do so by donating to any of these non-profit institutions. Your contributions will make a huge difference: Mexican Red Cross Habitat for Humanity Ambulante Topos Rescue Brigades UNICEF
  15. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. This issue will be fairly short. This Tuesday, September 19th, a major Earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 struck Mexico, less than two weeks after another one with a magnitude of 8.2, and exactly on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake. Unfortunately this latest Earthquake caused serious damage, toppled dozens of buildings, rendered countless others uninhabitable, and killed hundreds of people; especially in Puebla, Morelos, the State of Mexico and Mexico City, the latter with the most casualties. The Earthquake began around 1:14pm, while we were at our offices, and it was one of the scariest things we’ve experienced. Since the epicenter was 158.5 km from the city, it struck as soon as the alarms started to ring, so it had begun before we were able to leave the building. Shortly after the Earthquake stopped we started to learn about its aftermath and that was the worst part. Electricity was failing in most of the city, there were gas leaks and telecommunications were over saturated, so trying to get in contact with our families was very distressing, especially after hearing that some buildings had fallen. Naturally, the office closed for the rest of the day and we went straight home to see if everything was ok. Luckily the whole team and our families are all safe and sound. Nevertheless, after being sure that our loved ones were safe, some of us decided to help those that were trapped under debris. Personally, I went to a 7 story building that fell not far from where I live. When I arrived there were hundreds of people already helping to remove the debris, stone by stone, since most of them were civilians without equipment, but it did not matter, we all knew that in these situations every minute counts and there was no time to lose. Many people were trapped, but nobody knew the exact number. By the minute more people came with buckets, shovels, picks and mallets, and shortly after, the army and professional rescue teams with dogs and machinery came too. Thousands gathered, everybody helped as they could, bringing equipment, food and water to the rescuers. It was not long until the first persons were found, some of them fortunately still alive. The rescue effort wouldn’t stop until everybody was found. I've never experienced something like this and the solidarity we Mexicans have shown in such difficult times is, simply put, extraordinary and it gives us hope in such dark times. There are two main types of Earthquakes, categorized by their motion: when they have an horizontal, side-to-side motion, they are called oscillatory Earthquakes, and when it’s a vertical, up-and-down motion, they are designated as trepidatory Earthquakes, which are far more dangerous, especially near the epicenter. This was unfortunately the case on Tuesday. Moreover, Mexico City is especially at risk of major earthquakes because of its location. Five tectonic plates - Cocos, Pacific, Caribbean, Panama and North American - collide in central and southern Mexico, making the region one of the most unstable. Furthermore, the downtown of Mexico City is especially vulnerable to quakes because of the very soft and wet ground underneath. Our city, one of the most densely populated in the world, was built on what is now a dry lakebed and that plays a large role in the intensity of earthquakes. Its soil amplifies shaking and is prone to liquefaction, which is the ability to transform dirt into a dense liquid when sufficiently churned. Additionally, Tuesday’s earthquake struck at a depth of about 51 km, within the range of the so called shallow quakes, which often cause the most damage, compared to the ones that are deeper, regardless of the strength. All those factors made it particularly destructive and the reason why, despite of being one whole point under the earthquake magnitude scale in comparison with the one that struck us on September 9th, it was much more devastating. Thousands lost their patrimony, but our strength and solidarity will help us overcome this disaster. Buildings and roads can be rebuilt, and little by little the country will return to normality. If you want to help the victims, you can do so by donating to the Mexican Red Cross, UNICEF or the Topos Rescue Brigades. Any help will make a difference. [Development news start here] Despite the obvious news of the week, we did make some progress, which we are happy to share. For starters, the QA team has had another busy week of control scheme testing and general bug reporting for the consoles. Thankfully there are not so many of the general bugs now, so together with our external QA team and Blitworks, we are concentrating on getting the controls complete. We’ve also been looking at the few remaining issues with the 1.3.1 Pre-release, and some older bugs in general. In other news, there were further advancements with the Making History Expansion. This week we have worked on the mission validation system. This system checks the structure of a mission and looks for issues that may prevent the mission from working or that could cause the player of a mission issues when they play it. It gives feedback on issues and highlights the Nodes on the canvas that need attention. Moreover, work has progressed on part failure and repair development along with work being done on implementing various aspects of difficulty settings into the missions that will allow the mission creator to turn on and off various difficulty settings and some new ones that are missions specific. Some devs also worked on mission scoring aspects of development. The team also ironed out some missing elements on the persistent ID numbers that will allow missions to track vessels and parts right through their lifecycle, that allows missions to link actions and events with instances of vessels and parts. Additionally, the devs built and implemented the Missions App for the editor scenes (VAB/SPH) that provides information about vessels that need to be built by the mission player. We have started formal testing on the Making History’s Mission Builder now that the different parts are able to work together and the first line bugs have been ironed out. More part testing has also been in focus, and the number of new parts we have now is quite impressive. Finally we want to thank our colleagues that reside abroad, who have been very concerned and shown their support to the rest of us. As well as the KSP community, who have shown nothing but solidarity and support to us. Thank you all. That’s it for this week. Be sure to join us on our official forums, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned for more exciting and upcoming news and development updates! Happy launchings!