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  1. "

    Posted October 8, 2015 (edited)
    One of my biggest complaints about KSP has been the lack of things to do. Once you get where you're going, there's really no point in being there and nothing to do when you do get there. The planets are lifeless, the science is a gooey joke and the only reason to be on the surface of a planet is to say you've been there or drill for ore so you can reach further destinations and do... what? I can't even begin to calculate the number of rockets, aircraft, rovers and bases that I've created in the past few years only to scrap them entirely when the 'mission' was complete? Why? No point in them existing.

    But Squad has been too busy adding useless things, like heat and silly pointy aerodynamic overlays that serve no purpose other than eye candy, rather than providing a continuing source of entertainment.

    Well, someone was listening.


    And guess what they're comparing it to?

    MSN Article on Astroneer

    If fear if Squad continues their ostrich approach to immersion that it's going to be just like many of the games we remember, like Age of Empires. It may define a genra of games but if they don't wake up, it's going to quickly become another dust collector on the shelf.

    Edited October 8, 2015 by Fengist"


    This is still a very real problem in-game, and something that I would like adressed- And I have some ideas


           -Weather would be an amazing thing to experience, and possible design around? A dust storm on Duna or maybe storms on Kerbin, Laythe, or Eve? They could range from small showers to massive hurricanes :D 

    -More Contracts?

    -Tourist contracts to other points on Kerbin, potentially the other bases; You could have little hopper runs to the Island runway, or long-haul flights to KSC 2? More places to 

    -Life support and better Base Building

    -Kerbals should need food, water and oxygen. I know there are already mods for this, but stock support would be great. Something I would also like are large glass domes for building cool sci-fi biospheres, and also recreational facilities, such as lounges and movie theaters?


    Just some of my opinions, and I shall start a thread for more ideas. I believe just even these additions could make for a much more entertaining play experience


  2. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. Coinciding with the eve of the Mexican Independence Day, today, just a few hours ago, the spacecraft Cassini-Huygens met its spectacular end while entering into Saturn’s atmosphere. Its destruction was planned to ensure protection and prevent biological contamination to any of the moons of the planet thought to offer potential habitability. The spacecraft’s development began in the 1980s and was planned, built, launched, and operated in collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency (A total of 27 nations participated in the project). Its design included a Saturn orbiter (Cassini) and a lander (Huygens) for the moon Titan. Cassini-Huygens launched on October 15, 1997, aboard a Titan IVB/Centaur and entered orbit around Saturn on July 1, 2004, after an interplanetary voyage that included flybys of Earth, Venus and Jupiter. On December 25, 2004, Huygens separated from the orbiter, and it landed on Saturn’s moon Titan on January 14, 2005. It successfully returned data to Earth, using the orbiter as a relay. This was the first landing ever accomplished in the outer Solar System and the first landing on a moon other than our own. Cassini-Huygens travelled 7.9 billion kilometers since its launch, collected 635GB of data, completed 291 orbits around Saturn, took 453,048 images, made 162 targeted flybys of Saturn’s moons, discovered seven new moons orbiting the planet and 3,948 science papers were published using its data. On November 29, 2016, the spacecraft performed a Titan flyby that took it to the gateway of F-ring orbits: This was the start of the Grand Finale phase culminating in its impact with the planet. A final Titan flyby on April 22, 2017, changed the orbit again to fly through the gap between Saturn and its inner ring days later on April 26. Cassini passed about 3,100 km above Saturn’s cloud layer and 320 km from the visible edge of the inner ring; it successfully took images of Saturn’s atmosphere and began returning data the next day. Cassini-Huygens was a huge success in every sense of the word and even after its destruction, we’ll continue to learn about Saturn and its moons for several years to come, thanks to all the data it collected. A well deserving Grand Finale for a magnificent human achievement. Goodbye Cassini-Huygens! Learn more about the spacecraft here. Now let’s move on and talk about KSP development. For starters we continue to get feedback about the pre-release of update 1.3.1 and we want to reiterate our gratitude towards those who have been helping us with this phase of the release. As bug reports come in, bug fixes come out. For instance, some noteworthy improvements include fixing the Kerbal swimming animation (they were jittering), an issue with the Duna Rock easter egg and a bug that involved the Engine exhaust FX being overlaid by Fairings. The team also worked on the external command seat ejection parameters, so that Kerbals don’t ragdoll when leaving them, as well as on further improvements on the landed vessels coming off rails ground collision issue. Just to name a few. In other news, Blitworks continue to provide regular updates for the console platform. They’ve been working hard on the implementation of the new controller mapping pre-sets. Testing and reporting on the new control methods as they are fleshed out is going to be a significant task for the QA team in the following weeks. Furthermore, in the latest build that came out, various issues with flight input, trim and autopilot were fixed, as well as a bug that made the ‘Cursor Mode’ unavailable when viewing the KSPedia while inside the Vehicle Assembly Building or Space-plane Hangar. It’s important to note that as this version is being built from the ground up, some of the bugs we have been talking about are completely new and some others that were quite notorious in the previous version are not even present anymore. We continue to work hard on the Making History Expansion and we’ve made important progress this week. For example, the team worked at ironing out some of the details in the Mission Builder and extending the controls and tools the mission creator will use. In addition, other significant advancements were achieved, like the implementation of failure states for part modules. This will allow Mission Creators to trigger a failure in a specific module during a mission , for example, an Engine-Module can fail by: Shutdown, reduced thrust limit (by %), loss of throttle control, loss of gimbal control, and so on. What made this specific task so laborious was we had to build a list of all modules and their failure possibilities, and as you know, the module’s list is quite big by itself. Similarly, the team finished with the implementation of the Vessel Position Gizmo within the Graphic Action Pane. The gizmo will allow Mission Creators to place vessels in any location of a planet’s surface and adjust their orientation as well. But images speak louder than words, so check it out. It’s important to note that the UI elements are still wireframes, in other words, it is not the final UI art nor layout. We will also include tools to place vessels in orbits, but this gizmo is specifically for planet’s surfaces. Finally, in the art department, the team has been working on the geometry and textures for more parts and IVAs, including the Apollo inspired Service Module and work on our analogue to the LR-91 Engine. Like the LR-87, this will be another 1.875 engine and help round out the lineup in that profile size, and fill the gap for vacuum engines between the Terrier and the Poodle. It will also feature mesh switching, with players able to either use a bare version suitable for engine clusters, or a full 1.875m tank butt and skirt, both of which can be seen in this WIP preview picture. On top of that the artist have also been working on the wireframes for the Global Scoring Screen. 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. For those who wish to record your efforts, the Kaptain’s Log is for you. This mod will automatically record events as they happen. For many of them, an optional window can open to allow you to enter your own notes. By linuxgurugamer
  4. This is an all-in-one package that keeps RLA Continued mod updated into the future! #KSP By Carbonjvd
  5. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. This week we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the twin Voyager spacecrafts, the longest-lived and farthest spacecrafts humanity has ever built. We talked about them in various occasions, and we invite you to check out the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Voyager Website if you are eager to keep learning about their importance, implications and achievements, as well as to look at their huge and amazing media gallery (they have cool commemorative wallpapers, too). Coincidentally, today also marks the 51st anniversary of one of the most beloved science-fiction franchises, we are talking, of course, about Star Trek. The series, created, produced and written by Gene Roddenberry, originally followed the interstellar adventures of Captain James T Kirk and his crew aboard the starship USS Enterprise, a space exploration vessel, built by the interstellar federal republic United Federation of Planets in the twenty-third century. Although the Original Series only aired for three seasons and had its flaws (or cheese factor), it spawned an animated series, thirteen movies and five additional series, as well as, innumerable novels, games, comics, toys and even a themed attraction in Las Vegas. A definitive worldwide cult phenomenon. Star Trek has not only a complex mythology with its own full-fledged constructed language (Klingon), but through the various dilemmas that the protagonists faced in the story lines, it managed to allegorize many contemporary realities and issues, such as war and peace, the value of personal loyalty, authoritarianism, imperialism, class warfare, economics, racism, religion, human rights, sexism, feminism, and the role of technology, making it notable for its progressive civil right stances. Some of us at the KSP HQ are trekkies and we stand by the values that this great and long-lived franchise has been trying to spread since the sixties. In the hopes that Kerbin may sometime join the United Federation of Planets, we salute you: Live long and prosper. But now let’s move on to KSP development news. For starters, this week’s activities included working through the bug reports for update 1.3.1, and some good progress has been made, thanks to the great information you have been providing. So a huge shout-out to everyone who has been helping us out with feedback! For example, some devs have been working on and implementing improvements for the landed vessels coming off rails issue in 1.3.1. The issue caused landers to bounce into the air on low G words when you switch to them, and it has been much improved. Single landed vessels do spawn quite nicely and adjust themselves to be a few inches above the floor before gently dropping, but the QA Team is thorough and they started testing various scenarios, like: What happens if a whole base is built? What happens if that base is built on uneven ground? Well, the whole base appears several metres in the air before descending to the floor in a display that could best be described as “heart stopping”. That’s what happens. But don’t you worry, our devs are still working hard to get that improved for the next revision. The QA team has also been busy testing the revised Control Schemes on consoles. As previously mentioned, we now have presets, and these need to be thoroughly checked and verified individually. As with any change, some bugs have been introduced, so the team is reporting those, as well as giving constant feedback on the new design. Additionally some other bugs have been addressed. A couple of examples include a bug that caused engine particles for the CR-7 RAPIER engine to disappear, and similarly one where aero and thermal effects disappeared when zooming out. In other news, the crusade towards the creation of the Making History Expansion continues, and this week wasn’t without its highlights. This week’s activities included fixing some bugs, polishing already delivered functional stories and work on the core code changes required to support other launch sites, that is, the ‘Mobile Launch Pads’ you’ll be able to spawn when creating missions. Further implementation for the expansion’s Graphic Action Pane also took place, specifically on the feature that will allow Mission Creators to place targets on and above surfaces, yes, above surfaces, too. The feature is still being worked on, but basically we found a solution to place targets on three-dimensional spaces via sphere-shaped targets. This feature, for example, could be useful to design courses to be followed by vessels on missions, maybe even races! It will be up to you to decide how to make the most of the various tools we’re working on and you’ll have at your disposal. The team is also working on letting Mission Creators to add scoring nodes to their mission canvas, as well as letting them tweak their settings. The Mission Creator will be able to drag these scoring nodes from the sidebar and dock them to specific objective nodes. This feature could have several implications, for instance, let’s say that in your mission you want to have players go through various objectives before succeeding, and that the final score to be a summatory of the player’s performance on each individual objective in the overall mission, well, you get the idea. The devs also completed work to allow mission creators to place asteroids into their missions and place them in all the same situations as you can a vessel. On the artistic side of development, the team started to work on the geometry and the textures of a new LR-91 Engine, as well as on the textures for the MK 1-3 command mode’s IVA. Hopefully we’ll have something to show soon, but for now you’ll have to be patient. And last but not least, we have an announcement to make. We are working on localizing the game to further languages, specifically German, French, Italian, and Brazilian Portuguese. We are still at very early stages of the localization process, but we are sharing this news because some players might notice that on the Language Tab of the game’s Properties on Steam there will be other languages listed aside from the ones we have already released. This change is for testing purposes and these won’t be available for use, yet. Remember that you still have another week to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - Eve Speed 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! PS: We are all fine (and our families) and operating normally after the Earthquake that hit Mexico last night. Mexico City was largely unaffected, but unfortunately other states in the south of the country weren’t that lucky. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.
  6. Star Mods: Streamline!

    Set of engines in aerodynamical cowlings with attach points on both sides, Liquid fuel + Oxidiser RCS modules and MK-1 Fuel tanks separated to LF and OX with various capacity from 50 to 800. #KSP By NESD
  7. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. In 1990 an experiment conceived by Carl Sagan was performed by the Galileo Spacecraft with the purpose of detecting life on a planet, based on measurements by a space probe. This experiment was successful, and abundance of life on that planet was confirmed. That Planet was the Earth. The aim of the experiment was to test if such a probe could positively detect life on a world using only data taken from space and with as few prior assumptions as possible. The probe measured the spectrum of Earth atmosphere, took pictures and looked for radio emissions during the brief flyby window of its first gravity assist maneuver. Life has an effect on the chemical content of a planet’s atmosphere, so when Galileo measured the Earth’s atmosphere spectrum with its near-infrared spectrometer, the data showed deep dips in what otherwise would be the smooth heat glow of the atmosphere. These dips result from molecules absorbing specific wavelengths and they are undeniable signatures of certain molecules, like in Earth’s case, Water (H2O), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Nitrous Oxide (N2O), Methane(CH4), Ozone (O3) and Oxygen (O2). Nevertheless, the presence of such molecules in an atmosphere isn’t enough to confirm life on another planet. For that, an important and necessary condition must be met: a clear departure from thermodynamic equilibrium, or in other words, the natural chemical balance that an atmosphere should fall into without something unusual, like life, happening. But non biotic reactions can also create some of these molecules, so a set of non equilibrium chemical abundances must be observed that can’t possibly be explained without life. For example, methane in the presence of oxygen is a big indicator, given how quickly methane oxidizes into water and carbon dioxide, there should barely be a single methane molecule in an oxygen-rich atmosphere. In Earth, half of that methane comes from natural biological systems like bacteria and the other half from burning fossil fuels and other biological processes. Nitrous Oxide, which is quickly destroyed by solar ultraviolet light, also needs to be continuously produced in order to be seen. Though lightning can produce Nitrous Oxide, these aren’t nearly enough to account for the amount observed. On Earth we know it comes from nitrogen-fixing bacteria and algae. Alien life might have very different chemistry and so result in other disequilibria. However, with an understanding of chemistry geophysics and exo-meteorology, we can be pretty sure when something we detect is out of the ordinary. Liquid water is also a molecule we would want to find in high abundance regardless of alien chemistry or even equilibrium values, since it’s incredibly important for evolutionary chemistry, as it is by far the best substance in the universe for brewing up and supporting life, due to its high dielectric constant, which means it’s good at storing electrical energy, which allows it to easily break apart ionic bonds such as those found in salts. This makes it a powerful solvent, so it’s great at facilitating chemical reactions. It also has a high heat capacity, which grants a temperature stability for the delicate organisms living in it or made of it. So if you see water in an atmosphere and the temperature is right, it potentially exists as a liquid on the surface. The experiment was a major success, it “proved” the existence of life on Earth and it gave us a roadmap of what to look for in other star systems, decades before it was even possible to do so. And although we are still far from sending probes to other star systems, we have succeeded in taking spectra of exoplanets’ atmospheres without leaving Earth. This is possible through analysing the light of a distant star as it passes through the atmosphere of one of its planets. Only a tiny fraction of the star’s light passes through the planet’s atmosphere when this happens, but by carefully subtracting most of the star’s light, we’re left with a set of absorption features from the planetary atmosphere itself. However, we do not have the technology to detect Earth-like planets, yet, since these planets are just too small and their atmospheres too thin for any current telescope, but that will all change next year. In 2018 the James Webb Space Telescope will launch its gigantic 6.5 meter diameter mirror. An incredibly sensitive infrared spectrograph, coupled with the clarity by being in space, will enable us for the first time to perform Sagan’s 1990 experiment on an earth-like alien world, like the seven exoplanets around Trappist-1, assuming they actually have decent atmospheres. This is facilitated by the fact that these planets orbit a Red Dwarf, whose light is very dim, making the subtraction of its light easier. Besides, three of the planets orbit around the star’s habitable zone. Imagine the consequences of confirming the existence of life outside of our own planet. It would answer one of the oldest questions in philosophy and science: Are we alone in the Universe? But after this lengthy introduction*, let’s move on to what you came here for: KSP development news. [Development news start here] It’s been a week since the Pre-release of Update 1.3.1 and both the QA and Development Teams have already started to dig into the bugtracker to gather the feedback the community has provided until now, and they’ve started with the process of confirmation and subsequent fixing of bugs. The team has also been watching Twitch streamers and Youtubers getting their teeth into the pre-release. And invariably ending up finding ‘something’ we didn’t spot. Between that and forum users reporting what they find, the prerelease is coming along nicely as a final bug-finding measure before the full release. Work on the updated version of KSP for consoles continues and each passing week translates into more resolved issues, polishing and overall improvements in its performance. For instance, some of the issues resolved this week include a bug that was triggered when trying to overwrite a save file with the same name while in flight, the ‘Quicksave As..’ window would become then indefinitely stuck on screen. But don’t you worry, the issue was fixed and now you’ll be able to use the “Quicksave As…” feature under those circumstances without worrying about this issue. Another fixed issue involved the Crew Management controls remaining active when the Pause menu was opened and it would clear/fill all the vessel’s seats when trying to close the Pause menu. The PS4 build also had a bug that involved the launchpad appearing as destroyed/damaged after repairing it several times. Repairing it and heading to the VAB to launch a vessel would prompt the 'out of service’ message every time. While on the KSC and after repairing the building, trying to launch a vessel would put it on a destroyed launchpad. But bug fixing wasn’t the only tasks in the table for the console versions. As we have mentioned in previous KSP Weeklies, the team has been working on improving the controls for these new versions and we can now confirm controller mapping presets for KSP on consoles. We will give more details soon, but basically, players will be able to choose between different controller presets, including a Legacy Mapping. In other news the Making History Expansion’s development is moving forward and looking better each passing day. This week the team standardized and documented the second half of of our asset bundling process for UI components. We now have a full build pipeline documented for all the components we plan to bundle in this expansion. We’ve also spent time checking various distribution types and ensuring that the expansion detection works as it should. Additionally, the feature that allows mission creators to set multiple vessels at the start of the mission or during the mission in various situations, such as Landed, LaunchSite, Orbit, etc, has been fully implemented. The mission creator will be able to define for each vessel a craft file or if the vessel is to be mission player built. All vessels will spawn into a mission while playing either at the start or at the appropriate time where the creator has defined a vessel craft. For player created vessels the player is taken to the VAB or SPH to create their vessels at the appropriate time during the mission. The instantiation should also include the ability to spawn asteroids and the mission creator will be able to choose the class of asteroid to spawned and the trajectory it will follow. Furthermore, the team is working on a feature that will allow Mission Players to see their target orbit during their mission when an orbit test is active and then by adding the target orbit drawer into the mapview, similar to how it is done now for satellite contracts. The team has also been refining the Part Failure System to make it suit multiple effects and be as mod friendly as it can possibly be. The artists have been very busy, as well. Last week we showed you the Voskhod 1-inspired IVA and now we finished the Voskhod 2 IVA and of course, we want to show you how it looks. But that’s not all, the team has been working on the geometry for several parts, such as a Gemini-inspired Service Module, and they also were able to wrap up work on our LR-87 analogue. Both a 1.875m tank butt version and an open version suitable for clustering will be available via mesh switching. You can see both versions here. It’s also a nice 'Goldilocks’ first stage engine, filling the large gap between the 1.25m Reliant and 2.5m Skipper engines. Here’s a size comparison to help put things in perspective. Finally, we encourage you to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - Eve Speed Challenge. This time around, the challenge consists of travelling to Eve and back to Kerbin Sphere of Influence as fast as possible. We will be handing out special badges to the best times. 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! *Source
  8. Following pressure for more information on the presence of another species on the Moon during the Apollo program, a senior press officer released the following image and accompanying section of mission debriefing of one of the astronauts. “We’d already encountered these things on EVA 1 when they appeared to copy our flag raising. Although it was a weird experience, they didn’t seem to be dangerous! #KSP By purpleivan
  9. In order to complete his run Jeb would be taking the reigns of the Mastodon heavy transport aircraft, which has earned a reputation as a slow, stable and reliable transport! #KSP
  10. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. What a week! We had an eclipse (although it was only a partial one from our perspective at the KSP HQ), the pre-release of update 1.3.1, many advancements in all our projects, and today also marks the 408th anniversary of the demonstration of one of Galileo Galilei’s first telescopes to Venetian lawmakers. Telescopes were a profitable sideline for Galileo, who sold them to merchants who found them useful both at sea and as items of trade. It’s needless to say that Galileo Galilei is unequivocally one of the most important figures in modern Science. Native to Italy, Galilei was a polymath: astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher, and mathematician. He is a central figure in the transition from natural philosophy to modern science and in the transformation of the scientific Renaissance into a scientific revolution. His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter, the observation of Saturn’s rings (though he could not see them well enough to discern their true nature) and the analysis of sunspots. But we’ll leave his story for another time, since there’s a lot to share about KSP development, so let’s begin. As expected, many preparations had to be done for yesterday’s Update 1.3.1 pre-release. Testing and last minute bug fixing was included, but also the wide array of tasks that involve making a build available to the public. Check out this link to learn more about this pre-release and the ways you can help us out to polish the final details before the official release. The updated version of KSP for consoles was also part of this week’s agenda. Thanks to the conjoint effort of the external testing team, the QA team and Blitworks a few issues were resolved. Among these, there was a high priority bug that occured when ‘back’ was selected from the ‘LaunchPad not clear’ prompt, all vessel icons in KSC view lost functionality and remained in fixed locations on the screen despite any camera movements. The 'Options’ button ('Menu’ button for Xbox One) also lost functionality and couldn’t be used unless another area was visited. Similarly, a critical bug was also fixed recently. This one was triggered when the game was paused while in cursor mode during a flight, and 'Return to Space Center’ was selected, the game would then become stuck in the 'Stages’ section and unable to continue until reboot. The release for the updated version on consoles has been taking this long because we are investing more resources to ensure that the game experience for console players is greatly improved, and despite the bugs we have been telling you about, we are very happy with the results we’ve been getting with our friends at Blitworks. We can’t wait to see the response of the community once they get their hands on the final product. Moving on to the Making History Expansion, this week included more Design and Architecture work, but devs also worked on a few features. For instance, they have been working on a feature that will allow Mission Players to see their target orbit when an orbit test is attached to the current node of a mission. The idea is that Mission Players will get a visual cue when an orbit test is active and be able to see it in the mapview, similar to how they appear now for satellite contracts. Additionally, the team has been working on the Orbit Adjustment Gizmo for the Mission Builder. This allows the creator to set orbits visually when creating their mission for placing vessels to start, or target orbits for missions. To do this we’ve been working with some extensions of the orbit rendering code to make it visually appealing. Similarly, the implementation of the feature for placing targets above surfaces within the Graphic Action Pane was part of this week’s assignments. This feature, while not finished yet, will not only allow Mission Builders to place targets with a simple click on their missions, but provide a visual representation of the “space” the player needs to fly through. The gizmo will let Mission Builders shift along the surface of the body - The latitude, longitude, the circumference line of the gizmo sets the “accuracy” of the target by resizing the area on the surface and a Z axis for setting the target altitude. As part of the Expansion’s new features, it’s also worth noting that players will be able to build missions with vessels in all situations, and any number of vessels will spawn in their designated locations and situations on mission start. Full vessel building capabilities for Mission Builders and Mission Players was completed and the team began work on Part Failure and Repair functionality as parameters for mission design. On the artistic side of the development, there has also been advancements. Remember the new 1.25m-0.625m Service Module Parts we mentioned a few weeks ago? Well the team has defined some functionality for these new parts. Specifically, we needed something where players could store fuel, batteries, and other parts but still retain all of the exterior surface area for attaching other parts (like RCS thrusters, etc.) - something the current service bay can’t really do due to the large doors. We also needed to allow the player to access (easily) the parts inside - something hard to do without doors. The new Service Modules feature fully surface attachable (and in some cases, jettisonable) shells, but also allow the player to toggle a cutaway view for accessing the internal parts. Note that this can only be done on the active vessel - these are cutaways for internal access, not doors for EVA operations (for that, use a Service Bay). Check it out! And that’s not all, the artists did also work on the new Gemini Service Module’s geometry, one of the early stages on making a new part. After establishing the geometry of a part, the artists work on textures and currently an engine based on the LR-87 American liquid-propellant rocket engine is on that stage. Hopefully we’ll be able to show you a preview soon. However, we can show you something else now… The artists finished the Voskhod 1 IVA this week, so check it out! 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!
  11. JoolTube: Spectra!

    Avera9eJoe just finished this cool cinematic trailer of a visual mod called Spectra! Enjoy! #KSP
  12. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. On Monday, our friends in North America are going to be able to witness one of the most impressive natural phenomena, a total solar eclipse. A solar eclipse happens when the moon’s shadow falls somewhere on the surface of Earth. In contrast, lunar eclipses occur when the Earth’s shadow falls on the moon. During an eclipse there are two sections of the shadow, the dark umbra and the partially shaded penumbra, and their placement determines which type of eclipse we can see from Earth. There are basically 6 types of eclipses: we have penumbral, partial and total lunar eclipses, and on the other hand partial, annular and total solar eclipses, the latter being the most spectacular ones. A total solar eclipse starts out as a partial eclipse. During the event you’ll notice shadows becoming sharper than normal, and trees projecting the crescent sun. The temperature drops and landscape darkens to a bluish-grey. The moon’s shadow advances towards you from the west and if you look up, you’ll see the last beams of the sun surrounding the moon’s shadow like a diamond ring. Once the totality is reached, you’ll be able to see the glow of the sun’s corona and the pink and red light from the hydrogen gas of the chromosphere. Together these make up the sun’s outer atmosphere and a total solar eclipse is the only occasion you have to appreciate it. The moon orbits earth every 29.5 days, but we don’t get eclipses every month, because the moon’s orbit is not in line with Earth’s orbit. It’s tilted about 5 degrees, so the moon’s shadow does not usually fall over the Earth, and vice versa on most months. When we do get eclipses it’s because there are two points where the moon’s orbit crosses the sun’s plane - called nodes. And as the Earth moves along its annual orbit, nodes line up with the sun about twice a year. As the moon passes between the sun and Earth at that time, we get a solar eclipse and when it’s behind it, we get a lunar eclipse. Although the frequency of total lunar and solar eclipses is similar, you’re more likely to see a total lunar eclipse in your lifetime than a total solar one. That’s because the totality of a lunar eclipse can last well over an hour and is viewable for anyone on the nightside of Earth. The moon often turns red during these events because our planet’s atmosphere scatters the shorter bluer wavelengths of light, while the longer, redder wavelengths pass through. In contrast total solar eclipses seem much more rare because totality lasts just a few minutes and although we get them every 18 months on average, each one is only viewable from less than half a percent of the Earth’s surface. In a total solar eclipse, the moon precisely covers the sun from the vantage point of some place of Earth. This is only possible because by a huge coincidence, the sun and the moon appear to be about the same size in our sky. While the sun is 400 times bigger than the moon, it’s also about 400 times farther away. Nevertheless, the alignment isn’t constant. The moon has an elliptical orbit and its size varies about 12% throughout a month and only when it’s closer to us we can get total solar eclipses. So, less than 30% of solar eclipses are total. In the far future, Earth will only get annular and partial solar eclipses because our moon is moving farther away. We know this because of measurements taken from lasers pointing at mirrors left on the moon during the Apollo and Luna missions. So in a billion years or so, Earth dwellers will witness its very last total solar eclipse.* So if you happen to live nearby the trajectory of Monday’s solar eclipse, don’t miss it and be amazed by the mesmerizing beauty of this rare phenomenon. Here’s a link with all the information on the trajectory, schedule, safety measures and streams of the eclipse. Apologies for the large introduction. Now let’s move on and talk about KSP development. [Development news start here] For starters we continue with the final preparations for the pre-release of the 1.3.1 update, which will be available very soon. This update will not only include several bug fixes, but also important corrections to all the language packages. Stay tuned for the upcoming release date and changelog to read about all the details. In other news the testing of bugs and fixing them for the updated version of KSP on the consoles continues. Some of this week’s fixes include: Problems with buttons persisting onscreen; stick controls not working as intended; and saving a game at the flight report after a crash would place the player at a random ship when the game was reloaded .The latter was particularly tricky because it was a core bug in the game, which hadn’t been noticed before. Luckily these were identified, confirmed and fixed, so you will not have to worry about them in the future. The endeavor to realize the Making History Expansion keeps us very busy, but it’s also incredibly exciting to see how a project, which has progressed well beyond the concept it once was, has taken shape, and to see how the preliminary design turn into real features and functionalities. For instance, the GAP (Graphic Action Pane) got some attention this week. This feature is not yet finished, but as the vessel orientation and target placing gizmos get implemented, we will soon have a new, fully functioning, and very useful tool for creating missions. Similarly, the functionality of setting time values up for a mission is almost ready. With this feature, Mission Creators will be able to set a StartUT (UT stands for Universal Time) for their Mission, which will affect the position of the planets and vessel in relation to the sun at the start of the mission. So this parameter can influence the overall difficulty of a mission. The devs also looked into the feature that allows a mission creator to assign crew to vessels in the mission. Throughout the entire development of the expansion the devs have been cognizant of ensuring they don’t change the signatures of stock functions. This means that existing functions in the API used by mods are mostly unaffected by changes in the code base. Aside from the implementation of new features, some issues discovered during the development process have been addressed. An example is a UI bug that involved the creation of a visual gap when docking or undocking mission nodes. Naturally when we encounter an issue during development, it is immediately put on our backlog for it to be fixed before the release or sometimes they will be fixed before advancing to a new task, depending if the bug affects the functionality of the next task. While devs continue writing code, making pull requests and implementing features, the artists have also been occupied with several tasks. For example, they have finished their first mock-up for the Mobile Launch Pad. This mockup is an early prototype that will allow developers to begin working on the code for the Launch Pad. The idea behind it is that a mission creator will be able to place launchpads on the surface of any celestial body whilst creating their missions. The launchpads can then be used to launch or land vessels during a mission. The mission creator will be able to choose to have none, one, or more of these in their created missions. Just keep in mind that whilst it has been designed it is still being developed, so things could change. Artists have also finished up the geometry for our next American engine and began with the laborious process of texturing a new IVA based on the Vokshod 2. They were able to finish up the Vostok 1 IVA last week and we figured we could give you a sneak peek of how it looks. We used many reference images of replicas of the real command pod to give it an authentic look. Finally, we remind you that you still have another week to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - The Atari 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! *Source
  13. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. On August 10, 1989, the Voyager 2 spacecraft detected two partial rings of debris around Neptune, providing the first direct evidence that Neptune has rings. Neptune’s flyby was the last planetary visit by the probe and to this day it has been the only spacecraft to ever visit the ice giant. The Voyager 2 space probe was launched by NASA on August 20, 1977, to study the outer planets. Part of the Voyager program, it was launched 16 days before its twin, Voyager 1, on a trajectory that took longer to reach the Jovian (1979) and Saturnian systems (1981) but enabled further encounters with Uranus and Neptune, the former having also only been visited by it in 1986. Although its primary mission ended with the exploration of the Neptunian system on October 2, 1989, Voyager 2 is now in its extended mission to study the outer reaches of the Solar System and has been operating for 39 years, 11 months and 22 days as of today. It remains in contact through the Deep Space Network and at a distance of 115 AU (1.72×1010 km) from the Sun, Voyager 2 is one of the most distant human-made objects, along with Voyager 1, New Horizons, Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11. The probe is moving at a velocity of 34,390.98 mph (55,346.92 km/h) relative to the Sun and is traveling through the heliosheath. Upon reaching interstellar space, Voyager 2 is expected to provide the first direct measurements of the density and temperature of the interstellar plasma. If you want learn more about the mission, its status and see the wonderful gallery of images taken by the probe, click here. Have you ever tried to visit as many planets as Voyager 2 on a single trajectory in KSP? Kinda difficult, right? But let’s move on and talk about KSP development. This week the development team was busy completing the preparations for the upcoming 1.3.1 pre-release. Soon we’ll announce its release details, so stay tuned for that. In other news, the upgraded version of KSP for consoles continues. This week specifically, the QA team worked their way through a growing list of Ready-To-Test fixes from Blitworks on the bugtracker, and discussing with design on how best to refine the various KSP controls and control modes for the console platforms. As you can imagine, the QA team provides the devs with very valuable input on this regard, since they spend a huge amount of hours playing these builds and all of them are already very experienced KSP players. As usual, work on the Making History Expansion was also part of this week’s tasks at hand and things are going very well and progressing nicely! For starters, its design work continued, each week details here and there are tweaked so that the pathway that devs follow remains clear and makes sense as a whole. At the end of the day, every project needs to follow some sort of blueprints to be successful and these guidelines need to also have the flexibility to adapt to the given circumstances and needs that unfold as the team moves forward. Coupled with the design, there are the task that involve distribution of assignments, which involve among other things the rounding out of the backlog stories and work lists for the expansion so devs can plan out the work and sprints, as well as reviewing each other’s work through our internal review processes before a story is completed. Devs have also been working on a system for displaying mission objectives in a way that makes sense. Objectives form the basis of what the player sees on the Mission Summary Screen, giving the player an idea of what that mission entails. They have also been working on getting crew assignment working nicely in the Mission Builder. Besides the work mentioned above, the devs also dealt with the merging of the vessel placement code with the overall Vessel Management elements in the Mission Builder. The team has also been working on a new tool for celestial bodies to specify target areas on their surface. This tool will be pretty useful to mark objectives, or perhaps hazard zones. Similarly the orbit editor, which we mentioned last week, is still being worked on and, as with anything that has to do with orbits, there’s a whole lot of math going on there to keep our devs entertained for a while! And to wrap up the Making History Expansion’s development update, the new Service Module’s code is still being written into the game. On the artistic side of development, while also work on the next American engine and on the Voskhod 2 IVA continues. There has been some modeling in the agenda, too, specifically on the Mk 1-3 IVA. Finally, we encourage you to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - The Atari Challenge. This time around, the challenge consists of capturing 2 asteroids with a single vessel and a single launch from Kerbin. There’s a scoring system to determine who the most adept asteroid hunters are. 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!
  14. How easy it can be to build an airplane? Learn how and have fun with Jatwaa #KSP
  15. Here is an interesting mod that adds atmospheres to those planets and moons which don’t have atmospheres of the kerbol system! Check it out