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  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. How easy it can be to build an airplane? Learn how and have fun with Jatwaa #KSP
  4. 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
  5. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. In 1971, the ninth manned mission of the Apollo program took place, Apollo 15. It was the fourth to land on the Moon and it was the first mission on which the Lunar Rover Vehicle was used. The mission began on July 26 and ended on August 7, but it was on this day, an hour before the burn to take the crew back home, that the last activity in lunar orbit took place: the release of the Apollo 15 Particles and Fields Subsatellite (PFS-1). The satellite was released into lunar orbit from the SIM bay. Its main objectives were to study the plasma, particle, and magnetic field environment of the Moon and map the lunar gravity field. Specifically, it measured plasma and energetic particle intensities and vector magnetic fields, and facilitated tracking of the satellite velocity to high precision. The satellite orbited the Moon and returned data from August 4, 1971 until January 1973. In later years, through a study of many lunar orbiting satellites, scientists came to discover that most low lunar orbits (LLO) are unstable. Fortunately, PFS-1 had been placed, unknown to mission planners at the time, very near to one of only four lunar frozen orbits, where a lunar satellite may remain indefinitely. The Apollo 15 mission was regarded at the time as the most successful manned flight ever achieved and it was very well documented, giving us some of the most emblematic video and photographic footage of the Apollo missions (NASA’s full image archive for the mission is located here). How many of you have tried to recreate this mission on KSP, with both the LRV and PFS-1 deployments? It’s certainly a challenge worth trying, but now let’s move on to what you all came here for…news regarding KSP development. The QA team is continuing with the verification testing of the final bug fixes for the upcoming 1.3.1 patch release. As part of this effort, the team has to double-check various hard-to-find strings, to ensure that they are present and correct. String testing, in case you didn’t know, is the testing of a collection of units that have a logical relationship or flow from the user’s perspective. As with every patch, we try to include the biggest amount of fixes we can and QA plays a crucial part identifying the issues and verifying the ones reported by the community, so that the devs can correct them. Similarly, QA is playing a huge role on the current phase of the development of the updated version of KSP for consoles. As we’ve explained, we are currently putting the console builds under the most scrutinous testing we can with both the internal and external testing teams throwing everything at them. This close inspection has allowed us to detect even the smallest issues. For instance, the team recently found an interesting console bug, where going back to the Space Center will also revert a craft to the runway under some circumstances. This and any issue found is immediately and directly reported to our friends at Blitworks, who with the help and expertise from our team work to find a solution and implement it for the following builds. Additionally, at this point we can confirm that there will be partial support for the cheats menu on consoles, but not everything will work as it does on PC today. However, we will try to improve the support in future versions we release. The development of the Making History Expansion continues and each passing week it’s looking better. Although the work on its design continues, that hasn’t stopped the devs to advance with the development and to continue the work on some of the features. Some of the tasks involves improving processes that help to organize ourselves. For example, this week we’ve spent some time on the build pipeline so we can start testing the work on asset bundles and expansion loading throughout the entire process. This involves updating the Jenkins build jobs, adding steps where necessary and sorting out the distribution endpoints as well. Jenkins is a server that helps to automate the non-human part of the development process, with continuous integration and facilitating technical aspects of continuous delivery. It’s not as exciting as coding in KSP, but is sort of important if we want people to be able to play all our work. In other respects, the devs completed the work from last week regarding the UI elements for all vessel parameters and setup for the start of a mission. They also completed hooking up the Mission Builder scene to the VAB and SPH scenes to allow the Mission Creator to switch to these scenes in order to create vessels they wish to supply as part of a mission. Also saving of vessels in the VAB and SPH during mission building persists these files to the mission folder and when the Mission Creator returns to the Mission Builder Scene directly from the VAB or SPH any craft files they have saved become immediately available for them to assign in their mission. As a Mission Creator you can provide already built vessels for a mission or allow the player to build their own within the constraints defined by the Mission Creator. The vessel placement on celestial bodies feature got its final touches this week, too. It is now integrated with the rest of the Mission Builder and the Mission Creator will now be able to rotate vessels and edit their positional values in the different panels of the UI. So now we are able to add vessel placement and information within mission nodes. Hopefully this will all be finalized in the next week and this will bring a great deal of functionality to the Mission Builder, along with the other features that are already implemented as we are starting to see some features of the Mission Builder drawing closer to development complete. Similarly, some of the devs have been working on a new Orbit Editor, which will let Mission Creators manipulate the orbit of different objects, such as the vessel location, and make orbit comparison tests around the celestial bodies. Apart from the tasks mentioned above, the team has been working on importing and exporting missions in nice compressed packages, as well as on a UI selection system for the Mission Builder parameters. This new system shows visual cues on the selected parameters and handles the activation and deactivation of the parameter Graphic Action Pane, for short, GAP ( if the parameters have one). The team also spent some time working on the new service module’s code - yes, the one we showed you last week. Simultaneously, on the artistic side of the development, the team finished with the modeling of the Voskhod 1 and 2 IVAs and are now texturing the details. The artists have also began designing a mobile launch pad! This launch pad has to be modular to fit various diameters, and has to have a terrain leveling system. The artists are taking inspiration from the crawler-transporter with some elements from other industrial facilities and applications. More details will be released later about this mobile launch pad and how it will work. Finally, we remind you that you still have another week to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - The Mun Arch 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!
  6. This mod will add a right-click option to every part labelled “Customise PAW” - click it and you’ll get a window which will allow you remove or add entries to the PAW at will. By severedsolo #KSP
  7. A mysterious asteroid causes havoc at the Kerbal Space Center. As the KSC scrambles to make sense of the asteroid, Ace Kerman disappears. Will the Kerbals discover the truth behind their friend’s disappearance before the military blow the asteroid sky high? #KSP By Marcus House
  8. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. A lot of people were sad to hear that the Solar System was officially composed of eight planets instead of nine after Pluto was recategorized as a dwarf planet due to the discoveries of several objects with similar volume throughout the Kuiper belt, such as Eris. But research in 2016 suggested that a Neptune-sized, yet to be discovered planet was orbiting beyond Pluto. Astronomers inferred its existence by putting a mathematical model together, which was able to detect the gravitational signature of a giant planet by tracking the motion of observed objects in the Kuiper belt. And now, researchers have used a new technique to study some of the most distant objects in the Solar System. These bodies, named Extreme Trans-Neptunian Objects (ETNOs), are at least 150 times further from the Sun than the Earth and they don’t cross Neptune’s orbit. The team performed the best measurement to date of the nodes of the ETNOs. The nodes are the two points where the orbit of a celestial body crosses the plane of the Solar System. Their position mainly depends on the size and shape of the orbit, which makes them quite free from observation bias. The team studied the nodes for 28 ETNOs and 24 smaller objects. It is a well-known fact that the presence of a massive perturber interacting with a population of minor bodies following very eccentric orbits can strongly affect the distribution of their nodal distances.They showed evidence for a possible bimodal distribution of the nodal distances of the ETNOs in the form of a previously unnoticed correlation between nodal distance and orbital inclination. By assuming that the ETNOs are dynamically similar to the comets that interact with Jupiter, the researchers interpreted these results as signs of the presence of a planet that is actively interacting with them in a range of distances from 300 to 400 AU (Astronomical Units = distance from Earth to Sun). The mysterious “Planet Nine” is yet to be directly observed, but with all the presented evidence we are close to proving its existence and return to have a nine planet model of the Solar System. While astronomers keep on gathering data and evidence, we at the KSP HQ continue to write code and modeling parts, so let’s get into the details… This week, the QA team continued certifying bugfixes for 1.3.1. Meanwhile, the devs squashed some bugs for the patch release, including some more localization issues with tutorials and scenarios that QA found, along with other localization texts. Like with all patches, the team is trying to fix all aspects that needed some extra polishing after a big update, sometimes these get unnoticed a while after a release, but we’re always on the lookout. On console news, our QA team is attempting to overload the console build’s save files. They have been failing at achieving this so far, which is a good thing. It just seems to keep on trucking. Both console versions are now fully playable, but as we’ve reiterated, we are currently on a very scrupulous testing phase to ensure a true KSP game experience for console players. The Making History Expansion has also received a great deal of attention this week. While new elements of the design continue to be tweaked and worked on, the devs have been mostly focused on getting the UI elements functioning for a Mission Start Node specifying the vessels list that the mission contains and hooking the UI up to the underlying data elements contained in the mission. Allowing the Mission Creator to specify vessels that are player created or creating and specifying their own vessels. The UI also contains a lot of parameter information for each vessel, such as its starting location, position, crew, and so on, with a lot of flexibility provided to the Mission Creator. In addition, the team has also been improving the vessel placement tool, so that it is able to rotate the target vessel properly. Some of the devs spent time iterating over the Mission Builder Canvas display and the mission nodes, adding improvements to their UI display and interactions. For example, better, smoother connector lines with correct layering for visual representation. Similarly, the team is working on general usability improvements in various parts of the editor. The art team was very busy, too. They started working on modeling the Voskhod 1 IVA and simultaneously on the first of a series of new Service Module parts. These are more than just models - they also will be incorporating some new functionality that we are still defining. Currently, if you need a bunch of small parts stowed inside of a housing, you can either use interstage fairings or service bays. Both of these have their limitations, and we found that we were going to need something a bit different to achieve our goals for these parts. Our first Service Module is a conical 1.25m to 0.625m adapter for our Apollo analogue. This was originally going to be a dedicated stack-chute model, but we felt implementing more flexible service modules made more sense and would provide players better options. The shell can be jettisoned to allow chute deployment (jettisoning anything you happened to attach to the shell as well). Here’s a pic, along with our new Apollo capsule and a Clamp-o-tron Jr. for comparison. This service module includes a lot of horizontal and vertical surfaces for attaching parts and we expect players will find a lot of creative uses for this and the other service modules we will be including in the expansion. Finally, we encourage you to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - The Mun Arch Speed Challenge! This time around, the challenge consists of flying as fast as you can through one of the Mun Arches. There are four categories: Racing with EVA packs, uncrewed spacecrafts, crewed spacecrafts and asteroids! We’ll be giving special badges to participants and you’ll have two weeks to submit your entries. 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!
  9. The elevator is broken! Get to the Choppa! #KSP By Luizopiloto
  10. Foks-IB created this beautiful Fanart! #KSP
  11. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. 42 years ago, something incredible happened. It was the early 1970s and the US and the USSR were in the midst of the Cold War. Tensions were high between the two superpowers at the time: the United States was engaged in the Vietnam War and the memory of the Cuban Missile Crisis was still fresh. The real threat of a full-scale nuclear war was however deeply feared by both sides and after what seemed to be a perpetual struggle there was a change in the approach both sides had in the conflict as the two nations started to pursue a détente policy. With the close of the Vietnam War in 1975, relations between the United States and the USSR began to improve, as did the prognosis for a potential cooperative space mission. This is how the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project came into existence. The ASTP was made possible by the thaw in these relations, and the project itself endeavored to amplify and solidify the improving relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. It involved the docking of an Apollo Command/Service Module with the Soviet Soyuz 19. This mission ceremoniously marked the end of the Space Race, paved the way to the end of the conflict between the two nations, and the beginning of an age of international cooperation between NASA, the Soviet Space Program - its successor, Roscosmos - and other space agencies. We like to believe that all conflicts can be solved when there’s the will to do so, and usually all parties want peace. What is certain is that there’s always much more to be gained when nations cooperate than when they compete against each other. Luckily the Kerbalkind does not have to deal with such human problems. But you want to hear about KSP development , so without further ado, let’s begin. The 1.3.1 update is coming along nicely with more work on various bugs for the release. For instance, we tweaked the Sun shadows in the KSC scene that were still flickering at certain angles for certain graphics cards. We also worked on a fix to vessel ground collision detection when they come off rails that also included recovery parts (for recovery contracts) and when the player changes their terrain detail levels in game which could cause vessels on the ground to explode, or appear underground or appear above the ground. Additionally we fixed other bugs from QA for Localization and while the devs have been working on those fixes, the QA team have been looking deeper into the tutorials and scenarios to make sure that all portions are correctly translated. We feel it is imperative that new, non English speakers experience the game without obstacles. We’ve also been making sure that they function correctly for everyone. The testers have been using any time left to go through the bugtracker and check old ready-to-test issues. Console work is also continuing. The external QA team has finished the first of several testing rounds and were able to identify a few issues that are being confirmed by our team and later will be fixed by our friends at Blitworks. In other news, the work on the design for the Making History Expansion continues. The devs are working on features including a graphical display for the creator to select vessel parts in various situations and another to set up the available crew in a mission and assign crew members to their vessels. There’s also been work on integrating more of the component pieces in the Mission Builder and making improvements in the functionality and design as we do that. One of the components that was integrated this week are the logic nodes, which help the creator define paths for the player through their mission. Additionally, the dev team has been working on Vessel Positioning on a Celestial Body. This has been tricky with all the different scales of the various celestial bodies and we have to make sure that the feel and precision are just right, since it will be used very often when creating missions. On an artistic level, the team finished with the Vostok 1 IVA and began modeling a new EVA chute. To give you a glimpse of the new IVAs the team is making, check the Lunar Excursion Module’s IVA. Additionally, the artists have been producing some more wireframes for how the mission creator will manage vessels for a mission; tweaking them in a combined effort between the Design and Development teams. The UI got some attention, too; this time around the team worked on some buttons and icons for the orbital gizmo. As new parts get produced, the QA team gets immediately busy with its testing and providing input to the rest of the team by building full crafts to identify balance issues. They’ve took their first look at the Mission Builder to check the initial mission mechanics and while there are still some teething problems, as it is to be expected with these early versions, the package is looking great and they are eager to get stuck into testing it fully. Finally, we remind you that you still have another week to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - Landing on Duna! 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!
  12. Linuxgurugamer decided to revive some of the orphaned/abandoned mods that have really cool parts which are no longer usable in recent versions of #KSP, like this one!
  13. If you like hinges and high speed jets check this out! Avera9eJoe made a Tilt-jet VTOL fighter! #KSP
  14. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. As you probably expected, we love video games here at the KSP HQ and today we celebrate because it is the 34th anniversary of the Japanese release of the classic arcade platformer Mario Burazāzu, also known as Mario Bros. The game, developed by legends Shigeru Miyamoto and Gunpei Yokoi, is one of the first platform games ever created, along with Donkey Kong. It also introduced Mario’s brother, Luigi, who was created for the multiplayer mode by doing a palette swap of Mario. Similarly, the game brought up several elements that were later adopted by its successors, such as the “POW” blocks and the Shellcreepers, the conceptual ancestors of the Koopa Troopas. The game came out in the same year as the North American video game crash of 1983, so it wasn’t a major success there, but its modest success in the Japanese arcades was enough for the company to continue with what is today the most recognizable franchise in video game history. To date, Mario Bros. has been released for more than a dozen platforms and is considered as one of the most memorable arcade classics. But after this small homage, let’s move on to KSP and the development progress. The QA team has been busy testing fixes and improvements for the 1.3.1 patch, looking for more candidates for inclusion from the public reports, and of course giving the whole thing a thorough workout. In their search for issues they’ve been using forum posts as clues, trying to find unreported bugs in 1.3.0 to get fixed for the upcoming patch. Meanwhile the devs worked on completing the localization of tutorials and scenarios for 1.3.1 and QA have begun the process of putting them through their paces in each of the languages. Console testing is again very much in our purview, so together with the external test team, intensive testing has produced a wealth of reports and feedback for the developers. It is difficult to divulge just how far along the process is, but for those of you that are concerned, we can say that things are looking good. We are aware that you are keen to see the results, and we’re excited about the progress. Please bear with us while we endeavor to polish and resolve the obscure edge cases which on consoles can be so unforgiving and equally difficult to patch post release. In Making History news, the devs have been looking into methods for making the mission flow logic easier to use for the mission creators, as well as tweaking and improving the design of various elements found within the Mission Builder. Additionally, the team completed adding the ability for multiple vessels to spawn into a mission based on where the mission creator has specified them into a mission. This includes landed anywhere, in orbit anywhere or on any Launchpad. While working on this, a bug was discovered whereby vessels will sometimes spawn below or above the ground when landed - usually when the player has changed their terrain settings but this also occurs regularly for recovery parts and Kerbal contracts that are landed on a planet; naturally the team got busy and are working hard on resolving the issue. Devs also spent some time during the week reviewing code, functionality and making things work together in the expansion for what we have already delivered. Similarly, reviewing and iterating on how vessels and their parameters are specified in the UI by mission creators and working on iterative design was part of the agenda. The Celestial Body viewer in the Mission Builder got some attention, too. The biome selector is ready and the team made several changes internally to allow additional modes for the future. The team also worked in a new in-house solution to the TrackIR plugin that solves all the issues with the x64 builds so you guys can continue playing KSP in any version you prefer. The EndNodes features for the Mission Builder were completed this week. This feature allows the mission creator to specify which nodes in their mission signal the end of the mission and to define the conditions of how the mission ends, whether that is a successful ending or a failure. On the artistic side of the development, the art team worked on the vernier engine to go with our RD-107 analogue. One of the challenges with this part was balancing something that would be recognizable as part of an R7 rocket, but also keep the ‘lego’ feel our players are used to. To achieve this, we decided to split the verniers out as a separate part, so players could choose to either use them in a configuration reminiscent of the R7, or in other interesting and creative ways. The flip side is that you lose some of the unique asymmetric aspects of an R7 booster (including the handy notch that fits the verniers on the central stack of the rocket). This is a theme you’re going to see quite a bit of as the parts for Making History progress. While we want parts to be recognizable, our direction is one where we aim for taking heavy inspiration from vs. building precise replicas of historic craft and parts, with the primary goal being to provide new parts that are flexible, balanced, and fun to use for both historic as well as player generated missions. The vernier itself is a liquid fuel engine with a single axis gimbal with a 45 degree range (22.5 degrees each direction), making it an excellent form of control authority (we include a total of twelve of these on our Vostok 1), as well as an interesting engine in its own right that I expect our players will find many creative uses for. Here’s a pic of its current state, along with a pic of how it would be used on our Vostok craft file, and examples of the gimbal range. There’s still some work to do on it, but we suspect most people will appreciate seeing the current progress. And that’s not all, the team started texturing the Vostok 1 IVA. The UV mapping and the normals paintings are almost finished. We also started a new stage in the UI for the Mission Builder workflow, with most of the screens and UIs currently built from wireframes, the team started placing final assets on them. Here’s some preview examples. Naturally, as more parts have been coming online for the expansion, testing and reporting on those has also been part of the duties. The QA team hears with anticipation from the devs that they will soon begin testing the fruits of their labors on the mission planning components. Finally, we encourage you to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - Landing on Duna! This time around, the challenge consists of travelling to and landing on Duna from the Kerbal’s homeworld without using oxidizer of any kind and with stock parts only. We also want to remind you that from now on we’ll spread out the completion time for each challenge depending on their complexity. This means that you will have more time to complete the challenges and we’ll have also more time to think of better ones for you to try out. 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!
  15. Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. On this day, 29 years ago, the former Soviet Union launched an unmanned space probe called Phobos 1 from the Baikonur launch facility intended to explore Mars and its moons Phobos and Deimos. At the time, less was known about Mars and its satellites than the gas giants, so this mission was undertaken to reveal some of the mysteries of our red neighbor. The probe carried several scientific experiments: a radar transmitter, an X-ray and alpha-backscatter spectrometers, a camera, and a laser that could vaporize tiny bits of matter so a reflector could analyze the vapor for atomic masses. The probe also carried a “hopper.” The hopper would be dropped onto Phobos to drill and analyze the soil. It would be able to bounce across the terrain by using spring loaded legs. Unfortunately, on September 2, before Phobos 1 had reached its destination, a faulty key-command was sent up to the probe from ground control in Yevapatoria. A computer that was supposed to proofread all commands before being transmitted malfunctioned! This, combined with some human error, caused the end-of-mission order to be transmitted to the spacecraft; shutting down all of the systems aboard Phobos 1. Other missions followed Phobos 1, but none have reached the surface of this peculiar moon successfully to this day. If there is one thing we’ve learned from KSP, it’s that perseverance is the secret of all triumphs, right? Let’s move on and talk about Kerbal development! Let’s start with the upcoming 1.3.1 patch for the core game. This week we worked on more bugs, including one where the camera would madly flicker up and down after you crash a vessel into the ground near an altitude of zero (reported as at the KSC, but was a much wider problem than that). Another bug of interest is one regarding Destructible IDs. This bug is related to the method used when switching scenes, which unregisters the destructible items. Our investigations continue into resolving this one for the patch. In other news, testing for recent console builds continues. The external testing team, who have been helping us out for a couple of weeks already, continue providing us with valuable feedback. The QA team is very happy with the quality and usefulness of their reports, which are being revised as they come. Improved playability and stability for the console versions has been the focus for the past months and huge progress has been made. We want to deliver the best port we can possibly make, so the testing phase plays a crucial part in achieving that. This week we have also been carrying on with the design of the Making History Expansion. For example, one of the regular tasks that had some attention this week has been the integration of feedback and ideas from previous development work into the design and new stories. An example here would be that while working on a task the assigned dev notices a gap or possible improvement in the design, so rather than going off task our process is to record these in a register that is then regularly reviewed to generate follow on work and iteratively improve the design. On the coding side of the Expansion’s development, devs have been working on a number of things including implementing the logic flow components of missions - the items you place on the canvas to direct the flow of branched in the mission story. Another area of focus this week has been the persistence structure for missions to cater to all the options we need for export/import of missions that support sharing these. Additionally, there’s been advancements on the Expansion’s system for loading vessels into a mission in various locations and positions around the solar system, such as landed, in orbit, and so forth. Work continued on the Mission Builder’s Action Pane, specifically on the Settings Action Pane (SAP) portion. What is that? Well, when the Mission Creator is laying out their mission they place nodes down on a canvas - like a flowchart - and each of these nodes has a number of configurable settings. To the right of the canvas is the Action Pane (AP) that has a number of components and one of these is the Settings Action Pane (SAP). The SAP displays the configurable settings for the selected node on the canvas. In this case it’s not “really” rocket science as anyone who has used software will be used to interacting with a properties pane or sidebar, and this commonality should make it easy to understand. This week the End Nodes functionality for the SAP got some attention. Nodes that, when reached, indicate the mission has finished are placed by the creator to trigger the end of mission logic. This option in the SAP allows the creator to select the end message; and whether the ending is one for “success” or “failure”. On the artistic side of development, the work on the new engine parts continues. So far we’ve shown you the ongoing designs of some of these, which for clarity, are still being worked on to make them extra crisp. Also, the art team is almost done texturing the Apollo 11 inspired Lunar Lander, they are just missing some lights and a couple of props which are being added as we speak. While the artists keep adding new parts to the Expansion’s inventory, the QA team has been checking out and testing them to see if there’s some additional tuning required. Finally, we encourage you to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - See the system on a toaster! This time around, the challenge consists of visiting the exotic sights of the Kerbol System with self-made vessel that can go as far as possible, with the lowest part-count possible. 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!