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About KerikBalm

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  1. KerikBalm

    Longer re-entry

    So.... increase the reentry heat multiplier, and adjust reentry steepness accordingly is the answer (also... use a rescale mod to make kerbin bigger)
  2. KerikBalm

    Mars 'impossible" to terraform

    This is precisely why I said "habitable != inhabited. Habitable just means that we could dump some microbial spores, and a microbial community could proliferate there. It doesn't mean it had the right conditions for abiogensis" This is a matter of terminology. When most people say habitable, they mean capable of sustaining life. The ability/conditions to produce life from non-life is another thing entirely. Something can have conditions in which pre-existing life could thrive, but not have the conditions that could lead to the formation of life. An we can precisely define condition where life can exist - defining the boundary conditions we can't, but we can definitely specify a set of conditions where life can exist. Have you heard of "minimal media"? We also know precisely out sun's spectrum, and our atmosphere composition... actually, in the lab we can use artificial light. We can also create sealed biospheres, in fact, they can be novelty gifts: (unfortunately, the shrimp in those spheres rarely reproduce, so they often suffer local extinctions, but life inside continues on without any gas or nutrient exchange with the outside world) Again, I'm not talking about life starting, merely the conditions where life could exist if it was placed there. Now? no... even if RSL have a liquid brine, the water would have to be saltier than anything on Earth is known to be able to tolerate. Supposedly they found an under-the-ice lake on one of mars' poles... I don't know how salty it is, or what energy sources are available. At the moment Mars has very little accessible nitrogen. It may be quite uninhabitable now, even under the surface. However, in the past, we know it had liquid water on the surface that wasn't too salty and was of a benign pH. Water: check, Sunlight/energy source: check (keep in mind, photosynthesis on Earth can support growth at tiny fractions of the intensity of direct sunlight, so the fainter sunligh on Mars is not a problem), minerals: check, There were clearly times in Mars' history when life could have survived there if it was placed there. It was habitable in the past, but I'm still leaning towards uninhabited despite being habitable. Also, panspermia just moves the problem of abiogenesis to somewhere else. I'm on the abiogenesis side too. That said, its not completely unreasonable to think that microbes could be transferred from one planet to another within a solar system by ejecta. I'm not talking about true PANspermia on a universe or even galactic scale, but very localized transfer within inner solar systems (or perhaps moon systems around gas giants, if life bearing moons exist). There was a window of time in the Early solar system where Venus, Earth, and Mars may have all had oceans at the same time (Venus is much more speculative because there is so little data, and so little evidence would survive, so Venus' early oceans are speculative, but they may have lasted up to a billion years, meaning that it has been without oceans for about 3.5 billion years). In such a scenario, an early solar system with lots of collisions still ongoing, and 3 inner planets with liquid water on their surface... if life arose on one (we know it was on Earth for at least about the last half of the period of time when Earth, Mars, and probably Venus had water on their surface), the idea of one of these planets "contaminating" the others isn't so far fetched
  3. KerikBalm

    Mars 'impossible" to terraform

    I'm going to have to disagree here. We can precisely define if a collection of material in a closed system is suitable for growth for a particular type of life. If we have data showing that there was liquid water, with a salt concentration, then we're a very large way towards proving that it was inhabitable. Then other stuff comes in like trace elements, nitrogen, phosphorus, energy source. Speaking of Mars, with fairly concrete evidence of standing liquid water at the surface exposed to sunlight, with adequate amounts of nutrients in the soil, definitely meets the criteria for habitability. I get annoyed when people speak of a "habitable zone" and call any planet found in that zone habitable (without the qualifier "potentially"). Its also important to note that habitable != inhabited. Habitable just means that we could dump some microbial spores, and a microbial community could proliferate there. It doesn't mean it had the right conditions for abiogensis, and had those conditions long enough for life to arise... or that it was habitable long enough for life to get there via lithopanspermia.
  4. KerikBalm

    Jool is a gigantic plant lifeform

    Which leads to the opposite case... breathing pure N2 will allow you to purge CO2 from your blood, but it won't oxygenate it. I've heard horror stories (I'm not sure that they aren't just stories) of people going to retrieve frozen cells from these liquid N2 containers used for long term storage of mammalian cells. The gas inside in mostly N2 with very little oxygen. Often one puts their head right over the opening to look at the racks of containers and such to see which one they need to pull out. Supposedly, one should not inhale when doing this (or just not take too long), because what you breath in is severely depleted in O2, but you won't feel it until its too late.
  5. KerikBalm

    Tylo capture at jool to not use much of Delta V

    Its fairly easy to use a single Tylo gravity assist to get captured around Jool in a single pass. Several passes would be used if you want to enter into orbit around one of the moons using less dV
  6. KerikBalm

    What sort of KSP player are you?

    What do you mean SSTO dropships can't be made stock?
  7. KerikBalm

    Stratolaunch Problems

    We still know nothing about your craft.... Also, you realize that there is a stock craft to start working with?
  8. KerikBalm

    Longer re-entry

    You can lower the drag multiplier. Stock craft are pretty draggy. If you look at real jet engines, their thrust is often significantly lower than what KSP jets produce (but not orders of magnitude), the catch is that KSP jets need more thrust for a given speed. So... yea, KSP's atmosphere is a bit draggy. As for the ICBM warhead... I don't know what you use as a warhead, but warheads are pretty heavy, and there aren't that many really dense parts in KSP, so 20 m/s is fine as a terminal velocity for something like just the pointed nose cone. I use sigma dimensions to rescale kerbin 3x (but the atmosphere only 1.25x), and reentries do indeed take longer because my craft come in from abotu 4,100 m/s orbital velocity, not about 2350 m/s... and reentry heating is actually an issue
  9. Its my understanding (not going digging for quotes now, that their Crater prediction system would often overestimate damage for certain types of impacts... but it seems they essentially just guessed/cherry picked/applied an arbitrary correction to get smaller damage estimates in line with what they were expecting. Overall my impression was that they had some idea in their head of the numbers they expected to get, and just tweaked the parameters of their prediction tool until it matched... which is not scientific at all. Their tweaked numbers were just serving as confirmation bias. FWIW, I don't think they knew the shuttle was doomed and just didn't tell the crew. I think they were just complacent and deluded, and didn't want people to cause trouble over something that (from their point of view) was a routine event that wasn't really a problem.
  10. KerikBalm

    What did you do in KSP today?

    Today I again tested out some stock props. Previously i had tested stuff on modded Eve (3x rescale to size, 1.2 G, 10 atmospheres), and my initial design worked fine (but getting it through the atmosphere intact was a challenge). Knowing when to unfeather the prop and start it up was a challenge, and it didn't go too fast under its own power, but it worked: (I think it was still decelerating from its descent from orbit here): I tried the same design on my modded duna (Atmosphere MW reduced by about 10%, gravity increased by 25%, atmosphere height increased, 3x size, oceans added): The fairing bearing didn't seem to hold the prop rotor in place, the lack of resistance in duna's atmosphere really let the thing spin up, I kept losing the prop. I tried a different prop design, and used the mission builder to test it. Torque on takeoff or overspeeding the blades (to the point that they expand outward from centrifugal force and hit the ground) was a problem, but with appropriate control of the prop feathering, I was able to takeoff, and immediately set out trying to cross one of the seas: Here you see its binary companion Rald (well its 3-4x the mass, so Duna is a moon of Rald, I keep meaning to try sigma binary), and distant Ike: It flew pretty well once it got off the ground, although I did make all high altitude maneuvers very gently, and even 2x timewarp destroy the rotor in short order: No timewarp, but its max speed got to 153 m/s... so thats like using 4x timewarp on a rover going 38 m/s, without having to worry about the surface terrain. It got above 9000 meters (again the atmosphere height was rescaled to 1.8x on this 3x rescaled Duna, but the MW of the gas was decreased, and the gravity was increased, so I don't know what this is equivalent to on stock Duna)... and I could see the other shore, and could probably make it on glide: or at least the closer island... shortly after this I tried 2x physics warp and destroyed the rotor. Before I did... cockpit shots: I had given it a 2nd set of docking ports to make redocking the rotor easy, but I was encountering some bug where I couldn't undock it. As it is, saving and reloading can attach the rotor because the ports are close enough. Also, I made it so that the rotor moves far enough forward that it can redock at the back (spin the rotor backwards on the ground, or adjust the pitch so that the blades make drag and get pushed back... alternately, I'm thinking of adjusting their default pitch slightly so that they can be made to thrust backwards by changing the pitch without spinning them backwards)
  11. KerikBalm

    Using Hyperedit and debug menu to increase realism

    what you want here is kopernicus and Sigma Dimensions And rescale planet radius and orbital radius to about 10x Don't rescale the atmosphere and terrain more than 2x However, at that scale, KSP parts are rather underpowered. The highest TWR engine in KSP is currently the (making history) Skiff with a TWR and an Isp of 320 vac. The space shuttle main engine in comparison has a TWR of 73:1 and a vacuum Isp of 452. Without making history, your best vacuum engine gets just 350 Isp, and the best TWR is 27:1 (and only 315 vac Isp). Even the OP wolfhound from Making history sucks compared to a SSME, coming in at 412 vac Isp and a TWR of about 15:1. Vacuum: 452 vs 412 Isp, 73 vs 15 TWR Sea level Isp (and thrust is proportional)... 366 vs 70 You don't want to play KSP with stock parts at real world scale....
  12. I don't think I made such a claim in those words. I do claim that an orbiting ring would work IF: The ring were of sufficient strength, spinning at sufficient speed, stabilized by tethers, with stations capable of resting "on" (or close to as in the case of magnetic suspension) which are capable of accelerating or decelerating the ring. The specifics of how the stations work (eg maglev), or how it would be built (expandable joints? elasticity, built on earth and spun up) I'm not sure of, and just mentioning possibilities. But its classical physics, which is very well understood. Nothing down at the weird quantum level, or dealing with relativistic effects. I'd wager that if you were to ask people with a PhD in Physics, you'd get over 99% agreeing that the principle is sound, even if the specific technical challenges of each component are difficult. It would be fairly easy to avoid having the cable be far from cities, since it can be placed at any inclination (example, over the atlantic ocean, across sibera, over the pacific, and cutting across the australian outback). The only things that would fall are the stations and their few hundred km cables, since you'd only need 2 (lets say 4 for redundancy), that's really easy to avoid. Again, the ring, once up, would not come down and "cut skyscrapers"... thats a problem for a space elevator For the nth time, it would not fall straight down. Every section of the elevator would have a velocity greater than surface velocity (getting closer to surface velocity as you get closer to the surface), as it falls, the top of the cable will accelerate forward relative to the surface. a break at GSO means you're going to have 35,000 km of cable falling down on earth, over a very wide area. A little tidbit... about 66% of the way up to GSO, you can release payloads into a highly eliptical orbit with their PE just above earth's atmosphere. These orbits will have an orbital period close to 12 hours instead of 24 for a GSO orbit (going from around 12 to 24 as you get closer to the GSO point)... that is is they aren't being pulled radially inward by the cable under them. The cable will not fall straight down from a space elevator. The tip of it will fall down several thousand km east of the anchor point (again, for a GSO break). I haven't done the math here, but there's the potential (assuming the cable stays intact after the initial break), for the cable to fall down and nearly encircle the earth with its line of destruction. Space elevators are pretty darn dangerous if they fail. With a ring, everything except the stations and the "short" (few hundred km) cables is going at or above orbital velocity... which means its in no immediate danger of coming down. With an elevator, you have 10's of thousands of km of cable that is all suborbital. Everything below a break is coming down... that is very dangerous.
  13. Do you have any specific example? I would love to see a working stock Eve submarine
  14. Which was really quite unacceptable given: Seems he should have told mission control what he thought of their analysis, and the astronaut corps should have (in effect) unionized to support him and prevent him from being punished. Based on STS-107, he wouldn't have been able to tell mission control what he thought of them by the time they realized they weren't going to make it, given that STS-107's last received transmission was "Roger, uh, bu – "... then hydraulic pressure was lost 5 seconds later (preventing control surfaces from operating) and that's probably when the astronauts would have knew to start telling mission control where they could stick their analysis.... even though it was another 41 seconds until the shuttle broke apart. According to Maybe they didn't go through the proper channels, but someone at NASA actively cancelled the request... You said: The report says:
  15. No one has built a space elevator and no one has built an orbital ring. Both have had significant theoretical study however. Based on the theoretical studies, it seems to me that an orbital ring is much more attractive. The physics would work, and would not require extremely high tensile strength materials (I was wrong about steel for Earth though, it seems Kevlar would be sufficient though) enough has been studied to know this. To be sure, there would still be a massive amount of technical challenges to solve. It would be over 40,000 km in circumference, it would by far be the largest structure mankind has ever built. It would not be a trivial thing to put into practice... Yet its on the same scale as a >35,000 km space elevator... so in both cases we're talking about a megastructure many times bigger than anything ever built, and they both come with massive technical challenges to solve. Based on my understanding, the orbital ring has less challenges to solve/its challenges are more readily solvable. So compare them: size: its about the same Material strength required: Elevator requires about 10x that of a ring Construction: Elevator: must have all its cable lofted to GSO (or manufactured there from material of an unspecified source, perhaps an asteroid), then the cable is lowered/extended/unspoolled while a counterweight is raised. The raising and lowering parts need active stabilization (ie, thrusters) until anchored Ring: can be built on Earth, and then spun up to lift the whole thing, joints and/or elasticity must be built in as it raises to a higher altitude Maintenance: The Space elevator is passively stable, the ring requires constant power input Redundancy: the ring is easier to build in redundancy because the required strengths are much lower, leaving much bigger margins stability when lifting payload: the elevator will sway and oscillate as payload goes up (requiring careful scheduling of the payload to go up and down at appropriate times to dampen oscillation rather than exacerbate it), the ring will deform and decelerate (but can be spun back up). Safety: when a megastructure under massive load goes boom, its not a good thing, but an orbital ring seems like it would be much less likely to be catastrophic, compared to an elevator's cable breaking at anything over a few hundred km high (if it breaks above GSO, but below the counterweight, the structure still comes crashing down). Payload considerations: payload ascent speed on an elevator is limited by many factors (climber power supply and heat dissipation, oscillation in the ladder, etc)... the same is true of a ring, but the distance to climb up on a ring is only a few hundred KM, on an elevator its 35,000 km, and one has to go slowly through the van allen belts. The elevator must be close to the equator, whereas a ring could be put at any inclination, allowing any point on earth to be served by a ring. Once the ring is built, it would be relatively easy to add on new stations, an elevator will only ever serve one location. All together, the advantages of a ring seem to outweigh those of an elevator... so I think efforts should be spend solving the technical problems of building a "ring" instead of trying to work out the technical problems to build an "elevator" Well, physicists smarter than you or I in that field have studied it and concluded its feasible... not easy to build, no, nothing on that scale would be.