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Imagining a Kerbal Future: What Would the Future of Kerbals Look Like? (Chapter XXV: Depicting the Future In KSP)
SaturnianBlue posted a topic in Mission ReportsThis report/analysis seeks to answer the question: What would the future of the Kerbals look like? Specifically in the time frame of say, 100-300 years, a future firmly ingrained in realism and hard Sci-Fi.. I’ve had the idea of creating a story set in that approximate era, but being an extraordinarily extravagant idea, this series is dedicated to finding out the specifics. I also hope that this series will help future writers help flesh out their futuristic universes as well. Things to Note: -There’s a fair amount of mods used in this series—but i’ll try to keep it at minimum -Nothing too implausible will be used (no warp drives, but certainly nuclear fusion) -If you’ve got an idea for a chapter, let me know! -It helps to read the comments, since some bring up some good points -When writing these chapters, I do tend to assume that kerbals have a similar physiology to humans... But greener and smaller? -The goal of this series? Consider all the essentials for world building a futuristic Kerbol System -For engines I try to mix info from the game and real life, but the pros and cons, as well as the uses sections generally reflect the in-game depiction of the engine -Since I have both near Near Future Electric and KSP-I installed, a modifier lowers the output of KSP-I stuff* *I later chose to just work with the power output in KSP-Interstellar, so I amended most of the chapters to reflect this Table of Contents Chapter I—Atmospheric Propulsion Chapter II—Electric Propulsion Chapter III—Nuclear Propulsion Chapter IV—Fusion Propulsion Chapter V—Mixing Propulsion Systems Chapter VI—Beamed Power Chapter VII—Colonizing Moho Chapter VIII—Colonizing Eve a. Colonizing Gilly Chapter IX—Colonizing Kerbin Orbit Chapter X—Colonizing the Mun Chapter XI—Colonizing Minmus Chapter XII—Colonizing the Duna System Chapter XIII—Other Propulsion Systems Chapter XIV—Colonizing Dres Chapter XV—Colonizing Jool Chapter XVI—Colonizing Laythe Chapter XVII—Colonizing Vall Chapter XVIII—Colonizing Tylo Chapter XIX—Colonizing Bop and Pol Chapter XX—Colonizing Eeloo Chapter XXI: Non-Rocket Spacelaunch—Part One Chapter XXII: Non-Rocket Spacelaunch—Part Two Chapter XXIII: The Ship Design Process I Chapter XXIV: The Ship Design Process II Chapter XXV: Depicting the Future In KSP Mod List: Further Info (I mainly cover topics when applied specifically to KSP, these cover a broader range of topics) Without further ado, let's get started! Chapter I: Atmospheric Propulsion "It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a nuclear-powered hypersonic ramjet airliner!"-Linus Kerman A hypersonic, heavily-modified concept version of the Stearwing A300 that utilizes nuclear ramjets Perhaps we should start with something that is readily available to kerbals—flight. With jet fueled engines it is possible to reach speeds of over Mach 5. While that is excellent, major problems arise from its use—large portions of the plane are reserved for fuel, not passenger space, and a large amount of funds are used on fuel. Preferably there should be a way to reach those speeds without fuel... A conventional 16-passenger hypersonic aircraft, almost half of its takeoff mass was dedicated to fuel. The main focus of this chapter is thus about finding new ways of (supersonic) aviation. The way in question (with the mods available) is the powerful nuclear jet, generally produced in two varieties; turbojet and ramjet. On Kerbin they achieve speeds similar to that of the liquid fuel jet planes, with higher thrust. They perform exceptionally well on all atmospheric bodies, with tests on Duna achieving orbital velocity. Without the need to load fuel, planes could be lighter and take less time to be able to fly. A basic fighter design that can reach hypersonic speeds and reach space on Eve. Such designs could easily outmaneuver jet fuel enemies, but you probably don't want a nuclear jet flying over your own territory... Duna, where nuclear ramjets achieved an apoapsis of ~5000 km Disadvantages Sadly, this is where we must look at the disadvantages. There’s one obvious one—the radiation hazards. Shielding (though we must take in the "future tech" factor) would be very heavy, and of course nobody would want to sit next to a nuclear reactor (10% flight ticket discount for sitting next to it?).That said, they could still be used on special SSTO launches in certain areas. Second, they would be expensive (likely initially and maybe for maintenance), which would make their flights high-priced but also keeps them from being used for missiles (Well, except for the fact that the TORY ramjet part is based off a supersonic nuclear bomb delivery method called Project Pluto...). A 64-Passenger concept aircraft that would use nuclear jets, with a conventional rocket thruster to reach orbit, at which point it can safely return with a powered landing. Provided enough shielding is given, they could be practically everywhere in locations with poor infrastructures and no alternatives, a fate likely for the planet Eve. How Would I Use This In a Story? As a method of getting around on planets, and the best part is that you can actually make the plane in game, so you don't have to resort to pure prose or drawings. As for part of the story, I'm not exactly sure what they might be used in, but perhaps a radioactive crash involving such a plane could have be a plot point... End of Chapter One: Atmospheric Propulsion Next Time: Spacecraft Propulsion (Electric) Thanks for reading!