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KSP Weekly: Starman to Ceres

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Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. This past Tuesday, we were delighted to witness the very anticipated and first test-flight of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy. We were first introduced to Falcon Heavy back in 2011, when SpaceX unveiled their plans to build it. Although the initial test flight was expected to happen in 2013, a number of factors delayed the planned maiden flight by 5 years to 2018, including two anomalies with Falcon 9 launch vehicles which required all engineering resources to be dedicated to failure analysis, halting flight operations for many months. The integration and structural challenges of combining three Falcon 9 cores were also much more difficult than expected.

After the rocket’s 3:45 p.m. ET launch from Kennedy Space Center, two side boosters returned safely to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for nearly simultaneous, side-by-side landing, but we later learned that the middle booster missed the “drone ship” that was its landing target and hit the Atlantic Ocean at about 480 kph (300 mph). SpaceX’s engineers believe only one of three engines fired during a burn designed to line up the landing and slow the rocket’s descent. Despite the loss of the middle booster it would appear that the rest of the mission was a success.

In this test flight, Elon Musk’s own Tesla Roadster car with a mannequin wearing SpaceX’s new spacesuit in the driving seat was the payload, intended to be shot to the orbital plane of Mars to the tune of David Bowie’s Starman. The car is also transporting a disk containing Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy, and a small message on a circuit board declaring the car was “made on Earth by humans.”

However, the car overshot a bit, and it will actually head further out into the Solar System to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The car was on a six-hour coast through space on the top part of the rocket’s upper stage. SpaceX had then planned to ignite the upper stage, known as the third burn, and send the car into its final orbit. Thanks to that third burn the car is now on an orbit that will take it 2.61 AU from the Sun (1 AU, astronomical unit, is the Earth-Sun distance). That’s almost to the orbit of Ceres at 2.77 AU, a dwarf planet and the largest body in the asteroid belt.

And even though Musk had originally said the car would survive in space for up to a billion years, some think that all the parts of the car that include carbon bonds, such as its plastics and its carbon fiber frame, will be subjected to degradation by various kinds of radiation, like cosmic rays. Eventually, only its inorganic parts will remain – things like its aluminum frame, and certain glass parts.

Capable of taking 63,800 kilograms of cargo to low earth orbit, more than twice its nearest competitor – ULA’s Delta IV Heavy – at one quarter the cost, Falcon Heavy is the biggest rocket to launch (in terms of payload it can lift) since the final launch of the Saturn V rocket in 1973. Falcon Heavy is so cost efficient due to a combination of low manufacturing and operational costs, high efficiency performance in flight, as well as its reusable launch system.

This launch is a huge accomplishment. It proves that Falcon Heavy can be used to send payloads into high orbits, such as geostationary orbits, and that it can send things to Mars and beyond. Not to mention that thanks to three cameras on board the car got some surreal and amazing images of the car heading to orbit, with its “Starman” mannequin inside and a dashboard message of “Don’t Panic!” referencing Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

Falcon Heavy garnered excitement that arguably hasn’t been seen since the days of the Space Shuttle, and as we enter a new era of heavy-lift rockets, private space ventures, and a reborn space race to Mars, we couldn’t be more excited. Have you tried to perform your own Falcon Heavy-like launches in KSP?

[Development news start here]

Just a day after the test-flight of Falcon Heavy, we revealed the release date and the price of Kerbal Space Program: Making History Expansion, the first ever KSP expansion. We can’t wait to see what you think about the final product next month! If you missed the announcement you can find it here.

We also had a poll last week to decide which of the colors of the new vintage spacesuits was going to be used for EVAs and IVAs. Voting time is over and you the community have decided(by a very close margin)! The blue vintage spacesuit will be displayed during EVAs and the brown one during IVAs! Thanks to everyone who participated and helped us with this decision!

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[Click here for high-res pictures]

Even though we are close to the release, we keep on working on the expansion and this weeks several tasks were finished. Among these are some adjustments done to the Mission Builder’s Graphic Action Pane (“GAP”) UI based on a design/art review. We noticed that the GAP was looking a bit cramped, so we decided to adjust to make it as sleek as possible.

Some vessel-related nodes, like Part Failure/Repair, among others, were looked into this week. While using these nodes, you are able to select the part failures that you want to have triggered during your narrative. If the vessel is Creator defined, you can select the specific part in the GAP and assign failure from a list. But what if the vessel is Player built? Well, we had to implement the behaviors required for player created vessels in those nodes. For instance, for Part Failure the Creator should get a list of all the failures and then they are applied across all parts of a player created vessel where possible, depending on what the player builds.

We also finished implementing another quality of life function that will allow the Creator to copy and paste nodes in the Mission Canvas. Additionally we finished writing the new KSPedia pages that will be included in the Expansion, so players have all the necessary information they require once they start designing their missions.

On top of that, our art team was also very busy. Since we are including several new parts with a 1.875 diameter, we also needed to include a Heat Shield to accompany them, which is now within the part catalogue for the upcoming 1.4 update. And that’s not all, several months ago we mentioned that we were going to include a personnel parachute in the expansion, well, we have determined to include it in the 1.4 update instead of the expansion, so all Kerbals in peril can attempt an emergency parachute-jump (assuming there’s an atmosphere). Here’s a sneak peek!

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[Click here for high-res pictures]

In other news, the first patch for Kerbal Space Program Enhanced Edition is close to completion! We really appreciate the reports we’ve received from all of you to help us prioritize where to target for our first update. Keep helping us out by providing us with feedback and by reporting issues in the Bugtracker as we plan our next round of support.

Finally, we remind you that you still have another week to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - Lithobraking! 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!



* Information Source:

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OMG... I'm LOVING that parachute!!! I can't wait to play with one!!!  :cool:

Edited by Just Jim
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2 minutes ago, Just Jim said:

OMG... I'm LOVING that parachute!!! I can't wait to play with one!!!  :cool:

Yes!... I won't have to suffer consequences if I forget to install that one mod!

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6 minutes ago, Mrcarrot said:

Yes!... I won't have to suffer consequences if I forget to install that one mod!

Not just that... I love the look!

I will definitely be using those for future screenshots!!! :cool:

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Oh wow. That parachute will make low mass missions way easier...

Looking good so far!

Fire

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What a mess. 3 weeks in on console re-release after a year and a half and we get one paragraph asking to keep helping out. We paid you to do your own bug tracking SQUAD. Your rounds of support releases are like waiting for solar eclipses. 

Why don't you make history and address your console customers the way they deserve to be treated. You really can't see how seeing all these amazing expansions for making history (90% of dev news) can slap the console players in the face after what we have went through? Shame on you.

Edited by Space Station 4 Crash
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11 minutes ago, Space Station 4 Crash said:

What a mess. 3 weeks in on console re-release after a year and a half and we get one paragraph asking to keep helping out. We paid you to do your own bug tracking SQUAD. Your rounds of support releases are like waiting for solar eclipses. 

Bring your naysaying and complaining elsewhere, this thread isn't for that.

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Wow, that chute looks sweet! Is it steerable???

I know what I´ll be doing first in the new update. (Wheeeeeee)

I´m still wondering how you´re going to pack the LRV into the Lander descent stage, btw. :rolleyes:

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2 minutes ago, awsumindyman said:

Bring your naysaying and complaining elsewhere, this thread isn't for that.

In true fan squad fashion, tell me, where should it go?

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24 minutes ago, Space Station 4 Crash said:

What a mess. 3 weeks in on console re-release after a year and a half and we get one paragraph asking to keep helping out. We paid you to do your own bug tracking SQUAD. Your rounds of support releases are like waiting for solar eclipses. 

Why don't you make history and address your console customers the way they deserve to be treated. You really can't see how seeing all these amazing expansions for making history (90% of dev news) can slap the console players in the face after what we have went through? Shame on you.

Well. DIDNT THEY JUST SAY THAT THE PATCH WAS NEARING COMPLETION! Shame on you! i obviously think that that's good enough. Stop complaning about the news and start about the bugs. They have done nothing wrong to you in that post. Shame on you!

12 minutes ago, awsumindyman said:

Bring your naysaying and complaining elsewhere, this thread isn't for that.

Exactly.

Edited by DunaManiac
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8 minutes ago, Space Station 4 Crash said:

In true fan squad fashion, tell me, where should it go?

I am sick and tired of this.

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9 minutes ago, Space Station 4 Crash said:

In true fan squad fashion, tell me, where should it go?

it might be better to put it in its own thread, and in the sub forum dedicated to console :).

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56 minutes ago, SQUAD said:

SpaceX’s engineers believe only one of three engines fired during a burn designed to line up the landing and slow the rocket’s descent.

Somebody should have checked the staging tree before hitting the spacebar :wink: O come on, tell me you didn't think the same when you first read it.

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Please don't attack each other. The game is always going to be going too-fast/too-slow/in-the-wrong-direction for somebody, and we can have those differing opinions without making enemies out of each other over them. 

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39 minutes ago, Space Station 4 Crash said:

What a mess. 3 weeks in on console re-release after a year and a half and we get one paragraph asking to keep helping out. We paid you to do your own bug tracking SQUAD. Your rounds of support releases are like waiting for solar eclipses. 

We truly understand your concerns, thank you for expressing them. Let me assure you that you are being heard and that we are doing our best. Enhanced Edition was made from scratch, and although it went through a strenuous QA process, some bugs made it through. However, we are fully committed to solve all the bugs that Enhanced Edition is currently experiencing. We have a dedicated QA team looking for bugs and reproducing reports, as well as a full-time team working on solving all issues. Naturally, no one is obliged to help us, but our community has always played a huge part in the devlopment process, and as our team is small, we are asking for help so that no bug escapes our radar, as well as to assign priorities according to what players experience the most and the severity of the issues. We will continue supporting Enhaced Edition for as long as it's necessary and the first patch is comming sooner than you might think :wink: 

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1 minute ago, Vanamonde said:

Please don't attack each other. The game is always going to be going too-fast/too-slow/in-the-wrong-direction for somebody, and we can have those differing opinions without making enemies out of each other over them. 

No attacking here. I read the forum rules just expressing my disappointment which I was told by a moderator I was allowed to do.

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3 minutes ago, KerrMü said:

Wow, that chute looks sweet! Is it steerable???

I know what I´ll be doing first in the new update. (Wheeeeeee)

I´m still wondering how you´re going to pack the LRV into the Lander descent stage, btw. :rolleyes:

Yes it is steerable.

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Just now, Space Station 4 Crash said:

No attacking here. I read the forum rules just expressing my disappointment which I was told by a moderator I was allowed to do.

You definitely are. We appreciate yours and everybody else's comments and opinions. 

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8 minutes ago, UomoCapra said:

IWe truly understand your concerns, thank you for expressing them. Let me assure you that you are being heard and that we are doing our best. Enhanced Edition was made from scratch, and although it went through a strenuous QA process, some bugs made it through. However, we are fully committed to solve all the bugs that Enhanced Edition is currently experiencing. We have a dedicated QA team looking for bugs and reproducing reports, as well as a full-time team working on solving all issues. Naturally, no one is obliged to help us, but our community has always played a huge part in the devlopment process, and as our team is small, we are asking for help so that no bug escapes our radar, as well as to assign priorities according to what players experience the most and the severity of the issues. We will continue supporting Enhaced Edition for as long as its necessary and the first patch is comming sooner than you might think :wink: 

Some bugs???? Lol. I appreciate the response. Would of been great to read this in the weekly. You would have not heard a word from me. Perhaps when console players read this they will be satisfied. This is all I wanted.

Happy launchings.

6 minutes ago, UomoCapra said:

You definitely are. We appreciate yours and everybody else's comments and opinions. 

Who have I attacked? Maybe squad, no one on the forums (forum rules). I'm just expressing what a hot mess my money bought.

Edited by Space Station 4 Crash
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Some posts have been removed from this thread. For the second time, stop attacking and insulting each other. 

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7 minutes ago, JPLRepo said:

Yes it is steerable.

SWEET!!!!   :cool:

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Parachutes in 1.4?

First thing I'll do is to add a (probably awful) escape crew capsule to my planes and give the parachutes to the crew so they can eject from the escape crew capsule if there's a problem with it. I played KSP for years now and I learned I would need the parachute the hard way.

 

edit: also, I give it a week before someone upload a video of a kerbal ejecting from a plane and steer the parachute to land on another plane so the kerbal can land safely on the runway.

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