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KSP Weekly: 28 years of Hubble

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Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. This week the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) turned 28 years old since its deployment, so it is a good time to talk a bit about what is probably the most significant advance in astronomy since Galileo’s telescope. Although not the first space telescope, an honor that goes to the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory OAO-2 (1968), Hubble is one of the largest and most versatile, and is well known as both a vital research tool and a public relations boon for astronomy. NASA named the world’s first space-based optical telescope after American astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (1889 – 1953). Dr. Hubble confirmed an “expanding” universe, which provided the foundation for the big-bang theory.

With a 2.4-meter (7.9 ft) mirror, Hubble’s four main instruments observe in the near ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared spectra. Hubble’s orbit outside the distortion of Earth’s atmosphere allows it to take extremely high-resolution images, with substantially lower background light than ground-based telescopes. Hubble has recorded some of the most detailed visible light images ever, allowing a deep view into space and time. Many Hubble observations have led to breakthroughs in astrophysics, such as accurately determining the rate of expansion of the universe.

The HST was built by NASA, with contributions from the European Space Agency. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) selects Hubble’s targets and processes the resulting data, while the Goddard Space Flight Center controls the spacecraft.

Space telescopes were proposed as early as 1923. Hubble was funded in the 1970s, with a proposed launch in 1983, but the project was beset by technical delays, budget problems, and the Challenger disaster (1986). When finally launched in 1990, Hubble’s main mirror was found to have been ground incorrectly, compromising the telescope’s capabilities. The optics were corrected to their intended quality by a servicing mission in 1993. Hubble is the only telescope designed to be serviced in space by astronauts. After launch by Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990, five subsequent Space Shuttle missions repaired, upgraded, and replaced systems on the telescope, including all five of the main instruments. The fifth mission was initially canceled on safety grounds following the Columbia disaster (2003). However, after spirited public discussion, NASA administrator Mike Griffin approved the fifth servicing mission, completed in 2009. The telescope is operating as of 2018, and could last until 2030–2040. Its scientific successor, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), is scheduled for launch in May 2020.

[Development news start here]

Yesterday, we released patch 1.4.3, a substantial addition that not only adds improvements, bug fixes and Mission localizations, but a brand new launchpad/airfield and the ability to spawn launchpads on water bodies as a mission creator. Click here to read the full changelog.

The patch release was aimed for last week, but we had to hold it back due to the appearance of an unexpected issue. After some serious investigation, we learned that the problem was derived from 3 delicate features: the Floating Point Origin, Krakensbane and PQSCities. The first one, is an old fix to a scale issue that the game experienced long ago due to its massive size. Floating Point Origin basically makes you the center of the game’s universe, and the distance of any body is calculated from that point in space. Coupled with that, the Krakensbane system is also used to overcome the floating point precision errors that occur due to the environment size. As you may know the game uses a method called Procedural Quad Sheres to render the various textures of planets, and the PQS Cities allows us to place specific objects, such as the KSC, on the surface of planets. So, basically we had to deal with an issue within the fundamental structure of the scaling mechanism in the game. This kept us very busy all week long, but we also managed to get a few other bugs fixed while we looked into it.

In other news, our friends at Blitworks are also hard at work on an upcoming patch for KSP Enhanced Edition. We will be revealing more information about this patch in the coming weeks, stay tuned.

Don’t forget that you can also share and download missions on Curse, KerbalX, and the KSP Forum.

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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And here's the consule community complaining about not being mentioned in the Weeklys/Weeklies?...

Thanks for 1.4.3, by the way. I now understand why the bug took time to fix.

Edited by Delay

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Thank you!!!  :D

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Thank you for your work, as always!

Which bugs were tied to the FP / PQS issues? Landed vessel ground positioning? 

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4 hours ago, Delay said:

And here's the consule community complaining about not being mentioned in the Weeklys/Weeklies?...

Thanks for 1.4.3, by the way. I now understand why the bug took time to fix.

Guess we just a little poor with patience. But nice to hear

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11 hours ago, Delay said:

And here's the consule community complaining about not being mentioned in the Weeklys/Weeklies?...

Thanks for 1.4.3, by the way. I now understand why the bug took time to fix.

Who said we were complaining? I for one am happy we got some mention in this Weekly. Please refrain from making assumptions about us console (I'm not sure if you purposely misspelled that) players. We just want to enjoy the game as much as you do, and it's getting hard with the low framerate and very irritating corrupted afterburning jet engine sound files. 

EDIT: Anyone else rather disappointed by the further delay in the launch of the JWST? I was rather looking forward to it launching this year. Regardless, at least we've got the Parker Solar Probe later this year. And yes, my name IS on it. 

Edited by LegendaryAce
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Thanks! Really glad to see the engines all fixed now :) 

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16 hours ago, basic.syntax said:

Thank you for your work, as always!

Which bugs were tied to the FP / PQS issues? Landed vessel ground positioning? 

Yup, many thanks to the devs as always for their work,we enjoy it.

 

And speaking for myself, I'd also be interested in an in-depth explanation of that particular bit of bug-slaying. I (and I imagine, others) am very interested in the guts of KSP. It has implications for KrakenDrives and other kinds of science!!

 

Rune. The worst part is I'll be AFK all weekend. :(

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Wait..... 28 years of HST! Wow!

And 1.4.3 is great, by the way :D:D

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6 hours ago, LegendaryAce said:

(I'm not sure if you purposely misspelled that)

I didn't, but I can't be bothered fixing it.

6 hours ago, LegendaryAce said:

Who said we were complaining?

Sorry, but seriously? You are asking that question? May I present you with two quotes just from the last two Weekly's:

On 4/14/2018 at 2:11 AM, Kerbuvim said:

What's about console versions? Forgotten by you, your unloved children...

And...

17 hours ago, Farm Buyer said:

OK [snip] enough is enough.

3 weeks and not a [snip] console update?

[snip]

 

We've asked nicely,  no response

We've asked firmly, no response

We've sat in the back of the room quietly asking for a little recognition and an explanation for your lack of transparency regarding the console version.

and have been told by fanbois that we were out of line, no response from you developers

 

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1 hour ago, Delay said:

I didn't, but I can't be bothered fixing it.

Sorry, but seriously? You are asking that question? May I present you with two quotes just from the last two Weekly's:

And...

 

Fair enough. If something gets past my spell check, so be it. 

I really hate to do this, but it appears I need to. So don't hate me for merely expressing my views and opinions on the matter. If anything, I NEED to say this before I go ballistic. 

After almost two years, where do I begin? My experience with KSP has been nothing short of a [REDACTED]. The first port was truly one of the worst things that gaming could've had to offer. The game didn't operate properly, was beyond sluggish, and had gamebreaking bugs that a five year old could find. Yet that was allowed into and past Microsoft's cert process? And then two post release patches did absolutely nothing to remedy it. 

Then this version came out. Granted, it hasn't (yet) deleted my save files, but it's almost as bad as the old version. Career mode is completely broken, there's massive lag spikes and stutters on the framerate, and simple .wav files are somehow corrupted. Hell, I can't even adjust my throttle without trimming my damn jets, which is crucial when testing supermanueverable jets. 

But those shadows though!! :\

But that's not even the worst part. Every week, us console plebes pray that we get one or two sentences in the weekly, even if it is the same old Control-C/Control-V text. 

Meanwhile, massive five+ paragraph text walls showcasing all the amazing things and features PC players will get and console gamers could only dream of having are thrust in our face with the same bragadocious attitude as a small child who got a new toy and has to show it off to everyone. 

Then, the moment one of us complains about the lack of support, news, condolences, etc. a plethora of PC gamers who have no idea what we're going through chastise us for bringing up a serious point about the current state of our version (which mind you I spent FORTY DOLLARS ON, and it STILL doesn't work as advertised. But who cares right? Squad has my money. They don't need to give me anything). 

The contempt and complete lack of empathy towards us is really disturbing, especially since we're all gamers who want to enjoy the same game you are. If Squad spent half the time trying to fix our game as they did touting a knockoff Edwards AFB, maybe I could actually take off, test, and land my jets without lag on my STOCK runway. 

Anyway, the mods can do what they like with this rant. It's not like it's gonna change minds, give insight, or explain how I and possibly others feel. I don't even know why I check here each week. My KSP probably won't even see an update until probably Ace Combat 7 comes out at which point it'll be moot. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. 

I'll be on Elite Dangerous in the meantime. 

Edited by LegendaryAce
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6 hours ago, Tyko said:

Thanks! Really glad to see the engines all fixed now :) 

 

You might want to have a look at them yourself.  For me, the Wolfhound and Cheetah still spin a craft with SAS turned off.  Since its been discussed as a floating point math problem, I wonder if they can ever be actually straight.

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1 hour ago, klesh said:

 

You might want to have a look at them yourself.  For me, the Wolfhound and Cheetah still spin a craft with SAS turned off.  Since its been discussed as a floating point math problem, I wonder if they can ever be actually straight.

I looked at all of the MH engines. I checked them with KER which reports 0.00kNm of torque. The Wolfhound was previously causing 1 - 2kNm of torque - that's the equivalent of firing an RCS thruster or an Ant engine sideways.

I also mounted each on a craft, put it in space and tried thrusting with SAS off. I noticed they still drift sightly, so...I went back and checked Stock engines - they all drift slightly too. Then I checked a number of mod engines...they all drift slightly.

So, the new MH engines are (IMHO) just as well centered as most of the other engines in the game. Try it yourself with other engines. 

Thinking about it, I can't imaging any engine in real life is so balanced as to produce no off center thrust. Almost all engines gimble and craft have "SAS" systems on board to control burns. I'd be willing to bet real spacecraft drift too if you just burn the engine with zero control inputs.

The modeling team did an awesome job of correcting the problem and I'm really excited to start finally playing 1.4.x  :) 

 

Edited by Tyko
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58 minutes ago, Tyko said:

I looked at all of the MH engines. I checked them with KER which reports 0.00kNm of torque. The Wolfhound was previously causing 1 - 2kNm of torque - that's the equivalent of firing an RCS thruster or an Ant engine sideways.

I also mounted each on a craft, put it in space and tried thrusting with SAS off. I noticed they still drift sightly, so...I went back and checked Stock engines - they all drift slightly too. Then I checked a number of mod engines...they all drift slightly.

So, the new MH engines are (IMHO) just as well centered as most of the other engines in the game. Try it yourself with other engines. 

Thinking about it, I can't imaging any engine in real life is so balanced as to produce no off center thrust. Almost all engines gimble and craft have "SAS" systems on board to control burns. I'd be willing to bet real spacecraft drift too if you just burn the engine with zero control inputs.

The modeling team did an awesome job of correcting the problem and I'm really excited to start finally playing 1.4.x  :) 

 

 

 

Ah very well.  This never actually bothered me as I use SAS all the time, and never experienced any thrust-spin in the course of my normal gameplay.  Never bothered to check old engines as people we're strictly reporting about the MH parts at the time.  I've been using them since release with SAS and haven't had any troubles myself.  I presumed there might be a cadre of players who prefer to fly with SAS off, which led them to point out the spinning.

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Seems like console sorta deserves more than 2 sentences, but eh. I still don’t like the fact that making history even exists. It’s a bunch of useless, buggy features, and it’s not even useful for replicas because most of the community can’t use it. Plus the best feature is just something that should just be included. ie the mission builder.

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19 hours ago, ShadowGoat said:

Seems like console sorta deserves more than 2 sentences, but eh. I still don’t like the fact that making history even exists. It’s a bunch of useless, buggy features, and it’s not even useful for replicas because most of the community can’t use it. Plus the best feature is just something that should just be included. ie the mission builder.

A company releases additional content to a 2 year old game that they worked on for a year. Of course they should charge for it. 

Games follow one of three models to make money -

  • Release a new version every few years - making players and modders choose which to use
  • Include microtransactions
  • Use the DLC model to keep earning revenue on an existing game.

Of these three options, the DLC route is by far my favorite. If you have some fourth way for @UomoCapra and @RoverDude to pay rent without being compensated for their time I think they'd love to hear it  :)  

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Visual DLC. Doesn’t create a split in the community, and still generates revenue. People would just buy new skins for rocket parts and such just to support the game. The DLC shouldn’t be something that splits the community in a game where it’s best chance of life is in the rocket sharing community.

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7 hours ago, Tyko said:

Of these three options, the DLC route is by far my favorite. If you have some fourth way for @UomoCapra and @RoverDude to pay rent without being compensated for their time I think they'd love to hear it  :)  

I hear @RoverDude's a musician anyway. He probably lives in a van. :D

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12 hours ago, ShadowGoat said:

Visual DLC. Doesn’t create a split in the community, and still generates revenue. People would just buy new skins for rocket parts and such just to support the game. The DLC shouldn’t be something that splits the community in a game where it’s best chance of life is in the rocket sharing community.

I'd put money on the rocket sharing community being a very small fraction of those that own KSP.  Calling it KSP's best chance for life might be overreaching.

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I meant that’s its the part of the community that the devs see the most. Okay less rocket sharing, more just the community in general. The fact that there is a full section of challenges for users to play just adds playability.

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On 4/29/2018 at 7:35 PM, Cpt Kerbalkrunch said:

I hear @RoverDude's a musician anyway. He probably lives in a van. :D

heh, this is why I am a part time musician.... I like to be able to eat ;)

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