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KSP Weekly: The Foreigner


SQUAD
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Welcome to KSP Weekly! You probably remember the visit of ‘Oumuamua this past October, the first ever interstellar object discovered in our solar system, well, a recent study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society suggest that an asteroid called 2015 BZ509 is in reality an interstellar object, snagged by our Sun when the Solar System first formed more than 4.5 billion years ago.

The asteroid was first spotted in 2015 and scientists rapidly noticed something odd with its orbit. 2015 BZ509 shares its orbit with Jupiter and on top of that is a retrograde asteroid, which means it travels in the opposite direction of all the planets and the vast majority of known objects in the Solar System. Using the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory and several theoretical predictions describing the existence of objects in this state, known as retrograde co-orbital resonance, scientists published the results in Nature last year. The configuration is stabilized by how the small asteroid and the giant planet meet during the orbit. Over a revolution around the Sun, they encounter each other twice, once when 2015 BZ509 is farther out and the other time when it is closer in. Back then, it was hypothesized that the object was an inactive comet since most of the retrograde object we’ve observed in our solar system are comets, but this latest study made by researchers from the Côte d'Azur Observatory in France and the São Paulo State University in Brazil have provided a different explanation for these odd characteristics.

The scientists performed a high-resolution statistical search for stable orbits and showed that asteroid 2015 BZ509 has been in its current orbital state since the formation of the Solar system. This result indicates that the object was captured from the interstellar medium 4.5 billion years in the past as planet formation models cannot produce such a primordial large-inclination orbit at the stage and configuration that our solar system had back then. Our Sun was likely born in a nebula along with other stars, inside a relatively dense stellar cluster. It’s thought that 2015 BZ509 was captured from within this cluster, with lots of asteroids floating around and being tidally stripped from their parent stars. This result also implies that more extrasolar asteroids are currently present in the Solar system on nearly polar orbits.

The most exciting thing about 2015 BZ509, and unlike ‘Oumuamua, is that this object is still in our Solar System today. Imagine what we could learn by sampling this object, something that, though complicated due to its peculiar orbit, is not as far fetched as one might think. For now, we can start practicing with the Mission Builder, don’t you think?

[Development news start here]

Update 1.4.4 continues to keep the team busy. This week in addition to continuing our work on the Particle System, we decided to spend some time looking at how Gilly and Bop are represented in MapView. As some of you may have noticed, currently when you focus on Gilly or Bop in MapView, the surface of these celestial bodies is drawn at the wrong altitude. The bodies seem to be scaled down to perhaps 95% of the proper size. This is a problem because many players use the MapView image to determine safe orbits, landing points, and suicide burn altitudes, so if they use the images of Gilly and Bop as they are displayed, their crafts might crash. Luckily for your crew, this won’t be a problem anymore in 1.4.4.

As you know, in Career mode players get a reward for reaching Points Of Interest around Kerbin, including the Island Airfield. However, the Woomerang and Dessert Airfield had not been included to this progress mechanism, but now for 1.4.4 they will be. Just to note that if you enable the “launch from additional sites” option, the reward for reaching the new Launch Sites will be disabled.

 Additionally, we worked on implementing some fixes to the MissionFlow system to show all paths correctly. The team also adjusted the persistence system so that it does not store millions of lines with all paths, and hence improve the performance of the expansion’s Mission Builder.

In other news, the next patch for KSP Enhanced Edition is coming along nicely. BlitWorks is doing a remarkable job and is providing our QA team with new builds filled with fixes of reported issues for them to test constantly. The latest build for instance, solved a bug that caused the loss of the focus of the “Rename Flag” pop-up window when using the Simplified Preset after performing a set of actions, leading to a NullReferenceException. Once more, a pretty annoying bug was mercilessly squashed. Another issue where the Funds/Science/Resources display at the top of the screen suddenly disappeared while on Career mode was successfully solved. We’ll keep you updated on the progress of the patch and eventually with the public release date, so 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!



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16 minutes ago, SQUAD said:

Update 1.4.4 continues to keep the team busy. This week in addition to continuing our work on the Particle System, we decided to spend some time looking at how Gilly and Bop are represented in MapView.

Awesome!!!!!! I spend a lot of time on Bop, and this is most welcome news!!!  :cool:

Edited by Just Jim
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1 hour ago, SQUAD said:

As some of you may have noticed, currently when you focus on Gilly or Bop in MapView, the surface of these celestial bodies is drawn at the wrong altitude. The bodies seem to be scaled down to perhaps 95% of the proper size. This is a problem because many players use the MapView image to determine safe orbits, landing points, and suicide burn altitudes, so if they use the images of Gilly and Bop as they are displayed, their crafts might crash. Luckily for your crew, this won’t be a problem anymore in 1.4.4.

Now that's good to hear. I've lost at least two pilots that went OIT! (Orbit Into Terrain) around Gilly. 

 

1 hour ago, SQUAD said:

Career mode players get a reward for reaching Points Of Interest around Kerbin, including the Island Airfield.

Hmm, never realized that. What sort of reward? Probably too late now for this career since the tech tree is done.

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6 hours ago, SQUAD said:

As you know, in Career mode players get a reward for reaching Points Of Interest around Kerbin, including the Island Airfield

Wait, what? Since when? No, I didn't know, since I've never gotten any such reward...

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9 hours ago, SQUAD said:

Just to note that if you enable the “launch from additional sites” option, the reward for reaching the new Launch Sites will be disabled.

After further cogitation, it would make sense to unlock the other launch sites after finding / visiting them them the hard way, maybe by way of contract ?

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Agreed.

 

it should be either explore or contract that gets you to those locations.

at which point Jeb should note the place looks good for a launch site.

Then you should be able to buy facilities at hay location (ie start from scratch).

 

Really there should be 8-12 sites around Kerbal like this that can be developed.  Some should be ridiculous (middle of an ocean, top of a mountain etc).  You know Kerbal.

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20 hours ago, Rocket Farmer said:

Agreed.

 

it should be either explore or contract that gets you to those locations.

at which point Jeb should note the place looks good for a launch site.

Then you should be able to buy facilities at hay location (ie start from scratch).

 

Really there should be 8-12 sites around Kerbal like this that can be developed.  Some should be ridiculous (middle of an ocean, top of a mountain etc).  You know Kerbal. 

How is that rediculous? If you stand on the highest mountain, you're that much closer to spaaaaaaaaaaaaace.

It makes perfect sense.

As for the ocean, that should be a test location of sorts. We all know many Kerbals are willing to put their lives into the balance, but they all prefer a surface that kinda gives a bit when you come crashing down into it.

(We also know Kerbals are too stupid to recognise that water, even though it's softer than land, is as hard as a brick when you crash into it at speed. Also, Kerbals sink, but whatever).

Maybe an undersea launch facility would be the greatest thing, because the bouyancy of the components will mean free dV. Coming to think of it, THAT would be the most kerbal launch site of all.

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