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KSP Weekly: Ultima Thule

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Welcome to KSP Weekly! The New Horizons spacecraft delighted us all with the beautiful images it took from Pluto and its moons during its 2015 flyby. The spacecraft was the first to visit the dwarf planet and the pictures it took of the dwarf planet’s icy surface, as well as observations of Pluto’s moon Charon, are revolutionizing our understanding of solar system objects far from the sun. After this amazing feat, New Horizons is now en route to an object deeper in the Kuiper Belt, called 2014 MU69, nicknamed “Ultima Thule” after a distant place located beyond the “borders of the known world”, commonly mentioned in ancient Greek and Roman literature and cartography. It will reach this object on January 1, 2019.

Ultima Thule was discovered by astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope on June 26, 2014 and lies about 1.6 billion km beyond Pluto. The irregular shaped classical Kuiper belt object, which is unlikely to have undergone significant perturbations, is a suspected contact binary or even close binary system and measures approximately 30 kilometers in diameter. It is also suspected to have a moon!

Luckily for the New Horizon Team, this Saturday, Ultima Thule will pass in front of a distant star, and so cast a dim shadow on Earth, with research team using telescopes for observation in both Senegal and Colombia. This occultation will give researchers hints about what to expect at Ultima Thule and help them refine their flyby plans. It takes a special set of circumstances to get any kind of a look at such a distant and small object like Ultima Thule, so that is why this occultation is so important. It is going to be a challenging task to gather the occultation data, though. The object lies at the limit of what is detectable with Hubble, and the amount of computer processing needed to resolve the data is staggering.

The Ultima Thule encounter next year is the centerpiece of New Horizons’ extended mission. The upcoming flyby will provide an up-close look at a frigid relic from the solar system’s early days and help astronomers better understand the diversity and complexity of the Kuiper Belt. We are looking forward to see what we’ll learn from these observations.

[Development news start here]

We’ve got exciting news for all of you, dear Astronauts. Our team has started working on our upcoming and free of cost update. Kerbal Space Program 1.5 is now in the VAB and we’ll be sharing all the relevant development news as we advance on this update in the upcoming months!

To continue with the tradition of delivering meaningful updates, Kerbal Space Program 1.5 will be filled with cool content and improvements for everyone to enjoy. Among the improvements we are planning is the revamping of a few parts. Actually, we’ve already started this task and we thought you’d like to see an example of what we have up our sleeve so far.

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Some of you might recognize these tanks. The FL-T series are some of the parts that were starting to look outdated, so we decided to give them a fresh new look that kept the original essence, while also adding a secondary texture set that you’ll be able to switch at will to match the look-and-feel of your vessels. Let us know what you think about this.  Click here to see the full resolution image.

In addition to the improvements and new content, we are doing a sweep of the bug trackers to clear up a number of the issues in there - focusing on the ones that have impact to many players. With the joint effort of our testers and the programming workforce, we’ve already taken steps towards this purpose. In the case of the expansion, for example, we solved a bug that sometimes caused a NullReferenceException when a “Spawn Kerbal” node was docked to the Start Node and the user tried to test the mission. Sometimes it would spawn the user overlooking Kerbin with a loss of UI functionality and the NRE log spam. The team also fixed minor issue involving the Mission Start setting within the Start Node, which wasn’t matching the actual game time by an hour margin. Even if the time difference was that small, it could have caused trouble to creator as all Celestial Bodies positions are tied to UT and they use the Start Time setting to recreate a specific scenario.

That’s going to be it in terms of development news this week, but there’s still much more to share in the upcoming months, so stay tuned.

We wanted to include a new section to our weekly updates going forward too; a section dedicated to you, our community. From now on, we will remind you of some of the cool stuff that we stumble upon and have featured in one way or another (but some of you might have missed) along with anything else we might consider interesting to share. We’ll call it the [KSP Vault].

SpaceX Falcon 9 Mission - In case you missed it, this week we featured a cool mission created by forum user Rookie that lets you recreate SpaceX’s feat of landing the Falcon 9 main booster. You’ve seen it happen, but have you attempted it by yourself? Click here to get it.

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Docking two asteroids together! - Watch Tim Dodd, The Everyday Astronaut, attempt this popular /r/kerbalspaceprogram challenge to dock two asteroids together! This isn’t an easy stunt, will he succeed? Watch it here.

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Have you seen cool KSP-related content that you consider worth highlighting? Share it with us and help us give content creators more exposure. :)

Remember that you can also share and download missions on Curse, KerbalX, the KSP Forum and the KSP Steam Workshop.

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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1.5 already around the corner? Revamped FL-T tanks? Bug fixes?

PRAISE THE KRAKEN!!!!!!

Go @SQUAD!!!!

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Since my aging laptop decided it no longer needed a screen, I've been playing on Xbox. Seeing all the improvements pc is getting is nice, but consoles don't have making history, or even a clear future. It's really hard to justify a new machine for one game, even if I have nearly a thousand hours in it, when something I already have will play ksp. Are consoles going to get making history and these updates? Not looking for a date or schedule, only a yes/no answer.

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Can we also pleae have a MK1 pod revamp and an IVA that fits into the pod as well? Oh and the size 3 tanks and adapter too please.

Looks great so far!

Peace.

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I personally think that the tanks there are a bit too same-y with everything else. I'm getting tired of the 4-stripe thing being the only option. 

I really did like the simple whiter texture on the Making History 1.875m tanks; perhaps we could go from there and take inspiration from things like the Redstone, Juno, and other early rockets.

AO0pTo2.jpg220px-Juno_I_with_Explorer_I_mock-up_at_lossy-page1-800px-National_Museum_of_Nuc

Like that smaller band of checkering, the massive whitespace, and those diagonal stripes. I personally think that would be a lot nicer than what you've shown for the current texture, and would make sense for the 1.25m tanks. They're early tanks for early rockets, sorta, so why not take inspiration?

Edited by Lupi
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3 minutes ago, Lupi said:

I personally think that the tanks there are a bit too same-y with everything else. I'm getting tired of the 4-stripe thing being the only option. 

Exactly. They look like they were 3.75m revamps that got scaled down(texture-wise) imo.

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I think having the textures of the 3.75/2.5m tanks and copying them into 1.25m it's not very original and incredibly confusing.

It's like everything has to be a Saturn V or a Soyuz.

The different sized parts have a lot of uniquness potential, but In my opinion this is not being used.

Edited by Pkmniako
2.5m to 3.75/2.5m
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1 minute ago, DeltaDizzy said:

Exactly. They look like they were 3.75m revamps that got scaled down(texture-wise) imo.

The level of high-contrast detail on them is a bit much; if we're trying to get away from that with the existing 1.25m tanks, let's go the full way.

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Revamped Parts are cool and all but I think the 1.25 tanks shouldn't have the 2.5m Tanks textures copied onto them as this could be confusing and really takes away from the uniqueness of each part

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The new tanks should be more unique like the examples Lupi posted. Those look way too similar to the 2.5m ones. We should be able to distinguish them in the VAB by just looking at the icon on the left.

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1 hour ago, StarStreak2109 said:

Yawns... New tanks... How very important...

 

I know everyone likes to say "graphics don't matter", but perception is reality, and aesthetics very much do matter to humans in general.  This unnecessary denial gamer's have adopted has always bewildered me.

Glad to see the art pass is continuing.  Still odd that PJ's work is being ignored.  I'm sure there's a story there underneath all the NDA's.  Oh, well.  Glad to see it's being done anyway.

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 love porkjet/snarks/jarin ones-and feels like stock

Spoiler

Size1Tanks.png

the important for me is the round end -u on the right way( for me)

screenshot5.png

 

and by that way- maybe in far away future a battery-model change.Hope iam not alone with this

vens part overhaul example:

RSWW5FC.png

or:6WgWgIy.png

ksp is getting real serious models but with these old models feels like- hmmmmpff:/

and thanks for highlighting/hearing the community- (redshe.. removing,unitys homecall-warning )

they diserve it

like u SQUAD a huge THANKS

bk

 

ps -squash bugs

not modders with montly updates thx @linuxg,,

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4 hours ago, SQUAD said:

Let us know what you think about this.

I think porkjet wore it better.
 Texturestuff.png

Ok now being serious...
Lets look at this objectively. Take the parts porkjet made not because of some subjective love for his style or anything like that but because they represent the single largest block of consistent quality in the part catalog. The model meshes are efficient clean and error free, the texel density doesn't vary wildly unless necessary for something like a UV island with lettering, the pallet is consistent for each formfactor, and texture space is brilliantly efficient. it's all very professional. 

Now take the 2.5m parts you put out for the MH update @SQUAD you somehow managed to make parts that were objectively worse than thier hated predecessors by about every non-subjective metric. The mesh triangle count is off the scale by an order of magnitude, the texture file which before was merely layed out inefficiently instead got bigger, was still mapped just as inefficiently as always, and then the whole travesty was duplicated for a color variant, texel density was still a mess of course, and the mesh had errors that cast weird creases and shadows. Its like you gave the task to a diploma mill intern and told'em "just copy what the last guy did" you absolutely failed to make a professional quality part even by ksp's whimsical standards and yet you still pushed it out as official without recognizing your error or attempting to adequately correct it.

Now you're telling me you are attempting this again and are showing parts done in the same subjectively dull sterile corner cutting style. What guarantee do I have that these won't be the same wreck the 2.5m parts were? The lesson from all this is if it looks amazing on the outside it might be good and professional on the inside but If it looks cheap on the outside then its 100% rotten through on the inside. That's what I learned following your development of 1.4/MH, and what I assume I'll see if you push that dull [snip] as a "quality update".

Edited by Vanamonde
Mind the language, please.
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24 minutes ago, KraterKreator said:

Wait, wut?

Is it a surprise we're getting a 1.5?  I'll admit, 1.4 was a bit of a surprise for me, but this I sort of expected.

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5 hours ago, SQUAD said:

The FL-T series are some of the parts that were starting to look outdated, so we decided to give them a fresh new look

Thanks you so much for this, the ONE AND ONLY REASON im still using vens revamp to this day, those trash ugly tanks can finally go die in a dumpster fire.

 

I really like that some of the nastier old parts are being looked over.  Now all thats left is a few of the uglier command pods like the MK2 lander can and the mk1 pod.  Rest aint too bad, but id love a revamp of the cupola with some more reasonable stats as its flat out the best pod for starbases and bunker overlook.

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5 hours ago, SQUAD said:

Let us know what you think about this

The tanks look a bit too clean and white, like a toy. they wont fit in well with the other rocket and plane parts in the game. I feel like the only improvement over the current ones is that you got rid of the godawful rims on the ends

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58 minutes ago, Saltshaker said:

:D Whoa Nertea, those look amazing? I hope you're planning to revamp the 2.5m tanks as well!

I concur, those look stunning @Nertea! As if SSPR wasn't enough of a gift to the community :D I know what i'm hyped for today. 

I spy an old crappy render of a battery of mine, here's what it looks like now @Burning Kan

Edited by Daishi
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