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KSP Weekly: Space Junk

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Welcome to KSP Weekly! Since the start of the Space Race, Earth has gradually been surrounded by a cloud of space debris. This material ranges from dead satellites to rocket stages and accidentally dropped astronaut tools. The fear is that if we do not soon start taking this litter out of the sky, it will become a significant threat to active satellites, astronauts, and even the International Space Station (ISS). The issue of space junk is particularly pressing because a number of companies are in the planning stages of launching thousands of new satellites in the coming years.

Additionally, it has been hypothesized that a runaway chain reaction of collisions can exponentially increase the amount of debris and as a result, the likelihood of further collisions. This is known as the Kessler syndrome. Whether Kessler syndrome is already underway is under debate. Nonetheless, the measurement, mitigation, and potential removal of debris is something that some participants in the space industry are starting to take into their own hands, and several proposals have risen to tackle this growing matter.

For instance, a UK-led satellite has recently performed a successful test of a net designed to capture space debris, and there’s stunning footage to show this feat.

Called RemoveDebris, the $17-million satellite was  built by the University of Surrey in the UK. It was launched to the ISS on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in April 2018, and later in June, NASA released the small satellite – weighing 100 kilograms – from the ISS with the help of the CanadaArm robotic arm.

The event took place more than 300km above the Earth and it is part of a series of trials that will showcase different technologies to remove the redundant hardware now circling the Earth.

Aside from the net test, the satellite will also try firing a harpoon in early 2019 at a target at the end of an extendable arm – another way that debris could be de-orbited. At the end of its mission, it will also deploy a sail that will increase its atmospheric drag and bring it back into the atmosphere. Aside from the technical aspects, the challenge is to deploy this sort of mission at a low cost and at a larger scale. This is most definitely a step in the right direction and we are very excited to follow the progress of the RemoveDebris satellite and similar missions in the future.

[Development news start here]

The team is working tirelessly on Update 1.5 and at this stage, progress is quite evident. For instance, the revamped part catalog continues to grow and this week was the turn of another classic: the Probodobodyne QBE Command Module. As you can see in the image below, the art team worked on completely new texture maps using diffuse, normal and specular maps for this part. The geometry was also reworked, and as with the other command modules we’ve shown, we added a new shader to give the QBE a metallic look that shines and interacts with light. Check this gif to see the new QBE Command Module in motion to see what we’re talking about.

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Click here to see the high-res image

The art team also revisited the SP-R, S and T Structural Panels. For starters, the team created a brand new texture variant for these panels, but all of them got their diffuse, normal, and specular texture maps redone. Both the silver and golden panels include the new shaders that makes them interact with light as a bright metallic part would, while the striped panels now have some cool indentations at their edges, as well as some cool erosion effects. Check these gifs to see the new silver SP-S and gold SP-R Structural Panel variants in motion.

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Click here to see the high-res images

The developers have been busy fixing various known issues on both the base game and the expansion, too. For example, you’ll be glad to hear that you won’t be able to see the Sun shine through Jool anymore when it’s your active target and you’ve zoomed out the camera. The aura of the Green Giant has also been adjusted to look like it did before.

Other bugs that have been fixed include blurring for flags, icons, tutorial images at different texture settings, and a very annoying bug with decouplers in symmetry that staged them separately. The team fixed another issue that duplicated Steam Workshop items when trying to update them. These are only a few examples, and work continues each week.

[KSP Vault]

This week in the KSP Vault…

Fans of Kerbal Space Program in New York City can head to the Space & Science Festival this weekend at the Intrepid Museum to see KSP in action! Attendees can check out exhibits by NASA and meet astronauts and scientists, as well as meet DasValdez from Kerbal Space Academy, who is showcasing KSP at the festival! And if you can’t attend, he’ll be livestreaming at times on his Twitch channel as well.

Watch the Ultimate Fighter Jet Showdown by TAPE Gaming. Out of all of the winners the Fighter Jet Showdown series, who will win this King of Kings match?

How to build a SPACE SHUTTLE in Kerbal Space Program 1.4 - ShadowZone teaches us to build one of the most iconic spacecraft in history in the current version of KSP. 

PC Gamer recently published an article about ShadowZone’s impressive expertise in KSP, so we want to give Daniel a shoutout and invite you to read this article too.

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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Funny you mention space junk, in my current save, I am cleaning up leftover boosters and such and recycling the materials into new spacecraft.

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Very happy to see the sunshine through jool bug fixed! And the QBE looks rather nice, I'm glad to see details of the original part added in, keeping some of the original part details was one of the best parts of the Porkjet aircraft revamps! I am finally starting to get impressed enough with the artists that I'm tentatively looking forward to seeing what they will do with the Rockomax and Jeb's Junkyard parts. They should still resemble the original parts, have some of the same details, but they should also be made more plausible as real rocket engines--taking after the engine concept art sheet that Porkjet released would be a good way of doing it. Now's a good chance to fix the mistake KSP has long had where the vacuum Isp is not correctly related to the nozzle size. The Poodle is the worst offender.

18 minutes ago, SQUAD said:

The aura of the Green Giant has also been adjusted to look like it did before.

But what does this mean? Do you mean the atmosphere rim? Something about the color? The atmosphere itself? What ever was wrong with it?

Are the new structural panels going to be moved from Making History to stock? I don't really see any reason why they have to be limited to the expansion pack given that they are non-historical general-purpose structural components.

Also, please switch the Wolfhound and Skiff stats, since day one they have the stats which would better represent the other engine's real analogue and there's no gameplay reason for having these engines switched. I've mentioned this many times, submitted a bug report, there's a forum post, and still no official word as far as I know about this.

Edited by GregroxMun
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Curious if the new shader merely uses colored specular inputs (from a texture, or a shader property from the material?), or if it is using an environment/reflectance map of some sort?

With all of the effort being spent on updating the KSP artwork -- is there a reason that full Unity Standard shader support was not added and used?  Seems that for a tiny bit more up-front developer effort to get the shaders working (moreso the reflection probes), all of the artist' work that is already going on could have been put towards a much more modern and up-to-date format.

I applaud the effort going into the art update pass, but question the direction it has been taken in (given the alternatives...)...

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The new stuff looks nice! I'm sure people will have more detailed feedback in the coming minutes,/hours/days, but I like how the foil looks on the QBE now!

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There is a considerable inconsistency between the texture resolutions of the foil structural panels and the other ones. The foil looks fairly blury and meh. 

I could throw a bunch more specific criticisms and the occasional compliment with regards to the parts themselves, but I'm sure others will. I'm going to harp on consistency. You're showing off two parts with completely different implementations of MLI in the same update. There appears to be no commonality... and until there is a consistent art implementation, KSP will continue to look visually confusing.

 

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Love the direction the art pass is going! Will we see all parts with foil brought to a consistent standard for 1.5?

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50 minutes ago, GregroxMun said:

Now's a good chance to fix the mistake KSP has long had where the vacuum Isp is not correctly related to the nozzle size. The Poodle is the worst offender.

Yes, please.

13 minutes ago, Nertea said:

There appears to be no commonality... and until there is a consistent art implementation, KSP will continue to look visually confusing.

Yep.

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Anyone know if there will be a stock way of switching textures back, or do i need a mod to do it? I actually prefer the cartoony/not as realistic textures (am part of the much much much younger audience though,so that might be the reason)

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1 hour ago, GregroxMun said:

there's no gameplay reason

Of course there is. It's been explained on every thread about this and never rebutted. Ignoring it doesn't make it not exist.

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6 minutes ago, HebaruSan said:

Of course there is. It's been explained on every thread about this and never rebutted. Ignoring it doesn't make it not exist.

Explaining a bad idea doesn't make it a good idea.

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5 hours ago, SQUAD said:

[quote of OP snipped}

What good does that net do anyways it just captures the debris not deorbit it.

Edited by Vanamonde

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I like that the QBE wasn't changed all that much and actually roughly looks the same as it did before; just better. Some parts you've shown have had quite a lot of changes - this one has the least of them by far and it looks fantastic nonetheless.

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29 minutes ago, Cheif Operations Director said:

What good does that net do anyways it just captures the debris not deorbit it.

Capturing it is the first step to deorbiting it. And did you really have to quote the whole thing? That’s a lot of scrolling on mobile 

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2 hours ago, StrandedonEarth said:

Capturing it is the first step to deorbiting it. And did you really have to quote the whole thing? That’s a lot of scrolling on mobile 

Right... but it still needs another craft to de-orbit so why not just do it in one go. I mean it's like catching a fish and then leaving the fish to swim in the ocean in the net. It's pointless

2 hours ago, StrandedonEarth said:

Capturing it is the first step to deorbiting it. And did you really have to quote the whole thing? That’s a lot of scrolling on mobile 

^

Why not just capture it with the net and then have second spacecraft in tow with solid boosters that de-orbit it enough that it will burn up in the near future. 

Why go insane with these massive craft. If we are going to capture everything may as well accelerate the process.

I guess they are going to use a massive sail to bring it down still seams like a waste of energy but atleast it makes sense.

Edited by Vanamonde

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Here's another vote for consistency in part design.

It's a bit disappointing though that I even have to vote for this, shouldn't something like this be common sense in game design?

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Personally, I don't want the Wolfhound and Skiff engine stats switched.  I would however like to see the Skiff and the Mastadon engines receive an increases to their thrust levels.

Currently, an accurate depiction of a Saturn V configuration using the DLC parts requires lowering the fuel levels in the fuel tanks so that each stage has the required TWR to be effective.  I think a better implementation would be to increase the thrust levels of the Mastadon and Skiff engines so that they can lift a fully-fueled Saturn V style configuration.  This would allow players to get more oomph from the same rocket if they really wanted to, but that still permits other players to lower the thrust limiters of those engines if they choose to.

Bottom line, this gives players more options to use the parts how they wish (making even more powerful rockets), while still leaving other players to turn down the thrust limiters so the engines behave as they do now.

Yes, a player could also cluster more engines in each stage, add side boosters, manually patch the engine configs, use different engines, etc etc. :rolleyes: This is just a suggestion, I understand there are many other ways to solve the problem.

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Rather than get mad and complain about each other's posts, how about simply reporting it and letting the moderators deal with things? Less unpleasant for everyone. 

The thread has been pruned a little. 

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15 hours ago, Raptor9 said:

Skiff and the Mastadon engines receive an increase to their thrust

This, and other adjustments to Making History engines inspired by  discussion on the forum, are in Tyko's patch below.  (The feedback item 19076 on the bug-tracker references this patch and the threads with discussion that lead to it.)

https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/174303-14x-engine-tweaks-for-making-history/

Version 1.5 would be a nice time to rebalance the M.H. engines, and repair some configuration-file errors also in the bug-list.  This would break some existing craft, but the suggested improvements are important enough that I think that on average we players will be  happy to rework those craft.  

Edited by OHara
repair links
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I'd just like a slight debuff to the Wolfhound's Isp. It's realistic, sure, but it's high enough that it ends up overlapping other part's roles, and while that isn't inherently bad, it is a waste of technical and artistic resources, and makes the experience for players of picking engines based on mission requirements less interesting.

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7 hours ago, SQUAD said:

Check this gif to see the new QBE Command Module in motion to see what we’re talking about.

I mostly like it. But the difference in reflection is still too much, just like the OKTOs. The foil reflects like there's a bulb inside the foil and the non foil surfaces don't reflect at all. They look totally flat.

Perhaps make them a bit more reflective, or make the edges a bit more pronounced.. Somehow bring those other surfaces out of flatness.

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I do like the new QBE texture. It looks like the old one, but better.

The structural panels look a bit blurry. I hope this is just the resolution of the image and not the actual in-game texture. The reflection effects are nice.

Overall, I like the progress of 1.5!  My hype train is ready to depart!

Edited by RealKerbal3x

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The QBE is, for the most part and in my opinion, the best revamped probe core yet.

The foil is the right level of shiny and perfectly bordered by the metal frame, and the label is a vast improvement over the old one. Height and normal maps are also well-applied; the bolts look quite well done. Additionally, its looks are quite consistent with the probe cores from last week.

My only complaint is the texturing on the doors on the front and bottom. They seem a little... bland? I think they need a little more grit and grime, or maybe some random pointless greebles, like vents, lights, buttons, or handles. They're well-heightmapped, but the color textures make them look rather flat. On the whole, however, the probe core is very well done. It improves on the old while retaining its character.

 

Excellent job and good luck!

Edited by GearsNSuch
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I have not used the triangle panels since MH release version and am curious if the mirror symmetry bug has been fixed? It possibly has been but my computer is still waiting repaires but soon to be. The issue I’m asking about is when placing the triangle panels with mirror symmetry, the panels are put in strange orientation that do not mirror each other. 

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