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Threads of the month: April 2022


adsii1970
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The KSP forum moderator's team presents the
Threads of the Month
April 2022 Edition

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March is now a thing of the past and onto April! I just finished reading The Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan, again. This makes the third time in the last eight months I've read it. Why? For those of us who are book junkies, we all have a book that's our go-to book we like to read. If you have a go-to favorite book you love to read, why not share it with us in a post below and if it's not too personal, share with us why it's your favorite.

Today is the first day of the month. And we have a fantastic announcement that came from our KSP 2 Development team. Thanks to @KSPStar for sharing this important update with us! It's always great to hear how KSP2 is progressing and the important decisions being made as the game gets closer to being released.

For those out there who like the nerdy parts of the TOTM:

To continue a thing I started in May (2021) about the forum and new members as a way to answer the fears some folks had about the forum dying. In March, using the new forum metric, there were 341 new forum accounts created in March (an increase of 22 from February).  Of those, we have 21 new forum members (defined as no longer having their comments queued) within the community. This means that roughly 6.16% of the new user accounts are actively participating on the forum (that is a decrease of 1.04% in the conversion). If you're interested in seeing the new members to our forum, you can click here!

Now, without further delay, I present to you the threads of the month for April:

General community threads of the month:
This category features a thread that adds to the community and doesn't fit in the game support/game mod categories. This month, we have one nomination for this category.

Sometimes it takes a couple of times being nominated before we truly take a look at a thread for what it is. And this is one of those threads. In this thread by @Timmon26, the speculation of what other life may be like on Lapat, one of the stellar bodies being introduced in Kerbal Space Program 2. We first learned of this planet in a show and tell shared with our forum by a member of our community managers, @KSPStar, "Atmospheric Scattering" and we were all blown away by how beautiful the game will be when it's released later this year. For @Timmon26, imagination and creativity took over, and what came next is this fantastic example of when three elements  - inspiration, creativity, and vision - come together. I present you with this month's tread of the month in this category: "Life on Lapat!"

 

It is full of speculation of what life on Lapat would look like, to include scientific nomenclature classification and descriptions. It's a fascinating thread and I am sure, as their mind is stimulated more, we can surely hope to see more development in the future.

Game Support/Game Mod of the Month:

This category features either help with the game (stock or modded), or a mod (or mods) which adds to the quality of life game play of Kerbal Space Program. This month, there was one mod nominated for this category:

Rarely do I have the honor of recognizing a member of our moderation team for their contributions to the community.  For me, each month, it is an honor to share the threads of the month with you. Most of the time, I do not recognize the forum member on a personal level. Sometimes, I do recognize the name or I may have experience with their mod or fan fic, but that's about it. And there are some that I talk with on Discord or through PM on the forum. And there are even fewer that I get a chance to talk to on almost a daily basis - and it is these in the last two categories that eventually I consider friends. In this mod by @Snark, he's made the planetarium more practical for those of us who use it regularly. In his own words, he describes his latest contribution to the community as this:

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I've always liked the planet info display in the planetarium (in the tracking station, or in map view during flight). However, it's never felt quite right to me-- it's missing some bits of information that I find important, while "wasting" valuable screen real estate for some parameters that don't really have any practical in-game use.

This mod addresses that. :)

And it certainly does! As someone who is working on a planetary mod, I was amazed how this mod works - it takes information that's already available in a planet's configuration file and allows it to be displayed in the planetarium. It is so completely ingenious that once I realized what the mod did, I was surprised that it hadn't been added to the game a long time ago - and now, after playing Kerbal Space Program for almost a decade, I wonder how did I ever get along without this mod! Want to know how high up you need to put that satellite above the planet before you experience atmospheric drag? Wonder no more! 

Forum Member Created Challenges and Missions:

For the past few years, we have seen a lot of really good missions and challenges threads created that expand our fun with the game and presses our skills, creativity, and sometimes, luck, beyond what we get accustomed to. Let's face it, we all have our go-to design basics, our go-to Kermen, and even our go-to vehicles we like to use. So sometimes a good challenge can cause us to think of another way to achieve our goals. This month, we did not have any nominations for this category.

Fan-fiction, Mission Reports, and Kerbal Space Program-inspired Creative Thread of the Month:

This category features a thread (or threads) which while is not directly Kerbal Space Program related, may be a creative work, fan-fiction, or other presentation which is related to the game. For this month, there were two nominations for this category:

There's something magical about fan-fiction. For many of us, we have our favorite movie and television characters and felt a little cheated when the series or moves ended. We wanted to see more.  Maybe it was a good book and we enjoyed reading the escapades of our favorite hero or heroine and wanted more than what the author wrote. We felt a little lost and disappointed until someone gave us more. Over the years, there's been a lot of fan-fiction and mission reports generated from Kerbal Space Program, even in the early days when all we had was Kerbol, Kerbin, and the Mün, the early forum already began to see its first mission reports and fan-fic stories.

In this particular mission report, @king of nowhere takes us through their mission to circumnavigate Slate (a moon orbiting the gas giant Sarnus, from OPM). Instead of cheating, like many of us would be tempted to do using the Alt-F12 cheat menu, the painful task of creating a drop ship, launching, transferring, orbiting, and descending to the surface of Slate and the difficulties of each step are shared.

@king of nowhere 's introduction says it best:

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Ever since I decided, early in my first career, that the best way to fulfill two survey contracts would be to drive a rover 600 km on Mun, I discovered that I like driving rovers, in an odd way. There is a sense of peace in cruising across the vast expanse towards your destination. And there is the sightseeing. And the sense of accomplishment in a work well done, when your capable rover performs well.

Yes, many of us who are rover fanatics have circumnavigated Kerbin, the Mün, Minmus (and nearly flew into orbit doing so! :confused:), and every other planet and moon we could! I'm hoping that KSP2 will allow us to drive on the surface of the larger asteroids like we see in those sci-fi movies! :D

It has really good screenshots and is well-written. If you're new to Kerbal Space Program, and are looking for some mission ideas, this is a good thread to visit! If you've been around for a while and you want a new idea or two for a mission, why not give this mission report a try. You'll be glad you did.

The second nomination was one we've previously seen nominated and many of you felt it deserved a second look. And we are glad you did. In this mission report by @Aviation365, a lot of time, effort, research, and energy went into creating an alternate path for the Space Transportation System - the "space shuttle" - as we came to know it. @Aviation365's introduction says much about the intentions (and the expectations of the regular readers) of the mission reports we hope to see in the future:

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The Space Shuttle was the first orbital spacecraft designed to be reused, and allowed routine access to spaceflight at a low price. Unfortunately after 2 tragic disasters and mismanagement it never seemed to be that way, and many feel it did not live up to all its original goals. Using Kerbal Space Program's Real Solar System mod and obeying the real Shuttles capabilities, I would like to showcase a different path, through an alternate history where the Space Shuttle is utilized to its true potential.

As someone who grew up with the STS Enterprise  mock-up being launched high above White Sands Missile Range, and reading an interview with von Braun where he had described his vision for the space shuttle (it was going to be the most efficient and reliable reusable space vehicle ever built with launches happening every six weeks - and the United States would eventually have a fleet of twelve of them!) my nerdy and geeky science loving friends and I were awestruck all through the seventies as we watched the tests. In the early 1980s, when the engine testing transitioned to being actual test launches, we grew more excited until the actual first launch and orbital testing. Here's to hoping the STS program created in this thread as envisioned by @Aviation365 lives up to and exceeds the vision of von Braun. And he saw the shuttle program as being the first essential step for humankind to build the ship that would take the first explorers to Mars and to build the first ships to colonize the moon.

Honorable mentions:

Each month we get so many good nominations to choose from. Sometimes it's a challenge to choose which threads are going to receive the honor of being the Thread of the Month. But because not every thread nominated each month can be selected, there are always those that become honorable mentions. The honorable mentions for this month are:

The honorable mentions for this month may not have made the Thread of The Month, but if you think they might be worthy of another opportunity, please renominate it!

Congratulations to all the winners of the Thread of the Month for April! We'd like to thank @Minmus Taster, @18Watt, @Kuiper_Belt, @TranceaddicT, and the members of the moderation team and staff who nominated this month's contenders. Thank you so much for helping us identify noteworthy threads for this month!

And this month, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to the community managers, @KSPStar, @Ghostii_Space, and to the moderator-in-chief, @Vanamonde for allowing me to be a member of the moderation team. And especially for their trust in allowing me to be the one who volunteers to take on the responsibility of the Thread of the Month! It's an honor to be able to give back to the KSP community in such a manner! Thank you. :)

TO NOMINATE  A THREAD FOR CONSIDERATION: If you find a thread you feel should be considered for next month's thread of the month, then use the "report comment" feature (the three dots on the upper right corner of the comment box) to report the comment. Please put in the text field of the report post "Nomination for thread of the month" and we will do the rest! You can always nominate more than one thread, too.

In case you missed last month's threads of the month, you can click here.

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Congratulations to those who have been recognised for their worthy contributions that make KSP and the forum a more interesting place to visit.

Thanks to @Snark for making the game more immersive in another way, that compliments all the other great mods out there.

It is hard to believe that later this month I will have been on here a year. So as the the "Feeling Groovy" song from my childhood says.

Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy
Ba da da da da da da, feelin' groovy

Thanks @adsii1970 for putting in the hard work on top of everything else you have going on, and keeping us in the know.

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Man, it's been like 3 years since i uploaded anything here, and i still somehow manage to get an honorable mention :confused:. Cheers to whoever managed to dig that one up.

And congrats to all the winners.

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10 hours ago, kapteenipirk said:

Man, it's been like 3 years since i uploaded anything here, and i still somehow manage to get an honorable mention :confused:. Cheers to whoever managed to dig that one up.

In the realm of Kerbals anything can and does happen! :cool:

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