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WhackyTech

Do you think the consensus of space travel as being good has changed because of this game?

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This is a question that I have been thinking about for awhile now. I thought I would start a discussion on this topic.

For myself it was the other way around. I found this game because I already enjoyed space and science. I watch as much about it as I can. After playing this game, I have a better understanding of how hard it is to get into space. And regardless of how hard it is, we as humans want to put our lives on the line because it is so important.

What has been you experience with Kerbal Space Program?

:)

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No. I think nothing has changed regarding views on space exploration, at least here in the U.S. Here in the States certain groups of people, who shall remain nameless for very good reasons, think it is a waste of time and other certain groups think it is essential.

Both groups will not even give the other side the respect of hearing their point of view, let alone considering it. KSP could be the best game ever made in the history and future of all eternity and it would not change a thing.

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Depends on the motive, what makes it important?... I like the idea of Space travel, purely because it's an intrepid pursuit into the only frontier that we have left, we have conquered everything else, and barely scratched the surface of what's 'out there'... However, if we are pursuing Space Travel purely for the opportunity to mine and exploit what we can find on other planets, or to colonise elsewhere, then I think the motive is wrong. I'd like it if we were able to live sustainably here on Earth first, or else who's to say we aren't the ancestors of the Vogons?

Playing modded KSP has given me some idea of the difficulties associated with inter-planetary travel, It makes my mind boggle that we have worked this stuff out IRL, and that we are capable of accurately predicting orbital trajectories and planetary intercepts. We have even put things on Mars. Not bad for a bunch of Monkeys.

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I couldn't say if KSP has been particularly instrumental in promoting space travel, but I can say that certain individuals could do with the dose of perspective that performing a mission into space provides. KSP is certainly useful for that in a way that televised missions never could be.

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While I think that KSP has certainly helped with younger people, I think that the high-profile work being done with Commercial Crew has a stronger impact. When I talk to older people, I'm more likely to hear the word "SpaceX" than "Kerbal"

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I think as game, it has brought together a community that is composed of many nations and backgrounds. The community on this forum, at least from my perceptive, has always been a very good community. We all have been willing to help other people learn the game. I think sometimes that's one reason why I play this game.

:)

Edit: I think for the most part people are more aware of space.

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I won't speak for other countries, but in the USA there are around 235 million eligible voters, and a voter turnout in presidential elections of about 60%. That means we have 141 million voters.

How many people play KSP in the USA? I'm going to guess it's a lot lower than 1 million, but let's say it's 1 million. We're talking about less than 1% of the vote here by the most optimistic numbers.

Conclusion: KSP probably doesn't change consensus because too few people play it.

However, I wouldn't doubt that those who DO play KSP are either already proponents of space exploration, or have increased their level of excitement about space travel since playing the game. I've personally become more interested in my tax dollars going to space exploration since I bought KSP.

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Don't forget about those of us who are going to enter this industry because of KSP. I was going to study Architecture, but KSP sparked my love for space exploration and I'm going to study Mechanical Engineering next year, Aerospace after that.

I'm sure I'm not the only one.

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No. I think nothing has changed regarding views on space exploration, at least here in the U.S. Here in the States certain groups of people, who shall remain nameless for very good reasons, think it is a waste of time and other certain groups think it is essential.

Both groups will not even give the other side the respect of hearing their point of view, let alone considering it. KSP could be the best game ever made in the history and future of all eternity and it would not change a thing.

Thankfully those are extremes and don't make up the majority of America (I hope we aren't perceived that way by other countries...) I think KSP has opened up space exploration for a new generation, but us older ones aren't generally prone to suddenly decide we are interested in something new.

And even for those of us that already had a love of space, I know it certainly opened my eyes up to just how difficult it really is. A huge drawback is I now find myself unable to enjoy other space sims and movies that I once enjoyed (some of them, anyway) because all I now see is how terribly unrealistic they are.

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It's led to my realizing why space exploration is so expensive, and that our #1 priority for space has to be to make getting to it cheaper.

Has it changed the public view about space exploration? Probably not yet. It certainly has influenced *some* people, but for it to make a real impact, those people have to go out and talk to other people, and those people talk to other people. Ideas, kind of like religions, spread by intentionally getting out the word... I.e. if you want to see altitudes on space exploration change, go talk to somebody who doesn't know much about it, but who you will have a number of opportunities to talk to. Teach them all you can (in short conversations- not all at once), and maybe even try and convince them to try KSP (once they pop for the game, they just won't stop...), then try and get them to spread the word likewise. :)

Regards,

Northstar

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1. How does a single halfway popular game change the consensus of the population about "if space travel is good"? Wishful thinking, hmm?

2. How is a method/tool "good" or "bad" regardless of the context and circumstances?

3. How does something become "good for everyone", because *i* enjoy the topic? A bit egocentric, isn't it?

You could instead simply ask how KSP changed one's own view and understanding of space travel. That would be reasonable. Unfortunatelly, it also has been asked countless of times before, and wouldn't allow for a pompous topic title.

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No. I think nothing has changed regarding views on space exploration, at least here in the U.S. Here in the States certain groups of people, who shall remain nameless for very good reasons, think it is a waste of time and other certain groups think it is essential.

Both groups will not even give the other side the respect of hearing their point of view, let alone considering it. KSP could be the best game ever made in the history and future of all eternity and it would not change a thing.

Sadly that describes almost every topic we face in today's political climate. too much polarization these days and nobody listens to eachother.

Myself I dont consider it a high priority for government spending. I feel there is plenty of demand in the private sector who will get it done better, faster and cheeper. Just about any time the government gets involved in a project it just becomes a money pit, ya it may get done at 10 times the budget that was proposed. That said however there's lots of other useless crap that were spending money on that should be cut long before space exploration budget if were haveing to tighten our belts.

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Do I think the game has changed consensus? No. Or at least not yet. I'm hoping ksp turns into our generations star trek tos which was the inspiration for many scientists and engineers.

My personal experience is I was already interested in space. My dad was an aerospace engineer so I grew up around this stuff. I've always thought the human race should be focused at the stars but it's going to take a lot of effort to change the majority to this line of thinking

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I'm pretty sure that decision makers who distribute the budget funds do not play KSP. Space exploration is the most expensive thing you can spend money for with possible exception of war. But the difference is that you can actually make profits from war and you can't profit from space exploration. That's why I don't think that KSP changes anything in the minds of 'big men'.

I've always been fascinated by space and found it the most interesting thing the mankind can occupy itself with. Still, 'interesting' != 'profitable' unfortunately. If only we could find anything in space that would have monetary value... This would change all things profoundly. Alas, there are no such things there so far.

Practically though, I must admit that there are many problems here on Earth that need solving. And, compared to Space exploration, these needs are more urgent (environment, poverty, food and water shortage, hydrocarbon fossils depletion, etc). So, I'm in two minds about this.

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It does nothing for me as far as manned space exploration....

I'd love to do it... but I can't realistically support anything except unmanned probes

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KSP only provides a limited view on space exploration by focussing engineering and orbital physics. It kind of visualizes the technological processes lacking any deeper explanation of the reasons for space exploration. In this sense I would say ksp nurtures the technological fetish rooted in the space race and an interested for rocket engineering (in both civil and military contexts as can be seen in the forum). But it does not give any deeper insights about the scientific engagement in space nor about the exploration of space with other tools than spacecrafts.

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Conclusion: KSP probably doesn't change consensus because too few people play it.
Agreed. KSP's an innovative game, a commercially-successful game, and an example of how to manage and develop an early-access game, but ultimately it's not reached the general public in a massive way.

NASA, SpaceX, Google, and other major companies can reach far more people in the media. But the even bigger influence than that will be Hollywood, celebrities, and so on. Hopefully movies like Interstellar that portray current and near-future space travel positively will increase public support.

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I would say it's a bit too early to say exactly how KSP has shifted the general perception on space travel. This question might be better asked in a decade or two, when you're going to have *at least* one or two people who have made significant contributions in the real world, who will probably cite a certain game about flinging little green guys into space as the reason they were inspired to start doing the things they did.

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As much as we here all love Kerbal Space Program, it's really not reached an audience large enough to make any major impact. I think it's possible it will inspire some young people to become involved in Space Exploration in some way, be it on the ground as a controller or in the big inky black as a (Cosmo,Astro)naut.

For me personally it's actually reinforced my general lack of interest in actual space travel. This doesn't mean I don't respect those who actually perform these feats in reality, but it's far too complicated for me to really enjoy. KSP is a brilliantly balanced model which has absolutely nailed the balance between fun for the masses and realism.

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No. I think nothing has changed regarding views on space exploration, at least here in the U.S.

Agreed. The waste-of-time guys are a riot. :rolleyes:

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As a general commentary on the subject, I do not see humanity "traveling" in space beyond that of the Moon or maybe once or twice to Mars. The future of space travel for humanity will be dominated by robots because it's easier, cheaper and a lot less risky. Putting a human body into space complicates everything and there's so many issues that have to be address like supplies, body functions, mental health, radiation, mistakes, etc.

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I would have to agree with the people whos views are that people probably think exactly the same as they did before or after playing the game, or even just hearing about it. Also like the OP i got a better understanding of how people get into space, though i think attaching oneself to a top of a giant explosive container is still pretty simple concept, though i admit the mathematics and work that went into figuring it all out must have been difficult.

I personally think our current explorations have been a waste of time and money, but i do believe getting into space could solve alot of our problems. Namely two, more land in space, more resources in space. This planet only has so much. Nowhere left on this planet to have an adventure that someone hasn't already done. The new adventures have to be out there somewhere, just wish people could come up with useful space exploration goals. We got satliete communcation network, good step forward. so much more we could do.

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As a general commentary on the subject, I do not see humanity "traveling" in space beyond that of the Moon or maybe once or twice to Mars. The future of space travel for humanity will be dominated by robots because it's easier, cheaper and a lot less risky. Putting a human body into space complicates everything and there's so many issues that have to be address like supplies, body functions, mental health, radiation, mistakes, etc.

I've said this before in another thread, but I think it's perfectly realistic to say the space between Venus and Mars is explorable by humans in our generation. Wether it be the Moon, an asteroid or Mars.

As for the topic. I'd say a little bit. Before trying KSP I had a great interest in space and astronomy. Now I've got an interest in space travel as well. Thanks to KSP. I'd like to think the world can shift towards a more scientificly inclined mindset. And with the right PR... Things can get maybe just a little better for NASA. There's room for much improvement.

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I've said this before in another thread, but I think it's perfectly realistic to say the space between Venus and Mars is explorable by humans in our generation. Wether it be the Moon, an asteroid or Mars.

As for the topic. I'd say a little bit. Before trying KSP I had a great interest in space and astronomy. Now I've got an interest in space travel as well. Thanks to KSP. I'd like to think the world can shift towards a more scientificly inclined mindset. And with the right PR... Things can get maybe just a little better for NASA. There's room for much improvement.

As moonfrog and caelib I think manned space exploration has no future. I mean KSP visualizes this very well: travelling over years to finally land on barren rocks to do what? Human space exploration was a propaganda tool in the first place so far. We are stuck on this planet, at least we are able look a little farther beyond :D

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I don't think it has changed the general publics opinion, but it does make space more approachable. I think more mainstream things like pseudo-realistic space movies do more to get the public interested. I am pretty sure KSP has influenced a generation of Aerospace engineers and Astronauts to come.

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