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  1. KSP 2 Feature Videos Episode 5 is here! In this video, devs discuss what interstellar travel means for players, how it changes the gameplay experience & the challenges associated with bringing this feature to the game with scientific accuracy.
  2. One of the joys of KSP is that there are a myriad ways of attaining any particular goal, and that it's up to the player to decide how they want to get into orbit, land on a planet, or complete a contract; which nodes on the tech tree they unlock first, what tech they'll use to get to their destination, and so on. This is also well illustrated by the self-imposed challenges you can read about on these forums — players might try to see if they can accomplish a certain goal without a particular technology that would normally make it easier, for example. For my part, when starting a new save I often try and see how far I can get without upgrading the VAB for the first time, seeing what I can do with craft under the 30 part limit. (And you can do a lot! Not to mention that once you unlock the first clamp-o-tron docking port, you can dock ships in orbit to get past the limit... :P) This is all in contrast to many other games out there that tend to hold the player's hand, and offer only one or a handful of ways to advance — unlock ability A, then unlock ability B, then C, and so on. Even seemingly sandbox-ey titles, like No Man's Sky, often irk me by forcing me to complete objectives in a certain order, or to do certain tasks before I can advance in the game, when I feel like I should really be able to work around the linear requirements. So my question is... To what extent will the flexibility of progression that we see in KSP 1, be preserved in KSP 2? Will I still be able to skip over tech tree nodes that I feel I can get by without? Would a planes-before-rockets playthrough still be possible? Will I have to build colonies before I can unlock interstellar travel? Etc. Have there been any hints from the dev. team on this?
  3. Imagine if you have a functioning time machine and you can travel to whatever year in the future and ask whoever you come by. For me i would travel to the year 3000 and ask someone "Does humanity have a glorious galactic empire?" What is yours?
  4. CHAPTER I: Introduction The kerbals have always dreamed of reaching the stars. Some said it was impossible. We said it was inevitable. Behold the REVELATION, the largest craft ever built by kerbals. Spanning over 400 meters long, weighing over 2000 tons, this behemoth can carry 50 kerbals, enough life support for the several decade long transit, and the supplies to set up a colony. It served one purpose: transporting the kerbals to another star system. It took around 4 years to build including contracts and recruitment. After years of construction, it was ready to set sail. Destination: Q'uq'umatz, in the Ascension system. The REVELATION in LKO CHAPTER II: How it Works What makes the REVELATION so impressive compared to interstellar craft other players have built in KSP, is that this one is plausible in real life. It only uses technology that humans already have or will have in the very near future (5-15 years). It uses an orion drive for propulsion, which could, in real life, reach Proxima Centauri in around 100 years. And, we have the technology for orion drives. The REVELATION runs on a nuclear reactor, uses a closed life-support system (with loss over time), simulates gravity through centrifuge rings, and uses other concepts often seen in interstellar ark proposals. The only technologies really missing are better 3D printing, and radiation protection. Both of which we can expect within the next 2 decades. The REVELATION is a generation ship, meaning that if the transit is long enough, new generations will be born on-board. The lander is one of the ship’s largest components. It is made to land on an exoplanet with up to Kerbin’s atmosphere and gravity. It can harvest resources from the environment, and build entire colonies out of in-situ resources. It can support 50 kerbals for 300 days, enough to set up a basic farm. From there, they continue building a huge colony to support them all. Basically, this is a scaled down version of what a real interstellar ark would be. Feel free to ask me any questions regarding this. CHAPTER III: Construction Ever since I began my space program, my goal has been a plausible interstellar ark. I even wrote an interstellar ark proposal for real life. After my space program’s mission to Jool, and Jeb’s retirement, we decided it was time. The first module to be sent up was the nuclear reactor. We utilized our Mun base for some of the larger modules, such as the greenhouse. We had the crew of our Mun base build the large modules we wanted to send up (the Mun base did have full in-situ construction capabilities). They were then launched from the Mun using nuclear engines (nuclear thermal, not nuclear pulse), and intercepted with the REVELATION in LKO. After the ship was 90% complete, we started sending crew and subcontracting civilians to the REVELATION. Soon, it was complete. The final module to be sent up was the crowning jewel: the orion drive. CHAPTER IV: What is Q’uq’umatz? Q’uq’umatz (I don’t know how to pronounce it either) is a habitable super-kerbin in the Ascension system, a small binary red dwarf system in the Dawn Cluster. Q’uq’umatz has gravity similar to Kerbin’s, and is 900 kilometers in diameter. It’s atmosphere is 4 times as thick as Kerbin’s, but is only 45 kilometers in height. It’s atmosphere does contain oxygen, and is safe to breathe. It is covered in hills and swamp-like land-forms. It has oceans, and has steep coastal cliffs. Upon arrival (which will be covered later in this post), they confirmed the presence of life on the surface, in the form of alien vegetation, much resembling Kerbin’s. They have not yet discovered any forms of mobile or intelligent life. The kerbals are not allowed to expose themselves to any vegetation or the atmosphere, due to risk of alien pathogens. CHAPTER V: Departure from Kerbin Before construction even began, it was decided they would visit Eeloo on the way. This is because it would be a perfect opportunity, and we had not landed there yet. The REVELATION included a second, 3 kerbal, very small lander for this purpose. After all inspections were done, including a test pulse on the orion, they plotted a maneuver that would take them to Eeloo. The transit time to Eeloo was 2 years. They then slowed down into low orbit, and sent the small lander down. The landing was perfect. They spent around 3 hours on the surface, taking pictures and bouncing around. Once done, they ascended back to the REVELATION. The small lander and the 3 kerbals on the surface of Eeloo They then plotted a maneuver that would allow them to do a slingshot maneuver off of Kerbol. They had a Jool flyby as a bonus. They passed very, very close to Kerbol, and accelerated to very high speeds. After a very long burn, (or boom, since it was an orion drive), they were on-course for the Ascension system. The transit time would be 27 years, roughly a 4th of what it would be in real life. But, as I said, this is scaled down. The life support could support a 100 year journey if required. They quickly entered the pitch, inky blackness of interstellar space. Never to return to Kerbin. CHAPTER VI: Arrival As they got closer and closer to Ascension, a dim light began to shine on the ship. Soon they could very easily see Ascension, and it’s twin, Eternal, in the sky. Soon, it was blindingly close. They came very, very close to Ascension, using the oberth effect to it’s very extreme to slow down. They were taking on a lot of heat, but they could handle it. After a very long burn, they were in orbit. CHAPTER VII: The End of a Long Journey Kerbol, from where they were at, looked like just another star in the sky. ~150 days after they reached orbit of Ascension, they arrived at Q’uq’umatz. They verified the presence of alien vegetation on the surface (which I already went over). They slowed down into orbit. They did a scan and selected a landing site with all of the resources they needed. They loaded up the main lander. Once the full checklist was complete, the lander separated, leaving the REVELATION, which was now empty and inactive, behind. They hit the upper atmosphere hard. It was a very bumpy ride. They took on a lot of heat from re-entry. The lander used an inflatable heat shield. Once they were travelling under 250 m/s, they ejected the heat shield. They burned retrograde full thrust to propel it away. The landing gear then deployed. They quickly slowed down to landing speeds, and, in a nerve-racking moment, touched down. That moment represented everything kerbals had ever worked for. Tansby Kerman, pilot and elected leader, descended down the ladder, and became the first kerbal to ever walk on an exoplanet. Tansby Kerman standing on Q’uq’umatz. CHAPTER VIII: Making a home It took them 200 days to build the colony. Pany Kerman, chief engineer, felt proud as she finally connected the lander to the finished base, using a utility pipe. It took only a few days to fully move into the colony. They had done their work, and now they could rest. The colony. CHAPTER IX: Closing It was truly sad that Jebediah Kerman, Bob Kerman, and Bill Kerman, or the crew of the Mun Base could not live to see that day. All of them would be over 100 years old. All of them had died of old age. But, that was inevitable. The crew of the REVELATION BASE built a memorial for Jeb, Bill, Bob, and the Mun base crew. As for the REVELATION BASE, they thrived. They quickly grew in population and size. It soon became a city. A city that will hopefully last for billions of years to come, and will be the first step in kerbalkind surviving for trillions. CHAPTER X: Me and KSP As for me, I have, in almost every sense, “completed” Kerbal Space Program. After I finished the colony, I held a closing ceremony, and logged off for the last time. This is the end of my story in KSP, but only the first step of the kerbals’ journey through the universe. I still think Kerbal Space Program is a great game, and I owe it everything. Someday I want to work at SpaceX, and help make this, or at least something like it, a reality. I believe humanity also has a future in the stars. I wish to make that a reality. If I had never played Kerbal Space Program, I may never have become interested in space. Now, I want to dedicate my life to space. Because of that, I owe KSP everything. It has changed my life forever. However, don't worry. I plan on returning to KSP someday. I am just taking a long break from KSP so that when I return I can regain the excitement I had when I played the game for the very first time. Credits I would like to thank the creators of KSP for allowing this journey to be possible. I would like to thank the creator of The World Beyond, the planet pack that adds several star systems and over 100 beautiful celestial bodies. I would like to thank the creator of the Orion mod. I would like to thank the creator of Civilian Population. This would not have been possible without Civilian Population. I would like to thank the creator of TAC Life Support. This would not be possible without KIS or KAS. I would like to thank everyone else who helped make this possible. For now, I am saying goodbye. I hope all of you someday achieve feats as great as mine. Feel free to ask me any questions or give any feedback. -SlamduncAZ
  5. Hello, guys! No, this is NOT a review and, even if the developers of the mod hadn´t said it´s not yet for a review, I wouldn´t dare to create one. I just felt like sharing such a fun experience I´ve had, now that I´ve finally been able to try "TheWorld Beyond" on KSP 1.5.1. I lived it!, and I still haven´t tried the advanced textures pack. I believe this is the right place to post, so I won´t mess the MOD thread, as well as don´t mess the "What did you do in KSP today". Here´s is the small, first report. ........................... Oh, I forgot to say: despite the fact I ALWAYS use infinite propellent when I travel beyond Duna/Eve (mostly due to lack of a better computer for bigger vessels), before the first travel I´ve only cheated a couple of probes to Dawn, just to simulate how would a stock probe/small vessel perform in that system. My first expedition has just been launched to Traverse system (I liked everything I´ve red about this system on the tracking station´s information!), with a few kerbonauts and a dozen kind of probes to eject towards several planets. And I´ve finally noticed that Dawn system actually DOES appear both in Eng.Redux and Alarm Clock - that´s great! The transfer window seems to happen twice an year. I had stabilished a space station in the outer orbit of Jool, to use it as a preparation-and-jump point to Dawn/Traverse, but I don´t think was a good idea: the burns I´ve been doing end up to be cheaper AND quicker startin from a high orbit on Kerbin. Maybe it would be better to set a space station around the sun itself, so the inclination would not change at the burning time, which use to be a problem when one leaves a planet´s Sphere Of Influence. Bellow are my numbers (approximately), thus far. Expedition to Traverse System (the official and first; there are two others already burning away from Kerbol by now). -Kerbin orbit: ~300Km; -First interstellar burn: ~7,600m/s (a single transfer burn, no Oberth, calculated with help of Porkchop selection by MechJeb, at the suggested transfer window [Alarm clock AND Engineer redux], which was 140 days away); -First adjustment burn to Dawn: ~600m/s (250 days later, at 31.5MKm from Kerbol [looking from above, it would be just at Dres circumference, but 42degrees inclined {the relative inclination of Dawn}]); - -40 years (yeah, FORTY YEARS!) later... --Another correction burn: ~2,250m/s(Prograde 1315Dv, Normal 1770Dv, Anti-Radial 435Dv [-ish]) ---This last burn (which I haven´t reached yet) is supposed to give me a Dawn encounter in 124 years and, if I don´t perform any other burn, a Traverse encounter 10 years later, which will took me to a 138MKm Traverse-periapsis half year later. A lot of time for snacks, books and 'schnaps'. Let´s wait and have fun! (As I don´t use any kind of survivabillity mods, I HOPE no one dies - nor get crazy and try to eat each other - during the journey) ............................... A few real-time hours later.... Well, I´ve spent more than SIX HOURS dedicated to time warping and adjusting maneuvers.... and still hadn´t reached the first Dawn Periapsis, after which I´d still need ten years-ish traveling towards Traverse. But, I´ve got it! Considering the exhaustive process, the Kerbonauts - whom had everything they needed stocked on the big ship, enough to survive for several years, decided to start a new home on the Traverse System - specially considering the extreme difficulty on traveling from Kerbal´s sun to Dawn´s systems. The first planet they visited - the gorgeous Shima! - has many moons, as at least one of them - Pooh - has the conditions for sustaining their lives. As I believe the Kerbals do not need any kind of... "interaction" to reproduce, due to their original main looks, and maybe they just replicate themselves, something like the amoebas :-D , they´re now, officially, a new-breed-to-be, which should be known as the "Shimals" (or "Shimalings"). As the Shima´s moons SOIs seem not to allow a stationary orbit, I´ll let a complete space station on the highest circumference as possible, and MAYBE a ground station. So, every time I need to carry science back or upgrade the kerbals.... sorry, the shimals´ experience (not only thru the LAB), I´ll bring´em to the Pooh´s orbit, then cheat-orbit to Kerbin, land, upgrade/research and, when they need to fly again, lift-off from Kerbin and cheat-rendezvous them back to Shima. If you guys don´t mind, I´ll try and keep this updated every week, so to encourage people on Earth (and Kerbal!) to discover those beyond systems. ..............................
  6. Project Daedalus was a proof-of-concept design study done in the early-late 1970s to see if interstellar travel was possible with current technology (Except for the Fusion part, that's still out there), which would've launched a Starship flyby to Barnard's Star 5.9 ly away at 12.2% of the speed of light, and would've taken 50 years. It's a two stage, fusion driven spacecraft that would've made the Saturn V look like a V-2, and is just massive, it would've been 190 meters long, and weighed 450 tonnes. This is a really cool design, and I read somewhere, it nearly got to the blueprint stage of development. Here's the website to the more current "Project Icarus", that is run by the same organization that designed Daedalus (British interplanetary Society): http://www.icarusinterstellar.org/) They also do this thing called "Starship congress" they're really long videos (On YT of course), but I recommend you watch them. So yeah, that's the Daedalus, what do you guys think about it?
  7. Recently, Breakthrough Starshot tested 6 Sprites in orbit around Earth. For those who don't know, these tiny 4-gram probes (sometimes called Star Chips) are planned to go to the Alpha Centauri and Proxima systems, being accelerated by light bouncing off huge graphite "sails". They would travel at 20% light speed, reach their targets in 20 years, and send their data back on a 4-year trip to Earth. While there was quite a lot of planning for these things, none have been officially tested until now. Based on the article, it seems like this test was to see how the tiny interstellar probes work in the vacuum of space and how well they connect/transmit data to each other. It was reported that all Spites were "performing as designed". http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/space/prototype-star-chips-called-sprites-are-being-tested-in-orbit-ahead-of-a-proposed-visit-to-alpha-centauri/news-story/211d7e4b2db9d124e619a6b1c38689ab Finally, after years of waiting, humanity is making its first big step on the road to interstellar travel.
  8. This topic explores the idea of having a laser sail network in the local interstellar neighborhood, which is a cool idea, I was expecting it to be something different, like hyperspace lanes or something. From the Youtuber: Quick note since I didn't say it in the episode, yes you probably would have a mega-array at each star system, probably solar powered, pushing many ships at once up to that first few percent of light, or powering ion drives, or maybe a long mass driver. The first few relays would probably be higher powered too. Discuss!
  9. Stay tuned for more Dark Days and TinyWorlds coming up soon!
  10. The justification of this thread follows a lines of conversation that basically starts a couple years ago in which there has been a consensus progression in this group with the realization that every means we have for space travel is basically unsuitable for interstellar travel, except theoretically, generational ships (falling under the assumption that with a source of fusion power and perfect recycling humans could manage to survive in some large volume for a long period of time). This being unsatisfactory for many folks here we have two basic miracle power systems, the blackhole drive and the antimatter drive. (Excluding warp drives because of the emperical absence of known materials needed to make such a drive) Theory. If you can completely convert your fuel to energy then you have the perfect energy supply. Its actually not so true, as we will see, but its very close. For probes this seems like a really great thing, but how fast can you actually go. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativistic_rocket This page tells you all you need to know. I will add a table (PL = payload, EM = Energy mass, RM = reaction mass) PL EM RM c - flyby c-start-stop Efficiency 1 1 0.6 0.42 Idealized (see 1) 1 1 0.42 0.25 Cosine losses 1 1 1 0.692 0.43 Idealzed (see 2) The critical formula is the ISP formulations for mass ejecting setups are. the n variable is the fraction of the fuel mass which is converted into energy. The Isp here is ISPv not ISPg. ISPg has no relevance for any equation dealing with relativistic rockets. You can derive fraction of c below by simply removing c from the right side of the equation, however you might have to correct this based on efficiency of the photon lensing. for photonic rockets (row 1 in table) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photon_rocket If the rocket has dead weight, that is power units or antimatter storage containers that are not apart of the reaction mass but are simply discarded at the end of the trip these have to be included as part of the payload, which ultimately lowers the ISP. From the final row of idealized 0.69c the velocities only go down, by the time the reaction mass is 100 the maximum flyby speed is 0.14c and start stop is 0.09c. Basic problem is for idealized values. 1. Photon drives, antimatter driven or black hole drive. - unfocusable hv - both of these devices release photons that are difficult to focus using reflectors. The logic here is a reflector has a non-penetrating surface that forces photons to bounce back into space. High energy photons can penetrate just about everything, and they tend to do quite unpredictable things once they penetrate. Because of this if you beam HEhv at a plate, the best you are going to get is around 0.707 Ve in the -y. In this case the second entry takes account of this hv scattering cause by HEhv. Its actually worse than that. - Damaging hv, radiation or radiation products. Part of the operation of an interstellar trip is to keep black hole or antimatter stable, the problem is that both can be quite damaging. In the case of antimatter you need containment, but once is undergoes annihilation, a necessary part of its behavior, it produces other particles and may annihilate with parts of the vessel creating radioactivity. This means that shielding and damage over time may occur, requiring redundant space craft systems. Black hole drives have a similar problem, at the end of their life the frequency of photon they release and the power increase extremely rapidly. As a consequence a black hole at endlife would have to be released and the ship would have to have a means of propulsion to take it far enough away from the black hole to survive its final moments. One way to avoid the endlife scenario is to carry life extending mass on the ship and feed the black hole, this would then increase the payload, most of the energy would be returned, but not all due to cosine losses. 2. Ablation drives, antimatter driven and shielding for black hole drive. The uranium sail used for the antimatter drive is coated with a fissile material, such as U238 which then degrades into Palladium 111. The antimatter is 1AU and the composite palladium is 222 meaning that 239 - 222 = 17AU go unaccounted for, given that the recoil velocities are 13,900,000 m/s; this is not explained by gained velocity energy. These other products are composed of radioactive materials. In this case the energies and damage induced go unaccounted for, Once again the tethered payload is directly in the path of ejection mass travel, and even though its a small footprint, over the life of the sail kgs of material, some of it incredibly radioactive (including neutrons), are being ejected at the antimatter containment field and payload. This has two effects, 1 by absorbing the ejecta the ISP of the ship is lowered, second shielding to protect the Antimatter containment system is needed. The protective shielding becomes part of the PL weight because it is neither an accelerant or an energy source. The other problem with ablation, the models assume a focused pitting ablation in which the ejecta create by antimatter digs a deep well and then is ejected strain backwards (and strait backwards then hits the containment unit and PL). Thus, if such pits could be achieved, they are unwarranted, but shallow pits result in cosine losses. Consequently one does not expect ablation to have perfect efficiency and we are probably looking at ISPv on the order of 0.707*Ideal. As one can see with even some losses considered in the Ablation drive with minimal sail mass, we are already below 0.4c, even for a flyby, and the stated design is well below 0.1c. Caveot emptor. 3. Starting and stopping. The forth column in the table shows the effect of requiring a stopping point. This is the goal ultimately of robotized or manned interstellar missions. A flyby may give basic information such as hmm, that might be a habitable planet, a stop start robotized mission could stop, investigate, even add seeds to the planet (such as cyanobacterium) to kick start the planet from the long phase of evolution. The problem of start-stop with these sublight drive systems is now that we have sensitive equipment/living systems on board we have to protect them from ionizing radiation and antimatter. There are also limitations, for example, you really don't want to accelerate humans at 2+ g forces for a few months, then 0 forces for 3 years, the 2+ g forces at the end of the trip. Ideally you want constant acceleration and then deceleration as to provide a source of artificial gravity. 4. As previously discussed and not needed to discuss here, the energy requirements of either creating antimatter or blackholes. I provide this thread as a gauge, if you see a website advertising that they can go 0.4-0.9c to alpha centuari in 8 to 20 years, beware, the devil is in the details. The page may say potential, but these potentials assumes ideality when only some of the theoretical restrictions are considered. Both Antimatter drives and BlackHole drives have a considerable mass devoted to operation and shielding and both have losses that cannot be absolutely defined until tested in real-world situations. The next question that comes up is why can't we just reduce the payload and go faster. The Answer is that reducing payloads, or even assigning payloads (as in the table above) when the theoretical restrictions have not been applied only kicks the can down the road, because once the rocket is built to function, payload starts rising as a consequence of antimatter containment (blackhole shielding and endlife feeding or endlife separation), lensing systems, structural mass for the prementioned. Ideally these could be fractional to the mass of the energy mass and ejection mass, but more than likely these will be a high percentage of the payload mass. IOW payload has to have features that lend themselves to manipulating and stabilizing high energy systems. Other high energy systems include Nuclear reactors, high output power plants, high temperature chemical conversion plants - current experience with all of these is that their structures are usually massive, the fuel is often a small proportion of the mass, the higher the energy output, the more massive they become, low output nuclear power (such as TNGs) can be less massive. Examples of poorly contained but higher output energy generation systems include post-detonation nuclear weapons. Somewhere between these two types of systems is where modern technology stands. We can thing of ablaters for example as low energy cosmic ray generators, this is something delicate systems should avoid in space if at all possible. We can think of Antimatter annihilation and endlife blackholes as mostrous X-ray/gamma ray machines and we can think of antimatter containment and endlife black hole drives as very massive nuclear weapons. So that before we can go, the system has to be safely contained, and before we can go efficiently the output has to be managed. Increasing Energy means increased containment and management, and eventually the reward is not worth the risk/cost.
  11. Project Longshot Was US Navel academy/NASA project that ran from 1987-88 and proposed launching a unmanned starship to Alpha Centauri b at ~5% light speed, the trip would've taken 100 years. The probe would've been built at the proposed space station freedom and used closed long lived fission reactor for power with a fusion engine similar to the one Daedalus would've used, the ship weighed 396 metric tons. So what do think of it? And what do you think would've happened to society and spaceflight if we built/launched it?
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