KSP Weekly: The Orbiters!
image

Welcome to KSP Weekly! On August 10, 1966, the Lunar Orbiter 1 was launched from Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 13 aboard an Atlas SLV-3 Agena-D to become the first American spacecraft to orbit the moon and the first probe to map the Moon.  As part of NASA’s Lunar Orbiter Program, it was designed primarily to photograph smooth areas of the lunar surface for selection and verification of safe landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo missions. It was also equipped to collect selenodetic, radiation intensity, and micrometeoroid impact data.

The spacecraft acquired photographic data from August 18 to 29, 1966, and readout occurred through September 14, 1966. A total of 42 high-resolution and 187 medium-resolution frames were taken and transmitted to Earth covering over 5 million square kilometers of the Moon’s surface, accomplishing about 75% of the intended mission, although a number of the early high-resolution photos showed severe smearing. It also took the first two pictures of the Earth ever from the distance of the Moon. Accurate data was acquired from all other experiments throughout the mission. Below you can see the first image of Earth taken from the Moon by the Lunar Orbiter 1 probe.

image

The spacecraft was tracked until it impacted the lunar surface on command at 7 degrees north latitude, 161 degrees east longitude (selenographic coordinates) on the Moon’s far side on October 29, 1966, on its 577th orbit. The early end of the nominal one-year mission was due to the small amount of remaining attitude control gas and other deteriorating conditions and was planned to avoid transmission interference with Lunar Orbiter 2.

The following four missions of the lunar orbiter program were also successful, and collectively they mapped 99 percent of the surface of the Moon from photographs taken with a resolution of 60 meters or better. The first three missions were dedicated to imaging 20 potential manned lunar landing sites, selected based on Earth-based observations. These were flown at low-inclination orbits.   

[Development news start here]

We continue to be hard at work on Kerbal Space Program 1.5. As we mentioned last week, one key aspect in this update is going to be the standardization, optimization, and make-over of various graphical assets within the game. As part of this task we looked back at one particular item that looked a bit outdated after the addition of the vintage space suits in the Making History Expansion; we are talking of course of the EVA Space Suits, which are now being given a well-deserved overhaul. We knew that such an iconic element of the game needed to stay true to its identity, so we are keeping its style, while also giving it a sleeker look. In the image below, you can see a comparison between the old and new EVA suits.

image

Click here for the high res image.

As you can see, not only the suit itself looks better, but the jet pack received a refurbishment. You may also notice that there are two variations on the new EVA look, and here is where you come in… in good old fashion KSP tradition, we will let you choose which variation will be the definite one, so enter this poll to vote for your favorite one. The poll will remain open for a full week and we’ll make the results public in the next KSP Weekly, so stay tuned, and most importantly, help us decide! Here are a couple of GIFs to give you a better look at the suits: Red & White EVA Suit and the Red, Blue & White EVA Suit.

Bug fixing was also in our agenda this week and as such, the team looked at a bug that caused the ambient sounds in the editor to disappear when a user switched between the VAB and the SPH during a new sandbox game. This was particularly noticeable if the music was switched off.

[KSP Vault]

The KSP community never ceases to surprise us! This week we encountered some really cool stuff. First off, we Matt Lowne finally built the actual Hotel for its Minmus Hotel and Casino. Watch him build this gigantic structure and launch it to Minmus in one shot. Click here and enjoy!

image

The Mission of the Week, the Wrecking Crew, entertained our inner problem child by letting us wreak havoc in the KSC as a self propelled wrecking ball with the sole purpose of destroying everything in our path. Check it out here!

image

We also want to highlight the Universal Storage Mod! This modular parts mod allows you to build some of the best looking custom service modules out there, while also being highly compatible with the most popular life support mods. There is a lot to like within this mod, so check it out and try it yourself!

image

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:

Mission Of The Week: The Wrecking Crew
image

Who hasn’t dream about becoming an enormous self-propelled wrecking ball and wreak havoc in your surroundings… This non-linear and filled with explosions mission lets you do exactly that! - By Cunjo Carl

Get it here: http://bit.ly/2nA4cJ8

image
StarMods: Universal Storage II !
image
image

Universal Storage is a modular parts mod, allowing you to build custom service modules.  It is highly integrated with the most popular life support mods!  #KSP 

By Paul Kingtiger

KSP Weekly: The Solar Visit
image

Welcome to KSP Weekly! Scheduled for liftoff tomorrow, Saturday, August 11, at 3:33 a.m. EDT, the Parker Solar Probe will make its journey all the way to the Sun’s atmosphere, or corona — closer to our Star than any spacecraft in history. And our friend DasValdez got a firsthand look at the launch site – more on that below in our new KSP Vault section of KSP Weekly!

The Parker Solar Probe will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy with a third stage added. Weighing about 635kg, the spacecraft will blast off toward the Sun with 55 times more energy than is required to reach Mars.

The probe will use Venus’ gravity during seven flybys over nearly seven years to gradually bring its orbit closer to the Sun. The spacecraft will fly through the Sun’s atmosphere as close as 6.12 million kilometers to our Star surface, well within the orbit of Mercury and more than seven times closer than any spacecraft has come before. (Earth’s average distance to the Sun is 149.6 million kilometers). Flying into the outermost part of the Sun’s corona, the Parker Solar Probe will employ a combination of in situ measurements to expand our knowledge of the corona, as well as the origin and evolution of the solar wind. It will also make critical contributions to our ability to forecast changes in Earth’s space environment that affect life and technology on Earth.

Parker Solar Probe will perform its scientific investigations in a hazardous region of intense heat and solar radiation. The spacecraft will fly close enough to the Sun to watch the solar wind speed up from subsonic to supersonic, and it will fly though the birthplace of the highest-energy solar particles. To perform these unprecedented investigations, the spacecraft and instruments will be protected from the Sun’s heat by a 11.43-cm-thick carbon-composite shield, which will need to withstand temperatures outside the spacecraft that reach nearly 1,377°C.

The primary science goals for the mission are to trace the flow of energy that heats and accelerates the solar corona and solar wind, determine the structure and dynamics of the plasma and magnetic fields at the sources of the solar wind, and explore the mechanisms that accelerate and transport energetic particles.

Interestingly enough, the spacecraft also holds a microchip carrying the names of more than 1.1 million participants who signed up to have their names travel to the Sun There are a few names on that microchip that you may recognize:

image

[Development news start here]

Work on Kerbal Space Program 1.5 continues. This week the team worked on making adjustments to improve the support for high-res screens like 4K. For instance, you are now able to change the UI scaling in game up to 200% (from 150%) across all the scale settings.

Additionally, we did some minor pending tasks that involve the agencies within the game. Multiple agencies lacked descriptions and mentalities, so we are including them in the 1.5 release. Some of the affected agencies were: C7 Aerospace Division, Goliath National Products, Kerbal Motion LLC, Maxo Construction Toys, and Periapsis Rocket Supplies Co. Naturally, all the corresponding localizations will be included with the release as well.

We also continue with the revamp and update to several existing parts for the 1.5 release. Besides improving the look of these parts, our intention is to standardize the game’s parts in terms of geometry, pixel density (resolution), and resource optimization. Currently the pixel density varies widely from part to part and by standardizing these assets we are not only improving the visuals but also optimizing the game’s performance. For example, this week we worked on the Probodobodyne HECS unmanned command module, which not only now looks better, but has been optimized to draw less resources from the game.

image

Bug fixes have also been a part of the development agenda this week. We fixed an issue in the Making History Expansion Mission Builder canvas that was placing docked nodes at the bottom of the list rather than in their original position when using the “Undo” function. Not a serious bug, but still quite annoying. In a similar manner, we crushed a bug that prevented any changes to the music options not being applied in-game  until the player entered a facility during gameplay.

[KSP Vault]

This week we stumbled upon some very cool stuff. For starters, KSP veteran and fan-favorite, DasValdez streamed a tour at NASA’s Space Launch Complex 37, where the very same Delta IV that’s going to take the Parker Solar Probe towards its destination was getting its final touches. Watch it here!

image

The Mission of the Week, The Jool Mix-Up, will put you in the shoes of Jeb, who once more has messed things up and will need to Navigate the Jool system without full control of your vessel: no keyboard aiming, no maneuver nodes, no fine-tuned thrust. Are you up to the challenge? Get it here!

image

Last but not least, watch ShadowZone build the Ultimate Mun Rocket in his KSP Career Playthrough series! Click here to watch!

image

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:

JoolTube: Ultimate Mun rocket!
image

We need to go back to the Mun, that’s why ShadowZone built probably the ultimate mun rocket in #KSP!

Mission Of The Week: Jool Mix-Up
image

“Jeb landed the Bop lander on Pol, the Vall lander on Bop, the Tylo lander on Vall, and the Laythe lander on Tylo! And he didn’t realize it until he was getting ready to land the Pol lander on Laythe!”

It is up to you to fix this. Navigate the Jool system without full control of your vessels: no keyboard aiming, no maneuver nodes, no fine-tuned thrust. - By 5thHorseman

http://bit.ly/2Mb2jAA

StarMods: Kerbal Wind Tunnel!
image
image

This mod runs your spaceplane through a virtual wind tunnel while still in the SPH and predicts its engine and flight performance at every speed and altitude! #KSP
By Booots

KSP Weekly: Ultima Thule
image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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:

StarMods: Docking two asteroids together!
image

Everyday Astronaut is attempting the #KSP Reddit challenge to dock two asteroids together! This should be fun! 

Mission Of The Week: SpaceX Falcon 9 Mission
image

Recreate SpaceX’s feat of landing the Falcon 9 main booster in this cool mission! Your task is to launch a Falcon 9 into orbit and land it next to the KSC, simple enough, right? - By Rookie

http://bit.ly/2KiNpDr

image