F1 Pr0n: Marussia MR3
Thursday was the third of four pre-season testing days at Jerez this session, and finally the good folks from Marussia were able to get their car out on track. It was an epic struggle for that to occur, with the car not working just before they made it there, the transporter apparently breaking down on the way, so on and so forth. But they got the new MR3 out of the garage, making it a full 10-for-10 on teams at the event (only Lotus didn't attend... and their car reportedly needs about 20 weeks before it'll be able to work, according to one wag). So what's it look like?
Baby! That's the epitome of F1 Pr0n, right there! Best looking car of the season, bar none, and it's not even close. I particularly like the air intake behind the driver's head, quite a bit different from everybody else. The nose looks, as has become the norm, completely different from all the others.
The nosecone seems higher that I expected, but maybe that's just an optical illusion. The proboscis has a square pyramid tip to it, another new feature. One drawback of the black livery is that things like sidepod openings just sort of disappear, a black hole on a black background. Still, it looks lovely.
See what I mean? It also looks BIG, though I'm sure it's no longer or taller than the others. Driver Max Chilton just sort of... disappears... in the cockpit, doesn't he? Will the good looks matter? Hell no, not unless a hot livery means you take a second off your time. Otherwise, they'll just look really photogenic as they're lapped for the third time.
Tonight or Saturday, I intend to do a F1 News Recap post, because there's news indeed coming out of Jerez. See you sooner or later!
That is an awfully good-looking car, agreed. They even managed to make the proboscis look... well, not as horrible as most others.
Posted by: GreyDuck at January 31, 2014 12:45 PM (3m7pZ)
Actually, the biggest thing I've noticed is how reduced the side pods are. Instead it has wings on the side and a narrower body. There must be some width requirement they're just filling out, but it looks like they're trying something very different to get the ground effect.
Posted by: Mauser at January 31, 2014 03:33 PM (TJ7ih)
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 02, 2014 10:53 AM (OcKnz)
At least this time, I see a box come up.... Let's see if this actually links. Nope.
Trying again.... Nope, the box got stuck. It gets stuck every time I try to use the box. As soon as I hit "insert," I get the other box that says "apply" and "ok", and then it doesn't do anything, no matter what you hit.
I'll try again. I don't think it did anything this time either.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at February 02, 2014 04:47 PM (cvXSV)
What? It doesn't link until after you get out of the edit box? So basically, you can't test the links with your mouse to see if they're there, without getting beyond the edit box? Wow, that's weird.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at February 02, 2014 04:49 PM (cvXSV)
Posted by: JT at January 30, 2014 08:44 AM (iStSI)
It's a great movie, even without all the fast car fun. Have you seen the preview for "1"? I just ordered the Blu-ray today!
Posted by: SF John at January 30, 2014 09:00 PM (XeZLN)
SF John (it's about damn time you wandered by here!), I've actually seen the entirety of 1. It's interesting stuff, particularly the bit with Professor Sid Watkins, recorded just days before he died.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 30, 2014 10:05 PM (OcKnz)
Of course you have. And I assume C'etait un Rendezvous as well. Was there some of that Watkins interview in Senna? I remember your post about him. Keep up the good work, and know that your readership is out there, lurking quietly and always waiting for the next missive.
Posted by: SF John at January 31, 2014 01:08 AM (XeZLN)
SFJ, I believe that the Watkins interview in 1 is different than the one in Senna, but it's certainly from the same time period and could easily be wrong.
And our mutual friend, Vaucaunson's Duck, introduced me to Rendezvous a good while ago... he probably got it from you, if I don't miss my guess!
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 31, 2014 07:16 AM (OcKnz)
Wduck - It was SFJohn's copy of Rendezvous we saw. I didn't return it for months, and watched it many times.
Posted by: Vaucanson's Duck at February 03, 2014 09:54 PM (G6R3M)
F1 MegaPr0n: Caterham CT05, Williams FW36, Red Bull RB10, Force India VJM07, Mercedes W05
It's the first day of pre-season testing for the F1 Circus, and while it was a bust as far as on-track action went (nine cars, something around 80 laps total run), it was a huge success as far as getting cars in front of cameras! Ladies and Gentlemen, THIS is your F1 MegaPr0n for 2014!
F1 Pr0n: Toro Rosso STR9
As the temperatures here at Pond Central begin their precipitous plunge towards a predicted -21Â°F tonight (that's -30Â°C, folks!), our thoughts turn to the south of Spain. There, nestled amongst the sherry vinyards of Andalusia, is the Circuito de Jerez, a Formula 1-level racetrack used by The Circus for pre-season testing. It is there, under a clear sky and 60Â°F temperatures, that the fourth of the 2014 rollouts has occurred. Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce the Toro Rosso STR9!
The problem with circuit rollouts is that you don't get glamour shots, but "real" pictures. No straight side shots, no directly-head-on nose shots, that sort of thing. But it's not like we can't see what's what with what we've got, heavens no! Long sloping nose like the McLaren, I actually think it looks really good... until you to the front wing. Hide the children, Mable, this is gonna be bad!
Oh dear god. I hope this is all just a bad dream, that F1 is just trolling all of us. "It's all a joke, you all fell for it, here's what the cars will really look like!" Unfortunately, I know it isn't... the cars are going to actually look like this all season.
One interesting feature of the STR9 Durante is that it's the first of the cars to not have a center pillar supporting the rear wing. Instead, the endplates run all the way down to the floor and diffuser. The sidepods don't have the complex sculpted undercutting to them that the McLaren and Ferrari have, making it all look very "big shoulder"-y. Or at least as much as a F1 car can look brawny.
So tomorrow is going to be very busy indeed, as the first pre-season test in Jerez begins... expect there to be a LOT of new cars tomorrow! See ya then.
F1 Pr0n: Sauber C33
Hinwil. Hardly a city name that inspires visions of glamour and intrigue. Yet it is Hinwil in Switzerland, population 10602, that F1 Pr0n travels to today. For this little town in the Swiss Confederation is the location of Sauber F1 Team, who today rolled out their car for the 2014 season, the Sauber C33!
Unfortunately, they did it by releasing just a pair of pictures of a grey car in a grey warehouse with a grey floor. Still, we can (barely) tell what they're doing with the nose!
It's looks like it tapers in around the "Diamond I" on the front of the car, as opposed to McLaren's proboscis and Ferrari's Gypsylips. Until we see a front shot, however, we can't be sure just what it looks like for sure. What I CAN say is that it's completely different than the other two we've actually seen to date. Other than that, however? Just not enough detail in the angles we've got to say anything intelligent about the car... which is, truly, par for the course.
Allegedly, the Toro Rosso rollout is Monday... see ya then!
F1 Pr0n: Ferrari F14T
Despite their recent drought as far as championships go, the big team in Formula 1 is still the band from Maranello. Today, Ferrari debuted their car for the 2014 season, the F14T. Interestingly, the name was picked by the rabid tifosi in an online poll. I wonder if anybody noticed that it spells "FIAT" in l33t? Anyway, I understand the "T" stands for "turbo", but I'm just old enough to remember when teams were able to bring a spare car to the track, aka "the T car." Whenever I'll look at the F14T name, I'm going to inevitably think of it as the "Ferrari F14 spare."
But enough of the ruminations of an old, bitter man. What does the thing look like anyway?
Completely different style of nose from the McLaren, but equally legal. I suspect we'll be seeing this type of thing at each and every rollout: how will each team interpret the new rules, and which interpretation will be the best? It's not as ugly as the McLaren, but something tells me that the Glare on Wheels might actually have the better solution. Interestingly, the Ferrari has much smaller sidepod radiator inlets than the McLaren. Clearly they don't think they'll have cooling difficulties.
Oh geez. What looks acceptable from the front suddenly looks really, really ugly from the 3/4 position. The MP4-29 has a nice clean arc from cockpit to tip. This is like the 2012 stepped nose that everybody hated, mixed with a substantially lower termination point... yick.
I actually like this; as long as I don't have to look at the nose, the car looks good. I even like the paintjob... the less Ferrari Red on the track, the better. In comparison to last year's car, the back half of the F14T is bigger, so as to fit all the new engine components and such into it. Sidepods don't seem to be as steeply undercut as they have been in past years, either. We'll see!
Ferrari decided to give us a nice glamour shot as well... click for more, and no staples!
From the top it's pretty, but that 3/4 view.... yikes!
Posted by: David at January 26, 2014 02:42 AM (da+4f)
I'm starting to learn that F1 has just as tight of manufacturing specs as NASCAR seems to, which is starting to strike me as weird. I always thought there was a larger difference between cars on the track, spec wise...
Posted by: Tom Tjarks at January 26, 2014 10:59 AM (76G0j)
Tom, NASCAR is much tighter on specs than F1. There, the cars must literally fit a specific template exactly (which one depends on the brand of car) with no variation.
In Formula 1, the car must fit into a series of bounding boxes: the car must be such and such long, such and such wide, the front wing must be so-and-so long, and so forth. That's why the cars all look roughly the same. That's what "Formula" means.
However, inside of those boxes, you can do anything the rules allow, which is why we've now seen pictures of three cars (as opposed to renders), and three completely different noses, for example.
Yes, it used to be much less restrictive (see: Tyrell P34), and it's a shame that those days are gone... but F1 is still much less restrictive than NASCAR.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 26, 2014 08:53 PM (UVcMa)
That's something that has actually drawn me closer to F1 the last few years. I've always been more a fan of the engineering than the driving (not to disrespect the driving, of course). Now that NASCAR is a custom frame and manufacturer-sourced identical engines, it seems like F1 allows more room for tinkering by the builders.
Posted by: Ben at January 28, 2014 09:58 AM (Oftf2)
F1 Pr0n: McLaren MP4-29
Every year around this time, something special occurs. The hibernating F1 Circus begins to stir, shaking off the accumulated dust and tireclag of the offseason. It used to be that the big Red team would be the first to stumble out of the cave, blinking and sneezing, but no longer is this the case. This year, it's the Glare on Wheels that's made it's way into the light first... not only that, but it stopped to pose for some pictures. So, let's kick off the new season with some true F1 Pr0n, the debut of the McLaren MP4-29!
New regulations this year require a very very low nose, with the front wing attached to it by twin pillars, and you can see that quite clearly in this shot. What you don't see is the thinner rear-wing elements required, or the larger sidepod intakes needed to help cool all the new engine stuff required for the turbocharger and larger KERS battery pack. No, that's all visible from the front... so let's see that sexy, sexy front view, shall we?
Off in the distance, I hear the sound of retching and wails from those weak of heart: "Dear god, what in the name of all that's holy is that?" I'll admit, even though I knew it was coming, the new eatanter nose is... um... er... what's the term I'm looking for here?
Ah yes: Fugly. No other word even comes close to describing the travesty foisted upon us by the FIA rulebook this year. I mean, dear heavens, just look at that thing... who could really like that?
Ladies and Gentlemen, McLaren's biggest fan.
However, all is not lost... the little team from Woking has one tradition that they haven't thrown away quite yet: the glamour shot! Click "more" to see what I'm talking about... but not until you put the kids to bed.
The Evangelion Movies: 2.22 You Can (not) Advance, pt 1
Some months ago, I decided that I was going to do writeups for each of the new Evangelion movies, collectively called "The Rebuild of Evangelion". This had the horrible timing of being at a time when my life suddenly got ridiculously busy, to the point where it took over seven months to complete the first movie's writeups. At the end of the last writeup, I even expressed some doubt over whether or not I'd even attempt the second movie.
I have only abandoned one writeup series. This will not become the second. It's too ripe for my kind of writeup, I just can't let it pass unhindered. So I promise to do this movie, and faster than seven months. Deal? Deal. So let's get right to it! The first movie was pretty much a shot-for-shot retelling of the first six or so episodes from the original TV show, though with a graphics upgrade and slightly less whiny Shinji... will the second film follow the same pattern?
That would be a big "nope." Right off the bat, we're dropped into a scene that didn't exist in the show, with a new, unnamed pilot. Stranger, much of it is in English, though stiff and stilted. Eh, must be British. Weird to see Japanese subtitles in an anime... anyway, this is the "troublemaker" pilot of Eva-05, which appears to be some sort of test unit. There's an Angel attack under way, and this is, apparently, the first run of the unit. Clearly, this will go nothing but well.
Oh, him we've seen before, though. His name is Kaji, and he's some sort of double-triple agent spy for one faction or other... SEELE, NERV, S.H.I.E.L.D., ASPCA, whatever. He showed up in the TV series to give Misato someone to sleep with, and who was then promptly shot. Here, though, he appears to be present in some sort of advisory position to the... Russian?... Eva base. As it turns out, the attacking Angel isn't a real Angel, it's the animated bones of the dead Third Angel, the one that caused the Second Impact fifteen years ago, and we're in Antarctica, where the Second Impact occurred. None of this is explained, nor even inferred by the movie... I had to look it up. Good storytelling, Evangelion!. Kaji bugs out, and we return to...
It appears the Third Angel was a duck. Well, yeah. We still haven't had a clear look at the new Eva unit, though it appears to have wheels instead of legs. A short fight ensues, the Duck Angel nearly defeats Eva-05, but at the last moment the Angel is defeated as the Eva self-destructs.
So that's it for the new Eva, the new pilot, and it all goes boom in a pink cloud. Seems like something of a waste, don'tcha think? All that excitement over a new character, and she's gone *boop* just like that!
Or, y'know, not. Here she is, glasses and everything. It's not like Gainax isn't trying to hit all the fetishes the TV show missed or anything. Still don't know her name, though... or even that we'll see her again. She IS floating in an ejected entry plug in a sea of Angel blood near what was Antarctica, after all. Oh, and the nearest base was just wiped out, too. Yup, gonna be a long time until she sees rescue.
Time to pause and refresh before we get into the real film! Go ahead, I'll still be here. I don't mind.
Here We Go Again... Again.
Tuesday is the first day of Spring classes at Duck U, which means the Duck U Bookstore is going to be crazy-go-nuts for the next few days. Pity us, we few, for we will suffer the deluge.
A Bridge Too... High?
Some many, many years ago, I spent a few days in Stillwater, MN. Ph.Duck's older brother and his family lived there, and I was a guest in their home while Ph.Duck and Momzerduck did... something I don't remember now, perhaps attend a wedding. Something like that. Anyway, being a college kid, I didn't want to just hang out at their (really nice!) house, I wanted to find something fun to do. Hard to do without a car in Stillwater, but not impossible.
After descending the Thousand Stairs Of Doom, I found myself in the Historic Downtown District. To my left was quaint shops, some attractive looking bar & grills, that sort of thing. To my right was the riverside area. I headed to one of the bars... it was a sunny early afternoon and warm, so the dark and air conditioning was welcome. The place, and I will never forget this as long as I live, was called "Cat Ballou's" and had what looked like a life-sized wood-carved statue of Jane Fonda from the movie of the same name near the door. I was pretty much the only person in the place that early in the day... I remember the cheeseburger and fries being tasty, and the beer quite pleasant indeed.
After a couple of hours working on my version of The Great American Novel, I headed back out to the riverside area. Yup, it's a river. Oh look, boats. Pretty girl in a sundress. More boats. Still a river. What the hell is that?
At the time, I had no idea there was such a thing as a lift bridge. Drawbridge, sure. Truss bridge, uh-huh. Suspension, cable-stay, arch and cantilever bridges, you bet. But a lift bridge?!?! What sort of magic is this? I was fascinated! As it turns out, it was stuck in the up position at the time, due to all the equipment being original to when it was built and it sometimes does that, but I didn't care at all. How lovely it was to see such a thing.
I'm sure the traffic that had to detour some ridiculous distance to get across the St Croix river disagreed with my assessment, but that's beside the point. It was the neatest thing I saw during that visit to Minnesota. It's still there, though you have to make an appointment with the State to open it for your boat, but it's still there.
Then came the climb back up the Thousand Stairs of Doom. The climb up was a lot worse than going down, and I changed my plans for the next day so to avoid them. I haven't seen the bridge since.
I still think it's magic, and I can't honestly see a reason to build one over a drawbridge, but it's still awfully cool.
I think you can build a lift bridge closer to the water than a drawbridge, since you don't need to swing the counterweights. There are actually a lot of lift bridges out here. And they seem to be more common for railroad bridges.
We even have a pivoting bridge on the railroad on Ebey Slough.
Posted by: Mauser at January 12, 2014 11:04 PM (TJ7ih)
I used to live in Vancouver WA. IIRC, the bridge on I-5 over the Columbia is also a lift bridge, although for the longest time they've been talking about replacing it. I haven't been down there in over a decade.
Posted by: Mauser at January 13, 2014 05:49 AM (TJ7ih)
I'm an idiot. That's not a cantilever bridge, it's a truss bridge.
Cool bridge! The counterweights on a drawbridge have to be much, much heavier than the bridge itself, since they are a short lever arm acting on the much longer bridge deck. In contrast, the counterweights on a lift bridge only have to be equal in weight to the span itself. Therefore, all else being equal, a lift bridge is cheaper to build than an equivalent drawbridge. Or equivalently, for the same cost, a lift bridge can be built of heavier, stronger materials. Of course, the downside is that there is obviously a height limitation on ships passing under the lift bridge.
Mauser: Sure, a drawbridge as we typically picture one does need someplace for the counterweights to move. But there are clever ways of getting around that. The Pegasus Bridge in France is a drawbridge where the counterweight is located above the height of the deck, and the whole structure actually rolls back to raise the bridge. Plus, is has a cool D-Day background story, being one of the first sites targeted for capture by Allied airborne forces.
Posted by: flatdarkmars at January 13, 2014 06:02 PM (0h1CL)
I appear to have lost the ability to make something that can go to space. I can't understand why. Even the successful Mun Launcher I fails to reach orbit. I'm surely just doing something wrong, but I'll be darned if I can figure out what it is.
It's frustrating, but also exciting... once I figure out my problem, it'll be all "clear skies and hot jets!"
Or maybe I should say "if". If I figure out my problem.
Is your problem a "ship falls apart", "I can't keep the pointy end pointed at space", or "ship runs out of fuel" problem? I've found a few times that a ship design that was stable once isn't always stable the next time I l load it onto the pad.
Running in career mode has been very good for my piloting skills, as I do lots of flights with progressively more powerful and complex ships. It hasn't been so good for my ship designing skills, as the answer at low level is not usually the efficient or elegant answer.
I've been watching videos by HOCGaming and Scott Manning, both of which have done good things for my ship building and piloting skills.
Posted by: David at January 13, 2014 12:29 AM (da+4f)
I've only played in campaign mode, and I don't have the parts for a Mun lander yet... but I've got a pretty nice design that can brute-force Jebediah pretty much anywhere in the system, and occasionally get him home okay!
I found that the fuel crossfeed tool is incredibly useful - I can rig the tanks to empty out in pairs and jettison them when they run empty. Lets me put a decent second stage into orbit, enough fuel to run a Minmus intercept and get home with more than 500 units of fuel left in the can. Probably I could settle for less fuel and more payload, at the moment it's just a science pod with a pilot and a couple solar panels... just the thing for phoning those reports home until you suck all the science points out of a mission, though.
Posted by: Avatar at January 14, 2014 07:39 PM (zJsIy)
Avatar, if you're getting to orbit with your second stage, you're doing things right. Of course, that's with a pretty loose definition if you're dropping tanks on the way. A ring of external tanks that feed in a spiral to the center and drop as they empty out is called "asparagus staging" and it's pretty much the win button in KSP.
It's pretty amazing what you can do with the basics in career mode, I've seen videos of campaign mode where first flight is sub-orbital, second is orbit, third is a round trip to the Mun, and the fourth was a round trip to Duna. I wasn't anywhere near that quick, but I was trying to be methodical and extract all the easy science at each point along the way. I try and run three or even four copies of each instrument available so I can suck all the points out of each point I hit on a given mission, and not have to go back to that spot.
Posted by: David at January 14, 2014 08:18 PM (da+4f)
I just run one of each and transmit the results, then juice back up and do it again. Doesn't take a lot of power, a modest ring of single solar panels keeps me juiced up. Haven't tried deploying a big array yet, but I don't really have any need for that much power. Maybe once I'm out in the great dark?
Haven't been playing recently, it's been Fallout NV, SC2, and moving to Hawaii. (My car got here, yay~)
Posted by: Avatar at January 14, 2014 09:26 PM (zJsIy)
Yeah, they removed some elements from the previous game, Job in Dallas. The weather system is completely revamped and much less annoying, but at the same time, they've taken most of the guns out as well. And the amount of grinding is pretty similar.
The fiancee minigames are worth it on their own, of course.
Posted by: Avatar at January 15, 2014 01:42 PM (IopVv)
To The Mun IIIa: The Search For Something That Flies
After the failure of Mun Rescuer I, it was time to go back to the design phase to come up with something less likely to turn itself into a brightly glowing ball of incandescent gas. An hour or so of tinkering brought forth the cleverly named Mun Rescuer II: This Time It's Personal.
This time with more lights! No, they do nothing for purposes of getting to the Mun, but it does make it look purty-ish! The media beast must be fed, don'tchaknow? It heads into space on the immense power of four Mainsail liquid fueled engines.
See? It leaps off the pad with the greatest of ease, and practically wants to scream into space at a speed guaranteed to rend it into component atoms before the gravity turn. It wasn't until Mun Rescuer II: This Time It's Personal dropped the Orange Cans of Fuel that I realized that there was a problem. Namely, this beast was horrendously underpowered to go to the Mun. The stage that I had intended to use for Translunar Injection was swallowed just getting into a stable orbit.
Worse still, the lander-and-go-home stage clearly didn't have enough gas get to the Mun on it's own. Chalking it down as a good test flight, I deorbited, hoping the PPD-12 Cupola could handle the re-entry stress. Really, the whole endeavor would come down to that... it's pointless if we pick up Bill Kerbin from the Mun, only to fricassee him a few kilometers from home.
Much to my surprise, it didn't turn into something resembling a melted marshmallow... the Cupola really isn't meant for that sort of thing. Even better, the capsule didn't pull apart from the lifeboat when the parachutes opened up. Huzzah! Feh.
So! A spectacularly frustrating first flight. Everything worked perfectly... except for the whole reason this thing exists: getting to the Mun and back. That part? Not so much. But at least Bill Kerman is having fun on the Mun.
I've been trying to get to Duna and back for the last several days. I actually had Jeb stranded on Duna at one point, he landed in one piece but the lander fell over. I should have left well enough alone and mounted a rescue attempt, but I wanted to experiment a bit so I tried rolling the lander a bit with the torque module and then launching when it was pointed vaguely upwards. I kind of expected it to go blooey on me so I did a quicksave first. Sure enough the launch didn't work, only I hadn't actually done a quicksave, and when it reloaded I was about 2 years earlier in my career at my first Minmus landing. Oopsie!
I've since been trying to repeat the Duna mission, but I have less in the way of parts available and can't make that same rocket. I'm actually in orbit over Duna waiting for my window back to Kerbin right now, waiting to see if I've got the juice to get home or not.
Posted by: David at January 09, 2014 03:53 AM (da+4f)
That's very cool, I didn't know you could do lights.
Posted by: Mauser at January 09, 2014 05:06 AM (TJ7ih)
The lights are very nice. I forgot to put lights on my first lander, and while it was OK for my first landing, for my second landing I really wanted to land in a specific spot where it was dark, and that didn't work out so well. Hitting a mountain side at ~40m/sec hurts. I also had one time where I spent about 10 minutes trying to get my Kerbal back into the capsule in the dark before realizing I was trying to climb up the wrong side of the lander.
Posted by: David at January 09, 2014 06:23 PM (dr1tX)
I've been looking at your Mun Rescuer II design up there, and I'd be astonished if it got much past orbit. I only just got access to the orange tanks and mainsails in my career game, but I recall that while they do surprisingly well, they don't do *that* well.
The launcher stages I've been building have been several times larger than that, but I've been trying to move very heavy landers with all the science instruments and the power to bring them back. I don't know how much that lander can weighs in comparison, but I bet that rescue lander is quite a bit heaver than the original one, and for every pound you add at the top, you're going to many many times more in the launch stage.
Posted by: David at January 09, 2014 06:29 PM (dr1tX)
David, while I understand that you're farther along in the game than I am, part of this series is me learning by my mistakes. I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing as I'm doing it, and making it enjoyable for the readers in the process.
Let me do that, 'k? If I need help, believe me, I'll ask.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 09, 2014 08:41 PM (Izt1u)
OK, I was just trying to be helpful and keep some comments active, but I can pick other kinds of things to say. I am trying to enhance the fun, not ruin it.
I've hit an interesting wall in my own career, I've finally pulled off the Duna mission I've been working on for a week, and now I have no idea what to do next. I think I want to build a space station or munbase, but I haven't researched most of the necessary parts. I'll probably end up duplicating my Mun, Minmus, and Duna missions, but this time with a three Kerbal crew. I hate to think how big the rockets will get if I'm trying to do that without multiple launches and orbital rendezvous.
Posted by: David at January 09, 2014 09:58 PM (da+4f)
Too Cold To Complain About How Cold It Is
Here, inside, at Pond Central, it's a comfortable 70 degrees. Outside the confines of Pond Central, however, it is -18Â°F, with a windchill of -45Â°F! There is a 115 degree difference between inside and outside right the heck now... and it's just short of noon.
It's not the coldest I've experienced, as I lived in Minnesota for two years, but this is easily the coldest I've seen here in Duckford. A couple of hours ago, I stepped outside just for a few seconds. That was a terrible mistake. Fortunately, Duck U is closed for the day, and even better, they announced it early Sunday afternoon!
Holy crepe, it's cold.
UPDATE: It's cold enough that Duck U has shut down for another day already! We're closed on Tuesday... just what this lil' duck needed!
The Magic Of Memory
So there I was, working on the design of Mun Rescuer II, listening to the playoff game between the Chargers and the Bengals on the radio. They're in a time-out, and Ian Eagle and Trent Green, one of the better NFL pairings on "network" radio, are talking about what had just occurred on the field. In the background, the Bengals stadium entertainment system is playing some music that... I've heard before. It's a simple guitar four-chord progression with a bit of fuzz overtop. It stops before anything more than that plays, practically nothing to identify it with, but I know this song.
Except I don't. You could hold a gun to my head and say you're going to pull the trigger and scatter my brains over a 1" x 1" area if I don't tell you the title right now, and you'd best have a kleenex handy to wipe up the mess. I've heard it before. I know I like the tune. I just can't place it, nor where I know it from. I begin to fret over the name... or even just how the song goes... or even where I've heard it fore. ANYTHING I can use to place it. TEN FRIGGIN' MINUTES later, I shut down Kerbal Space Program, throw on some warm clothes, and head out to the gas station for a bottle of grape juice and a 12-pack of Sprite before the arctic vortex hits and the temperature get flushed down the sewer. Of course, the entire way there, I'm trying to figure out the tune. It
isn't until I'm back in the car after obtaining my liquid bounty that
something dredges out of my memory: "the rock." Then the certain
knowledge that it was used in an AMV from years ago. Suddenly, the mile-long drive home from the gas station feels like a hundred miles... I need to search for this!
I hop onto yootoob, punch in "the rock AMV", and start scrolling through the list... and there it was. Sure as heck, that's it... it's a lousy copy, so I search for a better one, but that's the song! I'm practically dancing in my chair in celebration as I load it up. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the song that I heard about five seconds of: Apollo Four Forty's "Stop The Rock"!
I would love to have the chance, one day, to ask Allison Keith (Naoko) and Laura Chapman (Reiko) how they went about saying their lines in the dub for Golden Boy. I nearly coughed up a lung from laughing while watching their particular episodes (And Episode 6.).
Posted by: cxt217 at January 07, 2014 09:27 PM (sEA0S)
Nifty! The thing I noticed is that the style of the character designs feels familiar, but I can't attach a name to it.
Posted by: Mauser at January 08, 2014 02:41 AM (TJ7ih)
To The Mun III: Rescue Bill Kerman!
After the truly Kerbal Space Program-level success of my Mun landing, it was time to go rescue the first Kerbal on the Mun. Which meant, of course, designing a new Mun-ship!
Presenting the cleverly-named "Mun Rescuer I". It didn't take very long to come up with the design, since it's simply Mun Launcher I with a PPD-1 Hitchhiker Storage Container ("The HSC was an invention of necessity - how do we store 4 Kerbals
on-orbit without any real provisions for return? Who needed this
remains a mystery, as do his motives.") stuck under the Mk1 capsule, more fuel cans and six landing struts. No way this baby's gonna break off the nuclear rocket, nuh-uh!
In retrospect, I probably should have spent a little more time on the design phase.
Bill will just have to hold his breath until he turns green, and his eyes bug out.
Well, hopefully he can do science reports.
Posted by: Mauser at January 04, 2014 03:55 AM (TJ7ih)
I need to strand a Kerbal or three out somewhere just so I can have the fun of trying to rescue them, but so far my flights have either been successful, or fail so spectacularly that there are no stranded Kerbals to worry about.
Posted by: David at January 04, 2014 01:22 PM (da+4f)
Some of my heavy-lift vehicles have to be flown to orbit at less than full throttle, otherwise they'll self-disassemble somewhere around max Q. The Mainsail engines are mighty beasts and demand respect.
Posted by: flatdarkmars at January 04, 2014 04:35 PM (0h1CL)
And I do mean heavy-lift vehicles, like this one used to boost the components of my permanent Munbase.
(Hooray I can post comments with links again!)
Posted by: flatdarkmars at January 04, 2014 04:55 PM (0h1CL)
That's am impressive lifter and Munbase, flatdarkmars. I haven't built anything like that yet, I need to get into that stuff soon.
Posted by: David at January 04, 2014 06:37 PM (da+4f)
I can honestly say I've never had so much fun reading posts from people playing a game that I'm unlikely ever to actually own on account of it requiring mental faculties I completely lack. The Royal Squirrel Patrol Space Force entries and these adventures of Wonderduck's are an absolute hoot.
Posted by: GreyDuck at January 05, 2014 12:15 AM (CUkqs)
Does the program name the kerbalnauts, or does the user?
So that means that when someone seems to be using a kerbelnaut with a different name, those in the know can snicker because it means that they've been killing their kerbelnauts (which isn't easy because they're so hardy), right?
It doesn't necessarily mean their Kerbals are dying... the Munbase linked above holds 25 Kerbals, which necessitated a bit of a recruiting spree. But it certainly could be that old Jeb, Bob, and Bill have been shuffled off if they aren't in use. Kerbals may be hardy where air, food, and water are concerned, but they don't stand up very well to abrupt lithobraking maneuvers.
Posted by: flatdarkmars at January 05, 2014 05:48 PM (0h1CL)
By default the game will put Jeb in your capsule if it only fits one Kerbal, and Jeb, Bill, and Bob if it fits three. But there is an astronaut academy where you can recruit plenty more of them, and there isn't any kind of limit on how many active Kerbals you have. In my case I use Jeb, Bill and Bob for the dramatic stuff that I expect to succeed, and use lesser Kerbals for stuff that is likely to blow up or is just a repeat of a mission I've already done.
Posted by: David at January 05, 2014 06:48 PM (da+4f)
The game does keep track of your various Kerbalnauts... for example, it won't let me use Bill, since he's currently waiting for rescue on the Mun.
I want to get him back, since he's one of The First Three who get the orange jumpsuits. All the rest just get gray ones.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 05, 2014 08:25 PM (Izt1u)
GreyDuck, I'm glad you're enjoying the posts. But don't let a fear of needing high brain power keep you from playing KSP. It's not like we sit down with calculators and spreadsheets and figure out the technical details of a rocket. The Kerbal way is to slap together a bunch of rocket parts, put it on the pad, and see what happens. After you've used a given engine part a few times, you get an impression of how powerful it is, how long it burns, etc. Then you can think while building your next rocket "can that engine lift this stage? Probably not-add more of them!" Then you look at the wild array of tanks and engines and decide whether it will hold together, whether you can keep it pointed straight, etc, etc. Most of those things you will consider you will learn from the experience of the previous rocket where you couldn't. But watching a rocket violently dissassemble itself and send booster flying all over the sky is part of the fun.
Posted by: David at January 05, 2014 11:59 PM (da+4f)
I watched one youtube video where a guy designed and built a rocket to get him to Duna (aka Mars) and back. He did it on the fly, without any references, and with a highly limited subset of parts, in about half an hour. His first attempt to get to Duna with it failed, but it was because of his piloting, not the rocket.
I just spent a few hours designing, building, and testing the rocket that I hope will get Jeb to Duna and back. That's after I spent a few hours last night doing the same thing before realizing that my basic concept simply wasn't going to do it and starting over. The rocket I just came up with weighs nearly a kiloton, and meets my first criteria, which is to get my lander and return vehicle to orbit without using any fuel from the transfer stage. I'm pretty sure the transfer stage is massive overkill for a trip to Duna, but I won't know if the lander and return vehicle can do their job until I try tomorrow. If not, then I get to build a rescue mission, which will be fun.
Posted by: David at January 06, 2014 12:04 AM (da+4f)
16...I'm unlikely ever to actually own on account of it requiring mental faculties I completely lack.
You think I know anything about what I'm doing? I don't even know three-quarters of the basic instructions of the game, and I'm still having a blast.
Quite literally in some cases.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 06, 2014 12:54 AM (Izt1u)
To The Mun! II: Electric Munaloo!
After hours upon hours of poorly thought out mission parameters, unsuccessful orbital routines and rapid unplanned disassemblies...
...I have finally figured out how to to routinely make it into orbit. As Robert Heinlein pointed out, "once you're in orbit, you're halfway to anywhere." So, like any good Kerbalnaut, I set my sights on My First Mun Landing®. How hard could it be?
Here is the trusty steed, the cleverly named "Mun Launcher I", in the middle of the gravity turn for orbit, a short time before dropping the heavy boosters. Players of the game might recognize that I'm actually heading towards a retrograde orbit... what can I say? I'm an iconoclast! I've also had four consecutive successful Munar orbit launches this way, and zero successful Munar orbit launches going the normal way. It's probably just me.
Posted by: GreyDuck at January 02, 2014 11:17 AM (3m7pZ)
Nicely done! A Mun landing in true Kerbal style.
After your original post got me back into the game, I've been running in career mode. It's a LOT harder to get to the Mun when you have a limited set of parts, but it's also a great learning process. The rocket that got me to the Mun and back was quite a bit bigger and more complex than yours, but I didn't have the big fuel tanks, fuel cross-feed, or nuclear engines available. It turns out that Minmus is actually an easier target, that same rocket and lander did that as well for their next mission, and was able to do a few orbits of the Mun on it's way back for more research.
My latest goal was to get a probe out to Duna. I finally managed it last night after redesigning my rocket about 5 times. The rocket that finally did it was scarily huge, and even so I wasn't lifting a return vehicle, my lander didn't have the juice to get back to Duna orbit from the surface.
Posted by: David at January 02, 2014 11:30 AM (vtKcn)
My Mun lander had a central "400" tank with a pair of "200" tanks on the side with the 909 engines on them, fuel feed from the center tank to the exterior ones. Put on four of the very simplest small solar panels, radial parachutes on top of the side tanks and the pod, an extra battery or two, and an SAS on the central tank just above the decoupler, and you've got a lander that can easily handle itself from Munar injection through several Munar landings and a return to Kerbin.
You've gone way overboard on the struts, especially if you've got all the parts available and are using medium or heavy connectors. For tanks below 800, I connect them to the central body with one light strut at top and bottom, and connect them to their neighbor likewise with one strut at top and bottom, and that's plenty strong enough to hold things together without any flex. For the big 3200 tanks, a similar pattern of medium connectors is good enough. If your lander or transfer stage get big enough, you might tie them to the lower stages with struts out to the boosters to keep things from flexing.
I don't see much in the way of control on that ship. For something that size, I'd have winglets on the external tanks, and a large SAS at the top of the central tank, backed up with RCS rockets if I'm going further than the Mun and need precise trajectory control. RCS is also good for landers, as in a pinch it's extra thrust if you run the main tanks dry.
Posted by: David at January 02, 2014 11:44 AM (vtKcn)
If that's a nuclear rocket, I think your astronaut has a more immediate problem to worry about than running out of air. A NERVA type booster becomes intensely radioactive during use, and he's standing a couple of feet from the business end of the thing....
Posted by: Ed Hering at January 02, 2014 05:42 PM (aEOAA)
David sez: You've gone way overboard on the struts, especially if you've got all
the parts available and are using medium or heavy connectors.
The first version of Mun Launcher I only had one strut to each, and one from each to the body of the command unit. In perfect KSP fashion, they fell off on launch... and fell onto the "GetMeUpHigh" stage. In perfect KSP fashion, it all went Boom. So... OVERSTRUT!
David sez more: I don't see much in the way of control on that ship.
Don't need much. There's an Inline Advanced Stabilizer up there under the Decoupler attached to the Mk1 capsule. Further, there's only need for one maneuver for this puppy: the gravity turn. If the "GetMeUpHigh" stage needs to do anything more than that, well, "You are not going to space today." The rest of it is handled quite nicely by the IAS... in real life, I suspect the rotations/second this thing can do would kill a person.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 02, 2014 07:09 PM (Izt1u)
Ed sez: If that's a nuclear rocket, I think your astronaut has a more immediate problem to worry about.
Yes, but at least he'll stay warm.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 02, 2014 07:11 PM (Izt1u)
Those barrel things look horribly non-aerodynamic. Gad.
Yeah, the aerodynamic drag model of KSP leaves much to be desired. It used to be that each part had a drag factor, but it basically just boiled down to more parts and more mass = more drag, so adding aerodynamic nose cones and payload shrouds was actually a bad thing. I heard that they patched it a bit in the latest version, but I need to verify that.
Posted by: David at January 03, 2014 03:06 AM (da+4f)
I've been inspired by the Wonderduck, and have decided to blog my own KSP adventure.
These are the stories of the Royal Squirrel Patrol Space Force.
Posted by: David at January 03, 2014 03:07 AM (da+4f)
Steven, those "barrel things" are the fuel tanks for the Munar Stage. And yes, in real life, they'd be as aerodynamic as a cement truck. But, as David points out, there isn't really a drag model in KSP... yet. Near as I can tell, every piece of equipment, from a narrow strut to a sideways mounted Orange Can Of Fuel, has the same drag.
Every fiber of my being wanted to put a nosecone on them, believe me.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 03, 2014 07:16 PM (Izt1u)