When the Stars Align

Today was a pretty nor­mal day for the most part. Took Selena in for a quick checkup vet vis­it. Went to work and audited an advanced Excel class (that I’ll be teach­ing soon).

Reg­u­lar, nor­mal stuff.

Except when you apply a ‘space’ lay­er to the day.

Driv­ing home from the clin­ic with Selena, I heard Go! — a very cool music / archiv­al audio mashup by Pub­lic Sys­tem from their new The Race For Space album. Video below.

Then also noted that Sid Meier’s Star­ships is due out for iOS. Yes, video below. iTunes link when it’s live on iTunes.

And finally also noted that Buzz Aldrin’s Space Pro­gram Man­ager is ALSO out tonight for iOS. Yes, video ALSO below.

Of course, it’s a silly thing to think that I’d not be pick­ing up all three. Only prob­lem is that this will cut in to my Kerbal Space Pro­gram time 😉

 

 

Captain on the bridge

About a year or so ago I down­loaded a nifty little PC game called Artemis — Star­ship Sim­u­lat­or.

Actu­ally, that name’s a bit mis­lead­ing — it’s more of a Star Trek bridge crew sim­u­lat­or. There are oth­er reviews that cov­er it bet­ter, but suf­fice it to say it’s a cool game to bring to a LAN party or a friends place where you have easy access to the net­work and a fist-full of laptops. Great if you have access to all that gear, but not that great for a quick and spon­tan­eous game with friends.

Today I dis­covered the iOS ver­sion, and my above com­ment is nul­li­fied.

The iOS ver­sion of Artemis works and plays with the PC ver­sion, yet does it all on an iPad — even my ori­gin­al iPad 1 run­ning iOS 5.


Each bridge pos­i­tion is con­trolled from one iPad, though with a quick set­tings change you can con­trol mul­tiple pos­i­tions with on a single iPad.

The really cool thing is that an iPad can even act as the game serv­er.


Now, Artemis is not a game for every­one. It’s really a col­lab­or­at­ive star­ship com­bat sim­u­lat­or, but if you’ve got a few friends and a few iPads, it’s now much easi­er to host a pickup game on gamenight.

Shields up! Red Alert! Arm photon tor­pedoes, we’re going in!

Godspeed Commander Hadfield

Cana­dian astro­naut, space enthu­si­ast, edu­cat­or, social media sen­sa­tion, and now enter­tain­er? Yep, those are just a sampling of the roles that Com­mand­er Chris Hadifeld ful­filled dur­ing his 146 day post­ing to the ISS as Sta­tion Com­mand­er.

His Soy­uz cap­sule returns to Earth tomor­row even­ing, but as a last sur­prise, the Com­mand­er released this video rework­ing of Dav­id Bowie’s Space Oddity. Enjoy, and thank you Com­mand­er Had­field! Have a safe jour­ney home!

Lawnchairs in Space!

You likely are aware that I’m a fan of the Kerbal Space Pro­gram, a very cool and fun way to safely explore the pro­cess of design­ing, build­ing, launch­ing, nav­ig­at­ing and land­ing space­craft. Yep, cool and safe.

Totally unlike real­ity. Earli­er today I stumbled across this video that, while hos­ted by a Kerbal Space Pro­gram fan, goes into a lot of detail about LESS, the Lun­ar Escape Sys­tems.

Lawn­chairs + Rock­ets. That’s it! No com­puter. Nav­ig­a­tion handled by the Mark I Eye­ball and stop­watches.

Wow.

 

Get your Kerbal on! Update .18 released.

The latest, and pos­sibly greatest, update to Kerbal Space Pro­gram has just been released, fea­tur­ing:

* Dock­ing
Con­nect­ing ves­sels togeth­er is now pos­sible! Build space sta­tions, sur­face bases, or assemble huge space­craft in orbit.

* Flight Plan­ning
Get­ting to oth­er plan­ets and moons just got a lot sim­pler. Place man­euvers along your orbit to cre­ate a flight plan, and then just fol­low the guid­ance cues. No need to fig­ure out angles or hold a pro­tract­or to the screen!

* Action Groups
A new way to con­trol your ships! Instead of hav­ing everything done through sta­ging, you can assign parts to groups that are con­trolled with a keypress. Set up Abort sys­tems, or rig up com­plex con­trap­tions. Or just let the game handle it auto­mat­ic­ally.

* New Resources Sys­tem
Watch­ing fuel drain has nev­er been so much fun! New resources allow for com­pletely new pos­sib­il­it­ies. Energy, Fuel, Oxid­izer and oth­er resources now flow through your ship. Man­age them as you fly, and pump them across parts.

* Music
KSP now has its own soundtrack, fea­tur­ing many cool tracks, from smooth jazzy tunes to build ships by, to won­drous spacy themes as you explore the sol­ar sys­tem.

* Per­form­ance Tweaks
New ter­rain optim­iz­a­tions and a sys­tem to pre­vent lag by slow­ing the sim­u­la­tion make for a sig­ni­fic­ant improve­ment in per­form­ance.

Check out the video below to see some of these new enhance­ments in action!