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!