The Munians (Or Why I Probably Shouldn’t Work For NASA)

As today is Friday the 13th, it is the perfect time to tell you a story of the time that everything possible went wrong in Kerbal Space Program.  This all happened yesterday.

I had a number of contracts that required a trip to the surface of the Mun.  5 Kerbal tourists wanted to visit it, a company wanted an engine tested in orbit, another on an escape trajectory from it, and a third company wanted their separator tested on the surface.  If I could combine all these contracts then it would be a fantastic earner.

There were also some contracts to rescue other Kerbals from the surface or in orbit of the Mun.  Not Kerbals in my space program that I had abandoned, but from other, less reputable companies.  Companies that aren’t as successful and awesome as the program I oversee.

Having built the lander in the assembly hangar, I went to crew it and found that I had a number of other rescued pilots (they defect to your program after rescuing.  They know a winning team when they get rescued from the infinite void when they see one).  These pilots and scientists were not as experienced as my initial 4 test staff.  I decided at that point to take everyone except Jebediah Kerman, my most experienced pilot and all round hero and nice guy.  Valentina would be lead pilot on this simple mission.  Also, leaving Jeb behind would leave me room in the ship to rendezvous with the stranded pilot in orbit and complete another contract.

All started off well.  We took off without a hitch, and easily made it into low Kerbin orbit.  We planned the transfer maneuver to the Mun, and completed it easily as well.  The transfer into Munar orbit went smoothly and we were ready to land.  Plenty of fuel left, I naively thought.

Upon landing, I discovered that we now only had about 400m/s of delta v left.  Delta v is a simple way to measure fuel, it’s the change in speed you can achieve on that stage.  It was all the fuel we had to leave the surface of the Mun, achieve orbit, and get home to Kerbin.  400 m/s was definitely not enough.

I now had a Mark Watney situation.  In fact, I had 11 Mark Watney’s now.

“No problem.” I thought. “I still have Jeb here, I’ll send him in a ship to rescue everyone.”

So it was back to the Vehicle Assembly Building to create a ship that could land on the Mun, rescue everyone, and bring them home.  Jeb, who I had wanted to not be the hero again, would be the hero, again.

Again, the launch went without a hitch.  Jeb made it to the Mun with no issues.  Landing near the other ship was tricky, but he made it down.  I then used some of the remaining fuel in the soon to be abandoned ship to move it a little closer to Jeb’s.  Just to make their spacewalk a little quicker.

The 5 crewmen EVA’d and transferred to Jeb’s ship quickly and easily, and then we hit problem number 2.

Tourists cannot leave their ship.  They do not do EVA’s.

I now had 2 ships on the Mun, and, as we don’t leave our people behind, no one was going anywhere.

“FUCKING FUCKING FUCK SHIT ARSE!” I casually said to myself, scratching the stubble on my chin in contemplation of this new turn of events.  All my astronauts were now on the Mun.

Two solutions now presented themselves.

Solution the first.  Build a rover to transfer fuel to the first ship, either from the second ship, or from whatever was left in the skycrane that would get the rover to the surface of the Mun.

The second solution, which was equally valid, build a rover to transfer the tourists from the first ship to the second ship.

I decided to transfer fuel to the stranded craft, quickly built a rover and skycrane and flew them off to the Mun.  Would the craft fly alright?  How much of an imbalance would be caused by the wheels of the rover being on one side?  Ultimately these concerns came to nought.  The skycrane landed nearby successfully, and I triggered the rover to detach.  All that was left was to drive up to one of the fuel tanks, fill up, drive to the stranded vessel, refuel it, and repeat as necessary.  I could even refuel Jeb’s ship while I was here.

Sadly, I would soon discover that I had used the wrong probe core in my rover and so the button to move the wheels forward also caused the rover to pitch up.  I was doing uncontrollable wheelies everywhere, and one of my wheels had been shredded when I detached the fairing that protected the rover during ascent from Kerbin.  Ultimately, the rover drove a little too hard into its skycrane, and exploded.

So much for rescue attempt number 2.  But hey, third time’s the charm, right?  Right?

I took a step back to think about this some more.  I went down to the kitchen and grabbed a babybel and a can of diet pepsi from the fridge.

My Kerbals needed me now more than ever.  Soon they would lose hope and resort to cannibalism, I guess. Even though it had only been some 5 days at this point.

Ok.  I’ll build a rover to transfer them to Jeb’s ship, which still has more than enough fuel.  I’ll leave the stranded ship as the start of a Munar base, which would eventually have refuelling capabilities.

I went back upstairs, went to the VAB, and built another rover.  I used the correct probe core this time.

Shakily, the rover made it to orbit.  The trip to the Mun was uneventful, and landing went smoothly.

I detached the rover from the skycrane, and drove it out from underneath.  I let the solar panels unfold so it wouldn’t run out of power.

The rover drove over to the stranded vessel, and we transferred everyone to the rover.  On the way to Jeb’s ship, disaster struck.  Somehow, the rover flipped onto its roof and wouldn’t recover.

“FUCKING SHI… Oh, I’ll just reload to right after I docked with the first ship.”

Again, I transferred the tourists to the rover, and again, but considerably more carefully, I drove to Jeb’s ship and successfully docked.

I quickly transferred everyone over, undocked the rover and saved the shit out of my game.

The end was in sight.  The ordeal almost over.  After another quick save to be sure, I fired up the engines and flew Jeb’s ship off the surface of the Mun.  At 15km, we circularized into a stable orbit.  And again, I saved.

But Fate was not finished with the Kerbals just yet.

‘Fate’ here defined as ‘the fickle nature of Phil’.

“Oh look.” I said to myself. “There’s contract to rescue another Kerbal from the surface of the Mun.  I’m sure that I have enough fuel to go and get her, and even if I don’t I can just reload to this point and come back later.”

You may recall that there was actually a far easier contract to fulfill sitting in orbit for me, also awaiting rescue.  But no. We went for Roda Kerman instead.

We altered our inclination, we passed overhead and came down right next to her.  She climbed aboard, and then we looked.

78m/s left.

“Ah well.  I’ll just reload and come back for her next time.” I reached out and tapped a button.

“Wait a second.  That wasn’t the quick load button.”

I glanced up at the screen. “Quicksaving…” appeared at the top.

“Fuck this.  I’ll come back tomorrow.”

It is now 21 hours later.  They are still on the Mun.  Every single Kerbal in my space program is currently sitting stranded on the Mun.

And that is why I shouldn’t work for NASA.

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Shocking Star Wars Episode 8 Twist Revealed!

Sealion News has received exclusive information regarding the twist in 2017’s Star Wars sequel, still now only referred to as Episode 8.

The scene is said to occur at the climax of the film, after Kylo Ren and the other Knights of Ren invade the Resistance base in a search for Rey, Luke Skywalker, & Leia Organa, on a mission to eradicate the last of the Jedi once and for all.

It’s great stuff; we can’t wait to see how it plays out on the big screen on December 15th, 2017.

 


INTERIOR RESISTANCE CONTROL ROOM

Kylo Ren lies on the floor defeated by Rey, who is standing over him, the tip of her lightsaber staff at his throat.  Ren clutches the stump of his right arm, now missing a hand.

Leia retrieves Kylo’s lightsaber and twists the handle, dropping several key components out of it.

LEIA: Rule Number 7.  Always account for all the lightsabers in the room.  You’d be surprised how often this bites people in the ass.

KYLO: What are you going to do now mother?  Try and corrupt me to your light ways?

LEIA: Oh, for fu… No.

KYLO: Kill me then?  After what I did to Han?  You should realize that after killing my father there’s no going back.

At the back of the room, Luke enters.

LEIA: Oh.  So Han never told you what happened to your father?

LUKE (to himself): This all seems familiar somehow.

KYLO: I was there!  I killed him with the lightsaber you hold in your hands.

LEIA: No.  You’re adopted.

LUKE (to himself): Nope, must’ve been imagining it.

KYLO: That’s not true!  That’s impossible!

LEIA: Search your feelings; you know it to be true.

LUKE (to himself): Force dammit. What is it with this family?

REY (to Luke): I know, right?  You guys are so dramatic.

LUKE: Us? You know that you’re… Oh.  Nobody told you yet?

KYLO: NOOOOOOOOO!!

Rey deactivates her lightsaber and strikes Ren in the head with the hilt, knocking him unconscious.

REY: Told me what?

LUKE: Leia, when she showed up on Ahch-To, I figured you’d told her.

LEIA: It’s not my job to tell her.  I thought you’d have at least mentioned it once during the 6 months she was training with you.

REY: Mentioned. What.

Leia indicates Luke and Kylo.

LEIA: That’s your dad.  That’s your cousin.  He’s adopted though.  His real mother is called Mara something.  Mara Green?  No, that’s not it.

LUKE: Wait.  You don’t mean Mara Jade?

LEIA: Possibly.

LUKE: Red hair, green eyes, hot as hell?

LEIA (getting concerned): Possibly.

LUKE:  Rey.  Meet your half-brother, Ben.

LEIA: Fuck.  Seriously?

LUKE: Yep.  Hey, at least naming him Ben makes sense now, huh?  I mean, it’s not like you even met the guy, and you knew him as ‘Obi-Wan’ not Ben.

LEIA: Well, it was Han’s idea to call him ‘Ben’.

LUKE: That makes even less sense.

REY: What the fuck is going on!?

LEIA: Rey, meet your father, who apparently can’t keep it in his pants.

REY: So who’s my mother then?

LUKE: Oh.  Some woman called Lumiya, but yeah, she was pretty unlikeable.  She’s dead now.

LEIA: I thought it was Callista.

LUKE: No.  Not Callista.  She’s Owen’s mother.

REY: Who the fuck is Owen?

LUKE: He’s your other half-brother.  Named after my foster father/uncle.

REY: Well, where’s he?

LUKE: He’s studying astronavigation at college on Chandrila.  Actually, you remember that guy who visited the academy a month ago.  That was him.

REY: Uh oh.

LUKE: What?

REY:  Nothing.  Erm.  Any other family members I should be aware of?

LUKE: Those are the only ones I know of.

LEIA: Now you see why we suggested he go live on an uninhabited planet for a decade and a half.

LUKE: Oh, it wasn’t uninhabited.

LEIA: Fuck dude.  Seriously?

REY: I’m out of here.  I’ll take my brother cousin here to the cells. (Continues under her breath) My family is from fucking Alabama.

5 Things You Missed In The Force Awakens

The 7th Star Wars film opens in North America this weekend, for those of you that have seen it already, here are 5 things you probably missed in your first viewing, so keep an eye out for them next time.

1) That one scene that sort of takes you out of the movie

We’ll never completely know why JJ Abrams decided to include a scene where Han Solo time travels into the future to give 10 year old JJ a high five, but for some reason, he did.  I guess you can do all sorts of things when you’re the director.

2) The Assassination of Jar Jar Binks By The Coward Captain Phasma

They were definitely going for some fan service by including a death scene for controversial figure Jar Jar Binks.  But to have a half hour long ‘Saw’-esque torture scene leading to his evisceration and beheading seems a little like overkill.  Maybe Abrams will change it to simply shooting him in the back in the Special Edition?

3) The Second Musical Number

Honestly, I don’t think many people in the viewing I attended expected Episode 7 to be a musical, and quite a few people walked out.  There sure were a lot of curse words in that second song, but damn if it isn’t catchy.  I’ll be humming that all week.  Thanks, Star Wars!

4) Having Han Continuously Shoot First

Look, I get it.  There’s a very vocal following on the internet who disagree with George’s change to A New Hope where Greedo shoots first.  Changes his character, etc, etc.  But to suddenly have Han shoot at every loud noise or surprise changes him from a lovable old rogue into a, well, into a frightened old man who really should have given up his blaster a long time ago.  Like seriously, how many shots can that thing fire before it needs reloading?

5) Supreme Leader Snoke’s Identity

Wow, this one was really a surprise.  There’d been a lot of speculation on the internet that it could be Jar Jar Binks (although, given #2 above, obviously not), or even Sheev Palpatine’s Master, Darth Plagueis.  No one could have expected that his true identity would be none other than Mitth’raw’nuruodo, better known as Grand Admiral Thrawn from the Expanded Universe.

When I saw those glowing red eyes peering out from under his hood for the first time… Chills.  I got chills.

Well done keeping that a secret Mr. Abrams.  You did far better than you did with ‘Kahn’.

 

For more of our Star Wars coverage, check out our section.

Party Leaders React In Unison To ‘Chavril’ Split

(Ottawa, ON) –The leaders of all the major political parties announced this morning that they would hold off on campaigning for the next 48 hours so that the Canadian people could mourn the separation of singers Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger.

“I called Justin this morning.” Prime Minister Stephen Harper told us, referring to the leader of the Liberal Party, “he was also pretty torn up about it.  I put forward the idea of holding off for a few days, and he said he’d just got off the phone with Tom, and apparently Liz had suggested something similar to him.”

“It’s just like… why?  Why couldn’t those crazy kids last?  It really hits home hard, you know?”

We reached out to NDP Leader Tom Mulcair for comment, but a spokesperson said that he was currently locked in his room playing ‘How You Remind Me’ and ‘Sk8ter Boi’ loudly on a loop to cover the sound of his crying.  An attempt that has so far been described as ‘unsuccessful’.”

“The events of this day are not of our choosing.” Green Party Leader Elizabeth May told the assembled reporters. “But we fully choose how we react.  I say, that Canada will stand together in this time.  That the world itself will stand together in our grief.  We can no longer afford to be consumed by our petty differences.  Humanity will prevail.  I know these sound like platitudes right now in your time of grief, but heed them.”

Gilles Duceppe then repeated May’s speech in French, ending it with a mic drop.

As of press time, both Avril and Chad had both independently reached out and thanked Canada’s leaders for their support.

 

Read More Here

CBC

National Post

Exclusive: What’s In The R-Rated Version Of The Hobbit?

While other sites on the internet are merely reporting the rumours that the third Hobbit film, The Battle Of The Five Armies will be rated R when the extended edition is released in November, only Sealion News is bringing you details on exactly what the changes are.

Surprisingly, the changes are not, as other sites claim, to do with increased blood shed or gore, but are a reflection of the language used in the extended edition.

“Ultimately, we felt that some of the material we had filmed was so brilliant that it was almost a cinematic crime not to include it.” Director Peter Jackson told us.  “Richard Armitage is just brilliant, and when his character, Thorin Oakenshield, was mortally wounded by Azog, Richard really got into the mental space where Thorin would have been.  It must have been like 2 minutes of just non-stop swearing from him.  Hang on.” Mr Jackson then checked his computer, “2 minutes and 42 seconds of near constant profane remarks.  Almost 3 minutes, I guess.”

“It was truly incredible, and all ad-libbed too.  There were comments about Azog’s questionable parentage, how much pain he was in at that moment, what Azog could go and do to himself, and how to make those suggestions physically possible.  I believe at one point a seagull flew overhead, so there were some choice words about what it could go and do.  There were some truly cathartic moments where he thinks about his mistakes and details them with colourful slang terms for male, female and orc genitalia.  It was truly a sight.  And luckily, it will be shown in its entirety on the extended edition.”

“There’s also a scene where Bilbo gets a splinter and says ‘motherfucker’, and one where Smaug says “Is it hot in here, or is it just you?” before immolating someone.  But those’re nothing compared to Thorin’s scene.”

 

Read More Here

 

AV Club

New Club Song Does Not Work Well On Radio

(Calgary, AB) –A recent club hit has caused quite a commotion when replayed on the radio, due to the content of its lyrics.  We spoke with song composer, Tim.

“Music is well recognized as an art form, and while my lyrics may be controversial, their only real purpose was to make people think and possibly question the status quo, and why we do things how we do them.”

But not everyone agrees.  Local driver Ben had some strong feelings about the song.

“I think it’s a bad song.  It’s not art, it’s confusing.  I think that people will get upset and frustrated when it comes on the radio, and I think it’s going to cause an accident when people hear those lyrics.”

The song’s controversial nature, comes from its use of random driving commands, read by a voice similar to that used by many GPS systems.   Commands such as “turn left in 300 yards”, “calculating route”, and “turn right here”.  Many of these commands come in quick succession, and are contradictory in nature.

Music has not caused such a stir amongst the driving community since artists began playing police sirens at low volume in the background.

Final Daily Show Ruins Local Weiner Dog’s Night

(Calgary, AB) –A local wiener dog had her night completely ruined by Jon Stewart’s last episode of The Daily Show, when one of her masters refused to go to bed until it was over at 1 a.m.

“This is some kind of bullshit, right here.” The dog, Finnie, told us.  “Usually my masters go to bed around 10:30 to 11, but tonight only one of them went upstairs then.  So what am I supposed to do?  Go up with her and get some sleep?!”

“What if mangy master eats something?  Which he actually DID, and I got the corners of his sandwich because I was downstairs staring at him incessantly for two hours and emitting a high pitched squeaking noise.”

“And then the evening got worse as a fly came in from somewhere right around the time Colbert came on; so I had to stay awake and keep an eye on that as it just flew around the room, landing on things.  I can’t go to bed at a high stress time like that!  There’s a damned fly in the room!”

“So finally, the show ends, and it’s past 1 in the goddamned morning, and he looks at me and asks ‘do you want to go out?’.  So I don’t move, because I’m pretty sure this is a trick or something.  He asks me that a few more times, nudges my butt a bit, but I just look at him like he’s some kind of idiot.  Who knows what’s out there at this time of night!  So then finally we went to bed and the ordeal was over.”

“I hate you Jon Stewart!” The dog told us emphatically that night.  “You ruined my life. Presumably forever because I have an excellent memory for these things and will not just forget about it tomorrow morning.”

 

Read More Here

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