03-24-2016, 12:10 PM

Hey, thanks for jumping in!

You're right, the question of "what should it look like in a game" might be different from "what would it look like in real life," but this is the Real Space sub-forum so here I'm interested in what it would actually look like.

I'm assuming the impactor isn't all that big, but it's traveling at a very high relative velocity. (This seems reasonable to me because if it were big enough to wipe out the colony, we hopefully would have known about it years in advance and would have done something about it long ago.)

I think you're right that a hole a few meters in diameter would be an emergency, but not a colony-killing event. I'm going to actually calculate the rate of air loss, which I haven't done yet (but here's the math if anyone wants to try!). But I suspect it's going to take hours to lose half the air. So, plenty of time to dispatch engineering crews to patch things up, but you probably shouldn't procrastinate.

But that still leaves the question of what the hole would look like. If it doesn't actually penetrate, I'm pretty sure I know the answer: it would look like a crater. But if it goes through? I think it would simply be a crater that's torn through on bottom. I doubt the 1 atmosphere or less of air pressure would make much difference over the split-second that the metal was hot enough to flow. But I'm only guessing. I still hope we can find a more definitive answer!

You're right, the question of "what should it look like in a game" might be different from "what would it look like in real life," but this is the Real Space sub-forum so here I'm interested in what it would actually look like.

I'm assuming the impactor isn't all that big, but it's traveling at a very high relative velocity. (This seems reasonable to me because if it were big enough to wipe out the colony, we hopefully would have known about it years in advance and would have done something about it long ago.)

I think you're right that a hole a few meters in diameter would be an emergency, but not a colony-killing event. I'm going to actually calculate the rate of air loss, which I haven't done yet (but here's the math if anyone wants to try!). But I suspect it's going to take hours to lose half the air. So, plenty of time to dispatch engineering crews to patch things up, but you probably shouldn't procrastinate.

But that still leaves the question of what the hole would look like. If it doesn't actually penetrate, I'm pretty sure I know the answer: it would look like a crater. But if it goes through? I think it would simply be a crater that's torn through on bottom. I doubt the 1 atmosphere or less of air pressure would make much difference over the split-second that the metal was hot enough to flow. But I'm only guessing. I still hope we can find a more definitive answer!

Joe Strout

Lead Developer, High Frontier