Drew Kerman

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About Drew Kerman

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    KSA Operations Director

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  • Website URL http://www.kerbalspace.agency

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  1. Operations Summary – Week of 2/12/18 Images from the Week Gallery Progeny Mk6 Block I Nails Debut Flight, Fails Recovery Yesterday saw the first successful flight of the Progeny Mk6 Block I, but this wasn’t much of a surprise given the Mk6 has technically launched 3 times before already when it was still designated as the Mk5. The fin-less 3rd stage is what changed the visual profile enough to warrant a move to the Mk6 designation. Regardless, everyone was pleased with the flight especially since a new factor was present – launching 15° south. It’s easy to fly a ballistic rocket in the same direction that the planet is spinning, but once you start shooting off-axis you can expect the planet’s rotation to have an effect on the flight. 15° did not cause any significant issues and further review of telemetry data is ongoing to spot any effects that could become serious as we continue to increase launch azimuth to further probe the radiation field above the planet. Unfortunately despite the success of the flight we appear to have lost the rocket on splashdown. Traveling a record 258km downrange by the time signal was lost over the horizon, MSV Tongjess arrived in the area over 5 hours later and could not detect any locator beacon from the payload (the independent power source for the beacon lasts 10 hours). The rocket was traveling at 2.178km/s when signal was lost and speed was still increasing. Despite our efforts in deploying the chute later and detaching the fairings to induce more drag it seems the speed was just too much. The unfortunate thing about a water landing is that it leaves no trace of impact, so we can’t deduce how fast the payload was traveling when it struck the water. Who knows, maybe we came close to landing intact. As we said, further data analysis is ongoing and a full report is expected early next week. Deuce Science Mission Encounters Radiation Hazard at Northern Polar Region Another big mission this past week was the Deuce flight up to the Northern ice Shelf, a region of Kerbin that has not been explored in nearly half a millennium. Yes, some trips have been made to the North and South poles for the sake of fame but interest in the regions never amounted to much scientifically – they were just frozen wastelands. The Deuce carried a large suit of science instruments in its expansive cabin and Captain Jebediah and Commander Valentina were also tasked with visual observation of the area in addition to gathering data with the instruments. They failed to make it all the way to their objective as the radiation detector started picking up increasing levels of radiation when they flew north over the Tundra and Ice Caps. Originally at more than 6km Jeb turned around and dropped lower to see if levels would increase or decrease. The pair made a few trips into the radiation zone at various altitudes to record data the scientists back at KSC could analyze. Jeb and Val received nowhere near dangerous dosages but since this was an unknown factor in the mission they made the decision to terminate and head for their destination at Sheltered Rock. Analysis of the radiation data showed that the lower the Deuce was the less radiation it received, which clearly indicates that the atmosphere is blanketing it out as it falls from space. How this ties into the radiation we’ve detected in our rocket flights over the equator has yet to be determined. We don’t plan to change our launches to northwards to see if we can connect the two regions. It could be that this is just radiation that sits over the poles only, and maybe even just the north pole. The discovery of a radiation region also provides a potential opportunity for future studies and testing involving radiation to be carried out on the surface rather than in space, which is exciting for scientists. We mentioned that previous explorers have traversed the area in a time before radiation was known (you can read more about its discovery here) and none were known to have died from any kind of radiation sickness, so either the radiation doesn’t get too strong within the region or it doesn’t cover the entire pole. Lead Scientist Cheranne plans to work with Genesis team scientists to plan another polar mission but before then equipping the Deuce with some radiation shielding to allow Jeb and Val to safely push deeper into the region to find out. KerBalloon Heads Far West The Deuce wasn’t the only mission to go far this past week. Specialists Bill and Bob boarded Maritime Service Vessel Lymun on Monday to sail ~575km west and release a high-altitude balloon over the sea that lies between the two horns of the Great Desert. The launch was near the coast to get temperature readings as the balloon passed over land. They then deployed in two Utility Task Vehicles to track it down and recover it. While the launch went off without any delays, recovering the balloon took more effort than planned when the UTVs kept getting stuck in the sand. Eventually they had to give up, take supplies with them and trek on foot to the balloon and drag it back over 30km, which took over a day. Not a day cycle, an entire day. By the time they returned to port in Umbarg it was too late for MSV Lymun to resupply and head back out to recover the Progeny rocket launching shortly. Ascension Readying for Engine Testing The fuel tank, same as the one that will be flown on the actual rocket, arrived this week for the VAB to inspect and prepare for the K2-X engine to be mounted to it next week. The test stand is nearing completion out on the R&D campus lawn and will hold the entire tank and engine vertically. Initial rounds of testing will have short firings at various thrust levels going from low to high before a series of full-length burns are conducted. The testing will last around 2 weeks after which further analysis will be performed to decide whether the engine has met our requirements and can be rebuilt to perform the first Ascension flight by late April/early May. ATN Database The weekly update for the Asteroid Tracking Network database is available here, containing 1,562 asteroids and 4 updated with new observation data. Celestial Snapshot of the Week This image taken from the cockpit of the Deuce by Val shows that she didn’t tilt the camera sideways, this is just how celestial objects look when you are gazing at them along the same plane. Here at higher latitudes, you are standing more upright atop the sphere that is Kerbin, and so looking out into space everything else is horizontally aligned as well. Down at the equator where KSC is, you’re on the side of a sphere, so looking out you see things stacked vertically. We’re sure the flat Kerbin truthers have a different explanation of course that somehow makes sense to them. From the Desk of Drew Kerman (Out of Character Behind the Scenes stuff)
  2. [1.3.0] Kerbalism v1.2.9

    Go check the thread again. It could be revived soon
  3. yes, 1.4 dropping the same day as Making History has been confirmed by the devs
  4. [WIP] Infernal Robotics - Next

    will def be keeping a close eye on this and rooting for its eventual release!
  5. yea that's what I was thinking of too, would go nice in the Graphotron options window
  6. I wish trim was handled separate from the full control authority. In real life trim is applied with smaller tabs set within the control surface so you still have full range of authority when moving the elevators, rudders and ailerons. Here the entire control surface is being moved, which is what lead to my warning that having nearly full trim lessens the amount of movement you have in that direction
  7. I've never noticed before, but Graphotron uses EC when it is plotting. I think this should be something made known very plainly and perhaps even include an option to disable EC draw.
  8. @Omega482 has flag texture for one of his buildings so it's conceivable that it could be done here too I would think
  9. I've been loading orbits fine from SFS with the latest KSPTOT. Just tried it, no problem. Provide reproduction steps
  10. [1.3.1] Pathfinder - Space Camping & Geoscience

    Yup, March 13th with the expansion
  11. The first time this happened to me I screamed but then hit Alt+F4 to task kill the game. Being familiar with game development I had the small hope that the game did not actually commit these changes to the save file - and it did not. I mean, I had backups anyways (not just game generated ones but actual proper backups) but I didn't need them. So if you forget again or get lazy with the backups just remember to task-kill the game before switching scenes (quitting to the main menu or going into a building or out to a vessel - any of those actions will overwrite the save file with new data). I would recommend Persistent File Backup Generator - ignore the version compatibility it works fine in the latest KSP and has worked flawlessly for me since 0.23.5. Also, if this just happened to you recently with the latest version of KSP then additional admonishment is in order for not catching up on change notes since you last played, or you would have known that KSP does in fact create save file backups in your game's save folder. Hey maybe your game is still recoverable there. I'm pretty sure that it's turned on by default - I can't remember if I disabled it the last time I installed but I do remember the backup generation was a bit iffy, at least it didn't seem to make a new one every time I opened my saved game like Persistent File Backup Generator does, which is why I prefer it.
  12. Launchpad Tracking Camera's

    There is a launch cam part but I never thought it was actually meant to act as a launch tracking camera. If true, I wish that was in the part description!