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About adsii1970

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    Fatigué, vieux, mais toujours rêver

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  • Location Unter den dunklen Sturmwolken
  • Interests Model railroading, backyard astronomy, space exploration, music (composition, play the French Horn, Oboe, Alto Recorder, and Cornet), learning to play the ukulele (seriously, I am :D), kit-bashing, camping and hiking, reading great science fiction, and escaping the university campus any chance I get!

    I teach World Civilization, U.S. History, and U.S. Foreign Policy at the college/university level. So, with that said, I love history, love to do research, and enjoy good conversation.

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  1. adsii1970

    So what song is stuck in your head today?

    I watched it, Fort Apache, and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon all last weekend.
  2. For some reason, the mobile browser won't let me copy just the image. Anyhow... If I had the parts to do it... But right now, Wild Blue is using a kerbalized DC-10. Anyhow, I'm still in 1.3.0 for now. I am, however, getting closer to 1.5.
  3. adsii1970

    What did you do in KSP today?

    Testing on cargo dropping...
  4. adsii1970

    So what song is stuck in your head today?

    Ok, I kid you not...
  5. Moho 26, Y003 "Maintain our current distance from Kerbin, Lieutenant..." MISSION DAY +4.75 Chapter 70 Today has a lot of special meaning for all of us. It's the next-to-last Kerbol eclipse of Coqueelaa, the season of harvest. From today until the 33rd of Moho, every Kermam enjoys this special time of the year. Earlier this morning, Commander Karloff began the day by opening a cargo container labeled "engine spares". What was in that container was far from engine spare parts -- it was golden maize cakes! He spent the morning dressed in a costume of bright colored plumes and bells, making sure every member of the crew had at least one of the traditional cakes for the beginning of Cha'an. Not only will my crew be celebrating the next seven days of Cha'an, but we have another reason to celebrate - earlier this morning we were able to achieve our mission's primary goal. About two and a half hours ago, we were able to rendezvous and dock with the Discovery IV. ++++ "Captain," Obion called out. "We are now 10 kilometers from the rendezvous point." "Yes, thank you, Lieutenant." I began. "Full acceleration burn in one minute. Burn for twenty seconds, then come about one-eight-zero degrees." "Aye, sir," he replied. "Full acceleration burn in 45 seconds and counting -- " "Captain," Hildi cut in. "Commander of Discovery IV is signaling he will begin orientation burn upon our signal." "Ensign, text only flash message," I ordered. "Understood, will signal again once our burn is completed and orientation established." "Burn in three... two..." Obion continued his countdown. "Engines on full, burn complete in fifteen... fourteen..." Obion continued the countdown. There's a certain excitement I feel when the mains come on line and acceleration becomes obvious. The acceleration of one of the Mün Explorer series rockets is pretty impressive. But even that rush isn't as intense as the rush of the Excursion's engines with full throttle. "Zero." Obion's countdown ended, and just like that, the vibrations running through the Excursion ended. The burn was completed and the main engines were cut. For the next few minutes, Obion and Gilti worked to bring the ship around for the braking burn. "Captain," this time it was Commander Karloff. "We are now passing the Discovery IV at a speed of 300 meters per second -- " "Braking burn, Obion!" I ordered. "Then bring us about to one-three-five degrees." Aye, sir!' He replied. The vibrations filled the ship as the main engines engaged again. briefly. "Speed is dropping. 210 meters per second... 180 meters per second... 150 meters per second... 110 meters per second..." "End the burn when we hit 50 meters per second, Lieutenant." "Aye sir. Cutting main engines in five... four... three... two..." Obion called out. Even without his announcement, it was obvious when he cut the engines. Just as suddenly as the vibrations started, they ended when the engines were powered down. For all practical purposes, we were now drifting in space at fifty meters per second. By the time we were within 100 meters of the Discovery IV, our speed would drop to around twenty meters per second. Obion and Gilti worked together to swing the ship around to make the rendezvous and capture of the Discovery IV easier. Knowing the Discovery has a limited supply of monopropellant, the consensus was to orient the Excursion along the axis of the Discovery. Once that was accomplished, both the Discovery and the Excursion would use monopropellant thrusters to dock. A straightforward plan which every Kerbalnaut certified pilot can successfully accomplish even under the most difficult conditions. "Captain," Hildi began, "I've signaled the Discovery IV. They will be matching our axis once you give the command." "Good," I began. "Let's get into position." Now comes the hard part -- waiting. Both Obion and Gilti remained fixed on the monitors on their consoles. Occasionally, I could hear the sounds of monopropellant discharge as they worked hard to keep our ship on a heading corresponding with the vertical axis of the Discovery IV. "Captain," Hildi began. "I'm getting a voice message from Commander Orvin." "Put him through, Ensign." "Captain, you're definitely a welcomed sight." He began. "I never realized how big the Excursion is!" "Well, after capture and docking, we'll have to give you the tour," I added. "Could you update your status for me, Commander?" "Aye, Captain," he said. "We have engaged our MechJeb computer. According to it, we are on course to dock with the Excursion's nose port, as your data packed stated we should do." "That's correct, Commander." I knew that the unbalanced symmetry of having the Discovery IV on either side of the vessel could have. Symmetry needed to be preserved and the best way to do that was to utilize the nose port. "Captain," Obion chimed in, "we are -22 meters from position. Do you want us to take control of the Discovery?" "Commander," I asked. "Do you want us to tie into your computer or do you want to fly her in?" "We'll bring her in, Captain." Orvin replied. "I need the practice." "Alright. Commander, on your mark, you may begin docking maneuvers." I answered. As the Discovery moved closer, our command deck became filled with the bone-jarring sound of an alarm. "What of the underworld is that?" I asked. "Status report! --" "Captain," Karloff interrupted. "It's a collision alarm. It's one of the changes Dr. Angelo did -- " "But how is this helpful now?" I asked. "Docking procedures isn't exactly like we don't know what's going on -- " "Aye, sir." Karloff yelled to be heard over the alarm. "I'll disable it, reprogram it... or something! It's automatically set to come on when something enters the magnetic field of the ship -- " "Well, I began, "when performing docking maneuvers the last thing we need is that thing adding to the tensions!" And with that, the collision warning ended. I am definitely going to have to talk to Dr. Angelo about the practicality of this warning system. It doesn't need to go off during docking procedures. There should be some sort of override. "Two meters..." Obion was already into another countdown. "One meter... We have contact!" The Excursion shook as the two ships came together. Even from our location on the command deck, we could hear the metallic clamps sealing the connection between the two craft. With all the excitement of capturing the Discovery IV, none of us - except Gilti and Karloff - were aware of what else was happening in our galactic neighborhood. I had been so focused on the rendezvous and docking I hadn't noticed the dimming of Kerbol light - at this moment in time, Kerbol, the Mün, and Kerbin were perfectly aligned. The eclipse which begins Cha'an had begun and we were the furthermost Kermen to see the eclipse! Commander Karloff passed out more golden maize cakes to our crew and the new arrivals from the Discovery as a part of the celebration of the success of our mission and Cha'an. As things were beginning to return to normal, Gilti told me I had a priority four message from Dr. Angelo and the daily data packet had been forwarded to the command console of my station. "Lieutanant Gilti," I began. "Thank you. I will be in my quarters and you have the conn." Within a minute or two, I was in my quarters and barely had the hatch shut when Dr. Angelo appeared on my screen. "Captain," he began in his western plains accent. But before he could begin his next sentence, the cabin lights began to give off a blue light, indicating a secure connection had been established. "How are you and how is the mission progressing?" "Ah, Dr. Angelo," I began. We've got the Discovery crew on board and Commander Karloff is passing out golden maize cakes -- " "Oh, congratulations on a successful mission!" But then his facial expression changed. "How did he get fresh golden maize cakes on the Excursion? While you do have snacks, I believe all the food is pre-packaged -- " "He had them hid in a container marked engine spares --" "Hahaha!" It seemed Dr. Angelo was caught off-guard. "So, that's what he wanted with the empty cargo container!" "Well, Doc," I said, trying to hide my own amusement, "he is very resourceful. He's surprised me a few times since our first mission together. And to be perfectly candid, the golden maize cakes are so much better than the prepared rations!" "I can imagine. But I need to change the conversation," I could hear the tension rising in his voice. "Dr. Zarkov told me to contact you directly. He said with me being Ah Cuxtal, I had access to anyone else in Section 31 - and I was to share this with you only." "I understand." I still do not know who all knows about my position within Section 31. But as Dr. Edmund had said in the video message on the data stick, I wasn't to offer information about my position within the Section unless I was asked by another Section member or it was made known by the other members of the Ohoroxtotil. As far as I know, the only other Kermen who know what I am are Maxbas, Dr. Zarkov, Gene, Bobak, and the late Dr. Edmund. No one else knows. "Earlier this morning, when I was still aboard the Orbital Station Zebulan Kerman, I received a Kerman-to-Kerman priority two message from Prime Consul Katrine." "Ah, Dr. Angelo, I am so glad to have caught you..." she began. "Yes, Prime Consul." Dr. Angelo replied. It was obvious he was uncomfortable with the conversation. "Is there something I can help you with, madam?" "Yes. I am afraid I am going to have to cut your stay aboard the Zebulan Kerman short, Doctor." She began. "I'm sending an official summons for you to meet with myself and the Committee of Five later this evening." "Well, Madam Prime Consul," he nervously answered, "I did have my return scheduled for tomorrow evening. May I ask what it is you want?" "Most certainly," she said, ending her phrase in a welcoming smile. "We need to discuss plans for the next mission of the Excursion and the changes to that ship you think you will need to make in order for the mission to be a success." "Oh?" Angelo responded most uneasily. "You want my input?" "Yes, frankly, I do. General Gene and others thinks I want to scrap the space program. You see, I don't to scrap it. I want to help it succeed. But I think it should be more focused rather than just flinging Kermen out into space. You were highly sought by Gene, Dr. Wernher, and Dr. Haywood before you even bid on your first contract. You are innovative and have an open mind." After a brief and uncomfortable pause, she added, "and that's exactly why we would like to see you appear in front of the Committee today." "Yes, Madam," Angelo replied. "It is an honor for you to think so highly of me -- " "I have taken the liberty of sending orders to the commander of the station regarding your immediate departure. From what I have been told, the shuttle Tsoolik is scheduled to return to Kerbin today. I'd like you to be on that shuttle." "Yes, Madam." What else could Dr. Angelo say? "I will be delighted to meet the committee in New Kerbin City tonight." Without any sort of warning, the screen image changed. The short communication with the Prime Consul was over. "So, Captain, let me tell you, it was certainly an adventure. Before I could even switch off the communications panel, I was notified all my gear had been transferred to the shuttle. And what's more, the departure was scheduled so quickly I didn't even have the chance to tell the crew and commander of the Zebulan Kerman thanks for their hospitality. I literally had to go directly to the shuttle! Within twenty minutes, Commander Moty had completed his pre-dedocking checklist and we were on our way. "Captain, there wasn't much for me to do other than just sit there and enjoy the ride and scenery!" He added. "STS Tsoolik, this is Station Operations, you are clear and free from the station. We are transferring telemetry to your onboard computer system." "Roger, Station Operations," a young female Kerman's voice replied. "Commander Moty sends his regards. He wants to know if you'll save his parking spot?" "Negative, Tsoolik," the voice from the station replied. "We already have another inbound, the STS Jala Kerman -- " "Understood -- " "STS Tsoolik, this is KSC Control," Gene's voice cut through the chatter and static of the open channel. "We're sending you reentry telemetry. See you when you get here..." "Roger, KSC Control," the female Kerman voice replied. "Tsoolik out!" "You know, Captain," Angelo continued, "Those cargo shuttles - the space transportation shuttles - designed by Dr. Wernher and the late Dr. Von Braun are really something. The reentry was so much more inspiring and easy than the reentry in the slimline passenger shuttle I designed!" And he continued to tell me about his first reentry on the shuttle. "It was exhilarating!" he continued to explain. "The slim line shuttles bump around a lot more because they are lighter and the center of mass is a bit different. But once we broke through at about 16,000 meters, it was the smoothest flight back from space I've ever experienced! Before I knew it, we were lining up for a final approach at the space center." "STS Tsoolik, this is KSC Tracking," Bobak's voice said. Please use secondary designated landing zone south." "Roger, Tracking," Commander Moty replied. "Reasons for the -- " "The Old Man said so," Gene's gruff voice came across the communications console speaker. "Your orders are secondary designated landing zone south." "Roger, Tracking..." "What does that mean," Dr. Angelo asked the flight crew. "Why does Gene want us to land there instead of the runway?" "Doctor," Lieutenant Keralla answered, "we don't really know any more than you do. But whatever it is, it must be a good reason. Dr. Wernher hates us landing on the secondary runways. He says it's hard on the main landing gear." "Kerny, when they began their turn, that shuttle smoothly changed directions. It was like riding one of those eggs around the space center roads. It was incredibly smooth." "Before I knew it, we had touched down and I could feel the main braking chutes firing to slow us down." "Oh, and I hope you and your crew are having a happy Cha'an!" Dr. Angelo added. "The eclipse this morning was spectacular! Did you happen to catch it?" "Yes," I began to explain. "I think we had the best seats in the system. So where are you now, Dr. Angelo?" "Well, as soon as we stopped, Gene had a ground vehicle waiting for us. The crew were dropped off for debriefing at the flight operations center. But I was taken to the tarmac. Gene already had Wild Blue's craft fueled and ready for my departure. I found out this was why he didn't want the STS Tsoolik to use the main runway -- " "The eclipse was just becoming visible by the time I arrived in front of the space plane hangar. Major Thompberry was waiting for me, told me he had told the pilots to start the engines and prepare to taxi to the end of the runway as soon as I was on board. But Captain, that's not the strange part -- " "Oh?" Like anything that's happened already isn't ordinary. Today has been anything but ordinary. "He told me to be careful with the Prime Consul." Angelo acontinued, in almost a whisper. "He told me he doesn't trust her." "Well, he's not the only one," I added. I certainly didn't trust her. And I agree with Thompberry. She's up to something. "I'm about thirty minutes into the flight to New Kerbin City. I'll contact you when I know anything else," Dr. Angelo said right before he closed the channel. Almost instantly, the normal white, dim light filled my cabin. What ever Prime Consul Katrine had planned, Section 31 needed to know. And based on what I've studied in the materials sent by Dr. Edmund, I needed to know. ++++ The data packet sent by Bobak was filled with the latest information from the space center and beyond. There wasn't really anything out of the ordinary. But just as Dr. Angelo had overheard in the conversation between the station staff and the crew of the Tsoolik, this morning, before Kerbolrise, the STS Jala Kerman made her maiden flight to the orbiting space station. From the information contained in the data packet, the shuttle went from launch to orbital insertion within fifteen minutes. Although I do not know any member of the crew personally, the shuttle's commander, Lieutenant Commander Calul has already made a name for himself. But today's launch added a new dimension to his fame. Instead of jettisoning his tank according to procedures, he kept the external fuel tank until his last orbital insertion burn was completed. He then transferred as much of the remaining fuel and monopropellant into the shuttle's tanks as he could. And when all that was done, he ordered separation from the tank. Because the tank is fitted with Separatron engines, the tank's orbit was altered considerably when it was jettisoned and they fired. Although the engines are meant to shove the external tank out of the same orbit as the shuttle, it did more than that this time. It altered the orbit enough that the tank reentered the atmosphere and survived! According to the report, the external tank is now sitting at the end of the main runway of the KSC - another reason why the Tsoolik was told to use one of the two secondary landing zones. The other thing of interest in the data packet is the continued trials of the KAI C-130 cargo aircraft. Yesterday afternoon, the second stage of testing began. The mission was pretty straightforward. Take off from the main runway, fly to a predetermined altitude, and while over the secondary landing zone to the south, drop simulated cargo from the rear of the craft. As a part of yesterday's test, the rocket assist take-off system was used. The report and the video show that the cargo craft was able to launch with just one quarter of the length of the runway carrying a cargo of 500 Kilograms - the average weight of an emergency survival payload. "Hello, Kerny," Maxbas said over the hatch speaker. "Can I come in?" "Sure, I'm just watching the video report and going over the results of the latest cargo craft test." "Why are they using those old propeller engines?" She asked. "Aren't jets and ramjets faster?" "Yes, it would be faster, but what we've learned from Colonel Ralph's expedition is faster isn't always better when it comes to cargo drops. Slower flying aircraft allows greater accuracy for cargo drops -- " "Mind if I watch it with you?" She asked. "You know, if I hadn't have gone into politics, I would have stayed in the Kerbin Defense Forces as a career." We watched as the KAI C-130 climbed to 8,500 meters. The cargo ramp at the rear of the plane opened and within a few seconds, the simulated cargo was dropped. For a brief second, I thought I saw the parachute deploy from inside the cargo area of the craft and the drag of the chute, while not sufficient enough to slow or stall the craft, was plenty enough to drag the cargo out of the craft. "Wow, can we watch that again?" Maxbas asked. "It looked so -- " "Totally amazing!" I added. "Sure, we'll watch it again. I want to pay more attention to the cargo being dropped..." Maxbas sat beside me, her head resting on my shoulder, as we sat on the bunk in my cabin. I backtracked the video report for at least two more times, trying to figure out how they had overcome the problems of deploying cargo from a craft in flight. I think I'm right - the chute is deploying while the cargo is still in the aircraft. Feeling pretty amused with their solution, it was time to see what was on the rest of the video report on this mission. "Ok, I'm going to let the rest of the video report play, okay, Maxbas?" But there was no answer. Sometime between her sitting next to me and now, she had fallen asleep. Great... now how do I peel her off of my shoulder without waking her up? After a few seconds of outright panic and fear of being caught by Commander Karloff, I was able to get her off my shoulder and firmly on my bunk. Had Commander Karloff caught her asleep on me, I would have never heard the end of it. But before I could leave my cabin and report back to the command deck, Gilti's voice came across the communications panel speaker. "Captain, We've received a flash message, text only" she reported. "It's encrypted. Want me to send it back?" "Yes, Lieutenant," I replied. "That will be fine." The message was encrypted with bio-metric identification keys and voice authorization. I entered the voice combination and the eye scanner did its job of temporarily blinding the vision in my right eye. But the message on the screen is what really caught me off guard: Immediately I reached over and opened the communications channel to the command deck. "Maintain our current distance from Kerbin, Lieutenant. Belay my order to begin return trajectory calculations. Please tell Commander Karloff to meet me in the conference room in twenty minutes." "Aye, sir." was her only reply. I could hear the disappointment in her voice. I was a little disappointed, too. But we have our orders and here, at the edge of Kerbin's sphere of influence we'll stay.
  6. A nutshell? More like in the NDA! Makes me think of the old Prego commercials. Ah, it's in there! (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)
  7. As I do in my story... those pesky anomalies... they get blamed for everything.
  8. I've not been paying attention to the post count. But thank you for your acknowledgement! And I am glad you liked the new chapter. I was kind of worried on how it was going to turn out. But rest assured, I am already working on the next chapter!
  9. adsii1970

    Misspell the Username!

    la la lachland...
  10. Moho 25, Y003 "Has it really come down to this?" MISSION DAY +3.75 Chapter 69 About thirty minutes ago I finished reading and reviewing the materials in today's data packet. Commander Alddred, the former first officer of the Sinaan, took his first command aboard the URKN Tekto. I didn't realize he and his crew departed around the same time my crew also left the space center. After traveling for two days between 20 and 30 knots, his ship, arrived at Ha'Ta'ab Station shortly before midnight last night. According to the data file, he and his crew will have three days in port, mainly to top off the ship's fuel tanks, and then begin a patrol in the Wach Nohol Sea. From what I can tell, his patrol will be the third patrol in that sea since the Emergence almost four years ago. Prime Consul Katrine suffered another political setback yesterday. Her daughter, Acting Senior Consul Rayvan, introduced a resolution to reduce the number of planned patrol craft to three. According to the report, her suggestion was necessary to divert resources to the surface recolonization and settlement project Katrine has continued to promote. Under Rayvan's plan, the Dres, Tekto, and Eeloo would remain in service. The new Sinaan, a light cruiser with significantly more firepower and less than a third of the way completed, would be scrapped. The other five patrol craft would also be scrapped. The Delegates of Five rejected the proposal and although not required to, made a full report to the Committee of the Five. I don't think anyone on the Grand Committee, except for Rayvan, trusts Katrine. It is becoming more apparent there are a number of consuls on the Grand Committee who view the Prime Consul with increasing distrust. As far as I am concerned, what has caused the distrust with the Prime Consul is her vision for the Republic. She wants to completely dismantle the KDF, believing there's no need to defend our world from any threat. She also wants to restrict space exploration to just Kerbin's sphere of influence. And finally, she wants to be remembered as the Prime Consul who led our civilization to recolonize the surface of Kerbin. While recolonizing the surface of Kerbin isn't necessarily a bad thing, it must not take priority above our defense. The data packet contained briefing notes and a video file from a special and unscheduled flight this morning. Maybe the flight was a reaction to her calling for the creation of a new organization she's referred to as the Guards of the Prime Consul". Yesterday, she called for the creation of this new military at the same time she called for the disbanding of the Kerbin Defense Forces. In her speech, she claimed the KDF could not be trusted to defend all of the Republic and remain under the oversight of the Triune Committee. In a surprise move, she claimed the Guards would be under the direct command of the Prime Consul. There would be no Triune Committee oversight. No extended oversight by the Grand Committee -- and independent of the chain of command established in the Governing Statues and Decrees. The briefing notes were clear - in the absence of Dr. Edmund, the KDF would continue to recognize the authority of the Triune Committee - but would not recognize Acting Consul Rayvan as the Senior Consul of the committee. The KDF's top military officer, General Gene, would only recognize the proper succession of leadership - which would be Dr. Zarkov. And the briefing notes included a list of officers who agreed with the stand he was taking. And until the matter could be resolved by a full hearing of the Grand Committee and not through actions taken solely by Prime Consul Katrine, the KDF would begin to perform periodic reconnaissance flights over New Kerbin City to monitor its production facilities. Gene's statement sent to the Committee of Five also included a provision that the all reconiassance materials would be forwarded directly to the Committee after processed by the KSC. I can't help asking has it really come down to this? "KSC Flight Operations, this is Starfire..." the young feminine Kerman voice called out. "Requesting clearance to launch." "Roger, Starfire," Bobak responded. "The Old Man requests you change to seven plus.." This was the way we were taught in pilot's training when Gene wanted us to change frequencies to prevent monitoring by the Kerbal News Network. At some point in the morning briefing, the various pilots were told of a base frequency number. And the 'seven plus' was simply a cryptic way of instructing the pilot, Captain Stelbel - Starfire - to change frequencies after takeoff. The video shifted to the end of runway camera. And there, filling the screen of my cabin, was the Hornet Mk 1. Designed for high speed chase and combat with the unidentified alien craft, the program was scrapped. The four prototypes would be fitted with various experiment packs and used to better survey the surface of Kerbin. But today's mission had a more sinister purpose than spotting anomalies and resources from the air - it was going to perform the daily reconnaissance mission over New Kerbin City. "You are go for take-off, Starfire -- " Bobak said. The tension could be heard in his voice. "Roger, KSC," Captain Stelbel responded. "Starfire out!' And with that, the audio was distorted by the sounds of a jet engine at full throttle. Within a few seconds, the craft was heading towards New Kerbin City at nearly 5,700 meters. I was totally unaware of when Senior Consul Maxbas entered my cabin. "So, this is where you are when you're not in your chair?" she asked. "What are you watching? One of those Emiko the Kerbalnaut stories sent to you from J. Jim?" "No," I began. "It's -- " "Kerny, did you notice the screenmark next to the file name?" Maxbas asked. "Those files are for..." "No, I didn't," I began again. How I hate being interrutped! "But yes, that screenmark means this video is classified. It's... I believe... it's 'Ek... which means -- " "Star." she finised. "How did you get this? You know this is classified where only members of the Triune Committee and the Committee of Five have access -- " "And the Ohoroxtotil," I interrupted. And it felt good. "And the Ohoroxtotil. Don't forget that. But since you are technically a member of the Triune Committee, you might as well stay -- " "What is it, some new craft? I've not seen that one before." Maxbas asked. Maybe my decision to let her stay and watch was premature. But here, out near the orbital path of Minmus, what could she do? "No, it's been tested before. It's the Hornet," I began to explain. "It is on a reconnaissance mission over New Kerbin -- " "Wait, we are sending a craft to spy on New Kerbin City?" She interrupted. It was apparent from her tone she was not happy with this latest development. "You know the KDF operates under the oversight and authority of the Triune Commitee and the Grand Committee, right?" "KSC Tracking, this is Starfire..." the voice from the video filled my cabin. "On frequency seven plus. Over..." "Roger, Starfire," this time it was Gene's voice. "Do a flyby run and return. Deploy equipment at 5km, one-zero-zero throttle, from and beyond target at an altitude of nine-seven-zero-zero-zero. Return to KSC with priority two no contact until five hundred. Old Man out." And with that, the radio channel on the video died. The orders from Gene were clear - start radio transmission recording and film five kilometers out from KSC for two passes only. The first flyby of New Kerbin City was to be at full throttle and an altitude of 5,000 meters. There was to be no radio contact with the space center until Angelfire was 500 meters from the KSC on her final approach - and her mission had priority over all missions except reentering shuttles. I had to explain all of this to Maxbas; her face showed her level of unbelief of the situation unfolding on Kerbin. "Kerny," she asked in a soft and quiet voice, "what's going on?" "I'll show you Gene's briefing notes," I explained. "But I want to see the rest of this mission video." And with that, Maxbas sat quietly next to me, holding onto my arm for the rest of the mission's video file. We watched with anticipation as the sound of cargo doors opening dominated the video's audio track. And within seconds, the cockpit screen showed several different camera views as Captain Stelbel began recording her flight over New Kerbin City. We watched as her almost ten and a half kilometer reconnaissance mission took less than three minutes to record. She made a second pass above the city as she completed a steep climb and leveled out at around 9,000 meters. For a brief minute, the SCANSat system came online and she recorded another flyover above New Kerbin City. We watched as the video file continued to play. The Hornet continued to make its way back to the space center. Within ten minutes, she was on her final approach to the space center runway. "KSC Tracking, this is Starfire," Stelbel's voice came over my cabin's speakers. "I'm on final approach." "Starfire," Gene's voice called out, "landing is approved. You know the rest... and report to me as soon as you can." "Roger, Old Man." She replied. And with that, we watched as she continued her course to the runway. With what looked like little effort, she guided the craft down to the runway and deployed her chutes. It was the issue with the craft's low-speed aerodynamics which had caused the cancellation of the Hornet Mk 1 development project. At lower speeds, the craft became extremely unstable - which made low-speed landing situations difficult. "Kerny," Maxbas began, "it doesn't bother you we're spying on our own government?" "Yes," There was no easy way to say what I felt needed to be said. "I don't think the problem is with our government. I think our problem is with Prime Consul Katrine. It has been for a while now -- " "But we're not just spying on her -- " Maxbas protested. "You know as well as I do that -- " "Do you understand she is building her own private military?" I began. "She's made it clear this new military will not report to the Triune Committee OR the Grand Committee. It is accountable to her alone!" I watched as the weight of my words hit Maxbas. After what seemed like hours, she looked at me and asked, "What is going on, Kerny. What has Gene said about -- " "If you'd have read the stuff I told you to, you'd see that Gene has already, as the senior military officer of the Kerbin Defense Forces, promised to recognize the military authority of the Triune Committee and would recognize Dr. Zarkov as the Senior Consul -- " "Oh, you know there will be fallout from that. Katrine won't -- " "It doesn't matter." Yes, I think I am getting the hang of this interruption thing. "The Prime Consul had no regulatory power to appoint Rayvan as the Senior Consul of the Triune Committee. The rules of succession within the committee specify it should have gone to Dr. Zarkov if -- " "If I wasn't there. I suspect you're right -- " she added. "What Gene has done is to prevent the Prime Consul from claiming the KDF is not supportive of the Grand Committee." I interrupted her again. "She's calling for the KDF to be disbanded in favor of that private army she is building. I'm just finding out about this as you are, but I know that things -- " "Will get out of hand," Maxbas began. "Kerny, if she is successful -- " "I can't think of that," I added. "I am an officer in the Kerbin Defense Forces and the captain of this vessel. Right now, I cannot do anything but remain focused on this mission." For the next few minutes, we discussed the most recent developments and how they fit with the other events, particularly the death of Dr. Edmund. Our conversation was interrupted when the communications console indicated I had an incoming message. Eventually Maxbas and I would have to finish this conversation. "Captain," it was obvious Hildi was excited. "We're at the next maneuver node." "On my way," I replied. ++++ We had arrived at our next maneuver node, some 15 kilometers from the Discovery IV. On the central screen, we could see the craft's homing marker. Although our own inertia has begun to slow over the last two days, we are still nearly 700 meters per second faster than our target. This maneuver is a short-duration burn which will bring us on a parallel course. "Hildi, hail the Discovery IV," I ordered. "Let's check on the crew." "Aye, sir," she responded and immediately set out to contact the wayward ship. "Discovery IV, this is Excursion, come in Discovery IV..." Still, nearly twenty kilometers away, the Discovery IV appeared as a little bright dot against the blackness of space. After a few seconds, her crew answered our hails. "Excursion, this is Discovery IV," it was the voice of Commander Orvin. "Welcome, Captain Kerny! It's about time you got out here -- " "We're not there yet, Commander." I began. "We're going to begin braking in another three hours so it will appear we will be overshooting you. We'll rendezvous with you on our way back in -- " "Yes, sir," Orvin replied. "We already see the Excursion visually out our view ports. You're a beautiful sight to see!" "Thank you, Commander," I added. "What's your status?" "Since the last status date yesterday, and as I told Commander Karloff, our fuel remains unchanged. Our solar panels continue to generate power and we have enough air and water for another two days -- " "Commander, you're not going to need it," I interrupted. "We will be rendezvousing two hours after we complete our braking burn." "Roger, Captain," he responded. "We look forward to meeting you. Discovery IV out." ++++ We are now about two and a half hours away from our braking burn. Commander Karloff and Ensign Triy have been busy in the engineering section making sure the engines are ready. Lieutenant Gilti continues to recalculate burn times and the various adjustment burns to make the rendezvous with the Discovery IV as smooth as possible. She's even begun to calculate our return to Kerbin.
  11. Oh... this is great!
  12. Oh, wow... I'm going to download this mod now...
  13. adsii1970

    What am I doing wrong?

    And there are some contracts you cannot combine with others. In order to meet one, you might overshoot or undershoot the goals of the other.