adsii1970

Kerny Kerman's Journal (mission reports from a Kerbal's point of view) [Chapter 75: "Captain, we've achieved orbit."]

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5 hours ago, adsii1970 said:

Is that a good thing? :)

When I sat down to outline this chapter, the plan was only to have the outage affect the Excursion. But once I began writing, that didn't feel right. It felt too artificial. Like it was a single targeted attack just on Kerny and his crew. So, my mind began to wonder; what would happen if it were a system-wide attack?

WOAH SPOILERS! *sound the spoiler sirens* Ya know... it could have just been a bug, after all!

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1 minute ago, Kerballing (Got Dunked On) said:

WOAH SPOILERS! *sound the spoiler sirens* Ya know... it could have just been a bug, after all!

Not so fast there, partner!

You can ask @Just Jim about this. It doesn't matter how much time you spend taking the screenshots, setting up the situations which become screenshots, or how detailed your plot outline is. Once you sit down and start typing the story, there are times when what you want to happen and what the flow of the story says is going to happen aren't always in agreement.  And that's what happened in this chapter. So, I allowed the story to set the pace and course it wants to take.

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1 minute ago, adsii1970 said:

Not so fast there, partner!

You can ask @Just Jim about this. It doesn't matter how much time you spend taking the screenshots, setting up the situations which become screenshots, or how detailed your plot outline is. Once you sit down and start typing the story, there are times when what you want to happen and what the flow of the story says is going to happen aren't always in agreement.  And that's what happened in this chapter. So, I allowed the story to set the pace and course it wants to take.

heh... that's a good point. I originally meant for the first complete craft loss to be on the fifth manned flight but I turned it into the first unmanned flight because I had a really funny reason for the RUD! *referencing my own series... link in the signature. no shame in advertising!*

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10 minutes ago, Kerballing (Got Dunked On) said:

heh... that's a good point. I originally meant for the first complete craft loss to be on the fifth manned flight but I turned it into the first unmanned flight because I had a really funny reason for the RUD! *referencing my own series... link in the signature. no shame in advertising!*

If it is ok, I will read it later; unfortunately, it will have to be on Saturday afternoon. Tomorrow I have two nursing home visits in the afternoon, two classes to teach at the college in the morning, and Friday, I am a pallbearer at a funeral for a nice sweet lady, Mrs. June Perkins,  who recently passed away. (I will include the link to the obit when it is released). She was 94. 

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Just now, adsii1970 said:

If it is ok, I will read it later; unfortunately, it will have to be on Saturday afternoon. Tomorrow I have two nursing home visits in the afternoon, two classes to teach at the college in the morning, and Friday, I am a pallbearer at a funeral for a nice sweet lady, Mrs. June Perkins,  who recently passed away. (I will include the link to the obit when it is released). She was 94. 

oh... *inwardly squealing that a man that I idol of this writing world would read my novel* yeah that's ok! I know your pain with busy schedules... I was going to try and get Chapter 4 released today, but now it looks like it might not be until Friday at the earliest!

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1 minute ago, Kerballing (Got Dunked On) said:

oh... *inwardly squealing that a man that I idol of this writing world would read my novel* yeah that's ok! I know your pain with busy schedules... I was going to try and get Chapter 4 released today, but now it looks like it might not be until Friday at the earliest!

Wait - what? MeAn idol? I am flattered and blown away at the same time. Thank you for that rare honor. But please keep in mind, I am nothing other than an almost 50-year-old man who still plays computer games and dares to dream.

Helping others to get the same satisfaction out of this game and community is what I enjoy doing most. When I started Kerny's Journal, I never thought there'd be any real interest in it. Had it not been for @Just Jim and @Kuzzter, I was ready to walk away from this project after the third or fourth chapter. I never expected that I'd have a core set of readers nor did I expect to hit chapter 73! I owe both of them a debt of gratitude and so the least I can do is give you the same courtesy they gave me. :) It's all good, my friend. 

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Just now, adsii1970 said:

Wait - what? MeAn idol? I am flattered and blown away at the same time.

If I'm going to be honest, it was your series that inspired me to write, so I'm not giving that praise lightly. ;)

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I got the feeling over these two last posts someone was saying something to the effect of: "what if Microsoft's approach to version updates was applied to a space program?"

"my computer randomly restarted on me and took 1 hour to update. This wouldn't be an issue, except its the NavCom, and we were in the middle of a Duna insertion burn... sooo. "

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1 hour ago, Thedrelle said:

I got the feeling over these two last posts someone was saying something to the effect of: "what if Microsoft's approach to version updates was applied to a space program?"

"my computer randomly restarted on me and took 1 hour to update. This wouldn't be an issue, except its the NavCom, and we were in the middle of a Duna insertion burn... sooo. "

Hahaha! That is what inspired Chapter 72. I have a PC, laptop, and a tablet I use interchangeably. The last update bricked the tablet, stopped the laptop and desktop from communicating, AND somehow disconnected Microsoft's OneDrive from all three devices. I use all three for work; not having them talk is a horrible thing. So, I spent four days trying to get everything up and running. :D

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6 hours ago, RocketMan-Explorer said:

OK, I know I've been gone for a while, but I'm back!

And, I was looking at TVTropes, and guess what!

Someone actually made a TVTrope page on Kerny Kerman's Journal! (wow!)

Here: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/FanWorks/KerbalSpaceProgram

*blows noisemaker*

Congrats!

Wow, I had no idea! And if you're the one who posted it, I'm honored!

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10 hours ago, RocketMan-Explorer said:

OK, I know I've been gone for a while, but I'm back!

And, I was looking at TVTropes, and guess what!

Someone actually made a TVTrope page on Kerny Kerman's Journal! (wow!)

Here: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/FanWorks/KerbalSpaceProgram

*blows noisemaker*

Congrats!

OMG, Congrats @adsii1970!!!  :cool:

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18 hours ago, adsii1970 said:

Wow, I had no idea! And if you're the one who posted it, I'm honored

 

14 hours ago, Just Jim said:

OMG, Congrats @adsii1970!!!  :cool:

"Gilti" as charged!

:huh: *laughs internally at poor joke*. :huh: please don't delete the joke.

No, but seriously, I was the one to make the TVTropes page. It took quite a few hours, but I'm up to Chapter 55. I should finish recapping all the events until Chapter 73 by today or tomorrow.

14 hours ago, Kerballing (Got Dunked On) said:

uhh... what's a TVTrope? (I have no life sorry)

TVTropes is a website that looks at popular works and explains what literary devices (tropes) they used. Hence the term TVTropes. 

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14 minutes ago, RocketMan-Explorer said:

Oh... by the way, @adsii1970, what's the text font used for the Flash Messages sent to Kerny and the KDF Officers?

It is called "OCR Standard."

It is based on what calculators and computers used in the 1960s through the early 1980s. When I was doing marketing for non-profit organizations, it was one of about 1,500 fonts I purchased for use. 

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Among grading end-of-term exams and papers, I've taken some KSP breaks to help maintain my sanity. I've gotten about a third of the screenshots I need for the next chapter. Here are a few teaser images for you:

UiNGU73.png

aZIZe91.png

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1 hour ago, Thedrelle said:

nice! cant wait to see the mayhem associated with these pics.

Now that you mention it, me, too! I'm hoping to play a bit tonight and get the rest of the images I need between now and Sunday evening. I plan to post a new chapter on Monday. And now since I am off for about two weeks, maybe get at least two more in before the summer semester starts. :)

 

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Moho 30, Y003
"
Almost back to normal. Almost."
MISSION DAY +8.75

Chapter 74

The last two days have been the busiest on board this vessel since our rendezvous with the Discovery IV. After my entry yesterday, there has been a great deal of progress in restoring the Excursion's systems. By accident, Commander Karloff has discovered this ship has a high-frequency communications system. Although I'm not too familiar with how it works, Triy has informed us that this new communications system is being taught to the incoming trainees. The new system operates between eight and nine gigakertz. While I am not familiar with all the inner workings of the latest developments within communication, we do have limited communications with the space center restored.

The standard communications system remains down. Both Commander Karloff and Lieutenant Obion believe the outage was because of damage to the system because of the Kerbnet update.  The older, standard communications system used a much widely used band, called Very High Frequency, and from what I remember from my training days, this is somewhere between 136 to 138 megakertz. With the newer system, the only radio traffic we can monitor is that belonging to the Kerbin Defense Forces. We can receive audio transmissions and data packets; as of right now, we cannot accept or transmit video calls or transmit data packets. Gene has assured us that as soon as Dr. Angelo gets back, he will get to work to figure out a solution to this challenge. 

d2dm7A2.png

The first signals we were able to receive with the new system were communications between the Island Air Field and the space center. Ensign Hildi intercepted a message about three hours ago which does give me the belief we were not the only ones impacted by the last Kerbnet update.

"Captain," Hildi began, "Dr. Zarkov is saying that the update didn't come from the university. He's saying it was made to look like an official patchGene said he would put extra Kermen on the team to determine where the patch came from -- "

"So," I had to ask. "Is there any indication of how widespread this is?"

"Sir," Hildi began, "The Jala Kerman is still unaccounted for. When Kerbnet crashed, they were in the process of a de-orbit burn. The Zebulan Kerman is fine; the recent updates from Dr. Angelo to the station's communications equipment functioned as they should. Within minutes of Kerbnet going down, the new communications system became active."

"I wonder why ours --" I began.

"That's easy, Captain." Karloff enthusiastically replied. "Our ship was still being refitted when we left the station. While most of the -- Wait, Captain, I need to do a spacewalk -- "

"What does a space --"

"Captain," Karloff eagerly proclaimed. "We can activate the radiators. All I have to do is to engage the circuitry in the first panel manually. It will work -- "

"But how -- "

"Sir," now it was Hildi's turn to interrupt me. "Commander Karloff is right! Dr. Angelo told us we wouldn't need to bring the radiators or reactors online because this mission wouldn't require that much power."

"Ok, Commander," I began, "Go do your spacewalk. I'd prefer to keep the reactors and the radiators where they're at -- "

"Worst case scenario, Captain" Hildi responded. "We wouldn't have to jettison the radiators, just the reactors."

Within minutes, Karloff and Hildi were off to the airlock nearest to the radiators. If all worked well, the radiators would be activated, and the reactors cooled. If not, we still have the option to eject both reactors and use the two conventional powered engines to continue to Minmus and then return to Kerbin.

"Ok, Captain," Karloff's voice came over the small speakers on the command deck. " We are here, opening the airlock now. This spacewalking stuff is something which never gets old or routine!"

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"Commander, remember this is not a sight-seeing adventure," I said.

"Understood, Captain. I'm working my way up to the main radiator panel now."

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"Ok, Captain," he said. "Accessing the panel now. Just as I thought; I'm engaging the circuitry now."

"Captain," Hildi exclaimed. "He did it, the engineering panel is now showing the radiator system is now engaged -- "

"I'm moving back to the airlock now, Captain," Karloff said. "I'd like to see J. Jim write that into his next episode."

"He can't," this time it was Lieutenant Gilti who spoke up. "Didn't you pay attention to the last data packet? The Saga of Emiko Station was canceled. The 'farewell' episode aired two nights ago -- "

"Well, dammit!" Karloff exclaimed.    

"What's wro --"

"Oh, nothing, sir. That was in response to that lieutenant's comments. I don't want her telling me how the final episode ends! I'm now back aboard, sir. Pressurizing the airlock now."

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And with that, the entire crew on the command deck began to laugh. The jovial attitude began to fade as Hildi was able to patch the new communications system into the speakers on the deck. Commander Karloff, now back on the command deck, began to share with me one of the previous conversations he and Dr. Angelo had during the early stages of the Excursion's refit.

"So," I asked, "if what you are saying is correct, then New Kerbin City wouldn't have access - "

"Not quite, Captain," he answered. "Before the death of Dr. Edmund, he ordered that the Triune Committee's member offices be fitted with a secure communications panel. This way, if something were to happen -- "

"They could still communicate with the KDF -- "

"Right, sir." Karloff briefly paused. "But here's the thing. It is an encrypted system which requires a retina scan to access. So, Consul Maxbas would have access, but other than that -- "

"Does Rayven have access?" I had to know.

"No, sir." He said with a slight chuckle. "Dr. Angelo said that Dr. Edmund made it very clear that members of the Grand Committee outside of the Triune Committee would not have access to it."

"But Rayven is now Senior Consul --"

"She may hold the title, sir, but even Dr. Angelo knows enough about politics that the Senior Consul of the Triune Committee has to be selected and voted on by the Grand Committee and not appointed by the Prime Consul."

"Captain," Hildi called out among the multiple conversations. " I've got it!" And instantly, we could hear the radio traffic of the KDF. The strongest signal was between the UKRN Dres and Gene.

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"... and make best possible speed," It was easy to hear the frustration in Gene's voice.

Roger, Gene," Commander Hadfen answered. "Understood. We're already underway. If we see anything, we'll contact you. Dres out."

"Captain," Karloff asked. "Should we try to send a signal to Gene?"

"Yes," I said. "Hildi, patch us through to Gene -- "

"Aye, sir. Patching through now." She now turned her attention to the communications console. "Space Center, this is Excursion, please reply..." She paused for what felt like a minute before trying again. "Space Center, this is Excursion, please reply..."

"Excursion!" No mistaking Bobak's voice. "Gene, the Excursion... She's back!"

"Captain Kerny," Gene began, "Where's your video feed? Bobak, where's the video?"

"Gene, it's not on our end. It's something on their end, on Excursion's end -- "

"Kerny, don't update Kerb--"

"Too late, Gene," I interrupted. "We received the update and -- "

"What's the ship's status, Kerny?" Gene asked. "Everyone is -- "

"Yes, Gene, all crew are alive and well," I began. "We've restored some external communications ability, and reactors are starting to cool to within normal operating parameters. We've restored environmental systems, too.

"Good," Gene paused for a few seconds. "Kerny, I know this is not the ideal situation, but continue your orders -- "

"Sir," I began, "I'm taking the ship to Minmus. At our current course, we are less than three days away."

"Good, Captain," He began. "Let me know what you find. Maybe by then, I can give you some updated orders. In the meantime, I've got to get the ship's buoy before New Kerbin City detects it. The Prime Consul still does not know you have a special passenger on board and I want to keep it that way."

"Aye, sir, Excursion out." And just like that, Hildi closed the communications channel.

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We received a data packet full of information about half an hour ago. Within it was the launch of a mission called STS R-14, an official designation for a satellite repair mission. According to the date stamp on the video file, the launch happened earlier this morning.

aZIZe91.png

"Mission Control, this is STS Tsoolik," Lieutenant Commander Keralla Kerman answered. "Our onboard systems are showing we are 'go' for launch."

"Roger, Tsoolik," Bobak's voice called back. "Resuming countdown at T minus 35 seconds. 34... 33...

 

WJVDrxw.png

"Roger, Mission Control," Keralla added. "We still do not have Kerbnet -- "

"Roger, Tsoolik," this time Gene replied. "When you achieve orbit, use radar and signal homing to track the satellite -- "

"T minus ten seconds and counting," Bobak's voice as calm as ever.

"Gotcha, Gene," came the reply. "Have those landing coordinates ready. Without Kerbnet -- "

"Seven..."

"Roger, Tsoolik," Gene gave an uneasy snicker. "I don't need another lost shuttle."

"We have main engine ignition," this time, it was the voice of Lieutenant Macdrin, a crew member of the Tsoolik.

"Zero..."

And at that moment, the STS Tsoolik became the first shuttle to relaunch within a week of returning to the center.

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We are still roughly two days away from Minmus at our current speed. Earlier this evening, I spent some time with Maxbas this evening. Although she is still a little mad at me for confining her to her quarters, I think she'll come around. The last words she yelled at me as I left her quarters was, "you may be the captain of this vessel, but you just wait until we get back to Kerbin." I wonder what she has planned.

We're back on regular shift rotations now. I have about two hours before I've got to be back on the command deck. I think it'd be a good time for a nap.

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1 hour ago, adsii1970 said:

Emiko Station was canceled. The 'farewell' episode aired two nights ago

Wait, does this mean there's no Volume 2? Nooooooooooo... :(

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5 minutes ago, Kerballing (Got Dunked On) said:

Wait, does this mean there's no Volume 2? Nooooooooooo... :(

Don’t worry, I think @Just Jim will do Vol. 2 at some point.

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Posted (edited)
Quote

...when  Dr. Angelo gets back...

Sounds about right.. I’ve been away from KSP myself, though finally back to working on the mothership.

Anyway, nice too see the Excursion back online. Just two more days until we find ou what is at Minmus! Two more story days that is..

Me thinks Kerny is gonna get a talking to when this is all over.

And just think about what could happen if the buoy is recovered by those loyal to Rayven...

Edited by Angel-125

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