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Journal of Jebediah Kerman. (Missions as told by a Kerbal.)


Lo var Lachland
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“The sky is the limit only for those who aren't afraid to fly!” 
― Bob BelloSci-Fi Almanac, 2010

 

August 8th:

Well, the goverment has called me up and asked me to be one of the first Kerbals to join the Kerbonaut team. After all, I was an Air Force pilot, so I guess I would be a candidate. Just as I was finishing my packing, a big black limousine pulled up to my apartment, and a man wearing a government ID stepped out of the vehicle. I started putting all my luggage in the hallway when the elevator door opened and out stepped... Gene Kerman. He shook my hand vigorously, and helped me take my gear to the elevator.

As we descended the twelve floors to the ground, Gene handed me the profiles of the 3 other Kerbonauts who had been chosen.

Bob Kerman, Scientist.

Bill Kerman, Engineer.

And Valentina Kerman, Pilot.

I was stunned at the last name in the list. Val... Val... Yes! Valentina Kerman! She was in the Air Force with me. She had risen to the rank of Senior Airman, before the horrible accident that claimed the life of her co-pilot. After the trauma, she left the Air Force to recover.

As Gene led me to the limo, I saw the silhouette of another man sitting in the back of the vehicle. When I stepped into the car, the world famous scientist Wherner Von Kerman greeted me as I sat down and settled in for the ride. 

As we approached the airport, Gene and Wherner clinked glasses and we toasted to my safety and the further discovery of space. 

A government official saluted me as we boarded Gene's two engine jet. A few hours later, Gene told me that we were flying over the last stretch of open land before the large mountain range that lead to the KSC.

I felt the landing gear of the aircraft touch the runway, and I was greeted by another KSC staff member, who smiled and saluted just like the man at the airport. He guided me to a smaller vehicle that would take me to the Astronaut Complex. 

And with that, my new career in spaceflight began. 

~Jeb

Edited by Lo Var Lachland
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“Astronauts are inherently insane. And really noble.” 
― Andy WeirThe Martian

August 9th:

When I woke up today, Gene told me to report to the KSC's clinic for blood tests. After making sure I was mentally ready for the training that followed, Gene brought me to centrifuge training, where I would be forced into my seat from high-G's. 

As I strapped into the centrifuge, I can tell you, I was quite worried. I had never gone over 3G when I was a pilot.

And now Gene was telling me I was going to go faster then any Kerbal ever has in this testing room. Oh well. The pay is good for a Kerbonaut, so I told Gene I was ready, and he increased the speed slowly. 50 M/s, 75 M/s, 100 M/s, 150 M/s...

My body was being pressed into my seat and I started seeing black around my eyes. I realized I was getting tunnel vision, the first step of blackout. I tried to keep the blood in my head like I had been trained in the Air Force, but I slowly saw less and less, until It felt like I was looking into a soda straw. Then, I saw black but I could still hear things. Finally, I lost consciousness. 

When I awoke, I was lying in a bunk bed, in a deep room. I saw 2 other Kerbals sleeping across from me, and I heard breathing above me. Looking up, I saw Valentina Kerman, sleeping calmly. The other 2 Kerbals were Bob and Bill. My forehead felt cool, and I found a wet towel near my bed. I realized that after I blacked out, I was taken back to the Astronaut complex by staff members, so I could wake up when I was ready. 

I stood up and went over to a little fridge, where I found snacks and some drinks. As I sat on the edge of my bed, enjoying my small dinner, Bill woke up and greeted me. I smiled, and finished my meal. Tomorrow was going to be very busy.

~Jeb

Edited by Lo Var Lachland
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“Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed.” 
― Neil Armstrong

August 10th:

Gene lent me a plane today called the "Dove," and said I could go anywhere I wanted as long as I didn't buzz the tower and upset the air traffic controllers. 

But did I listen? After flying around the old airfield, I came screaming in towards the KSC at full throttle, jammed the plane sideways, and circled the tower extremely low and fast. 

After flying 2 more hours, I slowed down to half throttle, put the plane in a gentle bank, and softly landed in Rwy 09 with little fuel to spare. 

Gene and a security officer were waiting for me, and behind them, a very angry looking controller with coffee on his shirt stared me down. As I stepped out of my aircraft, Gene told me if I disobeyed orders, I would be put on probation. After I told him that I thought the controllers needed a little rouse, he said that I would not be allowed to fly aircraft for a while, but that was my only restriction. 

Buzzing the tower was worth it. I should do it again someday.

~Jeb

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"I'm coming back in... And it's the saddest moment of my life."

~Ed White

August 11th:

Valentina and I were put in charge of showing some new recruits around the KSC today. Gene has hired 10 new Kerbals, including 3 pilots, 2 engineers, 2 scientists, and 3 doctors.

We gave the new guys a nice tour, then Valentina took us up in a mallard transport to show the Kerbonauts around. They had fun, and later that night we all played pool and joked about all sorts of things.

It was nice, and I met a Kerbal there named Tomford. He was an engineer, and soon he was showing me the internal workings of a plane. I was surprised at how much he knew.

He also gave me a book, entitled "The saga of Emiko station. The gripping story of survival far away from home." It was written by a guy with a pen name. @Just Jim, I think it was. I am still in the middle of reading it, but it seems like a very good novel. 

Anyway, Gene is so happy at how I treated the new Kerbals that he gave me permission to fly again! Yippee!

~Jeb

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"Spacecraft are an accident waiting to happen, but Jeb thinks otherwise."

~Bob Kerman

August 12th: 

Gene asked me if I could come over to the VAB to check in on the construction of the first satellite that we would attempt to launch, the Orion I. After examining the craft from head to toe with Wherner, he gave the go-ahead.

As we stood on the roof of mission control, watching the pre-flight checks, Wherner told me how important this launch would be."Zis is ze first craft ve vill attempt to put into orbit, Jeb. Everything must be ready to go."

I pondered this, and then asked him "What if we fail? What would happen to our reputation?"

"Ah, Jeb. Zat is too hard to answer. All I know is, if ve succeed, ve succeed. If ve fail, ve fail."

I was a little confused by his answer, but I realized that everything had to go as planned. I climbed down from the roof and entered the control center, where Gene was getting ready. 

"Guidance?"

"We're go flight."

"Autopilot?"

"We are go."

"Navigation?"

"Go."

"And flight is go. This is flight, T-minus 3 minutes and counting. We are go for the launch of the Orion I."

I looked out at the ship. We had chosen multiple companies to help us build this. Rockomax had supplied the fuel tanks; Kerbodyne had supplied the main booster, the LFB KR-1x2 "Twin-Boar" liquid fuel engine; Probodobodyne Inc., had built most of the satellite; and Zaltonic Electronics had supplied the batteries. 

As the countdown neared zero, I heard Gene again: "T-minus 10 seconds and counting. 9, 8, 7, booster sequence start, 6, 5, 4, gantry separation staged, 3, ignition sequence start, 2, 1, liftoff of the Orion I satellite into orbit. T+2 seconds and counting, Orion I has cleared the tower."

All eyes pointed to the ship as it continued to ascend. 

Gene kept on calling out numbers: "Guidance is nominal, altitude 1000 Meters, velocity 257 M/s, probe is secure. T+60 seconds and counting."

As the ship entered higher orbit, we ran into some problems. As the ship gimbaled to stay on track, the payload began to sway a little bit. No biggie, just keep the rocket steady. However, when the ship's fairing deployed, it knocked off one of the navigation antennas, and the craft began spinning. Gene shut off the engine, and Guidance had to manually steer the ship into a stable orbit using RCS and some gentle corrections. Even through these problems, the probe successfully entered its first rotation of Kerbin, and we all cheered as the Kerbal space program put the first unmanned spacecraft into a geostationary orbit.

As I settled into bed that night, I wondered what the probe was seeing up there. What is it like to be up in total blackness, alone? I guess it would be a feeling I would experience when I went up in a spacecraft. 

~Jeb

 
Edited by Lo Var Lachland
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"Uhhh, guys? Was that supposed to explode?"

~Bob Kerman

August 13th:

Today was a rainy and dark day. All flights out of the KSC were delayed, and I watched TV all afternoon.

However, some cool stories were on the television. One of the primary stories was a plane crash in the North Pole, where 36 Kerbals were rescued from a snowy wasteland. 

Another cool story was about us. The whole world went on fire as we sent the first sattelite into orbit. It was nice to see the footage of the launch again, and I got to see the first photos taken of Kerbin from space. 

The final piece was on me, and how I had joined the KSP after the Air Force. They made a few mistakes, but It was nice to be recognized as a "total badass."

~Jeb

Edited by Lo Var Lachland
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WOOOOOHHHOOOO!!!

~Jebediah Kerman

August 21st:

The day finally came. Gene is putting me in the top of the Delta II, the first manned Spacecraft to go suborbital. If all goes well, I will hit 77,000 kilometers at my apoapsis, before coming back down to Kerbin. In other words... I'm going to space.

I sat in my tight capsule, monitoring the displays of the rocket. It was a small ship, but it could get the job done. The single person capsule was supplied by Kerlington Inc; the first stage fuel tank, the FL-T800, was actually built by a company that I founded, Jebediah Kerman's junkyard and spaceship parts Co. The first stage engine, the LV-T45, was also supplied by Jeb's junkyard too. O.M.B enterprises supplied the TR-18A, and Rockomax supplied the 2 BACC "Thumper" boosters. Again, my company built the second stage engine, the LV 909 and the FL-T400 fuel tank. Also on the ship were various science tools. 

Gene started the pre-flight checks. 

"Guidance?"

"We're go." 

"Capcom?"

"Go!" 

"Guido?" 

"Go flight."

"EECOM?"

"Go."

"Okay, this is the launch director. We are go for launch. Jeb? How are you doing man?" 

"Fine Gene. Thanks. My heart is pounding though. I can't wait to get up there!"

"T-minus 60 seconds. Start the staging for Nitrogen cool-down. 

"You got it flight. Nitrogen Is venting. Temperature is -300 degrees."

"T-minus 30 seconds. Flight surgeon, are we still go?" 

"Roger flight. He's ready."

"T-minus 15 seconds. Good luck Jeb."

Gene came over the radio again:

T-minus 10 seconds and counting. 9, 8, 7, booster sequence start, 6, 5, 4, gantry separation staged, 3, ignition sequence start, 2, 1, liftoff of the Delta II. T+4 seconds and counting, the Delta II has cleared the tower."

I was forced into my seat as the ship lifted off. Surprisingly, instead of feeling my heart beat in my chest, I screamed into the radio: "WOOOOHOOOO! I love this ride!!!" 

I bet I broke Gene's eardrums that day. As I kept ascending, the booster stopped, and there was a jolt as the decoupling took place. 

Soon my first liquid fueled stage burned out, and The LV-909 started up. I looked out my window, and gasped. There was Kerbin. I could see everything from my place in space, and I just couldn't talk. Gene asked me to stage the FL-T 400, but I was just in awe, and my hand froze over the staging switch. Gene again asked me, and this time I was snapped back to reality. As the thunk of the stage jolted me, I relaxed and had some cheese snacks. 

After a short nap, Gene woke me and told me to buckle up. I was going to reenter the atmosphere in  20 minutes. I was sad to leave the comfort of space, but I missed dear old Kerbin. So after doing the checks for reentry, I told Gene I was ready. 

"Okay Jeb, T-minus 4 minutes until you hit the atmosphere. Get ready for some fire." 

Gene was right. Reentry was crazy. At 1000 meters, I staged the parachute, and drifted to the ground. At the KSC, I was an instant celebrity, but that's a different story.

~Jeb

 

Edited by Lo Var Lachland
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  • 2 weeks later...

"I'm quite disappointed that I'm still the last man on the moon."

~Gene Cernan

August 30th:

The KSC has been buzzing with activity recently. Since my launch, we have put 4 new satellites in LKO, as well as a probe orbiting the moon. The public is excited, and Walt Kerman, head of PR, really has the news stopping by to interview me.

Linus Kerman, Wherner's intern, came to me in my new room, which was given to each Kerbonaut after I was shot into Orbit. He handed me a stack of papers that I needed to study. Mostly they were about orbital mechanics and docking, but one article caught my eye. "How to intercept the Mün and capture in LMO." 

Low Muner orbit. The article talked about how to send a Kerbal into LMO, and return him safely to Krrbin. Huh. I looked at my computer blankly and quickly snapped upright. After  some quick calculation, I found that it would take approximately 4,570* D/v to achieve an orbit around the Mün. I then e-mailed these figures as well as copies of the article to Gus Kerman, so he could incorporate it into the blueprints.

Oh well. That's all for now. Maybe the next journal entry will be from space.

~Jeb

*I kinda sorta know how to calculate D/v, so I'm sorry if I missed anything. :)

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  • 3 months later...

"Space is awful. I quit!"

~Bob Kerman, in an interview with Gene.

 

December 3rd: 

Well, crap. I haven't written a journal entry since summer! Anyhoo, since it's been so long, I'll get you back up to speed. September was a slow month. The KSC endured a hurricane, so we weren't able to launch anything that month. However, October was a crazy couple of weeks. Our first space station parts went up, and we got a probe on the surface of the Mün. 

November was slow, but I was sent up to the Space station to be the mission commander. I had a crew of 5 that I was in command of. We were in a low orbit, and I can tell you, it's the most amazing thing you could ever see. The last 2 days of December have been okay. I've been conducting some orbital experiments with Bob, who wants to quit, and Bill took me on an EVA tour of our station. I'm starting to really like space. 

Send me to the Mün Gene! The best thing I have is a game called Homeworld and my Book Emiko station which is getting a little boring. I've read it 30 times!!

~Jeb 

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"Jeb, give me some snacks. C'mon Jeb! Gimme some snacks! Jeb? Jeb!!"

~Valentina Kerman

December 4th:

Not much for today. I got really bored and watched Kerbol Wars. The Kedi were fighting the Kith in this sic-fi movie. 

I am getting really sick and tired of being up here. I want to go somewhere!!!! 

~Jeb

 

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  • 1 month later...

"I have learned to use the word impossible with the greatest caution."

~Werner von Braun

Well, a lot has happened since last time. I was returned to Kerbin, for some God-forsaken reason. That was on Christmas day. Now it's January 12th. Here's what happened today:

Werner and his chief scientist are planning something. I walked past Werner's office today and saw them on the floor with a slew of papers everywhere. Blueprints, paperwork, and the two scientists, dripping with sweat, fumbling around in the mountain of paper frantically searching for something I suppose. Werner must have seen me, because he reached his foot over and closed the door.

I still looked through the small window though. Werner grabbed a piece of loose leaf paper and scribbled frantically. After a long while, he showed it to the assistant with his hands shaking.

The junior scientist took the paper and stared at it for a long time. After a looonnngggg time, he slapped Wherner on the back ,sighghed a very deep sigh, and laughed. After a bit of laughing, Wherner joined in. Soon they were hacking away on the ground in a fit of laughter and chuckling. 

I slowly walked away, until the loud noise was so much as a whisper.

I found Bob in the mess hall, repairing a goo container. He glanced up when he saw me, but didn't really react. "Hey," he said without blinking.

Valentina was sitting next to him, and she rolled her eyes and explained to me that Bob was "Very concentrated, and it would be best if he was left alone." Valentina was sipping a cup of tea as she said this, and reading the KSC's daily paper, "The explosions gazette."

I asked them where Bill was, and they said that he had left for the runway about 10 minutes before I met them. They told me that Bill had to do some maintenance work on some aircraft down on the tarmac. I grabbed my coat and ran out the door. Tomford Kerman slammed into me as soon as I left the building. "Whoa Jeb! Where too in such a hurry?" 

"Oh. Hi Tomford. I gotta catch Bill before he leaves. I have a question for him."

"Sorry Jeb. He already left. Look, there goes his piper." 

I couldn't believe it. I had just missed Bill. I wanted to ask him a question about orbital mechanics, but he was gone. 

Oh well. Tomford and I had a nice discussion about The saga of Emiko station. Man, this author is amazing. 

I now own two books. The saga of Emiko station, by @Just Jim, and Kerbfleet: A Jool Odyssey, by @Kuzzter

Both of them are excellent authors, and I can't wait to read more by them. 

Bye for now,

~Jeb

 

 

 

 

 

 

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