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Snippets from the "Memoirs of Gene Kerman : Managing a Dysfunctional Space Program."


Selective Genius
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Chapter 1: 'SILENCE, Mission Control! I don't wish to do science anymore, I just want to be happy..'

(The surface of the Mun. Dauntless-1 mission. Year 1, Day 344)

"Oh, so NOW you are worried about safety? You sent me to the surface of the Mun on a garden chair, had me drive 600 kilometers under the harsh sun and NOW you are worried about me? I have not been able to eat for 19 days because I can not lift my helmet visor up in vacuum of space, and NOW you worry about my safety?" Bob Kerman, one of the best minds of Kerbin ranted over his radio.

His radio cackled after a few moments and he heard Mortimer Kerman's voice. "We are not worried about you, we are worried about the science that you might lose if there's no power in the unlit side of the Mun. Moreover, if you overuse the fuel-cells then we might not have the delta-v for ascent. Also we would be hard pressed to send a rescue if you get yourself stranded."

Bob sputtered with indignation before throwing his arms up."You know what? Now I am even MORE convinced that this is a good idea." He prepared a course for the unlit side of the Mun to collect temperature data from an anomaly that had been bugging scientists for quite a while.  He found some curious surface features on his way and took the time to study them in detail.

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Once he had collected the data, Bob began dismantling the rover. First it was the science equipments, then the long range comms followed by wheels.

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The resulting vehicle was no more than a plank aboard rocket fuel and engines. Bob used his limited piloting skills to get the now decapitated rover into orbit and rendezvoused with the crew capsule in high munar orbit.

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After 19 days in his EVA suit, he found the cramped interiors of the Mk1 capsule to be very comforting and cosy, much like a mother's warm embrace. He ripped apart the first packet of snacks he saw and started devouring it like an animal without even bothering to unwrap it. His stomach reacted to the sudden influx of material after not having a morsel to eat for nineteen days and Bob vomited the contents of his shrunk stomach and then ripped another packet of snacks open, eating it more leisurely this time. His primal howls and grunts would haunt mission control to this date.

As Bob was not in any position to follow orders anymore, mission control took over the vehicle's function and charted a course back to Kerbin. Once the crew pod with the science was recovered, KSC found itself richer by 3000 science points. The nerds at the R&D department started analyzing the data and discovering/inventing new stuff. The known universe had just expanded 2.5 times its original size almost overnight. This precious science could help us understand what increased the radius of Kerbin from 600 km to 1500 km.

Meanwhile, Bob was crouching in a fetal position in his quarantine cell eleven days after his quarantine period ended, crying and begging to meet his deceased parents.  Linus was pleased by this turn of events. He had an excellent opportunity to study the psychological effects of prolonged EVA on kerbals.

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Bob is smiling in this picture. He is happy. He had just landed the Dauntless one Rover/Lander, a bare-bones lander and exploration vehicle that allowed KSC to explore six Munar biomes for science and doubled as a low budget ascent vehicle on the end of mission. This concept allowed KSC to explore Munar surface using just two 10 ton launches instead of investing in a heavy lift launch vehicle. But was this worth the Kermanity that KSC lost over that mission? Do monetary gains compensate for driving an individual to insanity? The age of Space Exploration is so messed up, that the majority would answer the above questions with a resounding YES. Unless they are the ones who are getting the short end of the stick. In that case they would be singing a different tune.

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2 hours ago, Selective Genius said:

"Oh, so NOW you are worried about safety? You sent me to the surface of the Mun on a garden chair, had me drive 600 kilometers under the harsh sun and NOW you are worried about me? I have not been able to eat for 19 days because I can not lift my helmet visor up in vacuum of space, and NOW you worry about my safety?" Bob Kerman, one of the best minds of Kerbin ranted over his radio.

WELL SOMEBODY'S TRIGGERED TODAY!

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