Category Archive: Plot Summary

Summaries of multiple mission dispatches/flight logs or of important points in KSA history

Sep 13 2018

2nd Birthday Desk Note

Today we cap off our second year of operations! Sadly we’re not quite in as exciting a position as we were at this time last year. I said back then it was too early for any reflection but enough time has passed now that the goals we were aiming for from the beginning are finally starting to look a bit too optimistic. Such is the reality of any difficult endeavor however – you can only plan for the best and work with what you get. We certainly did aim to reach orbit by this point but delays to operations, such as the legal injunction earlier this year and the currently ongoing Monolith activity, did not give us the time we needed to accomplish such a difficult task.

Despite the hardships progress is being made, even if it is not as fast as we would have liked. The biggest scientific achievement this year would undoubtedly be the discovery of the radiation belt that exists above the planet. This was made possible mainly through direct observations taken by our Progeny Mk6 rocket on over half a dozen sub-orbital flights.

Although we have proven how beneficial going into space can be for the scientific community, staying in space to really begin to get kerbs excited for the future of our civilization is still very much a work in progress. While we remain focused on 2019 as the year the first astronaut will head for the heavens, we’ve all come to realize just how much work yet lies ahead of us. One major step will soon be taken though, as next week we will announce the final design of our first space capsule!

The immediate future is looking pretty shaky thanks to the activities of the Monolith but we don’t expect it to hold us back in the long term. This next year aims to hold as many exciting events and opportunities as the two years prior and lead to many more in the years to come. I continue to be inspired by all the hard work and dedication the Kerbal Space Agency employees have shown, as well as faith. Faith not in some unseen and unknown entity but in the steady progress of success over failure and the ultimate purpose of journeying among the stars for the betterment of all kerbalkind.

– Drew Kerman
Founder & Operations Director

Out of Character Behind the Scenes stuff

Written on 9/7/18

It is the eve of my departure on an epic 4-week cross country road trip and I’m happy to say that I’ve managed to progress the KSA up to the point of my return in Oct, although just barely. How this will affect operations once I get back remains to be seen but it will definitely be a slow return as I put more effort into the Ops Tracker and pushing out my lead time than into active flight/rocket operations. It will all continue to move forward though and that’s the important thing.

The upgrade to 1.4.5 is complete and wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared it would be although it did take 3 whole days of installing and testing to ensure all my essential mods were compatible – at least with the current level of gameplay I was at. I can load all my current vessels and that’s what counts. I had also put time into installing and tweaking KS3P so that I could remove dependency on DX9 with the SweetFX post-effects I’ve been using since 0.25. Turns out though that KS3P doesn’t work with DX11+ and therefore I still can’t make use of Textures Unlimited. Dammit. Oh well, maybe the KS3P dev will return at some point or someone else will be able to upgrade it.

That new ‘roid NXP actually really did sneak up on me. I don’t know, I have a pretty rote process for managing my asteroids but lately I’ve been discovering that I’ve been screwing up a lot of the process involved somehow – it is extremely frustrating but probably a sign of how hard I’m pushing myself sometimes since I get to the point where I end up making mistakes. So yea, it ended up in orbit around Kerbin without me even witnessing it behind the scenes (as in, watching it happen as an ‘undiscovered’ asteroid not yet in the ATN catalog).

Right then, I need to finish getting ready to leave early tomorrow. Hope you all enjoy what little is in store for the coming month and hopefully things will begin to pick back up again soon((ish)(TM))

Aug 21 2018

EM Field Continues to Heal Monolith at Reduced Rate

It has now been two weeks since the Monolith became active again, and since our original report a great deal has transpired. If you’ve not been able to keep up with the twitter feed, here is a recap:

The same day we released the first report, just as everyone in both Kravass and Umbarg were getting settled back in and enjoying having full power once more, everything went dark again. Well – almost. A small portion of both cavern systems stayed lit, which told the utility crews almost exactly where to look in order to find the additional crystal growths. Once again everyone had to wait for a full power shutdown, conduit replacement, and restart. The power returned and remained stable for two more days before new crystal veins had attached themselves elsewhere to suck up energy again. Because the power authorities charge flat rates, installing monitoring equipment was never a high priority and discovering a vein hooking into the system before it begins to pull massive amounts of power just isn’t possible. Tired of dealing with the constant shut downs, a new plan was formulated.

Excavations had already been performed underground, drifting along one of the main crystal veins growing from the base of the Monolith. This was along the one leading towards Sheltered Rock and Ockr to determine why it didn’t reach the caverns there (turns out it might, but a fault line broke the connection before it branched). However the two leading off towards Umbarg and Kravass have now been exposed from the surface near the caverns after days of digging to allow explosives to be lowered down and detonated. The energy-absorbing nature of the crystals took in the majority of the blast, leaving them with only minor damage and forcing work crews to manually dismantle the rest.

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Aug 10 2018

KSA Operations Suspended Due to Monolith Interference

Earlier this week on Tuesday just after 13:53 local time the Monolith woke up. Everyone at KSC immediately knew this as a massive electromagnetic (EM) pulse surged through all active electronics on campus and the nearby Support Village and shorted them out – in some cases in a shower of sparks and electrical arcs. Minor fires were started in some areas and brought under control as personnel began to evacuate over the causeway bridge to prepare to head for Umbarg. This evacuation plan was set in place after the first time the Monolith sent out such a discharge. Several injuries were reported from burns but no deaths occurred.

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Apr 09 2018

Surface Operations Set to Resume by Executive Order

Amazing news came out of Sheltered Rock today when the Presider himself contacted our Operations Director and Founder Drew Kerman to say he was using his executive powers to sign the amendments into law, bypassing the Assembly. This unprecedented move has tied the fate of his political career to the success of the Kerbal Space Agency, and we recognize his faith in us and plan to ensure his re-election next year by bringing kerbalkind fully into the space age. The actual signing will take place tomorrow to allow KSC and other surface structures, like the Monolith project and airports, to resume operations by Wednesday. We will be moving staff and equipment back to KSC from Umbarg over the next few days to be fully up and running again by the end of the week. Everyone is excited to really be getting back to work!

First up next week we will begin testing the K2-X engine while the VAB begins to assemble the next Progeny Mk6 Block I rockets for quick successive launches with four days turnaround time. Sheltered Rock General Airport will be able to begin the final assembly of the new Deuce aircraft this week, for completion later this month. Captain Jebediah and Commander Valentina will remain in Sheltered Rock to assist and perform testing. Specialists Bill and Bob will be getting new KerBalloons ready for launch, with an expedition being planned for next week.

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Feb 21 2018

KSC Operations Cease Indefinitely Due to Legal Injunction

Earlier today the KSC administrators were served a court order to cease operations immediately by lawyers tied to Monolithic interests. We won’t go deep into the legal mumbo jumbo but suffice to say they found a loophole in the various laws and ordinances that were pushed by us through Assembly when we first sought permission to build a surface facility. It would appear our own legal team was not fully competent in their job, although our legal council always maintained that we had rushed the process. Regardless, it is now illegal for any surface operations to be carried out within surface built structures. Of course we have immediately filed an appeal but this will only serve to get the wheels rolling on our eventual court case without rescinding the order to cease operations. We have no doubt that we will eventually prevail, especially since the move has also angered some powerful Assembly members who were getting behind plans for the first surface colony, but this new blocking tactic by Monolith worshipers is sending a clear message as well to us and the government.

While we are forced to cease operations at KSC this does not affect KSA HQ underground in Umbarg so we can continue to operate in a limited capacity. Extremis planning will remain ongoing, as well as keeping up on the Asteroid Tracking Network and any scientific news or astronomical events. Design work will continue on the new K-3X from C7 and the Genesis program while also getting set for the next Deuce build as we stockpile parts in our HQ warehouse. Thankfully the loophole only affects occupied and permanent structures so Arekibo and ATN Central will continue to undergo construction. Scientists studying the Monolith were planning to attempt another piercing of the outer surface with a more powerful cutting laser but this will have to be postponed. Of course the next Progenitor launch is now delayed as well.

Stay tuned to our twitter feed for updates on the legal battle, and know that we will be coming back strong once KSC operations are allowed to resume!

Dec 21 2017

Report Released for Ongoing Monolith Study

Earlier this year the Monolith, a structure of unknown origin erected at some point during our long absence from the surface of Kerbin, “activated”, for lack of a better word, and released three humongous bursts of energy directed up into space. The details of this event, known since simply as The Incident, can be found in this report written after the initial chaos had quieted down. Since then, a massive investigation has been underway to ascertain what exactly happened that day and why. You can get caught up on all the dealings with the Monolith we’ve previously reported on using this collection. Today, the government finally released a report before the end of the year as promised, though we feel it also came rather quickly after an act of violence by religious radicals. Coincidence? Well, regardless the point is there’s a lot that remains unknown as the investigation is still not complete but new details at least are given about the mysterious crystal structures found in Umbarg and Kravass as well as what lies underneath the Monolith since excavation began a few months ago. Plus tons of speculation and lots more questions. Here are the highlights from the 150+ page report.

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Sep 19 2017

Response to KerVoyant Launch Protest

Late yesterday as the KSA was entering the final stages of launch preparation for lift off of our third Progeny Mk5 rocket an unidentified vessel approached within our launch corridor. Refusing to answer all hails or turn about when confronted by our range monitoring vessel, it proceeded to anchor itself just 2km offshore directly downrange and blanket all comm channels with a recorded speech that prevented us from contacting our range monitoring or payload recovery vessels. Nevermind that the ship was full of kerbs, our Flight Director Lanalye Kerman made the right call under violation of our range safety measures and stood down from launch operations, scrubbing the launch for the day. The ship was a merchant vessel owned by KerVoyant and it had a message for us all here at KSC:

This ship stands in protest of the activities carried out by the Kerbal Space Agency as well as the denial of our religious rights to access the Monolith for proper ceremonies and worship. The followers aboard will use this time & proximity to pray in the hopes that They are listening, so that They might answer once again and strike down all in proximity, and cleanse the caverns of non-believers. To those ashore, know that you are misaligned, that your actions will bring nothing but death and destruction down upon our world. We are meant to serve, we are meant to be guided. THEY will show us the way. To find it on our own, we sully the wonderful gift given to us, this world reborn, remade from disaster and meant for all to cherish until They return. TURN BACK NOW, and your deeds may yet not anger Them and They may yet return to us, to bring us forth into the stars, as their children. STAY THIS COURSE, and see the End Times brought upon us, for refusal of Their gifts can only be met with fire and death.

Our Operations Director Drew Kerman says he has no direct response to the message and is only concerned with the actions of the vessel interfering with our launch. Regulations have been pending in the government these past several months that would legally prohibit ships from entering our launch range while it is active for a rocket flight, but given the light to non-existent marine traffic within the KSC area officials have not moved quickly in getting it passed while more pressing matters existed. KerVoyant, which is owned by a deeply Monolithic family of merchants and controls over half of the merchant fleet, used this loophole to legally park their vessel offshore of KSC. Thankfully, the government saw fit to take quick action via an emergency meeting of the Assembly in order to ratify the new regulations and allow us to remove the KerVoyant ship from our waters.

Unfortunately, it is unlikely KerVoyant will receive much in the way of punishment for its little stunt given its position & power – if we were to try to bring suit against them they would likely litigate us into oblivion. We doubt they will attempt it again though now that the government has once again made it clear which side they are on, much to our relief. More troubling is the response to the act, which while not unanimously supported by the various Monolithic groups out there it has been decried by absolutely none. It has been made just as clear that those who follow the Monolithic beliefs are opposed to our purpose here. We hope that they can soon come to realize that we are pursuing the same goal.

Sep 13 2017

1st Birthday Desk Note

A year? Already?! Well, I can’t imagine a better time to be writing this, already two days into our most ambitious launch campaign yet that is firing off rockets – into space!! If you had asked me a year ago what I would be doing now I could have only dreamed this is what it would be. Of course, it was always the plan to get rockets heading up past the boundaries of the atmosphere within a year but the challenges that we knew we would have to surmount at the time seemed so huge! The fact that we have made it this far in so short an amount of time is testament to the dedication of all the employees here at the Kerbal Space Agency who are dead set on seeing kerbals become an inter-stellar species. We know we are not alone, and we know we have to find the answer to the existence of the Monolith.

But we need to remain grounded (ha!) and focused, working on the basic technologies that will pave the way for future endeavors. We are right now in the process of making a big step, introducing automated control to our rockets. The first flight of the Progeny Mk5 yesterday was not a complete success, however it did an incredible job of moving us closer to a fully-automated rocket flight. I’ll be attending a flight review meeting later today after which we will release full details on what went right and what went wrong. We may have made it to space already, but these are still exciting times. There will always be new boundaries to push for, new frontiers to explore.

Despite all we’ve achieved so far, I don’t think a year is long enough for reflection, so I’d like to continue to look ahead. Our Extremis program is still developing slowly, picking up its pace gradually as the first launch window approaches late next year. Lots of R&D work is in progress and we still expect to hear from our astrodynamics team later this month on whether they have worked out new trajectories or will be sticking with our original windows & flybys. There hasn’t been anything announced yet but rest assured we are working on design specs for orbital engines that will soon be released for contractors to begin designing & bidding. Currently we plan to achieve orbital flight in the first or second quarter of next year and the orbital engine specs will depend on what type of escape trajectories our Extremis probes will require. As eager as all of our astronauts are in getting up into space, they are certainly not eager to die. In order to ensure their safety as much as possible we will be slowly and carefully working our way towards kerbed spaceflight sometime in 2019.

Finally I would like to thank all members of the public reading this right now, because the fact that you are shows you have a vested interest in the KSA, and your support is valuable to us. Please continue to interact and provide feedback as we go about our operations. Enjoy these following four launches over the next week and a half, I know I will 🙂 Here’s to another exciting year!

– Drew Kerman
Founder & Operations Director

Jul 14 2017

Reaching Space and the “Monolith Incident”

During the ascent of the third Progeny Mk4 earlier this week, the Progenitor program at last succeeded after months of operation when the rocket broke through 70km ASL at L+1m44s and officially entered into space above Kerbin, heading for an apokee of nearly 135km. Cheers and applause had barely gotten underway when all of the sudden arcs of electricity began to shoot from all the consoles in Launch Control and the Tracking Station. Kerbs still outside reported a huge ball of plasma around the Monolith. The scene inside quickly dissolved into barely-organized chaos as several severely-burned operators were tended to by emergency medical personnel that arrived shortly after the arcing had ceased after several seconds of crazy sparking. Elsewhere around the KSC campus similar reports were made, although at the time of launch no other building had as much electronics in operation as Launch Control and the Tracking Station. After nearly two hours of tending to injuries (no deaths, thankfully) and putting out small fires here and there, an overall assessment was finally begun – which is when all hell broke loose again. Thankfully with most active electronics destroyed during the first event there wasn’t as much widespread damage done, lots of melting components but no serious arcing or fires, however new equipment brought online to help determine the overall situation of the KSC was knocked offline. Repair work was begun again from a rapidly dwindling supply of spare parts when roughly two hours later a third event struck, and all recovery efforts were put on hold for 6 hours in case the events continued to repeat.

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Feb 14 2017

KSC Shutdown Due to Health Concerns

The Disease Management Organization has concluded its analysis of the air samples, blood samples and surface samples it has taken from KSC and its employees over this past week. It looks like a normally harmless bacteria has mutated slightly in the generations since kerbals have lived on the surface and has been infecting kerbs here at KSC over the past few weeks. On its own, it causes minor symptoms from coughing to shortness of breath to dizziness and several kerbs have been struck by it lately but none were incapacitated enough to actually check in to the medical center. Recently however trees from the Grasslands to the west have been releasing a large amount of pollen into the air, and kerbs spending more time out west in the Grasslands (field researchers, mostly) were the first to become affected, as the pollen brought about a mild allergic reaction in almost everyone that then allowed the bacterial infection to also grow more serious as the body defended from attacks on two fronts. The entire of KSC was affected after a large wind storm passed through the area, stripping large amounts of pollen from trees and depositing it over KSC.

It’s actually not so surprising that we might encounter diseases on the surface that are slightly or even extremely mutated from pathogens that were encountered in the past when surface living was more widespread. Given that the Kerbal Space Center is the one location on the surface were kerbs have lived above ground for an extended period of time, if any sort of epidemic were to happen it would happen here. The tree pollen especially is something that kerbals haven’t had to deal with for a few generations – underground there are moss spores but no trees.

The bacterial infection that began this whole ordeal needs to be purged from the KSC – surface swabs have found colonies growing in various places around the campus and the entire facility will need to be decontaminated. The DMO expects this to take a week at least, so we will be moving all staff to a quarantine facility in Umbarg City where everyone will be checked over and cleared of bacterial infection while the KSC itself is also cleaned. We hope to be back at KSC by Feb 27th.

All of our sick are being treated for the bacterial infection and are recovering well. We did have one death of an elderly staff member but an autopsy has since shown it to be from natural causes and not directly related to the bacterial infection.

Moving forward once operations resume, we will be setting up better medical protocols for field researchers returning from science expeditions as well as for UTV teams returning from balloon launches. Air quality monitors will let us know when pollen levels become high enough to cause problems. Living on the surface certainly brings back old challenges, but we’re working to adapt once more.

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