May 25 2020

Operations Summary – Weeks of 5/11 & 5/18/20

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Rocketry Programs Update

This post was delayed from last Friday in the hopes that we could bring better news but unfortunately the situation with USI is still in flux and worse has now turned into a legal battle. A company contracted by USI to produce some of their casing and motor parts has claimed rights to the intellectual property and demands recompense from any upcoming sale. USI has offered an amount, which was sneered at and denied. A court has agreed to hear the case and the alleged rights owner has managed to get a moratorium placed on launches using any of its property. So the Progenitor program is effectively cancelled until this issue is cleared up. We hired some investigators to do some digging of our own and it turns out the company in question making these claims, while apparently valid, is tied to Monolithic interests. Without pushing from the religious backers, it’s likely the company would have settled for a payment from USI already.

Slightly better news on the Ascension side of things but only to say that planning is at least continuing to move forwards. While we still hope to get at least one Ascension Mk1 mission up into space next month, the possibility of both missions being pushed back to July and the next Mk2 sliding into August is looking more and more likely. Flight Director Lanalye has spoken to Operations Director Drew about the teams possibly becoming so focused on planning so much in order to make sure nothing goes wrong that they’ll continue to overthink and overplan for longer than necessary. Drew has acknowledged her recommendation to resume flights by the end of June but there has still been no mention of dates being tossed around yet.

KerBalloon Resumes Missions

Some agencies have finally finished working through their data and are starting to come back with contracts to collect more using the balloon platforms of the KerBalloon program. Both the high and low altitude crews carried out a contract these past two weeks with success as the program continues to improve on its 90% success rate over the course of 139 balloon releases. CFO Mortimer says he is already negotiating a new contract for the low-altitude crew while the high-altitude team already has one signed to join an expedition out to the Badlands in the eastern hemisphere, a region that hasn’t been explored by a ground team since 2018.

ATN Database

The latest update for the Asteroid Tracking Network database is available here, containing 5,171 asteroids and 1 updated with new observation data. Here are the 17 asteroids that were discovered this past week.

From the Desk of Drew Kerman

Out of Character Behind the Scenes stuff

Written on 5/24/20

Normally writing this the day before posting would mean my lead time is fucked and so am I. Thankfully this is not the case, and everything is pretty much okay all things considered with what’s going on in the world today. Still out of a “real” job coaching but both my stimulus check and unemployment benefits have finally come in, and for the last two weeks so far I haven’t had any troubles continuing to certify for weekly unemployment benefits and getting paid. Huzzah! So that in turn led me to go on a bit of a shopping spree, although it was only for the things I had already planned to buy – just over the next year or so instead of the course of a week 😝 You can read the details in this twitter thread covering the rebuild of my PC and display setup.

The real delay in posting this Ops Summary was spending too much time playing with my new toys, and also putting in time trying to see how the new setup affects KSP. Unfortunately even though I did upgrade successfully to v1.9.1 to use for gameplay purposes at the beginning of this month, visuals-wise it won’t work because I can’t get the Scatterer atmosphere to look like v1.5.1 and more importantly the ground scatter objects are also no longer affected by atmospheric haze in the newer Scatterer versions. So while from space and on other planets I will definitely be making use of the new shaders in 1.8+, I’m still stuck on v1.5.1 for scenes from the KSC and around the surface of Kerbin. Thankfully 1.5.1 is when the new astronaut suits were introduced, so when I finally give the crew new suits I can still get photos of them at KSC with them on in 1.5.1 and photos of them wearing them in space in 1.9+.

So for lead time I’m out at the end of August now and looking to push to 5 months instead of 3. I can get through an entire week of asteroid hunting in a day, which is a significant 4-6 hours of work out of the way while also at the same time continuing to outline future events and get an idea of how I want to pace things moving forward. I’m still only at ~2wks lead time in terms of very detailed ideas of what is going to happen, so that needs a lot of work still and is why rocket program delays have been extended in the Ops Summary above.

Deuce missions are also still on hold. Even though story-wise there’s no reason not to fly them, IRL my PC’s UPS battery is done for and over the past few months it randomly shuts off when the power glitches, or something. I actually don’t know and it hasn’t happened in the past few weeks but some days it’s happened 2-3 times. Under no circumstances am I flying a mission that could possibly be interrupted at some point during it. Good news is that a new UPS is on the way. Could have just replaced the battery but wanted more plugs and a storage size upgrade.

Also I even managed to find some time to squish a few easy bugs and simple changes for the Ops Tracker v13!

At least no one cried out about me missing the Ops Summary last Friday. Or maybe they just forgot it was due last week. Or maybe no one cares. Hang in there, anyone actually reading this – things will begin ramping back up SoonTM