Jul 10 2020

Operations Summary – Weeks of 6/29 & 7/6/20

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Mission Preparation Complete for Next Kerbed Spaceflight

Over the past two weeks the training and assembly for the next space mission reached a furious pace but all crew and staff stepped up to meet the challenge. Specialists Bob (Primary) and Bill (Backup) spent several days offshore on MSV Aldeney performing capsule recovery drills, which include normal and emergency recovery operations. They then spent more time in the centrifuge to keep up their G tolerance for the rough re-entry that is planned as well as multiple capsule simulator runs to ensure they have the mission operations down pat. Despite her best efforts, Flight Director Lanalye couldn’t kill them without doing things like putting a chink in their heatshield due to a very-low probability micro-meteroid strike – which they couldn’t do anything about anyways. They will now enter into quarantine this weekend ahead of launch attempt on Thursday.

Over on the spacecraft and flight operations side, both Commander Valentina (Primary) and Captain Jebediah (Backup) continue to work with the Launch Team A on their CapCom duties while the whole team trains for the mission. The spacecraft finished assembly in the VAB today after vertical stacking to check load-bearing elements then being laid back horizontal for final closeouts before being loaded up onto the carry vehicle. It will be rolled out on Wednesday ahead of the launch date for a wet dress rehearsal to do a final check on the ground service equipment.

Luciole Purchases Umbra Space Industries

We finally know the name of the company that has been rumored to be purchasing USI for the past two months now, although additional information remains scarce. The company was founded late last year as a stealth startup and while we know they plan to continue USI’s quest for a 0.625m aerospike engine and are committed to a full-stack 0.625m launch vehicle, we won’t have any more details until their business and R&D leaders meet with ours later this month. What this means for the Progenitor program also remains unclear but the hope is that the fresh new company will be able to use their capital to settle the current lawsuit that is preventing Progeny rockets from launching and will also allow us to get the remaining parts we ordered for the final 2 Mk7-Bs.

KerBalloon Continues Success Streak

With the slow pace of rocketry and mostly all the funding put towards it still going into R&D, along with the Genesis program slowdown, the KerBalloon program remains our main source of reliable income month to month. The high-altitude crew successfully released both of their balloons during a month-long expedition out to the Badlands on the other side of the planet, while the low-altitude crew performed a release at sea offshore from the Great Desert. New contracts for both crews are already in negotiation.

ATN Database

The latest update for the Asteroid Tracking Network database is available here, containing 5,399 asteroids and 1 updated with new observation data. Here are the 48 asteroids that were discovered this past week.

From the Desk of Drew Kerman

Out of Character Behind the Scenes stuff

Written on 7/10/20

Only 30min before I need to push this out so will be brief for now – I’ll come back and add stuff to this and the previous Desk Notes over the weekend. Made it back safe and feeling healthy from my 4th of July show which you can check out via a few tweets I made. Have lots to do still to get caught up and working on the upcoming launch. When I update this I’ll make an announcement on twitter. Or just check back next week.