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Dec 02 2016

Operations Summary – Week of 11/28/16

View post on imgur.com

Progeny Mk2.1 Launch Delay

Unfortunately despite the amazing effort of our launch teams today, circumstances just weren’t in our favor and the long-awaited return to flight of the Progeny rockets had to be postponed until tomorrow, earliest. The battery issue that caused the initial launch hold which led to the scrub is still under investigation and Simon is very concerned that a bad battery made it through the integration testing. On the weather front we can’t say much other than at the time of this writing it’s still raining, and still raining hard. Generally the type of storms that come through and dump a large amount of water don’t last very long, but this one has been rather persistent and we’ve already got large streams of water flowing down from the Grasslands and under our causeway bridges to the ocean. The Kerblantic ocean itself seems to be still having a fit, and an offshore storm has created a surge in sea levels that threaten to spill over onto our shores.

We’re hoping the weather passes overnight so we can try to launch on Saturday at 20:20 UTC. All crews have agreed to working on the weekend and Mortimer has approved the overtime thanks to the great last month we had for income. Expect another update from our twitter account on launch conditions sometime early tomorrow.

We’d also like to mention that although it has been declared on twitter that Mk2.1 integration has been going smoothly with all pieces ready and available, this is not quite the case. We did suffer a small parts shortage thanks to that recent KerBalloon payload loss, which carried with it to the bottom of the sea a TDU, payload truss and parachute, all of which are parts we regularly re-use. We had to order new parts to replace these as otherwise there wouldn’t have been enough for a third Mk2.1 as well as being able to continue balloon launches. Thankfully Simon was able to plan for them late in integration for just the third rocket and so, overall, integration has indeed progressed smoothly.

Civvie Reconstruction Begins

If you missed it, C7 released the accident investigation final report earlier this week, where they announced that the Civvie would be rebuilt for additional flight trials sometime in December. Towards the end of this week HAB crews began to take off the tail fin and damaged wing sections of the aircraft. The engine has already been removed and junked after it was inspected, the Civvie will be getting a new engine of the same model to replace it.

Asteroid Database and KSA Finance Updates

It’s the first day of a new month, which means we’ve closed our books for November and the Asteroid Tracking Network has updated their database with all the new space rocks found last month. We both had a great month, us all in the green again and the ATN collecting 60 new asteroids for a total so far of 93.

We’re also polling on behalf of the ATN whether they should change to releasing reports weekly or stick to monthly. You can vote here on twitter. Your opinion matters!

Celestial Snapshot of the Week

Partially visible over KSC this time, the last Minmus transit of 2016 was seen by all who managed to haul themselves out of bed at 2:30am 😛 This of course included Commander Val, who snagged the shot below from the top of the VAB. Minmus was still in transit when the sun set hours later.

Don't clean your screen. That dot on the sun is Minmus!

Don’t clean your screen. That dot on the sun is Minmus!

From the Desk of Drew Kerman

Out of Character Behind the Scenes stuff

Written on 10/25/16

Ok so the big question of the week might probably be how I pulled off the shot in the VAB with the “ceiling cranes”.

Well it’s some pretty complicated image compositing work, and it took me about 2-3 hours to do because I was so out of practice since I did it the last time for the previous KSA run. There’s a lot of things to get done in the proper order. Here are the images that were used to make the final scene:

Blank slate for background, made by offsetting the whole rocket off-screen and then just waiting for VAB workers to move off-camera, where a game bug(?) keeps them there until you look at them

Blank slate for background, made by offsetting the whole rocket off-screen and then just waiting for VAB workers to move off-camera, where a game bug(?) keeps them there until you look at them

rocket in place with mid-section up but no clamps for proper shadow of rocket parts and proper visibility of detached rocket parts

rocket in place with mid-section up but no clamps for proper shadow of rocket parts and proper visibility of detached rocket parts

Using Action Groups Extended mod to get rid of the widget buttons and left-screen menu

Using Action Groups Extended mod to get rid of the widget buttons and left-screen menu

clamps attached to the mid-section

clamps attached to the mid-section

I forgot I needed to see the clamp behind the rocket nose

I forgot I needed to see the clamp behind the rocket nose

mid-section translated with offset tool above the screen

mid-section translated with offset tool above the screen

I took a lot more images that these, but these are the main ones that come together to form the final image. Most of the other images I took were because I couldn’t remember quite how I needed to set the rocket up for the various images I needed (as you can see where I forgot about lowering the rocket nose), so I fell back on a bit of trial and error. Other images were so I could add in some VAB crew afterwards. Then it was just erasing the girders underneath the launch clamps and keeping the ones on top (with some additional compositing to “twist” the girders to angle into the clamps). I also used floaty so I could pan the camera around and return it to the original viewpoint (tho if I had accidentally moved the camera I would have been screwed).

Here are some images from the previous KSA iteration that feature ceiling cranes: