Mar 30 2018

Operations Summary – Week of 3/26/18

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KSC Shutdown Update

This week our legal team submitted their first draft of amendments to the Assembly for it to review sometime next week. Hopefully the draft will not get kicked back and forth too many times before it is voted upon and, should the vote carry, sent to the Presider to sign into law. Operations Director Drew Kerman has spent a good deal of time in Sheltered Rock lobbying for the KSA and has found a lot of support so we do not anticipate too much trouble moving forward to get KSC operations back underway sometime in April. That’s not to say it’s all a done deal at this point but safe to say we are confident in a good resolution.

Arekibo Completes Major Milestone

The Arekibo Radio Observatory has been under construction since early last year and has seen its fair share of troubles as engineers worked to design and assemble a monumentally huge structure to support a dish 180m in diameter. At first it was planned to be built directly into the ground but despite early engineering tests at the location the earthen bowl structure refused to cooperate. After multiple collapses the decision was made to shrink the size of the dish significantly in order to build it above ground. Engineers and astronomers alike however were not happy to have their original grand vision reduced to a mere 86m and threw themselves at the problem, coming up with a radical new support design that could potentially allow for the dish to be 200m.

This week the 200m dish was completed and announced to the world! The increase in size and scope of the project was kept under wraps in case of failure but the construction has succeeded and is now moving to install the giant beam collector, steering mechanisms and support columns. Construction remains on track to complete later this year so the observatory can begin its commissioning work to be fully online and ready for observations by mid 2019. Congratulations to all involved with this incredible project!

Extremis Science Instruments Announced

All of the instruments that are planned to attempt to be crammed into the Extremis probes have been declared. The design of the probes are still very much in flux, dependent largely upon the success we have with Kerbin I and later orbital missions. Whether or not we can actually fit all these instruments aboard the space craft due to size and mass limitations will have to be seen. Over the coming weeks we will be featuring posts that contain more information about the various instruments that have been selected.

ATN Database

The weekly update for the Asteroid Tracking Network database is available here, containing 1,751 asteroids and 6 updated with new observation data.

Celestial Snapshot of the Week

Minmus makes a pass in front of the sun, which happened to occur at the right time to catch it during sunrise from above Umbarg. Sunrise and sunset are optimal times to easily see a Minmus transit thanks to the greater amount of atmosphere in the way. You should still not look directly at the sun with your naked eye, but pointing a regular camera its way won’t damage it.

From the Desk of Drew Kerman

Out of Character Behind the Scenes stuff

Written on 3/15/17

Although regular ops are suspended I still feel like the KSA is really moving again now that I’ve been able to breeze through several days. Before, when I was struggling just to stay ahead of the next day, it felt like things were really slogging along. Real time sucks when you’re actually living it! 😛 Really the only thing I’m a bit annoyed about right now is that I haven’t spent any time at all working on the Ops Tracker, although I have filed a few more bugs to patch up when I finally do get back around to it. Please, if you notice anything while exploring do let me know with a bug report! Hopefully by the time anyone reads this I will have at least released a new version update. Have to remember I’m writing these well ahead of time again now 😛

I did manage to take some time to address and issue that ‘s been bugging me on the website, which was the About page not showing tabs properly when viewed in Firefox Quantim although it worked in Chrome fine. Firefox would also not run my twitter script that assigned proper dates and times to tweets displayed on the site and properly resized the twitter timelines on program page tabs. Again, it all worked fine in Chrome. Despite loathing the time I expected to spend fixing it, I got it patched up inside of 20 minutes which left me a bit embarrassed I didn’t bother with it earlier. Firefox is still for some reason not adjusting date/times for tweets in mission reports like Chrome does but that’s the next battle.


I’m still working with Omega482 on statics for my various surface structures around Kerbin, I do hope everyone appreciated the fabulous Arekibo bowl he built for me. Just wait till the finished product! He did a lot of research into Arecibo and the full observatory model is stunning. Other dishes and optical observatories are being worked on as well for ATN South, Central and North locations. Of course I also plan to make extensive use of his KSC statics set still under development as well.

Update 3/29: as of right now I’m not sure what is up with Omega and his modeling as I’ve been out of touch with him for the past two weeks and have gotten no response to messages on the KSP forums. While I was supposed to feature a photo of the under-construction Arekibo dish, I pulled it for fear of never getting the final model to use in the future. Hopefully he will be back and be able to deliver the full model.

So this is a day past two weeks of lead time now and I should be able to bang out 2-3 more days at least just today. Unless life decides to throw more curveballs things are looking good for an April restart to operations.

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