Jan 04 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 1/2/19

View post on imgur.com

2018 Year in Review

Have a look at the first three images in the gallery above to see an overview of everything that went on over the last year for our crew, atmospheric flight and rocket flight. Despite having two large setbacks that denied us the ability to run full operations, we are still proud with all that we managed to accomplish. If there’s any trouble seeing the full-res versions you can always try our flickr album as well.

Also under review from 2018 were our finances, which appeared to end up in the dumpster big time by the end of the year. But as our Head of Finance Mortimer Kerman points out in this article, things are not as bad as they may seem. Also of important to note in that article is that we are now accepting donations! There is more information in the article as to how to donate and also check out the Desk Notes below for more details from founder Drew Kerman on why the donations are now available.

Progeny Mk1-B Flight Review

2018 went out with a (thankfully not literal) bang when we launched a rocket off the back of the Deuce for the first time ever. It was really cool! Now you can read the flight analysis to recap not only that mission but the entire sequence of missions that prepared for the perfect execution that occurred last month. We have this video embedded there too but in case you just want the good bit, have a look:

Programs Make Plans for 2019

This short week was spent in meetings – lots and lots of meetings for departments and teams in every program. Everyone has a chance to give their input and debate with their co-workers on how things should be managed in 2019 and what goals should be achieved by the program. This coming Monday all the leads will have a final meeting to make the decisions that will steer us through 2019. We’ll have all the details on our twitter account, with new upcoming launch dates as well! All three of our currently active rockets, the Progeny Mk6 Block I/II and the Ascension Mk1 are readying themselves in the VAB for launches this month. These launches will all play a big role in determining where things go next.

ATN Database

The latest update for the Asteroid Tracking Network database is available here, containing 2,981 asteroids and 5 updated with new observation data.

From the Desk of Drew Kerman

Out of Character Behind the Scenes stuff

Written on 11/20/18

Let me make one thing perfectly clear if it wasn’t clear enough in the financial review – lack of donations will not kill this project. At least, not completely. It should be no surprise that this all takes up a copious amount of time daily, which means I have less time to spend earning money otherwise. Thankfully I’m in a very good place right now and am self-sufficient with my current job coaching gymnastics. It doesn’t quite leave me with a whole lot of money at the end of the month however so saving up for things I want is a slow process, which I like to speed along by supplementing it with pyrotechnical work. But that work takes me away from my desk completely for days or weeks at a time and thus impacts my ability to keep up and continue with KSA activities. If I can work up a decent amount of income through regular donations, that means less time spent away on firework displays – instead of shipping out for a month or more on the holidays I can still do well with only a few days. The basic idea is that the more income I have the less chance there is that I have to take more time away from working on the KSA, and fewer dormant periods will exist. Again, lack of money can’t kill the KSA – I can always come up with some excuse for putting things on hold and coming back later – but I’d rather not have to do that very often. So, we’ll see what happens.

Why now? I feel like I’m in a good place finally in proving both to myself and you, the audience, that this is a sustainable and entertaining project worthy of monetary donations. I really didn’t want to receive donations from the start and reward people with the collapse of this endeavor. It’s not going to bring in as much as YouTube or Twitch content creation but from the very start I wanted to do something different that could still possibly support me fully or at least partially financially the way streamers and video creators do. I also want to state I have no plans to ever monetize my YouTube channel.

I originally planned to use Paypal for donations but they do take a cut out of them and also I didn’t want to deal with setting up a business account or whatever. I found Ko-Fi through the KSPTOT author who set up an account for himself. Yea, I agree it’s a pain that you have to clickclickclickclickclick to get a donation value you want – I don’t know how they didn’t think that was counter-productive. I also can’t change the per-coffee amount or remove the whole coffee thing without paying up $6/mo but that membership model is how they offset the transaction fees and don’t take a cut from donations. It is what it is.

As always, thanks for reading and whether you choose to donate or not I still appreciate support by means of feedback, comments and engagement here, on twitter, the forums, YouTube, etc.

Here’s looking to an awesome 2019!!