Jun 07 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 6/3/19

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Progenitor Preps Third Flight of Progeny Mk6 Block II

Although we thought the Block II was officially retired, seems we will be able to put together another one thanks to Bluedog Design Bureau and DMagic Orbital Sciences funding a new mission to further explore the outer radiation belt. The rocket will lift of at 16:00 UTC, which is in the middle of a night cycle so the surface of the planet is pointing at the extended tail of the radiation belts pushed out by the kerbolar wind. The payload will fly out beyond 1Mm again, using hibernation to conserve battery power and take detailed readings only when passing through the radiation belts. We do not expect it to come anywhere close to breaching the magnetopause on this flight like it did last time so we shouldn’t get any more trouble from the Monolith than we have already.

KerBalloon Sees Contract Slowdown

Although the high-altitude crew is finally able to start working on contracts again now that it has the parts, completing one this week and already dispatched on another, a recent contract signed for the low-altitude crew may be the last one for a while as proposals have dropped off these past few weeks. This happens from time to time as agencies work to process the data we gathered for them on previous missions. It takes time to analyze and draw conclusions from which additional missions can be designed to answer new questions. The furlough in KerBalloon contracts comes at a rough time for the Agency however since they are our main revenue stream until our commercial rocketry programs can establish a better footing.

Dhumla Crash Investigation Ongoing

This week investigators from the Air Safety Administration were finally allowed to conduct an interview with Flight Officer Tedman, who survived the crash and has been spending the time since recovering both physically and mentally. While not in command of the aircraft during the accident, he could still be held responsible depending on what happened in the cockpit in the moments leading up to the crash. These moments are currently being reviewed at ASA headquarters from the flight recorders recovered from the aircraft. Once the investigators have analyzed it fully we will be able to access it ourselves. To ensure a proper investigation we largely have no idea exactly what led to the crash still and will have to await the ASA’s final report.

May Financial Report

Speaking of reports, our May financial sheet has been posted for public access. Mortimer was determined that we show a profit and that goal was achieved, if only barely. Minus our Patreon supporters we only worked up a 1,250 funds net gain. Our current overall balance when applied to our projected earnings over the next quarter is barely enough to fund us up to the launch of the first Ascension Mk2. One hope we have is to get a kerbal into space, as there have been several prominent investors that have pledged support through the Kerbin World First organization if we can prove capable of this feat. Another hope is for more support from the public in the form of Ko-Fi donations or Patreon subscriptions. Every little bit does make a difference!

ATN Database

The latest update for the Asteroid Tracking Network database is available here, containing 3,652 asteroids and 3 updated with new observation data. Here are the 30 asteroids that were discovered this past week:

From the Desk of Drew Kerman

Out of Character Behind the Scenes stuff

Written on 5/10/19

Cruising along, not much difficulty with any events this past week. Now 4 weeks of lead time and things are getting interesting again from a writing standpoint because I’m starting to have a lot more freedom to go back and do something slightly different for reasons that only become clear as I move forward. This is so much less stressful than handling things on a more day-to-day basis and not having time to really think about what’s next. I’m starting to see the big picture again and also be able to go back and add a bit more personality here and there to events and characters. It’s sometimes very hard or impossible to think beyond a big mission like sending a kerbal into space so the sooner I can get to that with lots of time still leading up to it the better the overall story will be.

Double reference in Murstap Kerman

Let’s see if anyone can tell me (if they haven’t already by the time this publishes) what two references I’m making by calling this kerbal Murstap. All the clues you need are in the tweet that names him. If you can get the similar references, you know what’s coming next. I still haven’t decided if I want to do it practically or just as a backstory of events that are tweeted about here and there. I’ve already begun a track construction in the game though so if I have the time I would like to make a practical attempt. I’m being vague on purpose, full details will come with the latest Mk1 flight analysis when it is released.

Realtime ascent WIP

Been plugging away at the realtime ascent streaming for the Ops Tracker. Hopefully it will be finished and announced before you even read this, as I’m making good incremental progress on it daily. Tonight I will have all the telemetry output updated as the launch progresses. Getting to this point was a bit more involved that you might think because I first had to take into consideration the numerous ways in which the user can interact with the Ops Tracker. I didn’t want to just lock people to the single view of only that vessel during the ascent, so they could potentially do a number of things that had to be handled:

  • Page could be initially loaded and have to pickup in the middle of an ascent
  • User can use the history buttons or dropdown lists to jump to an earlier event
  • User can jump back to the current event and the telemetry needs to startup again
  • User can have the page loaded and waiting prior to launch and the tracker needs to transition into ascent mode on its own
  • User can jump to another body, vessel or crew display during an ascent then back again

Getting all this sorted hurt my head a little due to the asynchronous nature of the site bit but thankfully my code actually isn’t a total mess and I was able to sort it out even after months of not really working with it. Yay for good code documenting practices! (that was the first article I ever published…) The upside of the way the final implementation ended up is that ascent events can be played out alongside static events (the major updates that have been done up to this point in launch history). So once an ascent is over the user ends up in a static event and can page back through the major ascent events. When they get to the launch event an option will pop up in the data fields to load the ascent telemetry and they can then play back the ascent in realtime. What this also means is that I don’t have to change anything to past missions to be able to also add ascent telemetry data to them and you can go back through the inactive vessels archive and watch any launch in realtime. Well – that’s the plan anyways! Hopefully it works out this way…

addendum 6/7: It did work out this way and I will eventually add ascent data for launches as far back in the archives as I can, but it’s not a priority right now