Jun 14 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 6/10/19

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July Kerbed Mission Remains on Track

With the release of the flight analysis for the previous Ascension Mk1 mission we have surpassed another hurdle on the road to sending a kerbal up into space. The favorable analysis means that the only thing left to accomplish is a successful test firing of the K2-X engine that will be used for the next flight, which arrived at KSC this week. The engine was recently cleared of any problems related to an explosion on the test stand back in February and will be static fired on the launch pad after the first Progeny Mk7-A mission.

Deceleration Testing Program

In related news to the Ascension report, we have decided to help fund research from Dr. Murstap Kerman on the effects of rapid deceleration and the high G forces that come with it. C7 Aerospace Division is footing the majority of the funding as they hold a vested interest in applying the findings to creating safer cockpits and harnesses for pilots in the event of a crash – several of which that have been suffered by various aircraft over the years, some of them fatal. We will shut down the paved runway to build upon it a track to carry a rocket sled at high velocities – the Mk1 capsule that has been used for LES testing will see extended use here. The track should be set up to begin testing by next month.

Progeny Mk7-A Integration on Schedule for Launch Next Week

As seen in the album above, the Mk7-A is progressing well on its way to the launch pad. Lead Engineer Simon has reported no issues during the build, which was planned for nearly 4 weeks to allow the VAB crew to carefully assemble many new parts together for the first time and deal with any issues. Only minor ones arose and the rocket remains on schedule to lift off next Thursday.

Genesis Auctions Off Spare Aircraft

Since aircraft operations are at an all-time low and since we weren’t really finding much use for them even when operations were higher, Genesis program has sold off our two spare Civvie aircraft to the highest bidder. They actually fetched above market price for a new aircraft due to their history and involvement with the KSA. Of course the funds will mostly go towards the rocketry programs at this time, however investment in their eventual success will allow funds to work their way back to aircraft operations in the future. Hopefully.

KerBalloon Income Trickles Out

The low- and high-altitude crews each completed a mission this week, with the low-altitude crew exploring a vast grassland plain north of KSC while the high-altitude crew made another sea voyage to release their payload. Unfortunately on the way back the high-altitude crew got stuck in a severe storm that washed one of the UTVs off the deck. This leaves us with 2 UTVs and 3 are the minimum required for a safe traversal. While funds are tight at this time Head of Finances Mortimer has allowed for the purchase of a new Utility Task Vehicle since any nearby overland trips would require airship charters that would be more expensive in the long run.

Mortimer is working hard to secure new contracts but we may have reached a period of data saturation where agencies are not in need of new information while they continue to process the data we collected for them previously. This is not a good time for income to slacken but we should have enough funds to push on to more commercial rocket contracts in the near future. Again, hopefully.

ATN Database

The latest update for the Asteroid Tracking Network database is available here, containing 3,683 asteroids and 1 updated with new observation data. Here are the 31 asteroids that were discovered this past week:

From the Desk of Drew Kerman

Out of Character Behind the Scenes stuff

Written on 5/17/19

It took a week for this week mainly because of the ascension flight analysis, which required the most data analysis I’ve done so far – mostly to hopefully finally get to the bottom of the pitching issue the rockets have been experiencing. Also because I lost a bit of motivation in realizing how little I had the KSA doing these few weeks between rocket missions. Feels a bit like failure but eventually I reminded myself that it was necessity. I’m not earning enough in donations to put aside the need for extra work to pay the bills – that means I’ve agreed to work 4 consecutive weeks of fireworks shows in June/July and I need to really push out my lead time so I’m not all the way back to square one mid-July. I’m at 4 weeks lead right now and I would like to be at least 6 weeks ahead by the time of the first show in a month.

Practical rocket sled?

So this is what I was alluding to in a previous Desk Notes and it does indeed roughly follow the story of Dr John Stapp, who also helped coin Murphy’s Law (Murstap!). I did make an attempt at building a practical sled and track but I was foiled by KSP’s lack of concave meshes for physics collisions. Or maybe they do allow such meshes but the rail parts don’t have them. Either way I can’t run along a rail (yes, I’ve seen people make monorails and stuff but it’s not done in a way I would consider feasible for this application) so there will never be any test videos but I will eventually have test photos.

Sled atop rail instead of set into rail

Also I am going to admit that there was never any over-arching plan to include C7 in this because of aircraft crashes and related to the recent Dhumla crash. Remember I already admitted that crash was spontaneous due to KSP being a dick. It does fit very well though and also reflects on the actual deceleration test program being applied to the aerospace industry.