Nov 20 2015

KSA Launch Operations Temporarily Suspended

From the KSA Board of Directors

We were recently approached by agents of the United Kerbin Wildlife Preservation Society, who had been tracking a large flock of water fowl migrating west across the Kerblantic (in other words, towards us here at KSC). The birds arrived in our area at the end of September and appeared to be making a stopover, but to the surprise of UKWPS agents and biologists the birds stuck around. 2 weeks ago an underwater volcano erupted on the seabed 750km northwest of KSC, spewing vast amounts of heat and nutrients into the waters near a major ocean current that carried it west and down the coast. Large plankton blooms followed in its wake and have created an abundance of food for the birds, which feed off fish that feed off the plankton. Now not only have the birds eaten so much they can barely fly, it seems they have also begun their breeding season early. Nesting has already begun in earnest and reports of egg clutches will not be far behind. The birds raise their young as a family unit and rearing the chick can take 2-3 months before they are able to keep up with the parents on their long flights.

These animals are currently registered as a critically endangered species.

The Wildlife Preservation Society has requested that the Kerbal Space Agency cease all launch operations in order to allow the birds a stress-free environment in which to raise healthy chicks that will further boost the resurgence of the species thanks also in part to this bountiful yet temporary food resource. They were very distressed by the effect they observed in the animals from the launch yesterday and were dismayed when we told them that was just a small rocket. Although they need an injunction from the UK government to force us to cease launch operations, the time it would take to get one would make it pointless and any damage that could be done would have been done. They are instead requesting our cooperation in helping to preserve a species and after several hours of deliberation and consultation with our various partners and financial officials we have decided to support the Wildlife Preservation Society and temporarily suspend launch operations for the duration of the breeding season.

While we are dedicated to exploring space and furthering the reach of kerbalkind, we recognize that we are still bound to this world that must be shared with all living creatures and will not put our needs and desires ahead of other species. We look forward to being able to launch new missions again in early 2016, but in the meantime have plenty of other missions both in planning and ongoing to keep focus on.

In related news, a team of marine geologists has already been dispatched to the underwater sea mount that erupted to determine if this is a cyclical event the birds knew about.

From the Desk of Drew Kerman

I didn’t mean for this to come so close to the launch of Val’s mission, but that’s just another reason why things have to go on break again. The new Flight Tracker is one of my proudest achievements but it took a lot out of me to get done. I was up over 24 hours straight to get ready for the launch yesterday and had to “go offline” so I could actually get some sleep. I will dedicated another blog entry to the Flight Tracker (namely the support of video and its implications, limitations and difficulties) in a few days after I take a good look through the survey data that has come in. I actually was finished with it for release both times @KSA_MissionCtrl announced it was ready, but small complications became big ones on both occasions that forced a good deal of refactoring and taking into consideration a wider range of potential users (devices, browsers, etc). So I really meant to have it done before last weekend and not have to do so much lead-up to Val’s launch before scrubbing it. It was nice though to get at least one launch done so I could have the initial feedback to iterate on going forward.

Speaking of moving forward, I still have to get the official website set up for the new domain and upgrade the Crew Roster. Then I need to catch up on all my mission reports and plot synopsis. Thankfully none of these things are anywhere near as technically demanding for me as the Flight Tracker upgrade was, so they shouldn’t take too long. But then I also have to still extend my lead time back out to at least a month and this is holiday season I have to contend with, which will take some time away from what I can do towards that end. Additionally I also have to consider Legacy of the Void is already out and I’ve only just gotten around to downloading it today and Just Cause 3 also lands soon. Sorry KSP, you’re not my one and only 😛

So yea, the whole UKKR cyberattack plot was fun but I couldn’t really drag out the whole unstable UK infrastructure thing without also crippling my ability to do stuff with the KSA I still wanted to do while I worked on back-end stuff. The launch suspension is a boon because setting up and shooting off new missions is the single most demanding thing I can do. Cutting that out for a while will give me a ton of extra time to focus on what needs doing before I can come back to that and then also be able to carry on with everything else.

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