^^ Craft Information - Mission Suspended ^^
Since the first graduating class of kadets it has been a tradition that for their first mission as astronauts they go up to remove orbital debris. Not only does this clean up space around Kerbin, but it provides for a very useful test of their training as not only do they have to get to space and return safely, but also rendezvous with another craft - a critical skill needed for future missions.
As the top graduate of her class, Captain Valentina Kerman not only gets to be the first of the new astronauts to head to space but also do so alone, while the other 4 fly on paired missions.
The mission vehicle was designed with a very tight δv budget to ensure that the pilot must make good use of their resources in order to complete the mission. Although a 2.5m aeroshell was considered to cover the orbital stage, the added weight did not offset the overall reduction in drag.
The mission has been suspended after the KSA agreed to cooperate with the UK Wildlife Conservation Society, which had been monitoring a critically-endangered bird species that chose to nest in the area near KSC. Even the stress of a small sounding rocket was deemed too harmful to the birds and their brooding young. The KSA will be unable to launch again until the birds have moved on after raising their young.