John Kerman

John Kerman, has been the lead technical reporter at Comm Net News since the position was created. He has years of experience dealing with advanced aeronautic and space projects.

JFK Proposes Bold Challenge for Space Exploration


Yesterday, President John F. Kerman (no relation) gave a passionate speech at the Kerbal Academy, outlining a bold set of goals for the fledgling space program. In no uncertain terms, he called upon all Kerbals to support, before this decade is out getting a Kerbal to the Mun and, if possible, returning him alive. It set out a remarkable goal for the exploration of space, on a timeline that seems impossible.

For readers unaware, the Mun is a large satellite orbiting Kerbin. It is mostly grey in appearance, with craters of various sizes dotting its otherwise smooth surface. It is the large, grey object in the sky on most clear nights.

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Exclusive Tour of Research and Development

In the afterglow of the excellent Mark Two mission, we asked Wernher von Kerman (no relation), the Kerbal Space Center’s lead scientist, what plans the center had for future flights (Mark Two Mission a Complete Success, CommNetNews).  “I might have some ideas on how to proceed,” he replied. We caught up with him to find out exactly what technologies are being worked on, and what some of these ideas of Wernher’s might be.

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Mark Two Flight a Complete Success


After several weeks delay, today witnessed the successful launch of a Mark program capsule. The second attempt at launching a Kerbal skyward went off significantly better than the earlier attempt several weeks ago.

The crews in the Vehicle Assembly Building had hung a large sign which read “Better than last time!”, and all the technicians we spoke to said that they were taking that slogan to heart. They assured us that the parachute release issue that had caused the problems with the Mark One flight had been corrected, checked, and double-checked. Everything was certified and the Mark Two was moved to the pad. Keep Reading

Mark Two Flight and Pilot Announced


The Kerbal Space Center will attempt the second flight in the Mark Program, the Mark Two, as soon as possible. Scheduling this launch so soon after the out-of-control moments of the Mark One flight indicates that the Kerbal Space Center is quite confident in the findings of the Mark One Anomaly Report (see CommNetNews’ coverage of the report’s findings here, and the Mark One flight coverage here).

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Mark One Investigation Report

The Mark One Anomaly Investigation Board released it’s report on the flight of the Mark One vehicle today, and reveled that a mis-wiring of the RT-5 “Flea” Solid Rocket Booster ignition system triggered the Mk16 Parachute to deploy immediately, rather than during spacecraft descent as planned.

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Mark One Launch Ends in Near Disaster


Today’s historic first launch of the Mark program was marred by a near disaster, with the craft tumbling out of control and failing to achieve a fifth of the intended altitude. Only the quick reflexes and remarkable piloting skills of the Kerbonaut Jebediah Kerman (no relation) prevented his untimely end. Keep Reading

Mark One Moves to Pad


Yesterday the Kerbal Space Center completed it’s checkouts of the Mark One space vehicle, and completed the complex procedure of moving the assembled vehicle to the launch pad.

The checkout in the Vehicle Assembly Building over the several days found no major faults, although some minor corrections and re-calibrations were made to various systems. Once the craft was cleared, the pad move team took over.  Keep Reading

KSC Announces Mark One Kerbonaut


Today the Kerbal Space Center announced that they had selected the Kerbonaut who will fly the first Mark Program flight, the Mark One. After weeks of speculation, we finally know which brave soul will strap themselves into the tiny Mk1 Capsule and allow Mission Control to ignite the ton of rocket propellant beneath them, propelling capsule and passenger skyward at velocities that have hitherto only been imagined. Keep Reading

The Mark One Mission


Soon the Kerbal Space Center will attempt to launch it’s first capsule with a live Kerbal inside. In reference to this historic event, Gene Kerman, Kerbal Space Center’s Flight Director, said:

“Our space program will soon enter a new era, the participation in the exploration of space by our first Kerbonaut. This upcoming mission is a most important step in the program, a step that will lead on to the ultimate conquest of of this new and hostile environment.”

This first flight will be attempted approximately one hour after daybreak after preflight checks. A countdown hold may occur if any issues arise with the spacecraft or pilot.

The spacecraft, weighing 800kg, will be boosted by a RT-5 “Flea” Solid Rocket Booster. The craft will follow a ballistic arc, hoping to reach at least 5,000m altitude. Keep Reading