Jan 11 2018

Ascension Debuts Lifter Engine, Updated Orbital Roadmap

After months of competition between C7, Bluedog Design Bureau, Armstrong Siddeley & Royce Engineering, Archtagon Aerospace and more comprising a total of 12 designs, the Ascension program has awarded its1.25m lifter engine contract to NovaPunch and its K2-X!

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Jan 10 2018

Extremis Program Enters Phase Two Planning

Since it was first announced back in June of last year, Extremis has been hard at work determining how best to fly past every planet in the Kerbol system with three missions. When it became apparent that our initial 2018 launch date was looking very likely to slip into 2019 the decision was made to just toss the original routes and start anew, but with a much, much more detailed exploration of what was possible within a given time frame. Program directors decided to break the process of planning the three missions down into three phases. initially Phase One was expected to be completed sometime around October but the calculations turned out to be more complex and required additional time. The first milestone was finally achieved late last month when Phase One wrapped. So what was it all about?

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Dec 22 2017

Operations Summary – Week of 12/18/17

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Dec 21 2017

Report Released for Ongoing Monolith Study

Earlier this year the Monolith, a structure of unknown origin erected at some point during our long absence from the surface of Kerbin, “activated”, for lack of a better word, and released three humongous bursts of energy directed up into space. The details of this event, known since simply as The Incident, can be found in this report written after the initial chaos had quieted down. Since then, a massive investigation has been underway to ascertain what exactly happened that day and why. You can get caught up on all the dealings with the Monolith we’ve previously reported on using this collection. Today, the government finally released a report before the end of the year as promised, though we feel it also came rather quickly after an act of violence by religious radicals. Coincidence? Well, regardless the point is there’s a lot that remains unknown as the investigation is still not complete but new details at least are given about the mysterious crystal structures found in Umbarg and Kravass as well as what lies underneath the Monolith since excavation began a few months ago. Plus tons of speculation and lots more questions. Here are the highlights from the 150+ page report.

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Dec 20 2017

Progeny Mk5 Block I Flight 3 Analysis

Progenitor team members have spent the last few days reviewing telemetry data from the third launch of the Mk5 Block I in order to determine the overall performance of the rocket and what happened to cause two anomalies that occurred during the ascent into space. Both have been tracked down to their root cause and we will cover them after review of the flight.

The Flight

No issues preceded the launch, with perfect weather deciding to show up for launch day although we had plans in place to push into the weekend if necessary to get the rocket launched before the end of the operational year. The lower 0.625m solid rocket booser lit off at 12:30:00.03 local time to push the rocket away from the launch base at 4Gs with 146.142kN of thrust to establish the rocket in its initial climb and not allow lift at the nose to flip it vertical or over backwards. Launching from 85° It stood up to 86.8° before beginning to pitch back over towards the east and away from KSC. After 5 seconds the new lower stage began to reduce its base-level thrust output although given the rocket was climbing into decreasing air pressure the overall thrust continued to increase. 10 seconds after lift off it had reached Mach 1 and 8 seconds later dynamic pressure began to fall as it passed through a Max Q of 78.373kPa, within our planned range of 60-80kPa. It burned out after 33.71s with a thrust of 172.596kN, pushing the rocket to a velocity of 653.520m/s at an altitude of 14.009km.

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Dec 15 2017

Operations Summary – Week of 12/11/17

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Dec 14 2017

Progeny Mk5 Block I Flight 3

The final flight of 2017 saw a triumphant return to space with a redesigned Block I solving many of the issues that plagued the previous flight, although it also introduced some new ones. The quest continues…

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Dec 13 2017

Civvie Flight Control Test 1

Captain Jebediah cruises around KSC while testing out very basic software that will hopefully allow the aircraft to hold itself level in both pitch and roll without direct pilot input

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Dec 11 2017

Widespread Asteroid Impacts Revealed in Seismic Study

Circle size equals magnitude of force on impact, which does not always directly equate to the size of the asteroid

Over the past year and change, with funding from the Asteroid Tracking Network, field researchers have been quietly building a network of seismic devices spread across the planet in order to monitor for ground strikes from asteroids. Close to 100 stations dot the landmasses around the globe and just last month the final round of data collection was made from all of them. The results show that, as expected, our current sky monitoring ability is lacking. Previous estimates have put the discovery rate at around 40% and this study reveals that’s just about right, with 59% of the impacts occurring without prior knowledge of their arrival. While these results don’t account for water impacts and coverage is weak near the poles, scientists agree the ratio is a solid indication of our overall detection ability.

The data also reveals what appears to be a bit of a clustering between logitudes115-175 to the west and 5-120 to the east, however these areas also represent the largest portions of contiguous landmass so it is not surprising that a lot of strikes would land here. Overall the distribution is fairly even across latitude and longitude.

To help increase our sky coverage three new ATN observatories North, South and Central will be coming online over the next few years, you can see their locations and read more about their specifications in our Deep Space Network report. The next step to be taken in this study is a closer examination of the magnitude from each strike and how they could affect any of the four underground settlements so that any steps that can be taken are suggested to the government to keep kerbs safe should any asteroids fall closer to home.

Dec 08 2017

Operations Summary – Week of 12/4/17

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