Tag Archive: Progeny Mk4

Aug 15 2017

Progeny Mk4 Program Review

Today marks the official retirement of the Mk4, the sixth design iteration of the Progenitor program. It launched five times, the most of any Progeny rocket to date, and although it suffered three failures it ultimately achieved the goal of being the first rocket to break out of the atmosphere and enter space for a brief period of time. The Mk4 represents the final iteration of the Progeny rocket design, building on previous single and multi-stage designs developed earlier in the program, and very little will be changed moving on to the Mk5, which will focus mainly on kOS scripting for automated flights. Program engineers have reviewed all the data from the five flights and have released numerous conclusions that will lay the foundation for flights of the Progeny Mk5.

Terminal Countdown

Although the Mk4 held no capability for automated flight, we were able to implement some automation on the ground side of things with the Automated Firing Control System (AFCS). This very basic system was designed to be manually triggered and then monitor the countdown timer to send the launch signal at precisely L-0:00:00.0, so down to the millisecond. Precise launch times will become important when looking to reach a specific orbital injection or even reach a certain area of space at apokee for a sub-orbital launch. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 11 2017

Operations Summary – Week of 8/7/17

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Aug 08 2017

Progeny Mk4 Flight 5

Lowering the first stage TWR to 2 failed to generate enough thrust to keep the rocket pointed east, and the flight was terminated shortly after launch when the rocket began to fly west over KSC

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Aug 04 2017

Operations Summary – Week of 7/31/17

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Aug 04 2017

Progeny Mk4 Flight 4

Our second foray into space tested even slower launch speeds, taking off at 4Gs while carrying a new suite of payload instruments up into the void – FOR SCIENCE!

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Jul 28 2017

Operations Summary – Week of 7/24/17

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Jul 27 2017

Progeny Mk4 Launch 3 Analysis

We did it. We made it. SPACE! At last! Of course our accomplishment was somewhat overshadowed by the Monolith Incident that occurred during the ascent but nonetheless we have finally achieved the #1 primary goal of the Progenitor Program after 16 launches – flying above the atmosphere of Kerbin. You can relive all the major moments in the flight by visiting its vessel page on our Flight Tracker and using the Prev dropdown list to look back. You can also view detailed telemetry data from the flight for a closer look at what the rocket was doing for the eight minutes and twenty-nine seconds of its journey up to 135km and back down to Kerbin. The ascent up to MECO can be watched via our YouTube channel.

Let’s dig into the flight analysis. The rocket launched with its lower booster dialed back to 81% thrust, which produced 106.6kN or 6.08Gs at the time of ignition, climbing to 110.4kN or 10.106Gs by the time the booster flamed out and was discarded at L+6 seconds while traveling at a velocity of 377m/s. All three fins were shredded a second later, fouling the booster’s aerodynamics. It impacted 1.3 km downrange. The second stage booster was lit off at L+14 seconds after the rocket’s pitch had dropped roughly 1.5° during the coast. At 52% thrust, it began the push with 22.2kN producing 0.944Gs and ended at L+19 seconds with 23kN pushing the rocket up to 4.97Gs, now traveling at a velocity of 426.3m/s. The second stage impacted only 847m east of the launch site after having its fins shredded as well, falling back nearly along its ascent trajectory as its spin kept it upright, engine pointing back towards the pad.

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Jul 21 2017

Operations Summary – Week of 7/17/17

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Jul 14 2017

Reaching Space and the “Monolith Incident”

During the ascent of the third Progeny Mk4 earlier this week, the Progenitor program at last succeeded after months of operation when the rocket broke through 70km ASL at L+1m44s and officially entered into space above Kerbin, heading for an apokee of nearly 135km. Cheers and applause had barely gotten underway when all of the sudden arcs of electricity began to shoot from all the consoles in Launch Control and the Tracking Station. Kerbs still outside reported a huge ball of plasma around the Monolith. The scene inside quickly dissolved into barely-organized chaos as several severely-burned operators were tended to by emergency medical personnel that arrived shortly after the arcing had ceased after several seconds of crazy sparking. Elsewhere around the KSC campus similar reports were made, although at the time of launch no other building had as much electronics in operation as Launch Control and the Tracking Station. After nearly two hours of tending to injuries (no deaths, thankfully) and putting out small fires here and there, an overall assessment was finally begun – which is when all hell broke loose again. Thankfully with most active electronics destroyed during the first event there wasn’t as much widespread damage done, lots of melting components but no serious arcing or fires, however new equipment brought online to help determine the overall situation of the KSC was knocked offline. Repair work was begun again from a rapidly dwindling supply of spare parts when roughly two hours later a third event struck, and all recovery efforts were put on hold for 6 hours in case the events continued to repeat.

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Jul 14 2017

Progeny Mk4 Flight 3

Although it ultimately survived its trip into space, catastrophic events that unfolded during its ascent cast a heavy pall upon our achievement of breaking free of the atmosphere surrounding Kerbin at last

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