Category Archive: News

What's going on at the Kerbal Space Agency

May 17 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 5/13/19

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May 10 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 5/6/19

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May 03 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 4/29/19

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Apr 30 2019

Ascension Mk1 Flight 4 Analysis

Nearly three months after the last launch, this mission took so long to set up partly because it would be the first to carry the Mk1 capsule into space, and first the capsule needed to complete testing and certification. You can review that whole process here if you like. It then had to undergo trials of the Launch Escape System so that it could be fully fitted for flight – but not the beat-up test capsule, we had to wait for a new capsule to arrive. There was also an engine explosion during testing and a Progeny Mk6 launch that was delayed while the Monolith temple cooling system was setup, not to mention the fins on this lifter needed to be angled for greater pitch control. So, a lot of work led up to the fourth Ascension Mk1 flight. Let’s have a look at how it went.

The Flight

No delays occurred leading up to launch and the rocket lit its main engine at T-6s with 10% throttle for a check of the engine performance before throttling up to and holding a TWR of 1.2 (126kN) at T-3s. The engine clamp released at 16:12:00.08 local time for an on-schedule launch. Climbing 8.1m after another three seconds the rocket had cleared the tower and the AFCS kicked in guidance control to begin dropping the nose towards the horizon and heading downrange while throttling the engine up to full thrust, which near sea level is ~172kN. It was now time to see if this rocket could properly follow the pitch profile programmed into the guidance system.

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Apr 26 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 4/22/19

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Apr 22 2019

Progenitor Program Begins Orbital Bid with the Progeny Mk7-A

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Under development for over a year (the Progeny Mk6 debuted in Feb 2018), the latest iteration in the Progeny line of rockets will aim to satisfy new goals for the program – being able to deploy 0.35-0.625m payloads to Low-Kerbin Orbit (70-250km). The Mk7 series will also test out several new technologies that will work their way up to our bigger rockets such as vectoring engines, reaction wheel stability control systems, fully-actuating guidance fins, payload fairings, inline & more compact/lighter batteries. While we had hoped the Mk7-A could reach orbit, its primary design purpose will be to test the new form factor of a 0.625m payload atop a 0.35m stack in the final stage.

Another design consideration for all the Mk7 rockets is to be compatible with the pad infrastructure put in place for Ascension rockets, including the engine collar and resource towers. This will save time and money as we will no longer need to switch out the engine collar for a dedicated launch base. An insert for the engine collar will cradle the lower-stage booster while three stabilizers will help hold the rocket steady once the upper umbilical tower swings away from the liquid fuel tank and will retract moments before booster ignition. The lower umbilical tower will not be used.

The ‘-A’ designation of the rocket signifies that there will be several iterations yet to come but all will be working to achieve the same goal stated earlier. The Progenitor team already recognizes that they will be needing a more powerful second stage solid and the lower solid may need to have a new core designed as it was meant for lighter payloads carried up on sub-orbital trajectories with earlier Mk5 & Mk6 rockets.

First launch of the Mk7-A could happen as early as June.

Apr 19 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 4/15/19

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Apr 12 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 4/8/19

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Apr 05 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 4/1/19

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Mar 29 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 3/25/19

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