May 25 2018

High-Altitude Science Survey 42

Specialists Bob & Bill trek overland aboard Utility Task Vehicles to release a balloon over Zone MOI65 in the rough interior Highlands and collect material science data for Probodobodyne Inc

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May 25 2018

Operations Summary – Week of 5/21/18

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May 24 2018

Deuce Science Flight 6

Captain Jebediah and Commander Valentina take a loop around the region of KSC to test out a new radial mystery goo containment unit slung underneath the aircraft

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May 22 2018

Extremis Phase Two Reconsiderations

Today mission planners for Extremis belatedly realized that their initial round of selection for Phase Two trajectories failed to take into account the fact that all trajectories were calculated from a starting equatorial 200km parking orbit. This was done for the sake of simplicity as the multi-flyby maneuver sequencer that ran various possibilities could easily eject the spacecraft from this orbit in any direction needed. In most cases for interplanetary travel the spacecraft will leave Kerbin at an inclined angle. Changing the inclination of an orbit is a very costly maneuver, especially when it is done deep in the gravity well close to the planet. Ideally, the spacecraft would be launched into an inclined orbit suitable from which to perform an escape burn with only a prograde component.

What this all means is there is a large segment of trajectories that have been overlooked for Phase Two because their v requirements appeared to exceed the 3km/s requirement when they did not actually need that much energy! Take, for example, a route that goes from Kerbin to Dres to Eve and then out to Urlum in the span of just over 5 years. The initial requirement for this trajectory was 3.513km/s of Δv, however looking at the departure burn requirement from Kerbin it defines a radial and normal burn component totaling 1.68km/s of Δv. If the spacecraft were launched into the properly-inclined orbit this portion of the burn could be almost entirely removed (this all depends on the capabilities of the launcher). Therefore the actual power requirements for this mission could be as low as 1.833km/s, which makes it feasible under the Phase Two considerations of  less than 3km/s Δv and less than 10 years of travel time.

The Extremis team will be going back and taking a closer look at trajectories with initial requirements of 3-5km/s to see how many drop below 3km/s when the radial/normal burn component is factored out. Those that remain and cover the gaps left by the one chosen mission will go through the Phase Two 500-iteration route stress test.

May 21 2018

Deuce Science Flight 5

Commander Valentina and Captain Jebediah perform an aerial survey of a mountainous region dubbed Area B-1F while also testing out a new camera for the Ascension program

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May 18 2018

Operations Summary – Week of 5/14/18

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May 18 2018

Low-Altitude Science Survey 34

After a near-disaster in the southern sea, specialists Bob & Bill head north to Sector B-C49 to perform similar temperature gathering in a body of water that can be just as unpredictable & dangerous

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May 11 2018

Operations Summary – Week of 5/7/18

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May 11 2018

Low-Altitude Science Survey 33

Specialists Bob & Bill brave the southern sea a second time after their first attempt to reach Zone 60P-5X nearly ended in disaster thanks to a strong storm

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May 11 2018

Progeny Mk6 Block I Flight 4 Analysis

The final launch in our latest campaign has been to space and back. This ends our initial exploration of the hazardous radiation zone discovered above the planet, a report on which will be published separately after more data collection and analysis from future Progeny launches. We’ll cover that at the end as usual, for now let’s take a look at this recent flight in detail.

The Flight

Once again the only major change to the ascent profile of the rocket was to launch even further to the south, lifting off from the launch base at precisely 09:02:00.06 local time to head 150° SSE after a delay due to cloud cover. 67.2kN of thrust from the lower 0.625m booster pushed the rocket at 4Gs and climbed to 68.9kN before beginning to taper off after just 3 seconds to ensure the rocket did not speed through MaxQ too fast, topping out with a dynamic pressure of 77.104kPa passing through 5km traveling at 550m/s at L+18s. Staging occurred at L+35s, 14.9km ASL, after the lower booster expired and was pushed away by the decoupler, its fins shredding via det-cord 1 second later to spoil its lift and send it crashing downrange into the Kerblantic .

Coasting for 7.62 seconds before the nose fell 1.5°, the AFCS kicked off the second stage booster at 18.5km to boost at 14.7kN with a TWR of 3.1. Trajectory remained stable throughout the burn until the booster expired at L+54s, when the stage was dumped and the third booster ignited one second later at full thrust to continue the push for space.

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