Aug 16 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 8/12/19

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Aug 13 2019

Civvie Science Flight 40

Captain Jebediah takes time off from Ascension mission training to complete a final atmospheric sampling run over Area ATM-14 that will end a 2-year study on regional tree pollen levels

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Aug 09 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 8/5/19

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Aug 06 2019

Ascension Mk1 Flight 7 Analysis

Finally, after nearly 3 years of rocket development, the time had come to launch a kerbal into space! While we expected there might be some issues during the mission no one was ready for the Monolith to make another attempt at keeping us grounded. After Specialist Bob was loaded up into the rocket and it was raised vertical on the pad, atmospheric pressure began to decline shortly after it was powered up, a sign that storms were forming. This storm was being generated by the Monolith and was last seen to impact rocket flights back in February. Since then a cooling system was installed to prevent the storms and it appeared to work until this flight, which led us to develop a new theory as to why the Monolith was generating the storms in the first place.

The Flight

Rattled from his experience in the capsule during the storm, Bob ceded his spot to his backup Specialist Bill, who boarded the rocket 6 days later after a new cooling unit was installed around the Monolith and a day’s delay due to weather. Pre-launch operations proceeded without issue leading up to the 5 minute GO/NO GO poll, which failed due to upper-atmospheric wind conditions that neared the launch commit limits for flight. After some discussion among the launch team, using our experience with past Ascension missions, the decision was made to proceed with the launch. The countdown resumed and the rocket lifted off the pad with Bill atop it at 15:58:00.20 local time.

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Aug 02 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 7/29/19

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Jul 26 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 7/22/19

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Jul 24 2019

Ascension Mk1 Flight 7

Although only one of them can ultimately be the first kerbal into space, both Specialists Bill & Bob are prepared to fly aboard the capsule atop the rocket that will carry one of them into the history books

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Jul 19 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 7/15/19

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Jul 17 2019

Dhumla Crash Report Summary

The Air Safety Administration has closed its investigation into the Dhumla crash that took the life of Flight Officer Aldeny and seriously injured Flight Officer Tedman. The full report weighs in at over 300 pages of technical investigation, witness reports, crew interviews and simulation data. The conclusion reached by all this is that pilot error was the only cause of the accident – this includes both the actions and mind-set of Pilot in Command Aldeny.

The aircraft was planned to make a touch-and-go landing at Kravass General Airport, putting wheels down but not slowing enough to come to a full stop and thus taking to the air again shortly afterwards. The approach went as planned with a reduced throttle to allow the aircraft to slow enough that the landing gear would not be damaged on touchdown. As the plane crossed over the threshold Aldeny cut the throttle and engaged the reverse thrusters before throttling back up to reduce speed and perform a full stop landing. Cockpit voice recordings made clear this was done without informing his co-pilot, who had too little time to react. The aircraft was already going too fast and failed to slow down enough before ramping off the end of the runway and crashing nose-first into the ground off the raised threshold.

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Jul 15 2019

Progeny Mk6 Block II Flight 3 Analysis

Although we did not expect to fly the Mk6 Block II again, Bluedog Design Bureau and DMagic Orbital Sciences joined together to fund another mission to explore the radiation belts – this time on the night side of the planet. We know from past Mk6 Block I flights that the belts are blown into an extended elliptical shape by the kerbolar wind however we’ve never been able to explore the outer belt with the Block I. The Block II had the potential to not only reach it but travel all the way through and reveal the full extent of both belts. It was also equipped with the new hemispherical ion trap instrument for additional readings of the belt environment.

The Flight

After first being bumped a few days due to a delay of the Progeny Mk7-A debut launch scheduled prior to this one and then delayed further thanks to a bad decoupler between the first and second stages, the rocket flew its mission on July 9th, lifting off on schedule at precisely 12:30:00.08 local time. The ascent was nominal when compared to past Block II launches, with a clean radial booster drop and core booster separations leading up to the final boost of the liquid-fueled engine. As the rocket exited the atmosphere, it did something new for a Block II and dumped the upper payload fairings to expose the ion trap instrument to space, which managed to affect the rocket’s ascent angle and push its final apokee out to a whopping 4.3Mm!

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