Jan 18 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 1/14/19

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Jan 16 2019

Progeny Mk6 Block I Flight 8

Returning to flight for the first time in over 5 months, this mission repeats the previous one, which failed on re-entry. Upgraded mystery goo containment units will be put to the test on this flight

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Jan 11 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 1/7/19

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Jan 11 2019

Deuce Science Flight 8

Flight Officers Aldeny & Tedman head out for an aerial survey over Sector JENH to see if any trace of large marine animals reported by mariners can be spotted from the air without spooking them

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Jan 08 2019

Civvie Science Flight 38

Flight Officer Tedman takes a Civvie out with its Atmospheric Fluid Spectro-Variometer over Area ATM-07 to gather air data over a burn scar caused by fires ignited after a meteor exploded overhead

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Jan 07 2019

Ascension Postpones Orbit for Capsule Technology Testing

Over the past week since returning from holiday break program teams have been working on how they want to approach operations in 2019. For the most part everyone stuck to what they had going when 2018 drew to a close, but the Ascension team is continuing to move forward with a big change they began to plan late last year which is to forego further attempts at making orbit with just the Mk1 lifter and instead focus on preparing for sub-orbital capsule flights.

The main reason behind this decision was due to successive failures at modeling an ascent profile that would reach a decaying orbit using the new Launch Vehicle Designer that comes with the Trajectory Optimization Tool from ArrowstarTech*, one of our external partners. Even when the test payload mass was reduced as much as possible, 278kg down from 1t, the rocket was still unable to reach a final state at MECO that would carry it around the planet at least once. The main problem is that the rocket uses control surfaces for guidance, which means it can only control its pitch for about half of the ascent – past 37km the air grows too thin for the control surfaces to have effect on the rocket’s orientation. Although the natural force of gravity can continue to lower the nose past that point, it will do so only based on how fast the rocket was pitching before then. In the modeling, if it pitches over fast enough to end the burn with a positive perikee, it stays within the atmosphere. If it pitches over less aggressively to prevent this, past the point of aerodynamic control its nose doesn’t drop fast enough to push the orbit perikee out from under the surface while still making it to space before MECO.

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Jan 04 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 1/2/19

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Jan 04 2019

KSA Financial Report 2018 & Donation Information

While I did not create a comprehensive report such as this after summarizing the years of 2016/17, this past year has been full of so many red fields atop the monthly sheets I felt it was necessary to explain to anyone who reads our public reports that the Kerbal Space Agency is not currently in serious financial trouble. First, if you have not yet seen it, our end of year summary for 2018 is available here. I will admit, this is not a pretty picture! We are now almost a quarter of the way into our third year of operations and as the Total Net Income field shows we have lost 171,094 funds from our original capital. This is not unexpected, given that we are trying to create an entirely new industry – the commercial support remains nascent at best as we attempt to adapt our current technologies to be able to carry out missions clients want today while at the same time working to advance our technology to meet their needs in the years to come as both air and space become more accessible. Lots of profits is not something we will see much of in the near future.

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Jan 03 2019

Progeny Mk1-B Airlaunch Flight Analysis

A little over a year and a half after the idea was first put forward by Captain Jebediah and after months of preparation, at the end of last month we finally were able to launch a rocket off an aircraft while in flight. It was a great accomplishment and the main goal was achieved: to prove that such an operation can be carried out without excessive danger to the crew of the aircraft (in this case Flight Officers Tedman and Aldeny) or the rocket itself in being able to complete its own mission. We’ll review the process leading up to the launch before covering the launch flight itself.

Launch Preparation

Once it was confirmed that the rocket could be properly placed atop the aircraft, the first mission began with the simple goal of making sure the Deuce could takeoff and fly normally with the extra weight on the tail and its aerodynamic effects. Both concerns turned out to be minimal, at best – the piggyback was giving the aircraft no trouble whatsoever and it was able to reach an altitude of 7km ASL before climbing became too difficult to continue. That determined the release altitude, and Flight had no problems with going for a release of the rocket on this first flight given how well-behaved the aircraft was. The release went exactly as planned – the decoupler placed forward of the rocket’s center of mass kicked it back and upright from a flight level position before it fell behind the aircraft, nowhere near striking the tail, which was another concern.

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Dec 21 2018

Operations Summary – Closing Out 2018

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