Feb 13 2021

Ascension Mk3 Flight 1 (Kerbin III Attempt 1)

Once again pushing things to the limit the new Ascension Mk3 fails to achieve an optimal ascent, suffering a similar failure to the first Mk2 however this time the payload was at least able to be recovered via controlled abort

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Feb 12 2021

Operations Summary – Weeks of 2/1 & 2/8/21

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Jan 29 2021

Operations Summary – Weeks of 1/18 & 1/25/21

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Jan 28 2021

Progeny Mk6 Block II Flight 4 Analysis

The Block II was brought back into service after what was thought to be its final flight back in 2019 in order to carry up some payloads for the Kerbal Sounding Project. While 4 Mk6 Block I rockets handled the launch of KSP instruments in 2019, this past year’s program wanted to give the student builders the opportunity to send their designs higher than before aboard the Block II. Despite the buyout of USI enough surplus parts remained to construct the rocket and the new owner Luciole was able to produce more on demand if needed – which was good because it was needed when during wet dress rehearsal an equipment malfunction on the fuel truck caused an explosion that damaged the rocket.

The mission was pushed into this year while new solid rocket motors were manufactured to replace the ones that were damaged by shrapnel. Thankfully the final stage was high enough to escape harm as that would have been more costly and time-consuming to replace. Once repaired it was rolled out again, WDR this time went without a hitch and favorable weather on launch day posed no further delays.

The Flight

It was a beautiful night to again see this rocket soar up into the sky with a huge tail of flame shooting out from the 5 solid rocket motors that had ignited to push it off the pad with 135kN of thrust at 6Gs, keeping the nose high. The 4 radial boosters burned out after only 6s and fell away cleanly as the core booster continued to burn and accelerate the rocket through Mach 1 less than 10s into the flight. The sonic boom rippled across the grounds at KSC.

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Jan 22 2021

Kerbin II Mission Analysis

In the months following our first orbital mission, which came very close to failing, lots of work was done on the Ascension Mk2 to make it more capable of reaching orbit. The result was a success on our second attempt, which placed the Kerbin II satellite into a stable and nearly circular orbit 191x228km@26° above Kerbin. Now that the hardest part of the mission was done, it was time to begin our first long-term operation of a spacecraft on orbit.

The Mission

The main goals of the mission in addition to telecom testing was just to see how the spacecraft fared over several weeks in space, in regards to things such as wear on its equipment to the stability of its orbit. It was equipped with two main antennas that each by themselves could get a strong signal to the ground for the transmission of science & telecom data and a tertiary backup antenna which could get enough of a signal to send & receive commands. This meant that potential loss of the satellite due to communications issues was unlikely. The probe core was constructed better than that of Kerbin I so although it remained a single point of failure it was at least robust. Whether the science instruments would last several weeks of space radiation exposure was also a question. Finally, scientists were still unsure if the 70km boundary to the atmosphere was “hard” or “fuzzy” – could an orbit remain stable or was there enough drag to gradually bring a spacecraft back down into the more well-defined atmosphere?

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Jan 20 2021

Progeny Mk6 Block II Flight 4 (Kerbal Sounding Project 7)

After a fueling incident damaged it, the rocket was repaired and reflown to get student experiments up into the radiation belts. The final Mk6 mission unfortunately failed to meet objectives but may have helped to make a new discovery

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Jan 15 2021

Operations Summary – Weeks of 1/4 & 1/11/21

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Dec 20 2020

KerBalloon Badlands Science Survey #2

Both high and low altitude crews are dispatched deep into the Badlands for multiple releases as part of a larger scientific expedition to investigate a suspected super volcano caldera at Site X02-V

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Dec 18 2020

Operations Summary – Weeks of 12/7 & 12/14/20

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Dec 17 2020

Kerbin II

Our second attempt at orbit went more as planned, with the satellite taking long-term science observations, proving orbits are stable above the atmosphere and teaching us new lessons on orbital operations and recovery

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