Ascension Program

  • Overview
  • Ascension Mk1
  • Ascension Mk2

Program Patch

Although we are still exploring the basics of rocketry through sub-orbital flights of our Progenitor rockets, the time has come to begin to push for the next level and establish a permanent robotic presence in space with orbiting satellites. At first, these craft will not be able to stay up for long with current power technology but eventually the Ascension program will be responsible for lifting all payloads into orbit around Kerbin for extended missions of months or years. This program will also be responsible for getting the Extremis probes on their way to exploring the Kerbol system.

Program News Highlight – 1/7/19

Ascension Postpones Orbit for Capsule Technology Testing

A new goal has been set of sub-orbital kerbed flight while we wait on a second stage engine to continue the push for orbit.Full Story Recent News

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Primary Program Goals

Orbit Kerbin
Demonstrate use of solar power
Eject a probe out of the Kerbin system
Carry a kerbal into space
Show Secondary Goals
Orbit Kerbin < 250km
Orbit Kerbin > 250km
Establish an equatorial orbit < 15°
Establish an inclined orbit 15-85°
Establish a polar orbit > 85°
Establish a keostationary orbit

Active Program Contracts

None at this time.

Program Album

View full album on flickr

Awaiting Splashdown

Reefed

Ascension Mk1 No. 5

Topped Off

Checking Winds Aloft

Ascent Profile Comparison

Prior to MECO

Ascension Mk1 Block I No. 4

Standing Ready

Fill Up Time

Slow Your Roll

Empty Pad Awaits

Viklun Mk1 Blueprint

Ascension Launch Prep

Viklun 1.25m Vacuum Engine

LES Pad Abort Test

LES Pad Abort Test

Ascension Flight Data Comparison

Full Service Launch Pad

25km

Program Videos

Program Duration: Nov 2017 – Ongoing
Program Expenditure: 169,681
Program Income: 0 (-169,681)
Yearly income: 0 (-73,749)
Active Vessels: Ascension Mk1, Mk2
Number of Missions: 5
Program Success Rate: 60%
Agency Partners: Umbra Space Industries, KW Rocketry, NovaPunch, Modular Rocket Systems, Bluedog Design Bureau, C7 Aerospace Division

Vessel Patch

The Mk1 was the first dedicated lifter design for orbital space flight, meant to carry several tons of extra mass off the ground in order for the second stage or payload to continue the climb into orbit from a high initial altitude. It was also the first steerable rocket and the first to be built to a 1.25m form factor.

However after two attempts to make orbit with even a light 1t payload it was determined to be not powerful enough and is now relegated to sub-orbital missions only and no longer carries a Block designation.

Vessel News Highlight – 2/12/19

Ascension Mk1 Flight 3 Analysis

After two failed attempts at orbit, the Ascension team was preparing for a third try when the decision was made to pivot away from achieving orbit and instead focus on sub-orbital flight to prepare for sending a kerbal up in the finalized capsule design still undergoing certification testing.Full Story Show Recent News

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Current Missions

Flight 6 – 5/28 @ 16:28 UTC 
Launching north-eastwards along a 53° azimuth, this will be the second flight of the Mk1 capsule, again without any crew on board. It will fly a similar mission as the 4th Ascension Mk1 however it will aim for a more comfortable re-entry, better on orbit RCS control and attempt to retain the LES so it can be tested as an emergency retro-fire before landing.
Flight Tracker
Flight 7 – NET July
We are currently aiming for this to be the first flight to carry a kerbal into space, assuming the previous two missions go well

Past Missions

Show Past Missions
Flight 5 – 5/16/19
No longer fit for space flight, the test capsule that had been used for previous pad abort tests was still fit enough to fly partway to space so we could conduct an ascent abort test to fully qualify the Launch Escape System
Flight Tracker
Flight 4 – 4/18/19
Changes to the elevator fin angle will allow for greater pitch-down control authority and the first test of the Mk1 space capsule on a sub-orbital flight will take place in a similar manner to the test payload from the previous mission
Flight Tracker
Flight 3 – 1/24/19
Attempting to use new software to plan an orbital mission profile proved fruitless, so this mission was redesigned from scratch to support future sub-orbital kerbed spaceflight by testing new technologies such as RCS & a heat shield
Flight Tracker
Flight 2 – 7/17/18
After failing to reach orbit on our first attempt, adjustments have been made to the ascent profile to get the rocket horizontal sooner and hopefully push our periapsis out from under the ground on this second attempt
Flight Tracker
Flight 1 – 6/8/18
Our first orbit-capable rocket makes its debut flight after months of testing and development and a few false starts leading up to launch. The hopes of this flight lie upon an engine that has seen a lot of use already in testing…
Flight Tracker

Vessel Images

View all images on flickr

Awaiting Splashdown

Reefed

Ascension Mk1 No. 5

Topped Off

Ascent Profile Comparison

Prior to MECO

Ascension Mk1 Block I No. 4

Standing Ready

Fill Up Time

Slow Your Roll

Empty Pad Awaits

Viklun Mk1 Blueprint

Ascension Launch Prep

LES Pad Abort Test

LES Pad Abort Test

Ascension Flight Data Comparison

25km

Separation Confirmed

Ascension Mk1 Block I No.3

Launch Weather

Vessel Lifetime: Jun 2018 – Ongoing
Vessel Expenditure: 100,138
Vessel Income: 0 (-100,138)
Yearly Income: 0 (-38,269)
Number of Launches: 5
Mission Success Rate: 60%

Vessel Blueprint

Vessel Patch

The Mk2 was originally the Mk1 Block II meant to serve as a heavy lift variant. However when it was made clear how underpowered the Mk1 was and that it would not be able to carry a second stage, the Block II was merged with the Viklun Mk1 to create a new vehicle as the two would only ever be paired together anyways.

The Mk2 will be the first rocket to carry kerbals into orbit.

Vessel News Highlight – 1/7/19

Ascension Postpones Orbit for Capsule Technology Testing

This decision was essentially the beginning of the process that birthed the Mk2..Full Story Show Recent News

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Current Missions

None at this time.

Vessel Lifetime: Apr 2019 – Ongoing
Vessel Expenditure: 9,764
Vessel Income: 0 (-9,764)
Yearly Income: 0 (-9,764)
Number of Launches: 0
Mission Success Rate: N/A

Lift Stage Blueprint

Orbital Stage Blueprint