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.

For an alternate overview of the program you can check out this wiki-style article.

Program News Highlight – 6/28/19

First Kerbed Space Flight Announced

The time has come at last to send the first kerbal into space aboard a Mk1! Specialist Bob has been selected for this honor, with Specialist Bill as his backup.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

Ascension Flight Data Comparison

Full Service Launch Pad

25km

Separation Confirmed

Ascension Mk1 Block I No.3

Launch Weather

Crack o Dawn

Ready to Escape Its Shadow

Capsule Afloat

2018 Year in Review: Rocket Flight

Rocket Forest

Mk1 Ascension Crew Capsule

Airship Retrofit

200km Coming Down

Apokee

250km Going Up

150km Going Up

80km Going Up

Ascension Mk1 Block I No.2

Launch Dawn

Standing Ready

Ready to Roll

Two for Space

Top Heavy

Carried Aloft

Gentle Return

Drop Testing

Prototypes Await

Stacked Tall

Until Next Time

Ascension Mk1 Block I No.1

Hung Low

Fill 'er up!

Red Dawn

Two Pioneers

Erected

Going Vertical

Ascension Mk1 Rollout

Ascension Service Towers

Closing Up

Engine Test Chart

KX-2 Hot Fire Test 50%

K2-X Hot Fire Test No.1

K2-X Static Testing Prep

Ascension Mk1 Block I

Ascension Mk1 Block II

1.25m Engine Test Stand

NovaPunch K2-X

Ascension & Progeny Integration

R&D and Science Labs

Program Videos

Program Duration: Nov 2017 – Ongoing
Program Expenditure: 202,107
Program Income: 0 (-202,107)
Yearly income: 0 (-106,175)
Active Vessels: Ascension Mk1, Mk2
Number of Missions: 6
Program Success Rate: 67%
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 7 – 7/18/19 @ 19:21 UTC
The time has come at last to send the first kerbal into space! Specialist Bob has been selected for this honor, with Specialist Bill as his backup
Flight Tracker

Past Missions

Show Past Missions
Flight 6 – 5/28/19
Another unkerbed test flight (possibly the last one) of the Mk1 capsule to try and fly a better ascent with an easier re-entry while also properly retaining the LES tower for some testing before chute deploy
Flight Tracker
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

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

Crack o Dawn

Ready to Escape Its Shadow

Capsule Afloat

2018 Year in Review: Rocket Flight

Rocket Forest

200km Coming Down

Apokee

250km Going Up

150km Going Up

80km Going Up

Ascension Mk1 Block I No.2

Launch Dawn

Standing Ready

Ready to Roll

Two for Space

Stacked Tall

Ascension Mk1 Block I No.1

Hung Low

Fill 'er up!

Red Dawn

Two Pioneers

Erected

Going Vertical

Ascension Mk1 Rollout

Closing Up

KX-2 Hot Fire Test 50%

K2-X Hot Fire Test No.1

K2-X Static Testing Prep

Ascension Mk1 Block I

Ascension Mk1 Block II

NovaPunch K2-X

Ascension & Progeny Integration

Vessel Lifetime: Jun 2018 – Ongoing
Vessel Expenditure: 110,878
Vessel Income: 0 (-110,878)
Yearly Income: 0 (-49,008)
Number of Launches: 6
Mission Success Rate: 67%

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