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 – 7/16/20

Final Kerbed Sub-Orbital Flight & Future Program Plans

Specialist Bob takes the last Mk1 flight into space. Find out what’s next for Ascension through 2021.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, Ecc < 0.1
Orbit Kerbin > 250km, Ecc < 0.1
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: 419,050
Program Income: 116,879 (-302,171)
Yearly income: 87,598 (-46,609)
Active Vessels: Ascension Mk1, Mk2
Number of Missions: 18
Program Success Rate: 78%
Agency Partners: Umbra Space Industries, KW Rocketry, NovaPunch, Modular Rocket Systems, Bluedog Design Bureau, C7 Aerospace Division, Coatl Aerospace, Periapsis Co.

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 – 7/26/19

First Kerbal in Space!

Specialist Bill makes a successful flight to space and returns safely.Full Story Show Recent News

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Current Missions

None at this time.

Past Missions

Show Past Missions (2020)
Specialist Bob – 7/16/20
After waiting almost a year since his first attempt, Specialist Bob is finally able to head up into space to chase after the shadow of Mun during an eclipse. However mission troubles still do not escape him…
Flight Tracker
Radiation Field Study 11 – 6/23/20
Similar to a past mission, the unkerbed capsule will carry science instruments into space this time up into the inner radiation belt while also testing new shielding that could help protect crew on future flights
Flight Tracker
Captain Jebediah – 3/20/20
Foiled during his first attempt, Captain Jebediah faced additional hurdles before he was able to finally make his trip up into space, becoming the 3rd kerbal to venture beyond the atmosphere and gaze down upon our planet
Flight Tracker
Steerable Guidance Fins & PLF Test – 1/22/20
After three months to repair the launch pad the first Ascension Mk1 mission of 2020 aims to prove whether or not new guidance fins can get the Ascension Mk2 onto an ascent path that could place it into low-Kerbin orbit
Flight Tracker
Show Past Missions (2019)
Captain Jebediah – 10/22/19
Captain Jeb is more than ready to finally take his ride up to space to fly a similar mission to the previous flight by Commander Val however we discover that we have enemies bent on destroying all we hope to accomplish…
Flight Tracker
Commander Valentina – 9/17/19
Commander Val rotates into the hot seat aboard the capsule and becomes the 2nd kerbal to venture up into space, where she flies higher and stays longer to increase our knowledge of any effects 0G has on kerbal physiology
Flight Tracker
Science Studies – 8/28/19
With a capsule modified solely for unkerbed flight, new science instruments were installed. The mission’s goals also included continuing to push the capsule to the limits on return to attempt to find any failures
Flight Tracker
Specialist Bill – 7/24/19
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
Flight Tracker
Capsule Test Flight 2 – 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
Ascent Abort Test – 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
Capsule Test Flight 1 – 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
Capsule Test Mass – 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
Show Past Missions (2018)
Orbit Attempt 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
Orbit Attempt 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 II

Ascension Mk1 Block I

NovaPunch K2-X

Ascension & Progeny Integration

Vessel Videos

Vessel Lifetime: Jun 2018 – Ongoing
Vessel Expenditure: 227,455
Vessel Income: 32,361 (-195,094)
Yearly Income: 3,080 (-48,015)
Number of Missions: 14
Mission Success Rate: 79%

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 – 2/28/20

Kerbin I Wraps Up Historic Mission

The first flight of the Mk2 fails to put its payload into a proper orbit but thankfully Kerbin I is able to get the rest of the way on its own.Full Story Show Recent News

Current Missions

Kerbin II – 9/23/20
The first extended orbital mission is currently underway to test out communications technologies and perform science experiments from Low-Kerbin Orbit
Flight Tracker

Past Missions

Show Past Missions (2020)
Orbit Attempt 4 – 9/23/20
Continued iteration leads us to attempting another orbital insertion with the Mk2, hoping to take the payload the full distance this time rather than leaving Kerbin II to fend for itself. Will the upgraded Viklun stage be able to handle it?
Flight Tracker
Orbit Attempt 3 – 2/20/20
Our largest rocket to date finally gets its chance to help us prove that we are capable of achieving orbital space flight. We’ve spent the last year working up towards this mission but are we really ready? Only one way to find out…
Flight Tracker

Past Payloads

Show Past Payloads (2020)
Kerbin I – 2/20-2/24
The first probe to orbit Kerbin, this served as a valuable test bed for operations, control, power, etc and even the mission itself, not going as planned, provided invaluable experience to our new orbital operations crew
Flight Tracker

Vessel Images

View all images on flickr

Peeking into Shadow

Clearer Sunrise

Rockets & Planets

Ascension Mk2 No.2

Relocate Before Launch

Ascension Mk2 Alight

Hooked Up & Almost Ready

The Pad Awaits

Ascension Mk2 Kerbin II

Kerbin II Processing

Kerbin II

K2-X Delivery

Ascension Mk2 Static Display - Night

Ascension Mk2 Static Display - Day

Kerbin I Mission Trajectory

SRB Trail

Toasty Ascent

Ascension Mk2 No.1

Standing Ready

Presider Motorcade

Under the Lights

Hooked Up

On the Roll!

Viklun Orbital Stage Integration

Preparing for Stacking

Ascension Mk2 Build Progress

Stack It Up

K2-X Static Fire

Mk2 to Mk1

MLP & Dhumla Progress

MLP Build Progress

Busy VAB

MLP Build Progress

Kerbin I

Mobile Launch Platform Progress

Engine Test Stands

Mobile Launch Platform Main Deck

Viklun Static Fire

Viklun Rollout

Reconfigured Launch Pad

Vessel Videos

Vessel Lifetime: Apr 2019 – Ongoing
Vessel Expenditure: 85,548
Vessel Income: 84,518 (-1,030)
Yearly Income: 84,518 (26,161)
Number of Missions: 4
Mission Success Rate: 75%

Lift Stage Blueprint

Orbital Stage Blueprint