Tag Archive: Ascension

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 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 15 2021

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

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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 recovery

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Dec 04 2020

Operations Summary – Weeks of 11/23 & 11/30/20

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Nov 20 2020

Operations Summary – Weeks of 11/9 & 11/16/20

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Nov 19 2020

Progeny Mk7-B Flight 4 Analysis

With all three previous missions failing for different reasons, the fourth and final planned mission for the Mk7-B received new objectives in the hope that this mission would be successful at last. The first change was to swap out the new booster for one that had been refurbished from a previous flight, which necessitated a launch delay that pushed the date back from 10/20 to 10/29. This booster was from the second Mk7-B flight back in late August and would be the first time we attempt to re-fly an engine. On the opposite end of the rocket we swapped out the parachute nose cone for a payload fairing that encapsulated a new Luciole smallsat prototype. This would be deployed onto the sub-orbital trajectory to test its systems and reaction wheels. Recovery would be of only the first stage booster and RTG casing from the payload, which did not contain any radioactive material for this mission. Other than the delay for booster integration, no problems occurred in the lead-up to launch.

The Flight

After good retraction of the support arms at T-5s the Boostertron II solid rocket motor successfully ignited for an on-time launch at 13:45 local, pushing the rocket upwards off the pad with an initial force of 3.3Gs while the fins actuated to begin rolling the rocket from 90° towards 34°. Less than 2 seconds after launch it had spun enough to allow pitch-over to begin as well, with the flight computer guiding it along a gradual and constant change rate throughout the ascent. By L+10s the rocket had locked onto its heading and thrust from the SRB had already begun to taper off from its max 74kN to reduce loads on the rocket as it approached Mach 1.

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Nov 06 2020

Operations Summary – Weeks of 10/26 & 11/2/20

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