Tag Archive: Ascension Mk1

Sep 13 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 9/9/19

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Sep 12 2019

Ascension Mk1 Flight 8 Analysis

Now that we have the ability to launch actual kerbals into space, the unkerbed capsule no longer had to be a testbed for kerbed flight and was stripped of its control console and life support system. This made the interior much more spacious and capable of holding larger science equipment. Furthermore the hatch was modified so that it could be remotely opened and closed, which allowed for instruments inside the capsule to directly sample the space environment. We put this to good use in testing three of the Exremis probe instruments that had yet to see actual flight conditions: the magnetometer (mag), radio & plasma wave science (RPWS) and gamma-ray spectrometer (GRS). The RPWS and GRS were installed inside the capsule on a rotating column so each could be faced out the open door in turn over the course of the mission. The mag boom was originally supposed to go inside as well but miscommunication between the scientists & Ascension engineers meant it was built too large. Thankfully its slim profile while folded allowed it to be mounted externally on the fuel tank without too much fear of it being ripped off during ascent.

The Flight

On the day of the originally-scheduled launch, our recovery vessel MSV Aldeny radioed through the Ockr relay that conditions at the planned landing zone were too poor for safe operations. It was later forced to move off station entirely to find calmer waters and was not able to return until the end of the day. Thankfully conditions continued to remain good into the following day and although they slightly degraded here at KSC preparations were still undertaken to attempt a launch.

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Sep 06 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 9/2/19

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Aug 30 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 8/26/19

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Aug 28 2019

Ascension Mk1 Flight 8

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

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Aug 23 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 8/19/19

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Aug 16 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 8/12/19

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Aug 09 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 8/5/19

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Aug 06 2019

Ascension Mk1 Flight 7 Analysis

Finally, after nearly 3 years of rocket development, the time had come to launch a kerbal into space! While we expected there might be some issues during the mission no one was ready for the Monolith to make another attempt at keeping us grounded. After Specialist Bob was loaded up into the rocket and it was raised vertical on the pad, atmospheric pressure began to decline shortly after it was powered up, a sign that storms were forming. This storm was being generated by the Monolith and was last seen to impact rocket flights back in February. Since then a cooling system was installed to prevent the storms and it appeared to work until this flight, which led us to develop a new theory as to why the Monolith was generating the storms in the first place.

The Flight

Rattled from his experience in the capsule during the storm, Bob ceded his spot to his backup Specialist Bill, who boarded the rocket 6 days later after a new cooling unit was installed around the Monolith and a day’s delay due to weather. Pre-launch operations proceeded without issue leading up to the 5 minute GO/NO GO poll, which failed due to upper-atmospheric wind conditions that neared the launch commit limits for flight. After some discussion among the launch team, using our experience with past Ascension missions, the decision was made to proceed with the launch. The countdown resumed and the rocket lifted off the pad with Bill atop it at 15:58:00.20 local time.

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Aug 02 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 7/29/19

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