Tag Archive: Ascension Mk2

Feb 28 2020

Operations Summary – Week of 2/24/20

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Feb 21 2020

Operations Summary – Week of 2/17/20

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Feb 20 2020

Ascension Mk2 Flight 1 (Kerbin I – Orbit Attempt 3)

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…

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Feb 14 2020

Operations Summary – Week of 2/10/20

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Feb 07 2020

Operations Summary – Week of 2/3/20

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Feb 06 2020

Ascension Mk1 Flight 11 Analysis

Ever since the attack on KSC that damaged the launch pad and destroyed our last Ascension Mk1 rocket we have been working hard towards regaining launch capability. It took 2 months to repair the ground service structures as well as the actual pad surface itself, but coming into the new year and new decade we are once again able to send up rockets from the launch pad. This mission will renew the bid for orbit that began back in 2018, and was then suspended at the start of last year when the rocket proved incapable of flying a trajectory that would allow it to enter a decaying orbit without running out of fuel. After testing new guidance fins on the Progeny Mk7-A, it is now time to scale them up to 1.25m rockets and see whether they can give the additional control authority needed to allow the rocket to pitch over faster. This mission will also see new 1.25m payload fairings based on the 0.625m ones that flew on the Progeny Mk7-A, which will be tested to see how they perform under the heat and pressure of ascent. The payload itself contains another RTG test article so it can be slammed into the ground after the flight and analyzed afterwards to determine whether it successfully remained intact and would have not spilled radioactive material.

The Flight

Due to tightening operational budget constraints, we can no longer afford to fail fast for iteration – in fact we can’t really afford to fail at all. This has led to new policies and stricter launch commit criteria (weather, build process, flight quals, etc) going into effect this year. The result was some early delays for the launch due to weather being outside of acceptable constraints, but thankfully it did not remain uncooperative for long and the countdown was able to begin and run to conclusion with no further issues only a day later than planned.

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Jan 31 2020

Operations Summary – Week of 1/27/20

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Jan 24 2020

Operations Summary – Week of 1/20/20

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Jan 13 2020

2020 Program Goals

Over the entire last week, as is per usual for the start of the operational year, numerous meetings were conducted among the various programs here at KSC where all team members were allowed to pitch ideas and voice opinions about the coming year so admin staff could work on decisions for 2020 operational goals. Thankfully all arguments remained professional – no chairs were thrown or whiteboards defaced. Here is all that we hope to accomplish this year.

Ascension Program

Still the most exciting aspect of our operations, Ascension will seek to travel higher and further than ever before starting right this month with the latest Mk1 mission to test out new guidance fins (larger versions of those that flew first on the Progeny Mk7-A) as well as attempt another RTG impact test. More details on the mission will be posted later this week when we announce a launch date. The Mk1 will also fly at least two more times this year to send Captain Jeb and Specialist Bob into space on sub-orbital missions to continue to observe the effects of zero-G on kerbals, as well as tolerance to re-entry forces.

The first flight of the Mk2, as early as February, will be entirely dependent on the performance of this month’s Mk1 mission. If successful, the new fins should give the Mk2 the control authority required to pitch over fast enough to achieve orbit. From the first mission we will aim to deploy a satellite, Kerbin I, which was announced last year. It will allow us to conduct various tests before being de-orbited due to limited battery power. The Mk2 will continue to fly throughout the year to place more payloads into space and help certify the RTG for flight so that we can send up a trio of long-lasting communications satellites by the end of the year. If the Mk2 shows itself to be a reliable vehicle, sending a kerbal into orbit before the year is out is a serious possibility but not one we will rush towards.

In the latter half of this year we hope to also debut the Mk3, the full design spec of which you can review here. This was officially approved last week although the production dates have been pushed back. The Mk3 should be the rocket that lets us send payloads into orbit around Mun and Minmus, perhaps this year.

Finally, work is also being done on the Mk1-B capsule that will debut later this year, retaining single-occupancy but upgrading various systems & design.

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Nov 08 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 11/4/19

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