Tag Archive: Block I

May 17 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 5/13/19

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May 14 2019

Progeny Mk6 Block I Flight 11 (Radiation Field Study 9)

One of the instruments that was developed to fly on a future Extremis probe is small enough to be a payload for the Mk6 and studies charged particles – perfect for a shot into the inner radiation belt to test it out

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Mar 15 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 3/11/19

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Mar 15 2019

Progeny Mk6 Block I Flight 10 Analysis

This mission was the third attempt to successfully return samples of mystery goo from space, after they were lost on re-entry and lost at sea during previous missions. This mission also followed the previous launch that suffered numerous delays thanks to weather interference from the Monolith. A heavy-duty A/C system has since been installed in the Monolith temple to chill the interior and make it think there is no heat energy to form a storm with. This was based on evidence gathered from weather data that the Monolith was not able to feed energy to the storm itself. The prevention worked and during preflight after the rocket was powered on no severe weather patterns developed throughout the course of launch readiness. This allowed the launch team to hold the countdown and wait for a better launch window later in the middle of the day to send the rocket up when the radiation belt is closest to the surface to allow the payload to spend more time in the high-radiation region.

The Flight

Launching on schedule at 3pm local time, the rocket made a nominal ascent into space. Changes to the AFCS were minor mainly to compensate for the new launch time and different payload instruments from the last flight. Some bugs were also fixed, including a rare serious one that on the last flight cut off rocket telemetry at launch. The rocket carried two separate payloads of mystery goo, one that would be exposed outside the radiation belt and another that would be exposed inside the belt. There was no room to include a radiation sensor so best estimates were used based on previous flights to determine about where the boundary of the belt would be at the time of the launch.

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Mar 12 2019

Progeny Mk6 Block I Flight 10 (Mystery Goo Study Attempt 3)

The third attempt to fly mystery goo through space and the inner radiation belt and recover the samples upon return. Also the first launch that will attempt to prevent the Monolith from producing severe weather

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Feb 22 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 2/18/19

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Feb 15 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 2/11/19

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Feb 15 2019

Progeny Mk6 Block I Flight 9 Analysis

Launching back at the start of this week after being delayed for several days the latest flight of the Progeny Mk6 Block I saw a return to successful mission outcome after carrying material and biological samples through the inner radiation belt. The cause for the delay was thanks to the Monolith, which appeared to be able to generate a strong localized electrical storm. We believe at this time the storms are a response to us sending a rocket outside the planet’s magnetosphere. Although it did not directly damage the rocket thanks to the Ascension service towers serving as lightning rods, it still prevented the launch from occurring. Several attempts were made to bring the countdown to L-0 before finally just waiting for the storm to run out of energy. Lead Scientist Cheranne’s team has spent the past week working with meteorologists on examining the properties of the storm and coming up with a possible means of preventing it for future launches.

The Flight

Once the rocket was finally able to be launched, an issue occurred right at the moment of lift off when the mission script thought the rocket had landed, cutting off all telemetry data being sent to Launch Control and being logged onto the rocket’s hard drive. Controllers were still able to use the Tracking Station and the range vessel to follow the flight via RADAR to gain basic information about the rocket’s status and the Range Safety Officer was able to maintain visual in the early ascent thanks to clear skies so the self-destruct was not activated. Because controllers did not want to risk crashing the computer during ascent, it was not until tracking reported MECO that they began to work on an instruction patch that would re-enable the data logging.

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Feb 10 2019

Progeny Mk6 Block I Flight 9 (Material Sciences Study)

A similar mission to the last one, sending up sample material to be exposed to space inside and outside the inner radiation belt, the hope is that this one can be recovered after facing numerous troubles launching

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Feb 09 2019

Progeny Mk6 Block I Flight 9 Launch Update

It has been a long and frustrating day thanks to the Monolith creating difficult launch conditions. Why it’s doing this we are still unsure, although the current suspicion is it has to do with how far out into space we sent our last rocket. How it’s doing this we also don’t exactly know, although we did prove today that it cannot create and maintain a storm indefinitely. Storms require energy, in this case heat, and perhaps if we didn’t have the monolith within a structure it could use its own energy to inject heat into the air but as it is now it can only draw on existing heat. As temperatures have dropped the storm weakened and eventually completely broke down, leading to calm surface conditions. However the air in the upper atmosphere remains disturbed and we don’t know how long it will take to settle down. In the meantime though our crews have been at it for over 12 hours now and need some rest.

The rocket will remain fueled and powered up. If we power it off the Monolith with likely stop trying to generate a storm, heat energy will return to the area and if we make another launch attempt several hours from now it will likely get blocked again. This means though that the rocket will need to remain under monitoring, even if it is not armed. At 03:00 UTC half of the launch control team will go off console for a 4 hour rest break while the remainder keep an eye on the rocket. At 07:00 UTC the crews will swap and those going off console will get a 6 hour rest break. At 13:00 UTC all controllers will be back on console and we will send up another balloon to see how the upper atmosphere is doing. By 14:30 UTC we will have a better idea of conditions high above and decide whether it makes sense to continue attempting a launch.

There has been some additional speculation regarding the Monolith’s choice of tactics in stalling our launch. We know it is capable of producing an electromagnetic field that could reach the launch pad and Launch Control and be far more effective at disabling our operations. Those thinking this may have forgotten that scientists have already accepted that the EM field was not an offensive weapon. Also, generating the field again would likely require more energy than the Monolith could handle given it no longer has access to the power stations in nearby Kravass and Umbarg. Again, the storm could possibly be maintained longer or indefinitely if the Monolith had direct access to the outside air, so we may have just been lucky that we built an insulated dome around it.

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