Tag Archive: Block II

Jul 19 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 7/15/19

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Jul 15 2019

Progeny Mk6 Block II Flight 3 Analysis

Although we did not expect to fly the Mk6 Block II again, Bluedog Design Bureau and DMagic Orbital Sciences joined together to fund another mission to explore the radiation belts – this time on the night side of the planet. We know from past Mk6 Block I flights that the belts are blown into an extended elliptical shape by the kerbolar wind however we’ve never been able to explore the outer belt with the Block I. The Block II had the potential to not only reach it but travel all the way through and reveal the full extent of both belts. It was also equipped with the new hemispherical ion trap instrument for additional readings of the belt environment.

The Flight

After first being bumped a few days due to a delay of the Progeny Mk7-A debut launch scheduled prior to this one and then delayed further thanks to a bad decoupler between the first and second stages, the rocket flew its mission on July 9th, lifting off on schedule at precisely 12:30:00.08 local time. The ascent was nominal when compared to past Block II launches, with a clean radial booster drop and core booster separations leading up to the final boost of the liquid-fueled engine. As the rocket exited the atmosphere, it did something new for a Block II and dumped the upper payload fairings to expose the ion trap instrument to space, which managed to affect the rocket’s ascent angle and push its final apokee out to a whopping 4.3Mm!

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Jul 12 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 7/8/19

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Jul 09 2019

Progeny Mk6 Block II Flight 3

Reaching new heights, the Block II explored the radiation belts on the night side of the planet, where they extend deeper into space, while also gathering more data from a new instrument – the hemispherical ion trap.

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Jul 05 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 7/1/19

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Jun 21 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 6/17/19

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Jun 07 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 6/3/19

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Feb 06 2019

Progeny Mk6 Block II Flight 2 Analysis

Ever since the Block I outperformed all expectations and flew into the region of space we expected to use the Block II to reach, this rocket hasn’t been able to find a good use in our launch lineup which is why this is only the second launch since it was first conceived back in late 2017. The mission however was well-suited to our most powerful rocket to date, which was to go as far out into space as possible to gather new radiation data and look for a second radiation belt. In addition to building on the previous radiation discoveries, an additional mission goal was to test new hibernation technology to extend the vessel’s battery life long enough to last a mission that could take several hours.

The Flight

The rocket had a clean launch, leaving the mounting base without impacting the support rail while firing on all 5 solid rocket motors for a total initial thrust output of 214kN, producing just over 6Gs of force to keep it pointed downrange as the nose began to lower and the fixed fin angles began to spin the rocket up. The main difference between the Block II and Block I are the 4 radial boosters that accelerate the larger and heavier Block II rocket up to speeds comparable to a Block I. They burn from 5-6 seconds before being discarded. During the first flight, the booster separation led to an impact with two of the large lower fins thanks to the decouplers throwing them away with enough force to remain lateral to the rocket. The solution was simply to let them drop away on their own by force of the rocket’s speed and spin. All four boosters made a clean separation although the rocket exhaust did scatter them and actually flung one back far enough to impact the Ascension service towers! Thankfully no major damage was done.

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Feb 01 2019

Operations Summary – Week of 1/28/19

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Jan 31 2019

Progeny Mk6 Block II Flight 2

We prevented the Block II from reaching its full potential last time but now we are ready to let it fly all the way and see just how far we can explore the space above for new regions of increased radiation

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