Tag Archive: radiation mission

May 01 2018

Progeny Mk6 Block I Flight 2 Analysis

Prevented from launching for over two months due to legal and political wrangling the second flight of the Progeny Mk6 was finally able to head up into space and also successfully made it back to the surface intact for recovery thanks to some new tech that reached maturity during the delay. This was the third launch in a series of flights designed to probe out the region of hazardous radiation originally detected above the planet by earlier Progeny Mk5 flights. We have theories on what might be up there, but only hard data will tell us what exists. Thanks to the success of this flight we are a step closer to knowing, with two more planned to hopefully cinch our initial understanding.

The Flight

Despite the long break between launches regular drills kept everyone ready to resume operations and no troubles arose during the operations leading up to the launch, which occurred on schedule after high surface winds earlier in the day died down to acceptable levels. The Automated Flight Control System fired off the first stage 0.625m booster at precisely 13:58:00.05 local time, which pushed the rocket off the launch base with an initial thrust of 67.2kN for 4Gs of acceleration on a heading of 120°. This force was enough to keep drag at the nose from pitching up the rocket any more than 1.5° before the fins began to spin up and stabilize the remainder of the flight. The lower booster’s thrust peaked at 68.9kN just 3.6 seconds into the flight before the solid fuel core design began a thrust reduction to keep the vehicle’s speed under control as it passed through MaxQ at L+17.9 seconds traveling at 504.53m/s with a dynamic pressure of 77.987kPa. The first stage burned out after 33.67 seconds of powered flight and separated cleanly one second later. A second after that the fins were shredded with explosives to spoil the booster’s aerodynamics and send it plummeting towards the Kerblantic, where it impacted 19km downrange at L+3m9s.

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Feb 19 2018

Progeny Mk6 Block I Flight 1 Analysis

Given that the first flight of the Mk6 Block I contained only slight tweaks from the previous Mk5 Block I flight of the same design problems were not expected and none occurred. Sadly, the rocket failed to be recovered and deprived the engineering team of high-resolution data stored onboard but we still have the 1-second interval telemetry beamed back during flight available here for review. As usual we will detail the flight and then dive into some analysis and future planning.

The Flight

Great weather on launch day and no issues during pre-flight operations allowed the rocket to liftoff on schedule, with the Automated Flight Control System igniting the lower 0.625m solid rocket booster at precisely 16:01:00.04 local time. The booster pushed the rocket off the launch base with an initial thrust of 67.2kN for 4Gs of acceleration to keep the nose from rising more than 2° before the lower fins began to spin up the rocket. Launching from a heading of 105° the rocket began its trek east-southeast slightly out of alignment with the rotation of Kerbin. After 5 seconds the booster’s thrust profile began to reduce power as the rocket approached MaxQ, which it reached at 17.84s at a pressure of 79.139kPa – closest so far to the maximum 80kPa threshold to which we are trying to restrain the Progeny ascents. At 33.66s the booster had expended all its fuel and was cleanly decoupled one second later, with its fins shredding a second after that as the rest of the rocket continued its ascent in a coast phase, waiting for the nose to drop 1.5°.

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