Tag Archive: Valentina

Jan 07 2019

Ascension Postpones Orbit for Capsule Technology Testing

Over the past week since returning from holiday break program teams have been working on how they want to approach operations in 2019. For the most part everyone stuck to what they had going when 2018 drew to a close, but the Ascension team is continuing to move forward with a big change they began to plan late last year which is to forego further attempts at making orbit with just the Mk1 lifter and instead focus on preparing for sub-orbital capsule flights.

The main reason behind this decision was due to successive failures at modeling an ascent profile that would reach a decaying orbit using the new Launch Vehicle Designer that comes with the Trajectory Optimization Tool from ArrowstarTech*, one of our external partners. Even when the test payload mass was reduced as much as possible, 278kg down from 1t, the rocket was still unable to reach a final state at MECO that would carry it around the planet at least once. The main problem is that the rocket uses control surfaces for guidance, which means it can only control its pitch for about half of the ascent – past 37km the air grows too thin for the control surfaces to have effect on the rocket’s orientation. Although the natural force of gravity can continue to lower the nose past that point, it will do so only based on how fast the rocket was pitching before then. In the modeling, if it pitches over fast enough to end the burn with a positive perikee, it stays within the atmosphere. If it pitches over less aggressively to prevent this, past the point of aerodynamic control its nose doesn’t drop fast enough to push the orbit perikee out from under the surface while still making it to space before MECO.

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Aug 03 2018

Operations Summary – Week of 7/30/18

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May 31 2018

Deuce Science Flight 7

Captain Jebediah and Commander Valentina head far west to survey Sector SH-4D0W, which could be a location for a future science outpost that would serve the region’s exploration needs

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May 24 2018

Deuce Science Flight 6

Captain Jebediah and Commander Valentina take a loop around the region of KSC to test out a new radial mystery goo containment unit slung underneath the aircraft

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May 21 2018

Deuce Science Flight 5

Commander Valentina and Captain Jebediah perform an aerial survey of a mountainous region dubbed Area B-1F while also testing out a new camera for the Ascension program

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May 10 2018

Deuce Science Flight 4

Captain Jebediah and Commander Valentina make another attempt to reach Area KV-001 and also fully explore the region of potentially hazardous radiation over the northern ice caps

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Apr 30 2018

Civvie Science Flight 34

Commander Valentina is tasked with flying out over the western Grasslands to Sector M16CX in order to gather atmospheric samples for the Field Research Team to keep track of pollen levels

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Apr 27 2018

Deuce Science Flight 3

Commander Valentina and Captain Jebediah head back home with the newly-built Deuce on its first cross-country flight, swinging past Zone 64K-9M to conduct an aerial survey along the way

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Apr 24 2018

Deuce Engine Test 2

Captain Jebediah and Commander Valentina head back out in the new Deuce to put the engines through the real test – high G maneuvers – to ensure they remain running properly

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Apr 23 2018

Deuce Engine Test 1

Commander Valentina and Captain Jebediah take a newly-designed and constructed Deuce out for a shakedown flight with the primary goal of testing the new Pegasus engines designed for aircraft use

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