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Duna I (Archive)
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^^ Craft Information - Atmospheric Dip Analysis ^^
The first interplanetary probe mission by the KSA has targeted Duna with a large payload of scientific instruments. Duna I includes a mapping probe that will scan Duna's surface from a polar orbit to construct biome, terrain and slope maps. It also has a ballistic probe it will drop through Duna's atmosphere to measure its properties while descending, possibly reaching the surface intact. The transfer stage that will carry both these probes into orbit around Duna will also perform its own science in orbit above Duna and its satellite Ike.
We are currently studying Duna's atmosphere, which allow us to build up a more detailed model so when we test the drop probe in Kerbin's atmosphere we can make a good comparison and properly plan for the actual Duna probe drop in early 2016. Originally we planned to just let the probe go and get back whatever data we could, but the abundance of Δv we have available in Duna I has led us to change our plans and incorporate the craft itself into our Duna atmospheric research.
Our orbit has been stabilized now that our peridun is back out of the atmosphere. Initial results from the first aerobrake pass looked promising but now that we have data from both passes we can really analyze the whole set and determine whether our new modeling can be used to plan and execute missions involving aerobrakes in the future.