Category Archive: Mission Dispatch

A collection of tweets & images detailing activities involving spaceflight or rover drives

Oct 25 2014

#036: Automated Rover Test Drive #1

After completing the first phase of rover testing KSA engineers got to work on the software that would help to pilot the rover on other worlds where controllers won’t have immediate execution of commands. A stripped-down version of the rover was constructed for testing of waypoint acquisition and navigation, culminating in the first long-distance drive over 150km to the west shore desert.

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Oct 23 2014

#035: Mu-SCAN – Munar survey & science

After proving that the technology to map planets from orbit was proven with the earlier K-SCAN mission, a new probe was assembled to make the journey to Mun to perform the same task. Here it would be much more important to obtain surface data for use in future missions, both kerbed and unkerbed. The Mu-SCAN probe also carried along a gravioli and radiation detector for a secondary mission of gathering new scientific data around Mun.

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Oct 22 2014

#034: New Astronaut Training (Flight 2)

After the successful removal of orbital debris earlier in the month, the final piece of orbital debris awaits removal by the KSA’s second new astronaut, Captain Wehrtop Kerman. This mission will serve him well to apply all the training and skills he acquired during his 6 months training as a kadet, including overcoming any unforeseen obstacles during execution. The debris being removed was part of the rocket that took Captain Bob into orbit where he was finally able to successfully rendezvous for the first time with another craft in space.

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Oct 13 2014

#033: Mk1-2 Capsule Recovery Trials

The recently-unveiled Mk1-2 capsule has spent its first few weeks undergoing recovery trials to ensure that it can safely return astronauts to the ground/water after passing through re-entry. Three tests were designed to put the Mk1-2 systems through their paces as well as test automated functions that will be used for its first orbital flight, which will be unkerbed.

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Oct 10 2014

#032: New Astronaut Training (Flight 1)

The KSA is looking to clean up two spent stages floating in space, and it has two astronauts fresh out of the Academy to prove their mettle on individual missions to de-orbit the debris. Capt Desson, by virtue of alphabetical order, is launching first atop a revised version of the craft Capt Bob used to perform the first-ever orbital rendezvous earlier this year. After a range clearance issue forces the launch later into the day, Desson carries out his mission, but not without problems.

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Oct 08 2014

#031: Rover Development Phase 1

The first extra-planetary goal of the rover program was Mun, a close neighbor that would provide minimal signal lag and 24/7 communication thanks to the established satellite network around both Mun and Kerbin. However rather than sending a rover directly to Mun, the team knew they had to test a version here on Kerbin first to make sure the design was capable of handling lower Mun gravity. They also wanted to begin working towards a completely automated drive capability, despite the low signal lag allowing for manual control. This first phase of development looks at the design of the rover, the first delivery vehicle concept, and the beginnings of automated drive software.

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Sep 29 2014

#030: K-SCAN Mapping Satellite

Just prior to receiving two new astronauts into the program, the KSA launches its first mapping satellite into orbit around Kerbin to test new technology to gather surface data on planets from space. The instruments on board measure terrain altitude and slope, as well as vegetation and land surface to create a biome map. Future missions to Mun and other planets in the Kerbol system depend largely on the success of the technology deployed by K-SCAN.

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Sep 16 2014

#029: Munar Relay Network Completion

The KSA finally recovered enough from the atmospheric asteroid explosion just over 150km west of the KSC at the end of August to complete assembly of the third Munar comsat and launch it on its mission to complete the Munar relay network. The previous attempt had ended in failure due to wrongly-tuned boosters, but Lead Engineer Simon personally oversaw the final stages of the rocket construction to ensure booster thrust was set properly. In addition to completing the communications network around Mun, once separated the transfer stage would perform a fly-through of the impact cloud kicked up when the previous Mun comsat transfer stage, still in orbit, slams into the Munar surface. Lead Scientist Wernher Von Kerman had devised a new dust collector experiment for this purpose, although the collectors are also capable of collecting interstellar particles. Finally, there was a chance to arrange a very close (1.3km) fly-by of a passing asteroid in the hopes of photographing it prior to the launch of ComSat Mun III.

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Aug 18 2014

#028: Booster Overload

The KSA was finally on the verge of completing their ComSat network around Mun so they could begin sending orbital and surface missions in earnest and start to fully explore the nearest neighbor of Kerbin. The launch of ComSat Mun III arrived on schedule, although there were some problems earlier in the week – the SPH suffered a worker death and the VAB had to deal with a minor fuel fire. The VAB supervisor ensured that everything was alright, however a critical step in the launch readiness procedures was overlooked…

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Aug 09 2014

#027: 1 Day, 3 Missions

The second ComSat is sent to Mun to establish a network of relay communications for any orbiting space craft. Originally designed to trail Mun’s orbit around Kerbin, ComSat Mun I failed to hold station in its leading position and now the KSA is constructing the same 3-satellite constellation as their LKO relay network. The new configuration lead to the R&D department coming up with capacitor technology for increased energy storage needed for the ComSats to survive a combined Munar night transit and Kerbol eclipse while operating. A second dish was also added – both improvements would need to be also added to ComSat Mun I at some point in the future. Flight Officer Kirk also performs 2 flights in the Mk1.2 Raker – one to video the launch from 10Km and another to drop science pods on the badlands on the other side of Kerbin.

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