Nov 18 2014

#046: Mk1-2 Capsule Return Test #2

The previous capsule return test was perfect right up to the point where chute deployment failed to return the capsule safely to the ground after re-entering the atmosphere. Engineers re-did the math and tweaked the chute timings to give the capsule enough altitude to slow for a safe landing. In addition, a new SRB design and solar panel array was available to be used with this launch to test their performance prior to their use on Duna I. The LES was retained throughout the mission to help document the spacecraft, which was especially useful during the early stages of re-entry before heat seared the lens.

MSTsk46.png VAB was working on the Mk1-2 lift stage today, also we have our new Mk1-2 capsule. IP ComSat II mating is tomorrow bs4HBFe.png Twtjbgq.png avmYwNx.png Du-SCAN has been checked out, Mk1-2 capsule assembled and now the orbital stage is undergoing preparation in the VAB x4Cd1d4.png xTRHbdi.png final staging of the Mk1-2 Re-Entry Test vehicle can now begin as the SRBs arrived today, the same SRBs for Duna IS0Hk4PB.png 4zZhjKn.png ZrNq4qj.png 8emqxPm.png rocket is out on the pad and fueling has begun. Captains Bob and Wehrtop are also getting suited up RMHREFY.pngwwI7giV.png gN8RxTX.png we are holding at T-35min as crews clear the pad. Wehrtop used the break to take a photo of Bob in the command seat xsGJzJk.png LSQOjzA.png Captains Bob and Wehrtop outside the crew tower elevator with the rocket rising behind them. It's 17.8m tall GOeNoYp.png yXgx4Hl.png ABTrPxl.png 8ati5Nt.png Fmkltyd.png CWQ8lLT.png MJ1D4d9.png orbital velocity achieved and with solar panels now we can transmit back images from the booster cam atop the LES QsZe5dN.png we're about to cross over into night. RCS system working great, solar panels are tracking the sun perfectly gOC0MHK.png dMTPDAi.png capsule is making one last pass over KSC prior to re-entry. We're aiming to splash down in the ocean west of us bdiUK6p.png 5Y2BXVv.png we've dumped the orbital stage, SAS is off, roll initiated and antenna lowered. Last image transmitted: Bye-bye SPS oSqJ2DG.png QMi8e5y.png 30KKPWl.png Z2pozC7.png g0lGviH.png SEArke5.png C629H4L.png IP LinkSat stares down at the region of the western Great Desert where the capsule landed, in highlands ~80Km inland ieKMIjS.png 3qwMbe2.png KdNKiGt.png QDhvLNG.png beautiful booster separation :) 3 of these will be dropping from Duna I 6Loxy3t.png some pretty intense footage of re-entry plasma from LES cam before lens was seared. Temps can reach over 1000° C! cOzeiTt.png and here's the Great Desert central highlands while descending under canopy. We're very satisfied with this mission lC0AYnF.png

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