Dec 03 2014

#048: Duna I (Part 1/2)

The first inkling that the KSA was planning an interplanetary mission came back in August of 2014. It took three months of planning and construction of the probe parts (including new solar panels, radar topography scanner, and science instruments) followed by two months of construction and testing for the rocket (including new SRBs, a new orbital engine and an entirely new 2.5m rocket system). The end result was the most advanced craft to date, which was needed to get its payload as far as Duna. Launched during a transfer window, the journey would still take several weeks. This dispatch covers the design, testing, construction, launch and TDI burn that sets the craft on its way towards interplanetary space.

GudVBkv.pngoLth0aa.png planning still underway but we can at last announce our 1st interplanetary mission, departing in December for Duna! YgrYIWT.png 1xQpx5i.png the plans for Duna I submitted last week have been revised and approved! The rocket will be built over the next several weeks hyhTXDY.png kgLCzJN.png 0B0dEHA.png ZftTsCX.png with IP ComSat II out, there's room now for parts of Duna I in the VAB, starting with its main payload - Du-SCAN ouwiQ7m.png J7U49ne.png fhNqY5R.png Du-SCAN has been checked out, Mk1-2 capsule assembled and now the orbital stage is undergoing preparation in the VAB jWXQTW7.png y6ChXbz.png final staging of the Mk1-2 Re-Entry Test vehicle can now begin as the SRBs arrived today, the same SRBs for Duna I MmagP1f.png O79WhvJ.png bwCOH8D.png Duna I atmospheric probe has been moved from the engineering labs to the VAB for final processing KwXu4F8.png lwYMcEp.png MQKvL6o.png the Radio and Plasma Wave Science instrument deployed xPKuBr2.png mKZUFt4.png this morning the VAB mated the atmospheric probe atop the Duna I transfer adapter and is now working on the SPS CZl8bWq.png mVQ6sCn.png (to the left, Duna I transfer stage has been fully assembled) h349PeA.png the VAB's Horizontal Processing Facility is currently prepping the Duna I lifter for staging this weekend LHHMkev.png Duna I lifter has gone vertical in the VAB and boosters are being installed today, final staging tomorrow P7WGfao.png qDBLkks.png DX1Lpiu.png XRTfsoE.png light is bending over the horizon and we are getting ready to roll the fully staged Duna I out to the launch pad! XrE3rY4.png RCxjuiA.png hope you don't get vertigo! Image from a pad worker atop the highest umbilical, connected to the payload fairing eOyYEjw.png here is Duna I in all her 26.3m glory!! All of us here are extremely excited to see her go up tomorrow afternoon pSeF0v1.png 8t9nG33.png Duna I with Duna and Jool rising to the east. Liftoff tomorrow at 20:00 UTC for this historic mission! molYz0x.png yttq0Lu.png hJ5sSIF.png CMoTEa5.png xddVWxR.png tXWiDD7.png lBolfsY.png sun is rising, rocket is fueled and we are getting ready to come out of 20-min hold. View from Mission Control IiB2kEd.png xkzj52o.png WSTJAVs.png rWoFg4C.png VDWohFI.png L41tKvb.png yAignwS.png hEHiScr.png yvkpWj1.png ZmWmdYZ.png KojDAW2.png here's an image from the atmospheric probe, which has a camera angled down for photos during descent SjlDPsf.png booster recovery underway just 10km offshore and AOP returned safe as well, seen here out the back of MC earlier iacUd50.png Duna I just completed its first orbit, here's a look back down at KSC from 100km 0QnN6UG.png YKevWIy.png we're still checking through all of Duna I's systems & instruments. Here's a launch photo from the Tracking Station hoh9ug6.png 6n9jOXz.png mountains on the horizon, as seen by Duna I Xnywqgr.png YSJs4um.png EFBTZPH.png engineers are thinking we should have strapped on one more booster. Speaking of, here's them dropping from AOP's view Q3DvSzu.png lioARrn.png\ mission planners have set tomorrow's 122.5s TDI burn for 13:04:02 UTC. Here's our travel path kUAoHAO.png a look at what Duna I appears like in orbit 46KP6en.png gZ8fgNi.png Duna I's last sunrise in orbit around Kerbin. Burn is locked in, 23min from now - 1.15km/s at just over two minutes zDk4mjB.png ucQ0djQ.png we've completed our transfer burn, with some additional adjustments and we are on our way to Duna! 7yh9G4N.png tllTwL6.png farethewell, Kerbin! Duna I takes a last close look back towards home as KSC approaches daylight hQpMB1R.png zevQ8T9.png A30PInU.png H0DOfHh.png EsruF83.png v6Yanbj.png Duna I is now crossing Minmus' orbit, 46,400km from Kerbin. Here at 3x optical zoom are Kerbin, Mun and Minmus 98HgpCe.png

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