Tag Archive: Kerbin

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.

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Nov 30 2014

Kerbin Satellites – 11/30/14

The video begins with all satellites in Kerbin orbit positioned as of 12:01:29 UTC on 11/30/14 and advances 13.5 hours at a rate of 500x normal speed. Kerbin’s rotational axis position is not proper, but all satellite positions are accurate.

Red – Debris/Nonoperational satellites
Orange – Operational satellites
Green – Communication satellites

We apologize for the motion blur and will have to capture data at a higher frame rate next time.

Nov 30 2014

#047: IP ComSat II Redeux

The Inter-Planetary Communication Satellite network has so far seen several setbacks, mainly the fact that both IP ComSats failed to achieve orbit on their first launches. In the case of the second launch failure, actual sabotage was alleged by some news agencies, although independent investigation by the KSA is underway and has so far turned up no conclusive evidence of tampering with the launch vehicle. The KSA only needs two satellites to complete this network, but the failure of this second attempt to put IP ComSat II into orbit could jeopardize the entire operation and place extra stress on the KSA to explain these issues to its investors. With all this in mind, Lead Engineer Simon and his team have worked diligently in the hopes of finally completing the IP ComSat network with this launch.

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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.

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Nov 16 2014

#045: IP ComSat II Déjà Vu

The KSA has readied a third satellite for launch into polar orbit to complete the first interplanetary communications network around Kerbin. The first launch failed during ascent, the second launch was successful, and now the Agency hopes to add another good launch to their record. Once in place, the two IP ComSats will allow Mission Control to contact craft anywhere in the Kerbol system, staying both high above and below the orbital plane as much as possible to improve chances of connections.

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Nov 10 2014

#044: The Dawn of Interplanetary Comms

With the previously-failed launch of IP ComSat I, the second craft already under construction was used for its replacement. The purpose of these satellites is to achieve extremely elliptical polar orbits in order to spend the maximum amount of time above/below Kerbin for best possible line of sight to other planets in the Kerbol system. A dish capable of reaching as far as Eeloo is included on each satellite, as well as two smaller dishes to help connect craft traveling around the Kerbin system. In addition to placing IP ComSat in orbit, some existing hardware up in LKO was re-purposed to help create a more redundant communications network around Kerbin.

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Nov 08 2014

#043: Automated Rover Test Drive #6

After finishing up maintenance on the rover, which experienced some technical difficulties on the previous drive, the team once again unleashed Lupek out into the wilderness hoping for a clean drive from start to finish. They were also testing out a new feature of the driving software that would allow Lupek to retrace its route back to the start. As Lupek has already proven itself on long voyages, the team decided to only send it out as far as the grasslands and back.

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Nov 07 2014

#042: 2.5m Engine/Mk1-2 Recovery Trials

With the upgrades to the VAB complete, the KSA now has the ability to construct larger 2.5m craft in addition to any 1.25m rockets already under construction. Before they can launch their first 2.5m rocket, there are two new engines to test. The main lifter cluster is actually using the Bearcat engine that has been the lifter engine of choice for the KSA mostly since day one. However it has only before been clustered in pairs. A new orbital engine to replace the 1.25m RMA-3 workhorse is also in need of testing. Once the tests have proven successful, the teams can assemble a 2.5m test vehicle to put the new Mk1-2 capsule through an unkerbed orbital mission to ensure it can return safely.

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Nov 04 2014

#041: Automated Rover Test Drive #5

Although the previous drive was ultimately successful, engineers on the rover team were still not satisfied with the damage done to the rover and the inability of the software to properly acquire the next waypoint. Further refinement to the driving parameters and some refactoring of the guidance code gives them high hopes of a clean run from start to finish on this next drive out to the west shore desert. Once again, the rover will be completely on its own and assisted only from mission control at KSC.

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Nov 03 2014

#040: Automated Rover Test Drive #4

Previous drives of the rover focused on testing and refining the code the would allow the rover to navigate itself over difficult and unknown terrain. The team is now at the point where they feel confident enough in the rover’s abilities to not only go out and drive itself around without a pace vehicle for backup, but also while carrying the full suite of instruments and equipment that will be loaded on it for its actual mission to Mun. Accidents now will not only endanger the rover, but the operability of several delicate science instruments.

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