Tag Archive: record

Feb 14 2015

#054: Back In Bizness – ComSat Minmus I

After over a month of repairs required to get the launch pad back to operational status after being nearly destroyed by 2.5m rocket launches, the KSA is finally ready to really kick off 2015 operations. We are starting small, however, to ensure the pad repairs have been adequate. The ComSat Minmus I satellite will be the first to orbit the second moon of Kerbin and will be the start of another triple-constellation around the equator that will provide complete omni network coverage for future craft. We plan to make Minmus an important way station for future kerbed space flight so this investment in communications infrastructure will pay off down the road. This mission would also go on to uncover a serious flaw in our mission planning software that would affect another planned launch.

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Feb 14 2015

#055: Duna I (Part 2/2)

The planning, development, construction, launch and transfer burn of Duna I were covered back in Dispatch #48 and we now pick up the story from when the craft exited the Kerbin system. 71 days of transit later after a mid-course correction burn it was due to finally arrive at Duna, becoming the first space craft to travel to another planet.

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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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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 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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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 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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Jul 26 2014

#026: ComSat Mun I & Munar Orbiter I

While various technologies are still under development to eventually put some kerbals on Mun, the Agency is getting ready by establishing a communications relay network that will allow an orbiting craft to maintain a constant connection to Mission Control. To do this, there will be two ComSats placed out in front and behind Mun along its orbit. The first, ComSat Mun I, is what the KSA is launching for this mission. The transfer stage that will carry the satellite into position will then enter into an orbit around Mun for science observations. After this, an impact trajectory will be set up to kick up a good amount of Munar soil that ground-based telescopes can observe. The mission is expected to take two days to complete.

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Jul 04 2014

#025: Day-long Polar Orbit for Science

Now that the LKO communications network is finally completed and fully operational, a mission proposed weeks ago by Lead Scientist Wernher Von Kerman was finally approved – a near-polar orbit would be established for observations of the entire planet over the course of a day-long mission. Originally scheduled to launch on 6/30, the previous day a dish at the tracking station suffered a mechanical failure and needed to be replaced. After a day to replace the dish and a day to test/calibrate it, weather was the issue holding up the launch. There was a small chance, so Flight Director Lanalye ordered the rocket out to the pad the night before so it could be prepped in the morning. However a fuel line was not properly attached, blew loose overnight and moisture got into one of the large main engine tanks. In the time it took to dry, the weather worsened for the day and launch had to be cancelled. Finally, on 7/3, everything fell into place for the mission to receive a Go.

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Jun 23 2014

#024: Servicing the ComSat Network

The Agency had originally planned to do this in two missions, but Lead Engineer Simon convinced Flight Director Lanalye in a marathon planning session that it could be done in one. Thus, Captain Bob was tasked with piloting the tallest rocket assembled to date into orbit high above Kerbin to service ComSat I, which needed larger-capacity batteries. He then had to lower his orbit to rendezvous with ComSat II, which had experienced problems during launch that caused it to lose all its solar panels. The ComSat Service Vehicle constructed for this mission was an improved model of the craft used for the Kerbin III de-orbit that allowed fuel transfer to restore Center of Mass within the RCS thruster ring for proper translation abilities Bob lacked in the previous mission. The Agency was all set to pull off yet another successful mission.

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