Tag Archive: SRB

Apr 15 2015

#061: Buzzing Minmus

The third and final ComSat to orbit Minmus was successfully launched into LKO, where it transferred without issue to Minmus and detached from its transfer stage in orbit around the moon, leaving it to drift until we re-activate it for use as an impactor. In order to slot the satellite into position between the two existing ones, an aggressive maneuver was plotted to send the craft whipping past Minmus as low as 15km, after which it would rise up to complete the constellation of communication satellites.

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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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Jan 05 2015

#052: Can You Hear Me Now?

Despite some recent launch failures the KSA was looking forward to taking their next big step in space exploration – landing a probe on Mun. This mission, dubbed Mun II, was also paving the way for an eventual rover landing as well – the lander for this mission is carrying a science bay but is weighted and designed similar to the lander that will be delivering a rover onto the surface. This rocket is also the first 2.5/1.25m hybrid, launching on the larger diameter and traveling to Mun on the smaller. Unfortunately, the mission was plagued with communications issues and an investigation of the launch pad turned up an even more serious problem for the Agency.

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Dec 17 2014

#050: Mun I – Mun or… bust?

Ever since the historic first orbit of Kerbin by Cmdr Jebediah Kerman, kerbals have only ever repeatedly visited Low-Kerbin Orbit (LKO), with some forays out to Mid-Kerbin Orbit (MKO). The KSA has been planning for months to send a kerbal into orbit around Mun, but only now has the chance come to do so after many tests of new technologies, including a whole new 2.5m rocket system. The mission is planned to also service the various satellites that are in orbit around Mun to further expand the Agency’s scientific knowledge and long-range communication capabilities. On the cusp of yet another historic moment, the KSA aims to meet and surmount the inevitable challenges ahead.

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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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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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Oct 29 2014

#038: IP ComSat I Ascent Failure

With the Duna I mission undergoing final construction this month for launch at the beginning of December, the KSA is using the time to put in place two new communications satellites around Kerbin that will provide links to any craft operating in interplanetary space. The R&D department recently rolled out their largest dish yet, capable of communicating as far as Eeloo. This was to be the first of two satellites orbiting high over Kerbin’s poles, and is also the first rocket to incorporate recoverable boosters.

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