I updated to include the real career stuff so I have a few early contracts to do.  Launch, Pass Karmen Line, Sounding Rocket. I will use "The Minnie" which should reach an altitude sufficient.  I am now using the construction mod so things are a bit more time-oriented. <Minnie 2nd Flight> Building The Minnie to fulfill 3 contracts. Morning Launch 1951, 24 Successful for many achievements.  About 175 km. <Minnie 2 Success> Testing an engine and heat shields. <Basic Tests> The contracts are not making sense at the moment (seem to be leaping ahead quite a bit).  I am holding and going to my other Kerbal for a bit. Time to address the first artificial satellite.  It need the following: >150K Periapsis.  A science xper that is transmitted.  Simple. I built the ship (Sputnik X) based upon the tutorial design in RP-0.  It has 8663 dV in 2 large stages and two small stages.  This should be enough to get into orbit.  I am beginning simulation runs with the full craft (the partial sim runs went pretty well). Total craft cost: $1917. Satellite failed to reach orbit on first sim.  Burn up on reentry.  Need a sharper angle on the first stage.  Need to be at 45 degrees at about 1000 m/s.  Was well behind that and came up about 1000 dV short. Trying again. Better flight but came up short again!  Little unsure at this moment whether there is enough dV.  Only about 500 short this time, maybe a tighter turn? 8873, still came up just over 300 dV short.  I will try adjusting the rocket itself. Updated to 9438 dV.  Should be enough, let's see. Made the orbit, very close and very little room for error.  Ready to try the REAL LAUNCH! 28+ day build in the construction.  Standing by... <Building Sputnik> Sputnik I came up about 200dV short.  Not enough turn early and that made it short.  Need to try again. <Building Sputnik Ia> Sim got wonky so I restarted and... <Sputnik Ia Success> We have an orbital satellite!  Tough launch, it scraped the launchpad stabilizer, but it made it to orbit with about an extra 100 dV or so.  Final orbit was 541km x 213 km.  Needed all of it and I added some from the initial design. Created "The Chuie" to handle a medium sounding rocket contract (270km+) 3350 dV reached an altitude of 311km <Chuie Contract>