It looks like the best contract at this point is to have a manned vehicle pass the Karman line (100km).  I think we could do much better than that.  The Mercury Redstone test was a success so having a manned version of that should be a winner. I want to be honest to the failures so I do need an escape system in place, so I need to add that. Jeb Kerman will be the first to make space.  There will not be an orbit but a suborbital high altitude flight (probably above 300 km) and recovery.  I can add some science to this, but I think I want to hold on that a bit and get this mission accomplished. Mercury Redstone 1 March 12, 1954 Jebediah Kerman (pilot) A planned suborbital mission.  First manned mission to break into space. 408,676 km altitude reached. First manned mission! <Mercury Redstone 1> Testing the Mercury Atlas Test to drop the boosters @ 1:50. (Turn on RCS at 1:40) Set ascent profile to 1000 km and 5deg, 50%.  Change to 0 deg when you hit 190km.  Do not disengage (or it will shut off the engine and there is only one ignition). You MUST pre ignite the engines. Engine shutdown LR105-NA-3 (failure) Change the booster release to 1:55.  Change to 10deg until 190. (Turn off sim failure for now) I had to turn to 5deg as it got too close, but I did make a low orbit (236x172).  So it was partially successful. I think another test is to leave it at 10deg, than change to 5 after the booster drop, than 0 at 190. I may do this last 'test' as an actual launch of an unmanned mission so I can improve the data research on the engine as well. (Maybe drop at 1:54) Mercury Atlas Test 1 May 9, 1954 No crew. First orbital test of the Mercury Atlas rocket.  Going for a successful recovery and a bit of low orbit science. Booster separated at 1:54.  Changed to 5deg at 150 km. Hit apoasis with 53 seconds left (stayed at 5 deg). Engine failure at 6:05.  Short of orbit (184x-3000). Emergency return of capsule. [It does appear that I reached enough velocity to fulfill the contract though] So, the engine did fail but hopefully the research will improve the next one.  In the meanwhile, I did get the contract fulfilled so this was a partial success. <Mercury Atlas Test 1> Some interesting missions coming up.  Another crewed suborbital and then a crewed orbital.  I also should see about doing the Lunar flyby.  In the meanwhile, however, taking a break.