Rouady Central

The Rouady Family Website

Kerbal Mun Landing

After many tests and much planning, it appears we are ready to handle the Apollo 11 contract and land our first Kerbals on Mun and bring them home again.  This is a special mission and may signal near the end for my historical contracts.  Frankly, the space program got a bit boring after that and I would rather do my own stations and interplanetary missions rather than contracts.  Anyway, we are looking at a momentous moment in Kerbin history! Apollo 11 Jebediah, Valentina and Bill After a complete journey and the need for a manual landing...the hatch is blocked by the platform and they can't get out on the Mun!  Holy crap.  There is nothing I can do at this point.  I can't get the item off and I can't get them out. This mission is dismal. The RCS are flying it all over the place. I am  not sure what the problem is.  I am trying to rendezvous just to get them home. Lot's of errors seem to be happening with my automatic systems.  Final result, I got them home safely.  They did no get to walk on Mun, though. <Apollo 11 Recovered> Well, after testing, it appears there is a fatal flaw in the FASA LM model.  Even when disconnected, you cannot exit due to a blocked hatch.  There is no way to fix this that I can see. In the end, I did succeed in landing on Mun and returning safely even with lots of hassles.  Apollo 11 is successful although not very satisfying.  This may be the end of this Kerbal setup journey since I can't exit the ships for the Mun. Confirmed.  Nothing but ascent module and the hatch is blocked.  It is unusable. Since the next mission, Apollo 12, (and others that follow) are all landing and collect sample missions, this is essentially done. It was a good set of missions being able to recreate so many historic ones with realistic parts.  Whatever the scatterer and visual settings are, I want to save because they are really nice. Game over!

Kerbals to the Mun!

I have sim tested the Apollo 8 project at this point pretty well.  There are some hairy edges but I think it is time to take some risk; it is a complicated mission. There are many parts; duration in Kerbin orbit, retrograde orbit of Mun, return.  I will also be testing the LM for docking and such.  Lot's of sim failures there that were eventually corrected  by using the current RCS thrusters (FASA ones were behaving oddly). Here we go... Apollo 8 (Tamphia[p], Irra[p], Zellenna[e]) Ascent: 200km, 0 deg 50% Reached orbit.  The clock is not counting for some reason (may be a bug or require Munar orbit).  Also, the Fuel cell seems to not be happening as well.  This could pose a great problem. I have turned on the LM fuel cell and at least stopped losing power.  Very odd. On our way to Mun, although the power issue remains.  Unknown what may be causing this since they worked fine in the sim. Going to warp to Mun SOI (worried about this since that is when they would die from power problem).  Than adjust for incline and periapsis. We have a 179 deg incline (good) and a 125 kmn periapsis.  So I am going to release the 3rd stage and go into orbit with the CM Module. That worked.  Need to be careful to turn off RCS before warp, it used up a LOT of monopropellant. It does not appear the countdown clock is working in  this orbit either, so I will just approve the contract if I have to.  Let me hang out a bit here.  After all, I am in Munar orbit! 255dV to Return from 125 km orbit of Mun. Mission was accomplished but did not complete so I completed it manually, but it was a solid mission! <Apollo 8> We now have the Apollo 11 Mission.  The Mun landing is upon us.  I left the Apollo 8 LM in orbit to test with it before I launch 11.  

First Minmus Landings and Eve Flyby

Surveyor 5 is a Minmus landing (for variety).  This will represent the first landing of any type on Minmus.  Part of this mission is to experiment with the MechJeb "Launch into Plane" aspect.  It did have a bug in it that required it to be tweaked, I wonder if that is fixed... It says it is 1 day away from launch.  I am not sure how launch control works with this.  We'll see. Leaving everything at default, it was definitely NOT in the plane (worse than normal).  There was an MJ bug that required putting 0 value into the plane angle down below, I will try that next time. 228.5 dV plane shift required to match Minmus. Got to Minmus well.  The landing with MJ took forever and got into one of those odd cycles where it was adjusting constantly so I took over manual control with about 300m left and landed it.  Minmus is pretty easy if you take it slow so that was no problem. Lots of science being collected.  This should start setting me up for the Apollo program. <Surveyor 5> The Surveyor 6 contract is now active and is Minmus again.  Plus, I have a separate contract for getting science from the Minmus surface so that should work out well. Surveyor 6 Launch Into Plane of Target was set to 0 this time.  Let's see if that works. It does.  Apparently the bug is still in MJ.  Just set the Plane launch to zero (the incline sets itself) and it works good. On to Minmus! Needed to do the last part of landing manual again.  Also, ended up in a pretty polar orbit.  Not sure why, planes appeared to be correct.  Need to maybe adjust anyway when they are close. Collecting science. Two contracts fulfilled as well. <Surveyor 6> Venera 1 is just 16 days from going into the SOI for Eve so I think I will jump to that and complete that mission.  I've made great progress as I have multiple landers and am on the verge of Apollo yet still in the first year of my program! ;> Is it possible to complete Venera 3/4 at the same time?  (Enter atomsphere?)  We'll find out! Set periapsis to 50 km successfully.  If I can send science below 90 km than I think it will work, I just need to crash and not explode! Came in too hot.  Looking for a shallower repeat. Well, I was able to get the science, but no go on the crash landing because, simply, I either burn up and explode or I bounce out.  Simple wasn't built to enter the atmosphere. <Venera 1 Complete> Cleaned up the debris and old missions to improve performance. <Cleanup> I have a very well paying interesting science mission to Mun (plant growth).  I think I may try that only because it pays really well and it is a bit different.  I will need some more science to build Apollo, a lot more! Apollo 4 Apollo Saturn 1B Base craft This is a test mission for the Apollo program.  It is not really a valid test because I don't have all the parts yet, but if I do this I can move forward  a bit.  I need to launch, make low orbit, hang out (testing) and then have a high apoasis orbit and return.  It does burn up the ablator pretty bad.  It doesn't appear to blow up though.  I guess that's why its a test! Ascent:  Full throttle, 5deg, 50% turn to 200km orbit. Very twisty ascent which did not happen in the sim? Ready to go to 18,250 km apoasis.  Need 802 dV (like Mun transit). MJ came up short on the apoasis (like in the sim) very odd.  No problem, I just point prograde and added some more.  Plenty of fuel.  Ready to do return (in 2 days!) Power looks fine (I put 4K in the craft).  Ready to do burn for atmosphere entry. I will try and test the fairings while I am at it. It seems that you are still connected even when you release the fairings, so you can't really turn around and dock.  I am not sure how this all works, but I think you have to wing the docking with the LEM a bit. More ablator left this time, I came in a bit steeper (18km) and also appeared to have less speed due to the shallower apoasis.  It was significant! <Apollo 4> I have the three MultiSpectral (MS) Scanning missions to do to get the system's biomes.  Sending those up now. <Kerbin MS Scanner> <Mun MS Scanner> <Minmus MS Scanner> Let those missions get their data and cash. Surveyor 7 This is the last Surveyor contract (I can run other missions for science) and it goes to Minmus.  I will do this because it pays and then focus my science buildup on Mun. Launch into plane worked well.  A minor adjustment is probably all was needed last time as well.  It just gets bigger as you go further out. Odd challenge to orbit.  Going for Lesser Flats. Doing the slow descent at Minmus with MJ game. Probably will need to do a manual landing again.  I am not sure why MJ is struggling so much with Minmus? Maybe coming in from higher orbits will help.  I had that issue in the past (changing touchdown spot due to high areas). <Surveyor 7> Now that is is on the surface, I have a fair amount of dV left (almost 3000).  I think I may do some hopping to get some repeatable science. Also able to get Slopes!!! Got the Flats too! <Surveyor 7 Plus> There is a telescope mission that will help me get some more science and I only need a bit more to have my full Apollo set unlocked so I can do a full Mun orbital test. I will be using the CactEye scope (2nd gen).  It requires a specific orbit and then it should get more science than the first being a better core. About 181 dV left after reaching orbital params. <Scope 2> Contracts were good but science was not impressive since it appears to be fixed at 7 for each planet and I could not even get Plock. Need to do another Surveyor mission to get more science. Surveyor 8 (starting my own) Landing at Midland Crater Apparently I already did this...sigh.  I will take off an land elsewhere. Going for Midlands. I got that. <Surveyor 8> That gave me enough science to discover that I needed some earlier science to get what my goal was!  Dummy.  Fortunately, KEI saved me because it gave me enough to get all of it.  I am now ready to test the Apollo program to the Mun. Yes! <Apollo Ready>

First Interplanetary Visit and More Mun Landings

Mariner is approaching Eve so it is time to have our first interplanetary encounter! Mariner 2 (continued) Eve flyby set.  In its influence with a periapsis of 300 km. No orbit is possible with the current amount of fuel on board.  That's okay, I did not plan on that anyway. I want lower orbit (<400) science with this probe for any science that is not repeatable. I actually fulfilled both the contracts (Mariner and Venera) with the Mariner flyby but I will do a bit more science with the Venera (still 43 days out). <Mariner 2 Flyby> I took care of the Minmus contract (science data from scanner). The only contract I have pending is the OAO-2 satellite.  I may use the Coatl parts for this one since I haven't used them yet and I like the way they look! Surveyor 1 I added a bunch of science to this, I think the probe can handle it. Successful landing @ Midland Crater Much, much science! <Surveyor 1> I got a Luna 13 contract and I have that probe.  I will be running a series of Surveyor's to get a bunch of science as well.  Should not visit Midlands.  I added a thermometer for a little more science as well. Luna 13 Probe on the ground in Farside Crater. <Luna 13> Next contract up is Surveyor 3.  This is good as I need a few Surveyor missions to gather science so I can upgrade to Apollo craft to start testing that. Surveyor 3 Ascent: 15 deg, 50%, 150 km 20m/s limit until 30km.  Drop first stage boosters and open acceleration limit. The mission went well and I was able to actually land in the Canyon biome! After the science, I wanted to get some pictures and I must have accidentally hit the wrong thruster.  It cause the craft to fly up in the air destroying two of the experiment devices and the solar panels.  So,I got the pictures, but the lander will run out of power and be done since there is no way to recharge. <Surveyor 3> The Surveyor 5 mission puts a twist requiring a Minmus landing to be completed.  Pretty cool.  

Mun Probe Landings and Rendezvous

We are entering a new zone where we have Kerbals doing orbital rendezvous (not just a flyby but docking) and we start having more advanced probes. The first step will be Luna 9.  The probe that actually landing on Mun (in our case).  It uses a balloon for the last part to handle the landing.  It has been sim-tested and there were some adjustments which have been made. The only oddity is the fairings not releasing cleanly, but I don't think that will be a problem.  I am not sure if they are attached wrong, but everything else seems to fit right? Luna 9 This will cover two contracts, the Luna one and also a science from Mun orbit contract. 150km orbit.  10 deg 50% ascent profile. Wow!  What a great mission.  Airbag and everything! <Luna 9 on Mun> I was able to roll the probe around the surface a bit and get some shots of a nearby rock field. Almost like a poor man's rover!  That was fun.  Good surface mission as well as I got a lot of shots on the Mun surface. Next up is a fairly complex mission of the Agena docking probe being docked by a Gemini Kerballed capsule.  Both have been created.  The docking should occur around 150 km.  The Agena probe will be launched first.  The Gemini will be launched to 100km and then rendezvous.  The docking will then occur and the capsule returns.  Easy right! <Gemini 8 Ready> Agena 1 First docking probe. Send to orbit at 150 km. Confusing liftoff. Strange staging.  Ned to check back in assembly. In orbit.  A little wonky.  Two fairings still did not disconnect.  I think it will work though. <Agena 1> Gemini 8 (Gemini Docking craft) Ardie (pilot) Sigdie (eng) Orbit Q 100 km and then rendezvous. Unable to dock.  I think the fairing is block it.  I don't have a tool to remove it.  I am hoping to return with Gemini 8A. Damn. <Gemini 8 Recovered> Gemini 8A Jeb (pilot) Bill (eng) They are bringing tools to remove the fairing.  (Had to look because KIS is not a menu item). Let's see if this mission works. My first fixer-upper mission. I was able to remove the fairing and the docking was successful. Just need to head home.  It does appear that removing the docking port to land may cause the mission not to complete, but hopefully it does and I don't have to do it manually. The contract completed correctly. <Gemini 8 Success> New contracts for the Kosmos orbital docking (2, automated) and a Luna 10 Munar orbit.  Both are built and look good.  I have also added a Minmus science mission because I think once the Kosmos dock, I'll be able to send the tandem to Minmus and get some science and bucks. Kosmos 186 & 188 Kosmos 186 with the science on it will go first.  Needs to be above 120 km, will go for 150 km. <Kosmos Docking> I will not be able to do the Minmus mission.  Not enough fuel. I have created the Proton/Zond rocket for that mission and it looks good.  I need to fly the Zond to Mun and return it to Kerbin with some science on board.  I do need to add some science to it, but the mission framework sim looks solid at this point. (50%, 5deg to 150km orbit) I want to close and restart the game since it has been running for a while and then do the Luna 10 mission which should be ready to go. Luna 10 150 km orbit with a 50%, 10deg profile. Head to Mun, orbit, and send science. (Peri < 5000km) <Luna 10> Want to run another Proton/Zond simulation before I do the mission. (50%, 5deg to 150km orbit) I had a few issues like the 3rd stage decoupler not doing that!  I need to do some additional orbital sims. Launch was good. I needed to add another decoupler (so there are two)  something wrong with the 3rd stage one.  It simply was not releasing.  Anyway, it works now and did not add too much weight, mission should be fine since I had plenty before due to having to lose a stage (and still make it back). I believe the Zond is ready for its Munar return mission! Zond 5 Not much to report.  Ship got hit with its own stuff a couple times (?!?) but was okay.  Contract was fulfilled but did not close itself, so it will be closed manually. <Zond 5> Mariner is approaching EVE!!!!  Stay tuned...

Multi Kerballed Missions

The Voskhod has tested out well.  I am going for a 250km orbit and return with a 3 Kerbal crew.  First time in space for all 3 (Irra, Bill and Bob). Voskhod 1 (3995 dV, misleading because of the -177 retro dV). Got to 250 orbit with a full tank in the last stage (204 dV).  The fuel cell used to 129 dV in the 6 hour orbit period. The 171 dV got me down to 7km periapsis. Great Mission!  Solid craft performance. <Voskhod 1> Next up is Voskhod 2 which is the first EVA in space (2 kerbal crew). This mission went well (Jeb was first EVA, Valentina followed) with one oddity.  You are supposed to use the airlock but cannot get back into the airlock with the EVA report.  So, Jeb needed to dump it and Val stepped outside for a moment to gather it from the main capsule.  Seems like an oddity. <Voskhod 2> Next up appears to be Gemini 5 (skipped the entire Mercury orbital series it looks like).  This was an 8-day mission so that is the main accomplishment.  I need to build a Gemini spacecraft so that will be the next task. Gemini sim looks really good.  Need more than just the retro rocket to return but no problem. Gemini 5 Irra (pilot) Zellenna (Eng) An 8-day orbital mission. Program crashed in the middle of the launch portion. Very odd.  Never happened before? It crashed at stage 1->2.  Did not happen the next time. Fuel cell only works for about 1 day. Need to add solar panels for this long a mission. Came through.  Lands hard (11 m/s+) <Gemini 5> <Jeb Training> Now, we have a more complicated orbital rendevous to perform.  Two Gemini craft.  We will start with the Gemini 7 and its longer term flight (14 days).  It will go into a 250 km orbit.  Needs a bit more food. Gemini 7 Tamphia (pilot) Bill (eng) (The contract is not reporting orbit.  Something is wrong, same thing happened with the Academy mission) Gemini 6A Valentina (pilot) Anris (sci) Returned <Gemini 6A> Use 220 dV for return from 250 km (since we don't know the retro engine value exactly). Gemini 7 Returned Manually complete contract because of the contract bug on this one. <Gemini 7> Did a quick Venera 1 adjustment <Venera 1 Adjust>  

Kerbals in Space!

Well, this is it!  The first Kerbal mission to space!  The craft is tested, the pilot is ready! Vostok 1 Valentina Kerman Launch into orbit and return safely. The goal is an 125 km orbit.  Going with a 15 deg 50% turn. First Kerbal in Space! Congratulations Valentina!!!!!! <Vostok 1> I now see the Freedom 7 contract for the first US kerballed mission.  Jeb will be the US pilot.  Also, some Kerbal Academy has shown up for Valentina.  That cannot use the Vostok craft (reuires a 45 deg incline) so I need to create a separate craft that uses Kerbal stock items to handle these missions. Freedom 7 (3224 dV) Jebediah Kerman Suborbital flight.  Safe return. I will handle this manually since MJ doesn't do these flights well. Great and clean flight. <Freedom 7> Created Pepper craft for the incline change Kerbal Academy mission. Hold to 20 m/s accel until solids drop. <Valentina Training> Vostok 2 (4798 dV) Tamphia Kerman This is a 6-hour orbital mission.  Make orbit, hang out and return.  The first longevity mission. 125km 15 deg orbit leaves 1062 dV once in orbit.  Plenty for a higher orbit or more. This mission requires solar panels for TAC life support otherwise Tamphia dies after the air sours when the power goes out.  I may also need to add battery but I can try it with just the panels. Slight adjustment due to new profile.  The orbit now leaves 1055 dV.  Very little change. 87.4 reentry burn required. Trajectories is a bit off.  It was accurate before.  I need to look if I have the settings off. <Vostok 2> Built my first Cact Eye scope.  Putting into a specific orbit and it will satisfy a couple contracts. Got the cope into orbit and completed the contracts. <OSO 1> The next mission is Mariner 1 to Eve.  I really over-designed the first rocket  (it probably could go to the outer system).  I cut back a bit after and now I think it is a better setup. A little unstable (because it is short and the wings are a little high up). Limit to 20 m/s until releasing the boosters 1:15 into the flight.  I can even do a faster transfer to Eve as well with the fuel I have. It will get there before Venera 1.  Go Mariner! <Mariner 2 Underway> Setting up the 3 Lo Res Scan Missions <Kerbin Lo Res> <Mun Lo Res> <Minmus Lo Res> Now, I can do the Telstar satellite and then go adjust Mariner on its Eve journey. The Telstar should be limited to 30 m.s until it reached 40km altitude.  It is a stubby craft but it works fine for small system probes since it also operated the 3 Lo Res Scan missions.  I should probably name this base craft and use it as a launcher. <Telstar 1> We are 8 days away from the Mariner 2 adjustment so I will go ahead and get that done. <Mariner 2 Adjust> Two geosynchronous missions were done, Syncom 2 and Syncom 3.  I used a weather satellite (it looked similar) and set them in orbit at an altitude of 2863 km (or near that).  Both missions succeeded, although I was not able to get either one above KSC because I misjudged the rotation! <Syncom 3> Next up is Vostok 6.  I may send Jeb because he has not actually made orbit yet and this is a 3 day duration mission. To make it go a bit quicker, I plan on a 250km orbit to have a faster warp available.  I need the solar panels on the Vostok craft (which I have) and I also need to make sure the base level supplies are good enough. 868 dV in 250km orbit.  Will re-entry be too hot?  Coming in at 20km periapsis, so shallow. Solid landing. <Vostok 6> Got most of the scan science.  Needed to adjust Minmus to get the whole surface.  Will revisit later. Voskhod sim test appeared to go smoothly.  It has a fuel cell for power and the food/water situation is fine for a day.  I went to 125km but I think I can go to 200km with return using the retro on top.  Maybe should test that?

Testing the Kerbal Crafts

So, we have reached the point of testing crafts with live things on board!  Not Kerbals, yet.  I have two missions.  The first is a Mercury-Redstone carrying Ham the Chimp on a suborbital flight.  Also, Korabl-Sputnik 5 which will go into orbit and return with Zvezdochka the dog on board.  Both should return safely.  The Mercury needs to go first otherwise both will get accomplished by Sputnik 5. I was having a very strange problem where the craft was getting slower as it climbed.  I was finally able to pin it down to having RealChute installed.  I guess it is not really 1.1.3 okay.  The rockets worked as expected after it was removed. Both the Korabl and Mercury are ready to go.  The order does not matter since they require a specific crew to complete the contract (very cool) of the right animal.  I will launch the Korabl first to maintain the historical order. Excellent flight with the pooch!  Came in cool enough with a 20km periapsis for return. <Korabl Sputnik 5> So, I had a terrible time trying to do the Mercury suborbital.  I thought maybe the sims were the problem but it didn't work for 'real' either.  No matter how shallow I made the journey, I simply came down too hot and the parachute would come out but the craft would smash before it could work.  I tried an extreme shallow flight (max alt of just 75km and all the rest of fuel used to go horizontal).  I tried shifting the chute parameters to open earlier. Part of the problem was that I used the FASA Mercury craft in a previous game and it worked fine, so I was at a bit of a loss as to why this was happening.  I did remove RealChute (because it is not working in 1.1.3) but that did not seem to be the issue because it was the craft that was too hot. I realized the previous game had FAR (Ferram Aerospace Research) installed which alters the atmosphere values.  So, I added that to see.  Sure enough, that fixed it.  It seems you have to use FAR with the FASA craft, at least for now. <Mercury Redstone 2> I have the Vostok 1 mission on deck which is my first Kerballed flight!  However, before that I can send off Venera 1 (which uses Molniya probe) to Eve.  I ran the sims I have just enough dV at this time in my Venera setup to make the transfer, so here it goes! Venera 1 5297 dV.  Needs to get orbit an dtransfer (about 1500 needed for that).  The Eve flyby must be within 20,000 km.  I want to be closer (<400km) so I can get low and high science.  Just a camera and a few experiments on board.  Not a big science mission. I had done the flight manually before, but the roughness made me a bit short of dV.  I upgraded my MechJeb (which frankly is more realistic) so now I can make the tight tolerance. 45 dV in the tank as I begin the interplanetary jaunt.  I will achieve the mission, however, I will adjust to get closer to try and get more science.  Will there be enough? More than enough. I only need 5.1 to get to 300 km.  Should be a great flyby in 175 days! <Venera 1 Underway>  

Orbital and Early Munar Missions

Continuing with the orbital historical missions, next up is Vanguard 1 which is still orbiting today! Launch date: 1y, 2d Vanguard 1 Vanguard 1 craft (5102 dV) Must make orbit with a periapsis above 600 km (minimum altitude) and generating solar power. Good job (650 km orbit) <Vanguard 1> Explorer 6 just required changing the probe on the Vanguard setup.  Also added the probe camera so I could get science from orbit. Launch date: 1y, 2d Explorer 6 Explorer 6 craft (4910 dV) Orbit above 250 km.  Send science back to complete contract. <Explorer 6> I got the Luna 1 contract. That will require some construction (and fund adjustment as well since the decoupler costs 5 times the payment). Need to build and test using the Luna 2 craft since there does not seem to be a Luna 1 in my stock. I did a lot of sims trying to do a direct launch.  That just can't make it.  Even when I lighten the load a bit.  I am trying to use the Sputnik rocket.  I can make it if I go orbital first.  I realize I may be able to do a rendezvous by doing a turn but not circularizing and going straight to Mun.  I just don't know how to figure that out. I guess I should just do the circ and transfer approach. <Pre Luna> Luna 1 Trouble not unlike what happened!  My orbital burn was way early for some reason  (unclear why).  As a result, I ended up with a low periapsis and had to adjust before the Mun burn as well as using too much fuel.  Fortunately, it worked out and I flew by the Mun by "accident" of a bad burn. <Luna 1> Luna 2 has to hit the Mun.  That should be easy, I had to adjust Luna 1 to stop it. No problem. <Luna 2> Luna 3 was interesting.  The solar panels were broken (was that historical?) so I had to use reserve power sparingly to handle the mission.  It was a Mun flyby (nearer than 600 km) that sent back science and then entered Kerbin orbit.  I was able to pass by at 35km so I got some high and low orbit science.  I also got some nice photos because the Luna 3 has an onboard camera.  Despite the power issues, successful mission. <Luna 3> Next up is Discoverer-13 which was the first reentry recovery mission ever. I don't have a discoverer or Coronado probe (which was use) but I have a Stardust Return Capsule which will collect Goo and return it so I will do that to complete the contract. I will also transmit some science back as well to complete a second science contract at the same time.  This is pretty much going to use stock equipment I think. The Discoverer sim went fairly well although it is a much more manual mission.  I need to handle flying (no SAS).  It is a stubby rocket so you go up at half throttle.  Do the goo and return.  Should do well, plenty of dV for the mission (125 km orbit). <Discoverer 13>  

Beginning at the Beginning

Another new Kerbal game.  Nutopia Space Program is being started on KSP64 1.1.3 with a few new mods in addition to my old standbys. I am using Historical Progression contracts (instead of Historical Missions) and the Kerbal Academy as well.  Since this is all based on the US/Soviet programs, I added a bunch of parts mods for those rockets and probes to make it feel a bit more real and less repetitive. Anyway, here we go! Sounding Rocket 1 Basic Aerobee design.  Single engine. 3 Fins.  No chutes or recovery. 1621 dV. Launch date: 0y, 0d (The first of everything!) Sounding Rocket 1 Sounding Rocket 1 craft (1621 dV) Contract wants a height of 50km.  Let's see if this can do it. Okay, this did not get even close!  A bit confused to say the least.  Short of 7km! Need to look at this design.  I am not sure if I need RoverDudes Sounding rocket mod to do this right. I added the Aerobee SRB to the stack and got above 10km but definitely not good enough (2028 dV).  I think I will back out and add the sounding rockets. Sounding Rocket 2 Another design using the USI rockets. This turns out to have way less dV than even the previous, so they won't fulfill the contract.  However, the new science is great and will let me bulk up on some science and early parts. Total dV is only 255 in atmo (2 sec). Got some basic landing pad science from the 4 experiments.  Next up is lower atmo. Game crash... Make sure the battery is in the top part that doesn't get released! Low altitude science rocket netted  17.6 so more to spend! Sounding Rocket 3 is an Aerobee 100 series based craft.  2504 dV gets it above 18 km and it carries both temp and pressure in the nose cone.  This can generate three science levels (ground included) in one mission, so it is worthwhile. Sounding Rocket 3 mission went well.  Crashing down but providing Odd thing. It crashed but was not completely destroyed so it appears I could not get back to the space center and it reverted me.  Need to do that again, I think. This time I didn't make 18km (I added a decoupler so it would crash harder, 2135 atmo dV).  Okay.  I did get some good science though, so I will keep it. I ran it again without the decoupler and was able to recover so I got the science.  I am near 60 science now. <Sounding Xper> The Aerobee 350 setup gets me a bit closer but still not there.  However, very good science for $3500 launch.  So, I will do that. 23,400 m altitude reached. Now have 57 science after having spent a bunch. <More Sounding> I want to get that contract done (50km).  I have built a Scout-based rocket with 3982 dV.  I do believe this should hit 50km pretty easily at this point.  I am not putting science on it because I want to fulfill the contract and then have a better low orbit science mission. The rocket is 'Upper Atmo Test Rocket 2'. Wow!!!  4246 km!!!  I guess that did it! (Beautiful evening launch as well) Almost overheated from the big launch.  But it was okay in the end and contract was fulfilled. It looks like the next contract is a V-2 rocket that gets to space, so I can do a low/high orbit science transmit mission as part of this since I do need to destroy the rocket (no recovery). I added a fairing and bunch of experiments.  Also, set the thrust to 75% power.  Total dV is 3705 (3408 atmo) so I think this will get me a big science load and V-2 contract completion. Some tweaks (added  an aerobee probe top for power and transmission) and now at 3678 dV. Tricked out for a lot of science at both low and high orbit. (much power and even some solar panels!) 1409 km apoasis. <V-2 Contract> I spent some $$ for action groups so I have $63K only.  However, my science amount is 834!  (I am using the KEI mod so I am getting Kerbin science).  This is killer. First sim test of the Sputnik 1 craft came up just a little bit short on orbit.  Not as efficient by hand is part of the issue.  May try again with a bigger turn. I created the Sputnik 1A craft built on top of an R7 engine (like the real one).  However, it has that cost balance problem.  It is ridiculously overpriced for the time zone and contract.  I need to adjust the funding to deal with that. I have done a fair amount of simulations with the Soviet R7 rocket.  I needed to add an internal reaction wheel to keep it stable.  It is crazy expensive.  However, it does let me get Sputnik 1 into orbit using something very close to the actual design.  So, I think it is ready to go.  The craft name is Sputnik 1a (4474 dV) because my original craft did not use the R7. Launch date: 1y, 1d Sputnik 1 Sputnik 1a craft (4474 dV) Putting the first artificial satellite into orbit!  The space program begins. Success!!!  Almost circular 115 km orbit! <Sputnik 1> Launch date: 1y, 1d Sputnik 2 Sputnik 2 craft (4519 dV) Apparently the Sputnik 2 capsule is a bit lighter.  Even with Laika (sad) on board. Need to achieve orbit.  Success... <Sputnik 2> Now I have the contract for Explorer 1.  This also requires a science transmission from orbit.  I hope I have something I haven't transmitted yet! Explorer 1 is coming across nicely (great FASA) however I have no control at the top so I needed to add a reaction wheel to the first stage.  I am not sure what may be missing instead. The sim shows it is a little tricky.  The power drains when the AMP manager is on, so don't use that.  Also the stabilizer got funky (was on but wasn't on).  Either way, watch power carefully.  Turn off AMP mgr during most.  Plus, the Sargent engines are all solid fuel, so no nice clean orbit.  You get up there.  Be sure to get the low orbit science because you may end up above it!  (use the "U" key). Launch date: 1y, 1d (lot happening today!) Explorer 1 Explorer 1 craft (5086 dV) Get in orbit.  Don't forget the low orbit science (geiger). Got it. <Explorer 1> Vanguard 1 simulation went smoothly.  I need an orbit with a minimum periapsis of 600 km.  The sim accomplished that with some room to spare. I want to update my MechJeb.  I know how to do it manually, it is just easier with MJ.