Now that I have the basics for orbit, I am going to try and get a satellite up there!
The Explorer A craft appears to do the job (if the various engines hold). I may add a bit of Nitrogen for safety, but I got a great sim altitude of well over the 36000km I needed. It also creams the high sounding contract as well. I am going for it!
Explorer A (11696 dV)
Feb 15, 1952 14:12, a beautiful clear day!
Going for first orbital satellite, medium and high sounding and getting a bunch of science!
I forgot to add the Nitrogen. I hope it is not a problem.
RD-103 shut down a few seconds early, almost could not hot start the next stage!
A failure of one of the separation engine spinners created a wonky spin which , along with the lower apogee (due to the RD-103 failure) created a tense situation but we ended up with an apogee of 31,800 km (not enough for high space science) and a perigee of just over 150km! The minmum needed for the satellite contract!
So, success!!! Mostly, but good enough!
Explorer B (11476 dV)
April 7, 1952, a few clouds but clear
Different probe, aiming for a high space orbit (36mm) and more engine testing. Should be paid for by the medium and high sounding contracts. No other contracts really in play.
RD-103 shut down early again! Basically, I am pushing it beyond its 1:52 life and it is not making it. I need better engines (longer) but maybe it can upgrade?
Only got to 22mm apogee so I did not get near high space. I am not sure how to hit Moon with my current engines, I may have to wait.
Explorer C log was lost.
July 18-19(?), 1952
It used an upgraded RD-103M engine and all the engines performed nominally. It included a lighter Vanguard 1 payload. (12952 dV)
Got high space over Earth and Sun telemetry.
There are 42 days left to study Orbital Rocketry. I also have quite a while (206 days) until I have a tracking station that would really allow me to do a lunar mission. It would be a bit of trial ans error otherwise since I can't set maneuver nodes and such.
I think I will warp to the new rocketry level because I can do sounding missions to may for some tests because the truly interesting missions are the lunar challenges that come at that point.
Jumping to an Explorer E which takes advantage of some new hardware to send the Explorer payload off into high orbit and possible solar orbit. This one mission may take me to the next avionics level where I can start creating lunar craft as the tracking will also be getting closer.
Some simple sounding contracts should cover the cost of this testing.
So, it looks like I may be out of luck/time. I really can't launch the craft until we upgrade the pad which is 220 days away. Fact is, the lesser craft don't have any real value to me at this point so I think I just have to jump forward! It will be early 1953 before I can effectively continue the program. Ah well, that seems to be the bottom line. I should have started my pad upgrade earlier.
Advanced Sounding Rockets
Having achieved some basic science with the Aerobee engine and reaching low space, I want to shift to the Sonner 2 plan.
This rocket uses the A-4 engine to achieve higher apogee and also carry some larger science payloads to build up our research program.
We have been luck with rockets so far and this one is actually pretty solid, so I am hopeful we can get some new stuff here.
Sonner 2's simulation took it to an apogee of more than 430km. This is not high space yet (that is crazy high in RSS, over 37,000 km) but will get me some good new science from the RoverDude mod and I will follow that up with a recovery mission for bio samples.
Sonner Delta (uses Sonner 2 craft)
Getting some contract work in here as well.
March 27, 1951. Partly cloudy.
Need to break 280 km (should be no problem if the engine does not fail).
Will get some good science up top. Recover later.
3509 dV. Gets me up there!
437.5km achieved in apogee.
Electric charge ran out. Was unable to transmit all of the available science. NO recovery is possible. Hopefully, enough science top add another one to the R&D effort.
<Sonner 2 Success>
At this point there are a few options. I could run a couple atmosphere flights with the additional science experiments to build up science a bit (maybe a Sonner 1B) which is the most likely. They won't be real expensive but they will provide some value. I will use these as recovery tests as well (more science).
I could also look at fulfilling some other sounding contracts but I am not sure they will be worth it. Both the engines I am using are as reliable as they need to because they won't be used long term so unless these pay more than they lose. Plus, moving to recover low space may require a better craft than I currently have.
I am researching orbital rocketry (less than 6 mos to complete) so it may make sense just to wait for that to complete so I can test flight those newer engines and build data while fulfilling contracts and adding science.
So the orbital rockets have 114 days to go. I may give a try for a Sonner 1B craft.
The Sonner 1-B has only 1356 of dV, so it may not make high altitude. Either way, we will get some science from it. I could also use the Sonner 2 as a base craft and try and recover the science as well (easier when I have retro rockets to slow descent or heat shields).
May 1, 1951 14:16 (mid morning)
Simple science recovery with a parachute attempt (hopefully making the upper atmo level).
Sonner 1-B craft (same as 1-A with a heavier payload, less dV)
Made it to 40km (not enough for high science) and did recover the payload.
To get higher I need to use the Sonner 2. I will remove some of its size and parts to make it a bit leaner and have the payload be able to separate. I am pretty sure it can handle high altitude recovery but low space may be too extreme a heat issue. Worth a try I think.
Sonner 2-A is smaller with a detachable payload. The dV is down to 3017 on a smaller rocket overall. Going for low space. I will kill the engine once that is achieved to try and survive reentry. Let's see what happens.
May 19, 1951. 12:13 early morning.
Shooting for about 150km apogee.
Stopped at 457dV, initial apogee at 187 (should go lower).
Only drops to about 184km. Maybe too high?
I was able to pull it off! Yes!
I got more than 20 science!
I may use this for my bio recovery as well since that worked.
Important note was that it did not work that great. Had to open the chute at the last second to save it. No room for error, it came down hot.
<Low Space Science>
Sonner Golf (using Sonner 2-A again)
High altitude non-bio science mission.
June 10, 1951, 15:16 late morning.
Went to 90km. Good mission.
9.8 science earned.
I think I want to try a bio recovery mission with this craft.
The Sonner 2-A was refitted with bio science and a new parachute. It actually got a bit lighter so I made the tank a bit smaller. The dV is 3011.
A mission to recover bio science from low/high altitude and low space.
July 10, 1951, 10:41, morning
Went to about 160 km. The large payload slowed itself down just fine.
More than 16 science recovered (I have 63 now!)
I am ready to start testing orbital engines which should be ready in a few days!
<Near Bio Science>
Working on a Sonner 3 craft based upon the AJ10-37 engine. The sims have not been going well. I am trying wider fins and a straightup launch (it has been turning near the end of its fuel so more weight at the top may help as well). I want to avoid more weight because it is only 3746 dV now, and it may not get apogees I want.
I added weight but it was not the key. It still started fluctuating wildly when the fuel got low. Very odd. I may try a different setup (new Sonner) as I am not sure the long term value of this engine testing yet.
I shifted to the Sonner 4 based upon the Vanguard X-405 booster engine (XLR50). The simulation did much better and can accommodate my sounding rocket contracts. The contracts will not pay as well though because the engine is more expensive (650 vs 150) but they will work and let me get some high contracts as well as build an engine I can use for my orbital satellite.
After some sim tests, I have adjusted Sonner 4 to have 4592 dV (with 4 cameras to try and get a shot). The tank is 10m in length.
based on Sonner 4 craft (4592 dV)
August 16, 1951, 18:07 (a bit cloudy/foggy)
Going for a medium sounding contract that pays for test flight data on the Vanguard engine. Hopefully some nice shots as well.
Need to reach 150 km apogee. Should be easy if the engine does not fail.
Our apogee is 839km+. Good for contract and a few more monetary rewards for accomplishments.
Slightly enhanced Sonner 4 craft (4713 dV)
More testing of Vanguard paid for by a medium (250km) contract.
1m 21s thrust planned.
903km apogee should get us another accomplishment level!
Sonner 4A simulated (game crashed).
Before the crash, I reached more than 1100 km with the new two-stage rocket that includes a triple cluster of Baby Sergeants that also need to be tested. So, when I restart, I can do another medium sounding contract to increase their tests and then I should be getting close to have a satellite I can put into orbit!
I created a new Sonner 5 craft to try and reach higher levels. When all goes well (no engine failures) I can get above 2 mm (2000 km) with this new craft. [add details on craft here]
Sonner Kilo (using Sonner 5x, 7391 dV)
Oct 26, 1951 12:00
Made it to about 1.7mm and got a medium contract to help pay for the engine testing.
Spin problem which was adjusted for the next flight.
Sonner Lima (using Sonner 5x)
Dec 8, 1951, 22:24 evening launch.
2.3mm apogee! No failures!
This satisfied both a medium and high contract and built our engines up so that we can try orbital with a satellite (as that research is almost complete).
RSS RP-0 Reset
I have learned from a bunch of tutorials so I am resetting and doing a new run of the RP-0 missions.
I am going to start with a nice $100m start point ($100,000 in the game) so I can start with a couple A-4 tests (which are captured V-2 rockets). I have a much better understanding of Test Flight and how these things work so hopefully it will be interesting.
A-4 Alpha Test Flight
Uses the base A-4 setup with all of its defined parts. Just want to get a rocket off the ground and see how high it goes!
Jan 4, 1951
Just the basic A-4 Rocket with antenna and telemetry experiment.
Early morning (dawn) 12:22 UTC is the time, launching in a few minutes and launching our space program!
2659dV with a 1m 5s, burn time on the A-4 (rated for 1m 10s).
Forgot the pumps, they are now on. Forgot the staging, that is now fixed...
166.867 km reached. Just into low space. Not enough power to get telemetry there though.
Got 3.4 science and some bucks!
Still had some dV left (2 seconds), because the hTC ran out. Can't do much about that.
A-4 Bravo Test Flight
Same test except I want to get a few pictures from on high. Our first pics from space.
Also, maybe able to get telemetry above 140 km.
Jan 17, 1951
13:37 UTC on a rather foggy morning.
2652dV (less due to cameras).
Ready for liftoff.
200km apogee!! Engine lasted the whole way!
Great pics and got the science as well.
<A-4 Tests Complete>
I am ready to move toward my sounding rockets and send these babies up high for some science!
I am calling this the Sonner series (French for sound).
They will use Aerobee engines which will require some development tests. I will add more to get them higher as the engine develops and lead us towards our orbital missions.
Aerobee has a burn time of 50s. Reliability is half of the possible because there is no flight data. The first mission is to get it off the ground and get some engine reliability.
The fuel is at 50s, but it will burn on the pad for a few seconds first (with pumps on), so it should burn out before the fuel ends. It will get me the max though.
The dV is at 2389 so it may not break atmosphere (140km). Still need to add fins.
Now dV is at 2349. I put a slight twist in the fins so it will be fin-stabilized with a bit of rotation.
The science is on action group 5 and the range destroy on 0 (zero).
Let's give this a fly!
The craft name is Sonner 1.
Jan 18, 1951 23:00 UTC. An late afternoon launch of our first sounding rocket.
Some science on board to do at the low level.
Got the low flying science. Craft reached 67.7 km apogee. The fins heated up a bit. They did not blow. (not able to handle supersonic) The engine cut out at 50 sec.
This craft can reach high flying (above 50km) so I can get more science than what I have. Over 10 I can get the better rockets for orbital flight and then the avionics as well.
Jan 30, 13:15 UTC. Beautiful clear day!
Going for >50km basic science.
No engine burnout this time. Made the fins a bit thinner so that may have helped as well since I got to an apogee of 90+km!
<Sonner Early Tests>
I may do some sounding rockets (Sonner 2) using the A-4 engine and see what happens. Maybe add some science?
I went ahead and built Sonner 1-A. This is a Sonner 1 craft with the Tiny Tim booster to give it a little extra kick. It got to 150km+ in its simulation so I want to try and see if I can get some low space science here.
Sonner Charlie (uses a Sonner 1-A craft)
Feb 12, 1951. Partial clouds.
Goal is a low space science run with a boosted Sonner 1 rocket.
Reached an apogee of 155.6 km.
Aerobee rocket went all the way to it rated burn (50 sec). No failures. Science transmitted.
First Manned Flight
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
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.
I updated my RSS to 1.1.3 and added FASA (beta) to the mix. Now I will continue these more realistic missions.
I created and tested the Mercury Redstone suborbital craft. It made a solid mission so I think it is ready to do an unmanned mission and gather a little more stability research and science.
Mercury Redstone Test 1
January 6, 1954
Good test. Broke 400km.
<Mercury Redstone Test 1>
I have received a high sound rocket contract that needs to reach 2700km. Up there! I need a bigger rocket than previously. I am not sure of the dV necessary at this point, need to do some tests.
I have a rocket with almost 7000dV but the engine is failing in the sim. I think I need to do it 'for real' to get the engine failure down.
I see something else as well. I can do research on the engine to increase its performance. Here are some notes:
Did the lowest level of research. Let's see how this works.
Rated burn time is 2m 15s
Not sure how the research shows up. I did upgrade the engine to the next level.
I did a rest and removed the karger tank and engine. Exchanged to a weaker LR105 series engine which allowed me to use a smaller tank. Thus I got a dV of 7899 and a longer burning engine. Even though it is much poorer in the atmosphere (5496 dV) it worked great and got me near 3000km. Ready to handle the mission contract! (I will take pictures)
Sounding Rocket High 2 craft
Feb 14, 1954
<Sounding Rocket High>
This is a good stopping point. I can do a suborbital flight but I want some pics and stuff!
RSS Early Days
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.
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.
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...
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
Starting RSS 1.1.2
I am going to do an RSS version of Kerbal trying to handle some of the historical mission contracts. I don't expect to get real far in this (no moon landing because the realism kills) but I am curious what I am able to do, so thus the effort.
There will be a lot more failure here and learning to do. Let's see if it's fun!
To fulfill the first two contracts which is get a ship off the ground and the V-2 test (which has the same demand) I am creating:
A sounding rocket comprised of a command object. Nose cone parachute (which won't work in FAR, so no chute). A solid fuel motor (non-RO). I will make an RO version next but this will get the ball rolling.
Ready for test launch.
Forgot the fins, but I got to 1600m and the parachute does appear to maybe work?
BTW, I have no structural launch holder yet because of career. Damn!
Also, the Sounding Rocket mod doesn't register the first launch contract, so I will do that with "The Pepper".
Build a Sounding Rocket with RO parts.
Using a procedural tank and an aerobee engine. 2182 dV.
Test Flight did not fix contract (will do manually). Reached a height of 16,493m.
AerobeeJr-based. 2285 dV.
Reached a height of 58km. Upper atmosphere so good science from both upper and lower atmosphere (transmitted) before the crash.
The Madelyn had much better height without much more dV. I am theorizing this is due to the pressure at the lower atmosphere shifting quickly as you break through.
2866 dV. Testing the altitude.
Need to do the suborbital V-2 mission with The Minnie. I will try and recover with a parachute as well.