The Raging Sandwich

The Grand Space Race

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Intro: Since I got a new computer, I started a new game. This one is a large-scale space race between the KAP/KSP (US) and the C7 Aerospace Division (USSR). There will be several races such as first in space, orbit, landing on the Mun, first to land on a planet, etc...

I have the Kerbin-Side mod installed. Since it's only updated for 1.0, it only has 1 other launch site, Round Range, which has a launchpad, runway, and helipad. 

Other mods installed:

  • MechJeb
  • Chatterer
  • Scatterer
  • Planet Shine
  • OPM (soon)
  • The Near-Future Series
  • KAS
  • KIS
  • Kerbal Engineer
  • Tweak Scale

 

Chapter 1: Post-War

It was five years after the Kerbin War. Nations had grown stronger, torn apart, or obliterated all together. The two strongest nations, United Kerbin (UK) and the Kerbal's United Republic (KUP) were the leading nations in aerospace, fighting alongside each other in intense aerial battles until the end of the War. Relations slipped a bit at the end of the War and cooperations with the two nations ceased. They set their Air Force funds towards world exploration and developing more advanced aerospace technologies.

The two agencies were called the Kerbal Aerospace Program (KAP) and the C7 Aerospace Division. They had the most advanced aerospace technologies in the world, proven by their unreal amounts of wins in aerial battles in the War, only losing an average of 20 planes for every year the War raged. 

After the War, a total of 15 countries signed a pact against war, outlawing any means of war including the use of fighter planes. 2 of those countries were UK and the KUP. After the ratification of the KAP, they went to work on achieving the goal of developing the world's first supersonic aircraft. Development had started before the program was even put in place, so testing and building didn't take long.

On Day 14 of Year 1, test pilot Valentina climbed into the Supersonic (SS)-1, a modified SX-4 jet fighter plane. It was fitted with an new J-33 jet engine to propel it faster than any other manned aircraft before. The engine was activated and the plane started to roll forward on the runway. The plane pitched up off the runway, building up speed. A little after 30 seconds, the aircraft reached 342 m/s, the speed of sound. It accelerated past the speed of sound for a couple of seconds. Valentina then pointed it back towards the Kerbal Aerospace Center (KAC). It landed on the runway and rolled to a stop.

Mission results: Success; Successful application of a new jet engine to send a modified SX-4 fighter plane past the speed of sound.

Spoiler

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SS-1 on the runway

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Valentina lifts off into the sunrise

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Approaching the speed of sound

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Flying back to the KAC

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Successful touchdown; Valentina Kerman becomes the first Kerbal to reach the speed of sound.

Meanwhile at the C7 Aerospace Facility (C7 AF), a top-secret technology was being developed: a rocket-powered bomb, or missile called the Rattlesnake. This was being developed by order of the KUP's government for protection against another war. This was directly against the pact signed by the KUP and 14 other countries, however. To keep it unknown from the rest of the world, it was to be test-launched towards a remote area north of the C7 AF.

The missile consisted of a nuclear warhead like that of what was used by the KUP to end the War on top of a tall rocket stage. After the trajectory would be set by the rocket stage, the warhead was to be jettisoned, coasting across the sky until it reached its target. As it decoupled, for tiny solid-fuel motors pushed the rocket stage away from the warhead so a premature detonation would not occur.

On Day 18 of Year 1, the missile was ready to be launched on its first test flight. It was fitted with a dummy warhead so that no noticeable explosion would give way to the secret C7 project. The engine ignited and the four launch-clamps let go of the rocket. It ascended quickly into the air and pitched north. It made its way over the mountains completely surrounding the C7 AF and towards its target site. The engine stopped even before all the fuel was depleted as it had reached its target. The warhead was jettisoned and the four separation motors fired. The rocket stage was to impact the ocean just north of the warhead target site. The warhead tumbled around in the air until it hit the ground with a small explosion. The rocket then impacted into the ocean.

Mission results: Success; Successful test of the Rattlesnake Intermediate-Range-Ballistic-Missile

Spoiler

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The Rattlesnake on the launchpad at sunrise, overlooked by the Mun

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Liftoff

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Pitching north over the mountains

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The warhead plummeting towards the ground. After the explosion was spotted by nearby mariners, C7 claimed no responsibility.

Shortly after the first successful test of the Rattlesnake IRBM, the KUP government ordered another test. A new missile was built and prepped for launch.

On Day 27 of Year 1, another Rattlesnake was placed on C7's launchpad. The engine ignited, the launch-clamps were released, and the missile lifted-off into the air. It pitched south-west of the C7 AF and over the mountains towards its designated impact site. During flight, it gained too much speed and started to burn up. Unexpectedly, the whole assembly exploded mid-air. It happened that it exploded over a small town on the mountainside south of the C7 AF. Word was spread about how a large pencil-like object flew over the mountains from the C7 AF with smoke trailing behind it and exploding over the town. However, most of the world took it as a rumor as the C7 AF was government-run by the KUP, a nation which signed the international pact against war.

Mission results: Failure; Failure at further testing of the Rattlesnake IRBM

Spoiler

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Launch of the second Rattlesnake IRBM

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Flying over the mountains

The KAP realized that if there was any way of reaching space, rocket power would have to be utilized. Rocket power had been used by engineers for moving heavy objects across work sites, and those had only been solid-fuel engines. It wasn't until recently that the C7 Aerospace Division announced they had made the first successful liquid-fuel rocket engine. They didn't say what it was being used for, only that a successful static-test had been conducted. Now that the KAP knew it was possible, it was time to start developing one to fly high into the atmosphere.

On Day 33 of Year 1, the KAP placed the new Pulse liquid-fuel rocket on a launch stand. It was a small rocket that was stabilized by canted fins to send it into a spin. A pre-programmed computer was to turn the engine on and separate from the stand during launch. The time had come and the computer turned the engine on and the rocket separated from the launch stand. It started to spin slowly at first, but picked up rotational speed within seconds. The engine burned until it ran out of fuel. The apoapsis was determined to be around 27 kilometers high. The rocket coasted to the apoapsis and started to fall back to Kerbin, crashing into an unpopulated area west of the KAC.

Mission results: Success; Successful test of rocket propulsion and spin-stabilization

Spoiler

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Launch of the Pulse liquid-fuel rocket

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Pulse falling back down to the ground

After the close-call of getting caught violating the international pact, C7 decided to develop a supersonic plane like the KAP as a side-project to cover up the Rattlesnake tests. It was loosely based off the KAP's SS-1 but mixed with the KUP's Y87 fighter jet. It included two air intakes opposed to the SS-1's single intake.

On Day 42 of Year 1, the Soundwave was ready to fly. KUP test pilot Verette was to pilot the mission. The plane took off from the C7 AF's runway and flew east, breaking the speed of sound before it reached the edge of the mountain range. It then started to fly back towards the runway. As Verette was flying back, she failed to gain sufficient speed, ending up crashing onto the edge of the runway. The cockpit and Verette was recovered in good condition.

Mission result: Partial success: Successful testing of a supersonic plane to cover up the Rattlesnake program

Spoiler

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The Soundwave 1 on the runway

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Takeoff

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Gear stowed, approaching the speed of sound

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A less-than-perfect landing

In response to C7's partially-successful flight of the Soundwave 1, another flight of the SS-1 was authorized. This was to test maneuvering at supersonic speeds.

On Day 47 of Year 1, Valentina again took off in the SS-1. She lifted off the runway and quickly broke the sound-barrier. She practiced several maneuvers, pulling upwards of 10 Gs. She maneuvered back towards the KAC still at the speed of sound, eventually landing successfully.

Mission results: Success; Successful testing of supersonic maneuvers

Spoiler

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On the runway

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Approaching the sound barrier

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Flying back to the KAC

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Lined up perfectly

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Valentina's picture-perfect landing

C7 had made several precautions for the next test-launch of the Rattlesnake. What they didn't know that spies were stationed on the mountain range to look out for the rumored missiles. On Day 48 of Year 1, the third Rattlesnake IRBM was launched. It flew north-west over the mountain range, right in the spies line of sight. To stop it from exploding mid-air, the engine was throttled down after it broke Mach 3. However, the electric charge in the probe core ran out, causing the engine to shut off and the missile to be short of its target site. The warhead also could not be jettisoned. It crashed in a lake south-east of the target impact site.

Mission results: Failure; Failure of testing the the maximum range of the Rattlesnake

Spoiler

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Launch

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Flying towards the target site

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The Rattlesnake comes short again

After C7 and the KUP government was caught with an act of war, the other 14 nations that signed the pact banned C7 from launching missiles. They would, however, allow them to utilize the missile technology for peaceful uses such as space exploration. As a result, C7 found that it would allow a perfect opportunity to challenge the KAP. The challenge was to send a rocket into space before the other program does. The KAP accepted.

After the new challenge between the two nations and aerospace programs was finalized, the deal was sealed by a flight by the KAP with its new SS-2 and a second flight of C7's Soundwave 1. The SS-2 was an SS-1 equipped with two side-boosters that allowed it to approach Mach 2, but it came just short of breaking that barrier. The second flight of the Soundwave 1 saw its first successful landing.

To be continued...

Edited by The Raging Sandwich
Added to the mods list
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Chapter 2: The Race for Space

After C7 was caught testing a nuclear missile after any means of war were banned, they were forced to give up their missile program. However, they could still use the rocket, but only if they used it for spaceflight purposes. They agreed and development of C7's first space rocket began. This lead to C7 proposing an international race with the KAP, that whoever reached space with a rocket vehicle first would win. The KAP agreed.

C7's modified Rattlesnake missile then became the Rattlesnake Mk2. It was the same rocket stage fitted with an advanced probe core and an in-line battery. It was also the first C7 vehicle to utilize fly-by-wire technology. But before they could launch the rocket into space, the KAC was ready to launch a modified Pulse rocket, one capable of reaching space if flown straight up. 

On Day 62 of Year 1, the Pulse was placed into its stand ready for launch. The on-board computer received the command to ignite the engine. The engine ignited, but it did not decouple from its stand. After a second, the rocket let go of the stand, tipping sideways in the process. The tipping resulted in an uncontrollable gravity turn. The rocket flew straight into the ground west of the KAC.

Results: Failure; Failed attempt at launching a rocket into space.

Spoiler

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The failed Pulse F2

C7 only heard about the failed KAP space launch the day after it happened. Everyone at C7 made a sigh of relief at the news. Especially since the planned first launch of the Rattlesnake Mk2 was scheduled the next day. The goal of the launch was to send it into space, winning the international race against the KAP.

On Day 64 of Year 1, the Rattlesnake Mk2 was ready for launch. The engine ignited, the launch clamps released, and the rocket ascended into the air. It started to pitch north over the mountains into a gravity turn. Everything was running as planned. Suddenly, the engine shut down prematurely, just as the apoapsis was about to ascend above the atmosphere. As it was still rising, the atmosphere was working against it, lowering the apoapsis even more. It rose up and fell back down to the ground, impacting the water.

Results: Failure; Failure at sending a converted missile into space.

Spoiler

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The Rattlesnake Mk2 at apoapsis

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Plummeting back to the ground

The KAP was shocked to see how far into the race that C7 was. They thought it would take several months to convert the Rattlesnake to peaceful use, not weeks. The KAP was not so ahead in the race as they thought. To compensate on C7's recent failure, another Pulse rocket was readied for launch.

On Day 77 of Year 1, the Pulse was on the launchpad. The engineers had taken extra precaution to making sure the engine would ignite and the launch stand would decouple at the same time. The command was given and the two happened at once, much to the joy of the KAP engineers (they were offered 10% raises if the next launch was successful). The modified Pulse rocket was sent into a spin by its canted fins, effectively stabilizing it. It kept ascending upwards until the apoapsis extended past the atmosphere. The engine shut down and the Pulse coasted upwards into space for the first time. The KAP had won C7's challenge. It continued upwards for several kilometers before plummeting back down to Kerbin again. It reentered the atmosphere, something that had never been done before. Due to the slight off-angle the rocket had as a result of tilting, it landed south-west of the KAC and off the coast of a beach resort.

Results: Success; Successful flight of a Pulse rocket into space, beating C7.

Spoiler

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Liftoff

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The Pulse ascends higher and higher

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The first view from space

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View at apoapsis

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The Pulse reenters over the atmosphere

Before C7 had even heard of the KAP's space launch, another Rattlesnake Mk2 was ready for another spaceflight. It had been less than a day before the KAP's launch.

The engineers at C7 also made extra precautions about the engine before the flight. They had also been promised a raise if mission success, but only 7%. On Day 78 of Year 1, the Rattlesnake Mk2 lifted off the launchpad on its historic mission. Everything happened exactly as the first flight, except for the premature engine cutoff. The apoapsis was raised far higher than the KAP's Pulse, almost 100 kilometers higher. The rocket actually burned too much, cutting off 2 seconds late. Finally, it breached the atmosphere and reached space. It seemed like it would just keep going and going until it finally started to fall back to the ground. It reentered the atmosphere and impacted on top of an uninhabited mountain.

Results: Success; Successful launch into space beating the KAP (later changed)

Spoiler

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Liftoff at sunrise

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Pitch initiated

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The sun peeks over the mountains

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Extending the trajectory to impact into the ocean

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The Mun welcomes the Rattlesnake into space

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Reentering over the mountains

 It wasn't until later that day that C7 had learned of the KAP's spaceflight the day before. The less-than-a-day window between the two launches proved just how close the race was. C7 called the KAP to congratulate them on their win. It also delivered another challenge to the KAP: Send an artificial satellite into space before the other program does. The KAP accepted the challenge. 

After the KAP achieved the capabilities of sending a vehicle into space, it was decided to change its name to the Kerbal Space Program (KSP).

To be continued...

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Here's my version of Kerbin for this.

Cm5Mb4n.jpg

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After C7 was caught testing a nuclear missile after any means of war were banned, they were forced to give up their missile program. However, they could still use the rocket, but only if they used it for spaceflight purposes.

Yup mmm hmm, we're testing the rocket for "spaceflight" purposes... :wink:

Edited by Angel-125
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NICE STORY! Can't wait for more :)

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14 minutes ago, DarkOwl57 said:

NICE STORY! Can't wait for more :)

Thanks, the next chapter (Race to Orbit) may take longer to make though.

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Just now, The Raging Sandwich said:

Thanks, the next chapter (Race to Orbit) may take longer to make though.

k

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Chapter 3: Race to Orbit Part 1

After C7 had challenged the KSP to a race into orbit, they went right to it. To make sure that it wasn't just some accident that the Rattlesnake Mk2 was launched into space (it wasn't until later that they realized that an accident would result in it not going to space), another one was scheduled and prepared for launch.

Mission objectives: To launch a Rattlesnake Mk2 into space.

On Day 87 of Year 1, the third Rattlesnake Mk2 was on the launchpad. The rocket ignited and the launch clamps released the rocket. It rolled to 90 degrees and pitched over the mountains. It didn't pitch forward as much as the other Rattlesnake rocket as C7 wanted to see how high it could go. The fuel ran out and the apoapsis was above the atmosphere. It flew up, fell down, reentered, and splashed down in the ocean. 

Results: Success; Successful launch of a Rattlesnake Mk2 into a high-altitude suborbital trajectory.

Spoiler

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Launch

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The C7 AF from above

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In space

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View from apoapsis

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Reentry

After C7's recent mission, the KSP was taken away by C7's quick-paced schedule. Their newest project was almost ready for launch, however. They had spent weeks studying the Rattlesnake Mk2 as they wanted to make a large booster of their own. One that could be used for the Race to Orbit. They designed it specifically so that it could be adapted to the first stage of an orbital rocket. It also had 4 more fins than the Rattlesnake to utilize quick and efficient maneuvering.

Mission objectives: Successfully fly the new Explorer A rocket into space

3 days after C7's Rattlesnake launch, the KSP's Explorer A rocket was ready for launch. The engine ignited and the launch clamps released. The rocket flew into the air faster than the Pulse ever could. It rolled to 90 degrees and pitched forward. It reached space at almost no time. The Explorer A had a lot longer range than the Rattlesnake, flying over 2 countries during flight. It flew into space, something only 1 other KSP rocket had managed to do, and came back down into reentry over the Altic Peninsula. It splashed down off the coast of a fishing village.

Spoiler

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Ready for launch at sunrise

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Pitching over

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Engine cutoff, the rocket arrives in space

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View from apoapsis

After seeing the images of the KSP's Explorer A, tey were a bit ticked off at the similarities between it and their rocket. It fueled them to ramp up production and win the Race to Orbit. The program was ordered by the KUP government to skip the two more missions of the Rattlesnake Mk 2 and go straight into testing of an orbital booster. The planned orbital booster, the Kerbin Orbital (KO)-A, was to utilize a solid-fuel first stage, a liquid-fuel first stage, a third stage consisting of two smaller SRBs, (the ones used as separation motors on the original Rattlesnake missile), and an emergency liquid-fuel forth stage in case the third stage was not able to achieve orbit. The planned first payload was a lightweight ball-shaped probe.

Soon after, a test of the first stage (Block 1) of the KO-A was prepared. It was the solid-fuel booster with the top of a Rattlesnake Mk2. The nosecone was filled with fuel as to simulate the weight of the upper stages.

Mission objectives: To test the Block 1 of the KO-A booster.

On Day 94 of Year 1, the KO-A T1 was prepped for launch. Finally, the booster ignited as the many rockets before it had. It was a particularly boring launch, completely monotonous to the previous Rattlesnake launches. The apoapsis was extended into space. It flew up and down, reentered, and explded mid-air.

Results: Success: Successful test of the Block 1 of the KO-A booster.

Spoiler

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On the launchpad

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Launch

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Cutoff

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In space

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View at apoapsis

To be continued...

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Chapter 4: Race to Orbit Part 2

Just 6 days after C7's previous test of the Block 1 of their KO-A booster, they were ready for another test. The furious pace of the build and launch schedules were starting to show on the C7 workers and engineers. But losing another race against the KSP would make the KUP look bad. 

On Day 100 of Year 1, the KO-A Block 1 T2 was ready to launch. This time, the completely-built Block 2 as included and filled with water to simulate the weight of its fuel.

Objectives: Further test Block 1 of KO-A.

Spoiler

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Launch at sunrise. The Block 1 SRB ignites and the launch clamps release.

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Pitch program initiated. The sun peaks over the horizon, cheering on the speeding rocket.

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The rocket arrives at apogee. Shortly after the vehicle hits its highest altitude, it is ordered to self-destruct as to avoid any damage back down at the ground. The Block 1 still falls to the ground, though, aided safely to the ground by parachute and taken swiftly away by the KUP government.

Results: Success

After learning of the recent C7 test, the KSP realized that a mission to orbit would come shortly. When that day would come, nobody except C7 themselves and the KUP government knew. It seemed like a C7 win to the race was inevitable, especially because the KSP launch schedules were a lot more scarce than C7's. Based on estimates, a C7 orbital launch might come within 2-3 weeks. A KSP orbital mission would most likely come within the next 1-2 months. But progress still had to go on. A second Explorer A rocket was readied for testing.

On Da7 101 of Year 1, the Explorer A 2 was ready for launch.

Objectives: Launch an Explorer A rocket into space, similar to the Rattlesnake Mk2 F3.

Spoiler

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Launch from the KSC

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Pitch program initiated

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Engine cutoff. Less than a minute later, the rocket arrives in space.

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The rocket arrives at apoapsis

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After falling back into the atmosphere, the rocket goes through reentry. The extreme heat from the steep fall-angle causes it to explode midair.

Results: Success

The day had come sooner than the whole world imagined. A similar-looking KO-A rocket was put on the C7 AF launchpad to the previous tests, but with a different apparatus at the top. Within the nosecone was two more stages, one solid-fuel stage and a smaller liquid-fuel stage. Block 2 was also filled with actual fuel this time. 

On Day 114 of Year 1, C7 Satellite (S)-1 was ready for launch.

Spoiler

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The SRB ignites and the historic rocket lifts-off into the air to deliver C7 S1 into orbit.

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The roll and pitch programs are initiated. Soon after, the Block 1 engine cutoffs.

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First stage separation.

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The untested Block 2 engine ignites.

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Second stage separation.

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The 6 Block 3 engines ignite to boost the probe into orbit. It was unsure whether Block 3 could make it into orbit on their own, so a liquid-fuel Block 4 was added just in case.

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Block 4 separation, C7 S1 is released into orbit.

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The first artificial satellite's first sunrise.

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S1 arrives at apoapsis. For the first time, the entire planet is seen from space.

Results: Success

The KSP along with the whole world was shocked. The KUP was cemented as the most technologically-superior country on Kerbin. The UK government ordered the KSP to ramp up prodcution shortly after calling the KUP and C7 to congratulate them on the win. During the call, C7 said that they had another race planned, but they wouldn't challenge the KSP on it just yet.

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Chapter 5: A KSP Satellite

The KSP had to start production on their satellite, and fast. But in order to do that, they had to test their orbital booster. Immediately launching it without testing it could result in a failure, making the KSP and the UK look bad.

Their first orbital rocket Explorer B would use an Explorer A-derived first stage, a solid fuel second stage, and a third stage consisting of four small SRBs. It was also designed how an optional SRB fourth stage could be added for heavier probes.

On Day 117 of Year 1, The Explorer B T1 vehicle was put on the launchpad.

Objectives: Test the Explorer B orbital booster.

Spoiler

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Launch

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The Mun rises over the horizon. The first stage barely provides adequate thrust, a redesign is in order.

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First stage separation

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Second stage ignition. The blast shoots the discarded first stage backwards. After the second stage stopped firing, the booster actually achieved orbit. Due to the hypersonic speeds within the atmosphere after the burn, it immediately fell out of orbit before even reaching space. A smaller SRB would be used for the second stage to stop this from happening on future launches.

Results: Success

Rumors were being spread after the Explorer A test that a second satellite was being prepared by C7. The KSP needed to speed up production even further. A second Explorer B booster was prepared, this time with a more powerful first stage engine and a smaller SRB second stage.

On Day 127 of Year 1, Explorer B T2 was ready for launch.

Objectives: Further test the Explorer B orbital booster.

Spoiler

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The Sun shines Godrays on the rocket during launch. The more powerful first stage engine provided noticeable effects on the launch.

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First stage separation. The second stage coasts upwards halfway between position at separation and its apoapsis.

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Second stage ignition

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The second stage arrives at apoapsis. 

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The vehicle approaches the atmosphere.

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The SRB exploded during reentry, but the avionics survived until impact with the ground. Miraculously, the nosecone survived the impact. 

Results: Success

Much secrecy had gone into the next C7 launch. A second satellite had been prepared. It was perfectly identical to C7 S1, except that Block 4 was omitted in the launch assembly. The result would be less weight at launch, therefore a higher apoapsis. C7 was hoping that the apoapsis would be extended so much that it would be out of the Kerbin system. The day had come to test it.

On Day 130 of Year 1, C7 S2 was ready for launch.

Objective: Launch a satellite out of the Kerbin system.

Spoiler

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It isn't long until Block 1 separates.

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Block 2 ignition

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Block 2 separation. Block 3 coasted to apoapsis before firing.

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Block 3 ignition. The shedded weight of the omitted results in the probe being thrown out of the Kerbin system.

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C7 S2 trajectory

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Block 3 separation. The antennae on the satellite failed to deploy, causing the probe to not transmit any signals after Block 3 is jettisoned.

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At Mun orbital height

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At Minmus orbital height

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Arrival at interplanetary space

Results: Success

The KSP was stunned at the sudden and ground-breaking C7 launch. It was a drastic step forward for their rival space program. But, they had their own satellite.

On Day 141 of Year 1, the KSP's first probe Orbiter 1 was ready for launch.

Objective: Launch an artificial satellite into Kerbin orbit.

Spoiler

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Launch. Roll program commenced.

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Pitch program commenced

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First stage separation

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Second stage ignition

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Second stage separation. The third stage coasts to apoapsis

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Third stage ignition

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Third stage separation, the probe arrives in orbit.

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The antennae extend and the probe arrives at apoapsis. The solar panels meant that the probe could transmit signals much longer than the C7 S1. It also had onboard reaction wheels, meaning it could be maneuvered, while the S1 couldn't.

Results: Success

C7 called the KSP to congratulate them on their accomplishment. During the call, C7 proposed another race. Whoever could launch a probe to the Mun first would win. It could flyby, orbit, land, or impact. The KSP accepted. The KSP also had a race in mind. Whoever could launch a Kerbal into space first would win. C7 accepted that challenge as well.

C7 and the KSP had two races going for them, to launch a satellite to the Mun and send a manned vehicle into space.

To be continued...

Edited by The Raging Sandwich
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Chapter 6: High Altitude Exursions

C7 had worked on another probe. This one was a new kind of probe, a communications probe. It was a probe to provide longer-distance telephone signals all around Kerbin. It especially be used for international calls from the KUP and the UK. It was designated C7 S3. It was the first C7 probe with a maneuvering system. It also had a larger battery so that it could remain functional longer than the other two C7 probes. It had no solar panels, as C7 had no access to the technology yet.

On Day 144 of Year 1, C7 S3 was ready to launch.

Objective: Launch the first communications satellite into Kerbin orbit.

Spoiler

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Launch. Block 4 was omitted on this launch as well.

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Block 2 ignition. The engine was shut down early to assure that the probe would actually get into orbit.

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S3 beams its first transmission to the C7 AF.

Results: Success

KSP thought that to handle the double-race that they and C7 were locked into, a mission devoted to each race would be made in succession. For example, a mission for the manned space mission, then a mission for the upcoming Mun mission. They would start off with a manned mission test. 

On Day 149 of Year 1, the SS-2 was readied for another flight.

Objectives: Breach the sound barrier, climb to extreme altitudes to test the new pressure suit.

Spoiler

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Bill is ready for flight

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A staging problem occurred with the rocket boosters. To activate them, the jet engine had to be shut off and the rockets had to be activated individually.

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The definitive curve of Kerbin.

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Approaching Samlee Island for landing

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Picture perfect landing by Bill.

It was entirely coincidental that C7 had been preparing a manned flight in a plane as well. A new plane had been built and designed, the Soundwave 2. It had an advanced Panther engine and two rocket engines under each wing to be activated once approaching the Sound Barrier. Unlike the SS-2, the rocket boosters could be jettisoned to shed weight.

On Day 153 of Year 1, the Soundwave 2 was ready for takeoff.

Objectives: Test the use of the Panther engine and rocket boosters in flight, break the KSP manned altitude and speed record.

Spoiler

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Hergel ready for flight

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The new Panther engine provides a striking amount of thrust

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The rocket boosters ignite, propelling the aircraft past the speed of sound.

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As the boosters ran out of fuel, they were released towards the sea as to limit any damage on any unwilling cities.

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The Panther is switched to afterburner mode

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The KSP speed record has been broken

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The Panther is switched back to regular mode for landing sequence

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Picture-perfect touchdown by Hergel

Results: Success

To be continued...

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Chapter 7: Extensive Testing

The KSP was ready to launch its second artificial satellite. It was a small probe that again utilized solar panels and reaction wheels. It also carried onboard fuel and an engine to test orbital maneuvering (which would be needed for a Mun mission).

On Day 159 of Year 1, the Orbiter 2 was ready for launch.

Objectives: Launch a satellite into orbit, test in-space maneuvering which could be utilized in an upcoming Mun mission.

Spoiler

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Launch

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MECO

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Orbit achieved

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The onboard engine fires at apoapsis to circularize the orbit. This burn tested in-space maneuvering.

Results: Success 

 It had been a week without any activity by C7. They certainly would have done a mission between the launch of Orbiter 2 and the week after. But the KSP sought this as an advantage. By then, C7 was one launch ahead of them, the KSP with 13 and C7 with 14. 

The KSP built a new experimental spacecraft. It was to be launched by an Explorer A rocket. The announcement of the launch vehicle a few days before had puzzled C7. It wasn't to be revealed to the world what the mission was before it actually ended. It was a small vehicle to test reentry and recovery. It carried with it an experimental technology to prevent it from burning up during the heat of reentry. The KSP scientists called it a heat shield. It was derived from the outer covering of their supersonic SS-planes. It also had a parachute on it to bring it safely to the ground for recovery in one piece.

On Day 165 of Year 1, Reentry T1 was ready for launch.

Objectives: Test the new heat shield technology after a suborbital flight into space, recover the vehicle after safe landing by parachute.

Spoiler

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Launch

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Pitch program initiated, aiming offshore of the Robisk Territories

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MECO

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Payload jettison

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After jettison, the heat shield is pointed retrograde

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The vehicle enters the atmosphere

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Reentry phase

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The vehicle survived reentry

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Parachute deployment

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Completely deployed ~800 meters

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Seconds before splashdown. The vehicle inadvertently sinks, unable to be retrieved by KSP recovery forces.

Results: Partial success; Failure to retrieve the vehicle. 

Once it came time, the KSP knew why the C7 launch schedule had been delayed. They had learned that C7 had built a test rig of their manned spacecraft, which they would call the Ziemniak. It was a conical cockpit sealed off by a hatch with a single window. On top of it were reaction wheels and a battery. Topping the whole thing off was a nosecone with 4 SRBs pointing out the sides. They called it the Launch Escape System (LES). Below the cockpit was an SRB package for in-space maneuvering. They called it the retro package. It was designed for braking the spacecraft out of orbit so it could be recovered. Below the retro package was a small liquid-fuel booster. C7 claimed it was for testing the spacecraft. Once actually ready for manned flights, it was to be switched with an orbital booster.

The test they had prepared was for the LES. In case of emergency (such as the booster exploding), the LES would be used to propel the spacecraft away from the failed rocket as fast as possible.

On Day 178 of Year 1, the Ziemniak T1 was ready for testing.

Objectives: Test the LES on the launchpad and recover the spacecraft in one piece.

Spoiler

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On the launchpad

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The LES fires and the spacecraft is jettisoned from the booster. It was unintentional for the retro package to be left on the spacecraft.

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LES jettisoned. Due to the launch staging, the retro package fired, propelling the spacecraft even farther away from the launchpad. It was jettisoned, too.

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The drogue chute and the main chute were deployed almost in unison to compensate from the low-altitude fall

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A safe landing

Results: Success

The KSP was shocked at how far C7 had com in developing their manned spacecraft, or Ziemniak as they called it. Because the two facilities were on the direct opposite sides of Kerbin, the KSP learned of the test early in the morning. But they had a mission planned for the upcoming morning as well. It was a third satellite. It was derived from the first two C7 probes, round in shape but with inline reaction wheels. It had four solar panels radially on the outside. But these solar panels weren't like the other ones the KSP had used on previous satellites, these could be folded during launch and deployed once in orbit. The spacecraft was to be launched in a polar orbit, so as it could fly over every point on Kerbin at least once.

On Day 178 of Year 1, Orbiter 3 was ready for launch.

Objective: Launch a satellite into polar orbit.

Spoiler

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Launch

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In orbit, payload jettison

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The solar panels were deployed perfectly

Results: Success

C7 wasn't too particularly happy how the KSP had caught up to them in the number of launches and satellites in orbit. In response, two identical satellites were developed. One was finished before the other, and that one was prepared for launch. The two satellites were to test in-space maneuvering, similar to the KSP's Orbiter 2.

The mission was also to test the C7 second generation orbital booster, the KO-B. It was much taller and much more powerful than the KO-A, and was capable of launching heavier payloads. It had 4 side boosters and 2 main stages, 3 if there was one included on the payload itself.

On Day 186 of Year 1, C7 S4 was ready for launch.

Objectives: To test in-space maneuvering and the KO-B booster.

Spoiler

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Launch

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The rocket loses stability and begins to tumble out of control

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The failing rocket just misses the C7 AF VAB

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All that is left are the reaction wheels and the payload fairing, but the satellite inside is destroyed.

Results: Failure

To be continued...

Also, if anyone can tell me what Ziemniak means, I'll give you brownie points.

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Chapter 8: Final Preparations

C7's failed attempt at launching a probe into orbit lead to the KSP being able to catch up to the narrow lead in the race to the Mun, much to C7's dismay. C7 had built twin probes for two twin tests of their new KO-B booster, the first failing. The failure meant that the KSC could capitalize on launching 4 probes into orbit, more than the C7's 3. 

On Day 192 of Year 1, Orbiter 4 was ready for launch.

Objective: Launch a KSP communications satellite into orbit.

Spoiler

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Launch

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First stage separation

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Second stage separation

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Third stage separation, orbit achieved

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Results: Success

Once C7 had heard of how the KSP had overtaken them in probe count, they weren't very concerned, and definitely weren't surprised. But, a modified KO-B was still under production for testing, and the next launch of it would take longer than usual. To make up for the time and distract the KUP's public from C7's slipping launch schedule, another flight was ordered of the Soundwave 2. This time, the rocket boosters would be omitted so the mode-changing Panther engine could be thoroughly tested to make way for an upcoming engine C7 had in mind.

On Day 194 of Year 1, the Soundwave 2 F2 was ready for flight.

Objective: Test the mode-changing Panther engine.

Spoiler

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Rocket boosters jettisoned before takeoff

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A successful landing back at the runway

Results: Success

The KSP was a bit upset at not being able to recovery the Reentry T1 vehicle. The previous test was successful, except that when it landed off the coast of the Robisk Territories, it sank. In order to compensate for the failed recovery, and identical vehicle was made. This time, it was to be launch towards the Spania Peninsula, which had prepared a landing spot for the vehicle by request of UK. In a way, the mission was also to test the precision of rocket technologies, a useful thing for an upcoming Mun mission. 

On Day 199 of Year 1, Reentry T2 was ready for launch.

Objectives: Recover a vehicle that survived reentry, test the precision of rocket technologies.

Spoiler

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Launch

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Payload separation

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Entering the atmosphere

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Chute deployed

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Landed, the vehicle is ready for recovery from Spania Peninsula wildlife forces

Results: Success

On the same day as the test of Reentry T1, the test of C7's KO-B launcher was ready to be conducted. The reaction wheels were placed further down on the rocket and less fuel was placed in the second stage. This, C7 hoped, would be enough for a successful launch. The twin probe to S5, C7 S5, was placed on top of the rocket for testing.

On Day 199 of Year 1, C7 S5 was ready for launch.

Objectives: Test the KO-B launcher, test in-space maneuvering with S5.

Spoiler

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Launch, the rocket is off to a fine start

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All of a sudden, the rocket starts to tip over uncontrollably again

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Control was regained for a few seconds, but not for long

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The engines are shut off in a last-minute effort to gain control, but the rocket ends up crashing anyways

Results: Failure

The KSP was finally ready to test their first manned spacecraft, the Moho. The test rig was designated the Moho T1. The planned final suborbital booster similar to that of Explorer A was switched out for an SRB similar to that of the Explorer B's second stage. It was uniquely similar to C7's Ziemniak spacecraft. The only differences were that the Ziemniak's LES was replaced with a Launch Escape Tower (LET), the main attitude-control system was powered by monopropellant, and that the retro package was liquid-fueled.

On Day 205 of Year 1, Moho T1 was ready for testing.

Objectives: Test the LET on the launchpad, recover the spacecraft safely.

Spoiler

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Ready for testing

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LET ignition, the spacecraft fails to gain any altitude

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The spacecraft tips over onto the launchpad

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Results: Failure

The future of winning the race to the Mun wasn't looking bright for C7, but due to the KSP's failure at testing almost an exact copy of their spacecraft, winning the race into space looked almost certain. However, they had only done one test of their Ziemniak spacecraft, or space capsule as they called it. In light of the failed KSP test, another test of the Ziemniak was prepared.

On Day 208 of Year 1, Ziemniak T2 was ready for launch.

Objectives: Test the LES shortly after launch, recover the capsule

Spoiler

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Awaiting launch

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Abort procedure initiated

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LES jettison

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Drogue chute deployed

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Drogue cut

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Main chute deployment

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Landed, ready for recovery

Results: Success

Both the KSP and C7 realized who would be winning which race, KSP would most likely reach the Mun first and C7 would most likely put a Kerbal into space first. In order to capitalize on this, the KSP had been secretly preparing a larger orbital booster, similar to what C7 was attempting. Unlike the two manned capsules, KSP's second orbital booster, Explorer C, looked nothing like the KO-B. 

On Day 215 of Year 1, Orbiter 5 was ready for launch on top of the first Explorer C.

Objectives: Launch a heavy satellite into orbit to test the Explorer C.

Spoiler

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Launch

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First stage separation

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Payload fairing jettison

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Second stage separation

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Third stage separation, orbit achieved

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Results: Success

After learning of the KSP's Explorer C launch, C7 speculated that a Mun mission would most likely come next. C7 was still distraught at the thought, but they were also happy about how much further they were in the Kerbal to space race. Another test was readied for the Ziemniak capsule.

On Day 221 of Year 1, Ziemniak T3 was ready for launch.

Objectives: Test the LES at high altitudes, recover the capsule

Spoiler

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Launch

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Abort procedure initiated

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The capsule tumbles back down to Kerbin

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Landed

Results: Success

To be continued...

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On 2/9/2017 at 8:29 PM, The Raging Sandwich said:

Also, if anyone can tell me what Ziemniak means, I'll give you brownie points.

TO WIKIPEDIA!!!

 

Wojciech Ziemniak is a Polish politician. He was elected to the Sejm on September 25, 2005 getting 13 193 votes in 36 Kalisz district, candidating from the Civic Platform list.

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1 hour ago, DarkOwl57 said:

TO WIKIPEDIA!!!

 

Wojciech Ziemniak is a Polish politician. He was elected to the Sejm on September 25, 2005 getting 13 193 votes in 36 Kalisz district, candidating from the Civic Platform list.

Gah... you beat me to it. 

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1 hour ago, TheEpicSquared said:

Gah... you beat me to it. 

Mwerherherherherrrrr

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22 hours ago, DarkOwl57 said:

TO WIKIPEDIA!!!

 

Wojciech Ziemniak is a Polish politician. He was elected to the Sejm on September 25, 2005 getting 13 193 votes in 36 Kalisz district, candidating from the Civic Platform list.

Actually, it's Polish for potato, but that works too!

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1 hour ago, The Raging Sandwich said:

Actually, it's Polish for potato, but that works too!

1 hahahaha

2: OMG WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FACE?!?

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Just now, DarkOwl57 said:

1 hahahaha

2: OMG WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FACE?!?

Yeah, I liked the spazzed out sandwich. :/ 

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Just now, TheEpicSquared said:

Yeah, I liked the spazzed out sandwich. :/ 

Before it was sorta comical. Now it's like "Prepare for war..."

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I assume that the only mods your using are visual mods and Kerbal Konstructs, as well. Keep it up! This story is looking very interesting!

EDIT: Looks like my skin is due for an update as well! :D

EDIT x2: Later, once the story catches up to where we are now, will another one of these countries become a space superpower like China or India...or Europe?

Edited by TopHeavy11

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Will the kerbal equivalent of the Russians be the first to set foot on the mun? 

Edited by TheEpicSquared

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5 hours ago, TopHeavy11 said:

I assume that the only mods your using are visual mods and Kerbal Konstructs, as well. Keep it up! This story is looking very interesting!

EDIT: Looks like my skin is due for an update as well! :D

EDIT x2: Later, once the story catches up to where we are now, will another one of these countries become a space superpower like China or India...or Europe?

The OP has a list of what mods I'm using, also, depends on if Kerbinside ever updates.

5 hours ago, TheEpicSquared said:

Will the kerbal equivalent of the Russians be the first to set foot on the mun? 

You'll find out!

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1 minute ago, The Raging Sandwich said:

The OP has a list of what mods I'm using, also, depends on if Kerbinside ever updates.

The outdated version of Kerbinside works perfectly with the new Kerbal Konstructs, at least for me. 

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1 hour ago, TheEpicSquared said:

The outdated version of Kerbinside works perfectly with the new Kerbal Konstructs, at least for me. 

There is no emoji to describe the rage I'm feeling at you........

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