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  1. Love Shack January, 1989 Still stinging from the loss of the Fobos-Minmus probe, the USSR try a more cost-effective measure; modifying a Gorizont satellite and tossing it at the Mun to begin mapping the surface; a new Minmus mission would be planned for the future. February, 1989 Japan successfully launches a Superbird A satellite on their hybrid H-1 LDC vehicle. May, 1989 NASA prepares Magellan for its Eve mission. This mission will also test the Achilles V launch vehicle for the first time; NASA hopes to begin phasing o
  2. Is This Love March, 1987 While on paper 1987 was shaping up to be a pretty uneventful year, life aboard a space station was anything but mundane. Repair crews to both the US and USSR stations spent most of their time in EVAs repairing malfunctioning systems. On Mir several EVAs were needed to install the remaining solar panels on the Core Module and Kvant-1, during which one of the main reaction wheels suffered a critical failure and remained inoperable. Despite the heavy work schedule, a new Laputa Lab Module was transported to Mir in late March, courte
  3. Everybody Have Fun Tonight August, 1986 The 'Race to Minmus' marched on, with the USSR leading the pack. The launch of the Energia heavy lifter gave them a lifting capability that simply wasn't matched by any other space programs at the time, and the only hardware they required was developing a lander, which had been funded largely after syphoning funds from a silly project called ' Buran'. Minmus often divided space experts on whether it was practical or even achievable. Detractors noted that Minmus was simply too far for a manned mission - it wasn't yet definitive
  4. Sledgehammer November, 1985 The Kerbin-Jool transfer window is open, and it is time for Galileo to begin its journey. The Centaur-G upper stage reignites for a Trans-Joolian injection burn. January, 1986 Having served it's purpose, the CNSA announces its intent to de-orbit Tiangong-1. The station had been plagued with mechanical problems of late, and China decided to put their funds toward a newer station. February, 1986 The USSR is set to expand the Mir station with the Kvant-1 module. Kvant will b
  5. Don't You (Forget About Me) Semptember, 1985 As 'Minmus Fever' began to take hold of the space programs of Kerbin, newer probes are proposed to send to the wayward moon. Proposals include a probe made from spare parts that can be rolled into JPL's new Planetary Observer Program; essentially a Ranger lander made from parts. Meanwhile, the USSR will send a prototype of their new Fobos probe design, called Minmus 1. Minmus 1 launches first on a Soyuz-U rocket. After a minute into flight time, a radial decoupler attached to a side booster fails, and the rocket cannot hold
  6. Take On Me August, 1985 Node 1 arrives at space station Freedom after being launched from a Titan IIIC. Demeter undocks along with the ERM to clear the way. Once Node 1 is secure, Demeter maneuvers to the front port of Node 1. The shuttle must dock at the front port, detach the Common Berth Adapter, and then move to the starboard side of the module. September, 1985 Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Solar System Exploration Committee devise a concept of using cheap, modular spacecraft to ex
  7. We Don't Need Another Hero June, 1985 For the crew of the Soyuz T-13 mission, their stay aboard Mir was fairly routine. The Salyut 7 station had made orbital changes in February in order to rendezvous with the Mir Core Module, and had been occupied continuously in the months since. In that time, Salyut 7 had not been struck by meteorites, and its sun tracker mechanism continued to function as normal as T-13 arrived to dock with Mir's forward port. However, it's always best to check. July, 1985 The event of the decade is
  8. 1. Thank you! 2. Glushko Kerman could not be reached for comment, comrade. Honestly the only head that needs to roll is my own; I've made the same mistake with docking ports about 3 times already. 3. I use Kronal Vessel Viewer for in-game screenshots, then use GIMP to put the blueprints together. Pretty rough at first, but I think I'm getting a little better.
  9. Money for Nothing February, 1985 USSR's plans for space station Mir get underway with the launch of the Mir Core Module. Extra effort and funding was put forth to get the module in orbit as soon as possible, with help from the ESA. It is hoped that by doing so they can extend the functionality of Salyut 7 another 5 or 7 years. April, 1985 Hera launches on April 12th, 1985 in order to save satellite Westar 6, which suffered a kick motor malfunction after being launched on a Atlas rocket late last year. The crew will retrieve
  10. When Doves Cry August, 1984 The maiden flight of the Ariane 3 rocket will take two satellites to geosynchronous orbit; Eutelsat 1F2 and Telecom 1A. Both are successfully deployed, although the kick motor fails to jettison from Telecom 1A, which may hinder functions in the future. October, 1984 Athena is set to return to Skylab 2 with the Multiadapter Node, which will add berths for both NASA and ESA spacecraft. Approximately 30 seconds into flight, the F1 engine suffers an catastrophic failure, and is aborted to prevent an
  11. Total Eclipse of the Heart May, 1983 CTS-8 kicks off with Aphrodite launching the TDRS-1 sat in a short mission. June, 1983 The maiden voyage of Demeter carries a crew of six to SkyLab 2. Thirteen days later, an Ariane 1 lifts the first Europa cargo vehicle into orbit for a station resupply. August, 1983 China launches a Shenguang-2 to with a station crew while also carrying an airlock adapter to mate with Tiangong-1 January, 1984 A Titan 34D lifts off with a cl
  12. Photograph With 1983 shaping up to be a year where not much happens, space agencies around the world kick around various ideas. NASA bigwigs have begun to kick around the idea of expanding SkyLab 2 into a true international station with support from the ESA and possible participants such as Japan and India. With this expansion they find that they will need a true dedicated autonomous resupply spacecraft. The Autonomous Cargo Vehicle (also lovingly referred to as "Ace-Vee") can bring both pressurized and unpressurized cargo blocks up to the sta
  13. Abracadabra December, 1982 China proceeds with the maiden flight of their Shenguang-2 spacecraft, set to rendezvous with Tiangong-1. Unfortunately, a malfunction in the docking adapter prevents the Shenguang-2 from achieving soft dock. The crew have no choice but to practice docking maneuvers for a few hours and then de-orbit. February, 1983 The first crewed launch of the year comes from the European Space Agency, with a second test flight of the Miranda. The Miranda orbits for 3 days before returning. Th
  14. Heat of the Moment September, 1982 Japan's push to enter the satellite marketplace gets a strong showing with the launch of their N-1 rocket. The satellite, Kiku-4, cannot make it to geosynchronous orbit. Later in the month, Europe launches an Ariane 1 with the MARECS B satellite. The launch is one of their most successful to date and optimism is high for the launch of their next Miranda spacecraft. October, 1982 Athena transports a crew to Skylab 2. Meanwhile, China makes it's big push into the frontier
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