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  1. Looking at the current state of science experiments, it looks like there is more data to be collected from the upper atmosphere. Telemetry is maxed, but pressure and temperature experiments have a little left to glean some more information from. There is also a bit of prize money to be had from the Swiss organization FAI for breaking altitude and speed record contracts, although we may have some problems executing them, as 120km altitude and 1500 m/s speed might be out of our grasp at the moment. I can’t help but compare FAI and the Guinness Book World Records. I’m unsure of that relationship, though. One sounds academic or scholarly and the other … Circus-like? I suppose I’d rather hang a Yuri A. Gagarin medal from the mantle rather than a stick-on golden seal certificate from Guinness. I’d also prefer to be in the company the likes of De Havilland, Doolittle, and Yeager rather than the world’s hairiest family, or the girl with the longest legs. Regardless, we’ve got enough funds to ramp up science a little more. 48k will not take us too far, but we’ll get at least one point of science. I want to hold onto about half that amount for purchasing upgrades. It takes around 70 days to build a WAC Corporal, and there is 45 days left on being able to use the XASR-1 engine configuration. Rather than wasting 45 days, I think it’s prudent to build a rocket now and be a little over half finished with it when we get the engine upgrade. We’ll then start building a new rocket with the XASR-1 engine and get it in production when the WAC Corporal finishes. Unfortunately, the remaining contracts available to choose from are out of reach. We do not have the rockets available to do a sub-orbital trajectory and return or any sounding rockets with a significant payload. Sure, we could build a V2 clone but at this point, the funds just aren’t there to tool and build it. I think mid to late 1952, we could do that. In the meantime, we’ll stick with the WAC-Corporal design and whatever else we come up with that will utilize the Aerobee engine and upgrades. Mid-September 1951 we finished researching Post-War Rocketry and the XASR-1 configuration became available. The design was ready to implement, and we put it into production immediately. Aerobee 100 The Aerobee 100 is built around a .38-meter diameter fuel tank and tops out at 6 meters in length. Slightly larger than the WAC-Corporal, it has a mass 1.8 tons. The only historical information for this block of Aerobee rocket I found was the diameter and an approximate length. I looked at later iterations of the Aerobee rocket family and applied some of the same principles and aesthetics. Still underpowered, due to the limitations of using heavy steel fuel tanks and brick avionics, I had to crank up the burn time again. Twelve seconds more than the rated 40 seconds. This will give me 1731m/s d-v and a TWR of 2.62 off the pad. We are due a failure, but let’s hope it doesn’t come sooner than later. We need every bit of science and funding available right now. Tooling cost an arm and a leg. Especially since for some reason we are being charged to tool the same tank twice. I wonder if I tooled one, and not the other it would fix itself. Too late, though. I spent the funds. It will take around 80 days for the Aerobee 100 to complete. Before that, we’ve got a WAC-Corporal being assembled and it’s about 2/3 done. We’ll gather more science with that, and perhaps complete the rest of the upper atmosphere science with the Aerobee 100 when it finishes. 21 October 1951 Night Launch – WAC Corporal Mission success. We finished up most of the upper atmosphere science. Next time: Aerobee 100 Launch. Thank you for reading this far.
  2. I love it. You catch the right scene at the right time and the narration is witty, yet informative. Looking forward to more.
  3. August 1951 With the successful test of the WAC Corporal, the agency has an influx of science and funds. Despite my leaning toward Early Solid Rockets in the tech tree, I've decided it would better to go with Post-War Rocketry for the upgrades to the Aerobee engine. The XASR-1 is a better upgrade right now than a booster from Early Solids. The next goal is to break the Karman Line at 100km. This WAC-Corporal will definitely not do it in its current configuration. There are however, some slight modifications and semi-risky designs I could do to get it over this hump. I don't think I have a choice. I could launch more of the same and gather more science, but I'll eventually run out of funds. I need that Karman Line contract completed! Since I picked up the 'recovery science' and there is little else to gain, I've removed the parachute from the WAC-Corporal. This will decrease mass a little. Possibly a small amount of drag as well. I tossed around the idea of increasing the launch angle from 85° to 87-88°, to gain more altitude and that is certainly something to think about more. In my research I came across some data that states switching from conical to an ogival shape for the nose (I guess in KSP you choose smooth cone and some sort of peak) results in a 4% increase in altitude for a particular rocket - I think it was the Aerobee 150. Don't go down that rabbit hole. I have warned you. I spent hours reading about secant ogive, tangent ogive, LV-HAAK, the LD-HAAK (which btw is also called the von Karman ogive). That's a deep hole missing freshmen from the 2014 class at Embry-Riddle are still climbing out of. In the end, to get me more bang for the buck is to increase the amount of fuel in the tank the engine sits on. It has loads of available space since I reduced the utilization on the first rocket. Reducing the utilization allowed me to stay within design specs of the IRL rocket length and not push the engine burn time past 47(52) seconds. I run the risk of an engine failure by pushing it past its rated burn time by such a large amount, but the reward outweighs the risk, in this case. By increasing utilization (fuel), the burn time now sits at 60 seconds. That is thirteen seconds past the rated burn time for this engine. Let's hope for the best. We can always launch another one... and another... Launch Day On Pad WAL-20 in an early afternoon of August. Liftoff from Wallops Island WAL-20. And at the apoapsis looking down at the curvature of the Earth toward the east into the Atlantic. Debriefing The launch and booster separation went fairly well, although I feel MJ auto-staging might be holding onto the booster a tad bit long. Despite this, I was able to complete the contract. Max altitude: 100.4km - We completed that contract by the skin of our teeth! Here is the newly designed Mission Launch Board.
  4. Mission 2 Prep As you are probably well familiar with the next set of missions, it will be no surprise to you that I'll be building a Tiny-Tim WAC-Corporal rocket. The mission requirements are 75km for the Sounding Rockets (Low) contract, and the Karman Line at 100km. Historically, the WAC-Corporal did not breach the Karman Line with this 1st generation engine, so maybe we'll have to wait for the engine upgrade - but we'll take the advance funds anyway and wait. Although, we just might be able to squeak past the 100km mark with some shenanigans. I read that during the post war V2 research at White Sands, the engineers placed recordable telemetry in one of the fins instead of the payload section of the nose. The reason for this was that when the V2 came back to earth they were mostly destroyed, and tended to break up sometimes due to aerodynamic stresses - destroying the payload in the nose. So they put it in a fin a few times since that part had a reasonable chance to survive. It kind of worked. If I recall correctly, one or two launches returned usable data from the fin-telemetry. Maybe I'll apply that idea to my next set of missions. Here's the deal: When the WAC-Corporal was being developed, they attempted to recover the entire LV. There was a short cable that maintained a strong connection to the fuselage as the nosecone separated for parachute deployment. In my potential design ideas, I can't really do that, so I plan to use a 0.3m inline chute and keep the rocket intact with no separating mechanism. This will stretch the rocket a little bit and most likely cause some unwanted drag - thereby possibly preventing the rocket from being able to breach the Karman Line with that weak 1st gen engine. However - let the shenanigans ensue: No parachute. Not entirely historically accurate, for sure - but what the hell? Sure, let's launch the first one normally and gather the science from the first recovery, but any subsequent launches will not have a parachute. Maybe, just maybe we'll breach 100km - Remember, we are launching at a less than 90 degree angle so our max height will be lower than if we were launching straight up. I saw a table in a document on sounding rocket launches and it stated that these particular launch angles were set to 85 degrees. But in most of the pictures I've seen and the descriptions of the launch towers - they 'look' straight up and down. Maybe they were 85 degree launches in these pictures and I can't see such a small difference. Regardless, I'm sticking to 85 degrees because reasons. And Safety! Here is a document I found and converted to metric units. It's pretty neat. Let's see if it'll fly.
  5. Mission 1 Debrief The table below will be updated after each mission. The launch and flight went rather well. The flight characteristics of the Tiny-Tim booster with the attached service module (empty), and small avionics nose assembly was surprisingly stable. We satisfied FAE's contract terms and was awarded a small sum of cash to fund our program even further. Mission Debrief Supplemental In addition to the initial post on research and design, here are a few images that may provide some more insight on the rocket I created and launched for this mission. Most images are of the 4-fin design as requested by the US military, but the designs out of CalTech in the 1940s were initially 3-fins, as depicted in my mission. The below diagram, although somewhat 'old-looking' was pulled off a fan site dedicated to the War Thunder video game. It has its merits though.
  6. My man. Sensational! Not only the cinematics, but the music. I am stunned. Literally blown away.
  7. Mission 1 - First Launch (Correct contract title) Synopsis Launch a rocket! I think we can handle that much. Mission Parameters Reach 1km altitude and 50 m/s speed Design Process I gathered some design data from the web for our first rocket. It will be a Tiny-Tim as it is colloquially known, or the US Navy 11.75" Rocket Aircraft Mk 3 Mod 1 . Although this rocket had been in use for several years by 1951 as an ATGM aboard Navy attack aircraft, we still need to test it for our own design purposes. We plan to use it as the booster portion of other sounding rockets. John Coker built a scale replica of the WAC-Corporal sounding rocket including the booster and documented the process on his site. I used a bunch of his pictures as inspiration for my own design of the Tiny-Tim for KSP. http://jcrocket.com/waccorporal.shtml#top Andreas Parsch has an incredible amount of history and documents I was able to glean some information from as well. http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/app4/index.html A Fandom site dedicated to military history has an entry for the Tiny-Tim that I found extremely useful. https://military-history.fandom.com/wiki/Tiny_Tim_(rocket) A nice little document I found on a War Thunder site (of all places, sheesh) has some pretty useful information and line drawings of the booster in a PDF and jpgs. A lot of images on the site are of in game scenes, and I have a feeling some of the designs were not actually in real world use, but nevertheless helpful. https://wiki.warthunder.com/Tiny_Tim And of course Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_Tim_(rocket) YouTube Account of Mission I really need to watch a video on encoding for YouTube - this is pretty bad.
  8. PREFACE Hello, I've decided to take the plunge and begin a Mission Report for a new career, which is fitting because I'm technically a new player as well. I think it'll be educational for me over the length of the campaign, and with your help, give me a better understanding on the intricacies of playing. I've read and watched a lot of career mission reports, tutorials, and featured content. I think I have a pretty solid idea on how I'd like to progress. That said, I'm not so solid on some of the more advanced applications of the game. KSP EXPERIENCE For all intents and purposes, I consider myself a New Player, despite playing the game on and off for a couple years, never more than a week or so at a time. I've dabbled in both stock and modded KSP. I like the unrestricted feel of stock, but feel I get more of a sense of accomplishment out of an RO/RP1 install, and feel more invested in the welfare of my Kerbals. I've yet to delve into Principia, but from what I've seen it is right up my alley. I'm a glutton for punishment. For example, in EverQuest I play a bard and a cleric (Ranger in early expansions). In Eve, I'm part of a Wormhole Corp. In AD&D I roll straight stats in order and play Lawful Good. In Farming Simulator I start with low funds and no equipment. In college I chose Spanish w/Teaching Cert as my first major - I knew exactly one word in Spanish. In KSP, let's just go RSS RO/RP1 (and maybe soon Principia). I like the challenges, I guess. IMPORTANT GAME SETTINGS Hard mode as a base CommNet: Require signal enabled CommNet: Plasma blackout enabled Disable X-Plane contracts (Not interested in atmospheric flying) Pre-launch ignition failures disabled High dynamic pressure penalty enabled RELEVANT MODS RO/RP1 (express install) and associated mods via CKAN I can post a list if there is interest SELF IMPOSED LIMITATIONS Limit of one mulligan per launch/maneuver Unless game bug , cat on keyboard, house catches fire, wife aggro, new episode of Rick & Morty. Try to stick to historically accurate/near future realistic design and mechanics within limitations of the game and skillset No need to follow historical mission progression - i.e. Sputnik, Gemini, Mercury, Soyuz, Apollo, etc. Contracts are not the end all be all Do them as needed, but certainly do not live or die trying to get that 3km downrange contract done by JUL 1951. The first Mission Report should be ready shortly. I'll try to keep them short and concise, but I can get windy sometimes. Especially since I like to scour the web for technical drawings, declassified documents, and space science articles (Which I plan to include a link to or at least provide attribution when I use them in the series). Feel free to tell me to scale it back or supply even more detail. Additionally, if you don't like the way something is presented, speak up. If you get annoyed by a certain camera angle I've fixated on every report, or if the video/screenshots don't show relevant info - hit reply and tell me so. If I'm going around my backside to get to my elbow and you have a more elegant solution, speak up. And in the name of all that is Kerbal, let me know if I'm missing a basic gameplay or core mechanic in my reports. You won't hurt my feelings... remember, I play Eve Online. (Except if you make fun of my voice or my southern accent - Momma says I have the voice of an angel) Next Up: Mission 1 - First Flight To be continued...
  9. Oh man... I so excite! I made (re-purposed) a YouTube channel I found in my bookmarks from long ago, got my screenshot taker in order (I use ShareX btw - beautiful app), and am currently coming up with a mission template I'd like to follow for presenting on the forum.
  10. Since I'm new around here and haven't fully 'read the room' yet as far as the forums go, I figured this place would be okay to ask if anyone would have interest in reading/watching Mission Reports I'd like to start doing for an RP1 career. I'll post them up in the Mission Reports area of course, if I get positive feedback here. Or maybe I'm just more excited than the average player and want to share more than you'd like to have me share LOL! I've been dabbling with KSP on and off for a few years, but never anything serious or for more than a day or two, then it's off to other things. This time, however, I figured I'd give it one more go - but stick with it for a little longer. I'm relatively familiar with the basics of the game and have installed a few mods, particularly RO/RP1, as I find it more satisfying than a base install. I've started and re-started a career several times over the last few weeks, sometimes because I need to do IRL stuff and by the time I get back to the game, I've re-thought how I could approach things - like settings, mods, design, research decisions, etc., and other times because I did not like how I was progressing, or some minor detail like the pointiness of that last rocket was irritating. I also tend to do a LOT of reading on tech specs of historical rocket body design concepts. It usually goes something like, Oh, let me put this fin here... wait... let me look that up... 6 hours goes by and the browser tabs are 50 deep. Those rabbit holes are interesting, but my game stalls. Regardless, my game has not progressed past sounding rockets in any meaningful way. I know, I know. I can hear the collective groans and tongue clucking. I am enjoying this phase of the game, though! I've made literally 20 iterations of an idea, trying to squeeze every ounce of delta-v and performance from my rockets. Then I start over and do 10-20 more. Again. Anyway, I'm having a blast and wanted to share a few screenshots and or videos of my latest foray into an RO/RP1 career, and maybe pick up a few tips along the way. So - would a complete scrub posting in Mission Reports be wasting time, or should I wait?
  11. I saw the crew of Part III and got goosebumps. Was the failure planned on your end or just spooky semi-coincidence with a better outcome?
  12. Hello. Looking forward to forum lurking and sometime posts.
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