NathanKell

Go For Launch: Mission 6: Orbit! Sunday 19 June 5pm EDT/9pm UTC Part A, 8pm EDT/midnight UTC Part B

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Welcome to Go For Launch, a cooperative Realistic Progression Zero playthrough!

Expect sounding rockets, x-planes, crewed and uncrewed spaceflight, and not a few inopportune engine failures and quick thinking from mission control.

 

Flag:

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Current team members:

@DuoDex

@tetryds

@Red Iron Crown

@goldenpeach

@soundnfury

@Frybert

@NecroBones

@Ravenchant

@EladDv

@SirKeplan

@Fenisse

@hypervelocity

and me!

 

Graphics by @Agathorn, @soundnfury, and yours truly.

 

For the thread where this journey began, see here.

Repository (on GitHub: contains logos, save files, etc.)

Repository Wiki (on part of the repository: contains information on craft used and missions flown/scheduled).

Twitch Channel (where the streams will be).

YouTube Channel (where the streams are archived).

Mission 1:

A record-setting flight into the stratosphere using the Buzzard aircraft. 12:30am UTC May 23rd (8:30pm EDT May 22nd). SUCCESS (YouTube).

 

Mission 2A:

Sounding rocket flights for science (and a bit more funding). 9pm UTC May 27th (5pm EDT). SUCCESSES (YouTube: Part 1 and Part 2)

 

Mission 2B:

More sounding rocket flights. Sunday May 29 11:59pm UTC (6pm EDT). SUCCESS / PARTIAL FAILURE (YouTube: Part 1 and Part 2)

 

Mission 3:

Breaking the sound barrier! Stream 1: FAILURE (YouTube). Erica Winkler hospitalized from a rough landing! However, she did succeed in reaching 50km and 1100m/s. Stream 2: 12:45am UTC June 4 / 8:45pm EDT June 3. FAILURE, possible wheel bug on landing (YouTube).

 

Mission 3C Sim:

As before. Simulation only, a the actual launch was canceled due to a schedule issue. Flown 6pm EDT / 10pm UTC, Friday June 10. SUCCESS. (YouTube: Part 1 and Part 2.)

 

Mission 4:

Suborbital flight with the Flicker spaceplane. Attempt a 75km apogee then ditch in the Atlantic. GREAT SUCCESS. (YouTube: simulation; actual mission.)

 

Mission 5:

Suborbital flight with the Flicker spaceplane to above 140km, then another ditch in the Atlantic. SUCCESS except for a buoyancy bug on splashdown. (YouTube: simulation; actual mission.)

 

Mission 6:

Orbital flight using the BlueSky 2A Launch Vehicle. This will involve some booster development flights and then an orbital launch (and if that fails, a backup).
Sunday 19 June, 5pm EDT (9pm UTC): Booster development flights to flight-prove the new engines needed for our BlueSky 2A launch vehicle.
Sunday 19 June, 8pm EDT (midnight UTC): Orbital launch with the BlueSky 2A launch vehicle.

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It's the evening of December 31, 1950, and we find ourselves at Cape Canaveral. Our space program starts out with just over eight million dollars ($10 million in constant-year dollars)

We therefore have two orders of business:

1. Determining what to do first, and

2. Improving our build and research rates given our larger plans.

 

Further, we have three main options for the early game:

1. Rockets focus.

2. Planes focus.

3. Equal focus.

 

Once we make a first flight, we will have more contract opportunities: repeatable sounding rocket and X-Plane contracts. In addition, after our first flight we will have a second milestone contract available, the crewed breaking of the sound barrier.

 

So...what to do first? Fly a plane, break some crewed altitude and speed records? Fly a rocket, break some uncrewed records? Set both to building, and split our KSC personnel between both planes and rockets?

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This is awesome!

I will be flying airplanes, and live streaming unclassified missions whenever possible.

IMO how we run the missions depends on how many people are interested on participating, if we have enough it would be great to split between rockets and airplanes, this also helps so that no one lays around doing nothing.

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We have plenty of people, per the OP. Unless I forgot someone! Then we have more!

I will be running things, although help on the administrative side is always welcome; I will also direct some flights, and (mostly) be doing some craft design. As stated in the intro thread, however, jobs will be switching up at points so team members get to try out doing different things.

 

Here are the craft with which we begin our journey. (Note: choose "view full resolution" on each to read the fine print.)

 

We also, of course, have to come up with naming conventions! These names are subject to change, although I am rather partial to "Buzzard" and "Clydesdale".

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Fricking awesome! :D I think the big plane looks like a Bison to me, if you're looking for names :) 

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this is looking great!!!! if there is room for one more booster/payload pilot/designer let me know! :)

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Yup, everything looks good to me as well :) Is Bullhorn supposed to be a F7 and Clydesdale a smaller Noratlas? Maybe an early mission could be air-launching a sounding rocket, as the US Navy used to do.

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Really nice start! Both in options and crafts already designed. If I can drop my 2 cents:

Considering that:

1. Cost = Time

2. The sound barrier contract has a nice advance

3. Planes are expensive

I would suggest picking both contracts available and investing the initial points (plus an additional one that can be bought) mainly in the VAB - maybe a little in R&D, given it is necessary to invest future earnings in the SPH, and produce the simple sounding rocket NathanKell already designed. If it has a thermometer and barometer, it should produce science enough to develop supersonic flight even if it doesn't reach the high atmosphere. The  need of a parachute is questionable though - why is it necessary?

Once this first flight is completed, it would be easy to pick the break the sound barrier contract, and invest its advance in the SPH as well as a little in R&D. This would allow to start producing a plane to make some crewed records, and develop a sounding rocket capable of breaking the karman line.

This initial strategy would allow a balanced career, with both uncrewed and crewed missions from the beginning. 

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For the naming convention, I suggest we name the planes after bird species: in exemple, if a plane is huge and taking off is hard, the name could be something like "overweight ostritch".

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@leudaimon good points. It does indeed have both barometer and thermometer inside the nose cone. As for the parachute, this is because the first few vessel recoveries from various situations do offer extra science, science well worth grabbing. The delta V and TWR should be enough to reach ~60km or so I think, so we should be able to get flying high science.

 

Barring any other points, I think that's what we'll go with.

 

 

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Uh, this is looking great! I wish I would have seen this sooner. I might sign up for booster / payload design. But I am not sure if my vocal english is good enough to participate in live sessions. Will the streams be uploaded somewhere to watch them at a convinient time?

Also about upgrading the space center: from my own experience investing in production capabilities in VAB (and maybe SPH - but I am not big into planes in RSS/RO yet) is MUCH more important than R&D. If you build faster, you can run  contracts more often. Giving you more money which you then can use to upgrade whatever. Though again, an airplane path with regular full recoveries / fast re-builds could could be viable with more R&D focus for the upgrades...

Just my 2 $ :)

 

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@NathanKell Good to know my suggestions were useful! I never realized recovering vessels that didn't get to space would also give science. Something to keep in mind. Its nice that this sounding rocket is high atm capable, just changing launch angle could give some different biomes (I don't usually use the cape, so I'm not aware of the biomes there). Do you think these planes would allow some records? What maximum speed can be expected? Regardless, some low altitude science can be obtained in different biomes with them.

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Certainly the Buzzard (or probably any of the others) will allow the first and second crewed altitude records. It is unlikely to breach 350m/s even in a dive however. But I do have designs for that. :)

I've gone ahead and queued up four sounding rockets--two at the shown tilt and two tilted further east. I've also queued up the Buzzard, and split the starting points equally between VAB and SPH, leading to the first rocket done in 13 days and the Buzzard done in twenty. We're off!

 

Mods are the basic RP-0 suite, plus a few odds and sods. @DuoDex is working on a ckan list.

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Posting to subscribe and show my face. :)

I'm an absolute newb when it comes to streaming but am very interested in participating. I'm an OKish rocket designer but awful at FAR planes. If I can be allowed a moment of immodesty, I'm a good speaker and MC (often told I have a "radio announcer voice"), so I might be good at the PAO desk.

I can't promise I'll make every stream, though.

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By the way, I can probably arrange a teamspeak 3 room for the participants on my clan's server :)

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I'd just like to express my interest in contributing to this project in some way. I do have a couple questions though- will you be using DMP or something with a similar effect? What kind of mission control type support, if any, do you @NathanKell envision needing in addition to the Pilot, PAO, and the Flight Director during live streams? Or are you basically looking for hardware/kOS developers at this point?

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1 hour ago, ILikeIke said:

I'd just like to express my interest in contributing to this project in some way. I do have a couple questions though- will you be using DMP or something with a similar effect? What kind of mission control type support, if any, do you @NathanKell envision needing in addition to the Pilot, PAO, and the Flight Director during live streams? Or are you basically looking for hardware/kOS developers at this point?

As I understand it, there is going to be some use of DMP in order to sync information though only one person will be streaming views of the actual launch. In addition if we have more than one flight in operation at the same time then there might be more than one pilot/flight director/CAPCOM team (i.e. if there is a underslung rocket test launched from a repurposed bomber for example :wink: we would have two streams going at the same time). 

Of course if you know of any mods that allow information syncing more than DMP (Telemachus, those map sync overlay thingies) those could be very useful too for people who can't/don't want to run KSP and Skype/Teamspeak at the same time but still want to participate. I think the main obstacles at the moment are setting up acceptable times and figuring out a way for everyone to be involved without setting up a massive and very laggy DMP server.

Telemachus offers the best sync here I think but I don't know if it's updated for 1.1... @Rich?

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I've noticed the fine aircraft model by @NathanKell but I have to ask... how are you overcoming the problems with the landing gear (if you're using 1.1)? I've tried about every adjustment I can make and cannot get an aircraft to actually make enough speed for takeoff. Once I hit 45 m/s, the craft will veer to the left or right, then do donuts from which I lose all control of the craft. Right now, I am finding it hard to stay motivated...

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6 hours ago, DuoDex said:

Telemachus offers the best sync here I think but I don't know if it's updated for 1.1... @Rich?

There is a fork of Telemachus by @tcannonfodder at https://github.com/tcannonfodder/Telemachus/releases, which is updated for 1.1.  I've tested my Telemachus frontend KONRAD (which afaik we're planning to use) with it, and it mostly seems to work.  Unfortunately staging ({'run': ['f.stage']}) seems to be broken for some reason.  But apart from having to switch back to the KSP window to whack spacebar a couple of times, flying a launch from mission control is definitely possible :wink:

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9 hours ago, adsii1970 said:

I've noticed the fine aircraft model by @NathanKell but I have to ask... how are you overcoming the problems with the landing gear (if you're using 1.1)? I've tried about every adjustment I can make and cannot get an aircraft to actually make enough speed for takeoff. Once I hit 45 m/s, the craft will veer to the left or right, then do donuts from which I lose all control of the craft. Right now, I am finding it hard to stay motivated...

I have tested all the aircrafts in the github repository and only one that gave me trouble with the landing gear was the Arclight C

Edited by hypervelocity

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Hello all, I wanted to let you know I'll probably join this project. 

I'm a quite good rocket designer, and recently I've been interested in planes and I've become a decent builder. I have lots (~600-700 hours) of RSS and RP-0 experience and I think it will be useful.

The real problems are that I'm not a native English speaker (I'm Italian, although I have an European C1 certification), and I have quite terrible internet, so those would be a problem for the livestreams I would participate in. Especially the second :P

Anyway, I hope this will be a fun ride with you all! 

Edited by Fenisse

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1 hour ago, Fenisse said:

Hello all, I wanted to let you know I'll probably join this project. 

I'm a quite good rocket designer, and recently I've been interested in plane and I've become a decent builder. I have lots (~600-700 hours) of RSS and RP-0 experience and I think it will be useful.

The real problems are that I'm not a native English speaker (I'm Italian, although I have an European C1 certification), and I have quite terrible internet, so those would be a problem for the livestreams I would participate in. Especially the second :P

Anyway, I hope this will be a fun ride with you all! 

Well the more experienced RO people we have the better, English should not be a problem as long as you are understandable and internet requirements should be minor...all you need to do is be able to stream sound :)

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Mission 1: A record-setting flight into the stratosphere using the Buzzard aircraft. 12:30am UTC May 23rd (8:30pm EDT May 22nd). @tetryds will be flying the Buzzard.

 

Depending on availability we may launch some sounding rockets earlier in the day.

@DuoDex

@tetryds

@Red Iron Crown

@goldenpeach

@soundnfury

@Frybert

@NecroBones

@Ravenchant

@EladDv

@SirKeplan

@Fenisse

@hypervelocity

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