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The KSP Story [Shockwave Program Part 2]


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Ever wonder how the Kerbal Space Program began? How it's gotten to what it is today? Well here you go,

The KSP Story

The Hornet Program: Part 1

Year 1: Day 1

Wernher Von Kerman was overlooking the production of the Hornet Mk1 suborbital rocket. The last bolt was being tightened on the nosecone of the tall rocket. It had no stability or parachutes so whatever happened to it would be revealed during the actual flight. The engineer Mark Kerman tightened the bolt. Wernher smiled to himself as the rest of the building cheered. The rocket still had yet to be put on the transporter and carried to the launchpad. A crane lowered down from the high ceiling of the VAB. A claw clamped around the top of the rocket and hoisted it skywards. Two huge doors opened up on the  south side of the building. A giant crawler transporter drove slowly forward until it reached the rocket. It positioned itself under the Hornet Mk1 as the crane lowered itself down onto the crawler. A swarm of engineers started to raise launch clamps to keep the Hornet Mk1 steady before launch.

Later

The crawler transporter positioned itself on the launchpad. A crane on the transporter lowered the Hornet Mk1 and the clamps right in the center of the launchpad. The rocket was ready for launch! Gene Kerman and the rest of the launch crew observed from Mission control. Tentions rose all throughout the KSC. Gene Kerman began the countdown, "10... 9... 8... 7... 6... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... liftoff!"

Spoiler

 glysA2F.png The Hornet Mk1 under construction

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Ready for launch

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Liftoff of the Hornet Mk1, the first ever rocket launched from Kerbin.

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The Mun cheering on the Hornet Mk1

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The lack of stability control caused the Hornet to lean over drastically.

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Flying horizontally now

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Hurtling towards the water at nearly 360 meters per second

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Inpact with the ocean caused the rocket to disapear completely.

 

Mission Report: Hornet Mk1 Flight 01

Mission Time: 44 seconds

Highest Altitude: 1,054 meters

Highest Speed: 362 meters per second

Ground distance: 7,597 meters

Total Distance: 8,652 meters

Highest G force: 1.4 G

  

Edited by The Raging Sandwich
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The Hornet Program: Part 2

Year 1: Day 3

It has been 2 days since the first ever launch from the KSC. Wernher Von Kerman was in his office when there was a knock on the door. Linus Kerman entered the room with a happy look on his face. "How can I help you, Linus?" asked Wernher. "We may have a solution for rocket stability," he said. "What may this solution be?" Wernher asked. "It's a concept called spin-stabilization. You see, if we send the rocket spinning, the forces of the spin might keep it stable," he responded.

"Have you tested this at all?" Wernher asked. "No, we haven't. But we're willing to with a new Hornet rocket; the Hornet Mk1.5," Linus explained. "How much might this cost?" Wernher asked. "We've run this through with Mortimer Kerman. If we stick to the Hornet Mk1 design, it will cost about the same."

"Sounds good to me," Wernher said, "But how will we get the rocket spinning?" "It's as easy as angling the fins. Attaching the fins at just a slight angle will make the rushing wind flow sideways, sending the rocket spinning faster and faster," Linus explained. "That sounds like a good plan. Start testing it and I'll authorize it with Administrator Kerman," said Wernher.

 

Year 1: Day 8

Linus and Gene Kerman were standing behind the observation window. A giant fan was set up as a wind tunnel in the Research and Development complex. At the other side of the large room was a replica of the Hornet Mk1.5 design attached to the wall by a rig that would allow it to spin. Mark Kerman, an engineer at the R&D complex, hit an arming switch that gave the giant fan power. "Test sequence start," he said as he flicked another switch. The giant fan blades began to spin. They were spinning faster and faster, simulating the air resistance in a rocket launch. The Hornet Mk1.5 began to spin slowly but surely.

The mock Hornet rocket began to spin quickly, so much so that the whole rig began to wobble. It started reaching 2 revolutions per second. The rig gave way and sent the rocket crashing to the floor. Linus' excited expression changed to one of dissapointment. Gene looked around the room. He looked down at Mark. "We're going to need a new testing rig. Get it done in two days," he told him. Gene left the room with Linus behind him.

Year 1: Day 29

Inspections manager Ron Kerman was overseeing that every last part of the newly completed Hornet Mk1.5 was carefully tested. The KSC wanted to impress the Kerbin Astronomical Society with its new and improved Hornet sounding rocket, failure wouldn't be accepted. Kerbals in labcoats were inspecting every bit of the Hornet Mk1.5. Everything seemed to be okay. However, one aspect wasn't thoroughly inspected enough.

The inspections crew had assumed that because of the many tests of the fins over the last few weeks that everything would be okay with them on the real thing. They overlooked how one fin was more angled than the others but only by 2 degrees. Ron Kerman gave a thumbs up for the inspections. The Hornet Mk1.5 was ready for rollout.

Year 1: Day 31

Administrator Kerman and Steven Kerman were special guests at the Mission Control. They stood on either side of Gene Kerman as they look out the windows of the building at the launchpad. It was early morning so everyone was sipping on cups of coffee. The orange sun was starting to peek out over the horizon. "Countdown 15 minutes and counting," said Gene. A giant timer on the wall began to count down from 15 minutes. 

The launch crew were going through last minute operations before the launch. One of the Kerbals reached for the mouse of his computer when he knocked his coffee over onto his shirt and pants. "Nice," said Gene, "Go clean yourself up quickly." The Kerbal ran off to the bathroom. He came back about 5 minutes later with coffee stains on his clothes. That did not sit well with Steven Kerman. Administrator Kerman whispered to the Kerbal, "Pull any more shenanigans and you're fired."

Gene watched the sun rise behind the launchpad as the clock counted down. It started as a dark orange and gradually turned into a soft yellow. "T minus 30 seconds and counting," he said. The seconds faded and the clock read T minus 15 seconds. Gene began to countdown out loud, "14... 13... 12... 11... 10... 9... 8... 7... 6... 5... 4... 3... Engines started! 2... 1... And liftoff!" The clamps released the rocket and sent it hurdling into the sky.

Spoiler

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The Hornet Mk1.5

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Hornet ready for launch at early sunrise

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The engine started and the clamps let go.

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Spin sequence started

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Tha lack of fin inspections caused the problem to go unnoticed. The slight difference in one fin caused the Hornet Mk1.5 to lean over like the Hornet Mk1.

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The Hornet is sent spinning towards the mountains.

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View over the coast of the KSC.

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The unstable rocket spinning at nearly Mach 1.

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A second before disaster.

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Inpact with the ground signifying an unsuccessful launch.

 

Mission Report: Hornet Mk1.5 Flight 01

Mission Time: 46 seconds

Highest Altitude: 1,202 meters

Highest Speed: 356 meters per second

Ground Distance: 7,836 meters

Total distance: 9,012 meters

Highest G force: 1.4 G

 

Edited by The Raging Sandwich
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Hornet Program Part 3

Year 1: Day 32

Steven Kerman was not impressed with the launch of the Hornet Mk1.5. The rocket did, however did outlast the mission time of the Hornet Mk1,  and flew slighty higher, faster, and farther. Administrator Kerman did convince Steven to come for the next launch from the KSC in exchange for some free popcorn.

With the failure of the Hornet Mk1.5, Wernher and Linus Kerman decided to abandon the spin-stabilization technique. Ron Kerman, after hearing about the abandonment of the stabilization method, decided to keep quiet about the lack of inspections in fear of demotion. Linus started to work with Wernher and the best rocket scientists to work out a new stabilization system. A small circular module they called the Stability Assist System (SAS) would do the job just right. All that was left to do was to test it.

Year 1: Day 40

After working nonstop, the tired Kerbals in the R&D complex completed an SAS module prototype. It was a crude machine, assembled with spare parts lying around the VAB. They hooked it up to a large gyroscope for the first tests. Gene, Linus, Wernher, and the other rocket scientists that helped design the module all gathered around the observation stand. Mark Kerman stood next to them with a remote-control unit. The SAS module prototype was controlled by the remote control; the real SAS module would be programmed to move on its own.

Mark turned on the SAS module with the controller. He moved the stick to the right and the module flipped to the right. He turned the stick to the left and the module moved to its original postition. He moved the stick up and down and the module followed. He started to play around with it, moving the stick every which way. The module started to spaz out with the frantic controlling. The system was overstressed with the frantic motion and sparks started to fly out. A small cloud of smoke billowed out the top.

Gene and Mark smiled as Linus muttered something under his breath. Wernher managed to smile, too. The test was a success.

Year 1: Day 69

The Hornet Mk2 was rolled out to the launchpad. It was basically a Hornet Mk1 with the new SAS module attached. Its mission was to test out the usability of the SAS on an actual rocket. Most importantly, it was to impress the Kerbin Astronomical Society. Gene, Steven, Wernher, and Administrator Kerman stood by the window awaiting the launch. Hopefully, everything would go well. The countdown clock was at T minus 15 seconds. Gene started counting down.

"14... 13... 12... 11... 10... 9... 8... 7... 6... 5... 4... Engines started! 3... 2... 1... Liftoff!" he said. The clamps released the rocket into the air.

Spoiler

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The new Hornet Mk2 rocket equipped with the SAS module

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Liftoff of the Hornet Mk2

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The first yaw program at ~500 meters

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Second yaw program at ~1,700 meters

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Third yaw program at ~2,750 meters

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At ~5,000 meters, the power ran out in the Hornet. It began a gravity turn nearing Mach 1.

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Beginning the gravity turn

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Flying horizontally now

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The air resistance is almost too much for the little rocket

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Looks like it will crash into the west mountains.

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The impact explosion signifies the successful mission of the Hornet Mk2.

 

Mission Report: Hornet Mk2 Flight 01

Mission Time: 2 minutes 55 seconds

Highest altitude: 7,599 meters

Highest speed: 942 meters per second

Ground Distance: 69,608 meters

Total Distance: 75, 461 meters

Highest G force: 1.9 G

The entire Mission Control crew including Gene, Wernher, Steven, and Administrator Kerman applauded. Steven Kerman was impressed by the success of the Hornet Mk2. He was impressed enough to propose a plan to Administrator Kerman. If the Hornet Mk2 could reach space on its next mission, the Kerbin Astronomical Society would fund 50 percent of the costs needed to build each spacecraft. Administrator Kerman accepted the proposition. The next launch of the Hornet Mk2 rocket would be the first mission into space.

 

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Hornet Program Part 4

Year 1: Day 72

While Kerbal engineers were just getting started on building the second Hornet Mk2, Linus and Wernher Kerman were hard at work figuring out how to get to space with just a Hornet Mk2 rocket. The maximum burn time for the Hornet sounding rocket was about 4 minutes. By 4 minutes, it could be going as fast as 2 kilometers a second. More than needed.

The second problem was how high up space is. There was no real definition of the hight when the air runs out and microgravity begins. The most recent prediction from the Kerbin Astronomical society was about 60 kilometers. Linus and Wernher decided to put a special instrument in the nosecone of the new Hornet rocket that would take in as much air as possible on the way up. At the altitude the instrument runs out of air is were space would begin.

Year 1: Day 76

The business stage of the Hornet Mk2 was completed. The only things left to do was to attach the SAS module, the flight computer, the Atmosphere Recording Device (ARD), and the nosecone. The Kerbals were hard at work to meet their Day 85 launch deadline. Ron Kerman told the Kerbals not to get ahead of them selves building the SAS module. He didn't want to have a repeat of the Hornet Mk1.5.

Year 1: Day 77

Wernher Von Kerman was in his office brainstorming ideas for efficient rockets. "What if there was another source of speed other than the engine?" he asked himself. He started thinking about Kerbin, how it turned on its axis to the east. It rotated tremendously fast, fast enough to get a rocket a good speed boost into space. If a rocket was pointed east, than the rotation of Kerbin could make it go faster!

He went over to Linus and the construction crew in the VAB. They were hard at work on the SAS module. He told them all about his plan with the rocket pointing east. It was a brilliant idea. The flight computer team at the R&D facility had to completely rewrite their flight program. It was for a good reason, however.

Year 1: Day 82

The day of the launch had came quickly. Steven Kerman had come to observe the evening launch of the Hornet Mk2. It would be the first rocket to (hopefully) reach space. It was a minute to launch. Every one in Launch Control were sweating and nervous. The clock was ticking dow until it reached 20 seconds. Steven looked over at Gene. Gene started to count.

"15... 14... 13... 12... 11... 10... 9... 8... 7... 6... 5.... 4... Engine start! 2... 1... Liftoff!"

Spoiler

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The Hornet Mk2 ready for flight

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The clamps let go and the Hornet flies into the air

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The KSC from above

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The first yaw program at ~2,400 meters

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The whole KSC can be seen now

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The second yaw program at ~15 km

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For the first time a rocket has seen the blackness of space.

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The third yaw program at ~20 km. The program caused the last remaining energy to be worn out. The Hornet is now uncontrollable. However, it is going too fast to do a gravity turn.

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It will reach space, but the Hornet's still going

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The west coast can be seen.

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Engine burnout. For the first time, stars can be seen at daytime.

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Apoapis at ~830 kilometers

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The nighttime and the daytime side of Kerbin can be seen together for the first time.

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The entire continent can be seen for the first time.

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The whole entire planet and the Mun can be seen together.

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The Hornet Mk2 enveloped in darkness.

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The rocket is now falling back into the atmosphere. Reentry is brutal, one fin has exploded.

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Reentry is too much for the Hornet; It exploded mid-air.

 

Mission Report: Hornet Mk2 Flight 02

Mission Time: 34 minutes 31 seconds

Highest Altitude: 830,073 meters

Highest Speed: 2,422 meters per second

Ground Distance: 1,526,902 meters

Total Distance: 2,954,087 meters

Highest G force: 5.1 G

 

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Hornet Program: Part 5

Year 1: Day 83

The next morning after the second successful launch of the Hornet Mk2, the data from the ARD was recieved. Rommely Kerman, an atmospheric scientist in the R&D was sent the data the ARD recieved. After uncoding the transmission, he found that the instrument stopped transmitting data at about 63 kilometers. No data was recorded after it stopped transmitting. However, the last transmitions read that the atmosphere was very thin at 63 kilometers. So thin that every last bit of the atmosphere would be gone at about 70 kilometers. Rommely sent the data to Administrator Kerman.

Year 1: Day 84

Administrator Kerman had recieved the data from Rommely Kerman. The word of the discovery spread quickly throughout the KSC. Everybody now knew that space began at 70,000 meters. However, it was not guaranteed that the data was correct. Administrator Kerman needed to tell the Kerbin Astronomical Society.

He got a flight in a plane to the KAS headquarters. It would be an overnight flght and would get there in the morning.

Year 1: Day 85

Administrator Kerman's plane touched down on the KAS headquarters runway. He got off and headed to the building. He knocked on the office door of Steven Kerman. He told him all about the data they had recieved. "However, we can't guarantee the data is correct," he added.

"How so?" asked Steven. "The ARD stopped transmitting at 63 kilometers. From the last readings we got, we estimate that the edge of space is 70 kilometers," Administrator Kerman said. "We're going to do another mission with the Hornet Mk2 to make sure our estimation is correct."

"Okay, I'll be there," said Steven. Administrator Kerman left and boarded on his plane again to fly back to the KSC. Steven told Manley Kerman, the Public Relations Manager of the KAS the news. A news broadcast would be televised to the world about the mission.

Edited by The Raging Sandwich
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Hornet Program: Part 6

Year 1: Day 86

Gene Kerman tuned into the World Kerbin News Channel (WKNC) at his home. The top story of the hour was of the recent Hornet Mk2 mission. "4 days ago, the newly formed KSC launched the first ever rocket to enter space. The highest point of its flight was over 800 kilometers high, high enough to take a picture of Kerbin's entirety. However, the captured image burned up upon reentering the atmosphere. Its objective was to measure the edge of space. It did not fuflill its objective, however, because the instrument inside the nosecone of the rocket stopped transmitting before it completely left the atmosphere. The KSC is planning on another space mission with the Hornet Mk2 rocket, this time hoping to find the actual edge of space."

Year 1: Day 102

The best Kerbal engineers were working on the new ARD. They didn't want it to stop transmitting before it actually even got into space. Their best guess of why it failed was that some of the electronics were shaken loose so it couldn't transmit. They started to build it out of all new stronger materials. That way, it would be impossible to be deconstruct.

Year 1: Day 106

The sun had just risen. The west coast of the continent was still in darkness. The Hornet Mk2 was standing tall and proud on the launchpad. Crowds of Kerbals had gathered outside the Mission Control. The recent news broadcast had sent flocks of reporters to the KSC to witness first hand a launch into space. A large countdows clock had been placed outside for the crowd. Finally, it was 10 seconds to launch. Gene began to count down. "10... 9... 8... 7... 6... 5... 4... Engine start! 2... 1... Clamps released and launch!"

Spoiler

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The third liftoff of the Hornet Mk2

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The first yaw program

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The East Islands are barely visible.

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The second yaw program

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The thrid yaw program. It actually yawed back to the position of the first yaw program to try and break an altitude record.

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The electricity running out for the SAS module stopped the success of a new altitude record, however, when it yawed forward.

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The East Islands in their entirety can be seen

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The Hornet will reach space, but will it make a new altitude record?

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The rocket now flying away from Kerbin at nearly 2 kilometers a second.

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Engine burnout. The apoapsis is lower than the previous flight's; no new records will be set.

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Kerbin as seen in its entirety.

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The Hornet plummeting to its doom

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The fins gave way and exploded

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The Hornet explodes midair.

 

Mission Report: Hornet Mk2 Flight 03

Mission Time: 33 minutes: 27 seconds

Highest Altitude: 826,433 meters

Highest Speed: 2,418 meters per second

Ground Distance: 1,048,451 meters

Total Distance: 2,448,411 meters

Highest G force: 5.1 G

Year 1: Day 107

Rommely Kerman awaited the data from the ARD. The giant room-filling computers started to whir. The data started printing out. He read the data aloud. "Required Data: 68.53 km... Data Transmission Stop: 346.87 km." The new ARD instrument was successful. It had fulfilled its job. Rommely then realized he was the first Kerbal to know the altitude of the edge of space. He had to share the data!

The first person he found was Linus Kerman. Rommely showed Linus the data. They then found Wernher and showed him the data. Rommely then went alone to Administrator Kerman's office as Linus and Wernher spread the message throughout the KSC.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Year 1: Day 113

With the new data on the edge of space, it was time for the KSP to start its new phase of exploration. New data could be inferred from the new Hornet rocket about the atmosphere, like where the newly discovered Kerman Line (*Yes... Clever, I know.) is located and at what altitude a pressure-suit is needed. Because of these new discoveries, Administrator Kerman announced the KSP's new flight program. 

This program would utilize supersonic and hypersonic aircraft to test the limits of the Kerbal. To do so, new engines are having to be tested. The strongest jet engine can barely even get close to even breaking the sound-barrier. However, a new engine is being tested that can hurdle willing Kerbals through the air faster than ever before. The new engine will be called the CR-7 R.AP.I.E.R., or Reactive Alternate-Propellant Intelligent Engine for Rockets. The most advanced engine ever made, it can both use jet power and rocket power to propel Kerbals faster and farther than ever before. Administrator Kerman also announced that the new engine will be entering experimental phase by day 130.

Year 1: Day 127

Administrator Kerman had said the new CR-7 R.A.P.I.E.R. engine would be ready by day 130, but the R&D team delivered. A testing rig was set up on the newly completed runway holding the R.A.P.I.E.R. Gene, Linus, and Administrator Kerman gathered at the mobile observation stand 250 meters away from the runway.

Gene gave the signal for the engine to be activated. The familiar sound of the jet engine rang throughout the KSC as the engine was fired up.

Spoiler

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The test rig on the runway

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The new C7-R.A.P.I.E.R. engine activates

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Smoke billows out the engine as the static test continues

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After ~4 minutes, the R.A.P.I.E.R. engine is ready to switch to rocket mode.

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Rocket mode initiated

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The liquid fuel runs dry and the engine flames out

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The smoke clears and Gene, Linus, and Administrator Kerman find that the prototype is still there! A successful test of the R.A.P.I.E.R. engine signifies that its ready for flight.

 

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Shockwave Program Part 1

Year 1: Day 174

Administrator had authorized the Shockwave Supersonic Plane Program (SSPP) 7 days after the first successful test of the CR-7 engine. Several more tests had been made during the following weeks, including a vertical launch. The building team in the newly completed Jet Plane Hangar (JPH) had been hard at work the last few weeks building the first Shockwave that uses the CR-7 engine.

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Linus was overlooking the last bolt being tightened on the fly-by-wire system on the nose of the Shockwave 1. His most advanced creation was placed at the back of the plane ready to roar to life. It had been decided the first Kerbal to fly the spaceplane would be test-pilot Edlu Kerman. He had trained day and night in the realistic flight simulators. Overall, he was more than ready to pilot the first Shockwave 1.

Year 1: Day 177

Edlu Kerman got in the first Shockwave plane. He started up the systems inside and taxied it to the runway. A systems check was gone through by him and the flight control tower overlooking the entire runway. Steven and Administrator Kerman were both in the control tower looking out at the Shockwave 1 on the runway. 

Finally, Edlu started up the CR-7 R.A.P.I.E.R. engine. He pushed the throttle stick forward. The entire Shockwave lurched forward. The high-powered jet engine pushed Edlu back in his seat instantly. Just 5 seconds in, the Shockwave 1 was pushing Edlu at 1g. The plane was going at a good speed to pull up. Edlu pulled the control stick towards himself, but to no avail! The plane eventually lifted up after about 10 seconds of pulling with all his might on the stick. The nose pitched upwards so Edlu lessened his force on the stick. However, without anyone knowing, the fly-by-wire system wasn't working properly. Not enough force was being applied to the ailerons by the system. When Edlu lessened his force on the stick, the ailerons failed and the plane pitched downward. The nosecone crashed into the runway following the rest of the plane. Edlu was almost instantly killed.

Spoiler

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The Shockwave 1's CR-7 engine starts up.

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Edlu looks out at the long runway before him as the Shockwave 1 speeds forward

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The plane finally lifts up unexpectantly

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Edlu lets go of the control stick momentarily and the plane pitches downward. The Shockwave 1 crashes into the runway at nearly 160 meters per second. Edlu is instantly killed on impact.

 

Steven and Administrator Kerman looked on in horror as the horrific and fatal event unfolded before their very eyes. A bright flash of an explosion could be seen all throughout the KSC. Steven Kerman shot a glance at Administrator Kerman. A look of dismay and sadness at the loss of his clost friend Edlu. Administrator Kerman buried his face in his hands.  

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Year 1: Day 179

Jebediah Kerman, one of the best test-pilots in the world, got in his Aeris 3a pilot training craft to fly to the old Airfield island to plant a flag for Edlu's Kerman memorial. He pushed the throttle stick up and the plane zoomed down the runway. He pulled up on the control stick and the nose pitched up. The plane tifted off the tarmac and into the morning sky. A quick maneuver to the right put the Aeris in the right direction. The plane cruised across the open waters between the islands and the KSC shores. He soon neared the runway and lowered the landing gear. He pulled the throttle stick back so that the engine gave no thrust. He was a bit angled approaching the runway but attempted a landing anyway. He touched down about halfway down the runway and the plane bounced back in the air. There was still enough time to land so he attempted it again. Once again, the Aeris bounced back up. He accelerated immediately and flew back up into the sky again. He turned back around and attempted another landing. This time, the Aeris was flying slowly enough to land safely. The plane touched down on the old gravel runway and came to a slow stop.

Jebediah Kerman lowered the ladder and climbed out of the cockpit. A small area  was boxed off by old mossy bricks. He planted a flag baring the KSP logo right in the middle of the square. He put a plaque  down at the base.

dsjQGbF.png Edlu Kerman with the Shockwave 1.

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Jebediah Kerman, a good bet for the first Kerbal in space, poses next to the Edlu memorial on the old Airfield base.

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Shockwave Program Part 2

Year 1: Day 200

Valentina Kerman, a test pilot from the Kerbin Air Force and another good bet for the first Kerbal in space, finished up her last bit of training needed before her flight. In three days if everything goes well, she'd be the first Kerbal and female Kerbal alike to break the sound barrier. She took a bus over to the JPH to overview the final preparations for the new and improved Shockwave 2. It looked a lot different from the fatal Shockwave 1 which killed her friend Edlu.

Administrator and Steven Kerman were beeing shown the cockpit of the aircraft from a mobile staircase. Steven carried a clipboard and started to check things of on a list. She walked over to them and was greeted by Steven. She peered inside at the familiar interface. Hundreds of buttons and switches dotted the dashboard along with the side panels. Steven wished Valentina on her flight as he wouldn't be there to see it.

Year 1: Day 203

The day had finally came. Valentina woke up for her afternoon flight. A quick breakfast got her ready for the day. It was a small one so if any stomach problems would to be had, they would be limited. The Shockwave 2 was waiting for her in the JPH.

She eventually got suited up in her flight suit. A pressure suit wasn't needed because no high-altitude flying should be made. The JPH cheered her on as she closed the canopy on the plane. A quick taxiing to the runway got it ready for flight. Gene, Linus, and Administrator Kerman gathered in the flight control tower to watch the takeoff. Finally, after the before-flight procedures were made, the CR-7 engine was started.

The jet engine sound filled the air. The Shockwave 2 lurched forward on the runway. The force of startup wasn't so tremendous on Valentina as it was on Edlu on the previous flight. Suddenly, the force of lift pushed the nose of the aircraft up a bit. The plane jumped upwards for a split second and fell back down a bit lopsided. The whole craft began to shake side to side on the runway. It was also steering a bit to the right and wouldn't make it to the end of the runway. Luckily, the Shockwave got fast enough to make a controlled takeoff. Before any fatal disaster struck, Valentina pulled the control stick towards her.

The nose pitched upwards and into the sky. The shaking stopped. She was safe for now.

Spoiler

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The Shockwave 2 in production

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Valentina Kerman ready for flight

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The Shockwave zooming down the runway.

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After a near fatal crash, Valentina pulls up and the Shockwave flies into the sky

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A near level flight makes for continuously fast speeds

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Nearing the speed of sound. The rockets start up and the sound barrier is quickly shattered.

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The oxidizer runs out and Val starts turning around. Due to the speed, RCS thrusters are needed to maneuver.

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The jet engines start back up

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The Shockwave is now flying back to the KSC

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During the return journey, the plane breaks the sound barrier again with just the jet engines. Because the nose is pointed downwards, the plane builds up enough speed to go faster than before.

 

Valentina lands safely on the runway. The plane is recovered and the flight is over. Valentina Kerman is the first Kerbal and woman to break the sound barrier.

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