NotAgain

Screaming through the Cosmos - Goodbye for now

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Posted (edited)

Lonetrek - 3

Mission: Continue to try and return a capsule from orbit.

Launch Vehicle: Domain 1A

Launch Site: LC - 3, Cape Canaveral

Date: 30/7/1956

Spoiler

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Well, once again, we've re-designed the heatshield for the Lonetrek capsule, and once again, we're engaging in the seemingly futile endeavour to return one from Low Earth Orbit.

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The booster is exactly the same as last time, a Domain 1A, which you will all be well familiar with by now, so I shan't waffle on about my marvellous design, and cut straight to the improvements to the Lonetrek.

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Lonetrek - 2 featured a single heatshield, with a structural buffer to keep the heat away from the base of the capsule, but when the heatshield burned through, the structural buffer held it back for less than half a second before being obliterated and letting the capsule fall to the same fate.

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For Lonetrek - 3 we have taken a different approach and ditched the structural buffer for a whole new heatshield. Yes, I do mean we've stuck another heatshield to the bottom of our heatshield. We've doubled up. With that improvement, and some luck, I think we stand a good chance of making it through re-entry.

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Well, let's de-orbit and see what happens. I've deliberately taken our obit down to 144km x 142km to give the heatshield an easier time of it.

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Our first shield burned through at 6.6km/s.
 
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And our second took quite a pasting.
 
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But we pulled through, with a whole 6.19 units of Ablator left.
 
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Admittedly, I don't like that safety margin, but it's a lot better than a high-atmosphere break-up. But I suspect that we'll have to keep trying. I don't think that we want a crewed spacecraft limited to a 150km x 150km orbit.

 

Edited by NotAgain
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Kor-Azor - 6

Mission: Collect data on Earth's radiation belts.

Launch Vehicle: Domain 1A

Launch Site: LC - 3, Cape Canaveral

Date: 7/8/195

Spoiler

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If you recall the Bleak Lands - 1 Lunar Orbital mission that failed a few weeks ago, you might remember the extensive science complement it carried. As we won't be trying another Bleak Lands mission for a little while, until we figure out the kinks in the Tash-Murkon 1, we decided that we may as well launch those new instruments into a highly eccentric orbit in order to research various things, including Earth's radiation belts.

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That's where Kor-Azor - 6 comes in. It's a re-purposed Bleak Lands Type A bus, with all the correct instrumentation etc, launching on a Domain 1A, then boosting into a  highly eccentric orbit on its own on-board engines.

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Also, no, I have no idea why I switched the fairing shape on the lifter. I flew this mission months ago, and I've forgotten.

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The Domain 1A performed exactly as we've come to expect from the type, neatly placing the spacecraft into a somewhat eccentric orbit.

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Kor-Azor - 6 then decoupled and burned most of its Hydrazine supply in order to enter a ridiculously high orbit.

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In summary, we got a thoroughly decent science haul and the beautiful picture of Kor-Azor - 6, Earth and Luna.

 

Also, I'm looking to add some dwarf planets and things to my save, and perhaps CactEye. Can anyone help with that?

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Posted (edited)

Kerbodyne - 1

Mission: Launch a small commercial satellite.

Launch Vehicle: GK - 1

Launch Site: LC - 2, Cape Canaveral

Date: 10/8/1956

Spoiler

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The primary reason we developed the GK - 1 was to enable us to take small contracts and make a profit of :funds:1,000+ on them. It's time for the GK - 1 to live up to that design intent.

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Kerbodyne, an occasional sub-contactor of ours, has come to us to contract the launch of a small scientific satellite. We've whipped up a little probe and a GK - 1 for the occasion, and fired the resultant vehicle off from Launch Complex - 2 in the hope of making some well-needed cash.

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The launch went pretty much nominally, with nothing to report, but in this image you can see the tiny little battery-operated satellite being launched today.

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The spacecraft was delivered to Low Earth Orbit without incident, and Kerbodyne paid us our :funds:5,000. Ah. Well, we like stingey contracts, don't we?

 

Lonetrek - 4

Mission: Test out yet another new heatshield for the new, revised Lonetrek Block II.

Launch Vehicle: Domain 1A

Launch Site: LC - 3, Cape Canaveral

Date: 13/9/1956

Spoiler

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Well, we REALLY went back to the drawing board for theis iteration of Lonetrek. The idea that a single error during re-entry could lead to Loss Of Crew is simply unacceptable and, while Lonetrek - 3 was a triumph for us, it's still not good enough. To that end, we have made a significant re-design of the capsule.

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That re-design consists of a new heatshield that's technically Lunar-rated and a seriously revised Re-Entry Control System (RECS). Also, we've added a container for science (technically a little probe core, but who cares. It gets the job done).
 
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We're hoping that this mission returns to Earth with enough margin to go again. That way, the safety of our crews should be pretty much guaranteed against everything that could happen, bar Kraken strikes.
 
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I suppose I should tell you what happened there. Well, as you can see, the RD-0210 upper stage engine failed on me at 6+ km/s. I attempted a re-entry after that, but the huge aerodynamic strain of a re-entry like that caused problems (which we've now resolved), resulting in the capsule disintegrating.

 

Edited by NotAgain
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Posted (edited)

Jeb's Junkyard - 1

Mission: Launch a commercial satellite and test out a new lifter.

Launch Vehicle: GK - 2

Launch Site: SLC - 1, Kodiak

Date: 14/10/1956

Spoiler

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P0 Jebediah Kerman recently walked into my office waving a contact, which I, rather foolishly, signed. It turned out that it was a contract to launch a satellite that Jeb had cobbled together from spare parts around the Space Center at his day job, Jebediah's Junkyard. It's a reasonably small, solar powered probe heading for a low polar orbit, and necessitates a launch of the second member of the GK family of lifters, the GK - 2.

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Replacing the Devoid 1 and 2 families of lifter, and carrying one ton to Low Earth Orbit, the GK - 2 is built around a single Viking 4B on the core stage with four XLR - 50 booster engines. The second stage is an experimental engine, the XLR - 99. Throttleable and with up to six ignitions, it could come in handy for a lot of things.

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The flight proceeded nominally through liftoff and booster separation, carrying the vehicle up to an altitude where the core stage Viking 4B could function far more efficiently.

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And then the XLR - 99 cut in, pushing for orbit with 262.4kN of thrust, shutting down and re-igniting once during the ascent.

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Once delivered to Low Polar Earth Orbit, the satellite made its own way to its 979km x 969km target orbit under the power of its own little engine, and Jeb's Junkyard paid us :funds:35,700 for our troubles.

 

Edited by NotAgain
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21 hours ago, roboslacker said:

How much does a GK-1 cost?

:funds:1,673.

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Lonetrek - 5

Mission: Test out the new heatshield. Successfully, this time.

Launch Vehicle: Domain 1A

Launch Site: LC - 3, Cape Canaveral

Date: 3/11/1956

Spoiler

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Well, we think that we have ironed out the kinks with the RD-0210 that caused Lonetrek - 4 to fail on ascent, and we're ready to try again. This will be an identical mission to the previous one, except without the whole 'being torn apart by hot plasma and accelleration forces' thing.

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The ascent proceeded absolutely nominally, with the vehicle making a perfect booster separation.

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The Launch Escape System was then jettisoned, lightening the load and slightly increasing the somewhat anemic Thrust to Weight ratio of the rocket.

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The core stage burned out approximately four minutes into the flight, and the RD-0210 ignited without problems this time.

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Orbit was achieved, two laps around Earth were made, and then the Propulsion Module's four Hydrazine-fuelled engines ignited for the de-orbit burn.

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I was concerned that the heatshield might still not be enough...

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...but I was proved wrong. So wrong. That's the kind of safety margins we like to see.

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The capsule landed safely in the Pacific Ocean and was recovered, paving the way for the first crewed flight on Lonetrek - 6, which may well fly before the year is out. Considering the deadline is still 14 months away, I think we're doing very well indeed.

 

Lonetrek - 6 is scheduled for launch on the 4th of December 1956.

 

FASA - 1

Mission: Launch a small commercial satellite from Kodiak.

Launch Vehicle: GK - 1

Launch Site: SLC - 1, Kodiak

Date: 8/11/1956

Spoiler

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We've recieved another contract for a satellite launch to a high inclination, and so we're making our first non-polar orbital launch from Kodiak, Alaska.

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As you can see, we're using a GK - 1, a lifter that's rapidly becoming as commonplace as our Domain 1A.

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And the GK - 1's perfect safety record is ruined. It would appear that a guidance error had the rocket pitch over too quickly and too far, and the air caught and flipped it, resulting in an in-flight break-up.

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The remains of the mission splashed down in the North Pacific Ocean, just off Alaska.

 

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Hello, all.

Since I'm sunk under a lot of work this evening, the much-hyped first crewed mission will not be uploaded until Saturday.

Until then, have a couple of pretty pictures from 1958 to tide you over.

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hmmmm, using struts to land?

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Correct, @DatBoi, I didn't have landing legs unlocked, and anyway, they were too heavy.

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Posted (edited)

Lonetrek - 6

Mission: Fly a Kerbal to orbit and return them safely home.

Launch Vehicle: Domain 1A

Crew: P0 Jebediah Kerman (Commander)

Launch Site: LC - 3, Cape Canaveral

Date: 4/12/1956

Spoiler

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After months of careful testing and development, a period full of highs, lows (a lot of lows, really) and intense frustration, the Kerbal Space Agency is finally ready to take its next step into the cosmos. Today, we once again push the boundaries, and a Kerbal, and with him, all Kerbalkind, will reach out and touch the stars.

Scottspeed, Jebediah Kerman, you carry all of us with you.

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Just after sunrise on the 4th of December 1956, P0 Jebediah Kerman boarded Lonetrek Command Module CM#012, and launched into space aboard a 257 ton Domain 1A booster.

The ascent went perfectly to plan with the Domain performing remarkably well, even taking into account its already excellent reputation.

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The four Kerolox boosters separated cleanly in their usual uneven fashion, caused by the fact that one pair has guidance units, and the other does not, affecting their balance.

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The Launch Escape System was then jettisioned once the boosters are properly clear of the rest of the lifter, switching us to Mode 2 if something goes wrong, meaning that we would shut down the RD-108 core stage engine and separate the capsule for a descent and landing just off Cape Canaveral.

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But no failure occured, and the mission reached first stage separation without incident.

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A further three and a half minutes of burning resulted in Jebediah Kerman entering a  low 275km x 156km orbit around Earth, becoming the highest-flying Kerbal in history, as well as the first to orbit the Earth.

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"When you're up there, gazing down on everything and everyone you've ever known, gazing down at the Earth through the eyes of a god, everything we fight over, all the little things the we clutch on to like our lives depend on it lose their meaning. This is what we should be holding onto. This is what we should be fighting for. Not over it, between ourselves, but for it, united. No matter how far we push, no matter how many new worlds we discover, this magnificent little rock is our home, and the only one we will ever have, and there will never be one quite like it. Kinda makes you think, doesn't it?"  -  Commander Jebediah Kerman, on his historic flight on Lonetrek - 6.

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After that rather uncharacteristic philosophical episode, Jebediah took this photo, which remains one of the best selling postcards at the KSC gift shop to this day. It never recieved an official title, apart from LT6 IMG - O-B/0217, but one cashier dubbed it the 'Eyes of a god' picture, and the name kinda stuck.

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But all good things must come to an end, so, after four and a bit full orbits of Earth, Jebediah executed the pre-planned de-orbit maneouver to bring the capsule down in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

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The propulsion module was separated in the upper atmosphere and soon afterwards, the re-entry communications blackout began, as white-hot plasma began to envelop the capsule as it hurtled through the upper atmosphere at Mach 25+.

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Considering that we'd only tested this heatshield once in an actual re-entry scenario, there was an understandable feeling of apprehension for the 'five minutes of hell' that the capsule and its crew have to go through entirely on their own, but despite being exposed to 6.5g, Jebediah and CM#012 pulled through.

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After a life-changing experience and 7 hours and 43 minutes of spaceflight, P0 Jebediah Kerman landed in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and was recovered by an international recovery flotilla comprised largely of ships from the USA, Australia and the USSR, and returned home to a hero's welcome.

 

Edited by NotAgain
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Citadel - 1

Mission: Launch a reasonably basic solar probe.

Launch Vehicle: Citadel - 1

Launch Site: LC - 3, Cape Canaveral

Date: 7/12/1956

Spoiler

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High on the success of Lonetrek - 6, the administration of the space agency has become temporarily liberal with the funding and support they grant, and our scientists have taken advantage of this to get some old projects de-shelved. For instance, in 1954, we were planning to launch a dedicated solar science mission. Funding wasn't granted, though, and the Principal Investigator was told to launch her instruments on the Tash-Murkon - 1 Venus fly-by. As you will all remember, that mission failed spectacularly, and so the mission was shelved.

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However, the administrators decided to give the Citadel Solar Probe the go-ahead a few months ago thanks to a Lonetrek-related funding boost. Plus, it gives us an excuse to fly a rather unusual booster, the Citadel 1 Launch Vehicle.

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It's unusual in that we already have a booster that fulfills its role, the Domain 1A, but we need it to make a realistic test flight of the most powerful rocket engine ever made: the Rocketdyne E-1. For that reason, we're planning to fly the booster three times over the next couple of years. In fact, these flights are written into the E-1 contract to ensure the engine actually gets used.

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The Citadel 1 uses twin E-1s for its first stage, giving it a fairly ridiculous TWR on the pad. The second stage is built of a single Viking 4B, like the GK - 2 uses on its core stage.

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The payload for the mission is a 250kg probe witha small, hypergolic upper stage powered by a brand new engine, the Astris. No burn time limitation, infinite re-ignitions and decent thrust and effieciency.

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The upper stage boosts the probe out of Earth's gravity well, and then the battery-powered probe cruises to solar orbit.

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Citadel - 1 is set up with a suite of three intruments: an Orbital Telescope, a Magnetometer and a gravitometer thingummy.

 

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Kor-Azor - 4A

Mission: Re-attempt the launch of a geostationary satellite.

Launch Vehicle: Domain 1A

Launch Site: LC - 1, Kourou

Date: 17/12/1956

Spoiler

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Admittedly, our facilities at Kourou, French Guiana, are nowhere near as advanced or extensive as our facilities at Cape Canaveral, but I promise you, the tiny team we have down there have been working their butts off on another launch. This is our second attempt at launching a geostationary satellite.

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Unlike last time, the launch vehicle worked perfectly and delivered the satellite and the RD-58 upper stage to Low Earth Orbit.

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As per the last time, we've installed a singular, three-panel soalr array generating ~350 watts to keep the satellite powered.

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While we did have to deal with some Liquid Oxygen boil-off for the upper stage, it wasn't particularly bad, and the RD-58 successfully boosted the satellite into a near-geostationary orbit.

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Kor-Azor - 4A then separated from the RD-58 stage and cleaned up its orbit using its own onboard engine, and proves to the world that it is entirely possibleto maintain an orbit within a few seconds of a perfect, geostationary, 24 hour orbital period.

 

Lonetrek - 7

Mission: Keep a Kerbal in orbit for more than a day.

Launch Vehicle: Domain 1A

Crew: P0 Valentina Kerman

Launch Site: LC - 3, Cape Canaveral

Date: 31/12/1956

Spoiler

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After the success of Lonetrek - 6 earlier this month, we don't intend to just stop and soak up the praise. Jebediah Kerman spent less than eight hours in space and, while that certainly is impressive, a mission that short offers little scientific opportunity. In order to rectify that, our next mission will use a modifaction of the Block II Lonetrek used on Lonetrek 4, 5 and 6. This mission will be the first flight of the Lonetrek Block IIA, flown by P0 Valentina Kerman, First Kerbal in Space and all-round sassmaster.

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The main modification that the Block IIA sports is an increased capacity to carry life support supplies. The baseline Block II has about a day and a half of food, water and oxygen, but approximately two days and eight hours of battery reserves, which can be pushed to a bit over two and a half days if necessary. We simply added an extra day of life support supplies in the two little orange tanks by the parachutes in the first image.

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The official aim of the mission is to keep a Kerbal in orbit of Earth for just over a day, but we've decided that, if the spacecraft and crew are still in good health after twenty four hours, we will try for another day in space.

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Ascent went as well as we could have asked for, booster separation was clean, no failures.

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Also, it's just occurred to me that Val will be the first Kerbal to brush her teeth in space.

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The second stage then ignited and burned for orbit.

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The capsule made orbit successfully, and remained in good health for over two days, making Val the most experienced Kerbonaut we have. She also became the first Kerbal to celebrate New Year's Day in space.

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After about two days and three hours, Valentina burned retrograde and began the re-entry.

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We've slightly improved the re-entry trajectory over Lonetrek - 6's one, so Valentina only had to endure 6.1g, not 6.5g, like Jebediah did.

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And so, after two days, four hours and nineteen minutes, and a celebration of new year in orbit, P0 Valentina kerman and her capsule were recovered from the Pacific Ocean. Bring on 1957!

 

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Bleak Lands - 2

Mission: Launch a large lunar orbiter for communications and science.

Launch Vehicle: Tash-Murkon 1B

Launch Site: LC - 3, Cape Canaveral

Date: 11/1/1957

Spoiler

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I expect thet you'll all remember the failed lunar landing mission, Genesis - 9. Well, we're trying it again next month with a new launch vehicle, and we're looking at establishing a proper lunar communications network. That's the point of the Bleak Lands satellites. As we've got another moon landing attempt coming up, we're trying to get a Bleak Lands up before then.

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Also, we've come up with a new upper stage for this mission, called the Calamari A, turning the Tash-Murkon 1A into the 1B. This new upper stage is totally revolutionary in that it uses Liquid Hydrogen and Liquid Oxygen, giving it a ridiculously high ISP of 411s. Thank the new RL-10 upper stage engine for that. You'll probably be seeing a lot more of that engine in the future.

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But we won't be getting to see the RL-10 in action today, as we lost control of the launch vehicle, and it broke up.

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Well, there's the problem. Multiple booster engine failures. That explains a lot.

 

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Posted (edited)

In celebration of finishing my last ever lesson at school, I've got a rare triple-update for you!

 

Lonetrek - 8

Mission: Fly an all-up test of some new equipment that we'll need for the first EVA on Lonetrek - 9.

Launch Vehicle: Domain 1A

Crew: E0 Bill Kerman (Commander)

Launch Site: LC - 3, Cape Canaveral

Date: 29/1/1957

Spoiler

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This mission is little more than a test flight for some new equipment and revisions to the Block II capsule design including new, improved RCS thrusters which promise higher thrust and better efficiency than the old arrangement and a revised arrangement of the capsule's interior, supposed to make it easier for a Kerbonaut to go on an EVA from the spacecraft. The test flight will be commanded by E0 Bill Kerman, preparing for his best friend, Bob Kerman to make the first ever spacewalk on the next Lonetrek flight.

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I'm fairly sure you're all familar with the ascent profile of a Domain 1A Launch Vehicle by now, so I'll skip over most of it.

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But suffice to say, the spacecraft made it to orbit without problems, and Bill settled in for a bit over a day in space.

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Again, as this is just really testing some new equipment, there isn't much to say about the time Bill Kerman spent in Low Earth Orbit. Nothing particularly went wrong, nothing particularly spectacular happened, and all the tests went fine.

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The re-entry was also fairly routine. Well, as routine as screaming through the upper atmosphere at 25+ times the speed of sound whilst surrounded by white-hot plasma can get.

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But the brilliant Lunar-rated heat shield worked its magic again, and Bill got home just fine, being recovered from the Pacific Ocean after 1 day, 10 hours and 29 minutes of spaceflight.

 

RN Industries - 1

Mission: Launch a meteological satellite for RN Industries

Launch Vehicle: GK - 2

Launch SIte: SLC - 1, Kodiak

Date: 3/2/1957

Spoiler

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For some reason, RN Industries, one of our contractors for Launch Vehicle parts has presented us with a contract to launch a meteological satellite of all things.

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I have no idea why a large-scale metalworking firm would want to expand into weather satellites, but who am I to say no to their cash?

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The reasonable new GK - 2 performed as beautifully as we saw last time, thundering majestically away from Space Launch Complex - 2 at Kodiak, Alaska.

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The upper stage was not only used for orbital insertion today, though, but also for two manouevers after the fact to boost the satellite towards its intended orbit.

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The approximately 800kg satellite then burned its engine for a bit over half a minute to place itself into a somewhat high orbit of Earth.

 

FASA - 2

Mission: Launch another weather satellite from Kodiak.

Launch Vehicle: GK - 1

Launch Site: SLC - 1, Kodiak

Date: 5/2/1957

Spoiler

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Since our last attempt failed, and we still have time before the contract expires, we have pulled another GK - 1 together, mounted a probe and rolled it out to the little pad at Kodiak.

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A minor problem with the sequencing led to the fairing deploying early, but it doesn't seem to have affected the launch.

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The satellite made orbit on the AJ-10 without any further problems. I feel that I don't say it enough, but the AJ-10 is an excellent engine.

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Mission accomplished, and :funds:5,000 depositied in our account.

 

Edited by NotAgain
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Posted (edited)

Genesis - 10

Mission: Land on the Moon.

Launch Vehicle: Tash-Murkon 2

Launch Site: LC - 4, Cape Canaveral

Date: 6/2/1957

Spoiler

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As I have previously hinted, the Kerbal Space Agency is ready to have another crack at landing something on the Moon. In order to ensure the success of the mission, we have put a huge amount of work in, and developed a proper solution to the problems we've been having with the troublesome Tash-Murkon 1 family of lifters: replacing them with a whole new launch vehicle. I give you, the Tash-Murkon 2!

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The vehicle is basically an unmodified Tash-Murkon 1 core with shiney new boosters powered by a single Rocketdyne E - 1 engine each. Given the fact that the E - 1 has a hugely superior gimbal range to the RD-107 engines we used on the Tash-Murkon 1's boosters, we shouldn't have the control authority problems we had previously.

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The improvements to the launch vehicle have also resulted in a ~500kg improvement in the rocket's capacity to Low Earth Orbit, rounding it up to ~8 tons.

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We've left the Block H second stage entirely alone, as we've never had problems with it, and, well, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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Now comes the big moment of truth: the first operational ignition of an RL-10 Liquid Hydrogen/Liquid Oxygen upper stage engine.

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It works! Our new engine, with its epic 411s ISP ignites to place the mission into Low Earth Orbit, where it coasts until the window, then the RL-10 re-ignites for the Trans-Lunar Injection burn that will place the mission on a course to pass by the Moon.

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And now, finally, we get our first good look at the probe we're sending to the Moon today. There are two main elements of the spacecraft: the braking stage, the bit on the left of the image, responsible for placing the spacecraft in Low Lunar Orbit, making the de-orbit burn and then doing a lot of the slowing down before landing.

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The other bit of the spacecraft is the lander itself, the small conical bit of the spacecraft, with three solar panels and an antenna sticking out of the top. This will make the final landing approach and touchdown on the Lunar surface and record and send back the images and scientific data we're expecting from the mission.

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The Astris-engined braking stage did its job beautifully, placing the lander into Lunar orbit and onto a sub-orbital trajectory in one beautiful burn.

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As the intrepid lander skimmed over the Moon at more than 2 km/s, one of the little black and white cameras onboard captured this image of Sunrise over the Moon, which also became a bestselling postcard at our gift shop, just like the 'Eyes of a god' image from Lonetrek - 6.

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As the spacecraft approached the landing site target, a reasonably small crater in the middle of nowhere, the Astris engine of the braking stage kicked in again to slow the lander down to a more reasonable speed, before cutting off and decoupling, leaving the Genesis Type C lander to do its own thing.

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That thing being igniting a 1.1kN Hydrazine engine to cancel out its remaining horizontal velocity and make a steady, controlled descent to the Lunar surface, pulsing the engine on and off to keep the speed under control.

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After half a nerve-wracking minute of powered descent, the lander touched down on the Lunar surface at 51° 42' 51" S, 8° 29' 40" W. I have no idea quite where that is. If anyone would like to educate me, they're entirely welcome to.

 

Edited by NotAgain
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Lonetrek - 9

Mission: Make an EVA.

Launch Vehicle: Domain 1A

Crew: S0 Bob Kerman (Commander)

Launch Site: LC - 3A, Cape Canaveral

Date: 29/2/1957

Spoiler

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As I mentioned two days ago, our next big goal for the crewed spaceflight program is an Extra Vehicular Activity, or spacewalk. It is for that purpose that we are launching this mission. Crewed and commanded by S0 Bob Kerman, this is our most ambitious mission yet.

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Not only will we be attempting the first ever spacewalk, but we will be attempting to break our previous record for endurance in orbit, 2 days, 4 hours and 19 minutes, set by P1 Valentina Kerman on Lonetrek - 7. As such, we're using a Lonetrek Block IIA capsule, which gives us more life support supplies than the baseline model, enabling missions like this to happen.

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The launch and ascent to orbit went without incident, and the Domain 1A Launch Vehicle performed well. Also, interesting note: we've started construction of a second pad at launch complex three which will enable us to place a higher launch frequency on LC - 3 for our mid-range rockets like the Domain 1A and Citadel 1. As such, Lonetrek - 9 launched from LC - 3A, not LC - 3 today.

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After two orbits to ensure everything was okay and to make the requisite pre-EVA checks, Bob sealed his suit and depressurised CM#015 before opening the hatch and stepping out into the void.

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"Spaceflight on its own is pretty surreal. You're somewhere only a handful of others have been, protected from a horrifying death by only a few millimeters of metal and a few tanks of oxygen. Stepping outside the confines and relative safety of your capsule is, by comparison, straight-up terrifying. The only thing protecting me from the vacuum of space at that point was some very expensive material and a thin glass visor; then only thing stopping me floating off into the depths of space a thin nylon tether. That first spacewalk was simultaneously the most exciting, most terrifying and most movingly beautiful experience I have ever had." - Bob Kerman, talking at the post flight press conference about his experience on Lonetrek - 9.

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Like Valentina before him, Bob spent two nights in orbit, doing whatever science he could in the cramped interior of the capsule. After two days of that, though, it was high time to bring our boy home.

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The propulsion module did its job flawlessly yet again, and CM#015 came back through the atmosphere, recieving the usual punishment from the laws of physics as it did so.

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And after making history as the first spacewalking Kerbal, Bob Kerman landed in the Pacific after 2 days, 14 hours and 20 minutes of space, a new record for Kerbalkind, and bringing a bounty of 30 science back with him.

 

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Bleak Lands - 3

Mission: Launch a Lunar communications orbiter.

Launch Vehicle: Tash-Murkon 2

Launch Site: LC - 4

Date: 4/4/1957

Spoiler

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Just because we made a Moon landing without a functional Lunar communications network once doesn't mean we particularly want to do it again. To try and fix that, we're using a Tash-Murkon 2 to try and fling another Bleak Lands satellite into Lunar orbit.

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The Tash-Murkon 2 has a perfect safety record so far, and the Bleak Lands program has a perfect 100% failure rate. Let's hope that the Tash-Murkon 2 works its magic on the Bleak Lands mission.

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Booster jettison occurrs cleanly, despite the lack of separation motors. Aerodynamics and gravity see that the boosters fall away without trading paint with the rest of the rocket.

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The core stage and fairing are jettisoned and the reliable Block H upper stage then pushes the payload most of the way to Low Earth Orbit, before letting the Calamari A upper stage make the final circularisiation burn.

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The Hydrolox engine fired beautifully and placed the spacecraft into orbit, and then onto a trans-lunar coast before the stage decoupled and was sent spiralling off into the void.

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Finally, a resounding success for the Bleak Lands program! The Bleak Lands - 3 satellite entered an approximately 1,500km by 1,500km orbit of the Moon and began work as a communications satellite.

 

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Posted (edited)

Lonetrek - 10 and 11

Mission: Test out our ability to fly two crewed missions simultaneously.

Launch Vehicles: Domain 1A for both.

Crew: E0 Linda Jordan (Lonetrek - 10), E0 David Bradley (Lonetrek 11).

Launch Sites: LC - 3A (Lonetrek - 10), LC - 3B (Lonetrek - 11).

Dates: 30/4/1957 (Both).

Spoiler

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One of our aims with the Lonetrek program is to test our ability to co-ordinate multiple crewed spacecraft as our current (very vague) plans for a Moon landing will include two seperate crewed spacecraft flying at once.

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If we're to fly a mission like this, we need to test out our ability to do so. For that purpose, we're launching two crewed Lonetrek missions simultaneously, and both will spend two days in orbit. There's little scientific gain to be had from these missions, and neither is set up for EVAs, but it's useful LEO time for two Kerbonauts.

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In this case, we've chosen our two unflown engineers, E0 Linda Jordan and E0 David Bradley. That should allow the crews to keep tabs on any problems that arise during the mission and make any necessary repairs to the capsules.

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We've also assigned callsigns to both capsules. Harmony for Linda Jordan in Lonetrek - 10 and Symphony for David Bradley, about to launch on Lonetrek - 11.

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This is the first time we've made two crewed orbital launches in a single day, which makes me extremely grateful for the expansion we made to Launch Complex - 3 and the new LC - 3B pad.

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Lonetrek - 11 is also functioning as a test flight of a slightly improved RD-108 variant that develops about 50kN more thrust. It's a fairly marginal improvement, but it's an improvement none the less. Anything which can help mitigate the gravity losses during the core stage burn of a Domain 1A launch is welcome.

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The new engine hiccuped a couple of times during ascent, but performed well enough to fling Symphony into orbit with the usual 1km/s margin for error.

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Well, that's two capsules up in Low Earth Orbit. Linda and David have settled in for a two day stay in space each.

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We rejoin our two Kerbonauts on 2/5/1957, as Linda Jordan's Harmony makes its retrograde burn to de-orbit and begin re-entry.

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While we've tested the capsule's handling and survivability during re-entry several times now, it still worries me every time a capsule goes into its re-entry communications blackout.

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But I needn't have worried. Linda Jordan splashed down in the Lonetrek - 10 capsule Harmony after 2 days, 2 hours and 3 minutes in space.

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A few hours later, Lonetrek - 11 followed suit, de-orbiting and jettisoning its propulsion module.

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The re-entry once again went according to plan, and David splashed down after 2 days and 47 minutes in space.

 

Edited by NotAgain
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Neat. I suppose next comes a rendezvous?

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15 hours ago, roboslacker said:

Neat. I suppose next comes a rendezvous?

Not quite yet. We're going to wait until we have a more capable crewed spacecraft to do that, but don't worry, it's in the works.

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Update time:

Until I figure out the new Imgur, y'all aren't getting anything.

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I cri

;.;

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Posted (edited)
On ‎7‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 9:49 AM, DatBoi said:

I cri

;.;

Right, I think I actually have a work-around, so I'll promise now to give you five three some missions before midnight British Summer Time on Thursday, but after that, I'm going to be cycling around Europe until mid-October, so there will be a long pause then.

Edited by NotAgain

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Genesis - 11

Mission: Land on the Moon, again.

Launch Vehicle: Tash-Murkon 2

Launch Site: LC - 4A, Cape Canaveral

Date: 13/5/1957

Spoiler

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Hey everyone! I'm back, if only for today.

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Updates simply aren't going to happen until november, most likely, as I'm going to be on a four-month cycling tour of Europe, but let's go into this with a bang. Today, we've got another Moon lander to fly to another biome, and this time we've invested a few kilos of mass budget in instruments for the spacecraft.

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As it was last time, we're using a Tash-Murkon 2 for the lifter, once again carrying a Calamari A upper stage, which will provide the delta-V fot the Trans-Lunar Injection burn once the spaceceft is in Low Earth Orbit.

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The Calamari burned as close to perfectly as we could ask for, leaving us to make one small course correction en route.

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The braking stage is a nice, idiot-proof Astris stage which put the probe nearly into orbit and then onto a sub-orbital trajectory.

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The braking stage was fired for the last time to act as a crasher and cancel out the great majority of the lander's velocity.

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Once the vertical and horizontal velocity was pretty much eliminated, the crasher/braking stage was cut free and left to its fate, and the little aerozine descent motor ignited.

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The lander safely touched down a bit under half a minute later and took this image of the descent stage...

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...which had, surprisingly, survived its plummet into the Lunar regolith.

 

Kador - 7

Mission: Begin testing a brand new capsule.

Launch Site: LC - 2, Cape Canaveral

Date: 31/5/1957

Spoiler

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While Lonetrek is definitely doing a great job of enabling our first steps in Low Earth Orbit to take place, it's slowly becoming obvious that we're going to need something more. Something... bigger. That's where this object, languishing on the pad at Launch Complex - 2 comes in. It's the Essence capsule, a three seat Low to Mid Earth Orbit spacecraft, equipped with a prototype docking port that will enable stays of up to two weeks in LEO.

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Before we fly it, though, we need to ensure it's safe for Kerbals, and that includes having a functioning Launch Escape System. In an attempt to save money by using existing hardware, we've attached a lightly-modified Lonetrek LES to this capsule for testing. Here we go!

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Hmmm...

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Well, at least it didn't explode, but it's clear that we can't really cut that corner. Ah, well. Back to the drawing board.

 

Kor-Azor - 1B

Mission: Fly another orbital photography mission, this time for some shady dudes in suits.

Launch Vehicle: Domain L

Launch Site: SLC - 1, Kodiak

Date: 6/6/1957

Spoiler

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Well, while the directors were at a lunch with some potential contractors, a couple of guys in dark suits and glasses walike dup and dropped a briefcase full of money with a folder detailing a set of photographs of a certain nation that they wanted. Suitably enthused by their sense of patriotism and moral duty a big case of cash, the board set to work putting together a photo-recon mission.

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And now we're- oh...

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Oh dear...

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Oh my...

 

Well, we're keeping the cash.

 

Okay then.

To my little clutch of loyal fans, thank you, and though I won't promise anything, I'll try and at least post one mission of the thread's anniversary. Until then, I bid you adieu.

Many thanks,

NotAgain.

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