NotAgain

Screaming through the Cosmos - Goodbye for now

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Zaltonic - 3

Mission: One last attempt at launching the [REDACTED] satellite.

Launch Site: LC - 1, Cape Canveral

Launch Vehicle: Devoid 2

Date: 19/11/1953

Spoiler

x9geK7F.png

So, this is our third and final attempt at completing the Zaltonic contract, as we'll run out of time and the contract will expire in a few days if this fails. As neither Devoid 1 succeeded, we're trying a new lifter. I call it the Devoid 2. Imaginative, huh?

Ll486Lh.png

The first stage is totally kerolox fuelled and runs on an LR-89, with four LR-101s for moral support roll control.

KUowjEx.png

The second stage is built of four XLR-87 hypergolic engines, about as efficient as the AJ-10, but significantly more powerful.

7lHiAKC.png

The probe is the same design as the last two times, but with a couple of kilos of unnecessary weight shaved off.

CTNdi7S.png

The third stage is a simple single AJ-10 arrangement, using a new, re-ignitable AJ-10 variant.

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SUCCESS!!

The curse is lifted!

The contract is complete!

Wait, what? Only 10,000 credits?

Those stingey little @?#%*!.

 

Domain - 2

Mission: Fly another bat to orbit.

Launch Site: LC - 3, Cape Canveral

Launch Vehicle: Domain 1

Date: 5/1/1954

Spoiler

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Alright then, time for another big launch. We're going to fly another Domain re-entry test, with another bat aboard, 'cause we want to be absolutely sure that we've got the whole 'coming hurtling through the atmosphere at 25 times the speed of sound' thing properly nailed down before trying to do it with a Kerbal aboard. In fact, we're going to do it once more after this flight the be doubly sure. No point sending a Kerbal up there if they're going to be cremated on the way back down.

aSEhqEc.png

Not much to say, I suppose. This is pretty much a re-run.

iIEEnCO.png

Booster separation.

Interesting point: The reason the boosters of a Domain 1 separate unevenly is beacause one pair have onboard guidance units, making them several hundred kilos heavier than the other pair.

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Fairing separation.

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Second stage ignition.

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Aaand one of the AJ-10s fails. Lovely.

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We managed to compensate with the gimbals, though, and made it through to SECO. We then pushed for orbit on the first ignition of the Block D.

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Orbit achieved, science done, homeward bound. Passenger seems healthy and relatively un-traumatised by this experience.

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Our ususal hair-raising re-entry.

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And a parachute landing in the Pacific Ocean.

 

Edited by NotAgain

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1 hour ago, NotAgain said:

The curse is lifted!  The contract is complete!

Wait, what? Only 10,000 credits? Those stingey little @?#%*!.

Wow, that definitely doesn't seem like much, especially after 3 rockets.  Does the scale of money change when you rescale the solar system?

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1 hour ago, Geschosskopf said:

Does the scale of money change when you rescale the solar system?

Yes, but it's still a significant loss.

I got a :funds:5,000 advance, but still not enough to break even.

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11 minutes ago, NotAgain said:

Yes, but it's still a significant loss.

I suppose the penalties for failure were worse?

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1 hour ago, Geschosskopf said:

I suppose the penalties for failure were worse?

Yes.

Well, I suppose that all I can do is move ahead with the schedual.

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7 hours ago, NotAgain said:

Yes, but it's still a significant loss.

I got a :funds:5,000 advance, but still not enough to break even.

I guess all the cash went to a retirement home for bats with PTSD. Still, at least you demonstrated the bat orbital insertion is repeatable. I'm looking forward to hearing the ultrasonic squeaks of the first bat on the Moon. :D

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Ya know what? It's high time we started naming these bats. We can't expect them to push the horizons of space exploration and just be referred to as 'The Biological Payload'.

I am now officially taking suggestions for bat names.

 

EDIT - WE HAVE ENOUGH BAT NAMES

Edited by NotAgain

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I'll name a bat Caesar  and another Bunny. Vaguely curious if anyone would get the reference. RSS can be a remarkably frustrating experience in and of itself, and TF is even worse; I gave up trying to make orbit with the aerobees in the early game; you really need something far better to reliably make it.

 

EDIT: Re-looking at your testflight fails, are you SURE you're not burning past max ignition time? Each engine has a specific amount of time it can run for before it goes BANG (you can sometimes get past that), but you've had a lot of nearly identical failures which suggests to me you're *really* pushing the limit. Knock about 10-15 seconds off the max (basically, time fuel exhaustion to happen BEFORE you hit max engine lifetime), and it will drastically help prevent engine explosions. SRBs are also immune to TF (they're dead simple stupid in RL); I also use seperation motors a LOT to get the ulliage kickstart on in-atmo stages, so you can get quite a bit of bang to using them to get the first stage moving and decreasing long burn times.

Running through full R&D research also does a lot, AJ-10 failures should become relatively rare as long as you're using the higher end models. It was an extremely reliable engine in RL as well. I also believe short of catastrophic failure, you can attempt to relight failed stages though you obviously need a relightable engine which you might not have that low in the tech tree.

Edited by NCommander

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51 minutes ago, NCommander said:

EDIT: Re-looking at your testflight fails, are you SURE you're not burning past max ignition time? Each engine has a specific amount of time it can run for before it goes BANG (you can sometimes get past that), but you've had a lot of nearly identical failures which suggests to me you're *really* pushing the limit. Knock about 10-15 seconds off the max (basically, time fuel exhaustion to happen BEFORE you hit max engine lifetime), and it will drastically help prevent engine explosions. SRBs are also immune to TF (they're dead simple stupid in RL); I also use seperation motors a LOT to get the ulliage kickstart on in-atmo stages, so you can get quite a bit of bang to using them to get the first stage moving and decreasing long burn times.

Running through full R&D research also does a lot, AJ-10 failures should become relatively rare as long as you're using the higher end models. It was an extremely reliable engine in RL as well. I also believe short of catastrophic failure, you can attempt to relight failed stages though you obviously need a relightable engine which you might not have that low in the tech tree.

Yeah. You're entirely correct. I'm actually in late 1958, and I've just got a huge backlog of stuff, so I realised this a while ago. But you're still correct. IIRC, it took me another few missions to realise where I was going wrong. But you've got that to look forward to. But I shan't spoil it for y'all.

And consider the next bats to be flown named Caesar and Bunny. I don't get the reference, but it's good enough for me.

Edited by NotAgain

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TF is a great mod, but god all mighty is it not well documented. A lot of playing RO required asking questions in IRC. You need it to prevent breaking RO in two; it's quite possible with the A-4+aerobee staging to get orbit very very early with an upgraded LP

As for handy tips, when working with realism overhaul, the easiest way to prevent screwups is build the entire payload first, and then stick a decoupler on the bottom. I'm going to guess you're using a simulation mod (KRASH gets installed with KCT), and test it in Earth orbit. MJ/KER don't quite work correctly with RF, hence why it's easy to get tank mismatches. For things like a lunar lander, build the ascent/aboard stage first, then the descent, etc.

Once you have it working, build the second stage as a separate craft and test it. Once you have it working, throw it as a subassembly (and mark how much dV at what weight it gets). Continue until you have a full rocket. You'll end up with a bunch of rocket assemblies that are known to work and you know roughly what they can do. One slight catch with subassemblies is sometimes TF variants don't seem to survive but that's relatively minor in the end.

RCS is your biggest friend. Due to both ulliage and lack of deep throttling engines (the only one you get is the Apollo Descent stage until near the end of the tech tree), you'll need a LOT of it to get accurate burns. Embrace the RCS. For engines that need ignitions, you need to calculate how many burns you'll need; usually you can get the moon on one, but you might need multiple if you want to try a Mars/Venus flyby + one for orbit. Hypergycemic engines (aka, stuff that doesn't need lights) are very inefficient, but short of critical failure, can be relit when TF strikes.

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1 hour ago, NCommander said:

As for handy tips, when working with realism overhaul, the easiest way to prevent screwups is build the entire payload first, and then stick a decoupler on the bottom. I'm going to guess you're using a simulation mod (KRASH gets installed with KCT), and test it in Earth orbit. MJ/KER don't quite work correctly with RF, hence why it's easy to get tank mismatches. For things like a lunar lander, build the ascent/aboard stage first, then the descent, etc.

Once you have it working, build the second stage as a separate craft and test it. Once you have it working, throw it as a subassembly (and mark how much dV at what weight it gets). Continue until you have a full rocket. You'll end up with a bunch of rocket assemblies that are known to work and you know roughly what they can do.

I already build missions from the payload down, and make subassemblies of whole lifters and some more common stages. And yes, I have a simulation mod.

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I want to name a couple bats:

Jerry

Benny

Bobby

Robbie

And finally Jeb. 

Please use these names :wink:.

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The X - Plane update

It's been a little while since I posted anything about our X - Plane program, so here's an update:

Spoiler

2ZZ0YKs.png

6/1/1954

X - 3A Flight 4 carries E0 Bill Kerman to sub-orbit and back.

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31/1/1954

Then S0 Bob Kerman took the second X - 3A airframe aloft for the first time on X - 3A Flight 5.

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16/1/1954

E0 Linda Jordan makes the first night flight of the X - 3A program with airframe No. 1 on X - 3A Flight 6.

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jKEd0gK.png

5/2/1954

P0 Jebediah Kerman takes our X - 5A supersonic jet up for a cross country flight over to Texas and back.

WuLKzXr.png

 

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15 hours ago, NotAgain said:

Ya know what? It's high time we started naming these bats. We can't expect them to push the horizons of space exploration and just be referred to as 'The Biological Payload'.

I am now officially taking suggestions for bat names.

Hmmm..  BAT...

Banzai Attitude Transport

Bind And Torture'

Burning Ambition Tontine

Boffins Are ****Tards

Beyond All Temerity

BigAss Target

Borderline Acrophobic Tendencies

Barely Acceptable Tolerances

Beer And Tacos

Anyway, I think you and I should have a contest to see who has the most launch failures :wink:

 

Edited by Geschosskopf

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Domain - 3

Mission: Fly one last Bat into orbit.

Launch Site: LC - 3, Cape Canveral

Launch Vehicle: Domain 1

Date: 25/2/1954

Spoiler

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This is the final Low Earth Orbit re-entry test, crewed by a Bat named Jerry. (NOTE: the Bats on Domain - 1 and 2 were named Caesar and Bunny respectively.)

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As this mission is literally identical to the previous two, I'll keep this report short, sweet and relatively free of commantary in order to save myself some time to do another mission report today.

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Success! Jerry the Bat is safely home.

 

Genesis - 2

Mission: Launch a Lunar flyby probe.

Launch Site: LC - 3, Cape Canveral

Launch Vehicle: Domain 2

Date: 20/4/1954

Spoiler

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Alright then, time to shoot for the Moon. This is Genesis - 2, our first attempt at a Lunar flyby mission.

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Launching on the first ever Domain 2 lifter, consisting of a Domain 1 core with six boosters, each one extended by one meter over the Domain 1's boosters. The upper stage is the same as the Domain 1 Upper Stage, with four AJ-10 hypergolic engines, which will propell the spacecraft most of the way to orbit. The third stage is a new single AJ-10 stage, called the Block E which will round out the orbit and then make the Trans-Lunar Injection burn. Altogether, the stack masses 317.3 tons on the launch pad, making it the largest rocket ever flown.

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Another addition for this flight is external cameras for the launch vehicle, one of which we're looking through here at some of the six LR-79 Kerolox boosters.

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And now the camera captures booster separation out over the Atlantic Ocean.

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Fairing separation.

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And we get another camera view, this one from the interstage camera, capturing the upper stage's separation and ignition. The white-ish clouds you can see in the image beside the engines are the exhaust flames from the separation and ullage motors.

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Burning the second stage now, with the spacecraft's antennas deployed.

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Okay. that's a bit concerning. The second stage didn't get anywhere near as close to orbit as we'd hoped.

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And it appears that we forgot about the runtime limitations of the AJ-10. It's failed, just short of orbit.

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Well, we can use the XASR - 1 to acheive a decent orbit anyway, but the mission is clearly not getting to the Moon.

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Hey, look! It's Australia!
 
VvEpCr6.png
 
Well, that was disappointing, and, considering that was our biggest and best rocket, I think that we're going to need something of a re-think.
 

Also, thank you to the brilliant @Albert VDS and @linuxgurugamer for the Hullcam VDS mod, which I'm amazed that I'd forgotten to install for this long.

Edited by NotAgain

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Here's a thought, send a payload on a free return trajectory to get science return from the moon. I can't remember if the biological samples need to be returned for full science, but if you can get a flyby, you *should* be able to get a free return.

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13 hours ago, NCommander said:

Here's a thought, send a payload on a free return trajectory to get science return from the moon. I can't remember if the biological samples need to be returned for full science, but if you can get a flyby, you *should* be able to get a free return.

Spoilers. (Wait 'til 1958).

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More X - Planes

Spoiler

rLJaOZz.png

22/4/1954

Continuing our sub-orbital crewed program, E0 David Bradley launched aboard airframe No. 2 from LC - 2 at Cape Canaveral.

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The mission (for once) went entirely to plan, reaching a decent 121.9km Apogee.

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And I decided to get an after-mission screenshot of David and the spaceplane.

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Later the same day, we launched the other X - 3A, this time from LC - 1, as LC - 2 wasn't reconditioned in time.

1G8KzwV.png

This mission was piloted by S0 Katherine Biggs, and appeared to be going nominally until...

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This happened. Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to install a personal parachute mod for my Kerbals and Katherine managed to bail out, but this is going to require an investigation.

 

Plus, spoilers for tomorrow's update:

Spoiler

vQGgufP.png

 

Also, does anyone have any suggestions/improvements? For either the mission reports or the missions themselves.

Edited by NotAgain

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6 hours ago, NotAgain said:

Also, does anyone have any suggestions/improvements? For either the mission reports or the missions themselves.

Nope.  I think both are great

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Genesis - 3

Mission: Fly by the Moon.

Launch Site: LC - 3, Cape Canaveral.

Launch Vehicle: Domain 2A

Date: 18/6/1954

Spoiler

Wa8haqu.png

Alright, after the disappoining failure of Genesis - 2, we've re-thought the design of the Domain 2 lifter rocket, and come up with a new second and third stage. We're hoping that the improvements will be enough to fling a one ton Type A Genesis probe out to the Moon.

lUv4LBc.png

The new, improved second stage is built around a big, previously side-lined engine, the LR-105, which lost the competition for the sustainer for the Domain 1 on the grounds that a cluster of three engines with another three separate verniers was needlessly complicated and intricate compared to the RD-108, the other entrant in the competition. Unusually, the second stage is not re-ignitable, but that shouldn't be an issue, as we're relying on the third stage to circularise the mission in orbit. We call this new stage the Block H.

NALMSFz.png

The new third stage is known as the Block F, and it's a very simplistic approch to solving the problems of the Block E. We've just added a second engine. That halves the burn time whilst retaining the Delta V of the Block E, improving the TWR of the stage and stops the engines from exceeding their rated runtime.

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This mission will only be a flyby, but should return some frankly historic data nevertheless.

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By this point, the fairing is gone and the RD-108 propelled core is nearing burn-out.

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We've also decided to continue the 'cameras in the interstage' thing.

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On the subject of cameras, a near identical one to the interstage camera is mounted on the probe, and will hopefully capture some brilliant close-up images of our only natural satellite.

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And there we go, Block F ignition.

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And orbit achieved a few moments afterwards.

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We were left slightly short of fuel in the Block F after orbital insertion, and didn't quite have enough for the Trans-Lunar Injection, but the probe itself is equipped with an XASR - 1, a descendant of the Aerobee, and managed to clean up our trajectory, and place us on a collision course with the Moon.

Zi8UAiA.png

And we get our first images back from the camera at this point, showing the Earth, with two of the four omnidirectional antennas in the foreground.

luKhZhw.png

Then we had the probe swing around on its RCS thrusters to point at the Moon, and send back its first images of the mission's target. The large white smudge in the top of the image is the exhaust of one of the Nitrous Oxide RCS thrusters.

xejpxZL.png

As I mentioned earlier, we're still on a collision course with the Moon, so it was at this point the we directed the probe to correct its course using the copious quantities of Nitrous Oxide it still had in its tanks, and we managed to get a 20km apoapsis.

RzFHF9L.png

After a few further hours of falling, the probe's on-board camera capturerd this image of the moon and the Earth. At this point, mission control was frantically programming the flight computer with delayed action sequences to run the mission's various experiments when it reached Perilune.

apLd4Rc.png

And here's our first Earthset.

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Falling towards Perilune now...

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The perilune itself was in the dark, so I present to you this image, taken about a minute from it.

(OOC: At this point I changed the ambient light settings to something far more realistic to get the proper feel of this.)

ey4EP6h.png

A few minutes after, we re-aquired signal from the probe, and downloaded the data it had collected while out of radio contact with home. It occurs to me now that this little spacecraft was the first object from Earth to leave the line-of-sight of its homeworld. It'll run out of battery in a few days, but that doesn't make it any less of a fantastic achivement.
 

 

Edited by NotAgain
Sp&G

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KSA PRESS RELEASE - 24/6/1954

Following on from our fantastic success last week with the Genesis - 3 lunar flyby and the continued success of the Domain orbital atmospheric re-entry test program, it has been decided amongst the KSA administrative team that we should, as a logical next step, place a significant quantity of our resources behind a new program, one with the aim of putting a Kerbal in Low Earth Orbit and returning them safely home by the end of the year 1957. This will be by no means be an easy project, but with the expertise we have gathered from our operation during the Domain and X - 3A programs, we are confidant about its feasibility. More details are to follow, but rest assured, great things are ahead of us.

 

 

Kador - 1

Mission: Test out the RCS and service module of the proposed crewed orbital spacecraft.

Launch SIte: LC - 1, Cape Canaveral

Launch Vehicle: Domain L

Date:12/7/1954

Spoiler

u6WFGa0.png

Following the recent announcement of the KSA's intention to put a Kerbal in Low Earth Orbit and return them safely to Earth before the end of 1957, a program of test missions has been devised, starting with this one, testing a very basic boilerplate variant of the spacecraft, equipped with the first version of the actual (as yet un-named) crewed spacecraft's RCS and service module.

ZbFxByd.png

The lifter is a brand new rocket, known as the Domain L (short for Light), not quite as punchy as the Domain 1, but cheaper, and largely built with pre-existing hardware. The booster engines are the same type of RD-103M used by the Devoid 1 family for their core stages, and the new variant share the trademark Domain RD-108 core stage. The upper stage is the only wholley new component, using an RD-0105, a new Kerolox engine, courtesy of the USSR. Single ignition, relatively low thrust, but good efficiency, it should be plenty to place the boilerplate spacecraft in orbit.

KrLNAWY.png

Or not.

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Well, I call that a waste of money.

 

X - 3B Flight 1

Mission: Test out a new, truly sub-orbital, spaceplane.

Launch Site: LC - 1

Date: 21/7/1954

Spoiler

P34qyOM.png

In an attempt to climb above 140km with a crewed vessel, we've gone and built a third X - 3A airframe and fitted it with two small Solid Rocket Boosters. What could possibly go wrong? (This is an un-crewed test BTW).

22CBjgJ.png

Apparantly, neither booster exploded during its 30 second burn, and they separated cleanly. We hot-staged in the A4 five seconds before BECO.

tBkv9Ta.png

The boosters appear to have had the desired effect, and we're now more than 45km up and still firing the A4.

9L0m6ui.png

Reaching a spectacular apogee of 225km now. That's kinda higher than we anticipated.

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Oh no.

396m9HO.png

Oh dear. Perhaps that was a little too high.

 

On ‎06‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 11:46 PM, Geschosskopf said:

Anyway, I think you and I should have a contest to see who has the most launch failures :wink:

Score 2 for me.

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26 minutes ago, NotAgain said:

Score 2 for me.

Bravo!  Now I have to go back and count up all of mine...

Anyway, the X-plane flight there....  Did it ever leave the atmosphere or did it burn up during ascent?

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6 minutes ago, Geschosskopf said:

Anyway, the X-plane flight there....  Did it ever leave the atmosphere or did it burn up during ascent?

Got to 225km up. Broke up on re-entry.

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