Ultimate Steve

Space Race - RO/RSS/RP-0 (Q4 1953)

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Ultimate Steve - January-March 1953 (Cycle 9)




The beginning of 1953 was eventful - three launches occurred. The first, on Jan 31, was Artemis 3. Artemis 2 was a planned lunar orbiter, but one of the uppity ups decided to postpone it until a lunar impactor had been sent, hence the need for Artemis 3. The launch would have been overkill even for a SkyRender Block 1B, so a new rocket was developed, called Super Monkey


The rocket was the same diameter as SkyRender at 3m, and featured a more efficient upper stage (with low thrust, however, it takes ten minutes to deplete its fuel - a two engine variant is being considered. The core has decent TWR but the boosters were added just in case. A version with just two boosters is being considered as well.

All of that is moot, though, because it exploded shortly after launch.


Somehow, the probe survived, though.


The problem was determined to be aerodynamic instability and a second attempt, Artemis 4, was made 20 days later, on February 20.


A lofted trajectory was chosen in order to give the upper stage long enough to do its job.




The mission of crashing into the moon at high velocity achieved, and as well as gathering low science from two of the Moon's biomes, the mission was deemed successful.

Next up was Artemis 2, a lunar orbiter launching on a SkyRender Block 1A.



The second stage completed most of the TLI burn and it was finished off by the hydrazine powered probe.

As a side note, those solar panels currently take 2 days to build each, so rush build was definitely used - can't wait for better, less time consuming ones.


The lunar insertion burn was done, mostly successfully. However, due to inefficiencies and course corrections, not enough fuel remained to get into as low as wanted.


However, given enough time, Artemis 2 could get science from everywhere except the poles. Because of the groundbreaking nature of the mission, it was counted as a success although it would take longer to accomplish its objectives then was planned.

Launches - 3

Success - 2

Failure - 1


@qzgy you're up!




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Posted (edited)

qzgy - January-March 1953


Cephalopod Advanced Research Division - Still kicking themselves


January 21st was the launch of the Pearl1-2 probe into an 1124x920 km orbit. Nothing really to impressive or worth talking about.



March 25th saw the launch of Cuttlefish 1.3U4 to fill another contract. Again, nothing to spectacular or worth talking about.

Since @NSEP is back, he has many things to talk about!

Edited by qzgy
Oh look. The date was wrong....
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NSEP - June 1952 / March 1953 (Cycle, Seven ate nine)



August 1952, the NSEP launched their first solar powered satellite on an Alpha 120 rocket into a Polar Orbit, but failed due to a spacebar mishap. The NSEP declared it wasn't a big problem, since the next mission was going to do the same thing.




Novembre 1952, launch of the LSP 2, (Lunar Science Platform 2), the improved version was lighter, had solar panels, and had more science experiments carrying with it, was also intended to impact the Moon. LSP - 2 was launched on a Beta 110 rocket into a polar orbit, where it waited several days for its Transfer Window. It reached the Moon on December 15th, 1952



December 27th, 1952. The NSEP finally researched the technology for orbital return. The first spacecraft to use this technology was accurately named the ''game changer''. The game changer launched on the Alpha 120 flew in a suborbital trajectory, and succesfully survived re-entry at 7200m/s, but its parachutes failed to open, and it crashed into the ocean. The mission was a partial succes.




January - Februari 1953. The NSEP solved the parachute problem, and was ready to launch a Human to space on the Alpha 120 with the game changer, but the launch was scrubbed, and Jebediah had to get out, because having a person onboard violated the contract. Game Changer did an unmanned launch again, this time it was a succes! Game changer succesfully splashed down on Februari 16th, 1953. The NSEP was now ready to launch a human into orbit on the Beta 110, within the next few months.


@Ultimate Steve, its your turn!

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This looks interesting, even though I never to managed to get into RO/RSS.

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Ultimate Steve - April-June 1953 (Cycle 10)




On May 13, a strange satellite was launched, named "Object A" on a Super Monkey rocket.


The grass was also growing very tall at KSC, engulfing most of the land around the launch pad, and even most of the tracking station! The NSP's budget for lawn care will be increased.


The launch was also the debut of Super Monkey DEUS, or Double Engine Upper Stage, as opposed to the ultra low TWR single engine upper stage that had flown previously. The orbit entered was polar, and the satellite was equipped with engines and RCS thrusters. No immediate movement was observed from Object A, leaving its purpose unknown...

On May 22, only nine days later, Euphoria 4, the second manned orbital mission was launched.


The capsule contained Evgeniya Khvostovskaya (no way I'm spelling her name again, I'll call her Ek), a scientist, and veteran of one of the Diagon M flights. The flight also contained a new iteration of the ever changing service module, containing better propulsion systems, solar panels, and a large camera.


Interestingly, after the completion of the orbital insertion burn, the second stage, which used the Block 1A restartable upper stage, remained attached to the capsule. The spacecraft was also launched into a polar orbit.

During her time in orbit, Ek used the camera over every single biome, resetting it after every use... BY EVA!


Several EVAs were made without issue, gathering EVA reports from above every biome as well. Later on, the second stage performed several more burns and...


...Rendezvoused with the wrong object. Apparently, there were two objects marked "Object A Debris" and the upper stage had been chosen by mistake. Nevertheless, it was the NSP's first rendezvous. Samples of parts were collected from the engines for further analysis on how to build better engines. The rendezvous was attempted again, and... managed to target the decoupler from the upper stage by mistake. It was found that Object A, the target, was actually a quarter of an orbit behind, and that the targeting staff were obviously idiots... However, it demonstrated the Euphoria's service module performance and further qualified the hydrazine thrusters for further flight.


The third time is a charm, they say! Several hours after launch, Ek went EVA again to retrieve several science experiments from Object A (although they have been done before so they don't net any science, but just to prove we could) and made detailed observations of Earth's reflection in the shiny metal skin of Object A.

In another startling move, Object A maneuvered itself so it was directly in front of Euphoria 4, and the two entered an intentional state of collision... Then, Euphoria started its engines.


While not a docking, the missions demonstrated the viability of docking maneuvers and reboosting between connected space objects. After most of Euphoria's fuel was burned, Object A separated and lit its own engines to reach an even higher orbit.


Euphoria 4 then focused on its secondary objective - an attempt to remain in orbit for two days,. However about an hour from the needed deadline the batteries began running dangerously low. The solar panels had not worked as well as expected. The capsule was de-orbited.



The landing was successful, although due to lack of control on reentry the capsule was oriented the wrong way and experienced crushing g forces on re-entry. Ek will not be flying for quite some time due to injuries sustained (yay, I don't ever have to spell her whole name again!).

On June 27, the final rocket of the quarter was launched, called Blind Spot 1. It launched on a Super Monkey single engine upper stage, as it had been delayed for several quarters due to other important launches and as a result used an older version of the rocket.


Its job was to do something about the alarming comms gap over the Atlantic ocean by launching a geostationary satellite. It was successful, although due to my lack of understanding of RT I can't figure out how it works... I think for every launch I have to target the sat using the lifter and then target the lifter using the sat, which is time consuming.


Milestones - EVA in orbit, 5/22/53.

Launches - 3

Success - 2

Partial - 1. Euphoria 4 sustained high g force on reentry due to electrical failure and did not stay in orbit for two days, although it was in the air for two days and ten minutes, GRR! The duration was a secondary objective, but two minor shortcomings barely constitute this as a partial. The primary objectives, rendezvous, reboosting, EVA, and science, were all successful.


@qzgy, show me what you've got!





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8 hours ago, Ultimate Steve said:

although due to my lack of understanding of RT I can't figure out how it works... I think for every launch I have to target the sat using the lifter and then target the lifter using the sat

I might be wrong, but there should be an option to target "active vessel", that should connect to the rocket you currently control. Or, you might target "Earth",  and the cone will cover everything over the same hemisphere. Beware though, the antenna on the rocket has to be able to reach all the way to the commsat, RT doesn't use the square root method that stock comms system uses. And, if you have the time, RT has quite an extensive instructions over here: http://remotetechnologiesgroup.github.io/RemoteTech/


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qzgy - April-June 1953 (Cycle 10)


Cephalopod Advanced Research Division - Did a stupie AGAIN


Q3 saw 3 launches from CARD, as well as some minor facility upgrades

April 13th saw a Kalamari launch, carrying an unmanned probe.



This was originally intended to go to the moon. However, porr planning and a lack of dV prevented that. It was repurposed as a CommSat (which we need anyways....) and sent into a 6000x6000 km orbit (approximately) and called the Conch 1. This was deemed a partial failure since the original mission failed but we got something good out of it.

June 1st saw the launch of the Humboldt 1, a new launcher capable of carrying around maybe lots of payload into orbit (more so it seems than other competitors :ph34r:). Which is good since I can't pilot that well to the moon yet.



Also a standard color scheme has been decided on by now for all future rockets. However, due to an oversight of the designer, no solar panels to recharge the batteries were included and the probe, titled Seashell II died in orbit. Engineers responsible have been fired. With this failure moon exploits have once again been pushed back... *sigh*



To close off the cycle, another Kalamari carrying a Conch CommSat was sent up to start the formation of a constellation on June 20th. Which went well and without anything of note.


Launches/Successes/Partial Failures/Failures - 3/1/1/1


I believe also a new payload record is in order....

@NSEP is up again!

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Posted (edited)


NSEP - April / June 1953 (Cycle 10)








April 12th, 1953. The big day has struck, the first manned orbital spaceflight of the NSEP has begun, coincidentally, on the same day Yuri Gagarin took flight. Jebediah launched on the Game Changer-X spacecraft, launched by a Beta 110 launch vehicle. The mission was deemed a great succes, the NSEP is going to use the funds gathered by this mission to develop technologies for circumlunar return flights, that will eventually lead to manned spaceflight beyond LEO.



June, 1953. The NSEP planned their third Science mission to the moon wich was intended to orbit the Moon. It launched well and good, on a Beta 110 into a polar orbit, where it orbited for a month to wait for its launch window. On July 2nd, 1953, the NSEP attempted to fire the AJ10 rocket engine to boost the probe to the Moon, but because of low pressure, the engine failed to ignite. The mission was deemed a failure. Engineers think a micrometeorite hit the pressurized gas tanks, slowly depleting its pressure and making the transfer stage completely useless.

Show us what you got, @Ultimate Steve!

Edited by NSEP
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Ultimate Steve - July-September 1953 (Cycle 11)




Many things happened this quarter for the NSP - five launches, to be exact - and four of them from the same family, as well as the debut of one new launch system, and two new configurations of the smaller launch system.

The first launch was called Object B, which launched on 7/12/53 on a Super Monkey V1.1. The Super Monkey had undergone several changes over the months, debuting in various flights, like engine and avionics upgrades. However, this was confusing and it was decided to make all of these changes standard, as well as the DEUS. The result was Super Monkey 1.1.




Object B's mission was to test out two new science experiments, the magnetometer and the orbital telescope. Unfortunately, it did not make it to high orbit (which IMO is ridiculously high) so it did not get as much science as planned. It was classes as a success, however, as nothing really went wrong with the spacecraft, just that someone forgot to check the altitude of high space.


Next up, on 8/11/53, was Artemis 6, on another Super Monkey V1.1. The launch went well, the mission was to impact the Moon (again). However, Artemis 5 has not launched yet, it is still under construction, and this one finished first, so I launched it first.


The moon was impacted, and the mission declared a success.




And, liftoff of StarRender! This rocket, with 5/6 of the power of a Proton booster on the first stage, and a NK-9V on the second stage, is intended to be the NSP's new medium-heavy workhorse. Originally, there were supposed to be two rockets, a Medium one called Triton and a large one called StarRender, but they were merged and ended up towards the larger side. The launch occurred on 9/2/53.



No record of the payload mass has been found, but guestimation given the payload+empty S2 puts the payload somewhere around 22 tons. *evil laugh*

The payload was named Artemis 5, and it had two missions - a lunar communications orbiter, and a lunar lander. The insertion stage was powered by a restartable Kerolox engine with five ignitions, and the stage was named RUSH - Restartable Upper Stage Rocket. Yes, Rocket doesn't start with H but I can't think of a good acronym otherwise.


However, due to lack of cryogenic tank technology, the liquid oxygen boiled off early in the trip to the moon, leaving the orbiter part of the mission stranded.


The scientists tried to land the lander portion of Artemis 5 anyway, thinking it had the margin to deal with this.


Unfortunately, it was about 200m/s short of being able to land. The RUSH stage and lack of technology was blamed for the failure, although it was only a partial failure - the new launch vehicle functioned perfectly, and the out-of-fuel transfer stage entered solar orbit and got our first bit of science from the sun.

Next up on 9/23, Object C was launched on a new variant of Super Monkey, the 1.1S config.


The 1.1S was shorter overall, lacked the solid rocket boosters on the first stage, and used a single engine upper stage.


However, the revert to the SEUS proved a mistake as the stage took a full 15 minutes to exhaust its fuel, dipping back down into the atmosphere before running out of fuel due to high gravity losses. However, the probe managed to enter orbit, where it waited...

On 9/30, Object D was launched, again on a 1.1S but this time with a now-standard DEUS.


The probe safely reached orbit, and after a few hours...




...Docked with Object C, proving docking technology! Object D then fired its engines to boost the orbit of Object C which carried a high velocity reentry testbed. After Object D's fuel was depleted, it undocked and de-orbited while Object C lit its own engines and entered an orbit with an apogee a third of the way to the moon.


However, the results of the heat shield test were unsatisfactory and (CLASSIFIED). (CLASSIFIED) will have to be developed for the upcoming (CLASSIFIED).


L/S/PS/F - 5/1/4/0. Man, something failed almost everywhere this quarter!

Milestone - first docking. 9/30/53.


@qzgy shall present his news...





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qzgy - July-September 1953 (Cycle 11)


Cephalopod Advanced Research Division -Actually making progress!


Short one cause it really wasn't interesting.

July 24th saw the launch of Seashell 2.5 on the Humboldt HLV. It successfully went to the moon and made orbit around it. Yay! Finally....




The parasite impactor also worked flawlessly, impacting the moon as designed. (Good bye ya piece of crap)




The rest of the cycle was spent on finally finishing off a 4 sattelite commnet contract which actually took like 6 sattelites to actually do since I was stupid and didn't really pilot the best. Oh well thats done.



VAB work was finished also this month as well as many upgrades to hopefully compete with the blistering pace of the NSP...


Launches/Successes/Partial Successes/Failure - 5/3/2

Milestones - Lunar orbit - July 24/25

@NSEP - Your turn again!

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NSEP - July / September 1953 (Cycle 11)





August 27th, 1953. Jebediah flew on the re-arranged version of the Game Changer, re-named ''Union'' (after the Soyuz spacecraft). The Union will serve as a test bed for future technologies and will probably be used in circumlunar flights. Jeb's mission was to do an EVA, but because of cold-welding, the hatch got stuck, and he could unfortunately not get out. Jebediah also forgot his water supply, wich means it had to do an in-orbit abort, the Union deorbited shortly after reaching orbit, and succesfully landed back home. The mission was deemed a partial failure.


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Ultimate Steve - October-December 1953 (Cycle 12)




On 10/8, the Reacher 1 space probe was launched, the first dedicated mission to explore the sun.


The launch vehicle was a standard SkyRender Block 1A.


The mission was a complete success, netting a solar apoapsis between Mars and Jupiter.

Next up, on 11/25, Euphoria 5 was launched, the third crewed orbital mission launched by the NSP.


Onboard was Rostislav Grekov, and the mission was to obtain high orbit crewed science and test high velocity reentry using new heat shield technology. The extra velocity was provided by upgrades to the SkyRender lifter, leading to a new version, Block 1C with upgraded engines and lighter avionics. The service module was also reshuffled again.


The spacecraft was launched into a polar orbit in order to do biome science with mystery goo. However, goo does not do per biome science, as Rostislav discovered. And the spacecraft didn't have enough fuel to reach high space, which is stupidly high IMO. And to top it off, the solar panels were just barely not producing enough power, so Euphoria 5 was still limited in duration by electricity. After a few orbits, totaling 5 days in space, Rostislav returned to Earth, proving the new heat shield technology.


For the third and final mission of the quarter, and the final mission of 1953, the Artemis 7 lunar lander probe was launched on the second flight of StarRender on 12/20.



The launch went off without any major problems.

The RUSH stage (Restartable Upper StagHe rocket) has been downgraded due to a lack of cryogenic tanks to the RUSH-A version, which is powered by 3 hypergolic AJ-10 engines.


As a result of using RUSH-A, the fuel did not boil off and lunar orbit was achieved. Artemis 7's lander was detached shortly later.


The lander, running dangerously low on fuel, safely landed sometime around Christmas, netting many science points.



3 launches, 2 successes, 1 partial success, 0 failures.

Milestone - Unmanned Lunar Landing, launched 12/20/53.





@qzgy you're next!



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Posted (edited)

qzgy - October - December 1953 (Cycle 12)


Cephalopod Advanced Research Division - Things are moving up maybe?


November 17th or so, the Limpet-Seashell was launched in an attempt to land on the moon first (before realizing the NSP already landed later that month *sigh*)


It was technically successful as it worked to get into orbit and setup a lunar flyby. However, that didn't count for much as it ran out of EC. Oh well. Sorta worked though. Also got launched wayyy out into space, past earth escape. So thats nice.


December 12th or 19th (date is unclear), a new realllly big launcher was used for the first time. Called the Atlantica, it carried a new 2 man long duration crew system called Dyopteryx.


In the haste to test it, the unmanned maiden flight was accidentally forgotten. Oops.


Anyways, Diana Lyadova and Natalya Permyakova stayed in orbit for a whopping 7 days! Collecting much science from a new camera thingy the boffins dreamed up and going on EVA multiple times. (For the record probably December 19th or so)



After the nice long exile spaceflight, they deorbited without mishap. Minor scary moment when the lower lifesupport and OMS/RCS system came close but you know, could be worse.


They safely landed (although recovery crews took their sweet sweet time coming to them. Probably spent a day or so floating on the ocean. The mission was deemed a stunning success.


December 27th saw the launch of a Kalamari 1.6 to attempt and reach a geostationary orbit. That didn't quite happen though as there was not enough dV in the satellite. But hey, can't hurt that there's another comms sat in orbit. The more the merrier!



Launches/Successes/Partial Successes/Failure - 3/1/2/0

Milestones - 2 crew orbit (not official), EVA - December 19th

@NSEP I know, its been quick.

Edited by qzgy
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Is this thing still alive gents? Things started to look interesting, it would be a shame if it ended right now..... :)


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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, michal.don said:

Is this thing still alive gents? Things started to look interesting, it would be a shame if it ended right now..... :)


NSEP is taking another break, I'll ask him when he'll be ready again. This will be finished eventually!

Edit: It appears that it's going to be a while.

Edited by Ultimate Steve
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