Ultimate Steve

Space Race Season 2 - RP-1 (1959)

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6 minutes ago, Ultimate Steve said:

That's probably gonna be a power record for a while.

Just wait until you see Overture Block E. ;) 

Current plans call for 4 RD-103's on the first stage and 4 XLR-11's on the second. The design is waiting in the VAB for me to return to the computer and regain funding.

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6 minutes ago, KerbalKore said:

Just wait until you see Overture Block E. ;) 

Current plans call for 4 RD-103's on the first stage and 4 XLR-11's on the second. The design is waiting in the VAB for me to return to the computer and regain funding.

Holy kamoley, I assume you have upgraded the launch pad or are planning to. If loaded to maximum, it could require a level 3 pad!

I don't have anything with more than a quarter of that power in the pipeline. Waiting for better tech to make something that large and in the meantime pushing current tech to its limits.

Not gonna lie, sort of want to get tank III for that vehicle as well so I don't have to buy much tank II tooling. Also need a name for it. And like actual plans.

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Posted (edited)

Johnster Space Agency - 1953

jFT49dU.jpg"JSA Finally Launches A Crewed Flight!"

 

Spoiler

 

JSA did not do so well in 1952. In 1953, they would change that. There had been talks of a spacecraft named Derin being made, that would fly with a crew, a first for the JSA so far. It was true, and on September 13, 1953 Derin prepared to launch.

YiXDgnc.png

The spacecraft, piloted by Semyon Belov, launched on September 13, 1953. It was JSA's first crewed flight! It reached a maximum altitude of 3.2 kilometers, and broke the speed of sound briefly during the flight. The touchdown was around 4 m/s and was considered a success.

MHPEKSo.png

Hoping to get in one more launch before the end of the year, Kyro 5 was prepared for launch.

It launched on December 30, 1953 and had 7 engines in the 2nd stage.

DslIrkX.png

Like Kyro 4, it started going sideways shortly after liftoff. No engine failures of problems happened during the entire flight. It reached over 2000 m/s at engine cutout, and its maximum altitude was 276.2 kilometers, a new height and speed record for JSA so far.

 K5KWxe0.png

It came crashing into the ground, and as it was about to hit the ground, it was literally in flames.

PEVBRlO.png

To sum up 1953 for JSA.

First Crewed Flight! Also another Kyro rocket launch, which broke previous speed and height records.

Launches: 2 (2 successes, 0 partial failures, 0 failures)

Note: I recently got the X-1 cockpit, so i'm going to try and put someone in space during 1954 with that (if its allowed).

My tech tree at the start of 1954

3jgCwwC.png

 

 

Edited by Johnster_Space_Program
fixed spelling error

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Well, I lied, I will keep posting for now. Here's '55!

Notebook Space Program - 1955

sLRIRri.png

I'm gonna make a hypersonic woman out of you! Also launch vehicle development and stuff.

Spoiler

The first launch of the year was the Legend 6, launching on the chief mission controller's birthday, March 29. Its mission was to take a film camera thing into space and return it to Earth.

ZObgx3r.png

With the nose blue for good luck, the rocket took off and entered space.

bYv8bfy.png

The apogee went unrecorded, but the mission was a success, the capsule not ending up far from the launch site.

Next, on August 8, a very important launch occurred, a development launch for the NSP's first orbit project. The program was dubbed "Opus."

Opus 1 was an Opus vehicle with all of the engines and control systems of the final vehicle, but with Tank I components (Tank II, lighter tanks, hadn't been fully researched yet) and a shortened lower stage. The reason for the shortened lower stage was that the full Opus vehicle was too heavy and too tall to utilize the space center's current facilities.

As a result, Opus 1 could test most, if not all of the systems required for orbital flight despite not having anywhere near enough Delta-V to enter orbit.

BLyeKim.png

Also, the engine skirts were due to me not having B9 part switch installed... But I installed that and now I can't see how to change them back. I also couldn't be bothered to fix it with proper interstages.

27ZykKx.png

Unfortunately, the shortening of the first stage meant that the second stage had to fire deeper in the atmosphere than planned, and this led it to flip out.

u2RmUfe.png

However, following a lengthy battle (which used up some of the RCS fuel) either the engine shut off due to improper flow or it regained its vertical position and raised apogee a bit, I forget which.

jatIvOS.png

The RCS system on stage two was used to spin the rest of the stack up, as it had no control ability. Stage three performed well, and so did stage four.

GONvJgH.png

However, due to the flips on the second stage, an altitude of only 1214.5km was achieved, lower than what Legend-Pencil achieved at its best. Opus 1 was declared a partial success.

"Hey Steve," asked Alisa Yolkina one day.

"Yes?"

"I want to try to go to space on a Legend M."

"What? No."

"Come on, many of the space programs in the world are planning on doing it! The CDI has already done it for Pete's sake!"

"I've told you, we are not prioritizing manned spaceflight right now."

"But Legend M can do it with minimal additional development!"

"It was designed to go supersonic, maybe Mach 2 at best."

"And it reached Mach 4!"

"Before exploding!"

"Because someone twitched the control stick! It was doing fine until then!"

"You say that you can fly the Legend better than Grigory?"

"Duh."

"And doing the same flight profile, could you land it for analysis?"

"I'll get farther than Grigory did, that's for sure. He didn't even get to the whole glide to the island thing. Or even to the supersonic glide thing."

"Alright... I will give you a chance. Legend 7 will be a Legend M. Test how well the craft responds to a fast environment, do the same planned mission profile, maybe up to 50 kilometers, and land at the downrange island. If you can do all that successfully, then we'll see about suborbital."

"Yay!"

"Don't get your hopes up."

fYYhcP4.png

And so, on November 29, Legend 7 was launched, a near copy of Legend 4, the only differences being the addition of massive wings for more stability (with an added bonus of being a better glider) and that the elevons were moved backwards, also for stability. Egg was on board (in case you didn't get it, her last name is YOLKina).

yWkcxNf.png

The vehicle abruptly pitched downrange and began gaining speed.

CDE1r4y.png

The burn continued until all of the fuel was gone, Egg expertly keeping the vehicle facing prograde. She checked her speedometer shortly after burnout, and she was travelling over Mach 5.3!

"Hey Grigory," she said over the radio, once she was high enough that the re-entry flames vanished.

"Yes?"

"You're not the fastest human on the planet any more!"

"Wait, what? No fair!"

"Mach 5.3! Yeah, that's right! This Egg is hypersonic!"

"Focus," said a mission controller, "Or this Egg is going to be scrambled."

DlEIIsb.png

After a couple minutes at high altitude, Legend 7 descended, experiencing re-entry heating. The islands (which, as Egg noted, looked like a smiley face with a goatee) were in sight. Not bad accuracy considering we don't have trajectories in the map yet, and the islands are probably too small to appear on the map anyway.

mTQBcjp.png

The recovery teams watched and waited as Legend 7 descended through the clouds.

"Hey Grigory," she said.

"Not again."

"I made it through the atmosphere, and in one piece!"

"Yes, I get it, you've one upped me twice."

"I bet you I can land on the goatee!"

uEgC07q.png

Alisa lined up with Goatee Island. Shortly before the island, she rapidly pulled up, shedding a lot of velocity. She pulled the rear parachutes and decoupled her capsule.

k0efhWZ.png

She fell through the sky, waiting for the right moment.

KMtj4pY.png

She popped her chutes.

JhnkkUI.png

"Bullseye!" Alisa said.

"Ooh, looks like someone's lost bragging rights!" said a passing student.

 

The mission was a complete success by all metrics. A flawless launch, a flawless entry and glide phase, a flawless deployment of the landing sequence, and a flawless pinpoint landing.

 

MzIU832.png

Just a few days later, on December 3, Grigory, in an attempt to save face (and because Egg was still on leave) piloted the I-1 "Zorro" rocket plane. It had long been delayed, and was technically cancelled, but I came back to it and got it to work in the sims the first time I tried again. Weird.

On its first mission, its goal was to just fly around and go faster than the speed of sound. No contracts or anything, just mostly a stunt.

However, it starts seeming a lot less cool when five days earlier your co-worker one upped you in almost every conceivable way.

0c3rZ5Y.png

The plane flew around a bit, dived, went to a bit over mach 1, and returned to land.

(Also, the I in the title stands for Innovation/Innovative, and I intend for this to be the equivalent of the IRL X series)

However, Grigory overshot by just a little bit.

HMVUgUU.png

He had basically no chance of sticking a runway landing, and not enough momentum to go around, and probably not enough to make it to the grass on the left of the runway. So he flew right.

Ml4LFEA.png

He missed the crawlerway by inches, but managed to land the now glider back in one piece.

Tech tree at the end of '55:

WTG1Xk8.png

(Orange nodes are being researched currently)

 

To sum up the year:

Hypersonic person, the start of a possible manned spaceflight program, a slightly cool plane, a return from space, and a stripped down prototype of what may become an orbital launcher.

Launches: 4. 3 success, 1 partial, 0 failure.

Notes: Still need to upgrade the launch pad and complete the necessary research for a proper Opus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A challenger approaches... Interesting. Do you intend to use lifting bodies or capsules?

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37 minutes ago, KerbalKore said:

A challenger approaches... Interesting. Do you intend to use lifting bodies or capsules?

For suborbital, the Legend 7 design will suffice, which is more of a "falling with style" body than a lifting body, which has a capsule just for landing, after it glides to the touchdown zone. A bit of an odd combination, but it was just originally designed for the sound barrier. For orbital, well, I haven't thought that far ahead yet.

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Advice from an agency with experience, find some way to control attitude during reentry. The RCAS of the Revolution worked near the end of reentry and at the beginning, leaving it pointed prograde for most of reentry.

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Just now, KerbalKore said:

Advice from an agency with experience, find some way to control attitude during reentry. The RCAS of the Revolution worked near the end of reentry and at the beginning, leaving it pointed prograde for most of reentry.

Having played through most of the crewed Legend launches already, I can tell you I found a solution, but not much more, except for that I wouldn't want to be the pilot.

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, KerbalKore said:

Advice from an agency with experience, find some way to control attitude during reentry. The RCAS of the Revolution worked near the end of reentry and at the beginning, leaving it pointed prograde for most of reentry.

An addendum, I think I'm going to have to hire a new astronaut group for orbital launches. They are all going to retire soon, in all likelihood before I have the capability to put them in orbit.

Edit: which is a shame, not only because of the hiring cost, but because I've spent some time on character development. Not much time but some time.

Edited by Ultimate Steve

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Posted (edited)

Notebook Space Program - 1956

sLRIRri.png

A pretty slow year, but with pretty fast rockets.

Spoiler

Only two launches happened in 1956.

The first of those was Opus 2, which launched on March 26. It was another Tank I straight up test of the Opus vehicle.

8stpXnn.png

Everything was looking good, until a few seconds after liftoff when the first stage RD-101 had a critical failure, resulting in a shutdown.

jfxSeba.png

XG3SfiK.png

Fortunately, the launch pad did not explode.

It took several months to build Opus 3, its replacement. It launched on August 14.

xKpoY7B.png

This launch went fairly well. I don't remember, but stage 2 may have flipped over.

dfkTXtJ.png

8wQKs3b.png

The final stage reached 2016 kilometers. Written next to it I have "Success?" but I don't remember what went wrong with it, and it seems fairly successful.

The rest of the year was spent both building Opus 4 and upgrading to a launch pad which can support vehicles of up to 60 tons.

 

Summary:

Two test launches of a pre-orbital vehicle, one a success, one an epic failure.

Launches - 2. 1 success, 0 partial, 1 failure.

 

The first satellite we launch will likely not be anything particularly useful, seeing as we have yet to unlock solar panels, and the launch vehicle doesn't have the capability for more than a few small experiments and maybe a light battery. The useful payload of Opus is likely in the single digit kilograms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ultimate Steve

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Posted (edited)

I love this mission report. One question: would anyone be up for making something similar in (e.g) SSRSS/QSRSS, JNSQ, Etc

Edited by Spacenerd Kerman
Quarter size RSS exists too

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10 hours ago, Spacenerd Kerman said:

I love this mission report. One question: would anyone be up for making something similar in (e.g) SSRSS/QSRSS, JNSQ, Etc

Thank you!

Doing a space race in another scale/planet pack would still require KCT at the very least to limit build times so it would actually be a race, and probably something else to keep up the difficulty. I'm not sure how effective RP-1 would be in non-RSS, if it works at all. If you want to do it you can, and I can provide advice if need be.

Or you can join this one if you want.

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Posted (edited)

More competitors would be welcome, as I am stuck in Canada till the 21st, and it seems the others (besides Steve) have been inactive in this thread.

Edited by KerbalKore

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2 minutes ago, KerbalKore said:

More competitors would be welcome, as I am stuck in Canada till the 21st, and it seems the others (besides Steve) have been inactive in this thread.

I know that one guy is still on a trip (I think resonantwaves) and Yeet is having a few teething issues. Not sure about johnster. But yeah, the more the merrier!

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Johnster Space Agency - 1954

jFT49dU.jpg

"No Pilots In Space Yet, But Progress Was Made!"

Spoiler

 

It was 1954, and the other space programs were making progress. After having success in 1953, JSA decided to launch another crewed flight, in 1954.

On August 28, 1954 Derin 2 was launched with pilot Zhanna Pushkina (AKA Push). It was similar to Derin 1, but had a longer fuel tank. 

NwEGF02.png

During the launch it completed several contracts. In less than 20 seconds, it broke the speed of sound.

KJixLzd.png

It reached a maximum of 11.2 kilometers, higher than Derin 1 had been. But still far from space.

iZCZSvl.png

The booster separation went well, and not too long after the parachutes deployed. The mission was a success.

x68XGx5.png

qCf6KuR.png

After Derin 2, it was time for another sounding rocket launch. Sticking to a 2 rocket launches per year schedule (at least, at the moment), another rocket was prepared for launch.

On December 13, 1954, Kierre 1 launched.

BZkjtT5.png

It had 9 engines in the first stage, which was more than Kyro had.

At engine cutout, it reached over 2000 m/s in speed. and no engine failures happened.

dElRB7Q.png

It reached an altitude of 294.4 kilometers, and was considered a success.

UBgp92j.png

To sum up 1954 for JSA.

Second Crewed Flight. Also, the first launch of a Kierre sounding rocket, an improved design to Kyro.

Launches: 2 (2 successes, 0 partial failures, 0 failures)

Note: Even though a kerbal did not reach space, I want to try and attempt the reach suborbital trajectory and return contract with a modified Kierre rocket.

Sorry for no tech tree image, my game crashed for some reason when I was building a rocket for 1955 :(

 

 

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Nice job @Johnster_Space_Program! I might post my '57 later today.

Also, I've been keeping a spreadsheet of all of the launches so far in order. Here it is:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1G47EMqJpfkOkL85I-F1usckEuJmb0g_ArR3s-w-bhJs/edit?usp=sharing

Some analysis, I am definitely ahead in terms of raw number of launches (I put a lot of money into build rate) but 6 of those were planes so some of the lead goes ahead. You two have more firsts and records than I have, especially if we don't count "first launch" and "first plane." I have some altitude records towards the end, but a lot of that is probably because I've been the only one to post that far.

Also note that the firsts and records are probably going to change, as some people haven't played as far as others. @Yeet_TheDinosaur How is your start going? Need any assistance? And @ResonantWaves When do you get back again?

Some observations:

You can see that the JSA beat me to a supersonic person by less than three weeks...

The most launched month was July of '52 with 5 launches, although 2 of those were back to back planes flights.

Carl Campbell is still the coolest name so far.

Sounding is definitely the most common mission type, should I split that up into subcategories or what?

I appear to be the only person to have had a partial success so far.

The altitude record only increased by 24 km between June '51 and early October '53, a span of over two years.

Less than a year after that, in July '54, the record increases by over five times.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

My own observations:

NSP seems to progress more methodically and reuse existing hardware more (American style)

CDI seems to launch few, but very overbuilt and dangerous missions, relying on luck and brute force to succeed. (Soviet style)

JSP seems to be in between CDI and NSP

Edited by KerbalKore

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I get back September 1st. Whether or not I will get my install ready and working before school on the 5th remains to be seen.

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Okay people it's official! I've created the OP for my JNSQ Space Race, I'd really appreciate it if you considered joining, and for anything else about it, check out the OP in the thread.

Thanks! (Especially you, Ultimate Steve!)

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@Ultimate Steve

Are you still accepting new entrants? I feel like my KSP burnout/hiatus is going to end soon, and this looks like fun. I'd likely be starting in earnest sometime around the 22nd.

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8 minutes ago, Norcalplanner said:

@Ultimate Steve

Are you still accepting new entrants? I feel like my KSP burnout/hiatus is going to end soon, and this looks like fun. I'd likely be starting in earnest sometime around the 22nd.

Yes, the more the merrier!

We'll need a flag, an agency name, an unclaimed launch site, and maybe a short bio. I'll go ahead and add you to the PM.

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Just an update, I have a few more years done, so I'm probably not going to post much more until someone has caught up with me.

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Some time was freed up this weekend, so I was able to start yesterday. Hopefully I'll have 1951 up in the next few hours.

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Posted (edited)

Kerbal Administration for Big Overpowered Orbital Machines - 1951

lOA9tLt.png

A busy first year...

Spoiler

 

Full disclosure: This is not my first RP-1 Space Race.  I had the unique experience of being in two previous races with some incredibly skilled and creative people, including a number of the RP-1/RO devs, and was able to pick up more than a few tips along the way.  While some of the more extreme min-maxing that others did in those previous races won't make an appearance (such as making plane fuselages out of many small B9 wing parts, each with a cost of 0), I do tend to take a fairly direct route to certain goals which have significance and/or a large payday.  

January 1, 1951 - A bad day to be an engineer or a scientist.  Erik Samarin and Russell Matthews are let go, leaving only the two pilots (Anatoly and Marta) on the payroll.

SHUfIFt.png

 

February 16, 1951 - The Starling 1 is launched.  A 0.3 meter WAC-Corporal with a Tiny Tim booster, this rocket grabbed a whole bunch of science and transmitted it back courtesy of a small antenna tucked into the rocket.

zLMqVgt.png

The sounding rocket made it to 193 km before heading back down...

spBEHXl.png

... right into downtown Brownsville.  Oops.

KbCqKKq.png

Result - First launch is a success, getting into space courtesy of some R&D on the Aerobee engine and the RNG in TestFlight.

 

March 10, 1951 - The Starling 1E is launched, identical to the previous launch but tilted a few degrees to the east to hit some different biomes.  The Karman Line contract is in its sights.

fTR6B6m.png

Alas, Agathorn was not kind.  The Aerobee suffered a performance loss, meaning the rocket topped out at 77 km.

gdmpDcZ.png

Result - Failure.  The only positive was getting a bit of science from low over the water.

 

April 1, 1951 - The Starling 1W is launched to gather science from more biomes to the west of the launch complex, and take another crack at the Karman Line contract.

SWsZ7vU.png

Result - Success.  This one goes off without incident.  Ap is 184 km, and the Karman Line contract is completed.

 

April 18, 1951 - The Starling 2 is launched with the goal of completing the Suborbital Return contract.  The rocket has been widened to 0.38 meters to take advantage of the Taerobee sounding rocket parachute in that diameter.

0eT0yso.png

Result - Failure.  The Aerobee engine failed and shut down less than a second after ignition, resulting in a 4 km Ap and our first fueled rocket crashing on the pad.  Thankfully it was small enough to not do any damage, being slowed somewhat by the deployed chute.

 

May 5, 1951 - Another Starling 2 is wheeled out to take another go at the Suborbital Return contract.

Jyfi9GU.png

This one went straight and true, topping out at 154 km and eventually landing just to the west of the launch complex.

EwEh6M9.png

Result - Success.

 

August 26, 1951 - The Argus 1 is launched.  A 1.7 meter sounding rocket with an RD-100 engine, it is nominally tasked with a Difficult Altitude Sounding Rocket contract to help foot the bill.  The real reasons for the launch are the two bio sample capsules on top, and getting some experience and better reliability for the RD-100.

yJhdFLP.png

In part because we had done R&D on the RD-100 up to the maximum of 2500 du, the flight was a success.  The Ap was 217 km, so we got the reward for breaking 200 km as well.

mVepqce.png

Result - Success, including recovered bio samples from upper atmosphere and low space.

 

October 30, 1951 - It wouldn't be an RP-1 race unless there were some crazy contraptions with cockpits on top of rockets.  The Pegasus 1 is launched, consisting of a Junkers cockpit on top of a modified Argus rocket.  The craft is angled on the pad to help it not go higher than 30 km.  Test pilot Anatoly Epinger is the lucky (?) one chosen for this honor.

jBBNYkk.png

Alas, no photos were taken during the flight due to mission control watching the cockpit heating like a hawk.  At the first sign of overheating, it's necessary to cut the engine to prevent incinerating the crew.  The flight topped out at 12 km and briefly touched a speed of 600 m/s, and managed to stay above Mach 1 long enough to complete the contract.  Recovery is, shall we say, less than graceful...

fVta5hR.png

But the craft made it down in one piece.

agwfYvk.png

Result - Success.  The Crewed Sound Barrier contract is completed, and we're closing in on the architecture for a manned suborbital hop using the X-1 cockpit, once it's unlocked.

 

December 22, 1951 - The last launch of the year is the Argus 2, featuring the shiny new RD-101.  A Difficult Altitude Sounding Rocket contract is taken again to help defray the cost of working out the kinks in this new engine.

QGthKMU.png

Unlike the Argus 1, this rocket has no provisions for any sort of recovery.  It did top out at 417 km before hurtling back to Earth (fulfilling the 300 and 400 km milestones) and once again scaring the living daylights out of the residents of south Texas.

zgv9ICG.png

 

1951 Year in Review - There were 8 total launches, 7 uncrewed and 1 crewed.  Two of the uncrewed launches were failures.  We've hit four biomes to a greater or lesser degree so far (Shores, Water, Grasslands, and Tropics) which has helped the science to roll in and get off to a good start.  Here are screenshots of Build Rate and the Tech Tree for reference.

 RBhklGx.png

NQ3NRWW.png

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Norcalplanner
Added Anatoly as the pilot

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5 minutes ago, Norcalplanner said:

A busy first year...

Wow, I thought I was doing well! :sticktongue:

 

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