TheKSPKerbalGuy

Beyond The Moon - A RSS/RO Series (1952)

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Beyond The Moon is my second mission report multi-part series, after From Kerbin To Beyond. It is about my progress through a RSS/RO career in RP-1 as I try to get to The Moon and eventually to other planets such as Venus and Mars. As I make progress, I update this OP with the new parts. Each part is a year, and every launch I do in that year is included in the part (later years will be split up into multiple parts, like Q1, Q2, etc). Unlike in my other series though, the space program in this series has a name! Its called the K.S.E.A. I hope you will like reading the parts, and enjoy this series!

Prologue:

Spoiler

In 1949, a small group of kerbals started experimenting with some left over parts from the second great kerbal war. One year later, in June 1950, they launch their first rocket, called the High Altitude Test Rocket (HATR-1), which reaches an altitude of 30 km, and is a partial success. Later that same year, on November 5, 1950, the Kerguy Space Explorations Administration, or KSEA, is formed. After receiving 150,000 funds from the government in late December, the KSEA is ready to begin their attempts to reach space, starting in 1951...

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List Of Parts So Far...

Modlist

Spoiler

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Edited by TheKSPKerbalGuy
Released Part 2 (1952)

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quWVrzA.png 1951 - A Rough Start 

After being formed in late 1950, the K.S.E.A was ready to begin their attempts to launch something beyond the Karman line (100 km) and reach space. They had recently gotten 150,000 funds from the government to start constructing rockets for their space program. After deciding on a launch site, Vandenberg AFB was chosen. The first rocket, Skight 1, was ready for its flight on March 25, 1951.

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The liftoff of the rocket went well, at least for the first few seconds...

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Then, the rocket started tilting over, and the engine was shut down.

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At T+28 seconds, Skight 1 reached its peak altitude, which was only 907 meters.

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Then, it started falling towards the ground.

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At T+44 seconds, Skight 1 impacted the ground, putting an end to the short lived flight. The mission was declared a failure.

Several months later, on July 1, 1951, Skight 2 was ready for its flight. The main differences from Skight 1 was that it had 3 engines, and was longer. 

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The launch went better than the first one, and the rocket didn't tilt over.

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Unfortunately, even though the rocket was spin stabilized, it started spinning out of control.

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At T+45 seconds, the engines shut down due to vapor in the feedlines and excessive wobbling.

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Skight 2 reached a peak altitude of 24,884 meters at T+71 seconds.

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The rocket impacted the ground at T+170 seconds, and was considered a partial success.

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Before the end of the year, KSEA had plans to launch one more flight. Named Skight 3, it now had 6 aerobee engines, compared to the 3 on Skight 2.

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On November 5, 1951, Skight 3 lifted off from the launch pad.

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The flight went well at first, and the rocket quickly reached the speed of sound.

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At T+25 seconds, the rocket broke up, and the only parts that survived were the nose cone and instrument unit.

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At T+61 seconds, a peak altitude of 23,659 meters was reached.

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At T+227 seconds, the surviving parts of the rocket impacted the ground, making it the longest mission so far. It was declared a partial success.

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At the end of 1951, KSEA was off to a rough start. They had done 3 launches, with none of them being fully successful, and none reaching 100 km. They would use the little amount of data gathered by the flights to start constructing improved rockets, which would launch in 1952. Hopefully some more success would be had in that year...

Launch Statistics For 1951:

There were 3 Skight launches in 1951. Of those launches, 2 were partially successful, and 1 was a failure.

Date/Time Mission Launch Site Type Outcome Remarks
1951-03-25 Skight 1 Vandenburg AFB Sounding Rocket Failure Reached Peak Alt. Of 907 meters
1951-07-01 Skight 2 Vandenburg AFB Sounding Rocket Partial Success Reached Peak Alt. of 24,884 meters
1951-11-05 Skight 3 Vandenburg AFB Sounding Rocket Partial Success Reached Peak Alt. of 23,659 meters

:funds: 219,891

:science: 0.0

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I plan on releasing the next part, 1952, soon. I just hope my launches in that year will go better than they did in 1951.

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quWVrzA.png 1952 - Reaching Space

After having a rough start in their space program at the end of 1951, the KSEA was ready to continue their attempts to send something beyond the Karman line and reach space. They were hoping 1952 would be a better year, with less problems happening during their flights. The KSEA would continue launching from Vandenburg AFB, though they might move to Cape Kennedy in a few years. The first launch of the year was Skern 1, on January 25, 1952.

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The liftoff went well, and no engine problems occurred during the flight.

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Engine shutdown occurred at T+55 seconds, at an altitude around 34,500 meters.

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Skern 1 passed the Karman line, making it KSEA's first rocket to reach space.

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At T+232 seconds, Skern 1 reached a peak altitude of 179,887 meters.

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The sounding rocket then plummeted back through the atmosphere.

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At T+514 seconds, Skern 1 splashed down hard in the ocean, putting an end to the mission. It was declared a success.

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The second launch of the year, Skern 2, happened on May 3, 1952. It was larger than Skern 1, and would try and go higher.

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The liftoff went well, with no problems occurring at first.

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Then, at T+14 seconds, one of the engines suffered a performance loss.

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At T+64 seconds, one of the engines exploded.

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At T+72 and T+77 seconds, two of the engines shutdown.

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At T+78 seconds one of the engines suffered a loss of thrust. By T+86 seconds, most of the engines had either shutdown or loss performance.

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Despite the problems though, Skern 2 reached a peak altitude of 204,134 meters at T+264 seconds, higher than its predecessor.

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At T+498 seconds, Skern 2 impacted the ground, ending the flight. The mission was declared a success.

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The third flight of the year was different from the rest. Some engineers had found a spare A-4 lying around near the launch complex, so it was decided to try and launch it. The rocket, named Skern 3A4, launched on August 13, 1952.

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The Ethanol-75 fueled engine shutdown at T+65 seconds, around 40,000 meters in altitude.

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The rocket reached a peak altitude of 195,417 meters at T+249 seconds, reaching space.

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The impact with the ground happened at T+456 seconds, putting an end to the test flight. The mission was declared a success.

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The last launch of the year was another Skight rocket, which would try and be the first mission to reach space and return the upper part of the rocket safely via a parachute. The rocket, named Skight 4, launched on November 29, 1952.

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At T+0.01 Seconds, one of the engines suffered a performance loss, causing the rocket to start tilting over after only a few seconds.

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The upper stage seperated from the rest of the rocket, and reached a peak altitude of only 979 meters.

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At T+21 seconds, the parachute deployed, slowing the upper stage down to a safe speed.

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The upper stage safely touched down at T+108 seconds via parachute, as was a successful test of the recovery system. The rocket didn't reach space though, so the rest of the mission was declared a failure.

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By the end of 1952, things had turned around for the K.S.E.A. Most of their flights had been successful, and they were able to reach space 3 times. Their next goal was to send a payload to space and return it safely via parachute. After they accomplish that, they can start using their new science and funds gathered to research and unlock improved probe parts. A crewed flight was still several years away.

Launch Statistics For 1952:

There were 3 Skern launches and 1 Skight launch in 1952. Of those launches, 3 were successful, and 1 was a failure. (U.S = Upper Stage)

Date/Time Mission Launch Site Type Outcome Remarks
1952-01-25 Skern 1 Vandenburg AFB Sounding Rocket Success Reached Peak Alt. Of 179,887 meters
1952-05-03 Skern 2 Vandenburg AFB Sounding Rocket Success Reached Peak Alt. Of 204,134 meters
1952-08-13 Skern 3A4 Vandenburg AFB Experimental Test Flight Success Reached Peak Alt. Of 195,417 meters
1952-11-29 Skight 4 Vandenburg AFB Sounding Rocket and Recovery Failure Reached Peak Alt. Of 979 meters, U.S Recovered

:funds: 518,319

:science: 27.3

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