Low Kerbin Orbit

Mission Designation: KK-Ke-0003
Mission Objective: Achieve orbit around Kerbin.

Science Objective: Mystery Goo and crew observations during the course of the mission.

Mission Plan: The Prometheus I launch vehicle used for KK-Ke-0002 will be expanded with additional fuel tanks for orbital insertion.  The ascent profile calls for a vertical ascent during the first stage, followed by an eastward gravity turn on the second stage. Target orbit is around 80 Km, however for this mission the specific orbital profile is not important. After a complete orbit of the planet, a de-orbit burn will be planned to bring the capsule back down near the KSC.

Crew: Bob Kerman

Status: Successfully completed.

Report: The ascent proved somewhat unstable, and as a result the craft’s orbit ended up on a slight elliptic. Orbital insertion burn was somewhat sloppy and the resultant orbit was far from circular, with the apoapsis almost double the periapsis; nonetheless it was a successful orbit.

Mission Control erred in planning the de-orbit burn too far in advance, and neglecting to take into account the rotation of Kerbin; as a result the de-orbit, despite going exactly as planned, dropped the capsule into the ocean far to the west of the KSC.

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