Bill’s latest mission proved that the Andromeda CSM, intended for munar missions, is insufficient for meeting the goals set for it. Part of this failure is the insufficient lifting capacity of the Hercules, and with the Andromeda likely to become heavier in this update the rocket will require more capacity as well. Continue reading Updating Andromeda and Hercules
Mission Designation: KK-Ke-0008
Mission Objective: Repeat of KK-Ke-0006. Additionally, this mission will be the inaugural flight of the newly updated Hercules IIb, and will test the potential for its upper stage to not only complete orbital insertion of the Andromeda II CSM, but also to perform the FRT burn.
Kromey Kaerospace engineers, assisted by Jeb, spent hours in the simulator studying the failures of the Hercules II and IIa rockets and mocking up proposed changes to the design to meet the dual goals of stable, controllable flight, and delivering enough ΔV to put the heavier Andromeda II CSM into orbit. Continue reading Simulator Report: Hercules II Update and Testing
Mission Designation: KK-Ke-0007
Mission Objective: Repeat of KK-Ke-0006.
Science Objective: Repeat of KK-Ke-0006.
Mission Plan: Repeat of KK-Ke-0006.
Crew: Bill Kerman
Status: Mission failure.
Report: The Hercules IIa rocket was refitted with fins that Kromey Kaerospace engineers hoped would help the rocket to remain straight. While these did seem to help at first, the rocket nonetheless began to tumble again, although at a much higher altitude this time. At Bill’s insistence Mission Control approved a premature staging event, and Bill expertly piloted the second stage into a well-controlled gravity turn. Unfortunately, the Hercules IIa — whether due to thrust lost tumbling or the unburned fuel dropped during the flight, or simply inadequate engineering — lacked the necessary ΔV for orbital insertion. Bill was able to use Andromeda II’s SM’s engine to achieve orbit, however it cost far too much fuel for the mission to the Mun to continue.
Mission Control believes the Hercules IIa rocket is too unstable to be usable, and will reassess the future of the Hercules family versus beginning development of a new family of rockets. Additionally the Andromeda II will be reexamined given the additional weight added to it by the Lab, however at this time Mission Control believes the only fault is with the rocket.
After completing the de-orbit burn, Bill in frustration triggered the LES to speed his return; while this was not authorized, Mission Control deems that no disciplinary action is needed, as per flight protocols the SM is to be discarded anyway.
Bill was able to complete materials experiments during his brief time in orbit, as well as observed that Mystery Goo™ will escape its canister into the water.
Mission Designation: KK-Ke-0006
Mission Objective: Free-return transfer to the Mun, followed by orbital insertion; target orbit will be under 10 Km.
Science Objective: Mystery Goo™ and Materials Lab experiments conducted during the flight will be transmitted back, while additional experiments and observations done while in low Mun orbit will be returned. Continue reading Munar Orbit
Mission Designation: KK-Ke-0005
Mission Objective: Free-return fly-by of Mun.
Science Objective: Crew observations and Mystery Goo™ experiments will be recorded during the mission; observations and experiments prior to reaching Mun will be transmitted back, while those gathered an Mun periapsis will be returned. Continue reading Mun Fly-by
Mission Designation: KK-Ke-0004
Mission Objective: Achieve circular, equatorial orbit around Kerbin
Science Objective: Crew observations and Mystery Goo experiments will be recorded during the mission, however these are secondary to the primary goal of establishing a proper equatorial orbit. Continue reading Equatorial Orbit