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.