Jeb gets his way! Reaches space!

[1951 August 10,  Illyrien Space Center]

Today, in an anxious moment, for everyone else at least , Jeb took his place in the experimental flight cockpit atop a monster of metal and 17,9 tons of ethanol/oxygen fuel. The seconds passed, and and across the center, the countdown could he hard by us all. When it stopped, everyone held their breath and 3 seconds later, Jeb, and a modified Elegance V, called the Starchaser rose upwards in an roar of fire and explosions!

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The R1 – Starchaser (modfied Elegance V)

I was awed and cheerful. Also, I was really tired of hearing Jeb’s constant comments about how he, not a piece of electronics, really should go to space.

Minutes later, the fuel was all spent, and Jeb’s cockpit was released from the rocket, so as to minimize atmospheric drag

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Separation near the Kerman Line

Many minutes later Jeb reached the apex of the journey and could look out across a curving sphere below and a speckled darkness above. To the south, all of Kuba could be seen. And a lot was seen, since Jeb had no control at all, and the cockpit continued its slow rotation throughout.

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Kuba, as seen from 380km

Many more minutes later, Jeb reached the atmosphere again… at about 2400 m/s and fire engulfed the plunging vessel. Furtunately, and to Jeb, and all the rest of us, the air cushioned the cockpit, slowing it down to below 800 m/s. This allowed for parachute deployment and Jeb could enjoy a slow soft splashdown

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Jeb always wanted to be the center of a BBQ. Also note the rocket in the background!

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We where originally going to try to reach 1000km, just like the Kerbinians across the ocean have already done, but our designs for the upper stages just where not ready for it. They are suffering from incredible levels of spinning and instability, which spoils the  attempts at going higher.

Wierd rumours had reached Bill and Bob, and shortly thereafter the rest of the four, that the Kerbinians where putting cockpits on their rockets! Jeb demaned that we should do the same, that since we already had a stabile platform in the Elegance V, we could just drop the probe core and put up a cockpit instead. So, well, we gave it a try while Valentina where off flying her planes, and it turned out, that it worked great!

-Gene Kerman

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2 comments

  1. Damn, never should have given you that hint about cockpits, should I – or I should at least have waited a bit so you didn’t make it up there before me in game time (or I should not have failed my first launch >_<)…

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    • I had thought about adding a cockpit to the rocket, but I was mostly working on getting higher instead. Also, I assumed that it wasn’t actually survivable, that it would have burned up on reentry, as most of my rockets do. So yeah, if you had not gone ahead in that direction, I would have been working on sending rockets eastwards, higher, or safer down instead.

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