[1952 August, Illyrien Space Center]
Following the successful orbit of Earth, we have continued to strive towards gaining experience in low space. Space however is not easy, and not routine. Accidents can still happen, and we saw a few of those this quarter.
In July, Jeb took a Stardreamer III, aiming for 300km to fulfil a contact goal. However he got so excited that he maintain full speed until the fuel was all expended. That pushed him all the way up to 440km. Fortunately, the X-1 cockpit survived the pass though the atmosphere, but it was a terrifying experience, and even Jeb was silenced for a day afterwards. It is clear, that any altitude above 300km should be kept off-limit until we have successfully unlocked better capsules.
A launch targeted at reaching a stable equatorial orbit was lost early August, when it tipped over too rapidly, and a flaw in the effectiveness of the staging design caused the rocket to disassemble in mid-air, just east of the launch pad. Flight plan and design are being checked.
Bill Kerman, the last of the “Orange Four”, later launched in another Stardreamer III, but to only 200km, and returned safely and without incident.