Science from Lunar Space!

[1953 April 29, Illyrien Space Center]

As radio-telescopes all over the world should have discovered by know, radio signals have been received from the Moon. No need to worry, its not aliens, but rather its from a small science probe, which we launched on April 23.

Since the Kerbinians did not recognize the last probe, since it could not send any signals back to Kerbin, we redesigned our concept of science probes to ensure, that there was sufficient power to send back signals. This just happened. Though it was a very close call. Getting the probe to within 5000km was rather difficult,  therefore insufficient fuel was left for placing the probe into a stable orbit. The result was an acceleration of the probe sending it off out above the plane of the ecliptic, and out of Earth SOI. This should happen in about 15 days.

This new generation of probes come equipped with a set of solar panels, so that its able to generate electricity, along with high precision RCS thrusters for tuning orbital manoeuvres.

The initial launch to orbit happened without any incident, guided by the new automated launch scripts. The first problem was when the probe burned its third stage towards the Moon. Calculation errors sent it off in a wrong direction, which took two separate correction burns to adjust for. Later the fuel meant for lunar operations where also spent to adjust. Let me just say, these 5 days where nerve-wrecking at Flight Ops. Flying an overly sensitive probe with 1.3 sec time delay was really unpleasant.

– Gene Kerman

Luna Probe II near the Moon. Brightness enhanced.

Play note:
Forgot which navball icon actually meant maneuver node…doh


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