1955 – A leap in kerbal flight

1955 New Years Eve, Illyrien Space Center

1955 was another great year, we learned a lot and took many more steps upwards and outwards from Earth. We had previously sent the Orange Four into space, but this year we took a step further and have started sending them into orbit. First Jeb  went into orbit, and then, after a few equipment test flights, he was sent on a Moon flyby mission. An astonishing achievement. Later Bob returned to orbit with a high quality camera. Expanding on the photographing of Earth

We also had a lot of interesting probe missions during this year, from polar orbits around Earth and the Moon, as well as a probe sent out into Solar orbit. Science is the highway to the future, and we are gathering all that we can. A clear necessity, since we have so many brilliant minds rapidly working though our existing data.

Finally, we have had great breakthroughs in radio technology, especially in the form of the Communotron 32. With the new next-generation solar panels, our space program developed omni communication satellites, and deployed a wholly new network in MEO. This drastically helped our operations.

It was not a year without it’s issues, and we sadly had quite a few of these. We had a lot of problems with probe missions. We narrowly managed to manually restore a Kepler 2 probe into a stable orbit, but we lost the more important one, previously in a polar orbit around the Moon. We lost several other probe missions besides those. Some, at least,  where turned into omni communications satellites, so it was not a total loss. Except for the few crashing into the atmosphere.

Still we achieved much this year.

The major milestones where:

  • Kerbals safely reach orbit and returns
  • Jeb performs a flyby of the Moon
  • High quality pictures of Earth
  • Established an omni directional communication network
  • Polar and solar science missions.
  • Expanded launchpad to handle even larger rockets.
  • Amazing scientific and engineering progress.
  • Hired more brilliant scientists and engineers. Now numbering 471

We also face  a few challenges, and questions which require answering:

  • Habitation: How to prevent the crew from going crazy.
  • Can we make Hydrolox engines useful?
  • Recover from our current average reputation.
  • We need more science!

By now, before we open the champagne, its also a time to look forward, to take a glance at what the coming year can bring. To start with, due to the nature of the planets path around the Sun, a transfer window is about to open to Venus, and we are going to exploit this opportunity to send a mission or two. We have already constructed the the necessary rockets. In the mean time, please don’t smoke in the rocket storage 😉

Other then those missions, we have several commercial and scientific contacts for Moon missions which we are going to undertake. This will also require, that we develop more stable launches for our missions, these many failures are just not acceptable.

We have to expand our crewed flights, both in numbers and duration. There is still much to learn before we can truly voyage outwards.

Finally, we are going to send probes to the surface of the Moon. We have been away too long, and in the meantime, we have gained so many nice new scientific instruments, which we need to test. Including something obvious… High quality pictures of the Moon.

In any case, raise your glasses, and happy new years.

Important game discoveries

  • That KER can target the Moon directly, and that Cape Canaveral reaches about 1% inclination, making it trivial to launch into a perfect Lunar Plane orbit. A drastic improvement to mission planning
  • That the Flight Computer is much better than the Navball commands, and does not require connection, nor does it suffer from timelag. Had I known that, then my Moon Lander probe would have landed safely.
  • Hydrolox engines are a mixed blessing. They can lower the rocket mass, at the expense of more money… but they cost more money, which is also longer build time. It seems better to replace lower, rather than high stages… Which defies what they are meant for. The extra insulation required for conserving the Hydrogen counters the increase efficiency at higher stages.
  • Remembering to switch to the correct geocomsat is a pain, would be lovely with a low orbit omni directional antenna network…hint hint
  • Reaction wheels are almost worthless, they are vastly less powerful. RCS remains the way to do things.
  • Re-entry does not require active RCS to stabilize the course. Apparently a re-entering vehicle is self-stabilizing. Nice to know. That simplified design a bit for me.

One comment

  1. Wait, what is this thing about KER being able to target the moon? I have a targeting satellite in orbit to hit the lunar plane….

    Also, your flight computer works as it should? Mine seems wonky, and often spazzes out completely – whcih is why I made a script instead….


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