Big rockets take time

June 30th, 1955, Baikonur Kosmodrone.

Monthly reports are overkill when working with large rockets it seems – we may need to invest more in faster construction soon. Even quarterly reports makes little sense, as the first quarter brought a whopping one launch – but if we include the two in the third quarter, we can ma e a report on a few routine missions.

Early March, Valentina got her second orbital mission, which we managed to extend to a full 30 hours. Nothing ground-breaking, but a few solar panels and some tweaking to loose the last probe core with the last orbital stage really.

To think that we now consider such things routine – only a few years ago, the idea of putting a kerbal into orbit was far in the future, yet here we are?

Early May we had the second launch of the year – our LEO KomSat network, which someone from the Ministry insisted should be named the “Kerbinian Framework for Communication”, is now up.

The first launch went quite well, except whomever had designed the satellites had included everything except a control computer – so they were doing everything, except relaying signals that is.

Werner designed the second one with an active core, and two antennas for good measure. Our new Proton-2 launch vehicle took the entire platform to orbit without a hitch. The coverage is quite good.

Computer generated map of orbiting KFC network.

Generally the network is a dozen satellites orbiting asynchronously between 3000 and 3500 km, which we expect to use as an interim measure until we have time to spare to launch some geostationary ones. We put the launch platform a bit higher (but it still has everything to act as a relay), and also placed it on the exact same inclination as the Moon – that way we don’t have to aim for the moon when launching, but can just aim for the satellite.

Last mission of the first half year was Jebediah doing a contracted 9 hour orbital experiment and returning – pure routine, not even with more than two lines.



Gene Kerman


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