Quarterly report of the Kerbinian Space Agency, 2nd quarter, 1956.
Since the completion of our KOOL network, we have had 5 other launches. The first launch were our Venus 2 probe, which was an abject failure. A staging mishap* shortly after launch meant that it is now partly disintegrated and partly lying on the bottom of the ocean – on the other hand, Werner have been talking about doing submersibles as a way of testing spacecraft and simulating living in space.
Fortunately the Mars 1 probe were already complete, and identical, so it was changed to Venus 2, and a new Mars 1 was put into production as that should be done by the Mars launch window. The second launch went fine, although the slightly less optimal launch window has resulted in the engineers being doubtful whether we can place it into a permanent orbit there – a third probe may be required later.
After our second success, we launched Bill and Bob in a new 2-kerbal rocket, however due to the lack of a pilot, no one considered the burn time required for our final stage. As a result, they not only failed to achieve orbit, but were subjected to a very steep descent. The heat shield held, but the G-forces were so severe that mission control were worrying for their safe return.
Next up were the Mars windows, and the launch of the Mars 1 probe. Not only did the launch go well, our orbital plane and launch window were so well aligned, that the guys at mission planning is hoping to be able to put the probe into a permanent orbit around Mars.
Last up were a launch to put a surface mapping satellite into orbit of the Moon. The launch went fine, and an orbital reconnaissance satellite even caught a glimpse of it, as it passed above the cloud layers.
The satellite was later placed into a polar orbit of the Moon, and we expect to have a complete surface map of the Moon in about a month.
The Ministry of Intelligence, upon seeing the initial data from the probe enquired why we haven’t done this on Earth, so now we have a contract for that as well.
*: A holding of space for half a second and another stage going off…..