December 16th, 1956; Baikonur Kosmodrone.
We have expanded our force of experienced kerbonauts again early in December. Beside Jebediah’s full 3 man crew (Bill and Bob oddly volunteered for this) and Valentina’s full 3 lady crew, the first two people of a 3rd crew has now been in space – bringing us up to 8 fully qualified and proven kerbonauts. We will of course continue the training schedule, as we will need multiple crews for future exploration of our solar system, as well as the bases we may eventually establish around the same.
Our first base will likely be an orbital research station, to examinee long-term effects on space travel on our kerbonauts, and because we will easier be able to re-supply it. This is a bit further out in the future though, as Wernher has still to put forward actual designs for long-term orbital habitations.
Today another research mission was launched, revolving around cryogenic fuel and tanks (since these cryogenic fuels really looks like a potential thing in the future). The intent was to launch a number of different types of tanks, with and without external cooling, to examine the boil-off aspect in detail in space.
It worked in part, we can verify that the boil-off is indeed quite manageable either using cryogenic tanks, or external radiators – however these have rather large power requirements, something we are already struggling with, having to place a multitude of solar arrays on modules that also require life support and probe power.
To that end, the launch was successful, if short lived due to running out of power way faster that the engineers thought. Next step is to actually test a launch with cryogenic fuels, as soon as we have a viable engine for this.