January 16th, 1957; Satish Dwahan launch site
The day have finally arrived: Bear-1 is now fully rolled out to the launchpad, the correct launch windows has arrived, and Jebediah is firmly seated in his command pod inside the protective fairing with ample supplies, ready for launch.
The usual photographer from the Ministry of Information and Truth showed up, and insisted on his usual spot for documenting the launch, even though both Wernher and I tried to persuade him to move further back – the result is enclosed.
We had already planned to have our own man also take pictures, as some of the newspapers often ask us about them, and the KSA Kamera man listened to the launch people and instead got a much clearer picture for the newspapers.
The launch was once again recorded by Wernhers old logger, which shows a very good and efficient ascent. The acceleration forces never got above 5 G during launch, so Jebediah was quite comfortable all the way to orbit. The orbit hit had a periapsis of 150 km, with the apoapsis around 700 km.
The Lunar insertion burn also went off without a hitch, and we are now actively informing the press that it is a lunar mission. Jebediah is expected to hit a nearly perfectly equatorial lunar orbit in 4 days, and the course so far has him spot on for our planned circular orbit in the 80-100 km range.