Yesterday space, today the moon!

November 18th 1953, Kerbinian Ministry of Information and Truth (Ministry of IT).

Fellow Kerbinians, members of the Kerbinian press and invited guests of the world press, it is with great pride that I, the Minister of Information and Truth of Kerbinia, Ali Kerman bring you news of our glorious mission to the Moon, launched 5 days ago.

Our lunar probe, which is still orbiting the moon and sending back images and data, is the first craft to do so – behind me you can see one of the first pictures sent back from the Kameras.

First images from Lunar 1, showing the Moon, Sun, Earth and several other planets almost in alignment.

Our probe have actually spent several days in orbit so far, taking images of all sides of the Moon, as well as checking all orbits – but we have had a really hard time finding any trace of Illyrien probes, probably because it’s so tiny. We think we may have spotted it once, but given that the Illyriens aren’t able to make decently sized probes, we can’t be sure. In any case we are fairly certain that the images were recorded in a studio – it is clear from their so-called picture that something is wrong – after all, who took the picture of their probe?

As you can see on this next photo, we have done rather extensive surveys of the possible orbits – and we will of course provide the press with similar photographs from all angles of the Moon.

Image from high orbit, searching for the claimed Illyrien probe.

The images take by our glorious probe are by themselves providing quite a lot of work for our researchers, and they’re looking forward to comparing the images with post-impact ones.

One of many images taken in the surface survey after the claimed Illyrien lunar probe – again with no results what so ever.

And now, I will hand you over to Gene Kerman, who will explain the mission and the results in greater detail – and as he come to the podium, you can see a magnificent picture of the glorious launch.

LRP-1 lifting off from the Satish Swahan pad.

Eeh, yes, as you can see the massive rocket took off without incident, the massive 21 nozzle cluster pushing the nearly 400 metric tonnes upwards against gravity. The flight to orbit can be seen in this next image.

Recorded launch profile of Lunar 1.

As can be seen, the rocket reached orbital velocity after about 12½ minutes, with a periapsis just over 250 km. The initial booster stage and 2 main stages designed to take it to orbit achieved their goal just as designed, although the lunar insertion burn was slightly off and a premature ejection of the impactor caused us to have a technical 67 % success of our overly ambitious mission.

The impactor is as such right now orbiting the Moon in another orbit than the main probe. And while we could use the Lunar 1 probe as an impactor – as it has plenty of fuel left – we are instead keeping it in orbit, and rushing a second launch to perform this impact, and place another permanent probe in orbit.

Who knows, maybe the impact and second probe will allow us to refine our imagine techniques and find a trace of the tiny little Illyrien probe, although I know the Ministry suspects that we won’t detect it before they manage to send up an adult-sized probe.

Lunar 1 is currently in a polar orbit akin to a Molniya orbit, moving as close as 120 meters at the northern pole, and extending as far out as 4375 km opposite.

The scientific data gained from this single mission is astounding, and we have learned more in 3 days than we otherwise have in 3 years, and we still have other instruments to send up on later launches, not to mention landing.

Unfortunately landing is a bit off, as budget restraints meant that quality Kerbinian computers were a bit too expensive, so tests were done with cheap Illyrien replacements instead.

The computers proved too slow and inaccurate though, so we will have to use our better Kerbinian computers, even though they are hard to send off as expendable equipment.

That is it for now, and the Ministry may answer questions. Otherwise we are working hard on making sure our space centre is upgraded to progress faster than ever, with no less than two launches coming up in the first quarter of the new year.


Keeping an eye out

April 1953, Kerbinia Kosmodrone.

The Red Herring mk. 2 was launched a few days ago – while being an observation satellite, it has not been deemed classified, and the photographer from the Ministry of Culture was exceedingly excited when he was able to take a picture of it just prior to launch, and in full daylight no less!

Red Herring mk. 2 on the Kosmodrone launchpad.

Werner haven’t got the whole stable orbital insertion down entirely though, and while it got into orbit, it was dipping slightly into the atmosphere at its lowest point – Bill and Bob are currently taking bets on whether it runs out of battery or looses orbit completely first – in either case, Werner assures me that it should allow us to monitor the world for a few weeks.

And monitor it did! The first image of Illyrien were taken on the first orbit, passing over the ocean just to the west. As can be seen, they are a quite wasteful people, who does not seem to enjoy the pretty night sky – as evident by the amount of artificial light.

Image of Illyrien, taken from low orbit immediately west of the so-called nation.

The near perfect polar orbit allows the satellite to monitor all of the world on a daily basis, and we detected active launch sites both to the immediate south-west and south-east of Kerbinia – our Ministry of Intelligence is planning to investigate these sites in time though – but for now, our focus is on the Illyriens.

RH-3 passing just east of the Illyrien space centre during daytime.

As a consequence of our monitoring, we now have a number of scientific measurements taken from all over the planet – and we still expect to collect more as the last patches of our planet is passed.



Gene Kerman.