Monday, January 19, 2015

KSP: Not exactly according to plan...

Tonight, the game plan was to launch my more developed "Individual Crewed vehicle" into orbit for sustainability trials.

The vehicle itself was actually a good conceptual representation of the Russian Soyuz capsule, and used mostly stock parts.

ICV Km 1
Crew: 1
Engine: LV-909 Liquid Fuel Engine & RCS Maneuvering Thrusters
Reentry: Command Pod Mk1 & Mk2-R Radial-Mount Parachute
Communications: Communotron 16
Fuel: FL-T100 Fuel Tank
OX-4L 1x6 Photovoltaic Panels & Z-100 Rechargeable Battery Pack

Note: the whole idea of the frame is to recreate the utility and the base concept of the Soyuz ship, and to expand on the capabilities of the Stock Mk1 capsule.

And... I wanted something that didn't look american when you looked at it. Call it a stylistic thing.

The ship isn't much heavier than the first manned pod I sent up, so the obvious first step was to build a proton launch platform and mount it there.

ICV launch 1

The Capsule may not have been much heavier, but the additional components made it large enough that we needed to use the next size up of nose fairing in order to completely house the capsule. Thrust to weight, the numbers looked good for a long, steady climb into orbit. 

Unfortunately, the drag on the nose, and the thrust of the second stage didn't add up the way I wanted to. Moments after the boosters jettison, the nose started to drop hard. a minute later, when I should have been pushing 18K meters the altitude started to drop, and before I could react I was at 12K and dropping.

I finally managed to punch the fairings and get the capsuel free of the rest of the rocket. I had just enough time to eject the chute before the altitude went from four figures to three. 
Early splashdown.... You can see the parachute just barely having time to open as the capsule tumbles to the water and the last stage boosters are just about to hit the water at heaven only knows what speed.

All told, the mission was a falure, but the pilot survived and I realized that the proton 1 is an excellent small platform, but I need something with substantially more kick to get the next generation of crews and vehicles. into orbit. 

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