Image via Lockheed Martin
Personally I was starting to think this thing would never get built, but here it is sitting ready to be mounted on the Delta IV Heavy that will be carrying it into orbit (the test flight is currently scheduled for December 4th, weather permitting). With an apogee set for about 3600 miles, this will be the farthest from Earth a crew-capable spacecraft has been since the Apollo era, though this test flight will be unmanned and last only four and a half hours. More info can be found in the press release from NASA, which invited media to a pre-flight briefing at Kennedy Space Center on November 6th.
Header image is an artist’s rendering of the Orion with attached cryogenic propulsion stage from this nifty article about the ICPS stage of the in-development Space Launch System, which Orion is a major part of.
Stabby Strikes Back!
Recorded live at Twitch!
Episode 4 of KSP .25 Hard Mode brings us a new objective: set foot upon the Mun! This is the first half of the mission, where we design and launch our Munar flight.
The initial assessment is a cursory look; it will take many more weeks to further understand and analyze the full extent of the effects of the event. A number of support buildings in the immediate area have broken windows and imploded doors. A sounding rocket launcher adjacent to the pad, and buildings nearest the pad, suffered the most severe damage.
At Pad 0A the initial assessment showed damage to the transporter erector launcher and lightning suppression rods, as well as debris around the pad.
The article (linked below) from there goes into detail on environmental impacts, though all indications so far are that the entirety of the damage is limited to the immediate vicinity of the Launch Pad. State and Federal agencies will continue to monitor the surrounding areas for ecological impacts but so far things are looking good.
via NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility Completes Initial Assessment after Orbital Launch Mishap | NASA.
Check out this great video from Scott Manley on the history of Orbital Sciences and the engine used on the Antares rocket.
We meet up with the Marshalls at last and have ourselves a little flashback to meet baby Stabby!
Stabby McStabbhugs will not be manipulated by tasty humans! An attempt to copy something I saw Jim Sterling do goes horribly wrong.
I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)
This post was supposed to be my first video recorded in person. I had a nice setup by the river behind my apartment, with a clear view out to the horizon as the 6:22PM EDT launch window approached. The window came and went, and there was nothing. I thought I saw some faint flashes, but began to lose hope, thinking it had gone up entirely behind the only cloud in the sky. The video I have, which I’ll not be uploading, ends with me checking twitter and learning that the Antares had detonated six seconds into the launch. So, in lieu of a video, here’s my own quick analysis of the Orbital/NASA/Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport press conference from earlier this evening along with the video that Brad Panovich very quickly uploaded to youtube of the launch failure on NASAtv:
We gather cobwebs, pumpkins, snacks, zombies, witches, vampires, mummies, and werewolves for a party at the Count of Monster Disco’s Mansion!
Stabby McStabhugs decided not to play with me much tonight after the first few minutes, so we’ll have a couple fairly long episodes here until we get back to the more exciting parts of the game.
Episode 3 has arrived! I wasted too much time watching Extra Life streams, so this one got postponed a few days, but here we are at last! Our goal for this episode: place Kerbal feet onto Minmus, the smaller of Kerbin’s two natural satellites. On display here are several new mods as well, links below!