Soon the Kerbal Space Center will attempt to launch it’s first capsule with a live Kerbal inside. In reference to this historic event, Gene Kerman, Kerbal Space Center’s Flight Director, said:
“Our space program will soon enter a new era, the participation in the exploration of space by our first Kerbonaut. This upcoming mission is a most important step in the program, a step that will lead on to the ultimate conquest of of this new and hostile environment.”
This first flight will be attempted approximately one hour after daybreak after preflight checks. A countdown hold may occur if any issues arise with the spacecraft or pilot.
The spacecraft, weighing 800kg, will be boosted by a RT-5 “Flea” Solid Rocket Booster. The craft will follow a ballistic arc, hoping to reach at least 5,000m altitude.
Primary Mission Objectives include:
- Demonstrating a brief but complete flight experience including lift-off, powered flight, a period of weightlessness, impact mitigation, and recovery.
- Evaluating the Kerbonaut’s physiological and psychological reactions during flight.
- Operate externally mounted secondary scientific payloads.
The Mark One spacecraft consists of the following component systems:
- The Mk1 capsule, which protects the Kerbonaut from the environmental effects such as high winds, vacuums, and sunburn. It weighs 800kg, and is intended to support one Kerbonaut, hopefully for the duration of the mission.
- The Solid Fuel Booster, which provides the propulsive ability of the craft. It weighs 1500kg, and has been tested at least once.
- The external scientific payload, consisting of four Mystery Goo Containment Units at 50kg each. It is almost certain that all four units will not be used or needed, but the symmetry is assumed to assist in craft stability.
- Four basic fins have been set around the craft, also for craft stability. They weigh 40kg in total, and have go-faster stripes painted on to make the craft go faster.
- Impact mitigation will be attempted by a Mark 16 Parachute attached at the nose of the spacecraft. This will be activated when the craft is getting close to the ground, but hopefully before the ground gets too close. The parachute weighs 100kg.
- The externally mounted Mystery Goo Containment Units are sealed containers which the manufacturer appears to have filled with a strange-looking substance. It is expected that watching how the Goo behaves when subjected to different situations could be very educational.
The Mark One is currently undergoing final assembly and check out in the Vehicle Assembly Building.