Mark Program Artist's Concept
Artist's conception of the Mark Program

The Mark Program

The initial objective for the Kerbal Space Center is determining the feasibility of launching a Kerbal into space, and returning him or her safely to Kerbin, regardless of how many attempts it takes. Concurrently, the KSC will also work on additional objectives, such as scientific studies during all phases of flight, additional flight goals such as orbiting Kerbin, alternative and advanced engine designs, and scheduled disassembly. It is not expected that advancements in all of these areas will progress evenly.

The basic Mark program launch will consist of some sort of capsule to protect the Kerbal and the flight controls, an engine to propel it through the air and eventually space, a recovery system to provide as survivable a landing as reasonable, and any additional systems to enable communication or provide stability.

Additional secondary objectives include testing long duration flight, on-orbit power generation, advanced communication, additional science objectives, and spacecraft automation. Tertiary objectives will be determined by the success or failure of the primary and secondary objectives.

Ballistic Flight. It is hoped a solution to the Impact Problem will be found.

Contractors have been working on KSC specified orders to begin preparations for basic systems required. As research at the KSC continues, it is expected that new technologies incorporating the data and experiences of earlier flights will be developed. The craft’s specific structure will modify between flights and integrate these new systems and continue to reinforce the development and research at the KSC.

Orbital Diagram
Orbital Diagram courtesy of  Enlas Kerman (no relation) of The Flight Director’s Desk

John Kerman, has been the lead technical reporter at Comm Net News since the position was created. He has years of experience dealing with advanced aeronautic and space projects.

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As expected, today the Kerbal Space Center held a press conference to announce the next flight