Orbits

I came home yesterday and decided to see if I could put a kerbonaut in orbit around Kerbin. I had notes I’d taken from the Kerbal Space Program Wiki.

I came very close to achieving an orbit. I believe that the only thing that prevented an orbit was there was not enough fuel. Jebadiah Kermin flew about three-quarters of the way around the planet and splashed down safely in the ocean. I think that’s pretty good for a first attempt.

Next, I built a bigger rocket. This time, I attached a satellite instead of a kerbonaut.

I achieved obit! Granted, it was not a very good orbit. It was rather elliptical – something like 500 km at the apoapsis and 80 km at the periapsis. But, hey, it was an orbit. It was my second attempt at an orbit, and I did it.

Next, I launched a second satellite. It was still not a circular orbit, but it was a less elliptical than the one before it.

With two satellites orbiting Kerbin, I tried a manned kerbaled orbit again. I built a three-kerbal craft and launched it. It achieved an elliptical orbit.

At 12:30 last night, with two satellites and three kerbonauts orbiting Kerbin, I went to bed.

Today, I studied maneuver nodes on the Kerbal Space Program Wiki, to see if I could give those thee kerbonauts a more circular orbit.

I couldn’t do it. A circular orbit is something that has, so far, eluded me. It’s a learning process.

I decided it was time to bring my three orbiting kerbonauts home. I used a maneuver node to chart a course for a desert landing.

It wasn’t a desert I saw on the map. It was mountains. My kerbonauts landed safely, but on the side of a mountain. The capsule touched down, and then rolled down the mountain. It came to rest with the hatch facing the ground. My kerbonauts were safe, but trapped until rescue arrived.

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