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- Type: VAB
- Class: ship
- Part Count: 14
- Mods: 3
- Bluedog DB
- Squad (stock)
The success of Sputnik 1 forced the United States to try and play catch up and launch their own satellite. The initial Army program, which resulted in Explorer 1, was in competition with the Navy’s Project Vanguard with the Eisenhower administration favoring Project Vanguard. The Vanguard rocket and probe were both ready for a launch two months after Sputnik but December 1957 saw a catastrophic failure on the launch pad with Explorer 1 being successfully launched a month and a half later. The Vanguard backup also failed to reach orbit in February 1958 but eventually Vanguard 1 became America’s second satellite in March 1958. It also afforded the US a few small victories such as Vanguard being the first successful solar-powered satellite and is currently the oldest man-made object still in orbit although its mission ended by 1964.
The Vanguard lifter has one of the smallest payload capacities of any launch vehicle which ended its usefulness almost immediately although Vanguard 2 and 3 which were larger versions of the original Vanguard 1.
The Narly probe is Bluedog Design Bureau’s approximation of the Vanguard satellite and its small solar cells allow it to operate indefinitely from any Kerbin orbit. The Viklun lifter is a very simple two-stage liquid rocket. The first stage handles all or most of the ascent while the second stage finishes the ascent and handles the orbital process. Since both stages are liquid-fueled this affords the ability for an orbit with extremely low eccentricity.
The drawbacks of the lifter are that it’s only designed for a very small payload and its second stage will be left in orbit as debris. This mirrors the drawbacks of its real-life counterpart.
Built in the VAB in KSP version 1.3.1.
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