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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 beginning with launching their own satellite. The initial Army program, which resulted in Explorer 1, was in direct competition with Navy’s Project Vanguard with the Eisenhower administration favoring Project Vanguard. The result was the relatively small Vanguard rocket and probe which were initially ready for a launch just two months after Sputnik. However December 1957 saw a catastrophic failure on the launch pad with Army’s probe, Explorer 1, being successfully launched a month and a half later.
The second Vanguard launch was also a failure when it failed to reach orbit in February 1958 but third time was the charm with Vanguard 1 becoming America’s second satellite in March 1958. It did afford the US a couple of small victories such as Vanguard 1 being the first successful solar-powered satellite ever and is still currently the oldest man-made object in orbit although its mission ended by 1964. The Vanguard lifter has one of the smallest payload capacities in history, a mere 50 lbs, which is why its usefulness ended after three successful missions and eight failures.
The Viklun is Bluedog Design Bureau’s approximation of the Vanguard rocket and likewise has a rather payload capacity with the Narly (Vanguard) probe only weighing 2 kgs. However it’s built-in solar cells allow it to operate almost indefinitely from any Kerbin orbit. The lifter itself is a simple two-stage liquid rocket. The first stage handles all, or at least most, of the ascent while the second stage finishes the ascent, if necessary, and places everything into a stable orbit. The benefit to this design is that it affords you a very low eccentricity while the drawback is it leaves its second stage as orbital debris.
Built in the VAB in KSP version 1.4.3.
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