Near Perfect Lunar Pass from GOSsiP
GOSsiP's third mission was a near perfect manned lunar pass gaining a brilliant shot of the earth just as the craft passed by the moon on the furthest extent of its orbital manoeuvres. The success means that GOSsiP joins ASA with successful lunar passes1 (no one has, as yet, completed a full orbit of the moon, the last proving mission before an actual lunar landing). GOSsiP's two earlier missions in 1970 suffered problems. The first mission launched was an attempt at a manned orbital and spacewalk. However the spacewalk was cancelled after the space suit developed leaks while Maja Hansen, the astronaut, was de-pressurising the airlock ready for the actual space walk.
The remaining mission from GOSsiP, a manned orbital had the mission experiments cancelled after the crew of Torkild Bendixen, Thomas Ditlevsen and Malthe Jørgensen reported problems with the waste elimination facilities in their craft. The crew were unable to clear a blockage in the system and even
helpful advice from ground control was unable to solve the problem. After several hurried consultations the rest of the mission was scrubbed (unlike the craft itself) and the mission plan quickly changed to
Get the crew home as quickly (and safely) as possible. Despite the speed with the plans were drawn up the craft returned to ground safely2.
Tropical cyclone Eugenie damages SARSA launch facility.
SARSA's recently built launch facility has been seriously damaged as a result of the passage of Tropical cyclone Eugenie3 over the facility. The repairs will cost an estimated $15,000,000 and until made the facility cannot be used for any launches. SARSA's two other launch facilities are unaffected by the shutdown.
SHADO's Lunar Fireworks
SHADO has successfully lit up the lunar sky when its latest lunar probe exploded on the Lunar surface. The Probe had been performing brillantly up to that point - it had even found a safe place to land and had landed. However when the internal electrics signalled for the landing rocket to shut down it instead exploded according to the conclusion of a report into the loss of the lander based on observations from many observatories that had been studying the landing site with Earth based telescopes.
On a happier note, SHADO's mission from 1968 has now returned lots of useful data from Venus.
Big announcement due from Smaug Inc.
Persistent Rumours suggest that Smaug Inc. is on the verge of announcing a major agreement with one of the other space agencies. The suggestion is that a joint mission is to be launched in 1972 at the direction of Smaug Inc.'s board of directors but with a subsidy (and perhaps crew and equipment) from another agency4.
SHADO seen with EVA Suits that look Australian
Suspicions of another spy scandal in Woomera has been intensified with the suspiciously Australian looking spacesuits now being sported by SHADO's astronauts. Since ASA's suits are state of the art, SHADO's EVA suits are now rated at the same 98% safety factor.
Smaug Inc.'s scrubs more missions following loss
Smaug Inc. has scrubbed two of its three missions after the loss of one of the capsules launched on its first mission. The first mission launched a docking module together with a pair of two person capsules. The first capsule, crewed by Hannah Kelley and Ian Carpenter attempted a docking with docking module, but was unable to complete the manoeuvre after failing to get the craft aligned. This was, however, better than the second capsule, crewed by Johnny King and Nehemiah Juarez, which failed to even get a signal from the docking module - suggesting that the batteries on the docking module had failed. Both capsules then attempted a de-orbit burn ready to return to earth. However it appears that Kelley and Carpenter had used too much of their fuel reserves on the attempted docking and their craft was unable to achieve a safe re-entry profile and their craft burnt up in the upper atmosphere. The other two person capsule returned safely back to Earth, but with the safety factor of the two-person capsule re-rated to 20%, the other launches from Smaug Inc were scrubbed.
Flu epidemic hits Australia
This year's strain of Influenza appears to have mutated sufficiently to defeat the Australian vaccination program. Croc Hogan, Dingo Dan, Bob Hoskins and Larry Hoskins have all succumbed to the virus and will unable to take part in missions during 19715.
Top Danish test pilots join GOSsiP
Notwithstanding the massive astronaut recruitment program launched by all of the space agencies (apart from SHADO) this year, three top Danish test pilots, Niels Svendsen, Ferdinand Winther and Ulrik Rohde have joined GOSsiP on a free transfer from the Danish Air Force. It is expected that their experience will carry over into their astronaut making them better than their civilian counterparts when trouble strikes. A total of nineteen astronauts have been recruited across the agencies this year.
The provisional calendar for launches planned in 1971 (assuming none of the missions are rushed or scrubbed) is as follows:
- 5th Dec
- 12th Dec
- 14th Dec
- 16th Dec
- 20th Dec
- 22th Dec
- 24th Dec
- 29th Dec
- 31st Dec
Last updated: December 21, 2021 at 19:38 pm
- 15th November
- Added footnote 1 on SARSA's monkey
- 27th November
- Corrected typo
- Note that while SARSA has not performed a manned lunar pass with actual people onboard, it has completed one with monkeys on board. As such the third nation bonus for a manned lunar pass is still available, but SARSA does not need to perform a manned lunar pass to avoid the 3% penalty for not performing this mission. ↩
- The mission counts as a failure for budget purposes, but not a catastrophic one and the crew gain a mission flight to add to their résumé. ↩
- An actual storm name that affected South Africa - admittedly in 1972! ↩
- Smaug Inc.'s next mission planned must be a joint mission with another agency. Smaug Inc determines the other agency, the mission type and the equipment used (including crew, if any). The costs and rewards will be split equally between Smaug Inc and the chosen agency. Should the chosen mission be a successful lunar landing, this will count as a joint win. I will not permit sabotage of equipment on this mission and will adjust cash in hand appropriately if the equipment used has already been purchased. ↩
- Any missions on which they are due to fly will be automatically scrubbed. ↩