With the resounding success of the Explorer 5 mission KSEA (and all of Kerbin!) has acomplished something that has never been done before – the recovery of an interplanetary crew vehicle! This was the dream of the Explorer Program as it was first concieved with the construction of DSV-1 Explorer:
However, Explorer lacked the fuel and deltaV to return to Kerbin orbit. The Explorer 1 crew was able to eject from the spacecraft and return safely using the Landing and Return Craft (LARC) but Explorer itself drifted into deep space.
The Explorer Program changed dramatically at this point, with new expendable spacecraft being constructed, eventually leading to Explorer 5! Explorer 2, 3, and 4 all experimented with different designs, Explorer 5 was the first to experiment with cryogenic technology, allowing for much further range missions requiring less life support supplies.
KSEA is excited to announce it’s time for the next phase of Kerbin’s space exploration: Discovery! Named after the early launches of the Space Program, Discovery will be the first truly re-usable interplanetary space craft, with a range nearly 5 times further than even Explorer 5!