After its long journey, Pathfinder 7 arrives at Eve!
The engines fire to circularize the orbit…
…and the orbital transfer stage ejects! Then the spacecraft’s remaining fuel is used to change the inclination to provide a greater range of potential landing targets! An 80 degree inclination is finally reached.
It’s important to make sure the craft is in its final desired orbit before launching the probes… the downside to the radially mounted probes is that it makes the main engine quite unbalanced!
Despite having all this time to plan for where the three rovers will land, KSEA has only just begun picking out landing sites!
“I suppose we didn’t want to make all those maps until we were sure it would work! Now that we’re there… well, we’ll get right to work! The Wanderer Rover set down near the Explodium Sea and the Shallows… so probably not there!”