Year 17, Day 158 (Exploration Begins on Laythe!)

Jeb climbs out of Endurance to set foot on Laythe!

Looks just like the deserts back on Kerbin – except for the big Jool in the sky!”

Next, Bill squeezes his way out from the Science Bay into the cockpit, so he can get outside!

“That science bay has a seat, but that’s about it! It’s good to stretch my legs! Time to get this parachute repacked… easier here than up in orbit!”

Bob decides to walk around the landing site to see what’s nearby!

“There seems to be a lot of … stuff!… on the surface…”

“Oh hey – it’s a rock!”

Bob does a thorough examination of the strange Laythe rock… but mostly plays ‘king of the hill’ and tries to plant a flag on top!

“Bah! The stone is too strong! I can probably chip away some sample bits though!”

“Hey – speaking of flags, we need to plant one here!

Jeb plants the flag of the Kerbal States on Laythe, and everyone poses for their landing portrait!

“Once we get communications back with Kerbin, they’re gonna flip!”

Indeed – communication from the surface appears impossible, at least with the equipment Endurance brought along!

After a full survey of the landing site, the crew heads back up!

“Ok – future missions will be longer, but the mission plan is a quick down and back! Opening VTOL bays… activating Verticle Lift Aerospikes!”

“Fuel flow looks good!”

Endurance slices through the sky, until the friction heats up the spaceplane!

Once the atmosphere is thin enough, Endurance’s RAPIER engines switch to orbital mode, and power the rest of the flight, to circularize the orbit around Laythe!

“OK… RAPIER engines switched to off… orbital maneuvering for Laythe Spaceport!”

Endurance reaches the spaceport, with just enough fuel to do so!

“That was a close call! We only had about 30 d/v left! We’re going to need to be careful and not stray too far from equatorial targets!”

Jeb docks Endurance at the spaceport, and the crew warms up some snacks!

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