After taking a few days to recuperate and prepare, Malcolm, Dunwin and Shepely talk over their upcoming mission in the Crew Cupola of Duna Spaceport!
“Does it ever bother you that we’re sitting “up” but we’re flying “sideways”?
“Up, down, it’s all relative in space! I just like going fast! “
“Well, we’re not going anywhere fast sitting here! Let’s get down to the surface! I wanna see how this new lander performs!”
After packing all their science gear (and some snacks) Dunwin, Shepeley, and Malcolm head over to the lander!
As the sun sets on the horizon, the lander sets out!
“Look at that sunset! So blue!”
“That’s from the dust in Duna’s atmosphere! It’s the right size to let blue light in more than other wavelengths… and scatters it!
“Hmm – neat!”
“Undocking! RCS reverse thrusters firing! Landing airbrakes deployed!”
The lander fires it’s aerospike engine! This mission will be to investigate some anomalous readings detected from orbit!
Unlike previous Duna Landers that entered the atmosphere “engine first”, the Advanced Duna Lander enters “nose first” like a spaceplane!
The rear airbrakes provide just enough lift!
“Lander is on course for target… Atmosphere is slowing us down a bit more than expected… We’ll need a short engine burn to adjust our approach!”
The engine fires, and the lander accelerates enough to stay on target!
“Oh wow! We’re really close to the surface! Speed is down to 200 m/s…. Is that enough to deploy the parachute?”
“Not quite! Almost at target…. Almost… Deploy the chute!!”
The landing parachute deploys! The airbrakes retract and the landing gear deploys!
This is one of the most dangerous phases of the mission, as the landing gear and airbrakes must retract with the parachute cords clear so nothing gets jammed or tangled! The chute then lifts the nose up, and orient’s the lander for landing!
“Chute is deployed, gear is down and locked! Starting slow burn to decelerate!”
The lander slows to just 1 m/s as it gently sets down!
“Mission Control, this is Explorer 7 Lander .. we have set down on Duna! All systems are good!”
On Kerbin, cheers fill Mission Control! The new lander performed perfectly!
“Nice work everyone!”
-Gene, at Mission Control
Malcolm, Dunwin, and Shepely will rest for a day, then suit up and head outside!