Year 22, Day 155 (KSEA Construction and Research Update)

After the successful test of the Adventure crew shuttle, KSEA has begun construction of a brand new, duplicate Crew Shuttle… named CTS-2 Pioneer!

A larger variant of the crew shuttle is also under development, however no plans are ready to be released yet! The craft is tentatively called the Heavy Crew Shuttle!

Research and development is nearing completion for a new Duna lander as well. If KSEA is to have a permanent habitation on the surface of the red planet, a reusable lander is needed… The existing Advanced Duna Lander has not performed as well as hoped, providing barely enough DeltaV, and a landing process that has been described as “consistently unreliable” by pilots!

Finally, mission planners are almost ready to announce DSV-5 Intrepid’s first mission! Intrepid was launched in mid Year 21, and cleared orbital tests later that year. Mission planners keep insisting they didn’t just forget about it!

Year 22, Day 152 (Refit Crew Shuttle Launches from White Mesa!)

At the White Mesa launch facility the refit Crew Shuttle Adventure is rolled out and fully fueled!

Carson and Edan board the shuttle and start flight checks!

“All systems nominal … Fuel lights are green…. “

-Carson

“All gauges OK… Adventure is ready!”

-Edan

“This is White Mesa Control Tower – you are clear to launch when ready!”

“We are go!”

-Edan

The newly refit Crew Shuttle blasts off – lifted by a Nebula Rocket!

“Woohoo!

-Carson

At the vehicle reaches it’s 100km apogee, the Nebula Rocket powers down, and the protective aerodynamic nose shield ejects!

“Decoupling from Nebula….”

-Edan

“Decoupling complete, powering RCS thrusters to move clear for Nebula de-orbit…”

-Carson

The Nebula Rocket drifts away using its own RCS system to preform a powered de-orbit propulsive landing!

Adventure then fires its LV909 engines to finish propelling itself to a 200km orbit!

“So far so good!

-Edan

Carson suits up, and performs a spacewalk to inspect the shuttle!

“Looks good from the outside! Just normal thermal wear… Looks like it’s within tolerances!”

-Carson

After a full orbital systems check, Edan and Carson start the de-orbit burn back to Kerbin!

“I think I see White Mesa down there!”

-Edan

“Good! Hold on! These White Mesa landings are always a little tricky!”

-Carson

Carson burns fires the engines for a little extra thrust, and glides the shuttle to line up with the landing strip!

“We’re five by five… Touching down!”

-Carson

With the screech of its tires Adventure sets down at White Mesa!

“We’re back!”

-Edan

With a generally successful first flight everyone at KSEA is delighted!

“Good work everyone! If everything checks out Adventure will be back in service soon, and we can build a few new Crew Shuttles to supplement our orbital crew vehicles!”

-Gene, at Mission Control

Year 22, Day 150 (DSV-3 Crew Return to Orbit from Sarnusian moon Eeloo!)

After an extended stay on the surface Mitster and Kimmy double check the science equipment on the surface of Eeloo is functional and blast off for orbit!

“All systems nominal, orbital velocity and trajectory tracks good…”

-Mitster

“Systems look good! No scientific equipment problems!”

-Kimmy

Mitster rendezvouses with Horizon!

“Looking good! Horizon is ready to dock!”

-Chrisnic

Very slowly, the lander moves in to dock with the interplanetary spacecraft!

As the lander is being left behind on Eeloo orbit, Mitster docks with the front docking port, as maneuvers are more complicated when entering the DDV cargo bay!

“Docking complete! Looks like a good seal!”

-Mitster

“Let’s start moving over all the scientific data and samples! We can still do a lot of science from orbit as well, before we leave!”

-Kimmy

Year 22, Day 148 (Crew Transport Shuttle Refit Revealed!)

KSEA engineers are excited to reveal the refit of the Crew Shuttle Adventure! The entire Crew Shuttle Program was shut down in Year 17 after the CTS-3 Intrepid suffered a major catastrophe – major nose cone damage from re-entry heat that nearly destroyed the spacecraft! Val is widely credited with saving the entire crew with her calm handling of the disaster!

Since then, engineers have been working on a way to make a safer Crew Shuttle – the result is the refit of the only surviving Crew Transport Shuttle – Adventure! (Intrepid was badly damaged, and Endeavor was dismantled!)

The new Crew Transport Shuttle launches using the Nebula Rocket as a re-usable lifter, which should make the entire Crew Shuttle mission reusable! The vehicle is en route to the White Mesa desert launch facility for initial testing.

“If everything works out with Adventure we’ll see about adding a few new space-planes to our roster! We’ll need some new names though – the DSV fleet took ‘Endeavor’ and ‘Intrepid’ for their latest vehicles!”

-Gene, at Mission Control

Year 22, Day 147 (DSV-3 Crew Explores Sarnusian Moon of Eeloo!)

On the surface of Eeloo, in orbit of the great ringed planet of Sarnus, Kimmy and Mitster prepare to head out and explore the surface!

“All equipment looks good – spacesuit seals are secure! I’m heading out!”

-Kimmy

Kimmy makes history as the first Kerbal to set foot on Eeloo!

“Yay! Come on out Mitster!”

-Kimmy

Mitster triple checks the lander is set to “PARK” (engines off, throttle down) and climbs out of the lander!

“Ok! I’m heading out now too!”

-Mitster

“You were first so you get dibs on the flag Kimmy!”

-Mitster

Kimmy plants the flag into the Sarnusian moon’s surface!

Mitster sets up the camera tripod, then the Kerbals scamper back just in time to strike a pose!

Mitster and Kimmy spend the morning collecting samples, and Kimmy sets up the various scientific equipment that will be left on Eeloo!

“What a busy day – but a pretty awesome one too!”

-Mitster

“Yea… Pretty awesome!”

-Kimmy

Year 22, Day 146(DSV-2 Crew Departs Duna, Returns to Spaceport!)

After an extended stay on the surface of Duna, the crew of Discovery blast off!

“You know the drill everybody – hold on tight until we’re weightless!”
-Mirphe

The crew reach orbit, and barely enough fuel to complete the rendevous!

“I’m starting to think this lander design isn’t perfect! By these calculations, we’ll have less than 100 d/v worth of fuel remaining once we dock!
-Tamre

Mirphe completes the docking maneuver with Duna Spaceport, then taps on the fuel gauge…

“Huh. 20 d/v remaining! That was a close one!”
-Mirphe

After the close call, planners back at the spaceport start working on the next Duna Lander!

Year 22, Day 145 (DSV-3 Horizon Crew Lands on Eeloo!

After weeks in orbit calibrating equipment and scouting out a new landing site, Mission Control gives the OK to land on Eeloo! Mitster and Kimmy board the lander and undock from Horizon’s payload bay!

“Decoupling lander… RCS only. Clearing payload bay…”
-Mitster

The lander drifts clear from Horizon!

“Scientific equipment is fully operational… recording data! The view is amazing!”
-Kimmy

Once the craft is clear of Horizon, the lander fires it’s main engine to de-orbit and land!

“All systems nominal – landing sequence started.”
-Mitster

Back at mission Control, the time delayed transmission has everyone on the edge of their seat! This is the most distant landing ever attempted!

Mitster and Kimmy continue their descent, as the pearly surface of Eeloo gets closer and closer!

Mitster focuses on the landing as the craft gets closer and closer to the surface!

“Almost there! Landing gear is fully deployed and shows ready!”
-Mitster

The lander is mere seconds from touching down…

The lander touches down and makes contact with the Sarnusian moon of Eeloo! Kimmy looks out the window of the lander and is awestruck!

“It’s… beautiful!”
-Kimmy

“Mission Control – this is Horizon lander. We have landed on Eeloo!”
-Mitster

Back on Kerbin, everyone in mission control cheers!

“Good work team! Let’s get that ladder down and see what we can find on Eeloo!”
-Gene, at Mission Control on Kerbin

Year 22, Day 123-126 (New Mun Lander Launches to Mun Spaceport!)

A Jool Rocket takes off from the Space Center, carrying a new Mun Lander – the Heavy Mun Lander!

The Heavy Mun Lander circularizes, and orbits Kerbin, then takes off to Mun!


Year 21, Day 126

After a three day transit, the Heavy Mun Lander arrives at Mun!

The Heavy Mun Lander docks at Mun Spaceport!

“This new Mun Lander can carry three Kerbals… AND transport the rovers to new locations! It’ll be exciting to see what these can do!”
-Malcolm

Year 22, Day 84 (DSV-3 Horizon Arrives at Sarnus!)

On board Horizon, Kimmy and the rest of the crew start waking up from their Cryo-sleep!

“Good morning everyone!”
-Kimmy, Mission Science Specialist

“Good morning! Let’s get the systems ready for the approach to Slate!”

-Chrisnic, Mission Engineer

The crew rushes to the bridge – when Mitster spots Sarnus!

“Get a picture Kimmy!”
-Mitster

“Wow! That’s the first picture Kerbals have ever taken of Sarnus!”
-Kimmy

“…and look how small the sun looks from out here – wow!”
-Kimmy

The crew starts powering up systems and verifies full communication with the Kerbin Deep Space Relay Network! After a time delay, a message comes back from Kerbin!

Horizon – this is Gene at Mission Control, back on Kerbin! We’re reading your transmissions loud and clear – good luck!”
-Gene, at Mission Control

The Horizon speeds toward Sarnus…

…and arrives at it’s close approach to Slate, the large moon of Sarnus!

“Main engine … firing! Reactor is showing full power!”
-Chrisnic

The capture burn into orbit lasts nearly 2 minutes!

Finally, the ship is captured into orbit of Slate!

“Looks like we’ve got orbit! Good work everyone! Time to disconnect the communications probe!”
-Mitster

“Comm dishes are… deployed – undocking probe!”
-Chrisnic

The probe drifts away from DSV-3 Horizon! The satellite arrays should provide full communication with Kerbin for missions!

As horizon orbits around Slate, the crew starts reviewing data from the orbital insertion, as well as collecting tons of new data from the Sarnusian moon!

Horizon’s cargo bay opens, and the science equipment on the lander starts collecting data! However, Kimmy is the first to crunch the numbers and has some bad news!

“Uh oh! It looks like Slate is much more massive than we thought… this data says that we’re dealing with a lot more gravity than the lander was designed for!”
-Kimmy

The crew discusses the situation with Mission Control, and a novel solution is found – change the mission parameters to land on the smaller Sarnusian moon of Eeloo!

“No problem – we can transit to Eeloo in 5 days! Plugging in the maneuver!”
-Mitster

Before departing, Horizon collects information over many biomes as it circles the moon – Kimmy even climbs out and conducts visual surveys for several full orbits!

5 days later, on Day 89, Horizon begins it’s maneuver to Eeloo!

The nuclear engine fires…

… and the Horizon is propelled away from Slate, toward Eeloo!

Another 5 days later on Day 94, Horizon circularizes it’s orbit around Eeloo!

“Looks like orbit has been achieved! Eeloo is pretty similar to Mun – just a bit bigger – our lander shouldn’t have an problems!”

-Chrisnic

“We just need to find a good landing site. Maybe we can repurpose one of the survey sattelites in orbit of Slate? They should have enough deltaV to make it here!”
-Kimmy

Mission Control agrees, and scientists begin working on maneuvers to bring the Slate Surveyor to Eeloo!