Year 16, Day 422 (Construction Starts On Future Aurora Mun Missions!)

KSEA announces that construction has begun on 3 more Sarnus V Mun rockets! Aurora 19, 20, and 21! They are almost identical to Aurora 18, with the exception of the Rover Deployment system – Aurora 19 will test the latest iteration of this system.

“Hopefully it deploys better than the last one – what a mess!”

“It should! The new top-mounted lifter should be much more stable!”

Year 16, Day 418 (Engineering Specialists Head To Kerbin Spaceport!)

To prepare for the upcoming installation of the Habitat Expansion to the Spaceport, Val will pilot Engineering specialists Kerlorf and Dunwin to the Spaceport!

“I heard Gene saying that if the Expansion goes alright, the Spaceport is going to start having a much larger crew – we can expect even more Aurora Crew launches soon!”

“Oh wow! I always forget how big the station is! “

“Before we dock we need to give the station a once-over… make sure the expansion plans are on track!

“Everything looks good so far! It’s a shame the fuel tanks up here don’t get used much, except for rescue operations! We could really use fuel depots like this in orbit of Mun!”

“Heading to the midpoint connection point….”

“Looks solid. It’s a good idea to check this connection from time to time, it’s the connection point that holds the two halves of the station together!

Dunwin heads inside the station, and leads the rest of the engineering crew for their preparations for the Habitat expansion!

Year 16, Day 398 (Aurora 18 Crew Explores Surface of Mun!)

Glenica and Mitster decide to use their time waiting on Mun productively, and take the Mun Rover out for a spin! But first – Glenica plants a Kerbal Stages flag on the surface!

“I’ve never planted a flag before – that was fun!”

“It never gets old! Now let’s see what’s out there!”

Before long, the intrepid Kerbals find a strange rock – a Mun Rock!

“I’ll deploy the scanning arm! I bet the scientist back on Kerbin can’t wait to see this data!”

Around 2km from the landing site, Glenica spots something in the distance – a large rock formation!

Let’s check that out!”

“It’s a crater! I’m going to use the EVA jets to explore it!”

“Wow! For a little crater, this is HUGE!”

Mitster and Glenica set a new record, driving nearly 5km from their landing site – eventually exploring the East Farside Crater! After scanning multiple rocks and craters, Mitster drives the two back to the landing site!

“We better check in with Mission Control and see what the plan is! Look, there’s the landing site!”

Before they leave, Mitster and Glenica pose for their landing portrait!

“That’s a great shot! Good news – we think you can leave the science equipment on Mun! We can communicate remotely and view the results since the communitron unit appears functional! Let’s get you back here for the next mission!

The Aurora 18 Lander (the second one!) blasts off from Mun…

…and docks with the Aurora Crew Vehicle in orbit!

“Welcome back! Wow – that’s a lot of rocks!”

“Time to head home and let the researchers check out all these Mun Rocks!”

“Thrusters… FIRING!”

Aurora 18 heads back home!

Just before entering the atmosphere, the command module detaches…

… and hurtles through the atmosphere, protected by it’s heat shield!

The parachute deploys, and the spacecraft is rescued!

Year 16, Day 398 (Aurora 18 Crew Returns To Original Landing Site!)

After the complicated docking/refueling with the new lander, Mitster and Glenica head back down to the surface!

“Let’s see if we can complete this mission!”

“I just hope all this equipment is compatible!”

Mitster slowly brings the lander down, within sight of the old landing site! The Mun Rover and other scientific equipment are still there!

Glenica climbs out, and begins deploying the solar arrays needed to power all the scientific experiments!

“That should do it! Let’s wait for some results and contact Mission Control!”

Mitster and Glenica wait in the lander for updates!

“Hang in there everyone… we don’t know how long it will take to get science from this new equipment!”

Year 16, Day 396 (Aurora 18 Rescue Mission Launches!)

Mission Control launches the automated mission to Mun – carrying the new Mk3 Lander! The Aurora Rockets aren’t designed for very heavy payloads, so it will be a fairly complicated operation to get the new lander to the Aurora 18 crew!

Once in orbit of Kerbin, the Lander expends much of it’s fuel for the burn to Mun…

… and then circularizing!

Then – Mission Control remotely controls the Aurora 18 Crew Vehicle, with Sean inside, to a rendezvous with the Mk3 Lander!

Success! The Lander and the ACV Dock… now the docked craft rendezvous with the Mk2 lander carrying Mitster and Glenica!

The ACV remotely transfers it’s excess fuel to the Mk3 lander – and then the lander disconnects, and heads over!

The two landers dock! Mitster and Glenica carefully move all important science data to the new lander, and prepare to disconnect!

“Glad that’s over with! Let’s get back down to Mun and finish our work!”

Year 16, Day 392 (Aurora 18 Blasts Off Mun After Power Emergency!)

“I’ve been watching these power levels closely… we don’t have enough to last another night on Mun! We need to get to orbit fast!

Thankfully, Mission Control has a solution! A Mk3 Lander has been under development, and with great expense has been constructed quickly and will launch shortly! The new lander has enhanced fuel reserves, and carries the extra equipment needed for the landing! Once the new Lander arrives, the crews will dock in orbit, and head down again!

Year 16, Day 391 (Aurora 18 Mun Landing!)

One issue with the Mun Rover is that it requires crews to EVA from the Crew Vehicle to the lander!

“Not a problem!”

“Any chance to get out in space is great!”

Mitster and Glenica board the lander and start checking systems…

“Looking good! I think we’re ‘go’ to disconnect from the ACV!”

The lander disconnects and heads down to Mun’s surface!

“… and we’re down! That was a good landing! Now it’s time to eject the rover!”

“hmmm – Mitster, nothing’s happening!”

“I think thats’ because there’s no remote connection to the lander – drat! There’s only one thing to do!”

“Get out there and fly it myself!”

“Hmmm. This might be tricky. I think future missions are going to need a better way to deploy these!”

Mitster fires the uni-direcitonal RCS thrsters and the Mun Rover lifts, unevenly, into the sky!

“Not good… not good! Ejecting the RCS Lifter!”

Mitster ejects the RCS lifter as the Rover almost tips over! Thankfully, the rover lands on it’s wheels and Mitster is safe!

“That was a close one! Rover seems fine though… let’s get going!”

“Let’s go!”

The two Kerbals drive for a minute until they spot something in the distance… a strange rock!

“Look Glenica – a strange rock!”

“That is a strange rock! Let’s see what the scanning arm makes of it!”

The rover’s scanning arm deploys, and takes detailed readings of the rock. Initial finds are that the rock is indeed quite strange, but scientists on Kerbin will need to look the data over!

In the meantime, the two head back to the landing site, and Glenica works on getting all the scientific equipment for the mission set up!

“OK – it’s all set up! There seems to be one little problem though. More like lots of little problems… there’s only one power supply, and lots of equipment that needs power! What’re we going to do!?”

“Don’t worry – we have lots of life support in the lander! We can radio Mission Control and see what they advise! In the meantime, let’s get back inside!”

“Good thinking! At least the equipment all looks like it survived the landing! Maybe when new supplies get here we can see if we can reach any more Mun-biomes!”

Back in the lander Mitster and Glenica radio for assistance!

Hmm – I’m sure we can do something! We’ll get to work on the problem right away. Stay safe there until we come up with a plan!”

Year 16, Day 381 (Heavy Cargo Shuttles Decommissioned!)

The last Heavy Cargo Shuttle launch was nearly eight years ago, so KSEA has decided to decommission the space program’s two Heavy Shuttles: Enterprise and Resolute!

Dividing cargo launches from crew launches just seems safer and more efficient! KSEA’s engineers are still known to doodle large spaceplanes however… So the dream is still alive!

Year 16, Day 380 (KerbScan1 Launches!)

KerbScan1 blasts off! Unlike most launches from the space center, KerbScan launches into an 85 degree orbit – to better scan the surface of the planet!

Scientists think that a 200k polar orbit is ideal – so the sattelite burns…

…and then ejects it’s orbital stage! Already the cameras are transmitting some amazing images of the auroras at the poles! Works starts right away on another KerbScan!