KSEA unveils designs for the third component of Kerbin Spaceport: A modular refueling vehicle! Construction has already begun, and will launch soon along with the other components for Kerbin Spacedock!
After camping out on Moho for 64 days (a record!) Mirphe and Samner blast off, leaving behind all the science gear and the rover!
“Systems nominal… fuel supply will be… well, a little tight!”
“What’s that mean!?”
“Well, as long as I don’t make any mistakes whatsoever we probably have enough fuel to rendezvous!”
Thankfully, after reaching orbit there is *just* enough fuel to rendevous! The remaining fuel is a very low 12 d/v supply!
“Ok – we’re lined up … moving in to dock!”
“Welcome aboard! It was getting boring up here! Next time we visit we need to bring a lander that can fit everyone!”
Samner stows all the scientific data and samples, while Gillian gets the reactor powered up!
The lander is undocked, and drifts away from Endeavor!
“Course set! We’re ready to head home!”
Endeavor powers up it’s nuclear engine and the spacecraft departs Moho!
The journey to Moho has taken much more fuel than initially planned – the lack of an atmosphere or any moons means very little natural assistance with slowing down!
Endeavor flies away from Moho, heading home!
Meanwhile, the crew enters cryostasis!
“Mission Control… this is Mirphe on Endeavor! Samner and Gillian have successfully entered Cryo-Stasis.. handing over Vehicle to Mission Control! Endeavor Out!”
“See you soon Endeavor!”
-Gene, at Mission Control
KSEA is pleased to announce the newest space station – Kerbin Spacedock! This fully stocked crew facility in orbit will serve as the central hub for the Deep Space Vehicle fleet, providing a place for crew to return, rest, train, and even get promoted!
The station has three distinct components: the Docking Section with three ports at the end for Deep Space Vehicles, and two on the sides for Crew Vehicles arriving from the surface. The Habitat Section provides comfortable long-term orbital living for Kerbals and has almost all the comforts of home! Not pictured is a new Fuel-Supply module that will provide in-orbit refueling and resupply of the DSV fleet!
Construction has begun on the three modules (depleting the bulk of KSEA’s funds for quite some time!) Blueprints will likely be updated as launch date gets closer, and feature-creep inevitably slows down the production!
“Kerbin Spaceport has served KSEA and the Kerbal States well for years. However, it was built with a different kind of spacecraft and a different kind of mission in mind – Liquid Fuel and Oxidizer tanks with no option for changing fuel types, and docking ports that are too close together for the DSV fleet! With Kerbin Spacedock we’ll finally have a true home in the sky!”
After a very long day exploring Moho (at least the 3km west of the landing site!) Mirphe and Samner return to the lander!
“Let’s see how fast we can get the rover going!”
Approaching nearly 25 meters per second, the rover comes up to a large ridge!
“Ahh! Watch out for the bump!”
Thankfully, after going ‘airborne’ for only a moment, the lander sets back down safely and continues on it’s journey back to the lander!
“Nothing to worry about Samner – sorry for the scare! We trained for this back on Kerbin, I’ll keep us safe!”
“Whew! Ok good! Hey, let’s use the headlights of the rover to get a better picture of us in front of the flag!”
Parking the rover a little away, Samner and Mirphe pose for their landing portait…
…then head back to the rover to rest! They’ll stay on Moho for several days, and may go on another rover trip soon!
“Excellent work – all three of you!”
-Gene, back at Mission Control
Mirphe and Samner head west from the landing site, at the highlands, hoping to reach the midlands! So far the rover initially designed for Duna appears quite capable on Moho!
“Definitely no problem with power… we’re so close to the sun the solar panels are almost dangerously hot!”
Suddenly, a strange rock formation appears on the horizon…
“What could that be!?”
Mirphe drives the rover closer and closer!
“Temperature is rising as we approach… be careful!”
It looks like some kind of massive magma formation – Kerbal astronomers call them “Moon Frowns!”
“Well that’s a terribly silly name! “
“The technical name is a Wrinkle Ridge… it’s the result of magma settling after cooling!”
“I think ‘Wrinkle Ridge’ is even sillier!”
Samner directs the scanning arm, taking proper measurements of the ‘Wrinkle Ridge!’
After resting for a day, Mirphe and Samner board the Moho Lander! Gillian will stay aboard Endeavor to monitor the mission!
“Undocking lander from Endeavor … I’m going to gently fire the RCS thrusters to move us to a safe distance!”
The Moho lander moves away from Endeavor, and comes to a holding position 100m away from the spacecraft!
“Ok, you’re clear to detach the rover from the lander!”
The rover detaches, and Mirphe remotely pilots the rover, and slowly moves toward the lander, orienting itself to dock!
“OK – rover is stationary. Moving the lander in to dock!”
“We have a solid connection! Prepare for landing!”
The aerospike engine fires, and the lander moves down to the surface!
The lander makes a quick descent – dropping from the low orbit of 15k it takes almost no time at all to reach the surface!
“Landing in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1….”
“Contact! We have touched down on Moho!”
As the aerospike landing engine cools, the crew prepares for surface exploration!
“Deploying the rover!”
It’s a close one, but after a flipy and tipsy ejection from the lander, the rover sets down on the surface!
“Yikes! Maybe you should deploy the rover next time Mirphe!”
“It’s ok! Besides, even if it flipped the RCS-deployer is so powerful we could probably use the thrusters to fix it!”
The antenna arrays, cargo bay, and ladder deploy… and Mirphe heads out of the lander!
“Ground feels nice and solid! Your turn Samner!”
Samner climbs out…
…and runs over to Mirphe!
“Why don’t you plant the flag Samner?”
Samner pulls out a Kerbal States flag, and plants it in the ground!
After planting the flag, Smaner starts unloading the science equipment!
“That about does it! Equipment is all set up… fully powered and it looks like we’re getting a signal!”
Next, Mirphe and Samner watch as the Rover-Deployer takes off!
“There it goes!”
Samner and Mirphe climb into the rover… and head out!
“It’s time for adventure!”
Endeavor arrives at Moho! The engines begin automatically firing to capture in orbit. Meanwhile, the crew is woken up from Cryo-Stasis!
“Brrr! We must have arrived! I need to get to the command module, I hear the engines firing!”
Gillian and Samner wake up too, and start preparations for entering orbit!
The burn to capture orbit is nearly 15 minutes long!
It takes a while, but eventually the final orbit is reached…
A very close 15k orbit above the surface! Another burn occurs to take Endeavor’s inclination closer to Moho’s equator – everything is being done to get as much deltaV out of the onboard lander as possible!
“Mission Control, this is Mirphe… Ideal orbit achieved! Endeavor preparing for crewed Moho Landing!”
Back at mission control, everyone cheers!
“Get some rest for the surface mission Endeavor!”
-Gene, at Mission Control
After 40 days on the surface of Duna, the Explorer 7 crew prepares to come home!
“All our surface experiments should be OK when we take off, as long as there isn’t too much dust kicked up!”
“Engines firing! All systems go!”
“Looks like we’re still getting a signal from the surface… blast off must not have been too damaging! Lander systems all good too!”
Malcolm pilots the Advanced Duna Lander to a rendezvous with the station…
…and docks with Duna Spaceport!
“Great work Explorer 7! Get some rest everyone!”
-Gene, at Mission Control
The crew for DSV-4’s first mission is announced – Pilot Mirphe, Engineer Gillian, and Scientist Samner! The crew board Aurora 25, carrying the Moho lander and a Rover!
The rover is the exact design of the most recent Aurora mission – Aurora 24, using the RCS deployer.
Aurora 25 blasts off!
“All dials look good… systems nominal.”
The solids detach, and the second stage ejects shortly after, bringing Aurora 25 to orbit!
“Now we just need to rendezvous with Endeavor!”
“Easier said than done! These DSV payload/crew missions are one of the most complicated piloting challenges!”
“Hey – don’t worry, I’m a professional!”
Mirphe rendezvouses with Endeavor – placing Aurora 25 500 meters away!
“Crew Vehicle separating… starting crew docking maneuver!”
“Roger that! Good luck!”
-Gene, at Mission Control
The Aurora 25 Crew Vehicle moves in to dock with Endeavor!
“Success! We’re docked! Switching controls over to the Moho Lander… starting Lander Docking Maneuver!”
The lander detaches from the rover, and slowly moves in closer and closer to Endeavor’s cargo bay! The primary communications dish is retracted to avoid any incidents!
“Almost there…. got it!”
Next, all cargo is unloaded from the Aurora Crew Vehicle, which disconnects!
“OK Mirphe… sensors show the ACV is clear of Endeavor. You’re good to remotely pilot the rover on over!”
Mirphe pilots the rover, using about 20% of it’s RCS fuel.
“Ok, rover captured! Let’s get the cargo bay closed and head out!”
“Reactor at full… radiators show nominal flow… crew and supplies stowed… I think we’re good to fire the engine!”
“Course has been fed into the computer, we’re ready!”
With that, Mirphe fires the Colossus Engine, and the nuclear engine carries Endeavor on it’s way to Moho!
“Burn almost complete!”
Endeavor’s engines stop firing, and the spacecraft appears to be on course for Moho! In a few days the crew will enter cryo-stasis and rest for their interplanetary voyage!
Onboard the Spaceport, Engineer Kerlorf reports his stomach feels strange… so KSEA decides to return him to the surface just in case!
The Aurora Crew Vehicle detaches from the station…
… then reenters the atmosphere, landing near the waters at KSC!
“After a thorough examination our science team has indicated Engineer Kerlorf was just hungry! We’ve administered a healthy amount of snacks, and he should be good as new in a day!”