Year 20, Day 281 (DSV-2 Discovery Returns From Historic Mission to Laythe!)

Discovery enters Kerbin’s sphere of gravitational influence!

“Discovery we’re tracking you as on course – what’s your situation?”

-Gene, at Mission Control

“Roger Mission Control… Situation nominal, Discovery reactor is at full, engines show green and ready to fire!”

-Jeb

As Discovery reaches a distance of 700km from Kerbin, the 3 nuclear engines fire!

It’s a nearly minute long burn to slow down!

Suddenly, alarm bells ring in the cockpit!

“Temperature on main engines reaching critical! They’re starting to heat up the tri-adapter engine housing!”

-Bob

“We’ve already been captured into orbit, so we can cut thrust safely… Let’s monitor it and cut thrust once it’s just about critical!”

-Jeb

Thankfully the engines don’t explode, and Discovery settles into a clean 700k circular orbit!

I can’t wait to see Spacedock! It’s supposed to be huge!”

-Bill

Discovery does several manuevers to rendezvous with Spacedock, and finally approaches the station!

“Discovery here! We’re going to coast past Spacedock, then start docking manuevers!”

-Jeb

“Roger that DSV-2… We show you at 150 meters and clear for RCS manuevers!”

-Sean, onboard Spacedock

Discovery slowly drifts past the station until it’s visible out the cockpit!

“Wow! Look at that! And look, Endeavor is docked at the top!”

-Bill

“Yep! We’ll be parking opposite Endeavor!”

-Jeb

Jeb uses RCS orbital thrusters only and slowly matches speed with Spacedock….

…then slowly accelerates toward the station, lining up with the docking port!

“Slowing down… We’re lined up and looking good!”

-Jeb

Discovery moves almost imperceptibly slow until…

With a dull “clunk” and the whir of motors, Discovery makes s connection to Spacedock!

“Welcome home Discovery!”

-Val

Jeb, Bill, and Bob head over to Spacedock to rest before returning to Kerbin with the mountains of data gathered from Jool’s moon Laythe! There is already talk of building a colony there!

Engineers are also finalizing plans for refits and repairs to Discovery!

Year 20, Day 275 (Spacedock Refueling Mission Launches!)

KSEA launches the next refueling mission to Kerbin Spacedock!

The Modular Refueling Vehicle launches on a versatile Jool Vb rocket!

The spacecraft orbits, then is remotely piloted to a rendevous with Spacedock!

The docking procedure is uneventful – and the new refueling vehicle shows a solid connection with the space station!

Kerbin Spacedock’s redesign now allows 4 of the refueling vehicles docked at the base of the station – and should provide more than enough fuel reserves for KSEA’s growing fleet of Deep Space Vehicles… including Discovery, which will return in just days!

Year 20, Day 271 (DSV-2 Discovery Crew Wakes From CryoSleep!)

Jeb, Bill, and Bob wake from their Cryo-Sleep on Discovery!

“Wake up everybody! Just 8 days and we’ll be entering Kerbin orbit!”
-Jeb

“I can’t wait to see this new Space Station they built while we were gone!”
-Bill

“It feels like we just left Laythe yesterday!”
-Bob

In Kerbin Orbit, the massive new Spacedock facility is ready for the returning DSV!

Refueling Discovery should be about the same procedure as Endeavor! They’re different classes of ships technically… but they both run on the same fuel!”
Sean, on Spacedock

Year 20, Day 271 (Explorer 7 Departs Duna!)

After two successful Duna landings it’s time for the Explorer 7 crew to return home! Malcolm performs an EVA to give Duna Spaceport, the Advanced Duna Lander, and the Explorer spacecraft a final inspection before departing!

“Everything looks good out here! This view never gets boring!”
-Malcolm

After boarding Explorer 7, Malcolm detaches the spacecraft…

… and Explorer 7 slowly drifts away from Duna Spaceport!

“There’s only enough fuel reserves for one more landing from the Spaceport! The next mission will need to have a reserve fuel supply or KSEA needs to send another refueling mission out!”
-Dunwin

“Well if you ask me how we get here isn’t as important as getting here! The scientific data we’ve acquired this mission should keep us busy for years!”
-Shepely

As Explorer 7 drifts further and further the departure window is met, and Malcolm fires the spacecraft’s engine!

“All systems are nominal… engine burn to Kerbin nearly complete!”
-Malcolm

As Explorer 7 leaves the Duna system, the crew prepares for their EVA to the Cryonic section to hibernate for the trip home! At KSEA, mission planners are debating how to do the next mission – is it time to send the DSV’s to Duna, or continue with the Explorer program?

Year 20, Day 199 (New Spaceport Fueling Port Launches!)

A massive Nova Rocket is chosen to launch the next section for the Spacedock upgrade project! Only a Nova could carry both the Modular Refueling Vehicle and the new 4-sided fuel port segment!

The solid rockets detach, and the Nova Rocket carries payload to orbit!

The protective aerodynamic fairing detaches, and the craft begins the slow and dreadfully dull rendevous maneuvers – made quite tiresome by the craft’s massive side and under-powered RCS thrusters!

“We’re gonna need more coffee at Mission Control… this is going to be a long one!”
-Gene

Finally, the segment arrives at Spacedock!

The old refueling vehicle drifts away, while the new section moves in slowly. Engineers plan to use a tug vehicle to bring the segment back to Spacedock… eventually!

The new section is aligned…

…and Spacedock itself is slowly oriented up as the docking maneuver continues… finally connecting!

“Connection seems solid! I think we’re good to start pumping fuel! Someone should probably go bring the Endeavor back!”
-Sean

“Mirphe and I can handle that!”
-Summer

Mirphe and Summer leave in Crew Vehicle 1…

… and dock with Endeavor!

“We’re connected! Summer, you should try piloting the Endeavor!
-Mirphe

“Oh wow, this thing handles surprisingly well for how big it is! Bringing Endeavor in to dock!”
-Summer

Mirphe detaches the Crew Vehicle and Summer brings the Endeavor in to dock!

Endeavor docks at the new docking segment!

“I’m heading home too!”
-Mirphe

With Endeavor and Crew Vehicle 1 docked, the Spacedock upgrades are (for now) complete! The only thing to add are more modular refueling vehicles to the base!

“Good work up there! Get some rest!”
-Gene, at Mission Control

Year 20, Day 178 (New Docking Section for Spaceport Launches and Docks!)

The new docking section for the Spaceport launches on a Jool V rocket!

This new section is quite similar to the segment it’s replacing, however it adds more docking ports and a viewing cupola at the top. The design follows the new idea to rotate the station vertically.

The second stage and fairing detach, and enter orbit!

The docking segment detaches and rendezvouses with the Spaceport! Engineers there have already detached the old docking port, using DSV-4 Endeavor as a tug to safely move it away from Spaceport!

“Mission Control – we show the docking segment on track to dock. Looking good!”
-Sean, on Kerbin Spacedock

Docking is complete! The first part of the Spaceport makeover is done!

“Now’s the hard part – the new quad-fueling port is going to be a pain to connect!”
-Gene, at Mission Control

Year 20, Day 124 (Crew Vehicle 1 Launches On New Mk2 Nebula Rocket!)

At White Mesa, the desert launch facility, the new Mk2 Nebula Rocket is ready for launch!

“After all those simulations with the new Crew Vehicle I’m ready to finally blast off!”
-Mirphe

This will be the first launch for KSEA’s newest pilot, Summer!

“I can’t wait to see Kerbin from orbit!”
-Summer

The KR-84 engine ignites, and Crew Vehicle 1 blasts off!

“All systems nominal… not too bumpy either!”
-Summer

The Nebula Rocket breaks through the clouds, and carries the Crew Vehicle higher and higher!

“CV1 nearing 200k apoapsis – prepare for seperation!”
-Mirphe

The KR-84 throttles down, and the rocket coasts! This will be the first time the Mk2 Nebula Rocket has attempted it’s separate/spin/land maneuver to return to KSC!

“Separating first stage!
-Mirphe

“First stage is clear! Sensors show it’s onboard systems have already started the flip maneuver!
-Summer

Once clear of the Crew Vehicle, the Nebula Rocket fires it’s engine – altering it’s trajectory so it lands at the Space Center!

It’s Air Brakes deploy to assist in the landing! They will automatically retract and extend as the craft’s sensors take it in for a landing!

“Crew Vehicle 1 this is Mission Control – we show the Nebula Rocket is on track for a landing at KSC… nice work!”
-Gene, at Mission Control

“OK! Starting rendevous maneuvers for Spacedock!”
-Mirphe

The capable “Poodle” engine starts the first of several burns to take CV1 to Spacedock!

“Looks like we’re in the pipe! Wow, that station is HUGE!”
-Summer

After the required maneuvers, Crew Vehicle 1 arrives at Spacedock!

“Why don’t you do the docking Summer? It’ll be good practice!”
-Mirphe

“Awesome! OK – taking us in!”
-Summer

“Crew Vehicle 1 – this is Station Commander Val – we show you as docked and cleared to come aboard! Welcome to Spacedock!”
-Val

Year 20, Day 107 (New Crew Vehicle Announced!)

KSEA is excited to announce the Mk2 Nebula Crew Vehicle! The Crew Vehicle itself is a modified version of the original Nebula Crew Vehicle, making a number of minor modifications: the escape/landing rockets were tucked down below the Forward RCS system, and the internal storage system was reconfigured for a more balanced spacecraft.

The Rocket itself is entirely new, and provides a versatile new tool to the Kerbin Space Exploration Administration! Designed to be launched from the Desert Facility, White Mesa – the rocket carries the crew vehicle to an apoapsis of 200k, where the Crew Vehicle detaches. Then, the Rocket does a 180 degrees flip and fires it’s engine… changing it’s landing site to the main Space Center! There it will be recovered, refurbished, transported to the Desert Facility, and prepared for it’s next launch!

“This new rocket is going to give us the ability to quickly deliver crews to and from the Spaceport! It looks a bit less silly than the Mk1 too!”
-Gene

Future iterations of the design should allow multiple Nebula Rockets to be strapped together for heavier lifting capability!

Year 20, Day 75 (Endeavor Crew Returns to Kerbin Surface!)

Mirphe, Gillian and Samner board one of the Aurora Crew Vehicles docked at Spacedock and depart for the surface!

“We have over 22 separate scientific studies and samples to return to Kerbin – everyone’s going to be so excited!”
-Samner

After firing the landing burn, the Crew Vehicle separates the orbital stage and prepares for re-entry!

“We are in the pipe… looks like the landing will be just a little short from the Space Center – woops!”
-Mirphe

The parachute deploys, and the Aurora Crew Vehicle gently touches down!

“Welcome back everyone! Let’s get that science stowed safely – you’ve all earned some R&R!”
-Gene, at KSC

Year 20, Day 74 (DSV-4 Endeavor Returns to Kerbin & Docks At Kerbin Spacedock!)

As Endeavor approaches Kerbin, the cryonic sleeping chambers stir, and the crew wakes up!

“brrrr! Looks like we’re almost at Kerbin! Everyone get to your station!”
-Mirphe

The Colossus Engine fires, circularizing the orbit around Kerbin… then Mirphe pilots the spacecraft into a rendevous with Kerbin Spacedock!

“Reactor is cooling down, we are good for RCS approach to Spacedock!”
-Gillian

“Will you look at that – Spacedock is huge!”
-Samner

Endeavor docks! Samner, Gillian, and Mirphe pack up the science findings from Moho and head over to Spacedock to get some rest!

“Wow – this habitat ring’s artificial gravity is almost like being back on Kerbin!
-Mirphe

“Hey – my room has a TV – neat!”
-Gillian

“Welcome home! Get some rest, then it’s time to get Endeavor refueled and ready for it’s next mission!”
-Gene, at Mission Control