Year 21, Day 327 (Sarnus/Slate Relay-Scanner Enters Slate Orbit!)

The new Sarnus/Slate Relay-Scanner probe arrives at the Sarnus system!

“We still have communication! All those communications dishes really do add up to create a better connection with Kerbin!”
-Gene, at Mission Control

The Slate Probe performs an orbital capture maneuver…

… then captures into a 65 degree inclination Slate Orbit!

“We have enough deltaV to maneuver the probe again if need be – but good work everybody! This is our first probe around Slate!

Indeed, previous probes to the Sarnus system have all failed – either not enough power, or not enough communications capacity. This time – it looks like a proper scan of Slate can be completed!

The lens protector on the surface telescope opens!

“We’re recieving signal! We should have a complete scan of the surface just in time for the Horizon to arrive!”
-Gene

The Relay-Scan probe continues it’s orbit around Slate! In 106 days it will be joined in the Sarnus system by DSV-3 Horizon!

Year 21, Day 309 (Orlas and Luly Head to Aurora Base!)

The Mun Lander takes off from Aurora Base…

… and enters Mun orbit!

“I see the lander! Computers say it’s on track for remote docking. Technology has sure come a long way since the first days of Munar Exploration!”
-Summer

The lander docks! Luly and Orlas board, and prepare to head down to the surface!

The lander undocks, and starts it’s descent!

“This is gonna be a lot of fun!!”
-Orlas

The lander sets down near Aurora Base!

Luly hops out, and heads to the airlock!

“Wow! These modular bases snap together fast!”
-Luly

Orlas hops out, and joins Luly!

“The great thing is that we can keep expanding as time goes on! Since Mun doesn’t have any water though, we’ll always need a lifeline from Kerbin! But we can use this base to test out future colonies – like on Minmus, or Laythe!”
-Orlas

“I found the door! Let’s get inside and start up the Base’s science systems!”
-Luly

“These pre-planted seedlings are already growing – amazing!”
-Orlas

“Mission Control – Aurora Base is fully functional! All systems online!”

-Dunwin

Year 21, Day 295 (Aurora Base Mover Launches, Aurora Base Construction Begins!)

A Sarnus Va rocket launches from the space center carrying a modified rover that had been converted to move Base modules!

“Good thing we had a Sarnus V rocket ready! It made this launch fast! That was the next scheduled Aurora Mission though, but it was worth it to get Aurora Base up and running!”

-Gene

Orbit is achieved! The second stage settles into orbit, deploying it’s solar panels!

After a rapid transit, the rover arrives at Mun…

…and heads down for a landing!

The Base Mover sets down amongst the deployed modules for Aurora Base, as Bill and Dunwin watch from the lander!

There it is! I’ll head out and oversee the deployment of the Base Mover!”

-Dunwin

“That’s one ugly rover! Let’s get it deployed and see if it works!”

-Dunwin

The RCS Lifting crane struggles under the heavy weight – the Base Adapter Modules are pretty heavy!

The RCS lifter ejects, and goes flying away! Seismic instruments around Mun will monitor the impact and transmit the data back to Kerbin!

“Time to get moving!”

-Dunwin

Dunwin drives the Base Mover to the first module – the Green House!

“Got it! Interface looks good… Heading your way Bill!”

-Dunwin

The connection is made and the Greenhouse is connected!

Meanwhile, Bill scouts the are around Aurora Base and determines the base needs to be shifted about 50m north east to have a good flat surface!

Next, Bill and Dunwin both board the Base Mover and pick up the Science Module!

“Great! Another module installed!”

-Bill

With the base coming together so quickly, crew up on Mun Spaceport prepare to head down and start their surface mission!

“The start if this project was a bit bumpy, but this latest phase is going great!”

-Bill

Yeah! We’ll be done before you know it!”

-Dunwin

The Habitat module is installed! Dunwin and Bill head inside after parking the Base Mover and the Rover near the base!

Mission Control orders the Lander to lift off and set down at the new Base site.

Now we wait for the rest of the crew!”

-Bill

“I wonder how long until the Greenhouse is able to grow treats?!”

-Dunwin

Year 21, Day 250 (Bill & Dunwin Set Up Aurora Base!)

Dunwin and Bill board the new Aurora 28 Lander and head down to Mun’s surface!

The new rover is designed to pick up the debris from the landing!

“The lander is taking us down! It feels weird being in a remotely piloted vehicle without a pilot!”
-Bill

The lander sets down at Aurora Base!

Oh boy! We have our work cut out for us!”
-Dunwin

“Our first problem is that the modules don’t have any command or communications equipment installed! We’re not going to be able to pilot them into place!”
-Dunwin

Uh oh! KSEA engineers start working on a solution to this latest Munar problem!

“No one ever said setting up a base on The Mun was going to be easy!”
-Gene

Year 21, Day 245 (Mun Spaceport Upgrade Mission Launches!)

The Nebula Rocket carrying the Mun Spaceport adapters launches!

At a 200k apoapsis, the first stage turns around, and returns to Kerbin! Meanwhile, the second stage ejects it’s fairing…

…and heads to Mun!

Circularizing orbit around Mun, the remotely piloted vehicle rendezvouses with Mun Spaceport until…

The tiny craft arrives at the massive orbital research and refueling depot!

“Mission Control – we show the spacecraft at station keeping – we’re ready for control handover!”

-Summer

Control of the upgrade modules is given to Mun Spaceport, and Summer (carefully!) pilots the three small modules into position!

The first Module goes on in an unoccupied bay…

Then the second module goes on opposite it!

“Ready for the last module! This one will be a little tricky, it’s going on the underside of the station!”
-Summer

Depsite some difficulty, Summer flawlessly docks the small module to the underside of the station!

With all three adapter modules in place (and their disposable installation craft drifting safely away) Mun Spaceport is ready for future spacecraft!

Year 21, Day 220 (Aurora 28 Launches from Space Center!)

Big news from the Aurora program – the Aurora Command Module has been upgraded using a modified Nebula Crew Vehicle capsule, and the lander has been modified to allow easier re-use from Mun Spaceport! These changes will allow FOUR crew to journey to Mun from now on!

The crew is announced: Two engineers, Bill and Dunwin, the Mission Commander Malcolm, and Luly will be the mission Scientist!

Aurora 28 blasts off on top of a Sarnus Va rocket!

The rocket carries the spacecraft up to a 600k orbit of Kerbin…

…then departs for Mun!

“Even with 4 crew this new module is so roomy!”
-Bill

This will be the first launch for the 4-crew variant of the Aurora Spacecraft… the module is identical to the Nebula Crew Vehicle which has a perfect record!

The Crew Lander is slightly modified with more fuel and life support and an improved refueling system!

Aurora 28 arrives at Mun Spaceport!

“Aurora 28… we have you on tracking… our docking ports are all full though!”
-Summer

The old lander ejects, as does the Aurora 27 Command Module, and Aurora 28 docks!

“We need to get some adapters up here to make more room for more spacecraft!”
-Malcolm

Plans are begun for some expansions to the Spaceport to allow for more docking ports… while the crew prepares to head down to Aurora Base!

Year 21, Day 194 (Aurora Base Launches to Mun!)

Aurora Base is finally ready to launch! This complicated mission will involve one very large payload launched to Mun Orbit, then 3 separate landings delivering all the components of the station. The first landing will carry the Habitat and Science Modules. The second will carry the Greenhouse and Life Support systems. The third module will carry the Command Module!

In the evening of Day 194, the Jool X rocket blasts off from the Space Center carrying Aurora Base!

The second stage carries the Aurora Base modules to orbit…

… then to Mun’s Orbit!

Once in Mun orbit the three landings commence.

“Let’s keep our fingers crossed everyone! These landings have to be timed precisely for the modules to arrive undamaged!”
-Gene

The Habitat and Science modules descend to Aurora Crater!

Then land just next to the Aurora Rover from the Aurora 27 mission from Mun Spaceport!

Then, the complicated part! One module breaks off, and is piloted away using RCS!

Eventually the next detaches, and rolls to nearby safety!

“That wasn’t so bad! Just two more to go!”
-Bob, at the Space Center

The Green House and Life Support modules land next…

.. landing just next to the other modules!

Aurora Crater is starting to fill up with some very expensive Kerbal hardware!

Next, the Command Module heads down!

“Telemetry is good. Speed is good. Command Module should be good to set down – fuel’s looking pretty tight though! “
-Bob, at the Space Center

At the last second, the Command Module detaches from the descent vehicle, and the upper mounted RCS system (the same that’s used to deploy rovers in Aurora Missions) takes the Command Module to the surface of Mun!

Looks like a good set of landings people! Let’s get some crew out there to get started!”
-Gene

A crew will be launching soon from Kerbin to construct the station on the next Aurora mission – Aurora 28!

Year 21, Day 180 (DSV-5 Intrepid, KSEA’s Next Deep Space Vehicle, Launches From The Space Center!)

The Next Deep Space Vehicle, DSV-5 Intrepid is ready to launch! Named after the retired crew shuttle CTS-3 Intrepid, DSV-5 is a Horizon Class DSV, identical to Endeavor and Horizon!

“Wow – that rocket looks big, even from way over at the Tracking Station!”

-Bob, on his way to watch the launch of DSV-5

Mission Command starts calling out rocket status summaries, until finally…

“Lights are green – DSV is go for launch!”
-Gene, at Mission Control

“Look at ‘er go!”

-Bob, at Mission Control

The Jool Heavy Rocket carries the spacecraft higher…

… and higher!

At a 200k orbit, the side stages eject, and Intrepid circularizes it’s orbit around Kerbin!

“Computers say we have a good orbit! Let’s remotely rendevous it with Spacedock and get a crew over there!”
-Gene

Intrepid is remotely piloted until it rendezvouses with Spacedock!

“Mission Control – this is Jeb at Spacedock Control – we have a visual on Intrepid!”
-Jeb

“Wow – I always forget how big these DSV’s are until you see them next to Spacedock!”

-Sean

While Mission Control can pilot the DSV’s remotely for the precision connections needed for docking pilots are always preferred – so Jeb EVA’s outside Spacedock and heads over to Intrepid!

“Mission Control, I have left Spacecdock and am en route to the DSV!”
-Jeb

Jeb sets his EVA rockets to “FULL SPEED DANGER!” and speeds toward the DSV!

“Radar shows you going 10 m/s, make sure you leave enough time to slow down!”
-Sean, on Spacedock

“Don’t worry, I’m a professional!”
-Jeb

Jeb slows down, just in time, and grabs the hand holds under the nose of DSV-5 Endeavor at the last second!

“Got it! Connection made, heading to the cockpit!”
-Jeb

“Eyes on the prize Jeb – let’s get this bird in the nest!”
-Gene

“Roger that.”
-Jeb

Jeb activates the RCS thrusters and matches speed with Spacedock, then orients the massive spacecraft with the docking ports!

“Starting final docking maneuvers…”
-Jeb

“Mission Control… Jeb here… I’m in the pipe, five by five…”
-Jeb

Intrepid slowly moves in to dock until finally, just as the sun sets…

“Intrepid – you show a solid lock – welcome back Jeb! I can’t wait to get over there and start up Intrepid‘s reactor!”
-Sean

Year 21, Day 178 (Aurora 27 Crew Return to Mun Spaceport!)

Summer and Orlas blast off from Aurora Crater!

“I think we found a great site for the new Base!”
-Summer

“Agreed! It’s not just scenic either… there’s a lot of interesting science to be done at that location!”
-Orlas

Summer pilots the lander to a rendevous with Mun Spaceport…

… and docks!

“Alright, let’s get ready for the arrival of Aurora Base! “
-Summer