The X-10 Wanderer is done, and having passed basic safety tests is ready for a test flight! Val, Glenica, and Dunwin prepare to take the plane on a test flight – first to test basic landing systems, then to test a water landing! This will also be a good training flight for future crew to Laythe!
The VTOL Aerospikes work well enough on Kerbin to provide vertical thrust, however the plane can only maintain vertical flight for a short time!
“Let’s head over to the pyramids, that should be an interesting place to land!” -Val
Val sets Wanderer down right next to the pyramids! Unlike Endurance, Wanderer has much bigger parachutes to deal with the higher gravity of Kerbin!
Val, Dunwin, and Glenica all get out…
…and have a good look around the pyramids!
“Wow, these are right near the Desert Site! Hey, we should call it the ‘Pyramid’ Launch Complex!” -Glenica
After everyone has a good look around, Wanderer takes off!
“Everyone keep hold of your life preservers! We should set down slow enough, but I have no idea if Wanderer is going to even float!” -Val
All horizontal thrust is cut, and Wanderer slowly drifts down to the water!
With a loud “kursplursh!” the X-10 sets down in the water!
“Oh wow! I can’t believe it worked! If the X-10 sets down slow enough, it’s just fine!” -Dunwin
Indeed – Val gets out and confirms the space, er, watercraft, is just fine!
After a little VTOL blast to get out of the water, Wanderer heads back to the Desert Site… now called the Pyramid Launch Complex!
“Pyramid Launch Complex… I’m in the pipe, five by five!” -Val
Wanderer touches down, right where it took off! KSEA relays the information back to Laythe, however engineers are divided on actually trying this stunt on Laythe!
After fully cataloging the findings at the Great Face on Duna, Mitster and Kimmy blast off, returning to the Duna Spaceport!
“Wow, that face is huge! You can see it all the way from here!”
The explorers dock at the Spaceport and rest after a long mission!
“That mission really pushed our fuel reserves – we barely had enough to rendezvous with the station! Some brainy Kerbals back at KSC should probably get to work on a second generation lander… a Super Duna Lander!”
The X5 takes off, heading west to the mountains to investigate the anomaly that satellites detected… the previous attempt to explore this region ended in disaster, when the X4 crashed! Val pilots the X-5 past the X-4 crash site, attempting to approach from a different direction!
Success! Val sets the X-5 down in a relatively flat area, about 1000m from the Anomaly!
“The air sure is thin up here… better put on my helmet! ”
Wow! It’s pretty up here!
“I found it! Wow! What could these things be? What could they mean? ”
The two explorers head back to the KSC to share their findings!
Mitster and Robart take off in the X-5, heading west!
The X-5 seems to perform best at an altitude of about 6,000-15,000 – so Mitster keeps it in that range on the flight west. Tje X-5 maintains speeds of around 850 m/s, and even reaches a new aircraft speed record of 920 m/s!
“Ok – coming up on the coordinates… wow! Look at that, you can see the structures from up here!”
“Let’s do a pass, then circle around for a landing!”
Robart hops out, as Mitster watches from the cockpit.
Eventually the two scout the pyramid site – how strange! No doubt pre-ogre Kerbal Civilization built these ages ago! Robart is able to translate some of the strange writing, and ancient form of Kerbalese:
“My name is Tut-Un Jeb-Ahn, king of kings: Look on my works, ye MIghty, and despair!”
-Ancient Pyramid Inscription
Confused, the two take several pictures and some samples, before heading back.
“What an odd place – further study is certainly needed!”
The X-5 returns to the Space Center, having performed it’s mission perfectly! Once back, the existing X-5 is refurbished, and construction starts on a second!