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 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 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 379 (Aurora 18 Blasts Off For Mun!)

The powerful Sarnus Va rocket blasts off, carrying Aurora 18!

The rocket goes higher.. and higher…

.. until the solid rockets eject, and the rocket soars higher and higher!

Until the first stage exhausts it’s fuel.. and the Orbital/TMI (Trans-Munar-Injection) stage fires!

“Aahhhhh! This is really bumpy!”

“Don’t worry – we’re in a stable orbit! Now it’s time for the burn to the Mun!!!”

The Orbital/TMI stage fires, taking Aurora 18 on it’s journey!

“Oh right! I can’t wait!”

The journy to Mun is just a few hours with the latest Aurora rockets…

… and Aurora 18 arrives there in no time!

“All right – we made it! “

“Then that means it’s time for a systems check – let’s make sure all the equipment is ready for the landing!”

Year 16, Day 334 (Aurora 18 Mun Mission Announced!)

Mission Planners are excited to announce that Kerbals will be returning to Mun for the first time in years! The early Aurora missions to explore Mun and Minmus were done before some of KSEA’s more advanced scientific equipment was developed. This return to Mun is intended to test new surface science equipment and a new rover that will allow exploration of terrestrial worlds!