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!”

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!”

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 1 (Spacedock Launches!)

The new Spacedock space station launches, carried to orbit by a massive Nova Rocket!

The solid rockets eject, and the Nova Rocket continues carrying the Spacedock core into orbit

Finally, the protective aerodynamic fairing ejects, and the Spacedock core is circularized in a 200k orbit!

“That went well! Just two more launches to go!”

As the Spacedock core launched, the launch platform was cleared and the second component was rolled out!

The docking stage launches!

“There it goes!”

The fairing ejects, and automated systems carry the station component to rendevous with the Spacedock core!

After a successful rendevous, the two halves of Spacedock move in closer and closer…

… and connects!

“Docking achieved! Now for the fuel!”

The Modular Refuelling Vehicle launches!

The rocket circularizes…

…then ejects it’s protective aerodynamic fairing!

Next, the fuel module attaches to Spacedock!

“That’s it! Now its time to send up a crew!”

Seely, Kerlorf, and Edan climb into an Aurora Crew Vehicle – launched on one of the brand new Nebula Rockets – the first fully reusable first stage that KSEA has ever built!

The rocket blasts off!

“So far so good – ACV and Nebula rocket are both nominal!”

The ACV separates from the Nebula Rocket! Meanwhile, the first stage will be performing maneuvers to return to Kerbin’s surface!

Next, Edan intercepts Spacedock, and the crew gets ready to dock!

“Docking complete! You guys are clear to get the ring deployed!”

Meanwhile, Val and Sean depart from Kerbin Spaceport… the now retired space station!

“Farewell Spaceport! You served us well!”

Val performs the rendevous with the Spaceport, and Sean supervises the deployment of the orbital habitat!

With a series of loud “clunk!” noises, the ring deploys, and….

“Oh boy, it worked! The ring is spinning! Let’s get over there and see how the snacks survived!”

Spacedock ejects the RCS unit used during it’s launch, and KSEA has a new, fully functional space station!

“What a long day! Everyone deserves a good rest after all that!”

Year 17, Day 242 (Malcolm Test-Pilots Mk10 Aurora Crew Vehicle!)

Malcolm blasts off in the new Mk10 Crew Vehicle!

The crew vehicle quickly reaches orbit, then Malcolm sets course for the Spaceport!

“This cabin is so roomy! Much more breathing room in here!”

After rendezvousing with the Spaceport, Malcolm docks the spacecraft!

“Yikes! This centrifugal wheel is sure close to the docking ports! We should add something to make docking safer!”

After some system tests, Malcolm undocks, and heads back to the surface!

The Mk10 decouples, and the command module heads back to the surface!

“Heading down… a little bumpy… but I’m on course to land just west of the Space Center!

The landing engines fire to slow down the Mk10…

… then the parachute deploys!

Malcolm climbs out, and the Mk10 is given approval for future production!

Year 17, Day 240 (Mk10 Aurora Crew Vehicle Design Released!)

KSEA releases blueprints and announces construction of the next generation of Aurora Crew Vehicles, the Mk10!

This new design solves (hopefully) a problem the space program has had for sometime – resupply missions to Kerbin Spaceport have often required specialized equipment or utilizing expensive and overpowered launch vehicles for taking snacks and other essentials to Kerbin Orbit.

The streamlined design also forgoes the traditional escape tower for integrated landing rockets that double as an escape system and to slow the spacecraft down on return to Kerbin! Not shown is the integrated parachute that blueprint designers forgot to make note of.

Year 17, Day 118 (Crew Delivery to Kerbin Spaceport!)

With the (hopefully temporary!) loss of the three Crew Shuttles, KSEA steps up production on multiple Aurora Crew Vehicles. 2 will be kept docked at Kerbin Spaceport in orbit, and another 2 will be on standby on the ground. Mirphe and Kimmy blast off!

“These ACV’s aren’t as fun to fly as the Crew Shuttles, but they sure are dependable! I just wish we could land them more accurately!”

The ACV docks with Kerbin Spaceport!

“Easy as 1,2,3!”

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!

Year 16, Day 164 (Explorer 6 Returns to Kerbin from Jool!)

Explorer 6 enters Kerbin’s gravitational sphere of influence, and fires it’s engines to circularize its orbit!

“This is the first time a crewed vessel.. or really any vessel, has returned ot Kerbin orbit from Jool! Fuel will be a little tight, but I’m sure we’ll make it to orbit!”

“Hmmm. that fuel guage is getting pretty low Mitster!”

E stands for ’emergency supply’… right?”

Suddenly, Explorer 6’s fuel shuts off!

“Well… good news and bad news! We made orbit! The bad news is we don’t have enough fuel to dock with the Spaceport, and the orbit is fairly eccentric!”

My calculations show we’re still in range of a rescue from one of the Aurora Crew Vehicles! What do you think Mission Control?”

We need to do a little mission planning, but we agree that’s the best rescue plan we have! We’ll be in touch!
Gene, at Mission Control

Year 9, Day 279 (ACV Carrying Science Crew to Kerbin Spaceport & Minmus Rescue Launches!)


Piloted by Mirphe, an ACV launches from KSC carrying Orlas and Kimmy to Kerbin Spaceport to lead the team working on the Cyclotron!


The Mk7 ACV is proving to be a very reliable and capable space vehicle!


Mirphe rendevouses the ACV with Kerbin Spaceport…


…and docks!  Orlas and Kimmy transfer over, and then Kimmy undocks the ACV!

Time for the second part of the ACV mission… a quick trip to Minmus!



KSEA is sending Mirphe to Harmony Space Station at Minmus to recover Tamre, who has been taking part in one of KSEA’s long term space habitation studies. (KSEA again stressed that this did not mean anyone forgot about Harmony Space Station or Tamre onboard!)

Year 9, Day 229 (Malcolm and Mirphe return home!)


As the Aurora Crew Vehicle approaches Kerbin, Malcolm carefully removes the tape over the staging switch marked “DO NOT PRESS!”


“<<audible CLUNK!>> Staging complete!  Whew!  That switch should have a cover over it or something!  ACV on approach for a water landing!”



The ACV races through the atmosphere!


Until the parachute fires, and the command module splashes down gently in the ocean!

“A rescue mission that turned into a little adventure – nicely done!”

-Gene, Mission Control