Year 22, Day 84 (DSV-3 Horizon Arrives at Sarnus!)

On board Horizon, Kimmy and the rest of the crew start waking up from their Cryo-sleep!

“Good morning everyone!”
-Kimmy, Mission Science Specialist

“Good morning! Let’s get the systems ready for the approach to Slate!”

-Chrisnic, Mission Engineer

The crew rushes to the bridge – when Mitster spots Sarnus!

“Get a picture Kimmy!”
-Mitster

“Wow! That’s the first picture Kerbals have ever taken of Sarnus!”
-Kimmy

“…and look how small the sun looks from out here – wow!”
-Kimmy

The crew starts powering up systems and verifies full communication with the Kerbin Deep Space Relay Network! After a time delay, a message comes back from Kerbin!

Horizon – this is Gene at Mission Control, back on Kerbin! We’re reading your transmissions loud and clear – good luck!”
-Gene, at Mission Control

The Horizon speeds toward Sarnus…

…and arrives at it’s close approach to Slate, the large moon of Sarnus!

“Main engine … firing! Reactor is showing full power!”
-Chrisnic

The capture burn into orbit lasts nearly 2 minutes!

Finally, the ship is captured into orbit of Slate!

“Looks like we’ve got orbit! Good work everyone! Time to disconnect the communications probe!”
-Mitster

“Comm dishes are… deployed – undocking probe!”
-Chrisnic

The probe drifts away from DSV-3 Horizon! The satellite arrays should provide full communication with Kerbin for missions!

As horizon orbits around Slate, the crew starts reviewing data from the orbital insertion, as well as collecting tons of new data from the Sarnusian moon!

Horizon’s cargo bay opens, and the science equipment on the lander starts collecting data! However, Kimmy is the first to crunch the numbers and has some bad news!

“Uh oh! It looks like Slate is much more massive than we thought… this data says that we’re dealing with a lot more gravity than the lander was designed for!”
-Kimmy

The crew discusses the situation with Mission Control, and a novel solution is found – change the mission parameters to land on the smaller Sarnusian moon of Eeloo!

“No problem – we can transit to Eeloo in 5 days! Plugging in the maneuver!”
-Mitster

Before departing, Horizon collects information over many biomes as it circles the moon – Kimmy even climbs out and conducts visual surveys for several full orbits!

5 days later, on Day 89, Horizon begins it’s maneuver to Eeloo!

The nuclear engine fires…

… and the Horizon is propelled away from Slate, toward Eeloo!

Another 5 days later on Day 94, Horizon circularizes it’s orbit around Eeloo!

“Looks like orbit has been achieved! Eeloo is pretty similar to Mun – just a bit bigger – our lander shouldn’t have an problems!”

-Chrisnic

“We just need to find a good landing site. Maybe we can repurpose one of the survey sattelites in orbit of Slate? They should have enough deltaV to make it here!”
-Kimmy

Mission Control agrees, and scientists begin working on maneuvers to bring the Slate Surveyor to Eeloo!

Year 18, Day 381 (Aurora 23 Launches, Carrying DSV-3 Horizon Crew to Orbit – then Horizon Leaves for Sarnus!)

Aurora 23 launches from Cape Kerman, carrying Mitster, Chrisnic, and Kimmy!

Once in out of the atmosphere, the protective fairing deploys, and the spacecraft starts burning to rendezvous with DSV-3 Horizon!

“There it is! Slowing us down to stationkeeping….”
-Mitster

Once Aurora 23 has matched speeds exactly with Horizon, Mitster heads over to the Slate Lander!

“I’m outside the lander… it looks in good shape! So does the relay satellite we’ll be leaving in a wide orbit of Slate!”
-Mitster

As the sun sets, Mitster climbs into the lander, detaches from Aurora 23, and moves closer to Horizon’s docking bay!

This is going to be almost entirely by instruments… it’s dark in space!”
-Mitster

Thankfully, Mitster is able to dock with Horizon… just as the sun comes up!

Shortly after that, Mission Control remotely pilots the Relay Satellite over to the nose of Horizon!

OK —- powering up the basic systems… things seem good over here! I think you guys can come over to Horizon now!”
-Mitster

First, Mitster EVA’s over…

…then Kimmy!

Oh wow! Horizon is looking good! I can’t wait to wake up and be in orbit of Sarnus!”
-Kimmy

Chrisnic does a full survey of Horizon to make sure every single component of the mission is ship-shape!

“OK – Horizon is OK to go! Powering up reactor…. Radiator systems are functioning… Main Engine is showing full power available! We’re good Mitster…. light that candle!”
-Chrisnic

With that, Horizon’s massive engine fires, in a burn that lasts for several minutes, propelling the crew to Sarnus in just three years!

“Hold on tight everyone… once the burn is done, we’ll head to the cryo-section for a little space nap… and before you know it, we’ll be at Sarnus!”
-Kimmy

Year 18, Day 371 (DSV-3 Crew, Mission Patch Announced!)

The mission patch for Horizon Crew Mission 1 is announced, and it looks like Mitster, Chrisnic, and Kimmy will be the lucky FIRST Kerbals to visit the Sarnus system!

Because of Horizon’s launch to high orbit (800k) – the next Aurora Rocket, Aurora 23) originally destined for Mun, will be used to launch the crew! This will also allow the delivery of a modified Mun Lander, with increased fuel and power systems, to land on Slate! The stack will also include a relay satellite that will be left in a high equatorial orbit of Slate, to assist the polar-orbit survey/relay satellite that is already at the moon.

The crew will be launching tomorrow!

Year 8, Day 50 (Moho Rocket Launches Pathfinder Test Payload)

screenshot334.pngAfter the unsatisfactory performance of the lander probe designed for Pathfinder, KSEA wanted to test the upgraded lander as soon as possible.  However even with Resolute on stand-by using a Heavy Cargo Shuttle to launch such a small payload seems like a waste.

Engineers have been looking for a payload to test the new aerospike based Moho Rocket however, and this is as good a time as any!

The Aerospike rocket is a revolutionary design in rockets, or so the team that designed it claim!

screenshot343.png

The Moho Rocket blasts off!

screenshot346.png

So far so good – the aerospike engine is performing extremely well at all altitudes!

screenshot349.png

The lander ejects from its fairing and goes soaring away from the Moho Rocket!screenshot351.png

The heat shield holds as the probe flies through the atmosphere!

screenshot353.png

The parachute deploys and the lander slowly heads down to the highlands below!

screenshot355.png

A picture perfect landing.  Unfortunately, the test-send of the probe’s sensors showed that power was still insufficient!

“I think we should be able to cram a few more batteries on that thing!”

-Chrisnic

 

Year 8, Day 48 (Enterprise Finishes Testing Pathfinder Payloads)

screenshot323.png

Enterprise launches the last Pathfinder payload – the Mk8 Atmospheric Scanner.

screenshot325.png

Equipped with a multspectral scanner and enough deltaV to allow a wide range of deployments, the Mk8 will be the first Pathfinder probe launched to survey the surface for the  two remote landers.

screenshot327.png

The scanner and probe perform perfectly, and the green light is given to include this design on Pathfinder!

screenshot329.png

Alright, time to take Enterprise home!

–Mirphe

screenshot338.png

Enterprise streaks through the clouds toward the Space Center!

screenshot335.png

Ok – got the Center on visual… Enterprise is handling a little strange today – that or it’s been a while since I’ve landed a Heavy Cargo Shuttle!!

-Mirphe

 

screenshot340.png

Thankfully Mirphe and Chrisnic set down safely!  Enterprise is taken to prepare for it’s next launch, but not before Chrisnic and the rest of the engineering team see if there’s any mechanical explanation for the shuttles odd handling!

Year 8, Day 47 (Enterprise Tests Pathfinder Payloads)

screenshot317.pngEnterprise launches the next Pathfinder test payload, the Mk7 Atmospheric Probe – designed for landing on terrestrial targets, the lander has the typical 4 leg design of a lander, but with additional fuel for precise landings and in some cases, jumps on planet surfaces!

screenshot318.png

The burn to fall out of orbit goes well, however engineers already see a problem – power levels are fairly low, additional batteries or perhaps even a solar array might be called for!  Additionally, communications systems on the craft seem insufficient – a more powerful antenna is needed!

screenshot321.png

In all the test is mostly successful, engineers start work right away on an upgraded design for the Mk7 probe!

 

Year 8, Day 46 (Enterprise Tests Pathfinder Payloads)

screenshot294.pngAs part of the upcoming Pathfinder missions, several probe designs need real-world testing, beyond what a simple simulation can provide.

screenshot296.png

To help facilitate this, Enterprise is loaded with 3 of the new probes and heads to the launchpad! Mirphe will be piloting the shuttle, and Chrisnic will be onboard to supervise the launches!screenshot299.png

So far so good!  Launcher is away, circularizing Enterprise’s orbit!

-Mirphe

screenshot301.pngOnce Enterprise is in a stable orbit, the cargo bay doors open – time to test some probes! The first launch is the Mk 6 Atmospheric Probe – designed for water landings on Laythe, Jool’s closest moon and Kerbin-look-a-like!

screenshot306.png

Probe is away!  Remote systems responding… sending it for a water landing!

screenshot308.png

The probe drifts away from Enterprise until it’s time to fire the retro rockets that will take it to the surface…

screenshot312.png

Probe is on course – all systems nominal!

-Chrisnic

screenshot313.png

The parachute deploys, and the probe drifts slowly to the ocean surface!

screenshot315.png

Splashdown!  The probe lands safely and the solar panels deploy – all systems seem to be working perfectly!

“I’d call that a success!”

-Mirphe

KSEA Search and Rescue heads out to recover the probe, and the Enterprise crew rests for a day before the next launch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 6, Day 1 (Enterprise Upgrades KSS Power & Solar Systems!)

screenshot1763.pngVal and Chrisnic blast off in Enterprise, delivering the long promised second power and solar expansion to the station!  screenshot1765.png

Chrisnic, one of the most experienced engineers on the KSEA team will supervise the installation!

screenshot1768.png

The module remotely guides itself into position…

screenshot1769.png

Then Chrisnic leaves Enterprise to investigate!

screenshot1770.png

Deploying solar arrays!  Wow! These are huge!   Both deployed perfectly.  Returning to Enterprise!

-Chrisnic

screenshot1772.png

Enterprise departs!  The Heavy Cargo Shuttle will be trying something new today, landing at White Mesa!  The shuttle will then be flown back to the VAB for repairs and to be readied for its next launch!

screenshot1773.png

Enterprise does its “belly flop” manuever to slow down its reentry….

screenshot1774.png

Then glides to the runway!

screenshot1775.png

A great landing! Val and Chrisnic rest up for their next mission!

Year 5, Day 19 (Intrepid Launches on KSS Repair/Upgrade Mission!)

screenshot1478.pngIntrepid blasts off, taking up to the KSS, with a cargo bay full of ladders!screenshot1493.png

It takes a lot of work.. but Chrisnic and Dunwin are eventually able to install both the ladders and grip surfaces as well as the new module’s solar panels, and even add some decorative lights!  Decorative safety lights. screenshot1495.png

The new panels deploy succesffuly!

“Well, will you look at that!  Those are some big solar panels!”

-Dunwin

After a … mostly… successful mission, Enterprise prepares to head back to Kerbin.  Edan will take the craft down himself, while Chrisnic will stay on the KSS to train!

screenshot1498.pngEdan lines up a perfect landing…

screenshot1500.png… and sets down!  Edan is developing a reputation for being a no-nonsense pilot that can handle pretty much anything that comes his way!