Year 22, Day 240 (DSV-3 Horizon Departs Sarnus, Heading Home to Kerbin!)

“I can’t believe it’s time to go already! Let’s get all the science wrapped up!”


Chrisnic and Kimmy check that Horizon is prepared for the long trip back!

“Everything checks out! Reactor, fuel, we’re good to go!”


Val throttles up the engine, and Horizon begins it’s long acceleration out of Sarnus orbit!

“The next time Kerbals are at Sarnus, we should have the Sarnus Space Station operational! Then we can really start exploring here!”


Mitster, Chrisnic, and Kimmy all enter cryosleep, as Horizon heads home!

See you soon Horizon!”

-Gene, at Mission Control

Year 22, Day 150 (DSV-3 Crew Return to Orbit from Sarnusian moon Eeloo!)

After an extended stay on the surface Mitster and Kimmy double check the science equipment on the surface of Eeloo is functional and blast off for orbit!

“All systems nominal, orbital velocity and trajectory tracks good…”


“Systems look good! No scientific equipment problems!”


Mitster rendezvouses with Horizon!

“Looking good! Horizon is ready to dock!”


Very slowly, the lander moves in to dock with the interplanetary spacecraft!

As the lander is being left behind on Eeloo orbit, Mitster docks with the front docking port, as maneuvers are more complicated when entering the DDV cargo bay!

“Docking complete! Looks like a good seal!”


“Let’s start moving over all the scientific data and samples! We can still do a lot of science from orbit as well, before we leave!”


Year 22, Day 145 (DSV-3 Horizon Crew Lands on Eeloo!

After weeks in orbit calibrating equipment and scouting out a new landing site, Mission Control gives the OK to land on Eeloo! Mitster and Kimmy board the lander and undock from Horizon’s payload bay!

“Decoupling lander… RCS only. Clearing payload bay…”

The lander drifts clear from Horizon!

“Scientific equipment is fully operational… recording data! The view is amazing!”

Once the craft is clear of Horizon, the lander fires it’s main engine to de-orbit and land!

“All systems nominal – landing sequence started.”

Back at mission Control, the time delayed transmission has everyone on the edge of their seat! This is the most distant landing ever attempted!

Mitster and Kimmy continue their descent, as the pearly surface of Eeloo gets closer and closer!

Mitster focuses on the landing as the craft gets closer and closer to the surface!

“Almost there! Landing gear is fully deployed and shows ready!”

The lander is mere seconds from touching down…

The lander touches down and makes contact with the Sarnusian moon of Eeloo! Kimmy looks out the window of the lander and is awestruck!

“It’s… beautiful!”

“Mission Control – this is Horizon lander. We have landed on Eeloo!”

Back on Kerbin, everyone in mission control cheers!

“Good work team! Let’s get that ladder down and see what we can find on Eeloo!”
-Gene, at Mission Control on Kerbin

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!”

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

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

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!”

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!”

“Comm dishes are… deployed – undocking probe!”

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!”

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!”

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!”


“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!”

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….”

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!”

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!”

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!”

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!”

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!”

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!”

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!


The Moho Rocket blasts off!


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


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!


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


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!”



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


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


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.


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


Alright, time to take Enterprise home!



Enterprise streaks through the clouds toward the Space Center!


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!!




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!


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!


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.


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!


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!


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


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


Probe is on course – all systems nominal!



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


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

“I’d call that a success!”


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