Year 22, Day 155 (KSEA Construction and Research Update)

After the successful test of the adventure crew shuttle, KSEA has begun construction of a brand new, duplicate Crew Shuttle… named CTS-2 Pioneer!

A larger variant of the crew shuttle is also under development, however no plans are ready to be released yet! The craft is tentatively called the Heavy Crew Shuttle!

Research and development is nearing completion for a new Duna lander as well. If KSEA is to have a permanent habitation on the surface of the red planet, a reusable lander is needed… The existing Advanced Duna Lander has not performed as well as hoped, providing barely enough DeltaV, and a landing process that has been described as “consistently unreliable” by pilots!

Finally, mission planners are almost ready to announce DSV-5 Intrepid’s first mission! Intrepid was launched in mid Year 21, and cleared orbital tests later that year. Mission planners keep insisting they didn’t just forget about it!

Year 22, Day 152 (Refit Crew Shuttle Launches from White Mesa!)

At the White Mesa launch facility the refit Crew Shuttle Adventure is rolled out and fully fueled!

Carson and Edan board the shuttle and start flight checks!

“All systems nominal … Fuel lights are green…. “

-Carson

“All gauges OK… Adventure is ready!”

-Edan

“This is White Mesa Control Tower – you are clear to launch when ready!”

“We are go!”

-Edan

The newly refit Crew Shuttle blasts off – lifted by a Nebula Rocket!

“Woohoo!

-Carson

At the vehicle reaches it’s 100km apogee, the Nebula Rocket powers down, and the protective aerodynamic nose shield ejects!

“Decoupling from Nebula….”

-Edan

“Decoupling complete, powering RCS thrusters to move clear for Nebula de-orbit…”

-Carson

The Nebula Rocket drifts away using its own RCS system to preform a powered de-orbit propulsive landing!

Adventure then fires its LV909 engines to finish propelling itself to a 200km orbit!

“So far so good!

-Edan

Carson suits up, and performs a spacewalk to inspect the shuttle!

“Looks good from the outside! Just normal thermal wear… Looks like it’s within tolerances!”

-Carson

After a full orbital systems check, Edan and Carson start the de-orbit burn back to Kerbin!

“I think I see White Mesa down there!”

-Edan

“Good! Hold on! These White Mesa landings are always a little tricky!”

-Carson

Carson burns fires the engines for a little extra thrust, and glides the shuttle to line up with the landing strip!

“We’re five by five… Touching down!”

-Carson

With the screech of its tires Adventure sets down at White Mesa!

“We’re back!”

-Edan

With a generally successful first flight everyone at KSEA is delighted!

“Good work everyone! If everything checks out Adventure will be back in service soon, and we can build a few new Crew Shuttles to supplement our orbital crew vehicles!”

-Gene, at Mission Control

Year 22, Day 148 (Crew Transport Shuttle Refit Revealed!)

KSEA engineers are excited to reveal the refit of the Crew Shuttle Adventure! The entire Crew Shuttle Program was shut down in Year 17 after the CTS-3 Intrepid suffered a major catastrophe – major nose cone damage from re-entry heat that nearly destroyed the spacecraft! Val is widely credited with saving the entire crew with her calm handling of the disaster!

Since then, engineers have been working on a way to make a safer Crew Shuttle – the result is the refit of the only surviving Crew Transport Shuttle – Adventure! (Intrepid was badly damaged, and Endeavor was dismantled!)

The new Crew Transport Shuttle launches using the Nebula Rocket as a re-usable lifter, which should make the entire Crew Shuttle mission reusable! The vehicle is en route to the White Mesa desert launch facility for initial testing.

“If everything works out with Adventure we’ll see about adding a few new space-planes to our roster! We’ll need some new names though – the DSV fleet took ‘Endeavor’ and ‘Intrepid’ for their latest vehicles!”

-Gene, at Mission Control