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!”
Seely, Val, and Samner board Intrepid and undock from the Spaceport! For the first time, a Crew Shuttle will attempt a landing at the new Desert facility!
Ever since the facility was discovered, crews have been establishing equipment and supplies to start using the launch site and runways!
“KSC – I think we have a problem! There was a loud explosion – I think the nose cone exploded!!” -Val
Indeed – Intrepid’s entry angle may have been off, and the nosecone has violently exploded!
“I think we’re lucky – I should be able to slow down enough to avoid anything else exploding from the re-entry heat! Landing site coming up…” -Val
“Ok – we’re in the pipe… five by five! Hold on!” -Val
Intrepid touches down, but skids off the runway! Not an auspicious start for the Desert Facility! KSEA decides that pending a review, ALL Crew Shuttles missions are suspended, and the Crew Shuttle program is halted until further notice!
Intrepid blasts off from the Space Center, carrying Jeb, Bill, and Bob! Veteran KSEA pilot Edan is piloting!
The launch stage ejects, and Intrepid enters orbit!
“Almost there! Just a few more more manuevers and we’ll be at the Spaceport!”
“We’re there! Switching to rear view… taking us in!”
Edan pilots the Crew Shuttle closer and closer to the station! This isn’t the easiest task, as the craft actually pilots in reverse, as the docking bay is at the aft of the ship!
“Almost there… almost….”
The connection is made! Intrepid arrives at Kerbin Spaceport! Jeb, Bill, and Bob gather their equipment and head out to the Spaceport! As they head to the Discovery docking hatch, Bill catches a look at the ship from the Crew Habitat Cupola!
With the return of Explorer 5 and the test flight of Discovery the Kerbin Spaceport has gotten very crowded! Edan, Bill, Orlas, Glenica, and Sean all board CTS-3 Intrepid!
“Have a good flight – you soon!” -Gene
Edan undocks from the Spaceport, and uses RCS thrusters to reach a safe distance from the station! Gilian, Shepely, and Seely remain on the station, conducting the vitally important scientific research that must certainly occur there.
“Come back soon! Bring more snacks! “ -Shepely
Intrepid fires its engines to de-orbit… then detaches the service pod that holds cargo (and provides for solar power!)
“Hold on everyone! Things are about to get pretty hot!” -Edan
Intrepid soars through the atmosphere, occasionally usings its airbrake system to slow its decent.
Once past the mountains west of the Space Center, Edan makes the final manuevers to line up for a landing!
“Edan to Mission Control… Intrepid is in the pipe, five by five!” -Edan
Intrepid touches down on the runway!
A perfect landing! The tired Kerbals exit the Crew Shuttle to rest up for their next mission – Intrepid is recovered and undergoes minor repairs and the standard recovery process to get it ready for its next flight!
Intrepid blasts off, taking up to the KSS, with a cargo bay full of ladders!
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.
The new panels deploy succesffuly!
“Well, will you look at that! Those are some big solar panels!”
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!
Edan lines up a perfect landing…
… and sets down! Edan is developing a reputation for being a no-nonsense pilot that can handle pretty much anything that comes his way!
Enterprise launches! Edan will pilot the Heavy Cargo Shuttle to orbit and rendezvous with the Kerbin Space Station, and Dunwin will supervise the initial installation of the solar power unit, and then perform EVAs to complete installation from Enterprise’s cargo bay!
“Orbital Assist Vehicle is away… heading to the station!”
Dunwin reviews the mission parameters as Enterprise rockets towards the KSS!
Enterprise arrives at the KSS and the module detaches!
Installation proves very difficult, with Chrisnic leaving the station to assist Dunwin!
“This is just impossible! There’s no way to get a grip on anything!”
Chrisnic and Dunwin return to the KSS, taking the extra parts from Enterprise, while Edan tries a “first”… docking Enterprise itself to the Kerbin Space Station!
“Almos there… almost there…”
Wow – everyone is very suprised that the docking actually worked. The KSS was never designed to dock such a large craft, but Edan showed that it was possible!
“Now let’s all hang tight and wait for Intrepid!”
KSEA decides to send up Intrepid to deliver some parts to allow the installation of footholds and other gripping surfaces for the station!