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 17, Day 228 (KSEA Starts Construction on Two Relay Satellites for Jool System!)

Owing to the difficulties in communicating with the Discovery’s mission at Laythe, KSEA authorizes construction of two new relay satellites for the Jool system! Based on the recent Planetary Survey probes, these expansions to the Deep Space Relay Network Relays should allow for more uninterrupted communication with Laythe Spaceport, and all the explorations planned!

Year 17, Day 170 (Endurance Lands at Laythe’s Peaks and Makes Important Discovery!)

Mission Control OK’s the next landing, at Laythe’s peaks, along the equator! As the Laythe missions progress, a few things are already clear: solar panels do NOT work well this far out, and the Deep Space Relay Network needs significant improvements around Laythe! In fact, once the Endurance lands, all communications is lost with Kerbin! A new X-10 is under construction, that will launch to Jool at the next window to supplement operations and provide a backup!

Jeb, Bill, and Bob fly through the alien atmosphere, until they spot the landing site!

“That’s the spot! “
-Jeb

The X-10’s dual mode RAPIER engines allow very specific landing selection, something that can be tricky on atmospheric planets! Jeb pilots Endurance until it’s right on top of the target!

“Chute deployed – airbreakes deployed… VTOL bays open, firing vertical aerospikes!”
-Jeb

Endurance slowly decends to the surface!

“Hey, I see Vall back there!”
-Bob

“Huh? Val’s back on Kerbin!”
-Bill

“No silly! Vall with two ‘L’s’! The moon!”
-Bob

Endurance lands safely, and after getting all that sorted out, Jeb leaves to inspect the landing site!

“Hey! I just noticed, the indicator on the suit says the air here is close to Kerbin! I’m gonna take my helmet off!”
-Jeb

“You don’t know if it’s safe!”
-Bob

Jeb takes his helmet off and takes a few breaths…

“Seems fine!”
-Jeb

Bill and Bob climb out! Bill repacks the parachute, and checks on the X-10, while Bob starts taking samples!

“Remarkable! The air here seems very close to Kerbin! We might even be able to set up a sustainable colony here!”
-Bob

Jeb, Bill, and Bob excitedly discuss the possibilities opened up by the discovery that Laythe has a breathable atmosphere!

Year 16, Day 233 (Pathfinder 6 Plock Fly-By!)

KSEA had initially been hoped that Pathfinder 6 would have enough deltaV to orbit Plock – however the craft was simply going too fast for the nuclear engine to slow it down! Additionally, the Kerbin Deep Space Network is barely able to communicate with Pathfinder 6… upgrades to the network are clearly needed!

Pathfinder 6 still transmits some amazing images of Plock and its moon Karen! Gravitational, pressure, and temperature readings are all taken and the science is beamed back to KSC!

Engineers are already at work on the next generation of probe that will be able to reach Plock and Karen!