Year 22, Day 346 (DSV-1A Explorer Launches!)

A Jool Heavy Rocket is rolled out to the launchpad at KSC carrying the newest Deep Space Vehicle – DSV-1A Explorer!

Both the crafts number and name are tributes to the very first DSV!

“Blast off!”

-Gene, at Mission Control

The Jool Heavy Rocket lifts off the pad, and starts it’s gravity turn to orbit!

While the DSV itself is capable of carrying 3 Kerbals, they are launched un-crewed… Shuttles or CRVs will deliver crew for the upcoming mission!

The first stage, having fully expended it’s fuel, separates and will eventually fall into Kerbins oceans.

The second stage fairing breaks away …

And the engines blast Explorer into a 200k orbit!

“All systems nominal – let’s get a crew up there!”

Gene, at Mission Control

Year 22, Day 331 (DSV-1A Explorer Announced!)

The original Explorer was the first Deep Space Vehicle constructed by the KSEA. While it was ultimately a flawed design in many respects, it was the start of the Explorer program to explore the solar system! The next true DSV was DSV-2 Discovery, the test bed for a truly reusable interplanetary space ship. Most of Discovery’s systems were implemented in the Horizon Class Deep Space Vehicle, named after DSV-3 Horizon – Horizon Class ships have become the workhorses of the Kerbal Space Program and comprise the bulk of the DSV Fleet! The Kerbal States now has four Deep Space Vehicles and will soon be adding a fifth!

Honoring the legacy of the DSV program, the next DSV will be named Explorer, and retain the DSV-1 number, but with an “A” indicating it’s the second ship to bear the name! Construction has already begun – and the next mission has already been chosen – a journey to Sarnus!

KSEA will have more details soon!

Year 4, Day 71 (LARC returns to Explorer, Return to Kerbin)

screenshot696Orlas, Mitster, and Chrisnic finish their research on Gilly, and head back up to dock with Explorer!

They were able to visit every biome on Gilly, and gathered a phenomenal amount of data on the seismic properties, atmospheric properties, and temperature of this small moon. After all the excitement, the heads back to Kerbin.  The burn trip home will take roughly 200 days, and require just under 1700 d/v of fuel… sadly Mitster’s conclusion was correct, the Explorer will not have enough fuel to be saved.  The LARC will eject from Explorer and head home, while Explorer goes into a solar orbit!

Meanwhile on Kerbin, three more Kerbin Surveyor vehicles are built.