Year 21, Day 352 (DSV-2 Crew Starts Exploring Duna Craters!)

Seely climbs out, and repacks the landing parachute!

“There we go – repacked! I’m heading down!”
-Seely

Soon, Tamre and Mirphe climb out!

“It’s so pretty here! We have a lot of time but we should start getting science data right away!”
-Tamre

“Flag’s planted! Let’s get the science kits set up so we can start exploring!”
-Mirphe

Tamre starts setting up the science equipment!

“That’s all of it! Weather station is up and running – the forecast looks cold and windy!”
-Tamre

Year 21, Day 341 (DSV-2 Crew Heads to Duna Surface!)

After a considerable time aboard Duna Spaceport, Mirphe, Tamre, and Seely head down to the surface!

“Hold on to something everybody… these landers are pretty rough on the way down!”
-Mirphe

The rear airbrakes deploy, and the lander heads nose-first into the Duna atmosphere!

“We’re going so fast! I hope we decelerate with enough time to deploy the chutes!”
-Seely

“Chutes deployed! And just in time too!”
-Mirphe

The lander sets down on the surface of Duna! Back on Kerbin, looking over the landing metrics, Gene frowns!

“That wasn’t just a close one – that was really close! The parachutes barely had enough time to deploy! I think we need to start looking at a next generation lander for Duna!”
-Gene

Engineers start looking at prototype designs… meanwhile the crew gets ready to explore the surface of Duna!

Year 21, Day 96 (DSV-2 Discovery Arrives at Duna Spaceport!)

After a remarkably fast voyage, DSV-2 Discovery arrives at Duna, using the planet’s moon, Ike, to assist in slowing down the approach! The Crew is automatically revived from Cryo-Sleep!

“Rise and shine everybody! We have some exploring to do!”
-Mirphe

“Reactor is powered up – we’re good for firing main engines!”
-Seely

The three mighty nuclear engines on Discovery fire, slowing the spacecraft down and entering orbit, slowly, of Duna!

“By my calculations, we’ll have 5200 d/v remaining after we reach the Spaceport… not bad!”
-Tamre

Discovery achieves high orbit! Mirphe begins to rendevous with Duna Spaceport!

“Just a few more maneuvers and we’ll be docked! I can see the Spaceport out the front window!”
-Mirphe

Discovery slows down, matching speeds with Duna Spaceport…

…then slowly reorients for the final docking maneuver!

“Alright – we’re in the pipe, five by five… approaching the docking port at 1 m/s…. nice and slow….”
-Mirphe

With a ‘thunk’ and the whir of motors, Discovery docks with Duna Spaceport! The mighty spacecraft is nearly twice as long as the station!

“Life support looks good on the station… it’ll take a little time to equalize between Discovery and the Spaceport… but I think we have a good connection!
-Tamre

The crew prepares to transfer over to the habitat sections of the station, and get ready for the next Duna Landing!

Year 21, Day 35 (Mirphe, Seely and Tamre Rush to DSV-2 Discovery… and Leave for Duna!)

With no time to waste, Mirphe and Tamre fly to White Mesa and board Crew Vehicle 4, already waiting at the launch pad!

“Seely is already getting Discovery ready to go, as soon as we’re up there we’re taking off!”
-Mirphe

Crew Vehicle 4 blasts off on it’s Nebula Rocket!

Once the spacecraft reaches it’s 200k apogee, the Crew Vehicle detaches and uses it’s RCS thrusters to move clear of the first stage Nebula Rocket!

The Nebula Rocket uses it’s own RCS thrusters to invert itself, and fire it’s main engine, to perform a propulsive landing at KSC!

“We’re clear to rendevous to Spacedock!”
-Mirphe

The Crew Vehicle arrives at Spacedock!

“Welcome to Spacedock CV4! Discovery is fueled up and ready to go!”
-Val

The Crew Vehicle docks! Mirphe and Tamre rush to help Seely get the lander out!

“Hey – why are all the doors open on CV1!?”
-Tamre

“They got stuck open! It shouldn’t have any impact on the return, just annoying!”
-Val

Mirphe, Seely, and Tamre board Discovery… and undock!

“RCS thrusters firing in reverse… moving clear of Spacedock! Let’s get the reactor powered up to maximum!”
-Mirphe

Discovery turns from Spacedock as the entire spacecraft shudders from the engines and reactor powering up!

“Reactor showing 100%! We’re good to power up engines!”
-Seely

“Good luck Discovery!”
-Val

Discovery’s three nuclear engines fire, and it slowly builds up speed!

4 minutes into the burn, alarms sound!

“What’s that!?”
-Mirphe

“Looks like the rear engine housing is giving us trouble again! It’s heating up from the engines and not transferring enough heat to the Radiators!”
-Tamre

“If we reduce thrust to 50 percent we should be fine… the burn will just take longer!”
-Seely

With the overheating problem out of the way, Discovery completes it’s burn for Duna, and soars out of the system!

“Wow – we are moving fast! We should reach Duna in less than 70 days! Once we enter orbit and dock we’re not going to have much fuel left!”
-Tamre

“That’s the idea! The return to Kerbin from Duna using the correct launch window is much less demanding – we’ll be fine! Let’s get ready to enter Cryo-sleep!”
-Mirphe

Year 21 Day 30 (Discovery Crew Mission to Duna Announced!)

With the disappointing missed time window of Explorer 8, the Astronauts sat around Mission Control scratching their heads trying to figure out a way to get a crew back to the red planet without waiting a whole year for the next launch window!

“What if we… you know… just go REALLY fast!”
-Jeb

“That’d never work – the Explorer spacecraft doesn’t have that kind of fuel supply!”
-Mirphe

“No… but one of the DSVs should! Can we take one!?”
-Tamre

After some debate (and a mission simulation or three) Gene gives the green light! Tamre will be the scientist, Seely the mission Engineer, and Mirphe will command the mission!

“We barely had time to get these Mission Patches sewn! Get on a Crew Vehicle asap and get up to Spacedock!”
-Gene

Year 21, Day 20 (Lithium Refueling Mission to Kerbin Spacedock!)

The next Lithium Refueling mission launches for Kerbin Spacedock on a Jool Heavy rocket!

After an automatic Rendevous maneuver, Mission Control hands over remote control to Val!

“This is Commander Spacedock… we have the Lithium Vehicle, bringing it in to dock…”
-Val

Val slowly navigates the spacecraft into docking position! This will be the final (for now) fuel launch to Spacedock, bringing the station to a “max” fuel level for the DSV fleet!

“Docking complete! Spacedock is now fully fueled – good work team!”
-Val

Meanwhile, crews at Spacedock work on fueling up Discovery and Endeavor for their next mission!

Year 20, Day 283 (DSV-2 Discovery Crew Returns to Kerbin!)

Jeb, Bill, and Bob transfer over to Crew Vehicle 1 and prepare to head back to Kerbin!

“I’ve loaded up all the science we collected from Laythe – everyone’s going to be so excited to see it!”
-Bob

“We are clear of Spacedock… firing engine for return burn!”
-Jeb

Crew Vehicle 1 heats up as it rockets through Kerbin’s atmosphere, heading toward White Mesa!

Success! The Crew Vehicle is collected and scientists begin pouring over the absolute treasure trove of data collected from Laythe!

Year 20, Day 281 (DSV-2 Discovery Returns From Historic Mission to Laythe!)

Discovery enters Kerbin’s sphere of gravitational influence!

“Discovery we’re tracking you as on course – what’s your situation?”

-Gene, at Mission Control

“Roger Mission Control… Situation nominal, Discovery reactor is at full, engines show green and ready to fire!”

-Jeb

As Discovery reaches a distance of 700km from Kerbin, the 3 nuclear engines fire!

It’s a nearly minute long burn to slow down!

Suddenly, alarm bells ring in the cockpit!

“Temperature on main engines reaching critical! They’re starting to heat up the tri-adapter engine housing!”

-Bob

“We’ve already been captured into orbit, so we can cut thrust safely… Let’s monitor it and cut thrust once it’s just about critical!”

-Jeb

Thankfully the engines don’t explode, and Discovery settles into a clean 700k circular orbit!

I can’t wait to see Spacedock! It’s supposed to be huge!”

-Bill

Discovery does several manuevers to rendezvous with Spacedock, and finally approaches the station!

“Discovery here! We’re going to coast past Spacedock, then start docking manuevers!”

-Jeb

“Roger that DSV-2… We show you at 150 meters and clear for RCS manuevers!”

-Sean, onboard Spacedock

Discovery slowly drifts past the station until it’s visible out the cockpit!

“Wow! Look at that! And look, Endeavor is docked at the top!”

-Bill

“Yep! We’ll be parking opposite Endeavor!”

-Jeb

Jeb uses RCS orbital thrusters only and slowly matches speed with Spacedock….

…then slowly accelerates toward the station, lining up with the docking port!

“Slowing down… We’re lined up and looking good!”

-Jeb

Discovery moves almost imperceptibly slow until…

With a dull “clunk” and the whir of motors, Discovery makes s connection to Spacedock!

“Welcome home Discovery!”

-Val

Jeb, Bill, and Bob head over to Spacedock to rest before returning to Kerbin with the mountains of data gathered from Jool’s moon Laythe! There is already talk of building a colony there!

Engineers are also finalizing plans for refits and repairs to Discovery!

Year 20, Day 271 (DSV-2 Discovery Crew Wakes From CryoSleep!)

Jeb, Bill, and Bob wake from their Cryo-Sleep on Discovery!

“Wake up everybody! Just 8 days and we’ll be entering Kerbin orbit!”
-Jeb

“I can’t wait to see this new Space Station they built while we were gone!”
-Bill

“It feels like we just left Laythe yesterday!”
-Bob

In Kerbin Orbit, the massive new Spacedock facility is ready for the returning DSV!

Refueling Discovery should be about the same procedure as Endeavor! They’re different classes of ships technically… but they both run on the same fuel!”
Sean, on Spacedock

Year 18, Day 366 (KSEA Releases Blueprints for Deep Space Vehicle ‘Horizon’!)

KSEA is excited to announce the final design for Horizon! Building upon the successes of DSV-2 Discovery, the Horizon is the largest, most advanced spacecraft ever – and will be launched on a new rocket designed just for it, the Nova Rocket… The largest rocket ever launched!

The most striking new feature of Horizon is the massive cargo bay allowing a variety of payloads to travel with the spacecraft!

Construction will be completed soon, and even more exciting, should be done in time for the launch window to Sarnus!

The crew will be announced soon, as will the mission specifics!