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!
There has been renewed interest among researchers on Kerbin to explore one of the most hazardous planets: Eve! Missions to the cloudy purple planet have been frequently plagued by problems. The intense temperature, the high gravity, and the super dense atmosphere make Eve fairly easy for small spacecraft to land but nearly impossible for large vehicles set down – let alone take off from again!
To facilitate missions a new upgraded communications network is required, and with the upcoming window a Sarnus rocket will carry two small relay probes, identical to those carried by Aurora 23 for DSV-3 Horizon’s mission to Sarnus!
While actually under construction for quite some time, a name hadn’t been chosen yet! Endeavor will be a “Horizon Class” DSV, that is, almost identical to DSV-3 Horizon!
Endeavor’s name is from the Crew Shuttle Endeavor, which has been out of service for some time now!
“I miss flying those Crew Shuttles… when are they going to be cleared for flights again!?” -Edan
Unfortunately, it may be quite some time for them to get cleared again – the basic design of a spaceplane makes it difficult to create a design with multiple abort options throughout the flight. In fact, there are no launch aborts available right off the launch pad!
“The engineers are working on it! No promises though!” -Gene