Year 22, Day 1 (Sarnus Station Launches!)

Sarnus Station is finally complete, and it’s rolled out just in time to launch on the first day of Year 22!

“What a fun way to start the new year!”
-Samner, Viewing the launch from Mission Control

The Nova Rocket, KSEA’s most powerful heavy lifter, carries the station into space!

Most Kerbals around the Space Center will typically stop what they’re working on, and gather to watch Nova launches – the massive rockets are quite the sight to see, and launch very rarely!

The second stage separates, as the first stage heads back to a fiery reentry into Kerbin’s oceans! At a 2000 km apogee, the station circularizes!

“We’re showing all systems nominal. Let’s send the signal to start up the reactor.”
-Gene, at Mission Control

The nuclear reactor starts up – and the boards all show green!

“Reactor at full output – I think we’re OK to go!”
-Glenica, at the Science Station at Mission Control

The DSV-class engine fires… and alarm bells go off!

“That thing isn’t getting enough cooling! Let’s power it down to 50 percent power… otherwise it might explode!”
-Glenica

The engine is cooled down, but engineers start scratching notes in their design books for the next Sarnus-bound rocket to use this design!

Sarnus Station speeds toward Sarnus… it will arrive in just over 3 years! Once in orbit, crews from visiting DSV’s will have a home to rest at when exploring around Sarnus!

“These nuclear engines have really opened up the solar system to exploration – a trip to Sarnus in just 3 years! Who would have thought it possible!”
-Edan

Year 21, Day 130 (Laythe Spaceplane Resolute Launches for Jool/Laythe!)

The second Laythe Crew Vehicle spaceplane is launched from KSC!

The spacecraft enters orbit… and waits!

Resolute will leave Kerbin in about 400 days for an express trip to Jool/Laythe. This new Laythe Crew Vehicle is almost identical to the current LCV-1 Endurance, but with improved science payloads (including water detection systems) and improved power systems. The solar panels have been removed, and the craft’s onboard power supply has been buffed up to survive longer on Laythe!

“I can’t wait to fly that on Laythe!”

-Edan, at Mission Control

Year 21, Day 91 (Summer Leaves Spacedock to Return Mun Spaceport Crew!)

With Mun Spaceport (mostly) functional, Bill, Gilian, and Edan need to return to Kerbin! Summer departs in Crew Vehicle 5 to rescue them!

“If we’re going to be using these Crew Vehicles for trips back and forth to Mun, they’re going to need a better second stage – this will be a tight mission for DeltaV!
-Summer

Crew Vehicle 5 departs Kerbin…

… Eventually arriving at Mun, and docking with Mun Spaceport!

Bill, Gilian, and Edan all board and buckle in for a quick return trip to Kerbin!

“There’s not enough fuel to do a full orbital return, so we’re going to try for touchdown near White Mesa… hold on everyone!”
-Summer

Crew Vehicle 5 misses the mark, landing 40km or so from White Mesa!

“Close enough! Rescue crews are on the way!”
-Gene, at Mission Control

Year 21, Day 30 (‘Operation Moving Day’ Gets a Green Light…to move Kerbin Spaceport to Mun!)

Mission Control gives the plan to relocate the old Kerbin Spaceport to Mun a name: Operation Moving Day!  The audacious plan will move the old Kerbin Spaceport… to Mun orbit!

One of the already built “Asteroid Movers” is modified with a docking port that should connect to the Spaceport, and launches on a Sarnus Va rocket!

The Station-Mover rendezvouses with Kerbin Spaceport…

…and docks!

Remote sensors indicate a good lock! Nice work!

-Gene

Bill, KSEA’s senior engineer will fly up in a Crew Vehicle to oversee the entire process! Edan will be the mission commander, and Gilian will be going up for her engineering expertise!

Crew Vehicle 6 carrying Edan, Bill, and Gilian blasts off from White Mesa!

“There it is – Old Kerbin Spaceport!”

-Edan

“Soon to be Mun Spaceport!”

-Gilian

“Hey – that’s catchy!”

-Bill

Crew Vehicle 6 docks!

Bill, Gilian, and Edan board the station and check things out!

Very slow control

Year 21, Day 12 (Spacedock Lithium Refueling Vehicle Launches on Jool Heavy Rocket!)

At the Space Center the next Lithium Refueling Vehicle is ready to launch, and blasts off on top of a Jool Heavy rocket!

The Jool Heavy’s powerful 21 S3 KS-25 “Vector” engines lift the rocket to it’s 200km apogee!

While this isn’t the first Spacedock refueling mission, this is the first launch of the newly redesigned Jool Heavy Rocket!

As it nears it’s 200km apogee, the attached side rockets deplete their fuel…

… and disconnect! The central stage continues it’s burn to 200k… then detaches from the upper stage!

The upper stage’s 3 KR-2L+ “Rhino” engines fire…

… and circularize the massive craft in a stable orbit of Kerbin! The refueling vehicle then performs maneuvers to rendevous with Spacedock!

“Mission Control – Spacedock has the Refueling Vehicle on our scope… you’re cleared to start the automated docking maneuver!”
-Val, on board Spacedock

With the sun creating impressive lens flares, the Refueling Vehicle docks!

“Looks like a good connection with the third refueling Vehicle! We just need one more and Spacedock will be fully stocked with Lithium!”
-Edan, on Spacedock

Year 21, Day 1 (Modular Payload Vehicle Launches from White Mesa on Nebula Heavy Rocket!)

The first day of Year 21 is going to be a big day at White Mesa! It’s a first for two new vehicles: The third revision of the Modular Payload Vehicle, or MPV, will be launching with a LFO (Liquid Fuel/Oxygen) payload! Even bigger news is the first launch of a new Launch Vehicle, the Nebula Heavy Rocket!

The launch goes well, and the Nebula Heavy rockets into the sky above the desert!

The Nebula Heavy is basically three Nebula Rockets bolted together with a larger second stage. While all 3 Nebula rockets return to Kerbin, the second stage is discarded.

The Nebula Heavy reaches it’s 200k apogee, and detaches!

Turning around using RCS thrusters (once clear of the MPV), the Nebula Heavy fires it’s engines to target a landing at KSC! Soon, the three rockets will disconnect and independently land on the surface!

Meanwhile, the MPV fires it’s engine until it’s in a safe 200k orbit of Kerbin!

Mission Control continues piloting the craft closer and closer to the rendevous with Spacedock!

“Mission Control – this is Station Commander … I’ve got a clear view of the MPV out of the Upper Cupola windows! Looks like it’s on course for docking with Endeavor! We’re clear to take over remote control from up here!”
-Val

With Val now piloting remotely, the MPV drifts past the station, and once behind Endeavor Val starts it’s docking maneuver!

“Alright… MPV is lined up…. moving in for final docking maneuvers…”
-Val

The MPV slowly moves in to Endeavor‘s docking bay…

… and connects!

“We’re showing a solid connection up here!”
-Val

“Hey – just what do we need a LFO fuel delivery to a DSV for anyway!?”
-Edan

“I thought you’d never ask! We’re sending another team to Laythe to survey sites for the colony! Congrats Val – you’re the Mission Commander for Endeavor’s Crew Mission 2!”
-Gene, at Mission Control

“Oh wow! Awesome! I can’t wait!”
-Val

Year 20, Day 422 (Aurora 26 Crew Returns from Kerbitat One!)

After the success at growing plants on the orbital Kerbitat One station, the Aurora 26 crew board the Command Module and detach from the station !

“We learned a lot from that mission – even though it didn’t go like we planned! We just need to figure out how to keep a supply of water and fertilizer somehow sustainable!”
-Samner

Aurora 26 burns through the atmosphere toward White Mesa!

“Chute has deployed! We’re touching down about 50k south of the White Mesa facility!”
-Edan

“We made it! Good job team!”
-Gilian

Year 20, Day 416 (Nebula Rocket Carrying Fertilizer Launches for Kerbitat One!)

A Nebula Rocket that had been prepared for a Crew Vehicle launch is quickly retrofitted with an experimental new payload: the DSV Supply Craft! Designed to carry a versatile payload to the bay of Horizon Class DSVs, delivering fertilizer to Kerbitat One should be a good first test!

The Nebula Rocket blasts off!

The payload detaches, and the first stage turns around and heads back to KSC! The DSV Supply Craft continues it’s launch to orbit!

The spacecraft approaches Kerbitat One

… and docks!

Back at Spacedock, Aurora 26 departs for Kerbitat One!

“Hopefully that fertilizer does the trick!”
-Edan

Edan brings Aurora 26 into alignment with Kerbitat One, and docks!

“Looks like a good connection! Let’s get that fertilizer transferred over too!”
-Gilian

The Kerbals begin unloading the payload from the service vehicle, and Samner studies the plants. The crew waits patiently… until after many hours have passed….

“It’s working! It’s working! The plants are growing! I had to use water from our crew vehicle to start the processes, but it looks like it’s going! That means we’ll need to leave before long, but there should be enough water to run the greenhouse for a while!”
-Samner

After the successful mission, the crew begins preparations for heading home!

Year 20, Day 400 (Kerbitat One Evacuated!)

After weeks trying to grow food, the Aurora 26 crew are ordered to evacuate the station before life support runs out!

“Dang! I thought for sure all these plants would need is some light! Maybe if we added some fertilizer?”
-Samner

“Maybe… but you’d think they’d need water too!”
-Gilian

“Well, I think we’d all think better with some snacks in our bellies! Let’s head back to Spacedock until KSEA can send up some supplies!”
-Edan

Thankfully, Kerbitat One’s orbit is very close to Spacedock – Edan pilots Aurora 26 to the station…

…and docks!

“Now we wait!”
-Edan

Year 20, Day 365 (Aurora 26 Launches Carrying Kerbitat Greenhouse Experiment!)

Aurora 26 blasts off from the Space Center, carrying Edan, Samner, and Gilian to orbit!

This Aurora mission will launch Kerbitat One into orbit, testing the feasibility of a greenhouse in space for long term habitation of other worlds!

The Sarnus V carries the Kerbitat Module and the Aurora Crew Vehicle higher and higher….

Until the fairing separates, and circularizes it’s orbit!

“Good launch everyone! Let’s get our Spacedock Rendezvous underway!”

Aurora 26 and Kerbitat One arrive at Spacedock and reach station keeping 500 meters away!

“Ok -starting docking and transposition maneuver….”

“Looks like a good connection! Nice!”

Kerbitat One deploys it’s solar panel arrays, and the crew starts getting comfortable!