Year 22, Day 347 (CTS-2 Pioneer Test Rendezvous, Return to Kerbin)

Mission Control decides to test Pioneer by having it dock and inspect the recently launched DSV-1A Explorer! This is also a training run for KSEA’s newest pilot, Edbert!

“I can’t wait to see the new Explorer! “


Pioneer maneuvers into a close rendevous with Explorer ….

“Lining up to the docking bay… alignment looks good…”


As soon as the connection is confirmed, Edbert volunteers for his first EVA – to investigate the new DSV and confirm safe detachment of the boost stage!

“Wow – this ship is big!


“The reactor looks good… sensors indicate no dangerous radiation levels.. I think we’re good to eject the boost stage Jeb!”


“OK – boost stage is ejected!”


The boost stage drifts away – and Edbert gets back into Pioneer!

“OK Edbert – this is your landing… take us home!”


Edbert fires the engines and Pioneer starts a rapid descent!

“Oh wow – that was a steep descent angle – this is gonna be a close one!!”


Pioneer survives the reentry – and Edbert angles the craft right at the base of the landing strip!

“Approach needs to be pretty steep or we’ll overshoot… if we don’t pull up at the last second…”


“If we don’t pull up at the last second it’ll be someone else’s problem – just focus on the landing!”




Edbert pilots right at the strip.. then pulls up at the last second…

…skittering off the runway, but landing Pioneer in one piece!

“Oh wow – what a landing!”


Teams head out to recover the shuttle and crew!

“That landing had a lotta moxie in it – nice work Edbert!”


Year 22, Day 340 (CTS-2 Pioneer Launches!)

The new Pioneer 2 Crew Shuttle is ready to launch! Jeb and rookie pilot Edbert will take the new shuttle up for it’s maiden flight! While Pioneer is a new spacecraft it has been designed to be as identical as possible to the refit Adventure crew shuttle!

“Launch looks good – all systems nominal – what a ride!”


“Not too bumpy either! “

-Edbert, piloting in the front seat

As the spacecraft reaches it’s maximum dynamic pressure, or Max-Q, all systems continue as planned!

“The engineers must have screwed all the bolts in pretty well, this is where the parts would start falling off if they hadn’t!”


As Pioneer’s trajectory reaches a 200k periapsis, the aerodynamic-escape-system launches, and the shuttle detaches from the Nebula Rocket!

Turning around using its RCS, the Nebula Rocket fires it’s engines to perform a landing at KSC! Once recovered the rocket will be transported to White Mesa, where it will be refueled and refit to be launched again!

We have achieved orbit! As exciting as this is, I can’t wait to land!