Year 9, Day 14 (Explorer 4 Returns Home!)


After a very, very long mission, the Explorer 4 crew enters Kerbin’s sphere of influence!

Hold on everyone, we’re going to be going in pretty fast!!



Indeed, Explorer 4 is going so fast that Robart and Orlas blackout during re-entry!  Thankfully Val is one tough Kerbal, and keeps conscious through it all!

“We’re OK! Just very very hot!”



Splash!  Explorer 4 sets down in the water for a night landing – a few hours later rescue craft pick up the crew and return them to the space center.

Well done everyone, that’s one for the books!

-Gene, KSEA Mission Control



Year 7, Day 394 (Explorer 4 Crew Jumps to Midlands!)


Val and Orlas take the Explorer 4 Lander and do a short jump across the surface of Dres!


The lander travels in an arc across the surface….


Touching down at the Midlands, where Orlas and Val hop out!


That’s probably it for landings, we don’t want to stretch the fuel reserve out too much!



That’s a shame, it may look a lot like Mun but scientifically it’s quite distinct!


If you say so Orlas… the crew readies themselves to return to orbit in a matter of days!

Year 7, Day 386 (Explorer 4 Lander Sets Down on Dres!)


Val and Orlas detach from Explorer 4, and head down!


“Feel just like landing on Mun – easy!”



The lander sets down at the Lowlands, and begins initial scientific surveys before the crew heads out!


Orlas climbs out…


The leaps away in the low gravity!

“This is great… I can’t wait to get more readings from Dres!”



Val hops out next…


And then the two put up the Kerbal States flag!


“That’s one for the record books!  Let’s see if we can skip to a few new areas before heading up Orlas!”



Year 7, Day 367 (Explorer 4 Moves To Lower Orbit of Dres)

screenshot162.pngThe initial orbit selected by KSEA has proven too high (147km) and Val adjusts the orbit with some well timed burns!


The new orbit, 30km should allow us to conserve fuel for landings… sure feels close too!


screenshot166.pngOrlas EVA’s over to the lander without waiting another second!


Wow!  Dres looks like a darker Mun… the Sun being so small doesn’t look right!


Year 7, Day 313 (Explorer 4 Arrives at Dres!)


Val, Orlas, and Robart report that the Explorer 4 has arrived at Dres!  The spacecraft’s engines fire to circularize in a roughly polar orbit of the distant world.

Huh, for coming this far out I wasn’t expecting it to look like another Mun!


Indeed, Dres does look very much like Kerbin’s sattelite Mun. Unlike Mun though, no Kerbal has set foot on a world this far out!

Anytime we get to visit another world I’m excited, even if they all look like Mun!



Year 6, Day 329 (Explorer 4 Mission Announced, Crew Selected!)

Explorer 4.pngThe next Explorer mission is green-lit, Explorer 4!   This will be the first exploration craft to Dres, and will also be testing the Explorer Crew Vehicle, the successor to the Duna Crew Vehicle, with greater range and more advanced life support systems.

Explorer 4’s mission will be to reach and orbit Dres, land on the surface, return to the Crew Vehicle, then return to Kerbin!   For fuel purposes the lander will remain in orbit of Dres.

Val has been chosen as Mission Commander, Orlas will be the Engineering Specialist, and Robart will be the Mission Science Specialist!

Another awesome patch is commissioned for the crew: