Year 16, Day 165 (Explorer 6 Rescue Mission!)

The Aurora Crew Vehicle docked at the Kerbin Spaceport undocks – this fully fueled vehicle has been at the station for quite a while, and was intended as an emergency lifeboat for the station crew in a crisis. Mission Control has decided the spacecraft will be remotely piloted and docked to the stranded Explorer 6 crew – marooned in an eccentric orbit around Kerbin!

The ACV activates it’s engine and blasts away from the station – changing it’s inclination to match Explorer 6!

After the rendezvous maneuver is complete, the ACV is within sight of Explorer 6!

“I see it! We’re saved!”

The Aurora Crew Vehicle docks with Explorer 6!

“Looks like a solid connection! Let’s get that hatch open and transfer over! Don’t forget all the science!”

Glenica does a thorough search to make sure they haven’t left anything behind – then is the last one to head over to the Crew Vehicle!

The Crew Vehicle detaches from Explorer 6, and heads back to Kerbin!

“Explorer 6 was a good ship! Maybe someday we can refuel it for another adventure!”

“I’m just eager to get back to train for the next Deep Space mission!”

The Aurora Command Module heats up as it burns through Kerbin’s atmosphere!

Until it finally splashes down in the ocean – just east of the Space Center!

“Rescue boats are on the way! Just sit tight and we’ll get you home in no time!”

Explorer 6’s crew finally returns home! Not quite like they expected, but they proved KSEA’s equipment and crew were ready for the very long duration missions to Jool – and beyond!

Year 16, Day 164 (Explorer 6 Returns to Kerbin from Jool!)

Explorer 6 enters Kerbin’s gravitational sphere of influence, and fires it’s engines to circularize its orbit!

“This is the first time a crewed vessel.. or really any vessel, has returned ot Kerbin orbit from Jool! Fuel will be a little tight, but I’m sure we’ll make it to orbit!”

“Hmmm. that fuel guage is getting pretty low Mitster!”

E stands for ’emergency supply’… right?”

Suddenly, Explorer 6’s fuel shuts off!

“Well… good news and bad news! We made orbit! The bad news is we don’t have enough fuel to dock with the Spaceport, and the orbit is fairly eccentric!”

My calculations show we’re still in range of a rescue from one of the Aurora Crew Vehicles! What do you think Mission Control?”

We need to do a little mission planning, but we agree that’s the best rescue plan we have! We’ll be in touch!
Gene, at Mission Control

Year 14, Day 1 (Explorer 6 Leaves Laythe)

Explorer 6’s mission at Jool’s tempting moon Laythe is complete – and it’s time to come home!

It’s a shame we have to leave.. but don’t worry. We’ll be back!


As Explorer 6 drifts past Laythe for the last time, the crew prepares to return to cryogenic sleep for the long trip back to Kerbin!

“It’s a good thing we’re heading back to cryo-sleep… we just finished the last snack!”


“The sooner we go back into cryo-stasis the sooner we can get on the next Deep Space craft headed back… this time with a lander! By the time we’re back at Kerbin I bet Laythe Spaceport will be ready!


Year 13, Day 130 (Explorer 6 Update!)

Sean performs an EVA to verify the state of Explorer 6!

Everything looks fine out here! Explorer 6 seems to have held up just fine! The only major system we still need to worry about is the last stage, when we expose the LV-N Nerv engine!

The mission specialist and chief scientist Glenica is next to head out!

What a view! It’s a shame we can’t stay longer!

Glenica’s continues her EVA, collecting various scientific data from Explorer 6’s extensive sensors.

That’s all of it! We should see if we have enough fuel to try transfering to the orbit of some of Jool’s other moons before we leave!

Year 13, Day 127 (Explorer 6 Enters Laythe Orbit!)

After a journey lasting longer than 2 years, Explorer 6 finally arrives at Laythe! Automated systems thaw the crew – who slowly wake up!

“Wow, it’s been years? It barely felt like much of a nap!”

Explorer 6’s engines fire, and eventually circularize the orbit around Laythe!

“Mitster to Ground Control – I’m stepping through the hatch… “

“Oh wow! It’s beautiful!”

“Ground Control to Mitster – you’ve really made the grade!”
-Gene, Mission Control

Year 13, Day 10 (Explorer 6 Update!)

In just 60 days, Explorer 6 will enter the Joolian system! Computers on the spacecraft start waking up – transmitting data on the crew: healthy, lifesigns extremely faint from cryostasis but at expected levels. Radiation levels from Jool are high, as expected. Communication systems appear sufficient, barely, for communicating with Kerbin.

Explorer 6 was launched before Discovery had even been built, to test KSEA’s deep space capabilities. Ultimately, Explorer 6 will orbit Laythe, a world that on the surface looks very much like Kerbin! Eventually KSEA wants to land Kerbals on the planet – and to do that a permanent deep space station, like Duna Spaceport, will be required! Laythe Spaceport will hopefully be a destination for Discovery, and other Deep Space Vessels!

When the mission is complete KSEA will have learned a lot about deep space exploration – vital information for the space program to continue going further and further!

Year 11, Day 129 (Explorer 6 Launch, Adventure Delivers Crew!)


Explorer 6 blasts off from the space center!


In orbit, the fairing deploys. Looks like a good launch!  That means the the crew can head up! screenshot493.png

During the orbit the launch pad was cleared, and CTS-1 Adventure was readied for launch, piloted by Edan!

“We’re all a little jealous you three get to be the first crew to Jool – but we know you’ll do great!”



The Crew Shuttle Launch Vehicle seperates and heads back to Kerbin, while Adventure finishes it’s climb to orbit!


Orbit achieved – shouldn’t be too long before we rendevous!



Adventure moves in for the rendevous…


Almost there!


Connection!  Mitster, Glenica, and Sean transfer over and begin pre-flight inspections of Explorer 6!

“Everything checks out!  Let’s light this candle!”



“Adventure is undocking – good luck Explorer 6!”



Explorer 6 fires its engines and heads away from Kerbin!


Before long Explorer 6 is past Kerbin’s sphere of gravitational influence.


Alright everybody, time for CryoStasis!  See you guys in a few minutes!



“Ok – my turn! ”



“Ok Mission Control- Sean and Glenica are in good shape, setting timer and activating my Cryo-Pod.  Explorer 6 OUT!”


Explorer 6 will now run on automated pilot, reaching Jool in 1 year, 362 days!


Meanwhile, Adventure is heading to Kerbin Spaceport for the second leg of it’s mission, to return crew from the Spaceport back to Kerbin!


After rendevous with the station, Mirphe moves Adventure in to dock!

“Alright, lining up for docking!”



Connection looks good Edan!  Welcome to Kerbin Spaceport!






Year 11, Day 112 (Explorer 6 Crew Announced!)


With construction already underway on Explorer 6, KSEA announces the crew roster for what will be the most distant and ambitious crew mission yet – the first trip to Jool!

Mitster was the commander of the Explorer 2 mission to Duna and has a reputation as an acomplished pilot and mission commander. Glenica was the lead scientist on the Explorer 3 mission to Duna as well as several Aurora missions to Mun and Minmus.  Sean was also on Explorer 3, as the chief engineer. He was also the mission lead on MunBase One!

Many robotic probes have made the journey to Jool, laying the groundwork for the communication systems there – the mission itself is straight forward, reach Jool and return to Kerbin using the DSCCV (Deep Space Cryo-Stasis Crew Vehicle), almost identical in design to Explorer 5!