Year 16, Day 381 (Heavy Cargo Shuttles Decommissioned!)

The last Heavy Cargo Shuttle launch was nearly eight years ago, so KSEA has decided to decommission the space program’s two Heavy Shuttles: Enterprise and Resolute!

Dividing cargo launches from crew launches just seems safer and more efficient! KSEA’s engineers are still known to doodle large spaceplanes however… So the dream is still alive!

Year 7, Day 370 (CryoLab / Crew Cryogenic Research Lab Announced!)


KSEA scientists announce they have developed a potential new way to keep Kerbals alive (and fed, and watered, and oxygenated) on very, very deep space missions… freezing them!

On paper it seems to work fine, but before sending Kerbals into deep space and hoping they come out OK it is decided an experimental lab will be launched on the next Heavy Cargo Shuttle launch!

Resolute will carry up the new Cryogenic Study Lab… not surprisingly, several Kerbals have already volunteered for the very dangerous and highly experimental research lab!

Year 7, Day 346 (Resolute Launches After Refit!)

screenshot119.pngThe Heavy Cargo Shuttle (HCS) Resolute launches!   Mirphe volunteers to pilot the refitted Shuttle!

This will be the first flight after the major refit done to overhaul the craft, which included:

  • Improving flight characteristics both on launch and return
  • Upgrade the launch vehicle to provide more power.
  • Increase the launch vehicle recoverability.
  • Adding cool lights.


This is also the first flight of the refitted HCS Launch Vehicle!


Mirphe pilots Resolute into an 100k orbit, then plots a course to rendezvous with the Kerbin Space Station!




“I’d call that a success!  Taking Resolute back down to the surface now!”


screenshot126.pngMirphe sets Resolute to Landing Configuration – the spacecraft’s 3 Air Brakes deploy, and the Elevons are all locked. At 25k the craft switches to Flight Configuration, and prepares to approach the landing strip at KSC!


“Tracking looks good… speed at 1400 m/s and dropping!”



Mirphe fires Resolute‘s maneuvering engines to line up the shuttle with the landing strip!


Resolute touches down!


“Perfect landing.  The Refit appears to check out – Resolute flew great!”


Indeed, KSEA is very pleased at the new HCS Refit!  Plans are made to upgrade the other Heavy Cargo Shuttle, Enterprise.








Year 7, Day 270 (Heavy Cargo Shuttle Resolute Refit Update)

HCS Resolute.png

KSEA releases plans for the refitted Heavy Cargo Shuttle (HCS) Resolute!  After initial tests Enterprise will be similarly refit.

Heavy Cargo Shuttle Refit Goals:

  • To improve flight characteristics both on launch and return
  • Upgrade the launch vehicle to provide more power.
  • Increase the launch vehicle recoverability.
  • Add cool lights.

Engineers and scientists are confident that all these goals will be met!

Year 7, Day 139 (Resolute Blasts Off for KSS!)

screenshot49.pngMirphe, Gilian, and Sean launch in the Resolute on a service mission to the KSS!

screenshot52Resolute (which was recently given nifty navigational lights) is the first of two Heavy Cargo Shuttles operated by KSEA.  Due to a planning oversight on Station Life Support a Heavy Cargo Shuttle was chosen to carry an emergency life support mission to the station!

“This payload is pretty heavy, there won’t be any room in the fuel budget to spare this mission!”


screenshot56.pngThankfully Resolute eventually arrives the station… and not a moment too soon!

“Wow – I forget how big the Heavy Cargo Shuttle is until I see it up next to the Kerbin Space Station – these are some large spacecraft being docked!”



Success!  Resolute docks with the KSS, at the Utility Docking Port!  Station Crew immedeatly start moving supplies over to the station.

“Nice docking Mirphe!”



Resolute undocks, leaving the supply module attached to the station.


“Time to head home – call the Space Center if that module gives you any trouble!”



Resolute screams through the clouds, heading toward the Space Center!


“Going pretty fast! Hold on everyone, this might be a bumpy landing!”



Resolute touches down, and at the last moment veers slightly off the landing strip!


“Hmph!  Almost a perfect mission!”



Year 5, Day 261 (Resolute Carries Deep Space Relay Into Orbit)

screenshot1630.pngTransmissions from Sarnus aren’t as strong as they could be, so KSEA decides to launch a deep space relay in orbit of Kerbin – the quickest method to get it into orbit is to load it into one of the waiting Heavy Cargo Shuttles!  The Relay is loaded into Resolute’s cargo bay, and Val and Gilian blast off with it into orbit! screenshot1632.png

The Relay leaves Resolute’s cargo bay…screenshot1633.png

Then alters its orbit to a high polar orbit, to better communicate with distant spacecraft.

Val to Mission Control… KerbStar DeepSpace Relay 1 is ready!



Radio signals are still weak, sadly… it looks like the problem is Frontier 2’s transmitter!  Larger more powerful transmitters will be required for deeper space missions.  It’s hoped that the other deep space craft launched will still be able to communicate when they arrive at their destinations!

screenshot1635.pngMeanwhile, Resolute heads back to Kerbin – but overshoots the runway somewhat!


I think a few well timed bursts of what’s left of the fuel should be enough to glide us back on track!



Thankfully Val is right, and the Resolute touches down !




Year 4, Day 271 (Resolute Launches Second Unity Space Station Module)

screenshot1077.pngThe upgraded Resolute takes off!   Val pilots rookie engineer Seely and Gillian up to orbit! This will be Resolute’s first flight using the upgraded Launcher, and with the new Cargo Bay arrangement!screenshot1079.png

The launch goes well – with the OAV carrying the shuttle to its desired orbit, leaving over 1000 d/v in fuel for orbital maneuvering.

“That’s sure was a bumpy ride!”



Val pilots Resolte to a close rendezvous with Unity Station!

Ok – we’re there.. but we better wait until we’re on the ‘day’ side of Kerbin before doing the install!



Seeley heads out, and practices some basic space maneuvers!  screenshot1088.pngThe module goes into place, and Unity Space Station is ready to go!


“Resolute’s coming in pretty hot!  I’m going to need to circle around before I can land!”



Val sets down, but takes out one of the landing lights at the end of the runway!  Endeavor takes some minor damage, losing a few of its air brakes! Everyone agrees this was the most dangerous landing the Heavy Cargo Shuttles have ever done.  High speed, and performing the maneuver node too early is the general consensus.

“Maybe we can find a way to slow the shuttle more on reentry – that was scary!”


Year 4, Day 223

256x256-4Things are busy at the VAB!  Resolute and Enterprise are both being refurbished for their next missions, and the Crew Shuttles Endeavor and Adventure are both being outfitted with the second generation launchers!  (Intrepid is currently docked at the Kerbin Space Station – it will be outfitted with a new launcher once it returns!)

Meanwhile, construction has begun on the Duna Surveyor… based off the Mun and Minmus Surveyors, this advanced probe will scan the surface of Duna for future missions!

screenshot1058.pngIt’s now just days until Frontier 1 reaches the influence of Sarnus – Kerbin’s longest range probe has worked well so far… although scientists note that the signal strength  is only at 70 percent. Hopefully this won’t result in any lost scientific data!

Year 4, Day 166


Resolute is outfitted with the next (and last) Harmony Space Station module, the modified Science Module.  Edan is chosen as the pilot for this launch!

“Wow, this cockpit is so roomy compared to the Crew Shuttles!”



Resolute finishes its launch, piloted to just under 100k by Edan!


“OK… approaching Harmony!”



“Opening cargo bay door… and releasing the Harmony Module!”


screenshot860.pngThe module detaches… and after some tricky night-side maneuvering, attaches to Harmony.   Now it’s time for Resolute to head home!screenshot862.png

Resolute swoops in for a landing!



Edan is very pleased with himself, and insists on a photo – welcome home Edan… and good work!  Work begins at once on refurbishing Resolute.   Additionally, work begins on a NEW, as yet un-named Heavy Cargo Shuttle, to hopefully increase the capabilities of the Space Program!






Year 4, Day 151 (Resolute Delivers Harmony Habitat Module)


Val will pilot Resolute to its next mission – delivery of the Habitat Module for the Harmony Space Station!  screenshot823.pngThe launch goes well, and Val circularizes… screenshot834.png

then moves in to rendezvous with the waiting Harmony Space Station core!

“I need to be careful with my maneuvers… Harmony is being assembled near the upper limit of Resolute’s operating parameters.. just a bit over 90k!… I see the station out the window.  Moving in!”


Should Resolute run out of fuel, the shuttle does have enough solid maneuvering propellant to de-orbit and return to Kerbin… however everyone hopes that won’t be necessary!screenshot839.png

Resolute‘s payload detaches… screenshot841.pngthen docks with Harmony!  Success!

“Ok – job done!  Heading home!”


Val sits in orbit, waiting for the sun to rise above the Space Center.  Night landings are generally not preferred ! Thankfully, Resolute has enough fuel to de-orbit!


Resolute’s moving pretty fast… deploying airbrakes!



Resolute swoops down for a landing!screenshot845.png

Almost there…


“Got it!  There was a loud “crushing noise when the gear set down, and the Master Alarm sounded!  Looks like I lost one of the ventral Air Brakes!”


Thankfully, there was no damage to the rest of the craft.  The Air Brakes aren’t designed to be deployed during a landing, just during the approach to the air strip.  This should be an avoidable mistake for the future!

“Maybe we can set the Authority Limiter on those Air Brakes to a lower extension… how about 60 percent of their regular extension?”


Everyone agrees that’s a good idea, and the changes are made at once!

Resolute is recovered, and refurbishments start immediately!  The Harmony Science Module will go up in the next Heavy Cargo Shuttle launch… and then Harmony Station will be ready to go!

There is already talk of constructing an additional Cargo Shuttle – it would have been useful for Harmony Station to launch both modules right away to get things rolling faster!  If the Harmony Station design looks viable, future stations may use similar layouts… so an additional Cargo Shuttle will probably be in the works!