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 8, Day 48 (Enterprise Finishes Testing Pathfinder Payloads)


Enterprise launches the last Pathfinder payload – the Mk8 Atmospheric Scanner.


Equipped with a multspectral scanner and enough deltaV to allow a wide range of deployments, the Mk8 will be the first Pathfinder probe launched to survey the surface for the  two remote landers.


The scanner and probe perform perfectly, and the green light is given to include this design on Pathfinder!


Alright, time to take Enterprise home!



Enterprise streaks through the clouds toward the Space Center!


Ok – got the Center on visual… Enterprise is handling a little strange today – that or it’s been a while since I’ve landed a Heavy Cargo Shuttle!!




Thankfully Mirphe and Chrisnic set down safely!  Enterprise is taken to prepare for it’s next launch, but not before Chrisnic and the rest of the engineering team see if there’s any mechanical explanation for the shuttles odd handling!

Year 8, Day 47 (Enterprise Tests Pathfinder Payloads)

screenshot317.pngEnterprise launches the next Pathfinder test payload, the Mk7 Atmospheric Probe – designed for landing on terrestrial targets, the lander has the typical 4 leg design of a lander, but with additional fuel for precise landings and in some cases, jumps on planet surfaces!


The burn to fall out of orbit goes well, however engineers already see a problem – power levels are fairly low, additional batteries or perhaps even a solar array might be called for!  Additionally, communications systems on the craft seem insufficient – a more powerful antenna is needed!


In all the test is mostly successful, engineers start work right away on an upgraded design for the Mk7 probe!


Year 8, Day 46 (Enterprise Tests Pathfinder Payloads)

screenshot294.pngAs part of the upcoming Pathfinder missions, several probe designs need real-world testing, beyond what a simple simulation can provide.


To help facilitate this, Enterprise is loaded with 3 of the new probes and heads to the launchpad! Mirphe will be piloting the shuttle, and Chrisnic will be onboard to supervise the launches!screenshot299.png

So far so good!  Launcher is away, circularizing Enterprise’s orbit!


screenshot301.pngOnce Enterprise is in a stable orbit, the cargo bay doors open – time to test some probes! The first launch is the Mk 6 Atmospheric Probe – designed for water landings on Laythe, Jool’s closest moon and Kerbin-look-a-like!


Probe is away!  Remote systems responding… sending it for a water landing!


The probe drifts away from Enterprise until it’s time to fire the retro rockets that will take it to the surface…


Probe is on course – all systems nominal!



The parachute deploys, and the probe drifts slowly to the ocean surface!


Splashdown!  The probe lands safely and the solar panels deploy – all systems seem to be working perfectly!

“I’d call that a success!”


KSEA Search and Rescue heads out to recover the probe, and the Enterprise crew rests for a day before the next launch!









Year 6, Day 127 (Enterprise Science Launch!)


Enterprise launches!  The mission is to investigate a sub-atomic particle that scientists have named “kuarks” – initial research has indicated that many of these particles are quite strange indeed..


Veteran scientist Orlas will oversee the research, along with Samner.  Val will pilot Enterprise, and train rookie pilot Mirphe as well!


The Heavy Cargo Shuttle is testing a new science payload that essentially turns a Cargo Shuttle into a fully equipped Science Lab in space!

“Orbit achieved – we’re starting science now!”


Back in Mission Control, scientists anxiously await for the science data to start streaming in!


Year 6, Day 1 (Enterprise Upgrades KSS Power & Solar Systems!)

screenshot1763.pngVal and Chrisnic blast off in Enterprise, delivering the long promised second power and solar expansion to the station!  screenshot1765.png

Chrisnic, one of the most experienced engineers on the KSEA team will supervise the installation!


The module remotely guides itself into position…


Then Chrisnic leaves Enterprise to investigate!


Deploying solar arrays!  Wow! These are huge!   Both deployed perfectly.  Returning to Enterprise!



Enterprise departs!  The Heavy Cargo Shuttle will be trying something new today, landing at White Mesa!  The shuttle will then be flown back to the VAB for repairs and to be readied for its next launch!


Enterprise does its “belly flop” manuever to slow down its reentry….


Then glides to the runway!


A great landing! Val and Chrisnic rest up for their next mission!

Year 5, Day 13 (Enterprise Launched to Upgrade KSS Power and Solar Systems!)

screenshot1444.pngEnterprise launches!   Edan will pilot the Heavy Cargo Shuttle to orbit and rendezvous with the Kerbin Space Station, and Dunwin will supervise the initial installation of the solar power unit, and then perform EVAs to complete installation from Enterprise’s cargo bay! screenshot1445.png

“Orbital Assist Vehicle is away… heading to the station!”



Dunwin reviews the mission parameters as Enterprise rockets towards the KSS!


Enterprise arrives at the KSS and the module detaches!


Installation proves very difficult, with Chrisnic leaving the station to assist Dunwin!

“This is just impossible!  There’s no way to get a grip on anything!”


Chrisnic and Dunwin return to the KSS, taking the extra parts from Enterprise, while Edan tries a “first”… docking Enterprise itself to the Kerbin Space Station!


“Almos there… almost there…”



Wow – everyone is very suprised that the docking actually worked.  The KSS was never designed to dock such a large craft, but Edan showed that it was possible!

“Now let’s all hang tight and wait for Intrepid!”


KSEA decides to send up Intrepid to deliver some parts to allow the installation of footholds and other gripping surfaces for the station!