Year 22, Day 220 (DSV-5 Intrepid Supply Mission & Departure to Moho!)

In Kerbin orbit, Jeb and Sean prepare DSV-5 Intrepid for it’s new crew! Instead of taking Crew Vehicle 6 back to the surface, the spacecraft is sent back to the surface – Jeb and Sean will take Crew Vehicle 1 back to Kerbin once it arrives! Meanwhile, Jeb pilots Intrepid to a higher orbit, 600k!

Crew Vehicle 6 sets down just west of the space center!

“Alright everybody, now’s the tricky part! Keep focused!”

-Gene, at Mission Control

For the first time, a Sarnus Va rocket will be used to launch a Nebula Crew Vehicle! The mission will carry Carson, Bob, and Sondo up to the Deep Space Vehicle Intrepid – as well as multiple mission payloads – a Modular-Payload Vehicle (MPV) loaded with Lithium and Monopropellant, a science satellite, and a new lander/rover combo!

“Engines are go!”

-Carson

Crew Vehicle 1 launches into space! The fairings eject once the spacecraft reaches a safe altitude and the engines fire, carrying the spacecraft to a higher than average orbit, 600k!

Carson rendezvouses with Intrepid, then separates to move clear from the stack!

At the last moment it was decided the fuel budget had room for a Modular Payload Vehicle loaded with Lithium Fuel and Monopropellant! It separates from the stack, and docks with Intrepid, topping off it’s fuel supplies!

After fuelling up Intrepid the crew will transfer over to Intrepid, swap places with Jeb and Sean! Then, the nose-science unit will attach to the front of the DSV. Finally, the most challenging task will be docking the new lander in the cargo bay!

With the Lithium fueling complete, Carson, Bob, and Sondo head to Intrepid!

“Ok – forward RCS thrust is active… systems are nominal…”

-Carson

“Oh wow – I saw Intrepid during assembly – to see it in space is quite a sight!”

-Sondo

Jeb and Sean shake hands with Sondo, Bob, and Carson! Then Jeb and Sondo head back to Kerbin!

“Good luck! Bring back some cool rocks from Moho!”

-Jeb

…setting down right by the Space Center!

With crew loading complete, it’s time to dock the nose science unit!

“This part will be easy, that lander’s going to be tricky though I just know it!”

-Carson

“I’m showing a good connection!”
-Bob

After a short maneuver, Carson docks the satellite with the docking port of Intrepid!

“Ok – the communications dish has been retracted! You’re good to go Carson!”

-Sondo

Next, the most difficult part… docking the new lander!

No problem guys – it’s just like docking the Crew Vehicles – only in an infinity smaller space with no margin for error! Hmm.”

-Carson

As the lander slowly moves into Intrepid‘s docking bay, there is a distinct metallic scratching noise as the landing gear scrape against the back of the cargo bay! The DSV-mockup at the Space Center isn’t perfect, and it turns out the lander fits much easier in the designs than actually docking!

“Tight fit… but we’re almost there! Nothing’s exploded yet!”

-Carson

Success! The lander fits snugly, but perfectly, into the cargo bay!

“Getting it out will be a lot easier once we’re at Moho!”

-Carson

Bob and Sondo check out the crew area of the Deep Space Vehicle, and make sure everything is ready to go!

“RCS fuel – check… extra snacks… check…”

-Bob

“The reactor is functioning normally – Sean did a great job starting it up – radiators, generator, it all checks out!”

-Sondo

“Looks good! Let’s get up front and get the mission to Moho started!”

-Carson

After prelaunch checks are complete, Intrepid fires it’s Colossus Engine!

“Fuel flow is good – temperatures are nominal!”

-Sondo

Intrepid speeds away from Kerbin!

“The transit burn to Moho was perfect! “

-Bob

“Ok everyone – get on your mittens, it’s time to get in the cryobeds!”

-Carson

“Looks, uh, comfy!”

-Sondo

The cryobeds freeze over, and Mission Control takes full control of the spacecraft! Intrepid will arrive at Moho later this year, on Day 383!

Year 22, Day 181 (Disaster at Kerbin Spaecdock!)

What started out as mild vibrations on the station have grown and grown over the last half – the station crew, mid rotation with just Sean and Jeb on board, have been working on troubleshooting the strange shaking with Mission Control!

“We verified that RCS isn’t firing from any thruster, station or docked…and our SAS systems all show normal… Jeb and I can’t figure out what’s causing it… wait, just a second… the station is shaking even worse now! I think the vibration is increasing exponentially…”

*loud cracking noise, alarm klaxons*
“..There’s… been a breach! Jeb! Launch the Intrepid quick!”

-Sean

Back at KSEA, sensors report what can’t be correct – loss of direct connection between the Lithium tanks and the upper docking and habitat section! Immediately ground crews start making calls and Gene assumes the worst … and gives the evacuation order!

“Start emergency evacuations! Intrepid get that ship out of there! Sean get to the nearest Crew Vehicle and undock now! Look alive people this is an emergency! What crew shuttle is ready to go up there? Get it up there….!”

-Gene, at Mission Control

Thankfully Jeb was quick with his reflexes and activated the emergency decoupling process – detaching the massive Deep Space Vehicle Intrepid from the station and reverse firing the orbital thrusters to push away from the station!

“This is Jeb on Intrepid – the DSV is clear of the station! I’m fine… it was a close call, the station was spinning out of control! Sean are you OK?”
-Jeb, on DSV Intrepid

Sean didn’t wait a second, and pushed himself to the nearest crew vehicle, hopping in Crew Vehicle 6, and decoupling! The whole time the station is violently rotating, and as the Crew Vehicle departs, it impacts the the spinning orbital ring!

“That was a bumpy ride … but I got out! The Crew Vehicle impacted the station on the way out but … I’m not seeing any indication of leaks… what’s the plan?”

-Sean

“OK – Sean, Jeb – let’s get your two vehicles docked – then do a full diagnostic of Intrepid. We’ll figure out what to do from there! We’re all relieved you’re safe up there!”

-Gene, at Mission Control

Sean maneuvers Crew Vehicle 6 to a rendevous with Intrepid!

“I see you Sean! The Crew Vehicle looks good, just some scuffs! You’re good for docking!”

-Jeb

Intrepid and DSV 6 dock! Jeb and Sean give each other quick hugs, relieved!

“That was a close one!”

-Sean

“Yea! I like some excitement on my missions… but not like that!”

-Jeb

As the situation normalizes, everyone catches their breath! While Sean and Jeb do a full diagnostic of both Intrepid and the Crew Vehicle, Mission Control starts working on disaster planning to see how bad the damage is at the Spaceport!

“Ground radar and space assets show Intrepid should be safe – I want to get some Kerbals up there to get a closer look but I don’t think Sean or Jeb should do it, they’re both pretty shaken up and need to get down to the surface to be checked out! A Crew Shuttle can check out the station, then return Sean and Jeb!

-Gene, at Mission Control

As the day goes on, KSEA decides to send up the revamped (and recently tested) Crew Shuttle Adventure! A large crew is needed for the mission as it’s not just a rescue, but crisis/damage assessment, and recrew of Intrepid!

Year 21, Day 180 (DSV-5 Intrepid, KSEA’s Next Deep Space Vehicle, Launches From The Space Center!)

The Next Deep Space Vehicle, DSV-5 Intrepid is ready to launch! Named after the retired crew shuttle CTS-3 Intrepid, DSV-5 is a Horizon Class DSV, identical to Endeavor and Horizon!

“Wow – that rocket looks big, even from way over at the Tracking Station!”

-Bob, on his way to watch the launch of DSV-5

Mission Command starts calling out rocket status summaries, until finally…

“Lights are green – DSV is go for launch!”
-Gene, at Mission Control

“Look at ‘er go!”

-Bob, at Mission Control

The Jool Heavy Rocket carries the spacecraft higher…

… and higher!

At a 200k orbit, the side stages eject, and Intrepid circularizes it’s orbit around Kerbin!

“Computers say we have a good orbit! Let’s remotely rendevous it with Spacedock and get a crew over there!”
-Gene

Intrepid is remotely piloted until it rendezvouses with Spacedock!

“Mission Control – this is Jeb at Spacedock Control – we have a visual on Intrepid!”
-Jeb

“Wow – I always forget how big these DSV’s are until you see them next to Spacedock!”

-Sean

While Mission Control can pilot the DSV’s remotely for the precision connections needed for docking pilots are always preferred – so Jeb EVA’s outside Spacedock and heads over to Intrepid!

“Mission Control, I have left Spacecdock and am en route to the DSV!”
-Jeb

Jeb sets his EVA rockets to “FULL SPEED DANGER!” and speeds toward the DSV!

“Radar shows you going 10 m/s, make sure you leave enough time to slow down!”
-Sean, on Spacedock

“Don’t worry, I’m a professional!”
-Jeb

Jeb slows down, just in time, and grabs the hand holds under the nose of DSV-5 Endeavor at the last second!

“Got it! Connection made, heading to the cockpit!”
-Jeb

“Eyes on the prize Jeb – let’s get this bird in the nest!”
-Gene

“Roger that.”
-Jeb

Jeb activates the RCS thrusters and matches speed with Spacedock, then orients the massive spacecraft with the docking ports!

“Starting final docking maneuvers…”
-Jeb

“Mission Control… Jeb here… I’m in the pipe, five by five…”
-Jeb

Intrepid slowly moves in to dock until finally, just as the sun sets…

“Intrepid – you show a solid lock – welcome back Jeb! I can’t wait to get over there and start up Intrepid‘s reactor!”
-Sean

Year 21, Day 139 (Life Support Delivery to Spacedock!)

A Modular Payload Vehicle, carrying Life Support supplies for Spacedock, blasts off from the White Mesa Rocket Complex!

The first stage ejects, and returns to KSC, while the second stage continues on to orbit.

The spacecraft arrives at Spacedock…

… and docks!

“Oh good – new snacks!”

-Jeb

“The oxygen and water is nice too!”

-Sean

Year 21, Day 61 (DSV-4 Endeavor Crew Launches from White Mesa Facility!)

Crew Vehicle 2 blasts off from White Mesa, carrying Jeb, Robart, and Kerlorf! Robart and Kerlorf will be joining Val as the crew for DSV-4 Discovery’s journey to Laythe! Jeb will be taking over as station commander at Spacedock!

The Crew Vehicle reaches it’s 200k apogee, and separates from the Nebula Rocket! The Nebula Rocket turns itself around and performs it’s burn toward KSC to be recovered!

Eventually, CV2 performs it’s final rendevous with Spacedock!

“There’s Endeavor – it’s huge!”
-Robart

The crew board Endeavor… and undock!

Turning Endeavor to match direction of travel…. transit to Jool will be in 4 days!”
-Val

The Endeavor crew get ready for their journey!

Year 20, Day 283 (DSV-2 Discovery Crew Returns to Kerbin!)

Jeb, Bill, and Bob transfer over to Crew Vehicle 1 and prepare to head back to Kerbin!

“I’ve loaded up all the science we collected from Laythe – everyone’s going to be so excited to see it!”
-Bob

“We are clear of Spacedock… firing engine for return burn!”
-Jeb

Crew Vehicle 1 heats up as it rockets through Kerbin’s atmosphere, heading toward White Mesa!

Success! The Crew Vehicle is collected and scientists begin pouring over the absolute treasure trove of data collected from Laythe!

Year 20, Day 281 (DSV-2 Discovery Returns From Historic Mission to Laythe!)

Discovery enters Kerbin’s sphere of gravitational influence!

“Discovery we’re tracking you as on course – what’s your situation?”

-Gene, at Mission Control

“Roger Mission Control… Situation nominal, Discovery reactor is at full, engines show green and ready to fire!”

-Jeb

As Discovery reaches a distance of 700km from Kerbin, the 3 nuclear engines fire!

It’s a nearly minute long burn to slow down!

Suddenly, alarm bells ring in the cockpit!

“Temperature on main engines reaching critical! They’re starting to heat up the tri-adapter engine housing!”

-Bob

“We’ve already been captured into orbit, so we can cut thrust safely… Let’s monitor it and cut thrust once it’s just about critical!”

-Jeb

Thankfully the engines don’t explode, and Discovery settles into a clean 700k circular orbit!

I can’t wait to see Spacedock! It’s supposed to be huge!”

-Bill

Discovery does several manuevers to rendezvous with Spacedock, and finally approaches the station!

“Discovery here! We’re going to coast past Spacedock, then start docking manuevers!”

-Jeb

“Roger that DSV-2… We show you at 150 meters and clear for RCS manuevers!”

-Sean, onboard Spacedock

Discovery slowly drifts past the station until it’s visible out the cockpit!

“Wow! Look at that! And look, Endeavor is docked at the top!”

-Bill

“Yep! We’ll be parking opposite Endeavor!”

-Jeb

Jeb uses RCS orbital thrusters only and slowly matches speed with Spacedock….

…then slowly accelerates toward the station, lining up with the docking port!

“Slowing down… We’re lined up and looking good!”

-Jeb

Discovery moves almost imperceptibly slow until…

With a dull “clunk” and the whir of motors, Discovery makes s connection to Spacedock!

“Welcome home Discovery!”

-Val

Jeb, Bill, and Bob head over to Spacedock to rest before returning to Kerbin with the mountains of data gathered from Jool’s moon Laythe! There is already talk of building a colony there!

Engineers are also finalizing plans for refits and repairs to Discovery!

Year 20, Day 271 (DSV-2 Discovery Crew Wakes From CryoSleep!)

Jeb, Bill, and Bob wake from their Cryo-Sleep on Discovery!

“Wake up everybody! Just 8 days and we’ll be entering Kerbin orbit!”
-Jeb

“I can’t wait to see this new Space Station they built while we were gone!”
-Bill

“It feels like we just left Laythe yesterday!”
-Bob

In Kerbin Orbit, the massive new Spacedock facility is ready for the returning DSV!

Refueling Discovery should be about the same procedure as Endeavor! They’re different classes of ships technically… but they both run on the same fuel!”
Sean, on Spacedock

Year 19, Day 177 (DSV-4 Endeavor Launches to Orbit!)

DSV-4 Endeavor is readied for launch at KSC! The Horizon-class Deep Space Vehicle will be the third re-usable deep space vehicle in KSEA’s fleet!

“Awesome, we have a fleet now!
-Jeb

The powerful Jool-7 Rocket blasts off, and slowly lifts Endeavor to orbit!

After the solid rockets eject, the 7 primary engines circularize the orbit, until Endeavor reaches a 100k orbit!

“We’ll call that another success ladies and gentlemen! Endeavor has reached orbit!”
-Gene

Rumors have it Moho will be the destination for Endeavor… although exact plans have not been announced!

Year 17, Day 357 (DSV-2 Discovery Leaves Laythe!)

Jeb and Bill transfer over to Discovery… while Bob makes sure that every bit of science is taken on board!

“That should be the last of it! Let’s head out!”
-Bob

“Moorings are clear… Discovery is clear of the Spaceport!
-Jeb

Discovery fires it’s three atomic engines, and the massive spacecraft rockets away from Jool!

The journey back to Kerbin will take a little over 2 years – longer than Discovery’s life support reserves will last – so Jeb, Bill, and Bob transfer over to the Cryonic chamber to survive the long trip!

“See you soon Discovery!”
-Gene, at Mission Control