Year 3, Day 12 (First Crew Shuttle Test Flight)

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KCS Adventure is readied for launch at the Primary Launch site! screenshot797.png

The automated systems carry it up easily!

“Wow! Look at it go!”
-Jeb

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The Launch Vehicle detaches, and Adventure’s engines carry it the rest of the way!  screenshot801.png

A normal Crew Shuttle flight would head to orbit at this point, but instead Adventure fires its engines to simulate a very high speed re-entry to Kerbin’s atmosphere. screenshot805.png

As the shuttle comes in for reentry, it performs a bit of a “belly flop” as it slows down. screenshot810.png

Eventually Adventure slows down enough to attempt a landing.  A green field across the sea from Cape Kerman is selected for the test landing. screenshot811.png

Almost there…. screenshot813.png

A perfect landing!  Adventure glides to a complete stop, and crews are dispatched to investigate the Crew Shuttle for any stresses or damage incurred in the flight!

The KCS-LV is recovered 250km from the Space Center!  Engineers estimate it can be recovered for about 85% of its total construction cost.  Not bad!

Year 3, Day 6 (Crew Shuttle Revealed!)

After exhaustive modeling and testing, KSEA scientists and engineers excitedly unveil their new space vehicle – the KSS Crew Shuttle!KCS.pngConstruction begins at once, with an automated launch scheduled immediately after the first vehicle is made.

Unlike previous spacecraft, the KCS is, hopefully, entirely re-usable. The first stage (the KCS-Launch Vehicle, or KCS-LV, is a massive, automated space plane that carries the shuttle nearly to orbit.  After the Launch Vehicle’s fuel is exhausted, the Crew Shuttle detaches and heads into orbit!

The test vehicle will be named Adventure – some remain skeptical about the practicality of a space plane for moving crew between the station and Kerbin, but KSEA is always willing to try the next big thing… even if it’s a tiny shuttle!