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 91 (Summer Leaves Spacedock to Return Mun Spaceport Crew!)

With Mun Spaceport (mostly) functional, Bill, Gilian, and Edan need to return to Kerbin! Summer departs in Crew Vehicle 5 to rescue them!

“If we’re going to be using these Crew Vehicles for trips back and forth to Mun, they’re going to need a better second stage – this will be a tight mission for DeltaV!
-Summer

Crew Vehicle 5 departs Kerbin…

… Eventually arriving at Mun, and docking with Mun Spaceport!

Bill, Gilian, and Edan all board and buckle in for a quick return trip to Kerbin!

“There’s not enough fuel to do a full orbital return, so we’re going to try for touchdown near White Mesa… hold on everyone!”
-Summer

Crew Vehicle 5 misses the mark, landing 40km or so from White Mesa!

“Close enough! Rescue crews are on the way!”
-Gene, at Mission Control

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 21, Day 35 (Mirphe, Seely and Tamre Rush to DSV-2 Discovery… and Leave for Duna!)

With no time to waste, Mirphe and Tamre fly to White Mesa and board Crew Vehicle 4, already waiting at the launch pad!

“Seely is already getting Discovery ready to go, as soon as we’re up there we’re taking off!”
-Mirphe

Crew Vehicle 4 blasts off on it’s Nebula Rocket!

Once the spacecraft reaches it’s 200k apogee, the Crew Vehicle detaches and uses it’s RCS thrusters to move clear of the first stage Nebula Rocket!

The Nebula Rocket uses it’s own RCS thrusters to invert itself, and fire it’s main engine, to perform a propulsive landing at KSC!

“We’re clear to rendevous to Spacedock!”
-Mirphe

The Crew Vehicle arrives at Spacedock!

“Welcome to Spacedock CV4! Discovery is fueled up and ready to go!”
-Val

The Crew Vehicle docks! Mirphe and Tamre rush to help Seely get the lander out!

“Hey – why are all the doors open on CV1!?”
-Tamre

“They got stuck open! It shouldn’t have any impact on the return, just annoying!”
-Val

Mirphe, Seely, and Tamre board Discovery… and undock!

“RCS thrusters firing in reverse… moving clear of Spacedock! Let’s get the reactor powered up to maximum!”
-Mirphe

Discovery turns from Spacedock as the entire spacecraft shudders from the engines and reactor powering up!

“Reactor showing 100%! We’re good to power up engines!”
-Seely

“Good luck Discovery!”
-Val

Discovery’s three nuclear engines fire, and it slowly builds up speed!

4 minutes into the burn, alarms sound!

“What’s that!?”
-Mirphe

“Looks like the rear engine housing is giving us trouble again! It’s heating up from the engines and not transferring enough heat to the Radiators!”
-Tamre

“If we reduce thrust to 50 percent we should be fine… the burn will just take longer!”
-Seely

With the overheating problem out of the way, Discovery completes it’s burn for Duna, and soars out of the system!

“Wow – we are moving fast! We should reach Duna in less than 70 days! Once we enter orbit and dock we’re not going to have much fuel left!”
-Tamre

“That’s the idea! The return to Kerbin from Duna using the correct launch window is much less demanding – we’ll be fine! Let’s get ready to enter Cryo-sleep!”
-Mirphe

Year 21, Day 20 (Lithium Refueling Mission to Kerbin Spacedock!)

The next Lithium Refueling mission launches for Kerbin Spacedock on a Jool Heavy rocket!

After an automatic Rendevous maneuver, Mission Control hands over remote control to Val!

“This is Commander Spacedock… we have the Lithium Vehicle, bringing it in to dock…”
-Val

Val slowly navigates the spacecraft into docking position! This will be the final (for now) fuel launch to Spacedock, bringing the station to a “max” fuel level for the DSV fleet!

“Docking complete! Spacedock is now fully fueled – good work team!”
-Val

Meanwhile, crews at Spacedock work on fueling up Discovery and Endeavor for their next mission!

Year 21, Day 12 (Spacedock Lithium Refueling Vehicle Launches on Jool Heavy Rocket!)

At the Space Center the next Lithium Refueling Vehicle is ready to launch, and blasts off on top of a Jool Heavy rocket!

The Jool Heavy’s powerful 21 S3 KS-25 “Vector” engines lift the rocket to it’s 200km apogee!

While this isn’t the first Spacedock refueling mission, this is the first launch of the newly redesigned Jool Heavy Rocket!

As it nears it’s 200km apogee, the attached side rockets deplete their fuel…

… and disconnect! The central stage continues it’s burn to 200k… then detaches from the upper stage!

The upper stage’s 3 KR-2L+ “Rhino” engines fire…

… and circularize the massive craft in a stable orbit of Kerbin! The refueling vehicle then performs maneuvers to rendevous with Spacedock!

“Mission Control – Spacedock has the Refueling Vehicle on our scope… you’re cleared to start the automated docking maneuver!”
-Val, on board Spacedock

With the sun creating impressive lens flares, the Refueling Vehicle docks!

“Looks like a good connection with the third refueling Vehicle! We just need one more and Spacedock will be fully stocked with Lithium!”
-Edan, on Spacedock

Year 21, Day 1 (Modular Payload Vehicle Launches from White Mesa on Nebula Heavy Rocket!)

The first day of Year 21 is going to be a big day at White Mesa! It’s a first for two new vehicles: The third revision of the Modular Payload Vehicle, or MPV, will be launching with a LFO (Liquid Fuel/Oxygen) payload! Even bigger news is the first launch of a new Launch Vehicle, the Nebula Heavy Rocket!

The launch goes well, and the Nebula Heavy rockets into the sky above the desert!

The Nebula Heavy is basically three Nebula Rockets bolted together with a larger second stage. While all 3 Nebula rockets return to Kerbin, the second stage is discarded.

The Nebula Heavy reaches it’s 200k apogee, and detaches!

Turning around using RCS thrusters (once clear of the MPV), the Nebula Heavy fires it’s engines to target a landing at KSC! Soon, the three rockets will disconnect and independently land on the surface!

Meanwhile, the MPV fires it’s engine until it’s in a safe 200k orbit of Kerbin!

Mission Control continues piloting the craft closer and closer to the rendevous with Spacedock!

“Mission Control – this is Station Commander … I’ve got a clear view of the MPV out of the Upper Cupola windows! Looks like it’s on course for docking with Endeavor! We’re clear to take over remote control from up here!”
-Val

With Val now piloting remotely, the MPV drifts past the station, and once behind Endeavor Val starts it’s docking maneuver!

“Alright… MPV is lined up…. moving in for final docking maneuvers…”
-Val

The MPV slowly moves in to Endeavor‘s docking bay…

… and connects!

“We’re showing a solid connection up here!”
-Val

“Hey – just what do we need a LFO fuel delivery to a DSV for anyway!?”
-Edan

“I thought you’d never ask! We’re sending another team to Laythe to survey sites for the colony! Congrats Val – you’re the Mission Commander for Endeavor’s Crew Mission 2!”
-Gene, at Mission Control

“Oh wow! Awesome! I can’t wait!”
-Val

Year 20, Day 400 (Kerbitat One Evacuated!)

After weeks trying to grow food, the Aurora 26 crew are ordered to evacuate the station before life support runs out!

“Dang! I thought for sure all these plants would need is some light! Maybe if we added some fertilizer?”
-Samner

“Maybe… but you’d think they’d need water too!”
-Gilian

“Well, I think we’d all think better with some snacks in our bellies! Let’s head back to Spacedock until KSEA can send up some supplies!”
-Edan

Thankfully, Kerbitat One’s orbit is very close to Spacedock – Edan pilots Aurora 26 to the station…

…and docks!

“Now we wait!”
-Edan