Year 7, Day 263 (Explorer Heads Home!)

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Kimmy, Dunwin, and Mitster all board Explorer 2, and wish Duna Spaceport farewell!

“It’s a shame we can’t stay!”

-Kimmy

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Other Kerbals deserve a chance to explore Duna… we’ll be back!””

-Dunwin

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Well I want to get back… I can’t wait to get my chance at flying that shiny new Super Duna Lander!

-Mitster

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Explorer 2’s journey home will take 314 days!

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Year 7, Day 27 (Explorer 2 Crew returns from Duna Crater landing!)

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Mitster and Dunwin blast off – heading back to Duna Spaceport!

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“This many missions has left us all exhausted!  It’ll be good to get back to Kerbin!”

-Dunwin

Indeed, Explorer 2 has set the record for the most consecutive landings done by one crew!  It’s hoped that the next crew will be able to exceed that, however, using the new “Super Duna Lander”!

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“Hmmm… I’m having some trouble connecting the lander with with the docking port!”

-Mitster

“Try spinning!  That’s a good trick!”

-Dunwin

“That did it!  We’re docked!  Nice thinking Dunwin!”

-Mitster

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The lander docks successfully with Duna Spaceport, and the Explorer 2 team reviews all of the science data they’ve collected over 4 separate landings on the red world of Duna! Their only mission now is to prepare for the return home!

Year 7, Day 26 (Explorer 2 Landing At Duna’s Craters!)

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Dunwin, Mitster, and Kimmy work on refueling the Duna Research Lander for what will be the last landing before returning to Kerbin! This time, a crater east of the second Explorer 2 landing has been chosen. Explorer 2’s last landing will be done by Mitster and Dunwin.

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“Wow, you can see the crater’s outline as we come down!”

-Mitster

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Mitster and Dunwin set down in the Crater, and prepare to head out of the lander.

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The guys smile for the camera, then get to work gathering important Science!

Year 7, Day 18 (Mitster and Kimmy Return to Duna Spaceport!)

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After fully cataloging the findings at the Great Face on Duna, Mitster and Kimmy blast off, returning to the Duna Spaceport!

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“Wow, that face is huge! You can see it all the way from here!”

-Mitster

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The explorers dock at the Spaceport and rest after a long mission!

“That mission really pushed our fuel reserves – we barely had enough to rendezvous with the station! Some brainy Kerbals back at KSC should probably get to work on a second generation lander… a Super Duna Lander!”

-Mitster

Year 7, Day 1 (Explorer 2 Landing at the Northern Basin!)

The new year is going to start with a new Duna landing at the Northern Basin!

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Mitster and Kimmy undock from Duna Spaceport in the station lander.

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“Pretty – look Mitster, it’s an “Ike-rise!””

-Kimmy

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“The descent angle appears to have been pretty close to the mark! Next time we should try overshooting a little further, the atmosphere here has more drag than you might expect!”

-Mitster

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The lander’s parachute deploys, gliding the lander down nice and slow.

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“Firing thrusters… nice and easy now… ”

-Mitster

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Success! The lander touches down at the Northern Basin! Kimmy and Mitster take a little time to prepare for the exploration outside the lander!

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Kimmy hops out, and plants the Kerbal States flag in the red sands of Duna!

“Another step forward for Kerbalkind!”

-Kimmy

After initial scientific readings are gained, Kimmy and Mitster head off to the north to investigate the odd anomalous reading picked up by the Duna Surveyor!

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It looks like a strange rock formation!

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“It… it almost has a familiar shape about it!”

-Kimmy

screenshot214.pngAs the two gallant explorers get closer, they begin to realize that the strange rock formation… Looks eerily familiar!

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“I’m going to use my EVA pack to get up there and see what it looks like from above!”

-Kimmy

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It’s impossible!

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A rock formation that resembles a Kerbal head!

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“I find it highly unlikely this is a naturally occurring object!  Let’s take careful readings and report back to KSC immediately!

-Kimmy

Kimmy and Mitster head back to the lander as quickly as they can!  But the 2km walk feels like a lifetime!

Year 6, Day 297 (Second Explorer 2 Mission!)

screenshot111.pngMitster and Kimmy head down in the upgraded lander that was painstakingly upgraded by Dunwin using extra parts from Duna Spaceport!

You should be set to go!  I’ll monitor things from up here!

-Dunwin

LandingMapDuna.pngKSEA has chosen the Midlands Sea as the next landing site!

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The lander retracts its antenna and solar arrays for the entry into Duna’s atmosphere. screenshot118.png
The lander touches down, and the solar arrays are deployed!

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Kimmy climbs out of the lander, then Mitster – who pose for the traditional flag portrait!  Kimmy and Mitster are the first Kerbals to ever set foot on the Midlands Sea!

Year 6, Day 285 (Explorer 2 Crew Lands on Duna!)

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On board Duna Spaceport, the crew of Explorer 2 prepare for the very first Duna landing!  Mitster will pilot the vehicle to the surface, with Dunwin providing the engineering expertise to deal with any unforeseen issues the lander might have.  Once the craft has proven itself Kimmy will head down in the next landing.  A lot of consideration was given to the first crew to head down, and the pilot/engineer combination was chosen in deference to safety, as the Duna lander hasn’t been tested “live” before! screenshot54.png

Kimmy watches from the Observation Lounge as the lander moves away from the station…

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“I can tell you now, we’re not setting down where Mission Control planned – we’re moving too fast, and if I don’t slow us down … well, it won’t be pretty!”

-Mitster

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Mitster fires the landers engines, slowing the vehicle down enough to engage the parachute…

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The parachute deploys!

“Oomph!  That really took the wind out of me!”

-Dunwin

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The lander slowly descends to the surface…

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At the last moment, the engines fire again, to set the lander down gently…

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“Duna Lander to Kerbin – we have set down on Duna and all systems are go!”

-Mitster

screenshot70.pngDunwin climbs out!screenshot76.png

Followed by Mitster, who plants the first flag on Duna!screenshot78.png

Cheers are heard throughout Mission Control – amazing!

“We still have some samples and exploration to do before we head back, so let’s get busy”

-Mitster

The lander overshot its landing at the anomaly by 17km – a distance much farther than walking would allow.  Mission Control decides that while a small “hop” is conceivable however crew safety is paramount, so a future landing can be done to investigate the lowlands – there will be no hop!

“This lander handles much differently in an atmosphere than it did on Mun, I’m not even sure I could pilot us effectively over to the lowlands… the return to orbit will be tricky enough! ”

-Mitster

The lander will remain on the surface for a few days, then head back to Duna Spaceport!

 

 

 

Year 6, Day 281 (Duna Spaceport Lander Readied)

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Mitster remotely pilots the Duna Landing Vehicle to the Crew Docking Module.

“Well, that wasn’t so hard!

-Mitster

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Mitster and Dunwin celebrate the docking by relaxing in the Observation Lounge, and taking in the impressive view of Duna!

Late last year (Y5D421), the Duna Surveyor arrived in orbit of Duna and has been dutifully mapping the surface.  Mission Planners have been working tirelessly to select the best landing sites!  Already, several anomalies on the surface have been found – one located in the lowlands has been selected as the first site for landing on Duna, designated Duna Spaceport Landing Site 1, or DS-LS01!

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Year 6, Day 275 (Explorer 2 Arrives At Duna!)

After a 334 day journey, Explorer 2 arrives at Duna!

screenshot1876.pngMitster’s calculations were perfect, and the spacecraft arrives within 100k of the Duna Spaceport.

“Nicely done Mitster!”

-Dunwin

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Explorer 2 move in to rendezvous with the station…. screenshot1881.png

Counter-intuitively, Explorer must first move away from the station, taking its orbit out to nearly 120k, before moving closer again!

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Explorer 2’s Transfer stage uses up the last of its fuel, bringing the spacecraft 50meters away from the station! screenshot1891.png

“Almost there… almost there…”

-Mitster

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Mission success!  Explorer 2 docks with Duna Spaceport, and the crew flips on all the lights!

“Now we just need to get that lander over to the crew docking port, and we can make history!”

-Kimmy

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