The second Laythe Spaceplane, LCV-2 Resolute, departs Kerbin heading to Jool’s moon, Laythe!
The second Laythe Crew Vehicle spaceplane is launched from KSC!
The spacecraft enters orbit… and waits!
Resolute will leave Kerbin in about 400 days for an express trip to Jool/Laythe. This new Laythe Crew Vehicle is almost identical to the current LCV-1 Endurance, but with improved science payloads (including water detection systems) and improved power systems. The solar panels have been removed, and the craft’s onboard power supply has been buffed up to survive longer on Laythe!
“I can’t wait to fly that on Laythe!”
-Edan, at Mission Control
Endeavor’s nuclear engine fires, and the spacecraft begins moving out of Kerbin orbit!
“All systems nominal. Power levels holding ..”
“The cryo tanks are ready once we’re away!”
“Endeavor is on course! Preparing ship for automatic mode!”
As Endeavor heads to Laythe, KSEA prepares to launch another Spaceplane to follow the crew!
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!”
The crew board Endeavor… and undock!
“Turning Endeavor to match direction of travel…. transit to Jool will be in 4 days!”
The Endeavor crew get ready for their journey!
Val, Robart, and Kerlorf have been selected for DSV-4 Endeavor’s upcoming mission to Laythe Spaceport!
The crew will pilot the Laythe Spaceplane Endurance to the surface and continue scouting the planet for future colonies. KSEA is also hoping to launch an additional Laythe Spaceplane in time for the mission!
“Oh wow! I can’t wait!”
Robart, already at White Mesa, starts packing his bags for the trip!
“I can’t wait to blast off! This desert assignment has been pretty dull!”
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!”
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!”
“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!”
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!”
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!”
“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!”
“Yep! We’ll be parking opposite Endeavor!”
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!”
Discovery moves almost imperceptibly slow until…
With a dull “clunk” and the whir of motors, Discovery makes s connection to Spacedock!
“Welcome home Discovery!”
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!
Jeb, Bill, and Bob wake from their Cryo-Sleep on Discovery!
“Wake up everybody! Just 8 days and we’ll be entering Kerbin orbit!”
“I can’t wait to see this new Space Station they built while we were gone!”
“It feels like we just left Laythe yesterday!”
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
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!”
“Moorings are clear… Discovery is clear of the Spaceport!“
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
With the transfer window back to Kerbin rapidly approaching, Jeb decides it’s time to take Endurance back to orbit!
“Pack up all the science and snacks! It’s time to take off!”
Endurance lifts higher and higher…
… eventually reaching orbit!
“That loud pop noise was Endurance running out of primary fuel! Just in time too, we should have enough monopropellant to slow down the final leg of the rendezvous with Laythe Spaceport!”
Thankfully, there’s enough monoprop for both slowing down, and maneuvering!
Jeb docks with Laythe Spaceport!
“You know… these missions have all been really close, let’s call it good and not try a water landing this time?”
“I dunno, I’m down for it! What’s the worst that could happen!?”
“Hmmm… maybe Bill’s right – let’s get ready to head back to Kerbin… we can try a water landing next time!”
The X-10 Wanderer is done, and having passed basic safety tests is ready for a test flight! Val, Glenica, and Dunwin prepare to take the plane on a test flight – first to test basic landing systems, then to test a water landing! This will also be a good training flight for future crew to Laythe!
The VTOL Aerospikes work well enough on Kerbin to provide vertical thrust, however the plane can only maintain vertical flight for a short time!
“Let’s head over to the pyramids, that should be an interesting place to land!”
Val sets Wanderer down right next to the pyramids! Unlike Endurance, Wanderer has much bigger parachutes to deal with the higher gravity of Kerbin!
Val, Dunwin, and Glenica all get out…
…and have a good look around the pyramids!
“Wow, these are right near the Desert Site! Hey, we should call it the ‘Pyramid’ Launch Complex!”
After everyone has a good look around, Wanderer takes off!
“Everyone keep hold of your life preservers! We should set down slow enough, but I have no idea if Wanderer is going to even float!”
All horizontal thrust is cut, and Wanderer slowly drifts down to the water!
With a loud “kursplursh!” the X-10 sets down in the water!
“Oh wow! I can’t believe it worked! If the X-10 sets down slow enough, it’s just fine!”
Indeed – Val gets out and confirms the space, er, watercraft, is just fine!
After a little VTOL blast to get out of the water, Wanderer heads back to the Desert Site… now called the Pyramid Launch Complex!
“Pyramid Launch Complex… I’m in the pipe, five by five!”
Wanderer touches down, right where it took off! KSEA relays the information back to Laythe, however engineers are divided on actually trying this stunt on Laythe!