Year 7, Day 163 (Aurora 20 Crew Continue Exploration!)

Luly wants to check out an “island” near the landing site, so Val rockets the lander over to the little hill!

“I’m going to get a sample of that green sandstone!”

“Huh… it’s looking more and more like Minmus once had several liquid oceans… but it’s too small, and it’s too cold…. how mysterious! We better get this sample back to Kerbin!”

Explorations continue on the island, where an even bigger rock is found!

“This one’s even rockier and even greener!”

After a continued examination, Luly and Val determine it’s time to return to the ACV!

Eventually, the lander returns to orbit!

“Mission Control, this is Aurora 20 – we’re headin’ home!”

Later, the ACV command module splashes down, west of the space center.

“Welcome home! Let’s get those samples to the lab! I wonder if they’re edible…”

Year 17, Day 154 (Aurora 20 Lands on Minmus!)

The Aurora 20 lander heads down to the surface of Minmus!

Val and Luly detach from the Aurora 20 command module, and head down to Minmus!

The lander touches down, right at sunrise!

“Oooo! Pretty! “

“Ejecting rover!”

The RCS system lifts the rover off the lander…

… and sets down perfectly near the lander!

The Rover-Deployer ejects, and the two Kerbals start exploring!

“As I suspected, this rover doesn’t handle very well – one sharp turn and the rover might get destroyed! As long as we keep it slow we’ll be OK though!”

The pair find a variety of green Minmus Sandstones, and take various samples of the Lesser Flats.

“Time to set up the science equipment!”

Luly and Val head back to the lander!

“There we go, all set up! This should start transmitting science back to Kerbin anytime now – and we remembered to bring all the parts this time!”

The Aurora 20 crew will remain on Minmus for a few more days to make sure all the scientific equipment is functioning properly!

Year 9, Day 422 (Mirphe and Tamre Land on Minmus!)

screenshot310.pngWhile trying to find a good spot to land the Harmony Station Lander, Tamre makes an interesting discovery… there is not only a Great Flats on Minmus, but there is also an unexplored region known as the Greater Flats – unexplored mostly due to Mission Control not noticing the extra two letters in the name!


“Huh.  Guess that’s our spot then!”


Indeed!  Mission Control gives the go-ahead, and the crew heads down!


The Harmony Station lander heads toward its landing site – HSSL05, the Greater Flats!


“That looks like the landing site!  Lives up to its name too!”



Mirphe sets the lander down on the surface!


Tamre jumps out first and has a few hops around the surface!


Mirphe hops out next, and the crew poses for their landing portrait!

We need to do a few quick hops around Minmus before heading back!  I’ve been reviewing the science reports from the previous missions and a few things were missed!



The Minmus lander jumps to the highlands, then the Great Flats, as Tamre and Mirphe carefully gather science data that was missed in previous missions (and occasionally stopping for moments of poignant self reflection).


Until it’s time to return to Harmony Space Station!


We spent so much time hopping around Minmus I’m afraid we ate up most of the snacks… and the water… and the oxygen!


Uh oh.  We’re going to try a very, very fast return to Kerbin. It’s our only chance!


The ACV expends all of its fuel, and the return to Minmus takes only 2 days!


Re-entry heat on the ACV is intense… thankfully these are the same vehicles that are made to survive interplanetary journeys, which approach even faster!


The Aurora Command Module gently glides down…


… and sets down in the Highlands of Kerbin!

“We made it!”


“So this is what gravity feels like…. exhausting!”