Year 22, Day 84 (DSV-3 Horizon Arrives at Sarnus!)

On board Horizon, Kimmy and the rest of the crew start waking up from their Cryo-sleep!

“Good morning everyone!”
-Kimmy, Mission Science Specialist

“Good morning! Let’s get the systems ready for the approach to Slate!”

-Chrisnic, Mission Engineer

The crew rushes to the bridge – when Mitster spots Sarnus!

“Get a picture Kimmy!”
-Mitster

“Wow! That’s the first picture Kerbals have ever taken of Sarnus!”
-Kimmy

“…and look how small the sun looks from out here – wow!”
-Kimmy

The crew starts powering up systems and verifies full communication with the Kerbin Deep Space Relay Network! After a time delay, a message comes back from Kerbin!

Horizon – this is Gene at Mission Control, back on Kerbin! We’re reading your transmissions loud and clear – good luck!”
-Gene, at Mission Control

The Horizon speeds toward Sarnus…

…and arrives at it’s close approach to Slate, the large moon of Sarnus!

“Main engine … firing! Reactor is showing full power!”
-Chrisnic

The capture burn into orbit lasts nearly 2 minutes!

Finally, the ship is captured into orbit of Slate!

“Looks like we’ve got orbit! Good work everyone! Time to disconnect the communications probe!”
-Mitster

“Comm dishes are… deployed – undocking probe!”
-Chrisnic

The probe drifts away from DSV-3 Horizon! The satellite arrays should provide full communication with Kerbin for missions!

As horizon orbits around Slate, the crew starts reviewing data from the orbital insertion, as well as collecting tons of new data from the Sarnusian moon!

Horizon’s cargo bay opens, and the science equipment on the lander starts collecting data! However, Kimmy is the first to crunch the numbers and has some bad news!

“Uh oh! It looks like Slate is much more massive than we thought… this data says that we’re dealing with a lot more gravity than the lander was designed for!”
-Kimmy

The crew discusses the situation with Mission Control, and a novel solution is found – change the mission parameters to land on the smaller Sarnusian moon of Eeloo!

“No problem – we can transit to Eeloo in 5 days! Plugging in the maneuver!”
-Mitster

Before departing, Horizon collects information over many biomes as it circles the moon – Kimmy even climbs out and conducts visual surveys for several full orbits!

5 days later, on Day 89, Horizon begins it’s maneuver to Eeloo!

The nuclear engine fires…

… and the Horizon is propelled away from Slate, toward Eeloo!

Another 5 days later on Day 94, Horizon circularizes it’s orbit around Eeloo!

“Looks like orbit has been achieved! Eeloo is pretty similar to Mun – just a bit bigger – our lander shouldn’t have an problems!”

-Chrisnic

“We just need to find a good landing site. Maybe we can repurpose one of the survey sattelites in orbit of Slate? They should have enough deltaV to make it here!”
-Kimmy

Mission Control agrees, and scientists begin working on maneuvers to bring the Slate Surveyor to Eeloo!

Year 18, Day 381 (Aurora 23 Launches, Carrying DSV-3 Horizon Crew to Orbit – then Horizon Leaves for Sarnus!)

Aurora 23 launches from Cape Kerman, carrying Mitster, Chrisnic, and Kimmy!

Once in out of the atmosphere, the protective fairing deploys, and the spacecraft starts burning to rendezvous with DSV-3 Horizon!

“There it is! Slowing us down to stationkeeping….”
-Mitster

Once Aurora 23 has matched speeds exactly with Horizon, Mitster heads over to the Slate Lander!

“I’m outside the lander… it looks in good shape! So does the relay satellite we’ll be leaving in a wide orbit of Slate!”
-Mitster

As the sun sets, Mitster climbs into the lander, detaches from Aurora 23, and moves closer to Horizon’s docking bay!

This is going to be almost entirely by instruments… it’s dark in space!”
-Mitster

Thankfully, Mitster is able to dock with Horizon… just as the sun comes up!

Shortly after that, Mission Control remotely pilots the Relay Satellite over to the nose of Horizon!

OK —- powering up the basic systems… things seem good over here! I think you guys can come over to Horizon now!”
-Mitster

First, Mitster EVA’s over…

…then Kimmy!

Oh wow! Horizon is looking good! I can’t wait to wake up and be in orbit of Sarnus!”
-Kimmy

Chrisnic does a full survey of Horizon to make sure every single component of the mission is ship-shape!

“OK – Horizon is OK to go! Powering up reactor…. Radiator systems are functioning… Main Engine is showing full power available! We’re good Mitster…. light that candle!”
-Chrisnic

With that, Horizon’s massive engine fires, in a burn that lasts for several minutes, propelling the crew to Sarnus in just three years!

“Hold on tight everyone… once the burn is done, we’ll head to the cryo-section for a little space nap… and before you know it, we’ll be at Sarnus!”
-Kimmy

Year 18, Day 371 (DSV-3 Crew, Mission Patch Announced!)

The mission patch for Horizon Crew Mission 1 is announced, and it looks like Mitster, Chrisnic, and Kimmy will be the lucky FIRST Kerbals to visit the Sarnus system!

Because of Horizon’s launch to high orbit (800k) – the next Aurora Rocket, Aurora 23) originally destined for Mun, will be used to launch the crew! This will also allow the delivery of a modified Mun Lander, with increased fuel and power systems, to land on Slate! The stack will also include a relay satellite that will be left in a high equatorial orbit of Slate, to assist the polar-orbit survey/relay satellite that is already at the moon.

The crew will be launching tomorrow!

Year 17, Day 94 (Support Lander Launches From Kerbin – With Mixed Results!)

The Aurora Rocket launches from KSC carrying the lander and other supplies!

Before long, remote systems guide the craft to Mun!

The lander sets down slowly… then runs out of fuel! Aurora 18’s support lander barely had fuel to travel from Kerbin and land on Mun… sadly Aurora 19’s second lander didn’t go well either!

“It’s pretty close – I’ll EVA over and see if anything’s salvagable!”
-Malcolm

Malcolm finds the lander… mostly intact!

“The damage isn’t so bad! Looks like the Communication’s dish is intact though! I’ll head back and we can get it installed!”
-Malcolm

Malcolm EVA’s across the Mun’s surface back to the lander!

“Well… this wasn’t a perfect mission, but we did get a lot of science data!”
-Luly

“We did! And next time we’ll have the right tools, and nothing will have to explode!”
-Malcolm

The lander blasts off from the surface…

… and docks with the Aurora Crew Vehicle!

Year 16, Day 422 (Construction Starts On Future Aurora Mun Missions!)

KSEA announces that construction has begun on 3 more Sarnus V Mun rockets! Aurora 19, 20, and 21! They are almost identical to Aurora 18, with the exception of the Rover Deployment system – Aurora 19 will test the latest iteration of this system.

“Hopefully it deploys better than the last one – what a mess!”
-Mitster

“It should! The new top-mounted lifter should be much more stable!”
-Glenica

Year 16, Day 398 (Aurora 18 Crew Explores Surface of Mun!)

Glenica and Mitster decide to use their time waiting on Mun productively, and take the Mun Rover out for a spin! But first – Glenica plants a Kerbal Stages flag on the surface!

“I’ve never planted a flag before – that was fun!”
-Glenica

“It never gets old! Now let’s see what’s out there!”
-Mitster

Before long, the intrepid Kerbals find a strange rock – a Mun Rock!

“I’ll deploy the scanning arm! I bet the scientist back on Kerbin can’t wait to see this data!”
-Glenica

Around 2km from the landing site, Glenica spots something in the distance – a large rock formation!

Let’s check that out!”
-Glenica

“It’s a crater! I’m going to use the EVA jets to explore it!”
-Glenica

“Wow! For a little crater, this is HUGE!”
-Glenica

Mitster and Glenica set a new record, driving nearly 5km from their landing site – eventually exploring the East Farside Crater! After scanning multiple rocks and craters, Mitster drives the two back to the landing site!

“We better check in with Mission Control and see what the plan is! Look, there’s the landing site!”
-Mitster

Before they leave, Mitster and Glenica pose for their landing portrait!

“That’s a great shot! Good news – we think you can leave the science equipment on Mun! We can communicate remotely and view the results since the communitron unit appears functional! Let’s get you back here for the next mission!
-Gene

The Aurora 18 Lander (the second one!) blasts off from Mun…

…and docks with the Aurora Crew Vehicle in orbit!

“Welcome back! Wow – that’s a lot of rocks!”
-Sean

“Time to head home and let the researchers check out all these Mun Rocks!”
Glenica

“Thrusters… FIRING!”
-Mitster

Aurora 18 heads back home!

Just before entering the atmosphere, the command module detaches…

… and hurtles through the atmosphere, protected by it’s heat shield!

The parachute deploys, and the spacecraft is rescued!

Year 16, Day 398 (Aurora 18 Crew Returns To Original Landing Site!)

After the complicated docking/refueling with the new lander, Mitster and Glenica head back down to the surface!

“Let’s see if we can complete this mission!”
-Mitster

“I just hope all this equipment is compatible!”
-Glenica

Mitster slowly brings the lander down, within sight of the old landing site! The Mun Rover and other scientific equipment are still there!

Glenica climbs out, and begins deploying the solar arrays needed to power all the scientific experiments!

“That should do it! Let’s wait for some results and contact Mission Control!”
-Glenica

Mitster and Glenica wait in the lander for updates!

“Hang in there everyone… we don’t know how long it will take to get science from this new equipment!”
-Gene

Year 16, Day 396 (Aurora 18 Rescue Mission Launches!)

Mission Control launches the automated mission to Mun – carrying the new Mk3 Lander! The Aurora Rockets aren’t designed for very heavy payloads, so it will be a fairly complicated operation to get the new lander to the Aurora 18 crew!

Once in orbit of Kerbin, the Lander expends much of it’s fuel for the burn to Mun…

… and then circularizing!

Then – Mission Control remotely controls the Aurora 18 Crew Vehicle, with Sean inside, to a rendezvous with the Mk3 Lander!

Success! The Lander and the ACV Dock… now the docked craft rendezvous with the Mk2 lander carrying Mitster and Glenica!

The ACV remotely transfers it’s excess fuel to the Mk3 lander – and then the lander disconnects, and heads over!

The two landers dock! Mitster and Glenica carefully move all important science data to the new lander, and prepare to disconnect!

“Glad that’s over with! Let’s get back down to Mun and finish our work!”
-Glenica

Year 16, Day 392 (Aurora 18 Blasts Off Mun After Power Emergency!)

“I’ve been watching these power levels closely… we don’t have enough to last another night on Mun! We need to get to orbit fast!
-Mitster

Thankfully, Mission Control has a solution! A Mk3 Lander has been under development, and with great expense has been constructed quickly and will launch shortly! The new lander has enhanced fuel reserves, and carries the extra equipment needed for the landing! Once the new Lander arrives, the crews will dock in orbit, and head down again!

Year 16, Day 391 (Aurora 18 Mun Landing!)

One issue with the Mun Rover is that it requires crews to EVA from the Crew Vehicle to the lander!

“Not a problem!”
-Mitster

“Any chance to get out in space is great!”
-Glenica

Mitster and Glenica board the lander and start checking systems…

“Looking good! I think we’re ‘go’ to disconnect from the ACV!”
-Mitster

The lander disconnects and heads down to Mun’s surface!

“… and we’re down! That was a good landing! Now it’s time to eject the rover!”
-Mitster

“hmmm – Mitster, nothing’s happening!”
-Glenica

“I think thats’ because there’s no remote connection to the lander – drat! There’s only one thing to do!”
-Mitster

“Get out there and fly it myself!”
-Mitser

“Hmmm. This might be tricky. I think future missions are going to need a better way to deploy these!”
-Mitster

Mitster fires the uni-direcitonal RCS thrsters and the Mun Rover lifts, unevenly, into the sky!

“Not good… not good! Ejecting the RCS Lifter!”
-Mitster

Mitster ejects the RCS lifter as the Rover almost tips over! Thankfully, the rover lands on it’s wheels and Mitster is safe!

“That was a close one! Rover seems fine though… let’s get going!”
-Mitster

“Let’s go!”
-Glenica

The two Kerbals drive for a minute until they spot something in the distance… a strange rock!

“Look Glenica – a strange rock!”
-Mitster

“That is a strange rock! Let’s see what the scanning arm makes of it!”
-Glenica

The rover’s scanning arm deploys, and takes detailed readings of the rock. Initial finds are that the rock is indeed quite strange, but scientists on Kerbin will need to look the data over!

In the meantime, the two head back to the landing site, and Glenica works on getting all the scientific equipment for the mission set up!

“OK – it’s all set up! There seems to be one little problem though. More like lots of little problems… there’s only one power supply, and lots of equipment that needs power! What’re we going to do!?”
-Glenica

“Don’t worry – we have lots of life support in the lander! We can radio Mission Control and see what they advise! In the meantime, let’s get back inside!”
-Mitster

“Good thinking! At least the equipment all looks like it survived the landing! Maybe when new supplies get here we can see if we can reach any more Mun-biomes!”
-Glenica

Back in the lander Mitster and Glenica radio for assistance!

Hmm – I’m sure we can do something! We’ll get to work on the problem right away. Stay safe there until we come up with a plan!”
-Gene