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
“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!
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
Mission Control has been detecting some strange radio transmissions west of the Space Center – in the desert! Mitster and Kimmy jump at the opprotunity to do something besides watching rockets get built!
“Let’s fire up the X-5 and check it out!” -Mitster
“Let’s go!” -Kimmy
“OK… maximum thrust – afterburners… burning!” -Mitster
“This is the fastest aircraft KSEA has – if anything can find out what’s causing that signal.. it’s the X-5!” -Glenica
Indeed – in the early days of the Kerbal States, the X-5 was regularly used to explore every meter of Kerbin! Once there were several facilities all across Kerbin… but no one seems to talk with them much!
The X-5 accelerates to nearly 1000 m/s easily reaching the west coast….
And reaching the desert coast!
“There sure is a lot of sand out here! Oh wait! There’s something down there! We flew past it we were going so fast!” -Glenica
“I’ll do a barrel roll!” -Mitster
“That’s what I saw! It looks like an airstrip! Let’s check it out!” -Glenica
“I’m not sure this will be a smooth landing… hold on!” -Mitster
The X-5 sets down! Not only is there an airstrip, but there appears to be a rocket launching pad as well!
“Nice work! We’ll get a team out there ASAP… maybe we can start using the facility!” It’ll need a good name though…. -Gene
Mission Planners are excited to announce that Kerbals will be returning to Mun for the first time in years! The early Aurora missions to explore Mun and Minmus were done before some of KSEA’s more advanced scientific equipment was developed. This return to Mun is intended to test new surface science equipment and a new rover that will allow exploration of terrestrial worlds!
The Aurora Crew Vehicle docked at the Kerbin Spaceport undocks – this fully fueled vehicle has been at the station for quite a while, and was intended as an emergency lifeboat for the station crew in a crisis. Mission Control has decided the spacecraft will be remotely piloted and docked to the stranded Explorer 6 crew – marooned in an eccentric orbit around Kerbin!
The ACV activates it’s engine and blasts away from the station – changing it’s inclination to match Explorer 6!
After the rendezvous maneuver is complete, the ACV is within sight of Explorer 6!
“I see it! We’re saved!” -Sean
The Aurora Crew Vehicle docks with Explorer 6!
“Looks like a solid connection! Let’s get that hatch open and transfer over! Don’t forget all the science!” -Mitster
Glenica does a thorough search to make sure they haven’t left anything behind – then is the last one to head over to the Crew Vehicle!
The Crew Vehicle detaches from Explorer 6, and heads back to Kerbin!
“Explorer 6 was a good ship! Maybe someday we can refuel it for another adventure!” -Mitster
“I’m just eager to get back to train for the next Deep Space mission!” -Glenica
The Aurora Command Module heats up as it burns through Kerbin’s atmosphere!
Until it finally splashes down in the ocean – just east of the Space Center!
“Rescue boats are on the way! Just sit tight and we’ll get you home in no time!” -Gene
Explorer 6’s crew finally returns home! Not quite like they expected, but they proved KSEA’s equipment and crew were ready for the very long duration missions to Jool – and beyond!