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

Year 16, Day 379 (Aurora 18 Blasts Off For Mun!)

The powerful Sarnus Va rocket blasts off, carrying Aurora 18!

The rocket goes higher.. and higher…

.. until the solid rockets eject, and the rocket soars higher and higher!

Until the first stage exhausts it’s fuel.. and the Orbital/TMI (Trans-Munar-Injection) stage fires!

“Aahhhhh! This is really bumpy!”
-Sean

“Don’t worry – we’re in a stable orbit! Now it’s time for the burn to the Mun!!!”
-Mitster

The Orbital/TMI stage fires, taking Aurora 18 on it’s journey!

“Oh right! I can’t wait!”
-Sean

The journy to Mun is just a few hours with the latest Aurora rockets…

… and Aurora 18 arrives there in no time!

“All right – we made it! “
-Mitster

“Then that means it’s time for a systems check – let’s make sure all the equipment is ready for the landing!”
-Glenica

Year 16, Day 378 (Mitster & Orlas Explore Desert Facility!)

Orlas and Mitster are tasked with checking out the new airfield! It’s a good opprotunity to try out the new Munar Rover as well!

“Let’s see what those towers in the distance are!”
-Orlas

“They look like water… or fuel towers. Oh hey! Is that a launch pad?”
-Mitster

“It sure is! This place is in good condition. With power and some other utilities KSEA will be able to use this for launches!”
-Orlas

Orlas and Mitster drive over to several hangars near the launch pad.

“Hey – this rover doesn’t handle too bad! This sand is a decent analog for the Munar regolith! Just have to slow down before turns!”
-Mitster

“Whew! It’s stuffy here! I’m taking off my space suit!
-Mitster

Orlas inspects the hangars for clues as to their origin…

“Nobody’s using all this infrastructure! There’s tons of equipment inside!”
-Mitster

“Before we go any further we better deploy the solar panel – this electric engine is getting drained pretty fast by all this driving!”
-Orlas

“OK… there’s a launchpad and facilities… let’s see what’s over by the runway! When I landed here the other day I noticed a lot of buildings!”
-Mitster

“”A big tower! And a bent ‘ol flagpole!
-Mitster

“This looks like an old office building. Nothing in here!”
-Mitster

“Looks like there’s air conditioning though… that’s nice!”
-Mitster

“It’s no VAB… but there’s a lot of lifters and equipment out here. Small rockets and planes should have no problem being built and launched out here!”
-Orlas

“And there’s our power! Fully functioning windmills! Let’s report back to Gene!”
-Mitster

Year 16, Day 366 (X-5 Exploration Mission!)

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

“Ahhhhhhhhh!”
-Glenica

“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

Year 16, Day 334 (Aurora 18 Mun Mission Announced!)

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!

Year 16, Day 165 (Explorer 6 Rescue Mission!)

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!

Year 16, Day 164 (Explorer 6 Returns to Kerbin from Jool!)

Explorer 6 enters Kerbin’s gravitational sphere of influence, and fires it’s engines to circularize its orbit!

“This is the first time a crewed vessel.. or really any vessel, has returned ot Kerbin orbit from Jool! Fuel will be a little tight, but I’m sure we’ll make it to orbit!”
-Mitster

“Hmmm. that fuel guage is getting pretty low Mitster!”
-Glenica

E stands for ’emergency supply’… right?”
-Sean

Suddenly, Explorer 6’s fuel shuts off!

“Well… good news and bad news! We made orbit! The bad news is we don’t have enough fuel to dock with the Spaceport, and the orbit is fairly eccentric!”
-Mitster

My calculations show we’re still in range of a rescue from one of the Aurora Crew Vehicles! What do you think Mission Control?”
-Glenica

We need to do a little mission planning, but we agree that’s the best rescue plan we have! We’ll be in touch!
Gene, at Mission Control