Year 22, Day 220 (DSV-5 Intrepid Supply Mission & Departure to Moho!)

In Kerbin orbit, Jeb and Sean prepare DSV-5 Intrepid for it’s new crew! Instead of taking Crew Vehicle 6 back to the surface, the spacecraft is sent back to the surface – Jeb and Sean will take Crew Vehicle 1 back to Kerbin once it arrives! Meanwhile, Jeb pilots Intrepid to a higher orbit, 600k!

Crew Vehicle 6 sets down just west of the space center!

“Alright everybody, now’s the tricky part! Keep focused!”

-Gene, at Mission Control

For the first time, a Sarnus Va rocket will be used to launch a Nebula Crew Vehicle! The mission will carry Carson, Bob, and Sondo up to the Deep Space Vehicle Intrepid – as well as multiple mission payloads – a Modular-Payload Vehicle (MPV) loaded with Lithium and Monopropellant, a science satellite, and a new lander/rover combo!

“Engines are go!”

-Carson

Crew Vehicle 1 launches into space! The fairings eject once the spacecraft reaches a safe altitude and the engines fire, carrying the spacecraft to a higher than average orbit, 600k!

Carson rendezvouses with Intrepid, then separates to move clear from the stack!

At the last moment it was decided the fuel budget had room for a Modular Payload Vehicle loaded with Lithium Fuel and Monopropellant! It separates from the stack, and docks with Intrepid, topping off it’s fuel supplies!

After fuelling up Intrepid the crew will transfer over to Intrepid, swap places with Jeb and Sean! Then, the nose-science unit will attach to the front of the DSV. Finally, the most challenging task will be docking the new lander in the cargo bay!

With the Lithium fueling complete, Carson, Bob, and Sondo head to Intrepid!

“Ok – forward RCS thrust is active… systems are nominal…”

-Carson

“Oh wow – I saw Intrepid during assembly – to see it in space is quite a sight!”

-Sondo

Jeb and Sean shake hands with Sondo, Bob, and Carson! Then Jeb and Sondo head back to Kerbin!

“Good luck! Bring back some cool rocks from Moho!”

-Jeb

…setting down right by the Space Center!

With crew loading complete, it’s time to dock the nose science unit!

“This part will be easy, that lander’s going to be tricky though I just know it!”

-Carson

“I’m showing a good connection!”
-Bob

After a short maneuver, Carson docks the satellite with the docking port of Intrepid!

“Ok – the communications dish has been retracted! You’re good to go Carson!”

-Sondo

Next, the most difficult part… docking the new lander!

No problem guys – it’s just like docking the Crew Vehicles – only in an infinity smaller space with no margin for error! Hmm.”

-Carson

As the lander slowly moves into Intrepid‘s docking bay, there is a distinct metallic scratching noise as the landing gear scrape against the back of the cargo bay! The DSV-mockup at the Space Center isn’t perfect, and it turns out the lander fits much easier in the designs than actually docking!

“Tight fit… but we’re almost there! Nothing’s exploded yet!”

-Carson

Success! The lander fits snugly, but perfectly, into the cargo bay!

“Getting it out will be a lot easier once we’re at Moho!”

-Carson

Bob and Sondo check out the crew area of the Deep Space Vehicle, and make sure everything is ready to go!

“RCS fuel – check… extra snacks… check…”

-Bob

“The reactor is functioning normally – Sean did a great job starting it up – radiators, generator, it all checks out!”

-Sondo

“Looks good! Let’s get up front and get the mission to Moho started!”

-Carson

After prelaunch checks are complete, Intrepid fires it’s Colossus Engine!

“Fuel flow is good – temperatures are nominal!”

-Sondo

Intrepid speeds away from Kerbin!

“The transit burn to Moho was perfect! “

-Bob

“Ok everyone – get on your mittens, it’s time to get in the cryobeds!”

-Carson

“Looks, uh, comfy!”

-Sondo

The cryobeds freeze over, and Mission Control takes full control of the spacecraft! Intrepid will arrive at Moho later this year, on Day 383!

Year 22, Day 181 (Disaster at Kerbin Spaecdock!)

What started out as mild vibrations on the station have grown and grown over the last half – the station crew, mid rotation with just Sean and Jeb on board, have been working on troubleshooting the strange shaking with Mission Control!

“We verified that RCS isn’t firing from any thruster, station or docked…and our SAS systems all show normal… Jeb and I can’t figure out what’s causing it… wait, just a second… the station is shaking even worse now! I think the vibration is increasing exponentially…”

*loud cracking noise, alarm klaxons*
“..There’s… been a breach! Jeb! Launch the Intrepid quick!”

-Sean

Back at KSEA, sensors report what can’t be correct – loss of direct connection between the Lithium tanks and the upper docking and habitat section! Immediately ground crews start making calls and Gene assumes the worst … and gives the evacuation order!

“Start emergency evacuations! Intrepid get that ship out of there! Sean get to the nearest Crew Vehicle and undock now! Look alive people this is an emergency! What crew shuttle is ready to go up there? Get it up there….!”

-Gene, at Mission Control

Thankfully Jeb was quick with his reflexes and activated the emergency decoupling process – detaching the massive Deep Space Vehicle Intrepid from the station and reverse firing the orbital thrusters to push away from the station!

“This is Jeb on Intrepid – the DSV is clear of the station! I’m fine… it was a close call, the station was spinning out of control! Sean are you OK?”
-Jeb, on DSV Intrepid

Sean didn’t wait a second, and pushed himself to the nearest crew vehicle, hopping in Crew Vehicle 6, and decoupling! The whole time the station is violently rotating, and as the Crew Vehicle departs, it impacts the the spinning orbital ring!

“That was a bumpy ride … but I got out! The Crew Vehicle impacted the station on the way out but … I’m not seeing any indication of leaks… what’s the plan?”

-Sean

“OK – Sean, Jeb – let’s get your two vehicles docked – then do a full diagnostic of Intrepid. We’ll figure out what to do from there! We’re all relieved you’re safe up there!”

-Gene, at Mission Control

Sean maneuvers Crew Vehicle 6 to a rendevous with Intrepid!

“I see you Sean! The Crew Vehicle looks good, just some scuffs! You’re good for docking!”

-Jeb

Intrepid and DSV 6 dock! Jeb and Sean give each other quick hugs, relieved!

“That was a close one!”

-Sean

“Yea! I like some excitement on my missions… but not like that!”

-Jeb

As the situation normalizes, everyone catches their breath! While Sean and Jeb do a full diagnostic of both Intrepid and the Crew Vehicle, Mission Control starts working on disaster planning to see how bad the damage is at the Spaceport!

“Ground radar and space assets show Intrepid should be safe – I want to get some Kerbals up there to get a closer look but I don’t think Sean or Jeb should do it, they’re both pretty shaken up and need to get down to the surface to be checked out! A Crew Shuttle can check out the station, then return Sean and Jeb!

-Gene, at Mission Control

As the day goes on, KSEA decides to send up the revamped (and recently tested) Crew Shuttle Adventure! A large crew is needed for the mission as it’s not just a rescue, but crisis/damage assessment, and recrew of Intrepid!

Year 21, Day 180 (DSV-5 Intrepid, KSEA’s Next Deep Space Vehicle, Launches From The Space Center!)

The Next Deep Space Vehicle, DSV-5 Intrepid is ready to launch! Named after the retired crew shuttle CTS-3 Intrepid, DSV-5 is a Horizon Class DSV, identical to Endeavor and Horizon!

“Wow – that rocket looks big, even from way over at the Tracking Station!”

-Bob, on his way to watch the launch of DSV-5

Mission Command starts calling out rocket status summaries, until finally…

“Lights are green – DSV is go for launch!”
-Gene, at Mission Control

“Look at ‘er go!”

-Bob, at Mission Control

The Jool Heavy Rocket carries the spacecraft higher…

… and higher!

At a 200k orbit, the side stages eject, and Intrepid circularizes it’s orbit around Kerbin!

“Computers say we have a good orbit! Let’s remotely rendevous it with Spacedock and get a crew over there!”
-Gene

Intrepid is remotely piloted until it rendezvouses with Spacedock!

“Mission Control – this is Jeb at Spacedock Control – we have a visual on Intrepid!”
-Jeb

“Wow – I always forget how big these DSV’s are until you see them next to Spacedock!”

-Sean

While Mission Control can pilot the DSV’s remotely for the precision connections needed for docking pilots are always preferred – so Jeb EVA’s outside Spacedock and heads over to Intrepid!

“Mission Control, I have left Spacecdock and am en route to the DSV!”
-Jeb

Jeb sets his EVA rockets to “FULL SPEED DANGER!” and speeds toward the DSV!

“Radar shows you going 10 m/s, make sure you leave enough time to slow down!”
-Sean, on Spacedock

“Don’t worry, I’m a professional!”
-Jeb

Jeb slows down, just in time, and grabs the hand holds under the nose of DSV-5 Endeavor at the last second!

“Got it! Connection made, heading to the cockpit!”
-Jeb

“Eyes on the prize Jeb – let’s get this bird in the nest!”
-Gene

“Roger that.”
-Jeb

Jeb activates the RCS thrusters and matches speed with Spacedock, then orients the massive spacecraft with the docking ports!

“Starting final docking maneuvers…”
-Jeb

“Mission Control… Jeb here… I’m in the pipe, five by five…”
-Jeb

Intrepid slowly moves in to dock until finally, just as the sun sets…

“Intrepid – you show a solid lock – welcome back Jeb! I can’t wait to get over there and start up Intrepid‘s reactor!”
-Sean

Year 21, Day 139 (Life Support Delivery to Spacedock!)

A Modular Payload Vehicle, carrying Life Support supplies for Spacedock, blasts off from the White Mesa Rocket Complex!

The first stage ejects, and returns to KSC, while the second stage continues on to orbit.

The spacecraft arrives at Spacedock…

… and docks!

“Oh good – new snacks!”

-Jeb

“The oxygen and water is nice too!”

-Sean

Year 20, Day 178 (New Docking Section for Spaceport Launches and Docks!)

The new docking section for the Spaceport launches on a Jool V rocket!

This new section is quite similar to the segment it’s replacing, however it adds more docking ports and a viewing cupola at the top. The design follows the new idea to rotate the station vertically.

The second stage and fairing detach, and enter orbit!

The docking segment detaches and rendezvouses with the Spaceport! Engineers there have already detached the old docking port, using DSV-4 Endeavor as a tug to safely move it away from Spaceport!

“Mission Control – we show the docking segment on track to dock. Looking good!”
-Sean, on Kerbin Spacedock

Docking is complete! The first part of the Spaceport makeover is done!

“Now’s the hard part – the new quad-fueling port is going to be a pain to connect!”
-Gene, at Mission Control

Year 20, Day 1 (Spacedock Launches!)

The new Spacedock space station launches, carried to orbit by a massive Nova Rocket!

The solid rockets eject, and the Nova Rocket continues carrying the Spacedock core into orbit

Finally, the protective aerodynamic fairing ejects, and the Spacedock core is circularized in a 200k orbit!

“That went well! Just two more launches to go!”
-Gene

As the Spacedock core launched, the launch platform was cleared and the second component was rolled out!

The docking stage launches!

“There it goes!”
-Val

The fairing ejects, and automated systems carry the station component to rendevous with the Spacedock core!

After a successful rendevous, the two halves of Spacedock move in closer and closer…

… and connects!

“Docking achieved! Now for the fuel!”
-Gene

The Modular Refuelling Vehicle launches!

The rocket circularizes…

…then ejects it’s protective aerodynamic fairing!

Next, the fuel module attaches to Spacedock!

“That’s it! Now its time to send up a crew!”
-Gene

Seely, Kerlorf, and Edan climb into an Aurora Crew Vehicle – launched on one of the brand new Nebula Rockets – the first fully reusable first stage that KSEA has ever built!

The rocket blasts off!

“So far so good – ACV and Nebula rocket are both nominal!”
-Edan

The ACV separates from the Nebula Rocket! Meanwhile, the first stage will be performing maneuvers to return to Kerbin’s surface!

Next, Edan intercepts Spacedock, and the crew gets ready to dock!

“Docking complete! You guys are clear to get the ring deployed!”
-Edan

Meanwhile, Val and Sean depart from Kerbin Spaceport… the now retired space station!

“Farewell Spaceport! You served us well!”
-Val

Val performs the rendevous with the Spaceport, and Sean supervises the deployment of the orbital habitat!

With a series of loud “clunk!” noises, the ring deploys, and….

“Oh boy, it worked! The ring is spinning! Let’s get over there and see how the snacks survived!”
-Kerlorf

Spacedock ejects the RCS unit used during it’s launch, and KSEA has a new, fully functional space station!

“What a long day! Everyone deserves a good rest after all that!”
-Gene

Year 18, Day 401 (Kerbin Spaceport Crew Rotation… and a Surprise Asteroid Mission!)

It’s time for a crew rotation (and life support delivery) to the Kerbin Spaceport! Orlas, Glenica, and Edan will be returning, while Val, Sean, and Kerlorf will be heading up! Val will pilot ACV-2 to orbit!

“Launch was good! We’re on course for the Spaceport!”
-Val

The ACV floats past the station, as Val maneuvers to line up with the docking extension of the station!

Success! The ACV docks! Alongside it are the previous version of the Aurora Crew Vehicle that last crew took up, as well as the Aurora 23 command vehicle from the launch that delivered crew and supplies to DSV-3 Horizon!

Hey – I have an idea! Before we head back… let’s see if the Aurora 23 command vehicle has enough DeltaV to reach that asteroid that’s been causing Mission Control so much trouble!”
-Orlas

Mission Command considers the request and gives the OK!

“If you three want to risk it, you’ve got our OK! Just be safe!”
-Gene

“I suppose if this spacecraft can reach Mun… it should be able to reach that asteroid!”
-Edan

Orlas, Glenica, and Edan transfer over to the Aurora 23 vehicle… and depart the station! While the ACV isn’t equipped with any advanced scientific instrumentation, surface samples should be able to be collected using equipment on the ACV!

Engines are GO!”
-Edan

Edan brings the Aurora Crew Vehicle alongside asteroid

“Ok! I’m heading out! That’s quite the space rock!”
-Orlas

Orlas uses his EVA pack to move closer and closer….

…until he lands on the asteroid!!

I’ve landed on the asteroid! I can’t quite get a flag in here… but I think I can get a good sample!”
-Orlas

Orlas uses his EVA pack to move back to the ship…

…and climbs back inside!

Nice work Orlas!”
-Glenica

The crew makes preparations to return to Kerbin, now that a good Asteroid Sample has been taken!

Edan plots a return course to Kerbin… and fires the engine!

Aurora 23 burns through the atmosphere, until the friction slows it down enough to deploy the parachutes!

Success!! Aurora 23 sets down on Kerbin! Recovery teams rush to rescue the crew, and the science recovered from the Asteroid!

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 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 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