Year 21, Day 352 (DSV-2 Crew Starts Exploring Duna Craters!)

Seely climbs out, and repacks the landing parachute!

“There we go – repacked! I’m heading down!”
-Seely

Soon, Tamre and Mirphe climb out!

“It’s so pretty here! We have a lot of time but we should start getting science data right away!”
-Tamre

“Flag’s planted! Let’s get the science kits set up so we can start exploring!”
-Mirphe

Tamre starts setting up the science equipment!

“That’s all of it! Weather station is up and running – the forecast looks cold and windy!”
-Tamre

Year 21, Day 341 (DSV-2 Crew Heads to Duna Surface!)

After a considerable time aboard Duna Spaceport, Mirphe, Tamre, and Seely head down to the surface!

“Hold on to something everybody… these landers are pretty rough on the way down!”
-Mirphe

The rear airbrakes deploy, and the lander heads nose-first into the Duna atmosphere!

“We’re going so fast! I hope we decelerate with enough time to deploy the chutes!”
-Seely

“Chutes deployed! And just in time too!”
-Mirphe

The lander sets down on the surface of Duna! Back on Kerbin, looking over the landing metrics, Gene frowns!

“That wasn’t just a close one – that was really close! The parachutes barely had enough time to deploy! I think we need to start looking at a next generation lander for Duna!”
-Gene

Engineers start looking at prototype designs… meanwhile the crew gets ready to explore the surface of Duna!

Year 21, Day 96 (DSV-2 Discovery Arrives at Duna Spaceport!)

After a remarkably fast voyage, DSV-2 Discovery arrives at Duna, using the planet’s moon, Ike, to assist in slowing down the approach! The Crew is automatically revived from Cryo-Sleep!

“Rise and shine everybody! We have some exploring to do!”
-Mirphe

“Reactor is powered up – we’re good for firing main engines!”
-Seely

The three mighty nuclear engines on Discovery fire, slowing the spacecraft down and entering orbit, slowly, of Duna!

“By my calculations, we’ll have 5200 d/v remaining after we reach the Spaceport… not bad!”
-Tamre

Discovery achieves high orbit! Mirphe begins to rendevous with Duna Spaceport!

“Just a few more maneuvers and we’ll be docked! I can see the Spaceport out the front window!”
-Mirphe

Discovery slows down, matching speeds with Duna Spaceport…

…then slowly reorients for the final docking maneuver!

“Alright – we’re in the pipe, five by five… approaching the docking port at 1 m/s…. nice and slow….”
-Mirphe

With a ‘thunk’ and the whir of motors, Discovery docks with Duna Spaceport! The mighty spacecraft is nearly twice as long as the station!

“Life support looks good on the station… it’ll take a little time to equalize between Discovery and the Spaceport… but I think we have a good connection!
-Tamre

The crew prepares to transfer over to the habitat sections of the station, and get ready for the next Duna Landing!

Year 21, Day 35 (Mirphe, Seely and Tamre Rush to DSV-2 Discovery… and Leave for Duna!)

With no time to waste, Mirphe and Tamre fly to White Mesa and board Crew Vehicle 4, already waiting at the launch pad!

“Seely is already getting Discovery ready to go, as soon as we’re up there we’re taking off!”
-Mirphe

Crew Vehicle 4 blasts off on it’s Nebula Rocket!

Once the spacecraft reaches it’s 200k apogee, the Crew Vehicle detaches and uses it’s RCS thrusters to move clear of the first stage Nebula Rocket!

The Nebula Rocket uses it’s own RCS thrusters to invert itself, and fire it’s main engine, to perform a propulsive landing at KSC!

“We’re clear to rendevous to Spacedock!”
-Mirphe

The Crew Vehicle arrives at Spacedock!

“Welcome to Spacedock CV4! Discovery is fueled up and ready to go!”
-Val

The Crew Vehicle docks! Mirphe and Tamre rush to help Seely get the lander out!

“Hey – why are all the doors open on CV1!?”
-Tamre

“They got stuck open! It shouldn’t have any impact on the return, just annoying!”
-Val

Mirphe, Seely, and Tamre board Discovery… and undock!

“RCS thrusters firing in reverse… moving clear of Spacedock! Let’s get the reactor powered up to maximum!”
-Mirphe

Discovery turns from Spacedock as the entire spacecraft shudders from the engines and reactor powering up!

“Reactor showing 100%! We’re good to power up engines!”
-Seely

“Good luck Discovery!”
-Val

Discovery’s three nuclear engines fire, and it slowly builds up speed!

4 minutes into the burn, alarms sound!

“What’s that!?”
-Mirphe

“Looks like the rear engine housing is giving us trouble again! It’s heating up from the engines and not transferring enough heat to the Radiators!”
-Tamre

“If we reduce thrust to 50 percent we should be fine… the burn will just take longer!”
-Seely

With the overheating problem out of the way, Discovery completes it’s burn for Duna, and soars out of the system!

“Wow – we are moving fast! We should reach Duna in less than 70 days! Once we enter orbit and dock we’re not going to have much fuel left!”
-Tamre

“That’s the idea! The return to Kerbin from Duna using the correct launch window is much less demanding – we’ll be fine! Let’s get ready to enter Cryo-sleep!”
-Mirphe

Year 21 Day 30 (Discovery Crew Mission to Duna Announced!)

With the disappointing missed time window of Explorer 8, the Astronauts sat around Mission Control scratching their heads trying to figure out a way to get a crew back to the red planet without waiting a whole year for the next launch window!

“What if we… you know… just go REALLY fast!”
-Jeb

“That’d never work – the Explorer spacecraft doesn’t have that kind of fuel supply!”
-Mirphe

“No… but one of the DSVs should! Can we take one!?”
-Tamre

After some debate (and a mission simulation or three) Gene gives the green light! Tamre will be the scientist, Seely the mission Engineer, and Mirphe will command the mission!

“We barely had time to get these Mission Patches sewn! Get on a Crew Vehicle asap and get up to Spacedock!”
-Gene

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 19, Day 160 (Aurora 24 Returns to Kerbin!)

Luly and Mirphe blast off from Mun’s surface!

Then dock with the Aurora 24 Crew Vehicle in orbit!

“That sure took a while! I almost ran out of snacks up here!”
-Seely

Mirphe burns the engines, and the Aurora 24 capsule detaches, and hurtles (safely!) to Kerbin’s surface…

Splashing down in the surface! Recovery teams are sent out at once, to recover the Kerbals and all the interesting science gathered on Mun!

Year 19, Day 77 (Aurora 24 Launches for Mun!)

Aurora 24 blasts off, heading for Mun! While some say that the Mun missions have become routine, the Kerbals who fly them know that space travel is never routine! In fact, even the simplest mission is quite dangerous and even deadly!

“Where’s the landing site this time? ”
-Mirphe

“The northeast basin! We’ve never been there before!”
-Luly

Mirphe and Luly transfer over to the lander…

… and head down to Mun’s surface!

We’re almost there…. contact!”
-Mirphe

OK… deploy the rover!”
-Luly

The rover detaches, and the RCS deployer lifts it up… and then gently sets it down next to the lander!

Next, Mirphe and Luly head out to explore!

Luly plants the flag at the Northern Basin, then salutes while the cameras on the lander take their portrait!

For all Kerbalkind!”
-Luly

Luly deploys the scientific instrumentation, while Mirphe supervises!

“Mmmhmmm. Looking very scientific – carry on!”
-Mirphe

Next, the RCS deployer detaches from the lander, and expends all it’s fuel to fly up and away from the landing site! The seismic sensor will get interesting results from the impact!

“I feel a little bad littering on Mun! But I guess it IS for science!”
-Luly

Luly and Mirphe explore the surface in the rover!

After scouting out the landing site, the two return to the lander to rest! Mun missions have been getting longer and longer, training the crew for the rigors of landings on very distant worlds!

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!”
-Luly

“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!”
-Luly

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

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

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!”
-Val

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…”
-Gene