Year 17, Day 123 (Aurora 19 Crew Return Home!)

After undocking with the lander, Aurora 19 powers up it’s engines and heads home!

“Now we wait!

The Aurora 19 Command Module burns through the atmosphere…

…until the parachutes can safely deploy!

Moments later, the Aurora Command Module splashes down! Rescue teams are dispatched, and towels and refreshments are prepared for the brave Kerbals of Aurora 19!

Year 17, Day 76 (Aurora 19 Launches For Polar Mun Landing!)

Malcolm, Seely, and Luly are chosen to be the crew for the next Mun mission! For the first time, they’ll attempt a landing at the Mun’s north pole! The lander has been specially outfitted with a fuel cell to provide power in the uneven polar regions.

Aurora 19 blasts off!

The Sarnus Va carries the spacecraft higher and higher…

Until the Orbital/TMI stage fires, circularizing the craft!

“Everything checks out – let’s head to Mun!”

Aurora 19 will be the first polar landing at Mun – a somewhat more difficult task given the inclination, and the availability of solar power at the poles.

Aurora 19 arrives at Mun! Malcolm and Luly EVA to the lander, and head down!

“Looks pretty hilly up here, but I think we have a good landing site selection…”

The Aurora 19 lander touches down!

“Time to test the new and improved Rover Deployment System!”

The Rover Assembly system powers up, detaches from the lander, and gently lifts up, then off to the side of the lander!

The Rover deploys successfully!

After deployment, the drone flies off until it runs out of fuel!

“Shame that things has to go crashing down! Hey! We should use the crash from the next one of those drones to test our seismic equipment!”

Malcolm watches as Luly plants a flag at the North Pole crater!

Then, Luly gets to business planting all the science equipment, before heading off in the rover with Malcolm!

“One little problem Mission Control! We didn’t bring a communication system! We need to start double checking our science payloads before these launches!! “

Engineers at KSEA begin work to see if they can throw together a replacement system quickly!

“We launched one lander for Aurora 18, we should probably be able to send another one just like it! We’ll get to work asap!”

While Mission Control explores solutions to the science equipment at Aurora 19’s polar landing, Malcolm and Luly take off in the Mun Rover!

Year 17, Day 45 (Intrepid Returns to Desert Site From Kerbin Spaceport!)

Seely, Val, and Samner board Intrepid and undock from the Spaceport! For the first time, a Crew Shuttle will attempt a landing at the new Desert facility!

Ever since the facility was discovered, crews have been establishing equipment and supplies to start using the launch site and runways!

“KSC – I think we have a problem! There was a loud explosion – I think the nose cone exploded!!”

Indeed – Intrepid’s entry angle may have been off, and the nosecone has violently exploded!

“I think we’re lucky – I should be able to slow down enough to avoid anything else exploding from the re-entry heat! Landing site coming up…”

“Ok – we’re in the pipe… five by five! Hold on!”

Intrepid touches down, but skids off the runway! Not an auspicious start for the Desert Facility! KSEA decides that pending a review, ALL Crew Shuttles missions are suspended, and the Crew Shuttle program is halted until further notice!

Year 13, Day 402 (Explorer 5 Readied For Second Mission)

As an experiment, KSEA decides to test the capabilities of the Explorer 5 spacecraft. Having returned from Duna, is it capable of entering Duna orbit again, and returning safely to Kerbin orbit? If so it would provide a much more cost effective means of transporting Kerbals to and from the red planet.

Explorer 5 docked at Kerbin Spaceport. Discovery can be seen docked in the background.

The new Discovery-class spacecraft design is certainly capable of the trip, however it is overkill to the extreme – DSV-2 Discovery could travel to Duna, return to Kerbin, and repeat the trip without ever needing to refuel!

Gillian, Shepely, and Seely (the current crew on Kerbin Spaceport) start work refuelling Explorer 5 for it’s next mission!

Year 13, Day 158 (Intrepid Returns Crews to Kerbin from Kerbin Spaceport!)

With the return of Explorer 5 and the test flight of Discovery the Kerbin Spaceport has gotten very crowded! Edan, Bill, Orlas, Glenica, and Sean all board CTS-3 Intrepid!

Have a good flight – you soon!”

Edan undocks from the Spaceport, and uses RCS thrusters to reach a safe distance from the station! Gilian, Shepely, and Seely remain on the station, conducting the vitally important scientific research that must certainly occur there.

Come back soon! Bring more snacks! “

Intrepid fires its engines to de-orbit… then detaches the service pod that holds cargo (and provides for solar power!)

Hold on everyone! Things are about to get pretty hot!”

Intrepid soars through the atmosphere, occasionally usings its airbrake system to slow its decent.

Once past the mountains west of the Space Center, Edan makes the final manuevers to line up for a landing!

“Edan to Mission Control… Intrepid is in the pipe, five by five!”

Intrepid touches down on the runway!

A perfect landing! The tired Kerbals exit the Crew Shuttle to rest up for their next mission – Intrepid is recovered and undergoes minor repairs and the standard recovery process to get it ready for its next flight!