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 18, Day 108 (Aurora 21 Returns to Kerbin!)

Having completed their mission at the Munar Arch, Tamre, Malcolm, and Dunwin take off!

They dock with the Aurora 21 Command Module, in orbit, and Malcolm returns the spacecraft to Kerbin orbit!

Mission Control wants us to do more precise landings near the space center to recycle parts! That means we need to use up the extra fuel for entering orbit, THEN doing our descent burn!”
-Malcolm

Success! Aurora 21 splashes down in the waters right next to the airstrip!

Year 9, Day 422 (Mirphe and Tamre Land on Minmus!)

screenshot310.pngWhile trying to find a good spot to land the Harmony Station Lander, Tamre makes an interesting discovery… there is not only a Great Flats on Minmus, but there is also an unexplored region known as the Greater Flats – unexplored mostly due to Mission Control not noticing the extra two letters in the name!

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“Huh.  Guess that’s our spot then!”

-Mirphe

Indeed!  Mission Control gives the go-ahead, and the crew heads down!

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The Harmony Station lander heads toward its landing site – HSSL05, the Greater Flats!

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“That looks like the landing site!  Lives up to its name too!”

-Tamre

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Mirphe sets the lander down on the surface!

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Tamre jumps out first and has a few hops around the surface!

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Mirphe hops out next, and the crew poses for their landing portrait!

We need to do a few quick hops around Minmus before heading back!  I’ve been reviewing the science reports from the previous missions and a few things were missed!

-Tamre

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The Minmus lander jumps to the highlands, then the Great Flats, as Tamre and Mirphe carefully gather science data that was missed in previous missions (and occasionally stopping for moments of poignant self reflection).

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Until it’s time to return to Harmony Space Station!

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We spent so much time hopping around Minmus I’m afraid we ate up most of the snacks… and the water… and the oxygen!

-Tamre

Uh oh.  We’re going to try a very, very fast return to Kerbin. It’s our only chance!

-Mirphe

The ACV expends all of its fuel, and the return to Minmus takes only 2 days!

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Re-entry heat on the ACV is intense… thankfully these are the same vehicles that are made to survive interplanetary journeys, which approach even faster!

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The Aurora Command Module gently glides down…

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… and sets down in the Highlands of Kerbin!

“We made it!”

-Mirphe

“So this is what gravity feels like…. exhausting!”

-Tamre

Year 9, Day 279 (ACV Carrying Science Crew to Kerbin Spaceport & Minmus Rescue Launches!)

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Piloted by Mirphe, an ACV launches from KSC carrying Orlas and Kimmy to Kerbin Spaceport to lead the team working on the Cyclotron!

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The Mk7 ACV is proving to be a very reliable and capable space vehicle!

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Mirphe rendevouses the ACV with Kerbin Spaceport…

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…and docks!  Orlas and Kimmy transfer over, and then Kimmy undocks the ACV!

Time for the second part of the ACV mission… a quick trip to Minmus!

-Mirphe

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KSEA is sending Mirphe to Harmony Space Station at Minmus to recover Tamre, who has been taking part in one of KSEA’s long term space habitation studies. (KSEA again stressed that this did not mean anyone forgot about Harmony Space Station or Tamre onboard!)