Year 21, Day 67 (DSV-4 Endeavor Leaves Kerbin, Heading to Laythe!)

Endeavor’s nuclear engine fires, and the spacecraft begins moving out of Kerbin orbit!

“All systems nominal. Power levels holding ..”

-Kerlorf

The cryo tanks are ready once we’re away!”

-Robart

Endeavor is on course! Preparing ship for automatic mode!”

-Val

As Endeavor heads to Laythe, KSEA prepares to launch another Spaceplane to follow the crew!

Year 21, Day 61 (DSV-4 Endeavor Crew Launches from White Mesa Facility!)

Crew Vehicle 2 blasts off from White Mesa, carrying Jeb, Robart, and Kerlorf! Robart and Kerlorf will be joining Val as the crew for DSV-4 Discovery’s journey to Laythe! Jeb will be taking over as station commander at Spacedock!

The Crew Vehicle reaches it’s 200k apogee, and separates from the Nebula Rocket! The Nebula Rocket turns itself around and performs it’s burn toward KSC to be recovered!

Eventually, CV2 performs it’s final rendevous with Spacedock!

“There’s Endeavor – it’s huge!”
-Robart

The crew board Endeavor… and undock!

Turning Endeavor to match direction of travel…. transit to Jool will be in 4 days!”
-Val

The Endeavor crew get ready for their journey!

Year 21, Day 20 (Lithium Refueling Mission to Kerbin Spacedock!)

The next Lithium Refueling mission launches for Kerbin Spacedock on a Jool Heavy rocket!

After an automatic Rendevous maneuver, Mission Control hands over remote control to Val!

“This is Commander Spacedock… we have the Lithium Vehicle, bringing it in to dock…”
-Val

Val slowly navigates the spacecraft into docking position! This will be the final (for now) fuel launch to Spacedock, bringing the station to a “max” fuel level for the DSV fleet!

“Docking complete! Spacedock is now fully fueled – good work team!”
-Val

Meanwhile, crews at Spacedock work on fueling up Discovery and Endeavor for their next mission!

Year 21, Day 12 (Spacedock Lithium Refueling Vehicle Launches on Jool Heavy Rocket!)

At the Space Center the next Lithium Refueling Vehicle is ready to launch, and blasts off on top of a Jool Heavy rocket!

The Jool Heavy’s powerful 21 S3 KS-25 “Vector” engines lift the rocket to it’s 200km apogee!

While this isn’t the first Spacedock refueling mission, this is the first launch of the newly redesigned Jool Heavy Rocket!

As it nears it’s 200km apogee, the attached side rockets deplete their fuel…

… and disconnect! The central stage continues it’s burn to 200k… then detaches from the upper stage!

The upper stage’s 3 KR-2L+ “Rhino” engines fire…

… and circularize the massive craft in a stable orbit of Kerbin! The refueling vehicle then performs maneuvers to rendevous with Spacedock!

“Mission Control – Spacedock has the Refueling Vehicle on our scope… you’re cleared to start the automated docking maneuver!”
-Val, on board Spacedock

With the sun creating impressive lens flares, the Refueling Vehicle docks!

“Looks like a good connection with the third refueling Vehicle! We just need one more and Spacedock will be fully stocked with Lithium!”
-Edan, on Spacedock

Year 21, Day 1 (Modular Payload Vehicle Launches from White Mesa on Nebula Heavy Rocket!)

The first day of Year 21 is going to be a big day at White Mesa! It’s a first for two new vehicles: The third revision of the Modular Payload Vehicle, or MPV, will be launching with a LFO (Liquid Fuel/Oxygen) payload! Even bigger news is the first launch of a new Launch Vehicle, the Nebula Heavy Rocket!

The launch goes well, and the Nebula Heavy rockets into the sky above the desert!

The Nebula Heavy is basically three Nebula Rockets bolted together with a larger second stage. While all 3 Nebula rockets return to Kerbin, the second stage is discarded.

The Nebula Heavy reaches it’s 200k apogee, and detaches!

Turning around using RCS thrusters (once clear of the MPV), the Nebula Heavy fires it’s engines to target a landing at KSC! Soon, the three rockets will disconnect and independently land on the surface!

Meanwhile, the MPV fires it’s engine until it’s in a safe 200k orbit of Kerbin!

Mission Control continues piloting the craft closer and closer to the rendevous with Spacedock!

“Mission Control – this is Station Commander … I’ve got a clear view of the MPV out of the Upper Cupola windows! Looks like it’s on course for docking with Endeavor! We’re clear to take over remote control from up here!”
-Val

With Val now piloting remotely, the MPV drifts past the station, and once behind Endeavor Val starts it’s docking maneuver!

“Alright… MPV is lined up…. moving in for final docking maneuvers…”
-Val

The MPV slowly moves in to Endeavor‘s docking bay…

… and connects!

“We’re showing a solid connection up here!”
-Val

“Hey – just what do we need a LFO fuel delivery to a DSV for anyway!?”
-Edan

“I thought you’d never ask! We’re sending another team to Laythe to survey sites for the colony! Congrats Val – you’re the Mission Commander for Endeavor’s Crew Mission 2!”
-Gene, at Mission Control

“Oh wow! Awesome! I can’t wait!”
-Val

Year 20, Day 282 (Automated Crew Vehicle 2 Launch to Spaceport!)

Crew Vehicle 2 launches from White Mesa!

This is the first automated (uncrewed) launch of the new Crew Vehicle.

The Nebula Rocket carries the crew vehicle up to an apoapsis of 200k…

… then detaches! The first stage turns around, and heads back to Kerbin!

The crew vehicle continues it’s automated course to Spacedock!

“There’s CV2! Mission Control, we’re tracking the Crew Vehicle as on course!”
-Val, Spacedock Commander

CV2 moves in…

… and docks with Spaceport!

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 17, Day 345 (Training Flight of X-10 Wanderer!)

The X-10 Wanderer is done, and having passed basic safety tests is ready for a test flight! Val, Glenica, and Dunwin prepare to take the plane on a test flight – first to test basic landing systems, then to test a water landing! This will also be a good training flight for future crew to Laythe!

The VTOL Aerospikes work well enough on Kerbin to provide vertical thrust, however the plane can only maintain vertical flight for a short time!

“Let’s head over to the pyramids, that should be an interesting place to land!”
-Val

Val sets Wanderer down right next to the pyramids! Unlike Endurance, Wanderer has much bigger parachutes to deal with the higher gravity of Kerbin!

Val, Dunwin, and Glenica all get out…

…and have a good look around the pyramids!

“Wow, these are right near the Desert Site! Hey, we should call it the ‘Pyramid’ Launch Complex!”
-Glenica

After everyone has a good look around, Wanderer takes off!

“Everyone keep hold of your life preservers! We should set down slow enough, but I have no idea if Wanderer is going to even float!”
-Val

All horizontal thrust is cut, and Wanderer slowly drifts down to the water!

With a loud “kursplursh!” the X-10 sets down in the water!

“Oh wow! I can’t believe it worked! If the X-10 sets down slow enough, it’s just fine!”
-Dunwin

Indeed – Val gets out and confirms the space, er, watercraft, is just fine!

After a little VTOL blast to get out of the water, Wanderer heads back to the Desert Site… now called the Pyramid Launch Complex!

“Pyramid Launch Complex… I’m in the pipe, five by five!”
-Val

Wanderer touches down, right where it took off! KSEA relays the information back to Laythe, however engineers are divided on actually trying this stunt on Laythe!

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