With the successful test of Discovery KSEA now has a way to deliver Kerbals to Jool and return them (with their scientific findings!) to Kerbin. The last several weeks have been spent working out the rest of the landing plan. The landing target was an easy choice though….
Laythe! All of Kerbin was fascinated by the amazing photos sent back from Pathfinder 6, so that’s an easy choice! The next important decision is HOW to land.
The Super Duna Lander was the obvious first choice – this lander has been used over and over again by Explorer missions on Duna. Unfortunately the math just doens’t work out. Laythe is just too similair to Kerbin: high gravity, thick atmosphere. The more engineers looked at the problem the more thought a spaceplane might be the right answer. But which?
Despite KSEA’s large selection of spaceplanes, only one is truly a “SSTO” or “single stage to orbit” – the X-9! This plane will be the basis for the X-10 – a spacecraft designed specifically for landing and launching from Laythe! KSEA engineers have already started!
The Laythe Spaceport (also under design) will serve as a fuel and crew hub, with Discovery taking crew back and forth to Jool, and the X-10 operating as the primary lander. The chance to fly a plane on another world has sent applications to KSEA soaring!
“heh – soaring!”