Year 3, Day 233 (Aurora 13 Returns!)

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It’s going to be a close one!  Food on Aurora 13 has run out!  Water and coffee will only keep the crew alive for so long!  Thankfully there was enough fuel to burn directly from Minmus here… so the crew needs to just hold on a little longer!

“So hungry!  We shouldn’t have had that feast to celebrate reaching solar space!  The hubris!”
-Orlas

screenshot229.pngAurora 13 comes in hot!

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The parachute deploys!  Almost homescreenshot231.pngMade it! The last time KSEA got this close to a  a loss of crew was Aurora 3, on Year 2, Day 242!  

Better care will be taken in the future for mission planning to avoid another close call! Mitster, Chrisnic, and Orlas are all rushed to the Space Center to check their well being!

 

 

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Year 3, Day 225

screenshot225.pngAurora 13 arrives in at Minmus!  And not a moment too soon, supplies are getting a little tight on the spacecraft. At 45 days into the flight, the crew is defenitely feeling the strain.

“Uh oh… foods running a little tight.  I don’t think we should have bothered with checking out Minmus!  I’m ditching the lander… we need to do a direct burn toward Kerbin if we want our supplies to last!”

-Mitster

The Minmus landing is cancelled! It looks like the calculations for deltaV were slightly off, and the food supplies won’t last as long!  Mitster fires the Aurora Spacecraft’s rockets, and Aurora 13 heads toward Kerbin at high speed!   This will be the fastest any craft has attempted reentry to Kerbin!

Potential disaster aside, this will be a good test of the Aurora era hardware for interplanetary journeys!

Year 3, Day 183 (Aurora 13 passes Minmus Orbit)

screenshot213.pngAurora 13 passes beyond the orbit of Minmus, carrying Kerbals further into space than ever!  screenshot214.png

“Exciting!  This is the first true solar science experiment ever done!”
-Orlas

Orlas hops out and conducts some experiments….screenshot215.png

Then the rest of the crew takes their own chances at a quick spacewalk!

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“It’s so pretty… and Kerbin looks so … small!”
-Mitster

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“The Damage to the hull doesn’t look so bad from out here!”
-Chrisnic

Everyone’s a bit confused about Chrisnic’s non sequitur, since no one even mentioned any hull damage… but once everyone’s had some fun, Mitster pilots Aurora 13 back into Kerbin Space, on a course toward Minmus!

Back on Kerbin, Frontier 9 launches, also heading to Minmus!

 

Year 3, Day 178 (Aurora 13 Launch!)

The crew is chosen for Aurora 13: Mitster, Orlas, and Chrisnic!  The three Kerbals are extremely excited that they might be the crew for Explorer’s mission to Eve! screenshot210.png

Aurora 13 blasts off!  Today’s mission: leave the Kerbin sphere of influence for a long duration space flight, re-enter Kerbin’s sphere of influence, transfer to Minmus, then return to Kerbin after the mission is complete! This will be one of the most complicated and longest duration missions ever attempted!

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The transfer stage fires and sends Aurora 13 on its way!  Unlike a normal Aurora Mission, the docking and transposition maneuver will be conducted much later in the mission. This is to allow extra fuel for mission planning purposes!

“Get comfortable everybody!  16 days until we leave Kerbin’s gravity and make history!:
-Mitster

Year 3, Day 169 (Frontier 8 Launches, Aurora 13 Construction, Explorer Crews)

Frontier 8, the probe to Moho is rolled out to the launch pad!  With a launch window coming up in 60 days, scientists are hopeful that the Frontier-probe design will be tough enough to survive a trip so close to the sun!   The launch goes well, and Frontier 8 sits in orbit, waiting for the launch window in about 60 days!

3 other Frontier Probes remain in storage:  Frontier 5 (Jool), Frontier 6 (Duna), and Frontier 7 (Neidon.)

Work also begins on Frontier 9, a survey probe for Minmus!

Additionally, construction starts on Aurora 13!   Aurora 13 and 14 will carry two different crews beyond Kerbin’s sphere of influence as training for the long flight to Eve. The entire KSC complex is abuzz with gossip regarding who the “Explorer 6” will be!  Even if a Kerbal is chosen to be one of the 6… only 3 Kerbals will ultimately be Explorer’s crew!  However, the runner up crew will most likely be in line for the next Deep Space Vehicle!