Year 4, Day 358 (Explorer 2 Duna Mission Announced!)

KSEA excitedly announces that is their goal  to land Kerbals on Duna – and the team has already been picked!  Mitster, the commander of the Explorer 1 mission is chosen as the most experienced Kerbal at the KSC, while Dunwin and Kimmy are chosen as the brightest of the new recruits!  Everyone is very excited at the new Mission Patches too!

Explorer2Patch

“Wow – what an awesome patch!  I can’t wait to blast off to Duna!”

-Mitster

Explorer 2 won’t be the first craft to visit Duna however… Frontier 6 is currently in orbit of Duna, and has revealed interesting data about the red world of Duna, including multiple dips into the atmosphere that have indicated a landing is quite possible… however the actual content of the surface is still unknown.

The mission to Duna will be done in three parts:

  • The Duna Surveyor has already been launched, and will enter a polar orbit of Duna, mapping the biomes and charting altitudes of terrains.  Surveyor was launched with a lot of fuel, so the departure to Duna will be in just 60 days!  This will give Duna Surveyor a good 30 days to map at least some of Duna before Explorer 2 arrives!Duna Spaceporta.png
  • A space station, to be called Duna Spaceport, along with a lander, will be launched into an equatorial orbit of Duna, providing a home in space, and fuel reserves for multiple landings.  The station will launch with the Research Lander stowed above it in the fairing, and move to its proper docking port once the station arrives at Duna. Besides an onboard science lab, the Duna Spaceport will feature some of the most impressive deep space habitats available – the Observation Lounge for the crew to relax in is one of the most notable features of the station, with its giant windows!  DunaLander2.png
  • The Duna Spaceport Research Lander is a re-usable lander, designed to land on Duna and return to the Spaceport to refuel.  The vehicle carries an array of all the most sophisticated scientific instruments known to Kerbal-kind!Duna Crew Vehicle.png
  • A crew vehicle and habitat module will be the last component, taking a crew of three in an Aurora Crew Vehicle, which for simplicity sake is being called the Crew Vehicle Mk. 6) with a habitat module similar to those found on the KSS and other space stations stowed below. Once in orbit a docking and transposition maneuver will be undertaken, and the craft will travel to Duna, docking with the Space Station there!  The crew vehicle and habitat section will return to Kerbin, while the station and lander will will remain in orbit for future missions.

Explorer 2 has led to the development of several new technologies and innovations.  The innovative use of existing Aurora-era technologies combined with the habitats developed for the Orbital Station above Kerbin, Mun, and Minmus, and the utterly massive Sarnux X Launch Vehicle, which will claim the title of “most powerful machine ever built” upon its completion!

Dunwin is informed of his place on the mission while he’s on-mission, on the surface of Mun:screenshot1342.png

“Uh – Dunwin – the Administrator’s got something he needs to tell you. Pretty important.”

 

“Uh oh!”

-Dunwin

 

Dunwin – you’re going to DUNA with Kimmy and Mitster!  Congratulations!

 

Ow wow!!!   I can’t wait!

-Dunwin

screenshot1349.pngKimmy, on Harmony Space Station above Minmus, is just as excited!

“Oh wow – I get to go!?   I can’t wait!”

-Kimmy

Back at KSC, Mitster is itching to get some more experience in before the flight to Duna!

“I need to be ready for anything!”

-Mitster

 

Duna Spaceporta.png

Year 4, Day 202 (Unity Space Station Announced!)

Unity Space Station.png

KSEA excitedly announces the next Space Station – Unity Space Station, set for a launch to Mun later this year!

Much like the Harmony Space Station, Unity will allow a small science crew to live for a long period in Munar orbit, conducting multiple Mun landings.

Engineers believe that the symmetrical design of the station will help deal with the problems Harmony had during its delivery to Minmus orbit.

KSEA’s most powerful launcher, a Sarnus V Ultra Heavy will take the station core into orbit, and the station’s last stage will take it into orbit with Mun.

Two Heavy Cargo Shuttle launches will construct the station in Kerbin orbit, delivering the two Habitat Modules!  Construction Unity will be the Enterprise‘s first mission!

 

 

Year 4, Day 200 (Shuttle Enterprise Announced!) 

Shuttle Enterprise

KSEA announces the development of a new cargo shuttle, the Enterprise!

With multiple missions complete, Shuttle Resolute has proven itself a reliable space vehicle. The orbital construction of thr Harmony Space Station, despite some of the problems, also showed the promise of a reusable orbiter!

However, a KSEA cost study of the Heavy Cargo launches showed that it was not always more efficient than traditional rocket launches.

Enterprise will launch using an updated launch vehcile that consists of two parts – a modified launcher, and a new second stage orbital vehicle, the Orbital Assist Vehicle (OAV).

With enhanced focus on recoverability, this new launcher should make the Heavy Cargo Shuttles the most cost efficient vehicles for orbital launches!

The launcher wont be the only exciting innovation though! Enterprise itself has an improved array of solar panels and a modified docking port which increases cargo bay capacity by 20 percent!

Enterprise also has a new lighting system that engineers say will make the shuttle look  “Super Cool”!

The new Cargo Shuttle will carry one of the two modules for the upcoming Mun Space Station, tentatively named “Unity Space Station!”

Year 4, Day 196 (Space Taxi Announced)

SpaceTaxi.png
Engineers are excited to announce a new service vehicle that will soon be sent up to the Kerbin Space Station – the Orbital Crew Transfer Vehicle, or as it as become better known, the Space Taxi.

The small vehicle will allow much larger craft the ability to move crew without to and from the station, without dangerous docking maneuvers.

Construction begins on two Space Taxis, which will be launched on a Heavy Cargo Shuttle very soon!

Year 4, Day 125 (Harmony Space Station Announced!)

Harmony Station Minmus.png

KSEA announces plans for a new space station- for Minmus!  This station should provide long term habitation for a small team of scientists to perform multiple landings and other research on Kerbin’s very small neighbor!

3 separate Discovery Rocket launches should accomplish the mission, with the planned Aurora 16 launch delivering both the crew and the lander!  Should the mission go well, a similar station is planned for Mun! Once funding is available, construction on the Station’s core will begin!

Year 3, Day 240 (Explorer Design Announced)

Explorer1.png

ExplorerCargo1.png

After a long wait, KSEA administrators finally release designs for the first interplanetary vessel: Explorer!

Utilizing many lessons learned from the KSS, the vessel will be the largest crewed vehicle and also the most comfortable: astronauts will get beds to sleep in, proper facilities, and much, much more room.

The Deep Space Vehicle, or DSV, may leave Kerbin orbit with a docked payload consisting of an Atmospheric Probe to land on Eve, and a low gravity lander meant for exploring Gilly. There is also consideration being given to sending  a the payload as a separate launch, to conserve deltaV!

All told, Explorer’s first mission will be quite the undertaking… once it is finally done!

The risk is high… Some KSEA staff want to launch unkerballed to test Explorer’s capabilities. This would set the program back a few years, and is somewhat controversial!