Year 4, Day 48 (Explorer Arrives at Gilly)

screenshot633.pngThe Explorer spacecraft finishes its journey from Eve to Gilly, circularizing an orbit around the small planetoid.

“Fuel keeps getting lower and lower guys… let’s try to be careful!”

-Mitster

screenshot636.pngFor the first time all three crew of a spacecraft will abandon their vessel and head down in a lander.  It’s a bit risky… but no one wants to be left behind on such a momentous occasion!Chrisnic, Mitster, and Orlas climb into the LARC… and detach!screenshot644

The LARC slowly moves away from Explorer.. and heads down to Gilly!

“”I’m so excited! ”

-Orlas

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The LARC sets down, and Chrisnic climbs out…

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Once he lets go of the ladder, the slightest step sends him flying across the surface

“Whoa!  The low gravity here is… very low!  Be careful!”

-Chrisnic

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Mitster is next… expertly piloting his rocket pack over to Chrisnic!

“You weren’t kidding!   It’s almost like we’re in space, and not even on a moon!

-Mitster

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Orlas jumps out next!

“Wheeeeee!”

-Orlas

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After having a good deal of fun playing on Gilly, the crew of Explorer gathers to take a landing portrait…. when Orlas notices something…

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“Wow!  What a sight to behold!”

-Orlas

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The crew pose for their portrait… the first Kerbals to land on Gilly!  What a day!  The crew will spend about 4 days on the surface of Gilly collecting important data before returning to the Explorer, high above the small moon… empty… waiting for its crew!

Year 4, Day 33 (Explorer Arrives At Eve)

screenshot516.pngMitster and Chrisnic transfer to the command module, while Orlas looks out the windows excitedly – it’s Eve Day – the day Kerbals arrive at Eve for the first time… ever!!!

“It’s so… purple!”
-Orlas

screenshot526.pngThe NERV Nuclear Engines fire… and fire… and fire.. the long but very efficient burn lasts nearly 4 minutes, as Explorer’s orbit is slowly circularized around Eve.

“Hang in there everybody… this will be a long burn, but it’s going exactly as simulations said it would!”

-Mitster

Indeed – DSV-1 Explorer eventually does circularize it’s orbit… and becomes the first vessel carrying Kerbals to orbit Eve!  The orbit has an apoapsis of 14,831 km, and periapsis of 122 km.  The burn took so long that Explorer will need to swing around Eve once more before arriving at the Periapsis again… and that’s when the atmospheric probe will be launched!

 

 

 

Year 3, Day 380 (Explorer Update)

screenshot434.pngExplorer, still on its long journey to Eve, is 120 days into its mission!  Chrisnic, Mitster, and Orlas have gotten to know each other’s annoying habits really well – but have also grown to be very close friends.  Good thing too – their mission still has a long way to go!  They’re all very eager to be the first Kerbals to see Eve … close up! screenshot433.png

Year 3, Day 317 (Explorer Departs for Eve!)

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This is the day!  Mitster triple checks the calculations, and Orlas does the same.

“Looks good!  Let’s light this candle!”
-Mitster

Explorer fires what’s left of the orbital stage to get a little extra ‘kick’ to Eve!  Then….

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The protective fairings on the nuclear engines fire!

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Explorer soars out of Kerbin’s orbit… screenshot320.png

and heads to Eve! If calculations are correct, and they better be, Explorer will arrive at Eve in 120 days… on Year 4, Day 33!

The engines stop firing, glowing red from the heat! Orlas activates the primary communication antenna as well!screenshot323.png

“Wow… those engines sure get hot!”

-Chrisnic

After the engines are done firing, the crew moves to the habitat section and get comfy… 120 days is the longest mission ever attempted by Kerbals!

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Orlas and Mitster, goofing around in the Explorer’s Habitat Section!
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Chrisnic.. waiting for something to break!

 

 

 

Year 3, Day 307 (Explorer Crew Announced… and launched!)

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The crew for Explorer 1 is announced… the brave crew of Aurora 13 are chosen for the first interplanetary journey!  Mitster, Orlas, and Chrisnic excitedly put on their new Mission Patches, and head out to the waiting Crew Shuttle Adventure! screenshot283.png

Mitster pilots Adventure into orbit… the plan is to dock with Explorer, then the crew will be on their way!

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Edan lines up with Explorer, in a 80k orbit of Kerbin…

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Once in position, Endeavor undocks from its mission cargo (the atmospheric probe and LARC), and spins around, very slowly, until its lined up with the Crew Shuttle.

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Edan then uses the RCS thrusters to dock with the huge space craft!

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Mitster, Chrisnic, and Orlas all rush over to Endeavor.  Orlas gets serious, and starts going over all the mission parameters and scientific systems.  Mitster runs through the piloting systems, while Chrisnic does a survey of the ship (and checks out the great new Habitat section, that will make the journey to Eve much more comfortable!

“Good luck guys!
-Edan

The crew get comfortable and begin getting Explorer’s systems running!  It’s a long mission to Eve… so its important to make sure that everything on the new ship is in good working order before departure!

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Meanwhile, Edan takes Adventure back to the surface!

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Mitster dives Adventure, toward the Space Center, after cooling off from reentry!

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Uh oh!  A little too much speed… Adventure flies by the Space Center….

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Thankfully all Crew Shuttles have enough fuel for manuevering in just this kind of situtation… Edan pilots the Shuttle around, and heads back for a good approach!

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Ok… I’m in the pipe, five by five…

-Mitster

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Perfect landing!  Good job Edan!

 

 

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!

 

 

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!