Year 4, Day 396 (KSS Crew Rotation!)

screenshot1396.pngEndeavor completes a minor refit to its orbital maneuvering system.  Ever since the rear cargo addition was added to the Crew Shuttles orbital handling has been off, it’s hoped that this update will make the craft easier to control during docking!   In addition, air brakes developed during the Heavy Cargo Shuttle Program have been scaled down, and installed on Endeavor.  Hopefully they assist in landing safety! screenshot1397.png

Today, Val pilots Endeavor to orbit, taking Robart and Orlas up to the KSS for a crew rotation!  This might be the last launch to make use of the lower docking ports on the KSS, as engineers are designing a new Observation Lounge for the station, based on designs developed for Explorer 3!   Getting the huge addition into space will help test how practical it will be for the Explorer crew!screenshot1399.png

Endeavor arrives at the KSS!

“This new orbital maneuvering system works a LOT better than the old design.  We should refit the rest of the Crew Shuttles ASAP!”

-Val

screenshot1402.pngShepley, Jeb, Bob depart in the Intrepid, which is due for its own upgrades once it returns to Kerbin! screenshot1403.png

Jeb soars Intrepid down to the runway… screenshot1404.png

…for a perfect landing!

“Let’s get this thing refitted… I can’t wait to try out the new design!”

-Jeb

Year 4, Day 223

256x256-4Things are busy at the VAB!  Resolute and Enterprise are both being refurbished for their next missions, and the Crew Shuttles Endeavor and Adventure are both being outfitted with the second generation launchers!  (Intrepid is currently docked at the Kerbin Space Station – it will be outfitted with a new launcher once it returns!)

Meanwhile, construction has begun on the Duna Surveyor… based off the Mun and Minmus Surveyors, this advanced probe will scan the surface of Duna for future missions!

screenshot1058.pngIt’s now just days until Frontier 1 reaches the influence of Sarnus – Kerbin’s longest range probe has worked well so far… although scientists note that the signal strength  is only at 70 percent. Hopefully this won’t result in any lost scientific data!

Year 4, Day 217 (Enterprise’s First Mission!)

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The Heavy Cargo Shuttle Enterprise blasts off from Cape Kerman!

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The launcher disconnects, then guides itself back to the surface.  Meanwhile, the Orbital Assist Vehicle (OAV) fires, taking the shuttle to its desired 80k orbit!

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The OAV disconnects… and Edan pilots the craft to a rendezvous with the Unity Space Station!

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Mission Control – Enterprise is ready to begin installation maneuvers!

-Edan

screenshot1001.pngUh oh. There’s a small problem!  Looks like the Habitat Module wasn’t equipped with a communications device.  What a disaster! But… there might be hope.

“I’ll head up there and fix it!  Installing an antenna on that thing can’t be too hard!”

-Gilian

screenshot1010.pngKSEA decides to green light the mission – in fact, this will allow testing of a new cargo module for the Crew Shuttle program!  The small module will allow a small cargo payload to be carried behind the shuttle, and once emptied will still allow crew to move through the module!   It should also solve the problem of where to put solar panels on the crew shuttles. Endeavor is rolled out, and has some antennas put on it that can easily be detached in orbit. No one’s ever tried something quite like this!  Rookie engineer Gillian says she’s practiced just this kind of thing underwater, and assures it can’t be that much more difficult in orbit!screenshot1012.png

Endeavor blasts off, just a few hours after the Enterprise.  Val and Gilian take Endeavor into a high orbit….screenshot1015.png

“Looks like the engine exhaust isn’t heating up the payload beyond what it’s rated for… this might work! ”

-Val

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“Alright Edan – I’m pretty close – I see the Unity Station Module… moving in to let Gilian do her work!”

-Val

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Endeavor gets very close to the dead-in-space module!

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First Gilian connects the antenna… then the solar array!

“Well – that was easy!  Heading back to Endeavor!”

-Gilian

Everyone at the Space Center is impressed!  Once Module’s onboard systems are powered up, the module moves in to dock with Unity Space Station…

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Almost there… screenshot1035.png

Connection established!  Hopefully the next launch is less dramatic!

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Endeavor sets down!  Gilian and Val get some well deserved rest!

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Next, Enterprise heads down!

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Not a perfect first mission for Enterprise, but everything went well in the end!  Enterprise tested several new design features of the Heavy Cargo Shuttle – and after the successful flight, similar upgrades will be undertaken on Resolute – including outfitting it with the new Launcher!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 3, Day 63 (Endeavor’s First Flight, KSS Crew Rotation)

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It’s time to rotate the crew on the KSS!  Jeb, Bill, Samner, Robart, Bob, and Orlas all pile into the second Crew Shuttle… The Endeavor, and it blasts off!screenshot69.png

After circularizing, the Endeavor starts its rendeavous to the KSS.  KSEA is a little nervous about this flight… this is the Endeavor’s first flight… and it’s also the most crew ever launched into space on one vessel!screenshot70.png

Endeavor closes in on the station…. screenshot71.png

Almost…. screenshot73.png

Almost….

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Docking achieved!  Jeb docks at at Docking Port 4 of the KSS.  Glenica and Kimmy transfer over to the Crew Shuttle, while Bill, Bob, Orlas, Robart, and Samner all head over to the the Station.

screenshot76.pngAfter everyone says their ‘hellos’ and ‘goodbyes’ – Jeb, Kimmy, and Glenica head back to Kerbin!screenshot80.png

“Space Center spotted… starting final approach!”
-Jeb

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Another great landing – nice work!

“Next stop – Mun!”
-Kimmy

“You said it Kimmy! Time for some deep space Science!”
-Glenica

 

Year 3, Day 56 – Kerbin Exploration

screenshot29.pngThe newly launched Kerbin Surveyor begins scans of Kerbin – right away several anomalies are detected!  The X-5 is sent to investigate! Mitster and Bill fly there…. quite fast!screenshot63.png

Sadly… they can’t find anything at the site indicated!

“We’re gonna need some more precise readings if we hope to find anything here!  It might help to put a sensor package on the X-5 itself! ”
-Bill

Mitster returns the X-5 to base for refurbishment and the crew for refreshments!

Meanwhile, construction begins on two new crew shuttles – the Endeavor and the Intrepid! Along with Adventure this will raise the number of crew shuttles to three!