The Duna Surveyor arrives at Duna and achieves a polar orbit – the craft begins scanning the suface, creating a map for the Explorer 2 crew that’s already on their way!
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!
“Wow – what an awesome patch! I can’t wait to blast off to Duna!”
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!
- 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!
- 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!
- 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:
“Uh – Dunwin – the Administrator’s got something he needs to tell you. Pretty important.”
Dunwin – you’re going to DUNA with Kimmy and Mitster! Congratulations!
Ow wow!!! I can’t wait!
Kimmy, on Harmony Space Station above Minmus, is just as excited!
“Oh wow – I get to go!? I can’t wait!”
Back at KSC, Mitster is itching to get some more experience in before the flight to Duna!
“I need to be ready for anything!”
The Duna Surveyor launches! The satellite will stay in Kerbin Orbit until an appropriate window opens!
Things 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!
It’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!