Year 6, Day 285 (Explorer 2 Crew Lands on Duna!)

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On board Duna Spaceport, the crew of Explorer 2 prepare for the very first Duna landing!  Mitster will pilot the vehicle to the surface, with Dunwin providing the engineering expertise to deal with any unforeseen issues the lander might have.  Once the craft has proven itself Kimmy will head down in the next landing.  A lot of consideration was given to the first crew to head down, and the pilot/engineer combination was chosen in deference to safety, as the Duna lander hasn’t been tested “live” before! screenshot54.png

Kimmy watches from the Observation Lounge as the lander moves away from the station…

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“I can tell you now, we’re not setting down where Mission Control planned – we’re moving too fast, and if I don’t slow us down … well, it won’t be pretty!”

-Mitster

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Mitster fires the landers engines, slowing the vehicle down enough to engage the parachute…

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The parachute deploys!

“Oomph!  That really took the wind out of me!”

-Dunwin

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The lander slowly descends to the surface…

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At the last moment, the engines fire again, to set the lander down gently…

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“Duna Lander to Kerbin – we have set down on Duna and all systems are go!”

-Mitster

screenshot70.pngDunwin climbs out!screenshot76.png

Followed by Mitster, who plants the first flag on Duna!screenshot78.png

Cheers are heard throughout Mission Control – amazing!

“We still have some samples and exploration to do before we head back, so let’s get busy”

-Mitster

The lander overshot its landing at the anomaly by 17km – a distance much farther than walking would allow.  Mission Control decides that while a small “hop” is conceivable however crew safety is paramount, so a future landing can be done to investigate the lowlands – there will be no hop!

“This lander handles much differently in an atmosphere than it did on Mun, I’m not even sure I could pilot us effectively over to the lowlands… the return to orbit will be tricky enough! ”

-Mitster

The lander will remain on the surface for a few days, then head back to Duna Spaceport!

 

 

 

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Year 6, Day 281 (Duna Spaceport Lander Readied)

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Mitster remotely pilots the Duna Landing Vehicle to the Crew Docking Module.

“Well, that wasn’t so hard!

-Mitster

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Mitster and Dunwin celebrate the docking by relaxing in the Observation Lounge, and taking in the impressive view of Duna!

Late last year (Y5D421), the Duna Surveyor arrived in orbit of Duna and has been dutifully mapping the surface.  Mission Planners have been working tirelessly to select the best landing sites!  Already, several anomalies on the surface have been found – one located in the lowlands has been selected as the first site for landing on Duna, designated Duna Spaceport Landing Site 1, or DS-LS01!

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Year 6, Day 275 (Explorer 2 Arrives At Duna!)

After a 334 day journey, Explorer 2 arrives at Duna!

screenshot1876.pngMitster’s calculations were perfect, and the spacecraft arrives within 100k of the Duna Spaceport.

“Nicely done Mitster!”

-Dunwin

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Explorer 2 move in to rendezvous with the station…. screenshot1881.png

Counter-intuitively, Explorer must first move away from the station, taking its orbit out to nearly 120k, before moving closer again!

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Explorer 2’s Transfer stage uses up the last of its fuel, bringing the spacecraft 50meters away from the station! screenshot1891.png

“Almost there… almost there…”

-Mitster

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Mission success!  Explorer 2 docks with Duna Spaceport, and the crew flips on all the lights!

“Now we just need to get that lander over to the crew docking port, and we can make history!”

-Kimmy

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Year 6, Day 244 (Duna Spaceport Arrives at Duna!)

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Remote systems guide the Duna Spaceport closer and closer to the red planet of Duna!

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Last minute calculations showed that the best orbit that could be achieved is a 54k equitorial orbit, so the engines fire at the appropriate time!screenshot1867.png

After the orbit is circularized, the transfer stage is completely exhausted of fuel, and ejected!   Now the station will wait for the arrival of the Explorer 2 crew!screenshot1868.png

Year 5, Day 367 (Explorer 2 and Duna Spaceport Leave Kerbin!)

Explorer2PatchIt’s a busy day – the Explorer 2 Crew Vehicle and Duna Spaceport will begin their journey to Duna!   The first mission to Duna will likely be the most complicated, as there are two seperate missions running concurrently – the first, delivering a spaceport and a reusable lander to Duna orbit.  The second, the crew themselves on Explorer 2!   screenshot1727.png

Explorer 2 departs as well – and performs the docking and transposition manuever to let the crew gain access to the much more comfortable Habitat Module that will be their home on the journey to Duna!

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The new Antenna installed by Chrisnic is a tight fit, but appears to be performing well!

Meanwhile, the Duna Surveyor will soon be approaching Duna, to start mapping the surface for a future landing!