Year 4, Day 271 (Resolute Launches Second Unity Space Station Module)

screenshot1077.pngThe upgraded Resolute takes off!   Val pilots rookie engineer Seely and Gillian up to orbit! This will be Resolute’s first flight using the upgraded Launcher, and with the new Cargo Bay arrangement!screenshot1079.png

The launch goes well – with the OAV carrying the shuttle to its desired orbit, leaving over 1000 d/v in fuel for orbital maneuvering.

“That’s sure was a bumpy ride!”

-Seely

screenshot1081.png

Val pilots Resolte to a close rendezvous with Unity Station!

Ok – we’re there.. but we better wait until we’re on the ‘day’ side of Kerbin before doing the install!

-Gilian

screenshot1085.png

Seeley heads out, and practices some basic space maneuvers!  screenshot1088.pngThe module goes into place, and Unity Space Station is ready to go!

screenshot1091.png

“Resolute’s coming in pretty hot!  I’m going to need to circle around before I can land!”

-Val

screenshot1093.png

Val sets down, but takes out one of the landing lights at the end of the runway!  Endeavor takes some minor damage, losing a few of its air brakes! Everyone agrees this was the most dangerous landing the Heavy Cargo Shuttles have ever done.  High speed, and performing the maneuver node too early is the general consensus.

“Maybe we can find a way to slow the shuttle more on reentry – that was scary!”

-Seeley

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 166

screenshot850.png

Resolute is outfitted with the next (and last) Harmony Space Station module, the modified Science Module.  Edan is chosen as the pilot for this launch!

“Wow, this cockpit is so roomy compared to the Crew Shuttles!”

-Edan

screenshot850.png

Resolute finishes its launch, piloted to just under 100k by Edan!

screenshot853.png

“OK… approaching Harmony!”

-Edan

screenshot858.png

“Opening cargo bay door… and releasing the Harmony Module!”

-Edan

screenshot860.pngThe module detaches… and after some tricky night-side maneuvering, attaches to Harmony.   Now it’s time for Resolute to head home!screenshot862.png

Resolute swoops in for a landing!

screenshot864.png

Success!screenshot865.png

Edan is very pleased with himself, and insists on a photo – welcome home Edan… and good work!  Work begins at once on refurbishing Resolute.   Additionally, work begins on a NEW, as yet un-named Heavy Cargo Shuttle, to hopefully increase the capabilities of the Space Program!

 

 

 

 

 

Year 4, Day 151 (Resolute Delivers Harmony Habitat Module)

screenshot819.png

Val will pilot Resolute to its next mission – delivery of the Habitat Module for the Harmony Space Station!  screenshot823.pngThe launch goes well, and Val circularizes… screenshot834.png

then moves in to rendezvous with the waiting Harmony Space Station core!

“I need to be careful with my maneuvers… Harmony is being assembled near the upper limit of Resolute’s operating parameters.. just a bit over 90k!… I see the station out the window.  Moving in!”

-Val

Should Resolute run out of fuel, the shuttle does have enough solid maneuvering propellant to de-orbit and return to Kerbin… however everyone hopes that won’t be necessary!screenshot839.png

Resolute‘s payload detaches… screenshot841.pngthen docks with Harmony!  Success!

“Ok – job done!  Heading home!”

-Val

Val sits in orbit, waiting for the sun to rise above the Space Center.  Night landings are generally not preferred ! Thankfully, Resolute has enough fuel to de-orbit!

screenshot843.png

Resolute’s moving pretty fast… deploying airbrakes!

-Val

screenshot844.png

Resolute swoops down for a landing!screenshot845.png

Almost there…

screenshot846.png

“Got it!  There was a loud “crushing noise when the gear set down, and the Master Alarm sounded!  Looks like I lost one of the ventral Air Brakes!”

-Val

Thankfully, there was no damage to the rest of the craft.  The Air Brakes aren’t designed to be deployed during a landing, just during the approach to the air strip.  This should be an avoidable mistake for the future!

“Maybe we can set the Authority Limiter on those Air Brakes to a lower extension… how about 60 percent of their regular extension?”

-Bob

Everyone agrees that’s a good idea, and the changes are made at once!

Resolute is recovered, and refurbishments start immediately!  The Harmony Science Module will go up in the next Heavy Cargo Shuttle launch… and then Harmony Station will be ready to go!

There is already talk of constructing an additional Cargo Shuttle – it would have been useful for Harmony Station to launch both modules right away to get things rolling faster!  If the Harmony Station design looks viable, future stations may use similar layouts… so an additional Cargo Shuttle will probably be in the works!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 4, Day 133 (Harmony Update)

It’s a busy day at the Space Center!

  • Construction starts on Harmony Space Station, and the Sarnus V Heavy launcher that will take it to orbit… and beyond!
  • Likewise, work begins on the payload for the Heavy Cargo Shuttle Resolute, the Habitat Module for Harmony Station!
  • The Crew Shuttle Adventure is refurbished, and undergoes a minor retrofit – improved solar panels are added to the craft.

screenshot809.png

  • Finally, the Minmus Surveyor arrives at Minmus! Scouting Minmus ahead of time will make the Harmony Station team’s difficult job that much easier!

Year 4, Day 129 (Harmony Space Station Planning)

 

Harmony Space Station.png

After some debate, scientists decide on the assembly method of the Minmus Space Station, Harmony.

First, a Sarnus V Heavy rocket will carry the Station Hub into orbit.  Then, two Heavy Cargo Shuttle launches will carry Harmony’s two modules into orbit.  Once there, the payloads will separate, and attach remotely to the orbiting Station Core.  (Resolute has already proven itself as a efficient method of carrying cargo into orbit, and since it’s the only Heavy Cargo Shuttle, engineers start work at once on getting the craft ready!)

Finally, the Station Core, still attached to the Sarnus V orbital stage, will carry the assembled station to Minmus orbit.

Initially, the plan was to launch three separate assembly missions, followed by a final crew mission.  This new method should be more efficient, and save time too!

Year 4, Day 124 (Resolute’s First Launch!)

screenshot740.png

The Heavy Cargo Shuttle Resolute is ready for its first launch!  Since this is a prototype, and the vehicle doesn’t have a computer controlled navigation system, KSEA wants to be cautious and only launch one Kerbal.screenshot739.png

Jeb and Val argue for sometime about who will get to be the first pilot, but Jeb wins “rock paper scissors” and will be the first pilot!

screenshot741.png

Resolute blasts off!

“Going good so far… just like the simulations!”

-Jeb

screenshot743.png

Everyone at the Space Center is tense as the launch continues!   Resolute glides through its gravity turn, and moves to circularize!

screenshot746.pngThe Launcher separates, and heads back down to Kerbin to get recovered!

“That was quite the kick!  Circularizing orbit now!”

-Jeb

screenshot748.png

“At desired orbit – 70k!  Leaves me with about 500 d/v for orbital maneuvering!”

-Jeb

screenshot749.png

Jeb begins burns to rendezvous with the Kerbin Space Station!

screenshot753.pngSuccess!  Once at the station, Resolute’s cargo doors open…

screenshot754.png

and the Docking Module leaves the shuttle – guided remotely!screenshot757.png

The Docking module moves away from Resolute, toward the station… screenshot760.png…and docks!

screenshot762.pngJeb pilots Resolute in to test out the new docking module!

“Yikes!  You get an idea of how big this Shuttle is when you get close to the Station!”

-Jeb

screenshot764.png

Everyone at the Space Center cheers!  Resolute takes a ride around Kerbin, docked to the Space Station. Jeb says hi to everyone – and prepares for the next, and probably most dangerous part of the mission… reentry and landing! screenshot767.png

The Heavy Cargo Shuttle undocks…

screenshot768.pngThen Resolute closes its cargo bays!

screenshot773.png

“Mission Control – this is Resolute!  I’m coming down!”

-Jeb

screenshot775.pngResolute heads through the atmosphere, then starts its approach to the Space Center!

screenshot778.png

“I’m in the pipe… five by five!”

-Jeb

screenshot781.png

Jeb poses in front of the Heavy Cargo Shuttle Resolute.  Well done – mission success!  Resolute will be brought in and refurbished for its next flight!