Year 4, Day 202 (Unity Space Station Announced!)

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KSEA excitedly announces the next Space Station – Unity Space Station, set for a launch to Mun later this year!

Much like the Harmony Space Station, Unity will allow a small science crew to live for a long period in Munar orbit, conducting multiple Mun landings.

Engineers believe that the symmetrical design of the station will help deal with the problems Harmony had during its delivery to Minmus orbit.

KSEA’s most powerful launcher, a Sarnus V Ultra Heavy will take the station core into orbit, and the station’s last stage will take it into orbit with Mun.

Two Heavy Cargo Shuttle launches will construct the station in Kerbin orbit, delivering the two Habitat Modules!  Construction Unity will be the Enterprise‘s first mission!

 

 

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Year 4, Day 200 (Shuttle Enterprise Announced!) 

Shuttle Enterprise

KSEA announces the development of a new cargo shuttle, the Enterprise!

With multiple missions complete, Shuttle Resolute has proven itself a reliable space vehicle. The orbital construction of thr Harmony Space Station, despite some of the problems, also showed the promise of a reusable orbiter!

However, a KSEA cost study of the Heavy Cargo launches showed that it was not always more efficient than traditional rocket launches.

Enterprise will launch using an updated launch vehcile that consists of two parts – a modified launcher, and a new second stage orbital vehicle, the Orbital Assist Vehicle (OAV).

With enhanced focus on recoverability, this new launcher should make the Heavy Cargo Shuttles the most cost efficient vehicles for orbital launches!

The launcher wont be the only exciting innovation though! Enterprise itself has an improved array of solar panels and a modified docking port which increases cargo bay capacity by 20 percent!

Enterprise also has a new lighting system that engineers say will make the shuttle look  “Super Cool”!

The new Cargo Shuttle will carry one of the two modules for the upcoming Mun Space Station, tentatively named “Unity Space Station!”

Year 4, Day 166

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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

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

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“OK… approaching Harmony!”

-Edan

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“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!

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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)

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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!

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Resolute’s moving pretty fast… deploying airbrakes!

-Val

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Resolute swoops down for a landing!screenshot845.png

Almost there…

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“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 129 (Harmony Space Station Planning)

 

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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!