Year 1, Day 342

screenshot132.pngHorizion 10 will have an early, early morning launch.  “The lights on the towers make the rocket look awesome!” Jeb remarks.

screenshot133.pngHorizion 10 takes off, and settles into orbit after some initial piloting difficulty.  “Dang… wasted some fuel there!  We’ll do the math in orbit and see if I can still make it to Minmus!” Jeb says.  Fuel is tight on this mission.. so everyone is a bit nervous! screenshot134.png

Thankfully it looks like there’s enough fuel in the craft to make it to Minmus and back using a free return trajectory.  The burn is a success!  Now the REAL test… the long, long flight to Minmus.  Jeb says he’s prepared for it though!  Good luck Jeb!

Year 1, Day 323

horizondExcited by Val’s trip around Mun, KSEA engineers look at the numbers required to visit Kerbin’s other satellite – Minmus!

KSEA is very happy to announce… the Horizon-D!  Utilizing revolutionary new “Solar Panels” and a new more efficient orbital maneuvering engine, the LV909, engineers are able to get the weight down, and should still have enough energy to keep the craft powered and safe! Construction begins on two Horizon-D rockets at once!

note: not shown on the blueprint is the communications antenna, which is stowed on the reverse. 

Year 1, Day 321 (Horizon 9 Launch)

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Horizon 9 is prepared to launch! This time, Val in command! “It sure is dark in here with this fairing!  Guess I’ll be steering by instruments only!”screenshot102.pngBlast off!  screenshot106.png

Horizon 9 circularizes to a neat 90km orbit.  Mission Control notices something… with several days of energy reserves, and over 900d/v of fuel remaining… it’s possible that Horizon 9 could risk a Mun-shot!

“Is everyone really, really sure about this?” Val asks.  Mission control responds that no – but it does seem highly likely.  It’s a risk.

“I didn’t go to space to play it safe!  Let’s do it!” Val responds.  Very well! The Mun-Shot calculations are done… the science bays on Horizon 9 are saved for Munar research!

The burn to Mun will be FAST, carrying Val there in roughly 1 day.  Then using Mun’s gravity to slingshot around it back to Kerbin, in a very fast re-entry to Kerbin.  This will certainly put the new heat shield to a test!

The Munar approach will be fairly close.. flying 50k over its surface! screenshot114.png

“Wow!  Look at that!”

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As Horizon 9 flies past the dark side of Mun, Val gets out to get a good look.  “It looks so bumpy down there!”screenshot124.png

With just 2 hours of electricity remaining, Horizon 9 heads into Kerbin’s atmosphere!  “That new heat shield is performing perfectly… I was barely even crispy!” Val reports.  Moving at nearly 3300 m/s, Val is officially the fastest moving Kerbal in history! screenshot127.png

Ker-splash!  A successful landing on Kerbin!  Rescue teams go and pick up Val – great work everybody!  A very unexpected historic flight… but wow, what a day!

Year 1, Day 310

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The Horizon-B rocket may be quite short lived… as KSEA engineers reveal the latest rocket design… the Horizon C!  The Horizon C rocket utilizes many new features, most noticeably the aerodynamic fairing that protects the Command Pod, and the combined battery/science section.

Construction starts immediately – on Horizon 9!

In other news, repeated simulations has shown that the rotating issues reported by Mitster were resolved by unplugging and plugging back in the joystick in the Horizon Command pod.  How strange.

Year 1, Day 308

screenshot91.pngHorizon 8 is ready to go… and Mitster is VERY ready to go! KSEA scientists think that in order to form a communications network (which will be necessary for sending probes to Mun) polar orbits would be beneficial.  Horizion 8 will be a test of how to launch a rocket into just such an orbit!  Horizon 8 blasts off!   screenshot94.png

Mitster pilots the craft into a nearly perfect circular 71k orbit.  Nicely done Mitster!

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“It’s so pretty up here!” Mitster radios to Mission Control.  “The poles are beautiful!”screenshot99.png

After landing, Mitster reports that the Horizon 8 had a strange tendency to roll without being given instructions.  Engineers look at the controls to make sure nothing spilled, and determine that it might be a design fault in the rocket.  After talking it over with Jeb and Val it turns out many of the Horizon Rockets had this issue… however it seems to be getting more pronounced as time goes on.  KSEA scientists scratch their heads over what to do!