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 4, Day 381 (Aurora 16 Arrives at Minmus to Unite Explorer 2’s Crew!)

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Aurora 16 arrives at Minmus – just in time too!  Food was starting to get a bit low… Edan and  Dunwin were getting hungry!

Aurora 16 arrives at Harmony Space Station!  Kimmy transfers over, and gets comfy for the ride back to Kerbin!

“You know… I’ve actually never been down to Minmus before! ”

-Dunwin

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Indeed!  Mission Planners quickly assemble a mission, HSSLS03.. an odd formation shaped like an arc, with lowland, slope, and midland biomes all within reach. Should be a good first landing for Dunwin!

“OK – here we GOooooo!”

-Kimmy

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Kimmy and Dunwin head down to HSSLS03-A!

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A great landing!

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Dunwin is very excited, and immedeatly jumps out… then jumps UP!

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Oh wow!  I think I can see Harmony Space Station from up here!

-Dunwin

 

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Kimmy leaves the lander, and starts taking some readings.

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After a little time, everyone is back in the lander, heading up to the Station! screenshot1373.png

The Research Lander arrives back at Harmony Space Station.  Dunwin heads over to Aurora 16, and Kimmy gathers up all the scientific data on Harmony Space Station, and takes it over to Aurora 16.

I don’t think I could pack any more research materials and surface samples into this Command Pod!  There’s over 44 individual pieces of science on this vessel!”

-Kimmy

This crew transfer will leave the crew of Harmony Space Station without a scientist (or a way home, in fact) so Aurora 17 will likely be in utilized to rotate crews on Unity Space Station!  Unfortunately, Gilian will be alone on the station for about a week.

“It’s OK guys… I brought lots of schematics to read!  Good luck on Duna!  Take lots of pictures!!”

-Gilian

It’s just a short 8 Day trip back to Kerbin!

Year 4, Day 360 (Aurora 16 Leaves from Mun, To Minmus!)

screenshot1354.pngKSEA decides that it’s probably best to get Dunwin and Kimmy back to Kerbin to start their training for the Explorer 2 Mission to Duna!   Edan takes Aurora 16 and pilots it from Unity Space Station in orbit of Mun, to Minmus! screenshot1352.png

“Bye guys!  Have a fun trip to Duna!!”

-Luly

Kerlorf, Seely, and Luly remain on the station to train!

This will be the first time a vehicle has traveled from one Space Station to the other!   The trip to Minmus will take 2 weeks!