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!

 

 

Year 4, Day 358 (Explorer 2 Duna Mission Announced!)

KSEA excitedly announces that is their goal  to land Kerbals on Duna – and the team has already been picked!  Mitster, the commander of the Explorer 1 mission is chosen as the most experienced Kerbal at the KSC, while Dunwin and Kimmy are chosen as the brightest of the new recruits!  Everyone is very excited at the new Mission Patches too!

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“Wow – what an awesome patch!  I can’t wait to blast off to Duna!”

-Mitster

Explorer 2 won’t be the first craft to visit Duna however… Frontier 6 is currently in orbit of Duna, and has revealed interesting data about the red world of Duna, including multiple dips into the atmosphere that have indicated a landing is quite possible… however the actual content of the surface is still unknown.

The mission to Duna will be done in three parts:

  • The Duna Surveyor has already been launched, and will enter a polar orbit of Duna, mapping the biomes and charting altitudes of terrains.  Surveyor was launched with a lot of fuel, so the departure to Duna will be in just 60 days!  This will give Duna Surveyor a good 30 days to map at least some of Duna before Explorer 2 arrives!Duna Spaceporta.png
  • A space station, to be called Duna Spaceport, along with a lander, will be launched into an equatorial orbit of Duna, providing a home in space, and fuel reserves for multiple landings.  The station will launch with the Research Lander stowed above it in the fairing, and move to its proper docking port once the station arrives at Duna. Besides an onboard science lab, the Duna Spaceport will feature some of the most impressive deep space habitats available – the Observation Lounge for the crew to relax in is one of the most notable features of the station, with its giant windows!  DunaLander2.png
  • The Duna Spaceport Research Lander is a re-usable lander, designed to land on Duna and return to the Spaceport to refuel.  The vehicle carries an array of all the most sophisticated scientific instruments known to Kerbal-kind!Duna Crew Vehicle.png
  • A crew vehicle and habitat module will be the last component, taking a crew of three in an Aurora Crew Vehicle, which for simplicity sake is being called the Crew Vehicle Mk. 6) with a habitat module similar to those found on the KSS and other space stations stowed below. Once in orbit a docking and transposition maneuver will be undertaken, and the craft will travel to Duna, docking with the Space Station there!  The crew vehicle and habitat section will return to Kerbin, while the station and lander will will remain in orbit for future missions.

Explorer 2 has led to the development of several new technologies and innovations.  The innovative use of existing Aurora-era technologies combined with the habitats developed for the Orbital Station above Kerbin, Mun, and Minmus, and the utterly massive Sarnux X Launch Vehicle, which will claim the title of “most powerful machine ever built” upon its completion!

Dunwin is informed of his place on the mission while he’s on-mission, on the surface of Mun:screenshot1342.png

“Uh – Dunwin – the Administrator’s got something he needs to tell you. Pretty important.”

 

“Uh oh!”

-Dunwin

 

Dunwin – you’re going to DUNA with Kimmy and Mitster!  Congratulations!

 

Ow wow!!!   I can’t wait!

-Dunwin

screenshot1349.pngKimmy, on Harmony Space Station above Minmus, is just as excited!

“Oh wow – I get to go!?   I can’t wait!”

-Kimmy

Back at KSC, Mitster is itching to get some more experience in before the flight to Duna!

“I need to be ready for anything!”

-Mitster

 

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Year 4, Day 350 (X-5 Research Mission 1)

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A new research mission to study Kerbin is launched.  The X-5 will be taken out by Mitster and Orlas – recently returned from Eve! A Gravity Sensor is installed in the cargo bay. screenshot1255.png

“Here we go! Reaching optimal altitude for the X-5… 9000km!”

-Mitster

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The X-5 flies over X5RM01-A – and Orlas notices something!

Looks like we made a mapping error – woops!  The X-5 has already explored this canyon, and the Monolith that’s down there!

-Orlas

 

We better keep moving anyway… that looks like it would be a tricky landing!

-Mitster

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X5RM01-B isn’t very far away, and Mitster takes the X-5 down for a landing.  Orlas hops out, and checks the scientific instruments… then the jet takes off again!

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Hey – will you look at that!  One of the ground stations for communications – cool!

-Orlas

Mitster takes the X-5 down to X5RM01-C!

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Certainly there’s some staff at that communications station that could have done this survey?   Ah well.  The X-5 takes off… heading north!

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Better turn on the cabin heaters… it’s getting chilly!

-Mitster

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“Ok – this is the site where orbital sensors indicated a strange anomaly. I’m going out to check it out!”

-Orlas

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Oh wow!  Mitster, get out and check this out!

-Orlas

Orlas runs toward what looks like a crashed … saucer of some kind!

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Mitster puts on the parking brake and climbs out….

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Then runs to meet up with Orlas at the crashed saucer!

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“Wow!  They’ll never believe this back at KSC!  We better take lots of pictures and samples!”

-Orlas

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It’s starting to get pretty late… so Mitster and Orlas take off, and head back to KSC.

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Thankfully, there’s justenough fuel to reach the Space Center!

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Orlas and Mitster hop out of the X-5 and rush to tell the others about their exciting discoveries!  The X-5 is brought in to be refurbished.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 4, Day 48 (Explorer Arrives at Gilly)

screenshot633.pngThe Explorer spacecraft finishes its journey from Eve to Gilly, circularizing an orbit around the small planetoid.

“Fuel keeps getting lower and lower guys… let’s try to be careful!”

-Mitster

screenshot636.pngFor the first time all three crew of a spacecraft will abandon their vessel and head down in a lander.  It’s a bit risky… but no one wants to be left behind on such a momentous occasion!Chrisnic, Mitster, and Orlas climb into the LARC… and detach!screenshot644

The LARC slowly moves away from Explorer.. and heads down to Gilly!

“”I’m so excited! ”

-Orlas

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The LARC sets down, and Chrisnic climbs out…

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Once he lets go of the ladder, the slightest step sends him flying across the surface

“Whoa!  The low gravity here is… very low!  Be careful!”

-Chrisnic

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Mitster is next… expertly piloting his rocket pack over to Chrisnic!

“You weren’t kidding!   It’s almost like we’re in space, and not even on a moon!

-Mitster

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Orlas jumps out next!

“Wheeeeee!”

-Orlas

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After having a good deal of fun playing on Gilly, the crew of Explorer gathers to take a landing portrait…. when Orlas notices something…

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“Wow!  What a sight to behold!”

-Orlas

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The crew pose for their portrait… the first Kerbals to land on Gilly!  What a day!  The crew will spend about 4 days on the surface of Gilly collecting important data before returning to the Explorer, high above the small moon… empty… waiting for its crew!

Year 4, Day 33 (Explorer Arrives At Eve)

screenshot516.pngMitster and Chrisnic transfer to the command module, while Orlas looks out the windows excitedly – it’s Eve Day – the day Kerbals arrive at Eve for the first time… ever!!!

“It’s so… purple!”
-Orlas

screenshot526.pngThe NERV Nuclear Engines fire… and fire… and fire.. the long but very efficient burn lasts nearly 4 minutes, as Explorer’s orbit is slowly circularized around Eve.

“Hang in there everybody… this will be a long burn, but it’s going exactly as simulations said it would!”

-Mitster

Indeed – DSV-1 Explorer eventually does circularize it’s orbit… and becomes the first vessel carrying Kerbals to orbit Eve!  The orbit has an apoapsis of 14,831 km, and periapsis of 122 km.  The burn took so long that Explorer will need to swing around Eve once more before arriving at the Periapsis again… and that’s when the atmospheric probe will be launched!

 

 

 

Year 3, Day 380 (Explorer Update)

screenshot434.pngExplorer, still on its long journey to Eve, is 120 days into its mission!  Chrisnic, Mitster, and Orlas have gotten to know each other’s annoying habits really well – but have also grown to be very close friends.  Good thing too – their mission still has a long way to go!  They’re all very eager to be the first Kerbals to see Eve … close up! screenshot433.png

Year 3, Day 317 (Explorer Departs for Eve!)

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This is the day!  Mitster triple checks the calculations, and Orlas does the same.

“Looks good!  Let’s light this candle!”
-Mitster

Explorer fires what’s left of the orbital stage to get a little extra ‘kick’ to Eve!  Then….

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The protective fairings on the nuclear engines fire!

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Explorer soars out of Kerbin’s orbit… screenshot320.png

and heads to Eve! If calculations are correct, and they better be, Explorer will arrive at Eve in 120 days… on Year 4, Day 33!

The engines stop firing, glowing red from the heat! Orlas activates the primary communication antenna as well!screenshot323.png

“Wow… those engines sure get hot!”

-Chrisnic

After the engines are done firing, the crew moves to the habitat section and get comfy… 120 days is the longest mission ever attempted by Kerbals!

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Orlas and Mitster, goofing around in the Explorer’s Habitat Section!
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Chrisnic.. waiting for something to break!