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 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.