Year 6, Day 329 (Explorer 4 Mission Announced, Crew Selected!)

Explorer 4.pngThe next Explorer mission is green-lit, Explorer 4!   This will be the first exploration craft to Dres, and will also be testing the Explorer Crew Vehicle, the successor to the Duna Crew Vehicle, with greater range and more advanced life support systems.

Explorer 4’s mission will be to reach and orbit Dres, land on the surface, return to the Crew Vehicle, then return to Kerbin!   For fuel purposes the lander will remain in orbit of Dres.

Val has been chosen as Mission Commander, Orlas will be the Engineering Specialist, and Robart will be the Mission Science Specialist!

Another awesome patch is commissioned for the crew:





Year 6, Day 127 (Enterprise Science Launch!)


Enterprise launches!  The mission is to investigate a sub-atomic particle that scientists have named “kuarks” – initial research has indicated that many of these particles are quite strange indeed..


Veteran scientist Orlas will oversee the research, along with Samner.  Val will pilot Enterprise, and train rookie pilot Mirphe as well!


The Heavy Cargo Shuttle is testing a new science payload that essentially turns a Cargo Shuttle into a fully equipped Science Lab in space!

“Orbit achieved – we’re starting science now!”


Back in Mission Control, scientists anxiously await for the science data to start streaming in!


Year 4, Day 396 (KSS Crew Rotation!)

screenshot1396.pngEndeavor completes a minor refit to its orbital maneuvering system.  Ever since the rear cargo addition was added to the Crew Shuttles orbital handling has been off, it’s hoped that this update will make the craft easier to control during docking!   In addition, air brakes developed during the Heavy Cargo Shuttle Program have been scaled down, and installed on Endeavor.  Hopefully they assist in landing safety! screenshot1397.png

Today, Val pilots Endeavor to orbit, taking Robart and Orlas up to the KSS for a crew rotation!  This might be the last launch to make use of the lower docking ports on the KSS, as engineers are designing a new Observation Lounge for the station, based on designs developed for Explorer 3!   Getting the huge addition into space will help test how practical it will be for the Explorer crew!screenshot1399.png

Endeavor arrives at the KSS!

“This new orbital maneuvering system works a LOT better than the old design.  We should refit the rest of the Crew Shuttles ASAP!”


screenshot1402.pngShepley, Jeb, Bob depart in the Intrepid, which is due for its own upgrades once it returns to Kerbin! screenshot1403.png

Jeb soars Intrepid down to the runway… screenshot1404.png

…for a perfect landing!

“Let’s get this thing refitted… I can’t wait to try out the new design!”


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

x5 research missions.png

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!”



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!



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



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!


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


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


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


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



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



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


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


Mitster puts on the parking brake and climbs out….


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


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



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


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


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!”


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! ”



The LARC sets down, and Chrisnic climbs out…


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!”



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!



Orlas jumps out next!




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


“Wow!  What a sight to behold!”



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!”

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!”


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!