Year 5, Day 360 (Explorer 2 Launches!)

Explorer2Patch

 

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The Explorer 2 Crew Vehicle launches, carrying Mitster, Dunwin, and Kimmy into orbit!

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Once in orbit, the crew have a terrible realiziation.  The antenna to allow communication with Kerbin during the mission wasn’t installed!  Thankfully, this is just what KSEA has Crew Shuttles for!

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Endeavor launches, piloted by Val – Chrisnic is the expert engineer that was available, and will install the new antenna on Explorer 2!

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Launching from Shadow Valley is really different – not used to so many mountains surrounding us while we launch!

-Val

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The crew shuttles will be pushing their upward orbital limit on this mission, but planners are certain that its possible! screenshot1716.png

Val rendevouses Endeavor with Explorer 2…

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While Chrisnic installs the Antenna bracket, and the antenna itself.

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Then – back to Kerbin!   Endeavor heads down into Shadow Valley….

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And makes a perfect landing!  In just a few days, Explorer 2 will head to Duna!

 

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Year 5, Day 132 (Oxygen Low on Unity Space Station!)

screenshot1582.pngOxygen is starting to run low on Unity Space Station, the research station orbiting Mun!  The supply craft sent to the KSS has enough extra supplies in it to resupply the station, however scrubbers and other technology to extend life on the stations is clearly needed.

Mission Control wants to delay any landings on Mun until the Oxygen situation is resolved!

 

 

Year 5, Day 19 (Intrepid Launches on KSS Repair/Upgrade Mission!)

screenshot1478.pngIntrepid blasts off, taking up to the KSS, with a cargo bay full of ladders!screenshot1493.png

It takes a lot of work.. but Chrisnic and Dunwin are eventually able to install both the ladders and grip surfaces as well as the new module’s solar panels, and even add some decorative lights!  Decorative safety lights. screenshot1495.png

The new panels deploy succesffuly!

“Well, will you look at that!  Those are some big solar panels!”

-Dunwin

After a … mostly… successful mission, Enterprise prepares to head back to Kerbin.  Edan will take the craft down himself, while Chrisnic will stay on the KSS to train!

screenshot1498.pngEdan lines up a perfect landing…

screenshot1500.png… and sets down!  Edan is developing a reputation for being a no-nonsense pilot that can handle pretty much anything that comes his way!

Year 5, Day 13 (Enterprise Launched to Upgrade KSS Power and Solar Systems!)

screenshot1444.pngEnterprise launches!   Edan will pilot the Heavy Cargo Shuttle to orbit and rendezvous with the Kerbin Space Station, and Dunwin will supervise the initial installation of the solar power unit, and then perform EVAs to complete installation from Enterprise’s cargo bay! screenshot1445.png

“Orbital Assist Vehicle is away… heading to the station!”

-Edan

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Dunwin reviews the mission parameters as Enterprise rockets towards the KSS!

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Enterprise arrives at the KSS and the module detaches!

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Installation proves very difficult, with Chrisnic leaving the station to assist Dunwin!

“This is just impossible!  There’s no way to get a grip on anything!”

-Chrisnic

Chrisnic and Dunwin return to the KSS, taking the extra parts from Enterprise, while Edan tries a “first”… docking Enterprise itself to the Kerbin Space Station!

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“Almos there… almost there…”

-Edan

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Wow – everyone is very suprised that the docking actually worked.  The KSS was never designed to dock such a large craft, but Edan showed that it was possible!

“Now let’s all hang tight and wait for Intrepid!”

-Edan

KSEA decides to send up Intrepid to deliver some parts to allow the installation of footholds and other gripping surfaces for the station!

 

Year 4, Day 271 (Resolute Launches Second Unity Space Station Module)

screenshot1077.pngThe upgraded Resolute takes off!   Val pilots rookie engineer Seely and Gillian up to orbit! This will be Resolute’s first flight using the upgraded Launcher, and with the new Cargo Bay arrangement!screenshot1079.png

The launch goes well – with the OAV carrying the shuttle to its desired orbit, leaving over 1000 d/v in fuel for orbital maneuvering.

“That’s sure was a bumpy ride!”

-Seely

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Val pilots Resolte to a close rendezvous with Unity Station!

Ok – we’re there.. but we better wait until we’re on the ‘day’ side of Kerbin before doing the install!

-Gilian

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Seeley heads out, and practices some basic space maneuvers!  screenshot1088.pngThe module goes into place, and Unity Space Station is ready to go!

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“Resolute’s coming in pretty hot!  I’m going to need to circle around before I can land!”

-Val

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Val sets down, but takes out one of the landing lights at the end of the runway!  Endeavor takes some minor damage, losing a few of its air brakes! Everyone agrees this was the most dangerous landing the Heavy Cargo Shuttles have ever done.  High speed, and performing the maneuver node too early is the general consensus.

“Maybe we can find a way to slow the shuttle more on reentry – that was scary!”

-Seeley

Year 4, Day 217 (Enterprise’s First Mission!)

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The Heavy Cargo Shuttle Enterprise blasts off from Cape Kerman!

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The launcher disconnects, then guides itself back to the surface.  Meanwhile, the Orbital Assist Vehicle (OAV) fires, taking the shuttle to its desired 80k orbit!

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The OAV disconnects… and Edan pilots the craft to a rendezvous with the Unity Space Station!

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Mission Control – Enterprise is ready to begin installation maneuvers!

-Edan

screenshot1001.pngUh oh. There’s a small problem!  Looks like the Habitat Module wasn’t equipped with a communications device.  What a disaster! But… there might be hope.

“I’ll head up there and fix it!  Installing an antenna on that thing can’t be too hard!”

-Gilian

screenshot1010.pngKSEA decides to green light the mission – in fact, this will allow testing of a new cargo module for the Crew Shuttle program!  The small module will allow a small cargo payload to be carried behind the shuttle, and once emptied will still allow crew to move through the module!   It should also solve the problem of where to put solar panels on the crew shuttles. Endeavor is rolled out, and has some antennas put on it that can easily be detached in orbit. No one’s ever tried something quite like this!  Rookie engineer Gillian says she’s practiced just this kind of thing underwater, and assures it can’t be that much more difficult in orbit!screenshot1012.png

Endeavor blasts off, just a few hours after the Enterprise.  Val and Gilian take Endeavor into a high orbit….screenshot1015.png

“Looks like the engine exhaust isn’t heating up the payload beyond what it’s rated for… this might work! ”

-Val

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“Alright Edan – I’m pretty close – I see the Unity Station Module… moving in to let Gilian do her work!”

-Val

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Endeavor gets very close to the dead-in-space module!

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First Gilian connects the antenna… then the solar array!

“Well – that was easy!  Heading back to Endeavor!”

-Gilian

Everyone at the Space Center is impressed!  Once Module’s onboard systems are powered up, the module moves in to dock with Unity Space Station…

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Almost there… screenshot1035.png

Connection established!  Hopefully the next launch is less dramatic!

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Endeavor sets down!  Gilian and Val get some well deserved rest!

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Next, Enterprise heads down!

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Not a perfect first mission for Enterprise, but everything went well in the end!  Enterprise tested several new design features of the Heavy Cargo Shuttle – and after the successful flight, similar upgrades will be undertaken on Resolute – including outfitting it with the new Launcher!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 4, Day 203 (Harmony Station First Landing)

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Mission Planners determine that the first landing site for the Harmony Science team will be at the Greater Flats, at a site designated HSS LS01. Due to the very low gravity of Minmus, there are several additional biomes the team will check out, marked A through D.  (Officially they are catalogued as HSS-LS01-A, etc.

This will be the first mission that makes use of the new telemetry data gathered by the Minmus Surveyor probe, that has been carefully mapping the surface of Minmus for future exploration!screenshot948.png

Samner and Robart board the Automated Lander, and head down!

screenshot954.pngThe lander sets the crew down perfectly at HSSLS01-A, the Greater Flats.  This is the first time a mission has been conducted entirely by a science team – some of the pilots look a bit nervous about this!screenshot961.png

Next, on to HSSLS01-B, a hill on the Lowlands of Minmus!screenshot963.png

“This is a pretty precarious landing site! I don’t think we should plant a flag… just in case!  We’ll gather all the science data though!”

-Samner

Thankfully, the lander sets down nicely… while the team conducts SCIENCE!  The mission needs to stay on a timetable… communications with Kerbin are necessary, due to the remote systems on the lander!

screenshot964.pngNext, on to HSSLS01-C – the Midlands! This landing goes much better… however not much science is gathered.  Hopefully site “D” will have better luck! This time, a more precise landing along the Slopes of Minmus will provide some interesting data.  Probably another tricky landing though!screenshot966

Unfortunately, the last landing site doesn’t yield much more data. However, interesting research was conducted on the Great Flats, the Lowlands, the Slopes, the Midlands, some of it already known, but nonetheless valuable to Kerbin!

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As the lander reaches orbit in the first leg of its rendevouse with Harmony Space Station, the crew gets a good look at the region they were just exploring.

“Wow – will you look at that!”

-Robart

screenshot973.pngThe lander docks with Harmony Space Station!  However, a small problem has become clear… the station is not equipped to handle refueling of the RCS thrusters that make docking possible!  A mission will have to be done soon to resupply the station… and Unity Space Station’s design has already been changed, swapping out two Life Support bays for RCS fuel. This will reduce the amount of time crews can inhabit the station, however it is doubtful a crew would be left without supplies for over a year!