History of the Tristellar Space Exploration Commmand - Page 3


WARNING: Lots of big images! Give your browser time to load them.

Early Oracles and later Tiaras

Oracle I was the first in a series of simple landers, and destined to be the first to land- Troymin's easy to get to.
Oracle I became the first TSEC spacecraft to successfully land on an airless body, after Tiara IX landed on Derbin.
Oracle II would quickly follow aboard the newly-proven Opsuni rocket (see Hesperia I), destined for a longer trip.
It would take advantage of the Endeis II upper stage's delta-v reserves...
To land not only once...
Oracle III would follow to Dermun.
The next ship directed towards one of Mesbin's moons would be Tiara XII, another Derbin lander.
It would descend to a highland region of Derbin, previously unstudied.

"Tiara XII whispers to us of the world beneath Derbin's clouds, the high plains of the midaltitudes. The pressure remains constant around 1.3 atmospheres, and the temperature is a merely hot 310-280 kelvin. Amazing: beneath its clouds and yet still beneath the high plateaus present on the planet, Derbin is almost disturbingly habitable."

"Which begs the question: Where are the lakes, the rivers? Water is liquid here- we know it from the rain. But where does the rain pool? Surely this planet has endorheic basins, even if (evidently) it has no true ocean."

Next would be Oracle IV, bound for Graymun...
Which would perform the first successful landing on the moon.
Oracle V would follow on a Tempestas B lifter, a much larger payload than previous landings...
Mostly devoted to a large nuclear-powered survey orbiter.

Horizon-D and early Hesperia

Hesperia I would be the test payload for the first Opsuni 1 rocket, as well as a test of technologies required for future space stations.
Horizon XII would be the first test of the Horizon-D spacecraft, and the only flight of that spacecraft to date not to launch on an Opsuni rocket.
It would stay in orbit briefly...
And then return to the surface.
Horizon XIII would follow shortly on an Opsuni 1.1 rocket, and perform testing of the autonomous rendezvous and docking capabilities of the new craft.
This would also mark the first test of "uncooperative" docking testing, useful for connecting with nonfunctional spacecraft.
Notably, Horizon XIV would be the only crewed flight of Horizon-D to only carry one kerbal: Valentina Kerman.
Horizon XV would perform a rendezvous with Hesperia II...
And perform not one...
But two dockings with the other craft.
Horizon XVI would use an Endeis stage to travel higher than any crewed spacecraft before.
The cockpit's not too cramped.
Next, Horizon XVII would perform the first long-term crewed space study.
The large module behind the CSM would be named Hesperia III, and provide ample space for the crew.
Horizon XVIII, however, would be less successful- marking the first mid-flight abort in the course of crew spaceflight.
The safe return to Kerbmun of the crew is placed nicely between the initial Horizon-D launches and the first launches of the following Psyche spacecraft.

Petrel-C, deep space Tiara

Petrel VII would be the first Petrel-C spacecraft, explicitly designed for interplanetary exploration...
And featuring a smaller subprobe for exploring secondary locations.
Petrel VII proper would perform a close pass of Valyr, taking advantage of the oberth effect to capture into a highly elliptical orbit that it would use to visit several moons.
The subprobe, though, only ended up passing the outermost moon- Pluto-sized Manonam.
Petrel VII far from Manonam...
Then small Plaph...
...and green Denna.
Obligatory Valyr beauty shot.
Petrel VII's final acts, it turns out, would be at Oshan...
Where a too-close approach would cause loss of the spacecraft.
Soon after, Tiara X would become the second interplanetary Tiara to reach its destination...
Where that same huge envelope would somewhat gently slow the probe...
And allow it to land under three huge parachutes, making it the first spacecraft to perform a survivable landing on a world beyond Mesbin.
Petrel VIII would head for the other planetary neighbor of Mesbin, huge Tyepolbynar.
In this case, the subprobe flies by tiny close-in Jifgif.
The main spacecraft passes Tyepolbynar's third moon Tannor...
And the fourth moon, Etrograd.
While initially thought of as probably just a small dark moon, Etrograd has revealed quite a lot of Weirdness to us.
Altogether Petrel VIII (both craft) travelled to four moons of Tyepolbynar- little Jifgif, bright Tannor, odd Etrograd, and asteroidal Aerious.
Tiara XI, launched during the same window, would head for the largest moon- blue Imterril.
After streaking through Imterril's atmosphere not once but twice, performing a perfect aerocapture and atmosphere-skip maneuver...
Tiara XI would experience its parachutes burning away and be dashed against the waves of Imterril.
Petrel IX is to date the final Petrel spacecraft, aimed for the relatively tiny fifth planet- Egad.
The subprobe flew by the large asteroidal moon Yeerbor...
Accidentally passing mere dozens of metres above the surface, at 1.4 kilometres per second.
Petrel IX proper instead braked into orbit of Egad, able to study the planet in detail.

"While Mesbin was a hell and Valyr was a liar, Egad/Adjar instead had a remarkably positive reputation among the romantics of the early post-landing period. Alternately it was presented as promised land and ideal escape, and even today retains some of that air- while Egad is often maligned in recent media (a small, icy world whose green tint must be negative rather than belying habitability; a Duna at best to Valyr's second Laythe), it's still high on public polls of "most likely planet to be habitable"."


The new Spyglass program of standardized satellites would get off to a rocky start with Spyglass I, intended as a space observatory, instead running out of fuel and falling back into Kerbmun's atmosphere.
Spyglass II, though a different variant of the Spyglass design, would successfully reach its less ambitious planned orbit.
Spyglass IV, attempting to fulfill the mission of Spyglass I, would also run out of main fuel attempting to reach its planned orbit- it instead entered a contingency orbit.
Spyglass VII, after Spyglass V's successful test of a survey variant, became the first deep space Spyglass to reach an actual destination.

Continued Personal Main