History of the Tristellar Space Exploration Commmand - Page 4


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The Psyche Spaceplane (and its destinations)

The Psyche spacecraft, intended to supplant Horizon's role as a low-orbit crew craft, made its first test on Psyche I.
After a successful orbital test, it made an acceptable autonomous runway landing.
Psyche II continued the test campaign by performing two dockings with the Hesperia III station discarded by Horizon XVII.
Psyche III docked with Hesperia IV while the Horizon XIX visiting spacecraft was docked to it...
Leading to, as Jebediah Kerman piloted Psyche III, the use of callsigns- "Apple Scoot" for Psyche III, and "Fuseli" for Horizon XIX.
Psyche IV "Resilient" was the first crewed flight of a Psyche spacecraft, carrying a crew of three...
To a nice stay aboard Hesperia IV.
The record of correct Psyche landings continues!
Psyche V "Thunderbird" docked with Horizon XXII "Aster"'s Hesperia V, bringing the tally of people aboard the same spacecraft to an extremely cramped five.
Hesperia VI, a dedicated space study platform, was launched aboard the first Opsuni 2 rocket (a vessel that would become quite important in the coming flights).
Psyche VI "Albatross" took the first crew of three to the new station.
Psyche VII "Frigate" began a tradition of continually crewing a station with no period between stays.
Navis VI, intended as destination for Psyche VIII, failed to reach orbit...
But its sister, Navis VIa, made it.
Soon after, Psyche VIII "Petrel" made it to the observation platform.
However, its polar orbit meant the trajectory for descent went poorly...
And Psyche VIII splashed down safely, its crew recovered even as the spaceplane sank.

Horizon-D/Intrepid in Deep Space

After the near-disastrous failure of Horizon XVIII, Horizon XVIIIa carried the Hesperia IV station to orbit...
Which would host not one...
but two additional crewed, and one uncrewed missions to the same station (two of which are covered in the Psyche section).
Horizon XX "Firebird"/Intrepid I would be the first test of a new spacecraft...
A vehicle built to bring kerbals (in this case, Tamara and Shelul Kerman) safely to Kerbmun's easiest-to-reach neighbor, the little moon Troymin.
"Firebird" would fly by Troymin, while Horizon XXI "Voyager"/Intrepid II would reach orbit (with Tridan and Bill Kerman aboard)!
After a short intermission for the launch of Horizon XXII "Aster" and its Hesperia V station (covered in the Psyche section)...
Horizon XXIII "Odyssey"/Intrepid III would be the main event.
Pilot-Commander Jebediah Kerman and Flight Engineer Anemone Kerman landed on the surface of Troymin.
While locomotion is quite difficult on the surface of an asteroid like Troymin...
The crew successfully perched a science installation on a ridge, hopefully allowing for permanent line of sight contact with Kerbmun.
The spacecraft was hopped to the other side of Troymin, with the double landing allowing the following mission to focus on science rather than setting up a base. (Because Kerbal Space Program has some arcane union rules about how engineers can't do science and scientists can't set up surface science.)
One more beauty shot of the surface- with Derbin rising next to nearly-still Kerbmun.
The crew returned safely (note Mesbin's shadow on Kerbmun here), and then it was time for the fourth and final Troymin mission...
Horizon XXIV "Adventure"/Intrepid IV, carrying Valentina and Bob Kerman.
The two crew made cross-surface hops to nearby points of interest, with Bob going to the landing site of the previous mission...
And Valentina visiting Oracle VI.
"The uncounted population of a living world, two biospheres in balance... Plus six more kerbals orbiting the bright blue sphere, and G-d knows what else further beyond."
Adventure's hop took it to Oracle I...
Which provided an additional case study of the degradation of defunct spacecraft.
Note the spacecraft itself being visible in this picture from a nearby mountaintop.
The ship would gradually make its way home...
And meanwhile, new plans were being put into motion.

Intrepid-T and Dauntless

Immediately after the last flight to Troymin, plans for the next big step in space exploration went into play. First were the Intrepid-T missions...
Carrying a small, highly instrumented capsule far from Kerbmun, to prepare for deep space crewed flights.
This culminated in a Derminmus flyby, verifying that the situation on Kerbmun had not changed Kerbals so much as to make their continued survival in space unlikely.
Horizon XXV "Austringer" and Dauntless I "Goshawk" would be launched separately, then join together in orbit for the Intrepid V initial test of the Dauntless-B vehicle and procedures required to bring it to Derminmus' surface.
This included the rather ridiculous-looking Derminmus landing simulation.
Note the stage-and-a-half system that the Dauntless lander uses, with some fuel tanks carried along with the landing legs and separated for launch.
Horizon XXVI "Tiercel" would follow next, launched aboard the first crewed Opsuni 2 rocket.
The Horizon XXVI/Intrepid VI spacecraft would carry Tridan and Helgel Kerman...
All the way to Derminmus orbit and back, putting them in the history books as the first to orbit not only Derminmus, but technically another planet- Derminmus' parent world Derbin is in a binary relationship with Mesbin.
While Horizon XXVII "Carnation" carried the Hesperia VII module to Hesperia VI...
Dauntless II "Hobby" would be the final test of Derminmus systems before the true crewed landings.
Under the careful control of pilots Triford and Valentina Kerman, the first three-part Intrepid-Derminmus stack- Intrepid VII- was assembled.
The Horizon XXVIII "Falconer" spacecraft, once in Derminmus orbit, would again have to perform a complicated maneuver...
That of extracting the lander to prepare it for its mission.
Uncrewed, Hobby would travel by remote control to Derminmus' surface.
While its stay on Derminmus would be relatively short and its scientific gains limited, Dauntless II performed an important duty.
Theoretically speaking, it would be possible to complete an Intrepid-Dauntless flight by simply omitting the second return stage. This would provide not only worryingly small margins, but also a distinct lack of emergency return capability in the event of an engine failure.
The crew spent a full nine days in space before coming home.

Oracle Analysis Landers

Late Spyglass

Navigators Head Out to the Planets!

Continued Personal Main