• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

7 Neutral

About dodrian

  • Rank
    Spacecraft Engineer

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Thanks for the responses, lots of great suggestions :-) I would love to do KSP with eight year olds . I personally would probably do something related to the ISS or the Mars Rovers. Think about it: We have a group of people living in space! And we have cars on another planet!
  2. If you had one shot, half an hour, to teach a group of primary school children something about space, what would it be and why? You could pick anything space related -- be it something about astronomy or nature, physics, technology, or human exploration. What do you think would pique an interest in space in the mind of an eight year old?
  3. Jeb is such a big figure in the Kerbal universe I didn't feel I could make him a major character without him taking over, which I didn't want. He may yet make an appearance, I haven't decided yet
  4. Thanks! Next chapter is about half-done but progress has been slow this week on account of me getting a new job
  5. Things that are short: a selection of KSP haikus: Fireworks again, Above the KSC bay Oh Jebediah! To the moon they flew Fated to return early The hatch obstructed Starting re-entry Bob, deploy the parachutes Jeb, we forgot them
  6. Chapter 5: Bob I skipped mission debrief. Instead Caldrin and I shared what had happened with the other astronauts, rounded up as many as we could and descended on Bob's office to demand change and safety assurances. It was reminiscent of how Bob had ousted Gene a few years back. A few engineers joined us, but otherwise we kept it as private as we could. I was shaking the entire meeting. I hoped it came across as anger, that's probably what Jesnik and some of the younger Kerbonauts thought. Caldrin certainly knew better, having been with me most of the time on Magellan Station and seen me aboard the Aegean. Truthfully I wasn't entirely sure what I was feeling. Fear? Certainly. Anxiety over the future of the program and my career? Definitely. Shame for betraying Bob, my friend? Maybe. Bob just sat there during most of the confrontation, not saying anything. Alone, eyes cast towards the desk which partitioned him from the astronaut corps all crowded into his office. What was he feeling? Uneasy, I hoped. I hoped he was realizing he had gone against his kerbonaut past to follow his predecessors in appeasing the political puppetmasters of the agency. Maybe I was being unfair to him. Finally after we had finished he spoke. He agreed to delay the Dunan program if necesary. Three months for the refit and testing of the Aegean. Three months without a cargo-capable orbiter. Still, the constellation of high resolution mapping satellites to pinpoint the landing site were already planned to be stack-launched next month. Magellan crew operations were slated to be handed over to the newly built Minnow. Most agency activities weren't affected, It was only the orbital assembly of our Dunan ship which needed the Aegean. All and all though, if we worked hard and there were no problem launches after the refit we could still make the planned departure window just under a year from now. As we slowly filed out off the room Bob caught my eye, just for a moment. The look on his face... betrayal? Had he been the one pushing behind the scenes to get me back into the program? Or had he realized how terrified I had been in the Aegean. There's no place in the corps for an Kerbonaut scared of flying. Still, he couldn't call me out now, not without it seeming like he was trying to discredit his main detractor. But one thing I could tell, our friendship was over. In the weeks after our meeting I busied myself in program life. I toured the Minnow, six-Kerbal and small payload orbital transport. I was apprehensive, it had the same mission brief as the Wahoo which killed Bill, but immediately it was clear that it was a completely different design. Stubby Wings attached to a more pronounced lifting body. Smaller, more efficient mixed mode engines. A turbojet for extra power and greater efficiency in the lower atmosphere, not to mention more controlled landings. All the astronauts involved in testing had been thrilled by its performance, none, not even those who had known Bill well felt at all concerned of its safety. I felt a twang of guilt looking at it, Bob had certainly lived up to his reform promises with this craft. I spent a lot of time running in the training center. Passed a few shifts as CAPCOM. Caldrin, Jesnik and I began our long term ground-based training for the Duna mission, as well as overseeing some of the candidate selection for the three remaining crew slots. Sidberry was one of the finalists, I hoped it wouldn't be him chosen. I watched the first launch of the Minnow from atop the Vehicle Assembly building. She lifted easily off the runway, tearing a hole straight through the stratosphere and into orbit. The windless weather from the summer heatwave meant the contrails she left behind stayed above KSC for hours, like an arrow pointing to heaven. Jesnik was aboard, co-pilot, racking up as many hours in space as she could, training before our scheduled departure window. Not to mention lab time aboard the Magellan, a zero-g lab almost identical to the one we were taking to Duna. After a week Jesnik and the Minnow returned with the relieved crew of Magellan Station. Kenkin was among them, and took a while regaining his land legs. Back on the ground we spent some time critiquing the design of our Dunan ship, but in the end all agreed it was a solid designed. Caldrin proposed she be named the Coral. Bob and I stifled a laugh, a moment of amiability after weeks of coldness and avoiding each other. Most of the younger engineers went along with it, not knowing Caldrin's wife, a similarly jocular kerbal named Carol. It was a good name though, and was voted in unanimously, Bob and I grinning at each other. Despite that shared joke, we continued sticking apart. We were polite enough with each other at meetings and in Mission Control, but made as many excuses as possible to keep separate. More than once I found myself going through the side entrance of the Astronaut training center to avoid passing the Director's office when I knew he'd be in. We sat at opposite sides of the stands for the night-time launch of the Dunan satellites, Trudy with me, but his wife notably absent. Rumor had it that they were separated, I wished I could say something to help him, or a word of consolation, but things were too cold between us. Sometimes it takes more courage to end a fight than it does to start one. 223 days to departure window.
  7. Thanks . I should have finished the next chapter by tonight, or tomorrow at the latest. It's lots of words though, and not many space-photos for what I planned to be an AAR
  8. From an old post of mine :-)
  9. Chapter 4: Re-entry The moment I had been dreading had arrived. Jesnik, Caldrin and I were strapped back in the Aegean going through re-entry preparations. I had been all-right going through preparations back at Magellan Station, but since we had closed the hatch and were now over half a km and drifting further away my nerves were beginning to show. If all checked out we would be back on the ground within an hour, but even thinking of that and seeing Trudy again weren't helping to calm me. We ran through each system, checking that everything was correctly initialized, Jesnik ticking each one off on her re-entry procedures clipboard. The flurry of activity was a helpful distraction, but I knew we would have 15 minutes of waiting after the checks were done before re-entry would start. "That's it," said Jesnik, reaching towards the comms switch. "Final procedure complete. We are go for re-entry." ~:Copy that Aegean. Ten minutes until the reentry window. I looked up at the cabin ceiling and took a deep breath, slowly letting it out. "You don't like re-entry, do you Milzer?" said Jesnik, breaking the silence. "No," I admitted. "It's when things have most gone wrong in the past." "It's all based on your perspective," butted in Caldrin. "I've always looked forward to re-entry. Me? I love to fly. But my home is on Kerbin. I'm always glad to get home. Plus..." he grinned, "it's the most thrilling part for any pilot." I didn't pick up on Caldrin's hints. "The re-entry procedure was always problematic. We went through several different techniques before we finally found a stable profile." I frowned, thinking about my previous experiences in the Aegean. "Jesnik, did you pump the reserve fuel into the forward tanks?" She flicked through the check-lists on her clipboard. "Ummm... that's not part of the listed procedures." Caldrin and I looked at each other. Caldrin flipped the comms switch. "KSC, can you confirm that fuel routing has been removed from re-entry procedures?" ~:...I'm not sure, let me check that for you. The pause seemed to go on forever. CAPCOM was no doubt talking with the engineers. ~:That's correct Aegean, fuel routing has been removed from re-entry procedures. With the recent changes to the craft it shouldn't be necessary any more. "Copy that," I said and switched off comms. "Shouldn't..." I muttered. Turning to Caldrin I added "What do you think?" Caldrin rubbed his chin. "After what we discussed of the ascent, I'm not sure I agree with KSC. I'll bring her down safe of course, but I think we should stick to the old procedure." I nodded. "Jesnik, pump the reserve fuel to the forward tanks." "What's wrong?" She asked, obviously nervous as she began the fuel routing procedure. I sighed. "The old Aegean was aerodynamically unstable when she was empty and travelling at high speeds. Putting as much weight forward helped stop it from fish tailing. Supposedly the aerodynamic problems were fixed with the revisions made before our flight, but Caldrin... Caldrin and I aren't convinced." My voice had begun to wavier. Could I still call off the landing? We probably had enough manoeuvring fuel to return to Magellan Station, or we could wait in the Aegean for a rescue capsule. I glanced at the oxygen levels. No, I was being irrational. The Aegean had always made it safely, even with the aerodynamic problems. ~:Burn window is open Aegean, you are go for reentry. Before I could change my mind I nodded at Caldrin. He tightened his grip on the controls and I heard the rumble of the engines coming to life. A seven second slow burn. I closed my eyes and counted it off. Three... two... one... silence again. Well that was it. No turning back now. Having no more decisions for the flight should have made me calmer, but instead my stomach was tying itself in knots. "Reentry profile looks good" piped up Jesnik. Caldrin nodded and slowly brought the Aegean facing forward. We passed a few minutes in silence. "Atmosphere interface" said Jesnik. Caldrin twitched the controls. We waited some more. "Fifty thousand meters," Jesnik read out. I watched the external temperature gauge slowly begin to rise. I closed my eyes and took slow breaths. "Fourty thousand meters." Flames began to lick the cabin windows as a shockcone formed around the Aegean. "Thirty thousand meters. We're coming in quite short of KSC." Caldrin glanced at the fuel gauges. "Open up the intakes, start the main engine in air-breathing mode." Jesnik threw some switches, and the orbiter shuddered as the rear engine came to life. Caldrin smiled, flaring the Aegean gently. "Piloting a craft 25 km up and at over five thousand miles an hour. This is what I joined the space program for!" At that moment the sun began to rise above the horizon ahead of us. "Wow..." said Jesnik. "It's... wow." I opened my eyes briefly. It was quite a sight, the mountains near KSC in miniature, beneath Kerbol rising. "Okay, we're back on course" said Jesnik. Caldrin powered the down engines and the Aegean began to sink again. We pointed back towards Kerbin. The mountains were coming up fast. "Airbrakes" said Caldrin and Jesnik pulled the lever. The panel lit up orange. Jesnik frowned and pumped the lever again. "Airbrakes aren't responding" she said. Adrenaline coursed through me. We'd have too much speed coming down to the runway, just like Bill. "We'll spiral over the grasslands and bleed off speed" said Caldrin, gently tilting the Aegean over. We were pushed down into our seats as the craft swung round. I felt her begin to fishtail, but Caldrin fought hard and kept her under control. My heart was pounding and felt as if it would jump out of my flight suit. First an airbrake failure, then this manoeuvre. It would be safe enough if the Aegean had the changes the pilots had always asked for, but... for more than once I was glad Caldrin was our pilot this mission. We slowly swung around and lined up with the runway. My breathing was rapid and shallow. 1000 meters. I felt the rumbling of the undercarriage coming down, though I hadn't heard Caldrin give the order. 500 meters. I had a vision of Bill's plane, a fireball on the runway. My arms were shaking, unable even to grip the rest of my chair. The ship flared gently as it shot over the end of the runway. Still too fast, but not enough momentum to come round, or enough time to restart an engine. This was it! We wavered above the centerline, drop, flare, drop. Past mission control, time running out, but then a thud and rumble as the gear touched down. We were thrown forward in our seats as the craft slowed down. Safe! We had landed. My head was spinning. The end of the runway was coming up, but we stopped just short. It was over, but I felt trapped in my seat, the cabin walls closing in. "Pop the hatch!" I yelled. "But the post flight checks?" Jesnik asked? "EMERGENCY EVACUATION!" The hatch blew and Jesnik fumbled with her harness before slipping out. I was already out of my seat scrambling to the hatch. I gasped for air, tumbling onto the runway. Ground! Safety! I lay down on the tarmac. In the distance I saw the rescue vehicles scrambling, obviously alerted by the hatch blowing to the emergency I'd falsely called for. But for now I didn't care, I was safe again.
  10. I'm also looking for new Kerbal textures. Does anyone know of any packs other than those linked in the first post? I'd especially like some ground crew to drive my KSC utility vehicles.
  11. Magellan Station After just a few days aboard Magellan station it began to feel as if I'd never left the kerbonaut corps. I quickly slipped back into communal life on the station - the structured shifts, freeze dried food, the tiny movements needed to get around in microgravity. The routine is really comforting, the only thing I don't like is the constant changing of the sun. Every fifteen minutes Kerbol either rises or sets - flooding the areas with portholes with an excess of light or plunging them back into darkness. The station was operational 24/7 too, meaning artificial light is always on except in the sleeping area. It makes establishing a natural work-rest rhythm difficult. I wouldn't change it for the world though. Just looking out through the cupola made all the difficulties worthwhile, ten times over. There's nothing that can compare to seeing your home planet from space, it's just as wondrous the 20th time as the first. Kenkin attested to that. Two months ago he surpassed the record for longest consecutive time in orbit, yet Kenkin, with all his experience, still spent much of his downtime in the cupola staring out. After we'd been reorientated to station life Caldrin found an opportunity to take me aside. On the pretence of running some tests on the Aegean we managed to find privacy in the cramped cabin. "Look Milzner, I'm really worried about the restart of the orbiter program." I nodded slowly. "I'm not too keen on it either Cal, but Bob gave me his assurances..." Caldrin looked uncomfortable. "I trust Bob, after all he went through and all he did for us," Caldrin paused and slowly spun around until he was upside-down from my perspective. "It's just, they've supposedly made the ship better and safer, but I really didn't feel it during our ascent. What's different about the ship? What changes have they made? I can't see any." I tapped the wall with my feet and drifted over to study the fuel control panel. "You didn't touch the reserve tank during ascent, that's better than any of the Aegean flights from Project Ocean. Bob told me that the engines had been overhauled for efficiency." "Yeah, they told me that too. But honestly, pilot to pilot? She flew the same. I've had more training, more experience with the craft, I'm a better pilot than in the early days of the program. I think I'm the reason for the better flight, I'm not trying to brag, I'm just saying that I don't think they've actually made the changes we'h asked for." I shuddered. This was exactly what happened with Bill... "There's more," Caldrin continued, "the auto-assist pilot was fighting me the whole way up. I ended up flying her on manual the whole way." This made me smile at least. "Caldrin, you never trusted any machine to fly better than you. Besides all pilots are trained for flying without the autopilot. Is that really a problem?" "No... no, it's not. But these problems shouldn't be happening. Not after how Project Ocean finished. Not with the promises we were given." We floated in silence for a while. The sun set through the cockpit windows. Finally I spoke. "Should I call off the mission then? Use the escape capsules to get home like what happened last time? Or we could call up a stack, one's on standby for a rescue if needed." "No, I can bring us down safely in the Aegean, getting home isn't the issue. We don't need another embarrassment for the program either. But I wanted to let you know first, this stuff needs to get bought up at mission debrief." There was a pause. "Okay. If you're confident she's safe, we'll finish the mission as planned, but I agree, this needs to flagged up with Bob during debrief." "Thanks Milzer." Caldrin swung open the hatch and pushed off back into Magellan station. I followed him up and turned off into the exercise room. It was my turn on the bungee treadmill. Running in space is a completely different experience to running on Kerbin. There’s no gravity, so you have to be strapped to treadmill with bungee cords. It makes running tricky, because the harder you push off, the harder you get pulled back down. And microgravity makes it feel like you’re falling the whole time, which makes balancing tricky. But it’s a good feeling as a change from weightlessness. It’s also important to keep in good health. Without regular strain, muscles and bone begin to degrade. Kerbonauts always take a few weeks to recover after a long flight. Part of Kenkin’s long mission was to see how an extra long flight would affect his recovery time. It would be important for our plans to go to Duna to know how we would be able to cope landing on another planet---returning to gravity with no KSC doctors to support our recovery. To that end, the engineers had launched a new piece of technology to test out on Magellan Station ahead of the long voyage. A centrifuge, a spinning donut, to give an area of the ship to exercise and rest in. This would help slow skeletal and muscular decay. The centrifuge, too big for an orbiter was stack launched shortly after we arrived, and automatically docked to Magellan station on the spare docking port by the escape pods. After connecting it to the station’s power system, all the Magellan crew waited with interest for it to inflate fully and slowly spin up to speed. It was a pretty weird experience, all of us crammed into the corridor, one by one entering down into the centrifuge. The rotating centrifuge entryway had handles all the way down, but the forces pushed us back and down, a bit like a slide. Walking the curved surface was tricky too, we were being pulled down towards the floor, but the floor was constantly turning. It was disorientating and took some getting used to. But all of us appreciated the change from weightlessness. Plus, it gave me a distraction from thinking about the impending return flight.
  12. Chapter 2: The Aegean It had been a busy month since I'd accepted Bob's offer. I'd been launched straight into training for the first mission, ostensibly a resupply mission to Magellan station in LKO, but really a chance to shakedown the newly recomissioned Aegean. It's also an opportunity to get to know some of the planned Duna crew. Sitting on the runway waiting for the launch had brought back my nerves. Sure, I'd been nervous at launch before, but underneath that had always been an excitement. Today that excitement was gone, an anxiety lurking in its place. Still, it's an easy mission brief, or as easy as any spaceflight could be. "Preflight checks complete, all systems go" said Jesnik, obviously jittery at her first launch. Jesnik is a by-the-book kerbal, she comes across as uptight, but really she's green and hiding her inexperience by being almost militaristic in following procedure. I guess we were kerbonauts all like that at some point. She'll loosen up after a few flights. ~:Copy that, three minutes until launch window. Sidberry at CAPCOM. He's a good kerbonaut, but for some reason we don't get on. There's no ill will between us and we respect eachother enough, there's just... coldness. I can't really explain why, but there you go. Jesnik secured the checklists in a pocket beside her. I can tell she doesn't like not having them in front of her. Hopefully procedure and training will soon be replaced by experience and intuition. She's exceptionally bright though, a perfect science officer for the Duna mission, and this flight will make her the youngest kerbonaut in space. I looked over to Caldrin on my right. Easily the best flier in the corps, I was glad when Bob told me he'd be our pilot and my second in command for the Duna missions. ~:Two minutes until launch window. Caldrin leaned over and grinned at Jesnik. "You all right there Jess?" She looked through the forward windows to the runway ahead of us. "Yeah, nervous I guess," she replied. "But excited to finally be here" she quickly added. Caldrin smiled at me. "It's the drop at the end of the runway she's worried about. But that's nothing compared to what us old navy pilots had to face on the carrier launches, eh Milzer?" Caldrin always knew how to lighten the mood. "Heh, yeah" I said, trying to force a laugh. It was hard to keep the fake calm with my stomach in knots. "That was always a white-knuckle experience, I never quite got used to how the catapult would hurl us over the water. An orbiter launch is a cakewalk compared to some of the stunts we had to pull in the navy." ~:One minute until launch window. The Aegean is all yours Caldrin, safe flying. "Copy that" replied Caldrin into his headset, running his hand across an instrument panel. He took a moment to collect himself. An orbiter ascent is much slower than those old stack rockets. It's harder to engineer a rendezvous in an orbiter, and requires more concentration on the part of the pilot. There was no real point to a countdown, so Mission Control lets the pilot call the shots until after liftoff. It's a pretty intense responsibility. As commander I held ultimate responsibility for the missions, but those were slow decisions with time to think, I could handle that. Caldrin would have a split second before we passed over the abort line a third of the way down the runway to decide if the Aegean could take off or if we needed to cut power and hit the chutes. And landing... I shuddered. I'm really glad I wouldn't be at the controls for landing. "Alright, lets do this" said Caldrin, wiggling the fake keys he had somehow smuggled on the ship and attached next to his yoke. Always the joker. "Engine start," he winked at Jesnik. Jesnik flipped up the control panel and tapped in the ignition procedure. The engines began to whirr, then roared into life behind us. Five of the lights on the panel in front of us one by one turned yellow, then green. "Engines go!" yelled Jesnik above the shuddering of the cabin. Caldrin nodded and pushed his throttles forward. The engine roar became deafening and we were pressed back into our seats as the Aegean accelerated forward. Within moments the scenery was blurring past us. "Abort line" Jesnik shouted. "She's good" Caldrin screamed back as mission control shot past us on the right. The end of the runway bore down on us and I saw the speed indicator pass liftoff safe. Caldrin eased the yoke back. The nose of the Aegean lifted and I grimaced as we shot over the edge. Caldrin was right, it wasn't as bad as my carrier days, but still, it was pretty bad. We were pressed further down into the seats as the vertical speed indicator shot up and the sea dropped beneath us. "Gah!" exclaimed Jesnik. "Yeah, the training never really prepares you for that" I shouted back. "But don't worry, that was the worst of it." I was right. It was a smooth ascent, except for the engine switchover at 24000 meters which sent unsettling jolts through the ship. But in a few minutes we had reached orbit, and Caldrin throttled back the engines. I felt my inerds lurch as the acceleration stopped and we were suddenly weightless. *Bleurgh* I heard to my left as Jesnik leaned over and threw up into a space-sickness bag. "Hah!" I said. "One of the less well publicized and less glamorous aspects of life in the kerbalnaut corps. Don't worry, it happens to most of us on our first flight." A similar sound errupted to my right as Caldrin leaned over. "And even to some of us veterans" I was forced to admit. "Well Jesnik, welcome to orbit." For the first time since climbing into the Aegean early this morning I began to smile. It's good to be back.
  13. Chapter 1: Milzer Kerman It was good to be back in the Astronaut Center. I turned up the speed on the treadmill for a brief sprint. These past six months have given me a renewed sense of purpose, but how much longer can I stay here? This past week of waiting for the decision had been stressful, not enough direction in my days and too much downtime. The physical and health tests were no problem, I'm sure I've passed those. Maths and science were never my strong subjects, but I still should be good enough for the corps. I'm fairly old to be re-accepted as a kerbonaut, yeah, but there are older kerbals in active service. The Psych test. That was it really. Bill's death had hit me harder than the others, I don't know why. The question was, had I convinced the agency doctors that I'd recovered from it? In the wall-length mirror in front of me I saw Bill enter the gym. Bob, not Bill. Of course it was Bob. I shuddered and shook it off. I guess Bill's spectre still haunts me occasionally. Bob spotted me running and began to walk over. Bob had been amazing after the accident, representing kerbonaut interests during the investigation. It was hardly a surprise he was appointed to the directorship to replace the ousted Gene Kerman. It had changed us all of course, the accident. I'd lost it, overwhelmed with anxiety I'd quit the corps. I wasn't the only one of course, but perhaps mine was the most dramatic exit. Bob instead had become more focussed, determined to see the culture which allowed the accident crushed. He had sullened too, no longer the jovial kerbal the corps had loved so much. His face now permanently wore the grief from the loss of his friend. Bob stopped beside me and smiled. He was looked pleased, sure, but it was a calculated happiness, no longer the spontaneous warmth of his younger self back when we were training together. "Congratulations Milzer, there's no point keeping you in suspense any longer. You've been cleared for active duty." A wave of relief washed over me. I guess I hadn't realized just how much weight I'd been carrying for that decision. It felt as if the last two years were being lifted off my shoulders. "Thanks Bob... I... it's an honour to be serving in the corps again." "That's not all, we want you to be commander of our next great project." Bob leaned forward. "We've finally restored funding to send a crewed mission to Duna." I slowed the treadmill to a walk. "Are you serious? That's... I don't know what to say..." "You've done excellently these past few months, Milzer. I know Bill's death shook you more than most, but you've shown us all how committed you are to the program. You've the experience we want, and the level-headedness needed in a commander. I don't believe there's a better choice for this mission." I tried to absorb what Bob was telling me. A command position? It was what I had always dreamed of before the accident, but afterwards I hadn't considered that it might be an option. "There's one more thing..." Bob fidgeted uncomfortably. "We've recommissioned the Aegean for this program." I stumbled and nearly fell over. Stopping the treadmill I stepped off and tried to compose myself next to Bob. I tried to slow my breathing. "The truth is the Aegean is still one of the most advanced craft we've ever built," he continued. "It's far cheaper and more versatile than a traditional stack; it built most of Magellan Station after all. And our engineers have gone over and refined the design countless times, we've learned from the mistakes of Project Ocean." Bob leaned forward, looked me in the eyes and intoned "I made sure of that." I sat down on a workout bench and rubbed my forehead. He was right of course, from an technically standpoint Project Ocean was brilliant. But we'd all been squeezed by the bureaucracy, the engineers especially. Mission turnarounds were too quick and kerbonaut feedback went unheeded as the engineers scrambled to refit the ships in time. All so the program would remain in the public limelight and funding would keep rolling in. All of us had at some level known that an accident was just around the corner, but with seeming success after success no one was brave enough to speak up. Still, if I were to trust anyone to make the right changes, it would be Bill's closest friend. Besides, it wasn't the Aegean which crashed. I stood up. "...I'm not sure if I could command another orbiter... I mean, I know it wasn't an Aegean model at fault, but..." "I understand," Bob replied. "After what happened I don't think I could face another trip to space either. That's why I accepted the directorship. But you were always more at home up there than me." He paused for a while. "If you turn down the command and the Aegean, you're still part of the corps. But the truth is I don't think we'll be sending up another stack for quite a while, certainly not manned. We'll respect your decision if you don't want to fly in an orbiter, but if that's the case I really don't think you'll get another flight. I mean this as a friend Milzer, I'm not trying to pressure you into anything, I just want you to know the facts." "No, I get that. Thanks Bob." "Think it over. Talk about it with Trudy over the weekend, I know how much she's encouraged you through the re-enlistment. I've arranged a meeting with you at 1000 on Monday, you can let me know your decision then." He smiled as he shook my hand, and I caught a glimpse of the old Bob. "Oh, and Milzer? It's great to have you back." As he turned and walked out of the gym I thought of how excited the kids would be to hear that their father was a kerbonaut again, and later how happy Trudy would be to share in my news. Even with my anxieties over the Aegean, I had already begun to realise that there was really only one decision I could make. I swallowed and began to collect my things as I headed back to the changing rooms. I guess I'm going to Duna.
  14. The First Dunans Two years after the accident which caused the loss of friend and fellow Kerbonaut Bill Kerman, when offered the position of Commander of the first mission to Duna, Milzer struggles to come to terms with his role in the space program. Chapters Milzer Kerman The Aegean Magellan Station Re-entry Bob Comments welcome! I've been going for a more realistic story, exploring what it would be like to be a Kerbonaut on a long voyage. I also haven't decided what to name the Duna ship either, and still have two more crew to recruit. If you have any suggestions, put them in the comments
  15. OK Rhomphaia, I admit defeat! I could get a few more m/s out of my designs, but couldn't beat yours. Care to share your secrets? :-) Here's my design: