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Explorers - Chapter 5: Shoot For the Mun

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Spoiler

First, a warning. I am sort of a noob.

I've never gone past Minmus, and haven't played a 'proper' career mode game. So, obviously, I decided to document my exploration of the Kerbalverse with a story, as I happen to be a writer. This will be a sort of realistic career mode story, where I attempt to, using prodigous amounts of math, create real space-program-quality work!

 

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Spoiler

Difficulty: Hard

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  • Allow Reverting: True
  • Allow Quickloading: True
  • Missing Crews Respawn: False
  • Auto-Hire: False
  • Entry Purchases: False
  • Indestructible Facilites: False
  • Stock Vessels: False

 

  • Re-Entry Heating: 110%
  • Resource Abundance: 50%
  • Comms Network: True

 

  • Starting Funds: 10,000
  • Starting Science: 0
  • Starting Reputation: 0
  • Science Rewards: 80%
  • Funds Rewards: 60%
  • Reputation Rewards: 60%
  • Funds Penalties: 200%
  • Reputation Penalties: 200%
  • Decline Penalty: 0

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  • Kerbal Experience: True
  • Kerbals Level Up Immediately: True
  • Allow Negative Funds/Science: False
  • Part Pressure Limits: True
  • Part G-Force Limits: True
  • Kerbal G-Force Limits: True
  • Kerbal G-Force Tolerance: 1.00
  • Resource Transfer Obeys Crossfeed Rules: True
  • Always Allow Action Groups: True
  • Building Impact Damage Multiplier: 0.20
  • Part Upgrades: False

 

  • Require Signal for Control: True
  • Plasma Blackout: True
  • Range Modifier: 0.666 (for demonic antennae)
  • DSN Modifier: 10.55
  • Occlusion Modifier (Vac): 1.00
  • Occlusion Modifier (Atmo): 0.95
  • Enable Extra Groundstations: False

 

 

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Spoiler

In total: 24 mods. 15 of which are visual, and 9 of which affect gameplay.

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  • None! All craft are completely stock. SO GET THEM NOW!!!

 

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  • Kerbal Alarm Clock - To prevent those moments when Jeb looks at you through the little window and thinks "There goes that manoeuvre node."
  • Kerbal Engineer Redux - Adds a lot of information that you think is useless but isn't.
  • Modular Fuel Tanks - Lets you fill fuel tanks with whatever you like.
  • Trajectories - Advanced landing and aerobraking planner.
  • [x] Science - A mobile summary of your completed experiments.

 

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Craft can be found on Kerbal X, and they are usually released in the order that they appear in the story.

A new chapter will be uploaded every Thursday (or thereabouts), unless I forget about it.

Edited by Osmium
Added Chapter 5

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It was launching day at the Kerbal Space Centre, and the interns were hard at work baking cakes for everybody. In Mission Control, the most important figures of the space program (and also Jeb) were gathered around the launchpad, hiding in a small bunker.

 

“10!”

 

The countdown began.

 

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“9!”

 

“Gene, what are you doing in that kardboard box?” said Gene’s dad.

 

“It’s not a box!” replied the young Gene. “It’s the Maximus 5! I was right in the middle of the trans-munar injection burn!”

 

“Uh…,” said Gene’s dad, befuddled by this technobabble.

 

“And just what do you think you’re doing?” replied Gene. “You’ve blocked the way to Minmus!”

 

“But nobody’s even gone to Minmus!”

 

“We’ll see about that,” said Gene cryptically.

 

“8!”

 

“7!”

 

“Okay, we’re here,” said Valentina’s mom, parking the car in the middle of the desert. “It’s a perfect night for stargazing.”

 

Valentina unloaded the telescope. “Do you think Kerbals will ever go… up there?”

 

“I don’t know, sweetie,” said Val’s mom. “I really don’t know.”
 

They paused for a moment.

 

“Just look at that bright star,” said Val’s mom. “So distant. Lonely.”

 

“That’s a plane.” said Val.

 

“Oh.” said Val’s mom, a bit flustered.

 

They looked up at the stars for a moment, and all was silent.

 

And that was the moment when Valentina decided to go to space. And now, sooner than imagined, that dream would become reality. This was the last test flight.

 

“6!”

 

“5!”

 

“Gene Kerman. You?” said the headset-clad Kerbal drinking koffee, extending his hand in greeting..

 

“No thank you, never between meals,” said the other Kerbal, wearing glasses and a rather stained lab coat.

 

“No, no!” said Gene, as we shall call him. “I’m asking for your name!”

 

“You don’t say?” said the other one.

 

Your name!” shouted Gene.

 

“I was looking for a Mr. Gene Kerman. Do you know him?”

 

“GAHH!”

 

“Oh, good! You do! Allow me to introduce myself… I’m Wernher von Kerman, pre-eminent rocketeer...”

 

“4!”

 

“3!”

 

“Okay, so the lander’s trashed, but we have enough RCS to…” said one of the Kerbals in the simulator pod.

 

“Jeb!” said the other. “This is the final kerbonaut exam! How will it look on your form if it says Stranded on the mun due to reckless piloting?”

 

“Lalala not listening!” said Jeb, shutting down the comms and firing the RCS thrusters to bring the command module out of orbit.

 

Several frightening bumps and crashes later, the Simulation 1 was landed on the Mun, and the training exercise was over.

 

“Your companion there failed the exam. No scientific spirit. However, you were more fortunate, and are now a member of the Kerbal Space Program.”

 

“2!”

 

“1!”

 

“ZERO!”

 

The KubeSat blasted off, carrying a veritable laboratory of science experiments with it.

 

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With a KA-CHUNK sound, the solid-fueled booster separated from the main rocket, and proceeded to smash into the ground at high speed.

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Carrying the hopes and dreams of the Kerbals below with it, the probe soared ever higher, twinkling in the munlit sky.

 

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Edited by Osmium

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Childhood dreams coming true, eh...

Count me in!

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← Back to Table of ContentsVI1taoA.png

After the success of the KubeSat, Wernher dreamed still bigger, and the KSP had its sights set on sending a Kerbal to orbit.

Valentina was chosen for the flight of the Endeavour due to her astronomical experience, and given the best quality spacesuit the KSP could find in a dumpster.

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“Why are we using a smaller rocket for a bigger payload?” asked Jeb.

“Don’t ask silly questions,” said Wernher.

"10!" counted Gene.

"9!"

-Et cetera-

"LAUNCH!"

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With a fwoomp, the Swivel engine fired, pressing Valentina back into her seat. Once the Endeavour was out of the clouds, the first stage decoupled, its separatrons blasting it away from Valentina.

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Once the second, smaller stage fired, Val began to turn the rocket sideways.

“I can see Kerbin out the window,” said Val. “It appears to be round.”

“Hah!” cried Wernher jubilantly. “I knew it!”

“Copy that. I’m preparing for the orbital insertion b—” said Val.

With a kzhht, Val’s signal promptly cut out.

“She’s disappeared to the far side of Kerbin,” said Gene. “We won’t know what happened until she comes back around.”

On the other side of the planet, an engine started up on the Endeavour, sending out a small plume of fire.

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A few tense minutes later, and the Endeavour swung back around Kerbin, towards the KSC.

 

“We’ve established radio contact!” said Gene.

 

“I did it!” said Valentina elatedly. “I’m the first Kerbal in space!”

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Everyone at the KSC cheered loudly, and a representative from the Kerbin World-Firsts Record-Keeping Society arrived immediately to hand out funds and reputation to everyone.

And, high above the cheering Kerbals, the Endeavour began its descent towards Kerbin, out of the void.

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Edited by Osmium
Italacized Endeavour

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Val had landed safely, and the next mission, the Endeavour II, was set to greatly surpass the original Endeavour by "bringing a darn antenna this time".

 

As the wind whistled around the rocket, Mission Control prepared for launch.

 

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With a thunderous sound, the Endeavour II blasted off, carrying Jeb with it into the sky.

Like before, the booster separated easily, its parachutes unfurling behind it.

 

As the Endeavour II reached orbit, Jeb detached stage 2, hurtling into the blackness.

 

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“We need you to write a crew report with your observations,” said Wernher.

 

“We seem to be going in circles,” said Jeb.

 

“OTHER observations.”

 

As the tiny orbital engine started up, the Endeavour II reached high orbit, acquiring a bounty of science for transmission.

 

Jeb soared ever higher, leaving his hopes, his dreams, his very world behind.

He felt very small.

 

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The Endeavour II plunged back into the atmosphere, returning to Kerbin, from which it had been separated for so long.

 

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The parachute blossomed outwards, delivering Jeb to the ground, and soon radio contact with the KSC was restored.

 

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“Well, you kind of... landed on the wrong continent," said Gene.

 

 

“♪ We’re going on a road trip! ♪” sang Val.
Edited by Osmium
changed 2 to II

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The quality of this is so top notch. Props to the author, just, props *clap* *clap*

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The comms network project was coming along nicely, and Wernher was inspecting the blueprints.

 

“Wait a minute!” he cried. “This won’t do at all!”

 

Wernher quickly ran over to the wall, smashing the glass and pressing the big button labeled ‘Emergency Meeting’. Sirens went off all over the KSC, and in no time flat, all of the most important members of the KSP (and Jeb) were sitting around the conference table, drinking koffee.

 

“I’ve discovered a flaw in our plan to take over the Mün!” said Wernher. “The VAB is simply not big enough to launch an entire comms network on one rocket!”

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The room became abuzz with excitement as everyone attempted to share their solutions at once.

 

“Well, why don’t we just make it bigger?” said Gene.

 

“What?” said Wernher. “Tigger? No, he’s from Minnie the Pooh.”

 

“Make the VAB BIGGER!” said Gene.


“Oh, yes. Something that big takes funds,” said Wernher. “It would delay our conquest of the Mun, but we’d have permanent infrastructure, some that we could use to go to Duna and beyond.”

 

“How about an inferior comms network?” suggested Valentina. “It would only have to work until we could think of a better solution, and it would let the Mun program go unhindered.”

 

“Or maybe we could just launch the probes one at a time,” said Wernher. “Let’s make a spreadsheet!”

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And so a spreadsheet was made, koffee mugs refilled, and blueprints drawn and sprinkled with oil.

 

“Whichever one we choose, it will mean a large delay to the construction process,” said Gene.

 

“Wait.” said Jeb. “I think I have another way.”

 

And, bending down to the whiteboard, he wrote two words.

 

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Hoho! having fun with this one! And nothing like Jeb Being Jeb!

Once in early career mode we all meet with the same dillema. It's a shame that i never get to conquer the art of SStOing...

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The KSC staff had considered all the options, and Jeb’s had been chosen, mostly because it allowed them to do just as much science with practically no risk at all. As he had suggested the winning strategy, Jeb was selected to fly the mission.

The orbital insertion burn had gone beautifully, and down below the pilot of the Trailblazer probe was celebrating.

“Yes! I did it!” Jeb cried jubilantly. “Perfect! Nothing can possibly go wrong now! Nothing can distract me from my glorious triumph of superior—”

 

 

“Something’s wrong the the probe. It’s not generating power,” said Gene. “Are you sure you deployed the solar panels?”

 

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"That's absurd!" said Jeb indignantly. "I would never forget to-"

Jeb began pressing the button repeatedly at high frequency.

Click click click click click!

Nothing happened.

 

"It's disappeared out of our line of sight!" said Gene.

A few tense minutes later, the Trailblazer swung back around Kerbin and the Kerbal engineers below began frantically working on a solution.

 

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Suddenly Wernher dashed into Mission Control. “We have to restart the probe! Otherwise we could risk losing the entire mission!”

High up above, the Trailblazer probe began whirring and beeping and its solar panels unfolded from their cases.

 

“We have power!” said Jeb. The room erupted in cheering, and prickleberry cider was sprayed over everyone.

 

"Unfortunately, we missed our Munar transfer window. We’ll have to try again tomorrow." said Gene.

Everyone brought in their sleeping bags and settled in for a long night.

The next morning…

 

“Perfect! We have a transfer window to the Mun! Wake up everybody!” said Jeb.

 

Gene lifted his head up from the puddle of drool on the console. “Whaa?” he said groggily.

 

“We’re going to the Mun!” Jeb replied. “Full speed ahead!"

 

“Wait, be careful! You might overshoot—” said Wernher.

 

"Well, there goes that stage," said Jeb. "Now we just have to wait and see...maybe do an adjustment burn or two."

 

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“Closer... closer... YES! We've passed out of Kerbin’s SOI for the first time!” said Gene.

 

A representative from the Kerbin World-Firsts Record-Keeping Society appeared with a poof, and began distributing funds.

 

Soon, the probe's antenna extended and the KSC staff were viewing the first ever pictures of Kerbin from space.

 

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How could their hopes, their dreams, their very world, be so insignificant, just a speck in the endless darkness?

After it collected its science, the small light that was the Trailblazer sailed past the Mun and onwards, far beyond Kerbin.

And all was silent.

Edited by Osmium

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Mortimer Kerman, an accountant and pioneer of efficient technology was new at the Kerbal Space Program, and was being showed around the space center by Gene. He’d been hired so he could help with reusable rockets and managing funds.

 

“Apparently, a company was offering a lot of Funds for the location of a weird black thing. Turns out it was right next to KSC. What are the odds? Anyways, the reward was enough to build a completely new tracking station,” said Gene.

 

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Gene continued. “And this right here is our launchpad, site of many historic missions. Like the one that’s happening right now. That I should really be helping with.”

 

“Yes, probably,” said Mortimer in a posh British accent.

 

But Gene had already left for Mission Control.

 

“Where have you been?” asked Val. “You missed the whole launch!”

 

“I was showing Mortimer around,” said Gene.

 

We’re in the middle of a mission!” said Val.

 

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High above, the Trailblazer II powered up and prepared for the transfer burn that would send it to the Mun.

Soaring past Kerbin, it headed towards the distant Mun, and the Kerbals once again caught a glimpse of their home planet.

 

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As the Trailblazer II reached the Mun, it decelerated into a stable orbit, earning thousands of funds and clearing the way for many missions after.

Edited by Osmium

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