Magzimum

We went to Dres to give it some love

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The Dres Tourist Bureau definitely had no idea whether we were in a shape to say something about the things we need to say to get this thread going. Of course, there had been frequent discussions to devise a plan how to assess the previous sentence... Anyway, that's where we came in. 

Mission control says that the Mun is getting too busy. Apparently sending a mission to Dres would not change that. 

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But Dres is a lonely, mostly ignored place. No pesky contracts were on offer, so we had total freedom. First thing was to send the largest communications program ever to ensure that the wifi and cable-tv were available. A space station would be needed to keep the snacks warm. Nobody knew whether the decorative lights would improve the wifi on either of those, but everybody agreed that it would make things better, if only because it made the mission bigger, thereby requiring moar boosters. This mission was going to be Kerbal. (The 16 million funds on the bank agreed with us). 

What Dres needed most of all was a resort. So, that was going to be the centerpiece of the fleet. Early designs showed a residence for multiple Kerbals, with a balcony, and some dockable biome-hoppers.

Our engineers said it was fine. But of course it wasn't. This mission was not about efficiency. 

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Our engineers insisted that this would already be the largest surface station in the solar system, with room for 10 Kerbals. They really didn't understand...

This mission was not about efficiency. 

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Dres needs love

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But we are getting ahead of things. As we said in the opening: first we launched the communications system. This beauty is a 3-for-1 rocket: three communications satellites, put together onto one awesome launcher. It can also heat up your hotdog if you keep it within 1 km of the antennas.

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She handled pretty well, even allowing a gravity turn without flipping upside down. (Perhaps 6 large airplane wings do provide some drag). 

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We also launched a small probe, as a guidance. The probe would leave Kerbin first, and do all the maneuvers first, so that there was room to learn. But this probe is boring, so we won't spend too much time on it. (Suffice to say, it made it to Dres). 

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Perhaps more interesting are the Elcano rovers. These rovers were tested thoroughly during a 5 minute race around the KSC, and only flipped twice, so completely suited for a run around a planet that we have never visited before. What could possibly go wrong? Gibie and Linissa were eager to get going!

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By the way, we first launched the entire fleet into LKO. We won't bore you with too many launch pictures, but this one is quite a beaut! Linissa is looking smug for a reason! 

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We also launched an anomaly satellite... which is just a fancy word for a satellite without any science-instruments. It is going to fly around Dres to look for... anomalies. Who would have guessed.

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Even our anomaly satellite comes equipped with some unnecessary lights, far too much electricity generating parts, landing gear and 4 docking ports. 

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We also built a hopper. First, our engineers tried some efficient design, weighing only 17 tons, with the small mining gear. But luckily, science was on our side, and we learned that the Mk1 sized Convert-o-Tron is useless on the outer planets. We upgraded to the big one. Also, we figured that we might as well put 4 Rhinos on the ship, because hopping is so much easier at 5Gees.

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We are still investigating whether the fancy lighting in a friendly shade of yellow helped us to get into orbit quicker, but it does look nice... Notice also the stacks of reaction wheels. Valentina insisted that the hopper handles like the original 17 ton baby-version. 

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As we said before, Dres obviously also needs an orbiting space station. It's like the foyer of a hotel: it's the first thing visitors will see... so it had to look good. In a rare moment of sanity, we also sneaked 8 single-stage-to-surface-to-orbit (SSTSTO) pods onto the space station, because, you know, that may actually come in handy when you want 8 simultaneous missions to the surface with 7 Kerbals each. 

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We thought it might come in handy to have an unmanned mining ship to get some ore up to the station. That turned out to be a poor design, but more on that later we will tell you as little as possible on that later. At least we did put some lights onto it. And enough communication-power to signal everyone at Jool where the mining is going on. 

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Since we were launching stuff anyway, we quickly sneaked in a nanosat, which was our attempt to see how small you can make something that is actually functional and able to get to Dres.

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It didn't fit in so well with the rest, being all efficient and light-weight, but it did launch with a nice blue flame, and an awesome red tail like a comet, so that scored some points.

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In another moment of sanity, we also launched a vessel that is capable of going to Dres and back. And we made it large enough that it can fit our entire crew of 27 Kerbals, which were distributed over the various ships headed for Dres. As much as we love Dres, we will bring our boys and girls back home. We are not sure why we called it a "shuttle", but it sounds spacey...

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Pictured: You are going to space today.

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Oh, and we really did launch that resort. She will either feed the Kraken, or make Dres the happiest planet in the solar system (spoiler: it's both).

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The launch was ridiculous and has nothing to do with rocketry or even physics. We followed the mantra of first designing something that is not designed to fly, and then slapping Moar Boosters onto it until it does. 

What followed was probably the largest stage-separation in our Space Program's turbulent heroic history. Luckily, all the exploding bits belonged to the parts that we wanted to get rid of anyway, but we only told Jebediah and Willa 20 noisy minutes later. 

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And that, my dear reader, is how our fleet got into space. Total cost: 12 million funds. That leaves 4 million for the rescue missions. That leaves 4 million to start up the nearly bankrupt Space Program. That leaves 4 million for the follow-up mission to Dres.

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What follows next is only interesting if you like orbital mechanics. tl;dr, we did it by the book, no drama, 10 ships left, 10 got to Dres.  

Spoiler

Here our shuttle is looking awesome with 8 vectors blazing away. No cameramen were harmed in the making of this photo.

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This is how things happened: Launch from Kerbin until Apoapsis was near Dres. Then put a node on the descending node and pull normal. Sometimes it shows the Dres Periapsis, sometimes you need to put another node onto the trajectory to help the mapping tool. Every trajectory that got within 700,000 km of Dres was considered acceptable. Fine-tuning follows later, and all ships have some spare fuel.

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It was at this point that we found out that the Resort's two rovers were put on asymmetrically. Luckily, their mass was low enough that it did not interfere with the ship resort too much.

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So, Rhinos Engage! To Dres!

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For reasons unknown to our engineers, but possibly related to the fact that the ship had 5 Gees at its disposal, the Dres Hopper followed a different trajectory than the rest of the fleet. Valentina really had the intention to follow the rest of the fleet, but somehow the ship had already achieved its ejection velocity when it got to the maneuver node. 

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Then we also fired up the anomaly satellite,

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... Ore transport,

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... Elcano rovers,

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... nanosat,

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and the Dres station towards Dres. By the way, the cameraman apologized for the poor lighting of these photos but insisted that it would be a bad idea to take these on the light side of Kerbin. 

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And that's the fleet en route. 

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Here they all sail past Duna. Notice the Hopper is going a little wide.

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At the node, all ships burned some 360-400 m/s in the normal direction to match Dres' orbit. Also fine-tuning happened here. Here's a snapshot of the Shuttle... 

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... Anomaly sat.,

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... the Station, et ad nauseam. 

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So, the Hopper was the first to arrive, catching Dres before reaching its solar Apoapsis (all other ships reached Ap first, then caught Dres afterwards). 

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While burning for Dres orbit, the Hopper finally revealed its shape, as it separated the last drop tanks.

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Thus, one after the other, the fleet arrived at Dres.

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Our lovely Resort was attacked by the Kraken. It started shaking violently and the crew had to change a lot of autostruts until it didn't. (A reload was even needed, since some parts weren't attached straight anymore). Also, we had to sedate Cargie and Willa, who thought that a Kraken attack was brilliant and were dangerously excited about the damage. 

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Anyway, after some noding, maneuvering, turning and throttling, all ships made it to some kind of Dres orbit. Because all ships arrived soon after each other, and because mission control couldn't handle more than one ship at a time (*cough cough amateurs*) orbits were sometimes rather elliptical. 

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Next we deployed our colourful communications network.

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(Some more details in the spoiler)

Spoiler

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Final result: three communications satellites in polar orbits of 298x298 km, separated from each other by roughly 1/3rd of an orbit. One red, one blue, one yellow. Also, they have landing legs, just in case.

Now that Kerbnet was up and running, an ore-rich landing zone could be identified. The Hopper went in first, closely followed by the Resort. Turned out the crater had >14% ore! Whoop! Whoop! 

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While landing the Hopper is easy... landing the Resort is a little harder. It comes equipped with a bare minimum of reaction wheels, so pinpoint landing is not easy. Also, we had severely underestimated the roughness of the Dres landscape. 

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We learned a very interesting funfact about Dres. After we separated the boosters, they fell to the surface. The Rhinos exploded as expected, but the empty tanks bounced upwards again. Future missions can hopefully use this feature of Dres to reduce their fuel costs for the return trip. We will certainly be investigating the elasticity of Dres. 

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Here the Resort has landed on its first landing spot, while around us the tanks were making a point of Dres' inelasticity. Notice how the Resort's ramps don't even touch the ground. This was no good. It was unworthy.

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So, because Dres deserves it that we do this properly, we moved our Resort by a few meters, towards a flatter area. We cannot show you the landing that followed, which was a little less than elegant, but did not break anything because Dres' gravity was nice to us. Also, those ramps are surprisingly bendy! 

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(We also suffered another Kraken attack, from the earlier orbital Kraken-attack on our Resort, we knew that changing autostrut-settings (e.g. from root to grampa) can chase the Kraken away, a quick reload fixed all our problems.)

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Next, we offloaded the rovers, which have no function, because we are flying in two larger rovers with the Elcano ship. But you cannot have too many rovers on Dres. 

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These two rovers were based on an earlier design that did the Minmus Elcano challenge. Which is exactly why we are bringing in larger rovers to do the Elcano on Dres.

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Finally we had to release the rockets because a resort does not have Moar Boosters.

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And what followed next is the Grand Opening of the Dres Resort. We turned on the lights!

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Our scientists say that Dres can now be seen on Kerbin in broad daylight. 

Next, we also landed and offloaded the Elcano rovers, near the Resort. (Deliberately >2.5 km away, to keep the frame rate sane). 

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They look quite fashionable, with 8 outdoor seats for Kerbals, and another 8 indoor seats. Actually, we just realized that these two rovers together have more seats than we have Kerbonauts. Hmm. 

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We parked them next to the resort, which is now the starting point of all excitement on Dres. 

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And then something magical happened. A contract! On Dres! Dres got recognized! Success! Huzzah! Yes we do! With all our heart. Contract accepted.

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(Luckily the duration is 30 years, because first we gotta go fly around Dres a bit).

Jeb and someone else (why are there no portraits in the bottom right corner when Kerbals are in a command seat?) took the Dres Biome hopper for a spin from the top of the Resort (after having turned on the mining gear below the resort and filling the tanks). 

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Since we have overdimensioned everything, the biome hopper can conveniently get into Dres orbit and land again twice. In retrospect, we should have put more lights onto it. 

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Landing the biome hopper on top of the docking port was quite tricky, and required delicate hovering, but the low mass of the dinghy and the strong magnets helped. 

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And that is enough for one post. In the next episode, we will do some flying, driving, hopping and possibly bouncing on Dres. 

(Imgur of all pics here - has no extra info)

Edited by Magzimum

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The Dres Faculty of Touristic Geography had for at least several minutes wondered if its own existence was relevant for its inability to plan any upcoming events. Of course, the agenda of the faculty would in no way influence the plans of our brave crews and since we had 8 pods attached to our station, and only 3 inhabitants at the station, it was clear that, as you have probably guessed by now, this is where we come in.  

Also, to prevent this thread from burning holes in the KSP servers, we'll make use of spoilers a little more than in the 1st post. 

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Megcy Kerman and Nedrien Kerman were either ecstatic with the mission or just scared of heights when they undocked from the main station, en route to the orbiting shuttle. The mission: to have a party at the station. 

Spoiler

Their target was the shuttle, which was in orbit a little lower. (Mission control suggested that the shuttle flies directly to the station - it has enough dV - but they still don't get the point of this mission). These station pods were designed with no particular mission in mind, but a pickup from 50 km below is definitely easy.

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A small design flaw in the shuttle meant that the soon-to-be-a-party had to EVA to the pod. No biggie.

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In just a few minutes, the crew was transferred from the shuttle into the pod, and soon after it was back at the station.

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After the pod returned, the station's crew had increased from a puny 3 to a reasonable (but by no means impressive) 8 Kerbonauts. Whatever. The station was now officially open for party party party! Lights on!

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Next, the Hopper got some action. tl;dr, the Hopper landed in the Grand Canyon of Dres for a bit of tourism. In the spoiler some boring pics of how it got there... but don't read those. Really. 

Spoiler

Anyway, we already knew that the Hopper launches itself at 5Gees, which is still awesome and useless. 

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Val first landed it in the smaller of the canyon. Because of you land in the big canyon first, the small one will always be a disappointment. Now it was still remotely interesting, although not as steep and deep as we had hoped...

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The big canyon however is a different story. It is awesome.

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Next Val developed the first extreme sport fro Dres: jetpack-base-jumping.

Spoiler

Val looking all epic and all. (Also: note the nearly vertical cliff!!)

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First: jetpack up, to the top of the cliff.

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Then, (not pictured), realize that the other side is steeper, and jetpack to the other side. 

So, with only 1/3rd of a jetpack fuel left, take a little run up to the cliff's edge:

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Stop to debate whether this is such a good idea.

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Base jumping is of course a brilliant plan when you have such a fantastic cliff.

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Spoiler

While falling, jetpack forward to miss the cliff (gravity takes care of the downward bit but the cliff is at about 80 degrees, so not perfectly vertical).

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Don't die, don't die, don't die!! We didn't die! Damn, that was a small margin! (Due to self-imposed fuel rations, the deceleration was something close to a suicide burn).

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And casually board with 0.10 fuel left in the jetpack.

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If you wonder about the anomaly sat (hint, it hasn't found any yet) or the ore transport (hint, it hasn't transported any yet), then be sure to open the next spoiler. But perhaps you can also watch the paint dry on your freshly painted wall. Just as interesting. (Also, spoiler alert: I will actually mention something about anomalies - who would have guessed). 

Spoiler

We learned that an ore drill really really needs an engineer. Those tanks are still really empty. 

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And it appears there are really few anomalies on Dres (later I went on the wiki or web, and found out the actual number). We keep on searching! 

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The Hopper meanwhile was going to find some asteroids. 

Spoiler

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To orbit! 

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Despite the fact that the hopper has lots of excess fuel, we approached the asteroid in a sensible manner, with something that approached a Hohmann transfer.

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With 4 Klaws on the Hopper, connecting with it is really just a matter of slowly flying into the asteroid. 

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Of course we chose a class E asteroid. And of course we're going to bring it to a lower orbit. What else? We got LOTS of power! 

Also, we got our engines spread out over a large area, so we could easily tune the engine power to make this thing fly sort of straight even when it didn't connect in line with the asteroid's center of mass. (I'm quite proud of this, actually)

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Spoiler

With the Pe now at 101 km, there was still a little fuel left to also lower the Ap

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Then the hopper landed for some refueling (it was not going to consume this new tourist attraction!)

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Then we connected to the asteroid a second time. This time the connection was more centered, and the engines could nearly run at full thrust (2 were going at 90%).

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Pictured: Valentina is the first Kerbal to set foot on the Asteroid in its new 101x101 orbit. "It's a small step for Kerbalkind, etc". 

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Spoiler

It seems quite a big rock if you put a Kerbal onto it. That, or Kerbals are quite small. Probably both.

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We may have used a little too much fuel for comfort to get that big rock in its new orbit. But we didn't want to rendezvous/connect a 3rd time. And hey, 7m/s worth of dV is quite a comfortable buffer...

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And finally, the hopper went back home to the Resort. 

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In our next episode, we will do a bit of Elcanoing. We are in no shape to say whether elcanoing is a word or not. Also, the crew is still debating whether they are elcanoing, or just having a picknick in a rover. But as you have probably guessed by now, that's where we come in:

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Thanks for reading!

imgur album, linked here only because you never know - contains just these pics and no text.

Edited by Magzimum

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Before deciding whether this Elcano was actually going round Dres to the right or to the left, the boffins of the Kerbal society of Advanced Navigation had a long and arduous discussion whether mandatory satnav on planetary rovers would influence its apparent lack of decision in this matter. Also, after having realized the pointlessness of the discussion, several members of the society replaced themselves with advanced drone cores. None of this influenced the upcoming Elcano mission in any way, because as you probably guessed by now, this is where we came in. 

Just to be on the safe side, the we decided not to go right, and not to go left either, but just to go straight ahead all the way. It is the quickest way around a planet. Since there was a contract-related waypoint to the north of the Resort, it was soon decided that this Elcano would visit both poles. 

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The Elcano run had begun! Off we go! 

Spoiler

"No, the princess is in another castle"...

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We soldiered Elcanoed on to find more surface samples. Climbing out of the crater gave the crew a nice view of the crater.

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Luckily, the next waypoint was again to the north. Entering sector Blabla-Beta... (Still no princess).

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... Gamma... (No princess)...

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... Delta... (etc.)

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... and Epsilon... 

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... where the crew located the source of the inconsistencies. Take that Koopa. We completed a contract on Dres!! 

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Dres matters! 

The rover has 8 seats for Kerbals (4 forward-facing seats for the more serious Kerbals, and 4 in a picknick arrangement) , and 8 indoor seats. Kerbals can spend the night in the indoors, but at least one Kerbal has to take a seat to move the rover. It has no drone core. Below is the night-configuration. The crew did not get very far on day one, because as missions go, they just start whenever they start and this is usually not a first-thing-in-the-morning affair. 

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Building on experience of the Minmus Elcano, an average speed of 30 m/s was adopted. And soon adjusted to 20-25 which was a lot safer. Dres ≠ Minmus.

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Anyway, to save the servers of the forum, most 'regular' pictures will from here on be put in spoilers. Let's just say that the crew stubbornly kept the rover pointed north until north ran out and south was the only option.

Spoiler

Even at this reduced speed, the jumps were big enough.

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There was a mercifully flat area where the rover could pick up some speed... 

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But that soon ran out, and the terrain became bumpier and more mountainous than ever.

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The crew planted a flag, because why not. It had been a pretty boring few minutes, and they finally had a little view.

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Dres, meanwhile, was not flat at all.

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The crew passed by a crater (and went straight through it).

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This resulted in some quite epic views on the crater's edge.

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As the crew got closer to the North Pole, it got darker. 

The crew left waypoints every 5-10 degrees (latitude) to be able to monitor progress while in map-view.

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Blaming basic geometry of planets for the eternal darkness near the poles, the crew just kept going. "The sooner we get to the North Pole, the sooner we get off it again" was the winning argument to motivate the crew. However progress got pretty slow near the poles. Poor visibility and very rough terrain meant that 15 m/s was pretty much the top speed.

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When the crew inevitably reached the end of the north, they did the Kerbal thing and planted a flag. Here Jeb is doing his "bunny caught in the headlights" impression at the North Pole. 

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Spoiler

Progress on the other side of the North Pole was ridiculous. That's geologist-speak for "almost too bumpy to drive on". 

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For the first time, the rover really had to be careful. It was built to be incredibly stable. 12 Wheels provide a lot of grip, and its low build made it difficult to flip over. But this terrain was a nice challenge.

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Geologists say that this picture below proves that there is a Giant Kraken in the skies. And it has a Giant Rake.  icon_questing_rake_stable-8a40f1e3ac537d

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Slopes of >30 degrees were not uncommon in this part of the trip.

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The rover was airborne as much as it had its wheels on the ground, even at speeds of 10 m/s.

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The picture below clearly shows that the Great Kraken has applied his Giant Rake to create the landscape at Dres. The small speed bumps were placed almost perfectly perpendicular to the direction of travel, to ensure a maximum amount of time spent airborne. 

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Here, a .gif shows how the bumpy ride went most of the time. (For some reason it does not embed automatically, like the pictures).

Spoiler

As the rover made it back south, the daylight returned. Here the rover is at 72 deg North; enough for real sunlight! 

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And then after a big jump, the Kraken attacked! 

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Luckily, it was nothing that a quick reload could not fix. 

At 35 degrees north, the crew stopped for the night again. And yes, of course they all retreated into the crew cabin again to have snacks and to gossip. 

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The next morning, everybody took their seats again, and the Elcano run continued.

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Progress was still monitored by placing waypoints. By now, there were enough waypoints to make an interesting picture.

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The crew were mildly entertained by a crater along the way.

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As the crew neared the equator, they passed by the most useless piece of kit on Dres: the Ore Transporter (which has no ore to transport because it extracts it too slowly). 

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Spoiler

The crew then approached the Great Kanyon.

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To phrase a famous Kerbal Action hero, the first trick was to "get down".

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The Great Kanyon is called "great" because it's great for making pictures... 

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Spoiler

The descent was steep.

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Very steep.

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But with the brakes applied all the time, the rover could manage.

At the bottom, the Great Kanyon is very narrow.

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So narrow and steep in fact that the wheels did not grip, and the rover was unable to go right.

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Then after a little while, the Kanyon got even deeper.

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The Kanyon has essentially several steps that you need to get down from before you reach the lowest point.

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Obviously, we planted a bunch of flags in the Kanyon (in the spoiler below). Kerbals are very good at planting flags. 

Spoiler

This flag was left by Valentina when she visited with the Dres Hopper.

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Now the Elcano rover crew added one.

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With two flags next to each other, it was time to move on.

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Getting tired of the Kanyon and of the lack of progress (the Kanyon runs mostly east-west, we have to do a north-south), the rover gunned it.

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It was a steep climb.

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And the velocity constantly dropped. 

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Until somewhere in a shaded part of the Kanyon, the batteries went dead.

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(It takes only a few minutes to recharge - there are two RTGs - no need to panic).

By now, the Elcano run was about 60% complete. 

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Spoiler

The South Pole appeared less bumpy than the North Pole. 

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For some reason, both poles are on a mountain. The South Pole is one of the highest on Dres, and the high point of the Elcano run so far. Below: climbing above 5000 m.

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At the South Pole, it was Valentina's turn to do the flag thingy and look all awesome. It is a pity that the lighting at the poles is always so shady. 

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Spoiler

Now 75% complete, we found new motivation to finish this tour of Dres. As much as we love Dres, it was starting to take a lot of time. 

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Now going north again, the ride dropped quickly to lower altitudes. Here the rover is only 3.6 km away from the pole, and already almost 700 m lower.

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Lots of waypoints to prove where we've been!

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And we keep adding more! 

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As we left the pole, the light returned. The ride was smooth, and it was easy to keep a decent average velocity of around 20 m/s.  

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At some point, a large mountain appeared on the horizon.

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The only logical course of action is of course to change course. See what we did there? :) 

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We absolutely gunned it, and reached an incredible 15 m/s vertical, as we climbed the mountain.

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It was worth the effort. What a view. All those colours. Grey. Light grey. Dark grey. Even darker grey. And some of the in-between grey... 

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Not unimportant, the light surface on the top of the crater rim (which is what the mountain was) was the "impact ejecta" biome. Moar science! (And moar flag planting).

As we crossed into the crater, some weird markers appeared on the radar: we were within 100 km of the finish! 

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Dres has some stunning landscapes (if you happen to like grey). Take this crater for example... 

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Spoiler

The circumnavigation was now almost complete, as shown by all the colorful markers.

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And Dres was a present that kept on giving. As we approached the finish, Dres presented us with flats! Actual flat ground, where we could safely accelerate to 40 m/s! 

It is not as flat as the Minmus flats, but it was most definitely the flattest bit of Dres we've encountered. 

XlTnajm.png

Spoiler

And then, passing the equator for the second time, we decided to stop this time. The previous time we were distracted by the Ore Transporter, and more importantly by the Kanyon.

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This time, on the flats, no such distraction was going to prevent the flag to be planted. Cargie planted it right into a weird long crack that ran right through Dres? 

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Smile! 

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Spoiler

We could smell the snacks, and just raced home. And there, seen from the crater's edge, was the Resort! 

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A few more jumps, a few more bounces.

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There she was, our beautiful and ridiculously large Dres Resort. 

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Elcano complete! 

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Dres Circumnavigation by rover completed! 

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We placed over 40 waypoints to show we really went around Dres. Was it worth it? Yes, it was. We can now safely say that we explored this planet. Some of the features (craters and especially the Great Kanyon) are totally worth a visit. 

NVkorPY.png

The rover had performed better than expected. Perhaps it is not such a bad idea to bring a big rover for an Elcano challenge. This rover was stable, and it was possible to make small adjustments to the direction of movement while going 25-30 m/s without flipping the rover. The rover was pretty stable also in terms of impact resistance, and only a few reloads were needed - and except for once, those reloads were for crashes that had only caused cosmetic damage: lamps and antennas, all of which were redundant. (But for the sake of nice pictures, I still reloaded).

So, with our 8 brave Kerbals back at the Resort, it was time to start wrapping up. There was still one contract to be completed, and of course all Kerbals were scattered around the planet and would have to be shepherded into the Shuttle. Which is where we come in.

Stay tuned for the final episode of our Dres adventure! Thanks for reading, and sorry for having so many pictures  :cool:

Imgur album for the archives. (Nothing new in there).

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As a result of a sudden attack of homesickness, our Kerbals were focused, and were positive that they were just going to finish the last mission, then gather in the Shuttle and go home. Yep, that's where we come in.

There was quite a bit of flying to be done. We could have used the tested Dres Hopper to accomplish all but one of the flights, but where's the fun in that? Let's use the station's pod first to fetch some of the Kerbals. 

zH0j9Pa.jpg

Spoiler

We went to the Resort to pick up some Kerbals. 

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After some EVAing (no pics unfortunately), which brought the Kerbal population of the pod up to 7, the pod soon took off again. At this point we noticed that the dV that was left in the ship was a little low... 

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So we dove towards the horizon, arguing that if we were going to make orbit, it was gonna be a very low orbit. 

(It was better to get these 7 Kerbals in orbit since their destination was the Shuttle which was in orbit anyway).

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... which turned out to be a good judgement. We made it to a 21x17 km orbit. The winning coach is always right! :) 

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Anyway, long story short, as it didn't have enough fuel it got stuck in a very low orbit and had to be 'rescued' by the Hopper. As can be seen below the monopropellant had not run out, so the crew argued this was not a rescue mission and they were fine. But everybody enjoyed the prospect of unnecessarily high acceleration by the Hopper and the dispute became a consensus that the dispute which was no longer a dispute would be forgotten. And as Kerbals do, by the end of the long sentence everybody agreed that this is where we came in. 

 EAjv8Yo.jpg

There was the issue of the mission which needed to be accomplished. Some temperature readings on the surface. Now this was something that the Hopper could not do. It has no thermometers which was a bit of a design flaw. Science instruments are so light that they should have been added. We could have used the Elcano rover, which would be ideal, but driving was not considered a viable option after having gone around the planet already. 

Whatever, we have two little dinghies on the Dres Resort, right?

Spoiler

These little dinghies were fully fueled and ready to go. Fully fueled, they have a good 1800 m/s worth of dV, which should be enough to fly anywhere on the planet and back... 

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We did not do the 4 sites in order. Navigating was a little hard since the navball was pointing up most of the time, while the navigation marker was on the horizon, or even below it. 

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The good news: as can be seen below, we nailed all 4 sites, did all the scans and completed our 2nd Dres contract. Celebrations! 

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The bad news: 572 m/s was not enough to make it back to the Resort. 

So, the crew opted to do what seemed to be in fashion nowadays: get stuck in orbit and get rescued by the Hopper.

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(It went against my intuition at first that getting into orbit takes less dV than a suborbital flight, but after I realized that the distance in this case (between the mission waypoints and the Resort) was a quarter of an orbit, it meant that the dinghies had to reach nearly orbital velocity, and then lose it all again, which is a LOT more than just getting into a proper orbit). 

Meanwhile the Hopper transported its cargo to the station...

Spoiler

The Hopper went to rendezvous with the Station in Dres orbit.

zBPNSjX.jpg

 Not to drop its cargo of Kerbals, but to pick up more. It seemed like a fun thing to dock a second pod to the Hopper, and fly them all to the Shuttle in one go. 

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Spoiler

With a crew capacity of 19 it would actually move a lot of the Kerbals to the Shuttle quite efficiently. Of course the pod could have made it to the Shuttle by itself (it had proven that earlier). But now we could use the Klaw to dock, which makes it much easier to transfer the crew.

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And that's why now Jeb was alone in the Kerbal Carrier formerly known as Hopper.

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And after a stop on the surface for refueling, Jeb delivered the two pods back to the station, which was now empty of Kerbals. 

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After dropping off the two pods back at the station, Jeb went to rescue the two Kerbals on the dinghy, who were stuck in orbit. 

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(Intermezzo: Mission control was now positively brimming with Dres contracts. We completed two more before leaving)...

Spoiler

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This one seemed a little too ambitious for now - but it showed that Dres was really put on the map with the boffins at Mission control. The "Supreme Dres 4 Journey"!! 

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(End of intermezzo)

So, about getting the Dinghy back, and getting the last Kerbals from the Resort to the Shuttle: 

Spoiler

The dinghy was refueled from the Hopper, and was landed near the Resort. 

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Our two friendly Kerbals then tried...

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And succeeded to dock it again with the Resort.

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Next we parked all the rovers in a neat and orderly way... made sure that the brakes were on and the lights were out.

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Then the last crew boarded the Hopper (which had refueled again). The Resort, now empty of Kerbals, would keep its lights on for future guests. We will be back! 

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After delivery of the Dinghy at the Resort, the Hopper picked up the last Kerbals. Time to go home. Bye Resort! 

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Next stop: the Shuttle.

Spoiler

It was a lot of fun! 

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We planned the rendezvous - but also smiled at all the orbits and waypoints visible in the map view.

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The Hopper eventually met up with the Shuttle for the last time.

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The last Kerbals joined their friends in the Shuttle. This time by EVA, for fun, but also to keep the Kraken away. The Hopper would remain in orbit of Dres. It was made for Dres.

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27 Kerbals on a mission to get home to Kerbin, after a lot of good adventures on the most forgotten planet of the system. Not anymore. Dres has been awesome! 

In the spoiler below a lot of pictures of stages being separated, courses being plotted and home planets being encountered. 

Spoiler

First a burn to get out of Dres' Sphere of influence.

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Mandatory picture of the stage separation. With sepatrons, because that looks good on photo.

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The large central tank got separated too.

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[Rant] I really struggled to get the game to show me the closest approach or a periapsis. It was certain that the current location at Dres was NOT the closest approach. But I had to use a node on the map to show a closer approach, which was still not the closest. 

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After a LOT of twiddling with nodes I finally managed to get the closest approach at the edge of the SoI of Kerbin. It still did not show the Periapsis though...

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Finally, I could do the fine-tuning of the approach and get a nice equatorial Periapsis close to Kerbin.

So, the brave Kerbonauts were about to make it back to Kerbin. With 2900 m/s of dV left in the tanks, this would be a soft landing. 

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Burning to get captured.

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Shedding more empty tanks.

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The Shuttle neatly ended in a circular orbit.

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And then dove into the atmosphere, while still burning its engines - to slow down, but just as importantly to shed mass.

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But with nearly all fuel gone, and parachutes deploying, it looked good. Professional even.

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And after all that: Our Kerbals were home! 

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( Finally, showing this was a career mission: We scored an amazing 7481.8 science points too! And even got a few funds back, and got some experience for the crew too! )

Spoiler

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... and got some funds back... 

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... and even advanced two Crew members to level 3 (the rest was at level 5 already due to a Jool-5 mission).

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Thanks for reading everybody! I hope to have shown you what a wonderful dwarf planet Dres is. Hopefully this inspired you to get out there and explore Dres too. Because, as you probably have guessed by now, that's where you come in.

- The End -

Link to the Imgur album, which does not contain anything new - just for the archives...

Edited by Magzimum

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This is... Amazing. I need to give Dres this much love!

Fire

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Thanks for all the compliments guys (@dskero, @Galacticvoyager, @max_creative, @SpaceplaneAddict, @Firemetal) . This was one of the most fun missions I did in a while. Really, Dres is a playground where you can try out a LOT of fun stuff. 

I'm now also proudly displaying the badge in my signature! :D

Edited by Magzimum
typos

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