pTrevTrevs

Curing a Burnout: My Attempt At Getting Back Into the Game

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Aquila 1 lifts off after one and a half Kerbin days on the surface. It leves behind its research station, the flag, and cargo boxes, but due to the light gravity of Minmus, it was unnecessary to split the lander in two halves as is done with most disposable Mun landers.

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The pilots report exceptional handling characteristics and unparalleled cockpit visibility. This lander feels and looks almost more like an aircraft than a spaceship, and its compact frame and light mass gives it a sense of agility and responsiveness never before seen in spacecraft of this time, and certainly not in the lumbering Aurelian-class ferry landers. Already dozens of helicopter pilots are lining up to join the astronaut corps for a chance to fly an Aquila.

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In minutes, Aquila 1 is soaring across the plains of Minmus, on its way to rejoin Scipio 9.

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Although the intercept happened in darkness, Aquila's overhead landing light helped illuminate Scipio and prevent a collision.

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Half an orbit and one sunrise later, the two ships are connected again in orbit.

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After loading up Scipio with experiment data, sample containers, and other equipment from Aquila, the saddest part of the mission is at hand. Aquila has no station to return to after its long mission, and it now has no other purpose than to drift aimlessly in orbit, perhaps waiting for another set of explorers to discover it and either repurpose or salvage it. 

Too bad, it's probably my favorite design of this save so far...

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Before leaving it to its fate, the crew photographed the derelict lander as it drifts slowly out of view.

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But there's little time to mourn the machine. The crew now prepares to leave Minmus behind, and burns its way back to Kerbin.

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Speeding away from the world's largest spearmint, Scipio 9 now has eight days before its return to Kerbin.

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Finally though, at the end of those eight days, the blue planet once again fills the crew's windows, and in preparation for reentry they jettison their DSH, having loaded it with all their unnecessary equipment and waste products.

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After nearly four weeks in zero-g, the crew is crushed against their seats by the force of reentry. The G-forces peaked out at around 7 Gs, not the worst reentry ever, but far from the easiest for the crew.

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At the end of it all, though, the three big yellow and white parachutes signify that the crew is safely home again, as their capsule drifts safely towards the ground. I wish I could have landed in the water, but oh well. If an off target touchdown is the worst thing that happens to me today, I'll count myself lucky...

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Scipio 9 back home. The mission has provided invaluable data on the effects of long-term spaceflight, deep space navigation, and conducting surface activities on extremely low-gravity worlds. The first mission to interplanetary space is growing ever closer.

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