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The Journey of the GATEWAY


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Not to be confused with the Munar Gateway, which was built by KASA, whom we (my space program) do not associate with.

Introduction

After achieving the legendary accomplishment of interstellar travel (reading this thread is optional, it just provides some background information on my space program), Space D (Not to be confused with Space K, which was founded by Elon Kerman and we are not associated with) realized they had begun to fall behind in the somewhat new and exciting industry of advanced interplanetary travel. Now with the Revelation Colony (see link at the beginning) on Q'uq'umatz with full self-sufficiency, the space program could once again focus on this industry. The CEO envisioned a new ship, the Gateway, an advanced interplanetary cargo ship using the same propulsion methods as the Revelation which would open the door for a new era of space exploration and colonization. 

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A picture of the Gateway approaching Duna

How it works

The Gateway is an advanced interplanetary cargo and explorational ship. Made using the same technologies as the Revelation, it is fit for any mission. Like the Revelation, it uses an Orion Drive (nuclear pulse propulsion) for a specific impulse upwards of 15,000 seconds, and fast acceleration. It comes with support for 3 crew along with a habitat for long missions (additional habitats have been attached for certain missions). Unlike the Revelation, however, food is not grown on-board.

The Gateway comes with a reusable lander, the Gatekeeper. On most explorational missions, the Gatekeeper is used to land on celestial bodies. Additional landers for large celestial bodies (such as Eve) have also been sent up. During cargo missions the Gatekeeper is left in Kerbin orbit, usually at Station 2.

The Gateway has been used for the following missions:

Note: Most of these bodies have been landed on in previous missions, before the construction of the Revelation

Kapollo 1 (first Mun mission in a very long time)

RedPebble 1 (first mission to Duna and Ike in a very long time)

CanyonBlazer 1 (mission to Dres)

Joolius 1 (mission to Jool, first mission to land on all 5 moons in one mission)

Hellion 1 (mission to Moho)

Explodius 1 (mission to Eve)

Glacian 1 (mission to Eeloo)

Mintus 2 (mission to Minmus)

Kapollo Base (Mun outpost)

Mintus Base (Minmus outpost)

RedPebble Colony (Duna colony)

Explodius Colony (Eve colony)

Atlantis Colony (Laythe colony)

Glacian Base (Eeloo outpost)

Station 2

Station 2 is an extremely large orbital construction facility. Built during the Gateway’s Colonization Program, Station 2 is used to build single-landing outposts or huge colony-building landers for the Gateway to transport to other celestial bodies. Station 2 remains in LKO and currently supports a crew of up to 20.

Materials are launched to Station 2, which it then uses to construct whatever it’s building. Once the construction is done, the cargo is transported to the Gateway, also in LKO. The Gateway then transfers it to wherever it’s going. Afterwards, the Gateway returns to LKO

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Station 2 in LKO, docked to it is a colony lander and an interplanetary habitat

Full list of missions with pictures and descriptions

Exploration Program

Kapollo 1

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Picture of the Gatekeeper on the surface of the Mun

 

 

Kapollo 1 was the Gateway’s first mission to the Mun (note that this was not the first Mun landing ever). Manned by Adlvey, Chadlin, and Danry Kerman (who were the Gateway’s crew until the start of the Colonization Program), it was a success. The Gateway was not unveiled to the public until they actually landed on the Mun (details were still shared with other space programs beforehand for legal and safety reasons). Everything went as planned. The crew landed, launched, redocked with the Gateway, and got back to LKO safely.

 

 

RedPebble 1

 

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It was time for the Gateway to embark on its first interplanetary voyage. With an Orion Drive, the Gateway had well over 20 km/s of Delta V, so transfers were not a problem. The Gateway did experience some slight docking malfunctions, but the crew was able to work around them. They then returned to the Gateway, and went to Ike. The crew landed and returned to the Gateway successfully. They then headed home to LKO.

 

 

CanyonBlazer 1

 

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CanyonBlazer 1 was the Gateway’s first mission to Dres. Everything went as planned. Otherwise, Dres is just a naturally boring planet… They got home successfully…

 

 

Joolius 1

 

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Jool presented new challenges for the Gateway. To land on Tylo and Laythe, both of which are too large for the Gatekeeper to land on, specialized landers were sent up. The Tylo lander was extremely lightweight, lacking even pressurized interiors. The Laythe lander was also lightweight, but still decent. Some improvisation was required to land on Tylo, but the crew landed and returned successfully. The landings on the other moons went as planned. A probe was also released into Jool’s atmosphere. The Gateway returned to Kerbin successfully.

 

 

Hellion 1

 

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Moho presented its own challenges. The Gateway had to overcome intense heat, as well as an extreme encounter velocity. However, both of these problems were solved, and the mission was successful.

 

 

Explodius 1

 

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Eve was the most challenging of the exploration missions. It took quite a while just to design a lander capable of descending to Eve and returning to orbit. The final product was a one-kerbal lander with so much asparagus staging it was wider than it was tall. But, Aldvey Kerman successfully landed on Eve and returned to the Gateway. This mission lead the way for future colonization efforts on Eve. The Gateway also went to Gilly (picture not shown).

 

 

Glacian 1

 

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Glacian 1 was a relatively easy mission. The only hard part was the very long transfer times. Otherwise, everything went as planned.

 

 

Mintus 2

 

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For the last mission of the Exploration Program, the Gateway went to Minmus, the only major celestial body in the Kerbol system which the Gateway had not landed on yet. Afterwards, Aldvery, Chadlin, and Danry returned to Kerbin and retired (all 3 of them are still alive today), and the Gatekeeper was retired, now being kept at Station 2 incase it is ever needed again. Now that the Kerbol system was explored, it was time for it to be colonized.

 

Colonization Program

 

Kapollo Base

 

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The Kapollo base, manned by 3 kerbals, was constructed at Station 2, and transported to the Mun by the Gateway. It uses a single-landing single-module base system for easy-to-build outposts. In terms of life support, it is fully self-sufficient, extracting water from subsurface ice. It lead the way for colonization. Mintus Base and Glacian Base also use the exact same design.

 

 

Mintus Base

 

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The Mintus Base is identical to the Kapollo base, but it’s on Minmus. It works the same way and has a crew of 3 kerbals.

 

 

RedPebble Colony

 

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RedPebble Colony is one of Kerbalkind’s greatest achievements. It currently sustains 50 kerbals and is being expanded to allow for population growth. It is completely self-sufficient, with the complete ability to stay running, expand itself, and construct ships with absolutely no help from kerbin. It uses a design very similar and functionally identical to that of the Revelation Colony. Hopefully, in an optimistic sense, it will even outlive civilisation on Kerbin, and make Duna a new home for Kerbalkind. It’s abilities of off-world construction even allow it to theoretically build an interstellar ark like the Revelation. By building the RedPebble Colony, the the space program further helped ensure the long-term survival of Kerbalkind.

 

To construct RedPebble Colony, Station 2 built a lander that could bring 50 kerbals to the surface of Duna, along with the tools needed to build the colony entirely using in-situ resources. 

 

Explodius Colony and Atlantis Colony also used very similar designs and the same system.

 

 

Explodius Colony

 

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Explodius Colony, like RedPebble Colony, will also hopefully carry on Kerbal civilization. Overall, it’s functionally identical but with a slightly modified lander design and a different layout.

 

 

Atlantis Colony

 

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Atlantis Colony is basically the same as the Explodius Colony or RedPebble Colony, but on Laythe. Otherwise, same purpose, same function.

 

 

Glacian Base

 

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Using the same design as Mintus Base and Kapollo Base, Glacian Base serves the same purpose. Glacian Base was the Gateway’s last project before being retired. The Gateway now lies in Eeloo orbit, awaiting return to Kerbin.

 

Unfortunately, unlike the Mintus or Kapollo Bases, Glacian Base is not self-sufficient.

 

 

The future of Kerbalkind

 

Now with cities on Duna, Eve, Laythe, and even an exoplanet (see link at the beginning), Kerbalkind has a bright future, and will hopefully form a civilization lasting hundreds, thousands, possibly even millions, billions or even trillions of years, making advances previously never thought possible.

 

Like the Revelation, I did this with technologies that humans will have within this century. 

 

Without going too far off-topic, I would like to state that humans currently face an uncertain future. If we are to survive, we must follow in the footsteps of the Kerbals, colonizing other planets and even other systems. Chances are, if we remain dedicated to the cause of our advancement, this will happen. 

 

Although I am proud of my achievements in KSP, possibly setting new records and pushing what was ever thought possible, I have grown weary. I simply have grown tired of the eternal cycle of cargo missions, transfers, landings, returns. I need to take, at the least, a very long break. I plan to return and once again make the impossible possible in KSP 2.

 

I hope my accomplishments will inspire a new generation of aerospace engineers and space enthusiasts, help demonstrate how space colonization could be made a reality, and inspire other KSP players to also do missions on such a huge scale. I hope they live up to all of these purposes.

 

As for the Kerbals, their story is just beginning. The space program will continue to do advanced interplanetary missions in the future, and eventually once again return to the frontier of interstellar spaceflight. But, for now, I need to take a long break.

 

I would like to thank the makers of the countless mods that made this possible.

 

I hope you, reading this, will someday also accomplish things even greater and more impressive.

 

Feel free to leave and comments or ask any questions.

 

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