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One Small Step: Lindor to the Stars [Interlude 1]


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One Small Step

Saturn Sarnus Lindor to the Stars

 

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Hello everyone! My name forum name is Misguided_Kerbal. You might have seen me around the forums, whether it's in KASA, the Megathread, or somewhere else. Alright, alright, enough with the intro.
 

So, what is this? This is basically what the subtitle is. This is a kerbalized version of the Saturn program, with some ETS (Eyes Turned Skyward) stuff mixed into it. It'll be played in Sandbox, on 1.9.1, with many mods, with the most important being BDB and JNSQ. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoy!

 

Chapter list:

           Introduction (This Post)

           Chapter 1: A New Beginning

           Chapter 2: Two is Better Than One

           Chapter 3: Testing, Testing...

           Chapter 4: Big is Better. Or is it?

           Chapter 5: Fly Me To The Mun, And Let Me Play Among The Stars!

           Chapter 6: The Show Must Go On

           Chapter 7: Go for Landing

           Interlude 1: The Meeting

 

Introduction

Ever since the dawn of time, Kerbals have maintained 2 qualities. The first was the ability to constantly look up. When a kerbal accidentally discovered gunpowder, his first idea was to see how high it went. The second quality was for them to maintain eerily peaceful. There had never been any wars on Kerbin, nor any conflicts. Kerbals rarely argued, and conflicts were always settled by peaceful means. Things on Kerbin were looking up, and kerbals started venturing into space, with the first Kerbal sent into LKO just a year after the space program was inaugurated. But just as it seemed that everything was well, tragedy struck. A huge asteroid slammed into Kerbin, and sent all of Kerbin into a nuclear winter. No longer did the Kerbals have the resources to look up. Instead, all Kerbals ventured underground, beneath the surface. After a hundred years, a few brave kerbals ventured up.... and to their astonishment, Kerbin was habitable again! And so, little by little, the Kerbals started going back up. A few kerbals even dared to look up again, flying high above the surface in winged contraptions. Over time, little by little, Kerbals once more began looking to the skies. As a new millennium approached, 200 years after the asteroid, Kerbals once more decided to start a new space program. Slowly but surely, the Kerbals built up a space center, and dared to dream again......

Edited by Misguided Kerbal
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Chapter 1: A New Beginning

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Spoiler

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"Olympus 1, we are go for terminal countdown."

"Roger KSC, we're greener than grass."

"Auto-Sequence start."

"Range Safety is armed."

"Tower arms are retracted."

"Weather is a go"

"10"

"9"

"8"

"7"

"6"

"5"

"4"

"Ignition sequence start"

The single F-1 engine on the bottom hiccuped, then coughed, then roared.

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"3"

"2"

"1"

"Clamps Released"

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The Lindor 1A soared into the morning sky on a pillar of fire, its single F-1 engine roaring loudly.

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"Olympus 1 has cleared the tower."

The immense crowd that had gathered around to witness this spectacle now erupted in cheers.

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"Olympus 1, we are go for roll program."

'Roger KSC, beginning roll program now."

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A few Kerbals gasped in surprise when they saw the immense rocket tipping over, however, most kerbals knew this was the gravity turn.

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In just about a minute after launch, the massive Lindor penetrated the cloud layer

"Wowza, I can see my house from here!", exclaimed Bob Kerman.

"Of course you can, you live in the Astronaut Complex."

 

"Olympus 1, prepare for booster sep."

"Roger."

With a thunk, the now burnt-out first stage broke off, doomed to fall and shatter into pieces. 

Meanwhile, the 4 Ullage motors on the S-II stage activated, pushing the stage away from it's doomed sibling.

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"Be advised, we are reaching Max-Q."

"I can certainly feel it. Fells much better than that centrifuge though."

In a matter of seconds, the S-II soared out of the atmosphere, it's dual J-2 engines burning at full throttle.

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With a thunk, the LES tower jettisoned, revealing the shiny surface of the Kane CM.

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A moment of radio silence occurred as the astronauts Jeb, Bill, and Bob took in the view.

"Y'know, everyone should be able to see this once in a lifetime."

Mission Control was silent for a bit.

Quietly, the J-2 engines shut down, having done their purpose.

A string of numbers popped onto the screens of Mission Control.

"Olympus, you have entered 99 * 94 orbit."

Everyone seemed to sigh with relief. The astronauts were safe, for the moment.

"Olympus, you are go for separation."

"Roger KSC, beginning separation procedures."

The structure that connected the Kane to the S-II opened up like a huge petal.

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The Kane was free at last. the S-II, having completed it's purpose, silently floated away.

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After a few more orbits, the Kane eventually deorbited and landed (if a bit hard) in the desert west of KSC.

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As Jeb, Bob, and Bill waited for recovery in their capsule, the KSC began preparing for the next mission....

 

Edited by Misguided_Kerbal
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Chapter 2: Two is Better Than One

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Spoiler

Before the Lindor program had started, the bright scientists at KASA (Kerman Aeronautics and Space Association) had to decide exactly how to get to the Mun. There were 3 options on the table: Kerbin Orbit Rendezvous, or KOR, Direct Ascent, and Munar Orbit Rendezvous, or MOR. In KOR, the Orbiter would meet up with the Lander in LKO, which could be made possible by utilizing multiple launches of a smaller and cheaper launch vehicle. However, this would require multiple launches and dockings, which were a new technology that still had lots of issues, as seen in the Leo program. In Direct Ascent, there would only be one vehicle. The orbiter was the lander, and the lander was the orbiter. This would be the simplest.... or so the scientists thought. In reality, Direct Ascent would require a huge launch vehicle, one that would be too expensive. In the end, the scientist reached a compromise: MOR. In Munar Orbit rendezvous, a slightly scaled back version of the Direct Ascent rocket would deliver 2 separate vehicles, the Orbiter and Lander, on a single launch. Only 2 dockings would be required, and it would also be the cheapest, with no complex orbital construction nor a (too) enormous launch vehicle. However, 2 dockings were still dockings. As so, rendezvous and docking would be a key part of MOR, so the Kane needed to have this ability. On a clear, bright day at the KSC, Halfield, Marner, and Bobrok Kerman rose on a pillar of fire to the stars.

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Within a few minutes, Olympus-2 reached stage separation.

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LES jettison went without a hitch, and the Kane continued toward space.

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The Kane separated from the S-II, and waited. Meanwhile, the S-II reversed course and fired its twin J-2 engines, sending itself to its own doom.

...

Back at the KSC, Jonmin, Murden, and Anbin launched in their own Kane. However, the sister to Olympus-2 was not a twin. As the Kane docking system used a probe and drogue system, Olympus-3's Kane was modified to have a female docking port, as to accomodate Olympus-2's male "probe". 

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Olympus-3's launch went perfectly, almost identical to the launches before.1  After a quick check to determine if systems were working, Olympus-3 began rendezvous procedures with Olympus-2. After Olympus-3 rendezvoused with Olympus-2, Olympus-2 would dock to Olympus-3, as Olympus-2 had the active port with the probe.

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The SPS (Service Propulsion System) performed admirably, and would be the same engine that would be used on the ascent stage of the Sina mun lander that was going to come eventuallytm

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Using the manual controls, Halfield Kerman of Olympus-2 slowly and expertly guided the Kanes together. 

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With a clunk, the probe on Olympus-2 crashed bounced into position.

"KSC, we have hard dock."
"Roger. Go for soft dock."

The mechanical motors whirred as the probe of Olympus-2 retracted, allowing the 2 ports to create an airtight seal.

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Murden Kerman went on EVA to check out the 2 spacecraft. It also tested the Olympus A1L spacesuits for the first time.

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"I gotta real nice view from here, I must say."

...

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Two orbits later, Olympus-2 once again extended its probe and undocked from Olympus-1.

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Olympus-2 successfully performed its deorbit burn and separated from its service module, ready to brace the inhospitable heat of reentry. On Olympus-1, the ablator had run out near the end of reentry. While it wasn't a major problem, it wasn't a minor one either. The engineers added extra ablator to Olympus-2, to see if it was enough. 

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As calculated, the Ablator ran out just as reentry ended2. The Kane continued its descent down to the ocean, hoisted up by 3 parachutes.

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Olympus-2 performed a nominal splashdown off the coast of Darude Launch Center. Meanwhile, it's sister craft Olympus-3 was still in LKO.

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However, things weren't as rosy as on Olympus-2. The parachutes deployed late3, causing the crew to slam into the ocean extra hard. However, they were fine, except for a sprained wrist. This served as a wake-up call for the entire program. However, it might have just been a bit too subtle....

 

Spoiler

1. Imgur messed up the image order, so I might have reused some images. Hey, the flights were similar.

2. This actually happened. I think it was around 472 ablator?

3. I was lazy and staged the parachutes too late. It was traveling at 20 m/s at splashdown, so it should've been destroyed, but idk. 

 

 

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Chapter 3: Testing, Testing...

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Spoiler

After a redesign of the Kane BLK IIB into the BLK IIC, (added floats, drogue chutes, etc), and a rigorous recertification of all the components, including re kerbal-rating all the engines. Finally, a prototype of the Sina lander was loaded onto a Lindor 1 and blasted off on Olympus-51.

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The launch went perfectly2, inserting the Sina lander into a 102 x 98 orbit. 

Back at the KSC, Olympus-6 lifted off from LC 39B3, being only the second flight to do so.

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Without a hitch, the Kane IIC separated from its S-II stage, and began rendezvous procedures with the Sina lander.

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Halwell Kerman4 expertly guided the 2 spacecraft together, and docking was successful. A few minutes later, Modrick and Ludwig moved into the Sina lander for on-orbit maneuvers.

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The Sina undocked, then successfully redocked to the Kane under its own power.

A few orbits later, the Kane ditched the Sina and deorbited. This would also test out the new drogue chutes for the first time.

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The floats inflated to soften the impact of landing.

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The Kane CM successfully landed in the Desert. Everything was ready for the Mun and Minmus missions.... except the Lindor V itself...

 

Spoiler

1. Why not Olympus-4? Well, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

Spoiler

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Yes, that was Olympus-4.

2. Somehow, as soon as I decoupled the Sina lander from the S-II, the whole stage exploded for no damn reason the range safety explosives were tripped. Idk.

3. I finally got around to fixing LC 39B. It was actually easier than I thought. Kudos to Kerbal Konstructs.

4. Yes, there are two "Hal" Kermans. Halwell and Halfield. Gets confusing sometimes, as they're both pilots.

 

Sidenote: Next chapter probably won't be out for a while, the BDB Saturn V is really hard to fly. I've been thinking though, if we cluster together 5 Lindor I cores, that should be enough.

 

 

Edited by Misguided_Kerbal
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I'm currently at a bit of a halt. I can't get the Lindor V to fly correctly, and it can't even get into orbit. So, I've been thinking of alternate plans:

 

1. Abandon the moon effort and just start with space stations (A S-II stage derived station, perhaps)

2. Build a replacement for the Lindor V

3. Try to do the moon effort with available technology (Lindor I), and performing KER

 

Which one would you guys like me to follow through with?

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1 minute ago, Dat Kerbal Dude said:

1 and 2.

Why? I like info.

1 minute ago, Gojira said:

2 or 3.

Again, why?

 

3 minutes ago, Gojira said:

What's giving you trouble with the Lindor?

The second stage is really low thrust, and I can't get it into orbit. 1st, I tried what the BDB people said to do, but it didn't work. Then, I replaced the J-2 engines on the second stage with the Fuji engines from NFLV, which had a higher TWR and similar delta-v. It still didn't make orbit.

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Why? Because going to the Mun is cool, especially in this format. Giving up so early seems hasty.

As for the trouble: can I suggest using Mechjeb's Primer Vector Guidance to launch the Sarnus/Lindor? Also, did you install the Upper Stage Thrust Boost submod and use the Dnoces-S? I was having similar issues myself until I started doing both of those things.

Edited by Gojira
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Just now, Gojira said:

Why? Because going to the Mun is cool, especially in this format. Giving up so early seems hasty.

As for the trouble: can I suggest using Mechjeb's Primer Vector Guidance to launch the Lindor? Also, did you install the Upper Stage Thrust Boost submod and use the Dnoces-S? I was having similar issues myself until I started doing both of those things.

There is an upper stage thrust boost submod? That's cool, could you link it? And no, I haven't been using the Dnoces-S, so I guess I should switch it out. I did use PVG, but it didn't work. Anyways, I'm glad you're enjoying the format so far!

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Alternate suggestion, if that doesn't end up working: use a triple-core version of the Sarnus 1C with the orange extended tank and asparagus staging. It works for Minmus, too.

EDIT: Oh yeah, don't forget the SIV-C tank extension.

Edited by Gojira
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Just now, Gojira said:

Alternate suggestion, if that doesn't end up working: use a triple-core version of the Sarnus 1C with the orange extended tank and asparagus staging. It works for Minmus, too.

Hmm.... I feel it would be a bit early to introduce Saturn Multibody though. I was thinking just triple core with the regular tanks?

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That would also work, though your margins will be thinner, and that SIV-C extension will be necessary. Are you planning on using the Block III/IV Kane for the Mun missions proper, or are you switching back to the Block II Kane when that time comes?


Also, are you playing with boiloff?

Edited by Gojira
questions!
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12 hours ago, Gojira said:

Are you planning on using the Block III/IV Kane for the Mun missions proper, or are you switching back to the Block II Kane when that time comes?

Switching back to the Block II Kane.

 

12 hours ago, Gojira said:

Also, are you playing with boiloff?

I think. I have cryo engines installed.

 

 

Chapter 4: Big is Better. Or is it?

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Spoiler

Ever since the Lindor-Mun program had started, work had begun on the Lindor V, the huge rocket that was to loft the Sina lander and the Kane BLK III to the Mun. But the as the Sina and Kane were tested, the Lindor V itself suffered a series of setbacks and delays. Most noticeable was the fact that in every single simulation, the second stage always failed to insert it into orbit. To combat this, a few changes were made to the Lindor. The second stage's 5 J-2 engines would be swapped out with a higher thrust variant, and the flight software took a few series of revisions1. On a bright and sunny day at the KSC, the massive Lindor V was rolled out for launch. 

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Hordes of Kerbals watched in anticipation as the Lindor V lighted its 5 F-1 engines, and soared into the skies. One day destined to bring Kerbals to the Mun. But for now, they sat and waited. The Lindor lumbered off the pad, and began its ascent.

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The Lindor V successfully made it into orbit. However, this was not without a few issues. Even with the upgrades, the second stage still under performed, and the third stage (a modified S-II from the Lindor I, supposed to be used for the Munar Injection Burn) had to finish making orbit, using about 500 m/s of its own reserve. Even though it made orbit with the dummy payload, the fuel reserves left in the third stage was not enough to perform Munar injection.  But that would be a problem for the future...

 

Spoiler

1. I had to fly the Lindor V by hand, as Mechjeb couldn't fly it, after 2 failed attempts. 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Misguided_Kerbal said:

Which one would you guys like me to follow through with?

A mix of 1 and 3. You don't have the rush of the space race, so take your time. Build a space station, use it to orbitally assemble munar spacecrafts and go there the way Von Braun's intended: with a ridicolous looking space vessel with a hundred brave explorers.

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On 10/14/2020 at 1:21 PM, Misguided_Kerbal said:

Why? I like info.

Again, why?

 

The second stage is really low thrust, and I can't get it into orbit. 1st, I tried what the BDB people said to do, but it didn't work. Then, I replaced the J-2 engines on the second stage with the Fuji engines from NFLV, which had a higher TWR and similar delta-v. It still didn't make orbit.

try a steep ascent profile

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Chapter 5: Fly Me to The Mun, And Let Me Play Among The Stars!

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Spoiler

The Lindor V was underperforming. It couldn't successfully loft even a Kane BLK-IIIA CSM into LKO. So, while the scientists sought out a more permanent solution, the engineers came up with a more interim solution. 

The air force had been developing advanced solid rocket boosters ever since they had learned how rockets go woosh. Their latest invention was one for their Dyna-Soar reusable space plane project, for the Prometheus III.  The huge SRBs were almost the size of the main core of a Prometheus, and they had a ton of kick in them. Just what the Lindor V needed. The KSAF agreed to let KASA use their SRBs on one condition: they must provide engineering assistance on their projects. KASA accepted. The engineering assistance could be used to learn the air force's latest project, and could also be applied to technologies work in progress. Maybe someday, the Spy Satellite technology used by the air force could earn a new life in Space Telescopes.

But that was in the future. While the scientists and executives daydreamed, the engineers were getting ready for the first test of both the Kane Block III and the Lindor VB. The Lindor VB would loft the (unmanned) Kane to the mun, and then return. While it wasn't officially part of the science, the scientists would enjoy this anyways. 

Though only in a limited number, plenty of kerbals showed up to watch the massive Lindor VB make its maiden flight.

 

...

 

"Ignition!"

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All of the 5 massive F-1A engines ignited. 

"Ka-thunk"

"Clamps Release!"


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"Liftoff!" Olympus 8's massive SRBs lighted. Within seconds, it had cleared the tower.


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Booster sep came without a hitch. The Boosters fell in a beautiful twirling spiral pattern.

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Stage separation was also un-eventful. The S-II stage separated without a hitch.

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The S-II put the upper stack in a 120 * 150 orbit with over 1000 m/s left in its tanks. The engineers took notice of this. The LM would have a good margin to deal with.

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The engineers wasted no time, and as soon as they were ready, they burnt for the Mun. LH2 might be a useful fuel, but it had boiloff. The S-IIB performed the burn without any problems, and with 500 m/s left in its tanks too. A bit tight, but it worked.

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The CSM quickly performed a burn that allowed it to go swinging around the Mun and back to Kerbin. A few days later, it arrived back at Kerbin.

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Olympus 8 splashed down in the ocean without any problems whatsoever, other than a slight overheating issue on reentry. The engineers dismissed it as nothing, perhaps a faulty temperature sensor.

Meanwhile, the VAB was preparing for another launch. After Olympus 8 was successful, Kongress gave the go-ahead for Olympus 9. As the gargantuan rocket rolled out to the pad, a swarm of kerbals like no other gathered around it. They had a good reason to do so: Olympus 9 would be carrying the first Kerbals to the Mun.

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The launch went perfectly, though with a little less margin than the engineers would've liked.

As millions of Kerbals watched from home, a flurry of "go"s were followed by a few words. "Olympus 9, this is KSC. You are go for Trnas-Munar Injection". 

Kerbals of all kinds cheered as the single J-2 engine on the S-IIB stage ignited.

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The stack silently began its cruise to the Mun.

"To all the people of Kerbin," declared Halfield Kerman. "This is the crew of Olympus-9, wishing you all a good night."

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The next morning, the crew woke up to perform the separation maneuver.

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It also extended it's high-gain antenna, which had been stowed away until then. 

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Live on Television screens, many kerbals saw the Mun up close for the first time.

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Meanwhile, Olympus-9 fired it's SM engine to put itself into a parking orbit.

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And then, broadcast live around the world, Kerbals saw for a first time exactly how fragile Kerbin was.


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From the Mun, Kerbin was just a pale blue dot. Many wondered if anyone would even notice if they suddenly blinked out of existence. But they had little time to concentrate on these thoughts. The onboard engineer, Murden, was preparing for a spacewalk. The first spacewalk near the Mun. 

Originally, the spacewalk had been just for a systems checkup. But the PR department saw the opportunity of doing something like this and immediately grasped it. So Murden ended up carrying a huge television camera broadcasting live back to Kerbin.


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He cautiously exited the craft, and was immediately struck by wonder.

"Kerbin.... it's just so small!" He exclaimed. He had left his microphone on, and live on TV, Kerbals watched him exclaim. This happened to click in some individuals. Unknown to them, this would shape their future in unfathomable ways.


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However, all good things had to come to an end. Almost begrudgingly, Murden clambered back into the Kane, with his crewmates. 

The SM made one last final burn, sending them on a trajectory back to Kerbin. 

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However, just as blackout occurred, the capsule exploded1, instantly killing Murden, Halfield, and Henmin. 

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In a flash, they were gone. Vaporized. 3 lives just.... gone. 

But this wasn't noticed until communications blackout was projected to end. Even the most optimistic Kerbals had lost hope at Blockout + 10 minutes. 30 Minutes after Blackout was supposed to occur, KSC officially declared LOV. 

Kerbals poured out in a mass mourning like never before, honoring the 3 poor souls who had died in the name of space exploration. Possibly angered by their losses, the families of the astronauts filed a lawsuit against KASA. After spending over a million funds in the court, they finally agreed to a settlement of 500,000 funds for each family.


But there was no doubt about it..... the future of the space program was in jeopardy. 

 

Spoiler

1. This actually happened, even after a quicksave. I was pointing full retrograde, and the heatshield had full ablator, but somehow the heating issues on Olympus-8 were amplified.

2. Sorry for taking a long time to get this chapter out. I have school, so I can't get these out as fast as I would have liked to.

3. This chapter's title might have sounded familiar. See below:

It's a great song.

 

 

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