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The Mün Incident

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The Mün Incident

Based on a real life incident

Chapter 1

Everything had been going so well when they landed. The mission of Tetsuo-Kaori 2 has a big deal for three reasons: one, it was only the second landing on the Mün, the nearest of the two moons of the home planet Kerbin; two, it was the first time the new tri-wheeled rover was being used. It hadn’t even been tested before, which as time will tell was a foolish decision by mission control. Finally, it was a mission to examine the fallen probe Masaru 3, the first probe to land on another celestial body.

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The mission consisted of two spacecraft being launched; the first carried the Tetsuo spacecraft with three crewmembers consisting of Hersey, Malfry, and Handos Kerman. The second was an unmanned Kaori Münar lander to rendezvous with the Tetsuo Command Module. The two spacecraft were docked was in a short time; only a few months ago pilots piloting the single-man Kaisuke capsules were struggling with attempts to dock with unpiloted vehicles. Now, it was routine, amazing at how fast those Kerbalnauts learn.

By the time they had both reached the Mün and reached orbit around it, there was already one problem: the fuel of the command module was 99% empty, but that was the least of the crew’s concerns because once the ascent stage of the Kaori lander launches from the Mün, the command stage would use the remaining fuel to return safely home.

The landing was off target by 5.3 kilometers, perfect for the crew to travel by rover to the site. Then things started to really go wrong. The rover detached as expected, but then it started to roll down the slope where they landed on, they forgot to turn on the brakes. Hersey Kerman, being the commander, left to retrieve it.

According to what Malfry found out later, the rover slid down into such a speed, that Hersey had to activate his jetpack to speed him up with the rover. Minutes passed, with nothing interesting, just Hersey attempting aimlessly to get the rover. After several minutes, he finally caught it, but both solar panes were broken, so there was no way it could be recharged, triggering an immediate abort of the mission. Hersey had to drive the rover all the way back to the lander. Then his batteries drain away, meaning that he had to walk back. Sometime on the way there, he had decided to jetpack his way back, reducing time. Then… it happened.

Hersey had just overtaken the lander by accident when suddenly his jetpack started to malfunction, causing him to plummet to the surface. That was all Malfry knew when he turned on the radio.

“Kaori 2 to Hersey, over.†No response.

“Kaori 2 to Hersey Kerman, over.†Still nothing.

Finally, the response came from Mission Control:

“K.S.P. to Kaori 2… we regret to inform you that the commander has perished, over.â€Â

Malfry Kerman by this message that he couldn’t respond. He had just witnessed Kerbal Space Program’s first fatality, and it was on the Mün! All these miles from the small blue and green planet both Kerbals called ‘home.’

After a brief EVA to set up a memorial flag at approximately the spot Hersey perished, Malfry went back into the Kaori lander to launch back to the awaiting Tetsuo spacecraft. He pressed the button to launch, there was a sudden jerk… and nothing else.

“What the hell happened?†Was the first thing that went through is mind. He examined the fuel tank diagnostics: the ascent stage was empty. Then he remembered.

“Goddamn it! How could I be so stupid?!†In the midst of the chaos with the rover and Hersey’s passing, he had forgot one of the most important procedures in any Kaori mission: since the first (ascent) stage is emptied during descent, it is required that the remaining fuel in the lower stage is transferred into the ascent stage. If you didn’t, as Malfry had, than you will be stranded, with no way back home.

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A few hours after he had transmitted his unfortunate news, a response finally came: “K.S.P. to Kaori 2, we have good news, we have sent a single remotely controlled lander towards your position. Bad news is, it wouldn’t reach your location for another eight hours.â€Â

The hours passed, and Malfry Kerman watched the sun set behind the giant hills of the Mün. Then, in the dark sky, he saw a small streak of light move across the sky outside in the distance. It moved behind the crater, and then… a flash.

Malfry’s heart sank, he knew what had happened before the transmission reached him.

“K.S.P. to Kaori 2, we regret to inform you that the remote lander has crashed, repeat, the remote lander has crashed.†Eventually the decision was made to actually have a manned Kaori-Tetsuo rescue mission, this time with an improved rover, now with four wheels, hopefully making the design more stable than before. Leading the mission and the one who will land on the Mün was no other than the legendary Jebidiah Kerman, the first Kerbal to land on the Mün!

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A few hours after the Münar dawn, Malfry received great news; Jebidiah had landed almost 8 kilometers away, and this time someone remembered to put on the breaks for the rover! Soon he will join the legend himself, soon he will be back home, and then he can rest.

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But the saga of Malfry Kerman was far from over…

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Nice writing. Jeb saves the day!?

That was a lot of glitches for one trip.

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This definitely didn't happen unless you exist in some alternate universe. But cool.

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