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The Venturer Program: Tour of the planets


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The Venturer Program: Tour of the planets

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Prologue -- Part 1

Prologue -- Part 2

Prologue -- Part 3

Chapter 1: Launch day

Chapter 2: Deliveries -- Part 1

Chapter 3: Deliveries -- Part 2

Chapter 4: To the Mun

Chapter 5: Mun dust

Chapter 6: From dust

Chapter 7: The Second Moon

Chapter 8: Minmus Hills

Chapter 9: Final preparations

Chapter 10: Eve transfer burn

Chapter 11: Eve aerobrake

Chapter 12: Gilly transfer

Chapter 13: Gilly

Chapter 14: Switchover

Chapter 15: One way ticket to Hell and back

Chapter 16: Recovery

Chapter 17: Too close to the Sun

Chapter 18: Moho

Chapter 19: Requiem

Chapter 20: Stopping by -- Part 1

Chapter 21: Stopping by -- Part 2

Chapter 22: Onwards to Duna

Chapter 23: The Red Planet

Chapter 24: The man on Duna

Chapter 25: Ascent from Volcas

Chapter 26: The Grand Tour continues

Chapter 27: Desperate times

Chapter 28: The looming moon

Chapter 29: A majestic view

Chapter 30: The long wait -- Part 1

Chapter 31: The long wait -- Part 2

Chapter 32: Dres

Chapter 33: The vote

Chapter 34: Two for one -- Part 1

Chapter 35: Two for one -- Part 2

Chapter 36: Tensions

Chapter 37: Swirling green globe

Chapter 38: The dance with the Giant

Chapter 39: Tylo -- Part 1

Chapter 40: Tylo -- Part 2

Chapter 41: The space pirate and the strange new world

Chapter 42: The making of history

Chapter 43: Bitterness

Chapter 44: Twenty minutes of terror

Chapter 45: Down but not out

Chapter 46: Laythe

Chapter 47: Between worlds

Chapter 48: Vall

Chapter 49: Barren

Chapter 50: Scientific pursuits

Chapter 51: Jeb's continuing mission

Chapter 52: Journey to Bop

Chapter 53: Arrival at Bop

Chapter 54: Bop

Chapter 55: Monument to struggles past

Chapter 56: Preparation for Pol

Chapter 57: Three sites

Chapter 58: Final bound

Chapter 59: Last of the brave

Chapter 60: One step backwards...

Chapter 61: Refresh

Chapter 62: ...Two steps forward

Chapter 63: Final frontier

Chapter 64: Snowball

Chapter 65: These are the voyages...

Chapter 66: Homecoming

Epilogue

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Previously:

The Venturer Program: Mission One

The Venturer Program: Dres Expedition

The Venturer Program: Resurgence

Edited by RogueMason
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Thanks for the offer. I'll have a look, but I've got my own personal skybox, plus I've already made considerable headway in the game, as per usual, so... yeah, no skybox changes for me. Thanks again, though:)

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Thanks for the offer. I'll have a look, but I've got my own personal skybox, plus I've already made considerable headway in the game, as per usual, so... yeah, no skybox changes for me. Thanks again, though:)

Just following on from this...

I tip my hat to you; that is a very nice skybox. However, my stance hasn't changed; I'm still using my own.

Ok, next item on the agenda...

So far, I'm standing at a 3-part prologue, and 8 proper chapters detailing everything up to the Minmus landing. It's going to be quite a long story. Release schedule will be one to two chapters per week, and I plan on releasing the first part of the prologue later today. I do have exams coming up in a few weeks, so the schedule may be a bit disrupted, but I plan to appease you with at least one chapter per week. For now though, we shall see... :)

Edited by RogueMason
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PROLOGUE – PART 1

Five years have passed since the last Venturer mission, and in that time, there has been little on the front of manned planetary exploration. The Duna Recolonisation initiative has been proceeding smoothly, with a station now orbiting the red planet plus a new base facility on the surface. What many people don’t know is that there has been a vast amount of work ploughing ahead in secrecy. A meeting has been called to assemble the most senior staff and the most promising recruits. Jeb and co. are in the lounge chilling out just as Bill walks into the room.

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Lengas: “Hey, Bill, over here!â€Â

Jeb: “Ah, there he is. Didn’t get lost, did you?â€Â

Bill: “No, I didn’t. It would be awkward if the navigator of multiple spaceships got lost in this complex.â€Â

Jeb: “Undoubtedly.â€Â

Bill: “Anyway, Gene’s just sent me to get you lot.â€Â

Jeb: “For what, exactly?â€Â

Bill: “We’ve got a meeting, right now.â€Â

Jeb: “A meeting? I haven’t been told anything about any meetings.â€Â

Lengas: “Yeah, me neither.â€Â

Bob: “You pulling a fast one, Bill?â€Â

Bill: “No, no, this is serious.â€Â

Bill looks up from the gang to the rest of the kerbonauts in the room.

Bill: “Oi, you lot, he wants you too!â€Â

Sidman: “What? All of us?â€Â

Matton: “I don’t think we’re all gonna fit into that boardroom, Bill…â€Â

Bill: “No, we’re not all going to fit in the boardroom, which is why we’re going to the SPH. Now, come on!â€Â

A few murmurs began to resound along with the shuffling of feet as every kerbonaut in the room got up and filed out.

Bob: “Surely it would have been easier for him to haul his a** over here instead of making us all barge into the SPH? You know how the techies working on the SSTOs can get.â€Â

Jeb: “Ugh, them and their precious spaceplanes. Don’t get me wrong, I think spaceplanes are about the best method of getting to orbit, but those guys…â€Â

Lengas: “SSTOs are tough things to build, Jeb. That said, they’ve had a good run, recently, and there was that one they launched a few hours ago. Should make them less irritable.â€Â

Jeb: “I bl**dy hope so.â€Â

Bill: “Come on, you guys, I don’t want to have to sit through another lecture from Gene about being late because you couldn’t get off your backsides.â€Â

Jeb: “Oh, just us not getting off our backsides, eh?â€Â

Bill: “Yeah. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m sort of all over the place with teaching these new guys a thing or two about navigation in orbit, plus there’s all the nasty PR stuff.â€Â

Jeb: “…â€Â

Bill: “Exactly, now come along.â€Â

A few minutes later, in a fairly packed SPH…

Gene: “Hello? Testing, testing… *tap tap* Ah, alright, sorted. Right, you’re probably all wondering why I’ve called you out here, so I’ll get straight to it. I’m assuming you all watched that spaceplane taking off earlier today?â€Â

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Jeb: “Yeah, yeah, we saw it. What of it?â€Â

Gene: “Well, it safely reached Kerbin orbit with fuel to spare, and obviously the guys at the SSTO department were pretty pleased with that.â€Â

The SSTO techies give a little wave from their corner at the back of the SPH.

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Bob: “So…?â€Â

Gene: “It isn’t coming back down to Kerbin. Instead, we’re launching a tug very soon to meet up with it.â€Â

Jeb: “Hold on, was this thing manned?â€Â

Gene: “No, it wasn’t manned.â€Â

Jeb: “But it had a cockpit?â€Â

Gene: “It’s going to Laythe.â€Â

A few murmurs wind their way through the cluster of kerbals.

Jeb: “So, you’re sending an unmanned spaceplane to Laythe? Gene, you know I’ve always wanted to go to Laythe, so what’s going on? And why are there so many of us here?â€Â

Gene: “Jeb…â€Â

Bill: “Be quiet, buddy.â€Â

Jeb: “Ugh, alright then.â€Â

Gene: “Now, I’m sure you folks are also aware that the Venturer program is at an end, or so we told the public. What you guys don’t know is that we’ve got thousands of people working right now to develop hardware and plan a mission that we thought impossible.â€Â

Random Kerbal: “Land on the sun?â€Â

Gene: “…No.â€Â

Random Kerbal: “Aww…â€Â

Gene: “Sorry to disappoint, although I shouldn’t really have to say that seeing as this mission is huge in scope, and we need the best, which is why you’re all here. Not a single one of you can mention a word of this project outside of the KSC facility. We’ll be trialling everyone to see who’ll fly this mission, and only 12 of you will be chosen.â€Â

Jeb: “Only 12 of us??â€Â

Gene: “Out of the hundred or so of you that are here, I’d say 12 is a relatively small number, Jeb.â€Â

Bob: “That’s still a lot of folks to put on a mission. This couldn’t be…â€Â

Lengas: “If this is what I think it is, then… well, I never thought I’d see it.â€Â

Gene: “Looks like the A-team here guessed it. Welcome to the start of our grand tour.â€Â

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Now this sounds interesting. You've picked a good time to begin too.

It would appear that way, it seems, but I very highly doubt that I'll live up to the bar set by czokletmuss and his Grand Tour. Nevertheless, I'm putting everything I've got into it. We'll see how it turns out.

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I guess you're just going to have to wait for the next part of the prologue to find out :)

I do actually have a crew roster at the end of part 3, too, so you'll know who's flying on this epic mission, and what they're doing.

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PROLOGUE – PART 2

Several months after the announcement…

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In the astronaut complex…

Cal: “They sent the Tylo lander off to Jool, today.â€Â

Lengas: “Oh really? That’s good to hear. I just hope the thing works on that wretched moon.â€Â

Cal: “So you can get your rocks?â€Â

Lengas: “Yep.â€Â

Cal: “And if it were to fail…â€Â

Lengas: “Then not only would I be the first Kerbal to set foot on Tylo, but I’d be the first one stranded there, too. However, they’ve run simulations, and it looks like it should perform just fine.â€Â

Cal: “Hmm.â€Â

Lengas: "You have to bear in mind that they are also sending a fusion-powered fuel tanker over there that will more likely than not have fuel remaining once we're through with it. I can always use that to help with the descent."

Cal: "I suppose you know what you're talking about, seeing as you're the engineer..."

Jeb walks in and plonks himself down into a chair opposite Lengas and Calwell.

Jeb: “If I were you, I’d be more concerned about the Eve lander.â€Â

Lengas: “Uhh, I’m not flying that one, remember?â€Â

Jeb: “Oh, right… but still.â€Â

Cal: “…â€Â

Lengas: “What’s wrong with the design?â€Â

Jeb: “Designs. Plural. None of them are working.â€Â

Lengas: “What?â€Â

Jeb: “Yeah, every simulation they run ends up with not enough structural support or a lack of fuel or thrust. I told them to put more boosters on, but noooooo, they’re too ‘sensible’ for that.â€Â

Lengas: “Uh… huh…â€Â

Jeb: “Anyway, now they’re contacting some airship company to come and help out with the lander. Blasphemy, if you ask me.â€Â

Lengas: “Balloons? That’s… that’s actually brilliant. It would make Eve ascents much easier.â€Â

Jeb: “Pff, nothing like rocket engines to get you somewhere.â€Â

Lengas: “But clearly they’re not going to be working too well on that purple hell-hole of a planet, are they?â€Â

Jeb: “Sadly. Oh well, I won’t be flying the Eve lander either, so it makes no difference to me.â€Â

Lengas: “Have they decided who will?â€Â

Jeb: “I’m not sure, but we are still a few years out from the launch of the mission. Plenty of time to make considerations, and hey, maybe some new guys will join the space program and end up with us.â€Â

Cal: “How many spots are left to fill?â€Â

Jeb: “Well, let's see... there’s me, Bill, and Bob, plus Lengas here. Then we just got Macwise because he came out top in med school. I think Buzz might be with us, too, so that’s 6 spots taken so far, 6 left to fill.â€Â

Lengas: “Yeah, Buzz is definitely with us. I was with him when Gene gave him the news. Pardon the pun, but he was buzzing.â€Â

Jeb: “Very punny, Lengas. Anyway, there you go, Cal. 6 spots.â€Â

Cal: “Actually, err, you might want to make that 7 spots taken up…â€Â

Jeb: “Huh?â€Â

Cal: “I got picked this morning. I’m on the mission.â€Â

Jeb: “Oh, nice!â€Â

Lengas: “Yeah, congrats!â€Â

Cal: “Thanks… logistics and astrophysics, I’m in charge of. Should prove interesting.â€Â

Jeb: “Indeed. Anyway, welcome aboard! You flown any other missions yet?â€Â

Cal: “I’ll be taking a Swiftwind III for a spin in a week’s time, but I’ve already clocked about a month in the simulator.â€Â

Jeb: “Well, I think you’ll be just fine, then. Astrophysics and logistics, that’s definitely a big job. Mess up one of my fuel tankers, and I’ll throw you out the airlock.â€Â

Cal: “Oh, yeah, sure you will.â€Â

Lengas: “Heh.â€Â

Jeb: “Nah, like I said, you’ll be alright. Now, anyone for coffee or something?â€Â

Lengas: “Sounds good. Let me just grab my jacket.â€Â

Over one year later…

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Now, I know what you're thinking. "Why have you already posted the next part of the prologue? You gave us your schedule just a few days ago and it said bla bla bla..."

Well, forget the schedule. I'll just post chapters when I feel like it. However, it's probably going to be one chapter every two days now, most likely. That's sort of a schedule still, but oh well.

Also, due to the installation of the Environmental Enhancement mod (only for the clouds; I got rid of the city lights) partway through the mission, you'll notice some differences in what the planets look like (Eve will very suddenly change between chapters...). I also upgraded my skybox partway through, too; it now has visible nebulae plus brighter stars of varying colour. Same basis, with that blue galactic plane, but more detail. I quite like it :)

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Coooool.

So the Big Four do appear tob e on the crew, or did I miss something?

You missed nothing. The Big Four are there :D

They already talk about throwing people out the airlock :0.0: Only joking, but still.

I hope they will have a better tour than czo's poor guys :)

I hope so, too :)

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Uh oh... It seems the assassins are back (again), because I had somebody trying to imitate (online) me when I came in, and that person nearly managed to get me (thank goodness for the .22 being easily accessible).

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Wait, what? A .22 rifle? You weren't... if I'm reading this right... are you alright? Nothing too bad happened? If I've got this horribly mixed up, please say, because it sounds to me like someone got into your house...

On a lighter note, next chapter tomorrow (hopefully) :)

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PROLOGUE – PART 3

A few weeks after the Tylo lander reached Jool…

Jeb: “So, they went with that stupid balloon design after all, did they?â€Â

Gene: “It minimised the fuel needed for the mission, and it’s safer. Besides, you aren’t flying it, remember? Buzz will be doing that.â€Â

Jeb: “I’m just saying, if the tech guys had added more boosters, the old design would have worked.â€Â

Lengas: “I doubt it.â€Â

Sidman: “Structural whatnot, eh Lengas?â€Â

Lengas: “Indeed. We surely don’t need to tell you that one again, Jeb.â€Â

Jeb: “…Just because the two of you are engineers, I’ll leave it.â€Â

Sidman: “Cool. Anyway, Gene? Can I talk to you outside?â€Â

Gene: “Uh, sure.â€Â

Sid and Gene walk outside, their chatter audible before the door shut behind them.

Lengas: “So, where do we stand?â€Â

Jeb: “The cruiser is being built as we speak. In a few months, it’ll be ready to fly. They’re strapping one of those fusion engines to the back, like the one from Lonestar… remember that?â€Â

Lengas: “I remember trying to hold the reactor together with duct tape after that encounter we had. Toughest engineering challenge I’d ever faced, not least because five other lives were on the line…â€Â

Jeb: “Man, that was a long time ago now.â€Â

Lengas: “I almost miss those days.â€Â

Jeb: “I miss them awfully, sometimes. Being the first Kerbal to walk on Mun… that was awesome. I can’t wait to go back there again.â€Â

Bill, Bob, and Buzz walk in.

Bill: “Folks.â€Â

Jeb: “Hey.â€Â

Buzz: “Jeb.â€Â

Jeb: “Buzz.â€Â

Buzz: “What are we talking about?â€Â

Lengas: “The good old days.â€Â

Jeb: “Although I’ve been around a lot longer than you have, Lengas.â€Â

Lengas: “Nevertheless, I’ve seen my fair share of spaceflight.â€Â

Jeb: “Not as much as me.â€Â

Lengas: “We’ve practically shared the last couple of missions together, except for Venturer.â€Â

Buzz: “Hey Jeb, have you ever actually walked on the surface of Duna, like good old Lengas here?â€Â

Jeb: “I… no, I haven’t… oh my kod, I haven’t done that!â€Â

Bob: “Somehow…â€Â

Jeb: “Ok, it’s settled; I’m landing on Duna. Give me that crew roster, would you?â€Â

Buzz: “Uh, sure…â€Â

Jeb: “Ok, let’s see here… ah, there we go, Duna landing… huh, I’m already down for it. No need to alter it. Hmm…â€Â

Bob: “Wouldn’t that have been effectively criminal, Jeb, if you did alter it?â€Â

Jeb: “Which is why it’s a good thing I didn’t need to.â€Â

Bob: “Hmm.â€Â

Lengas: “Well, I’m hungry. I’m going to get lunch.â€Â

Bill: “Actually, me too. Haven’t eaten today. Too much training, too much looking at transfer windows… it’s mind-blowing, the amount of calculations I’ve had to do, lately.â€Â

Bob: “Foooood…â€Â

Jeb: “I’ve already eaten. See you guys later.â€Â

Lengas: “Hey, come with us, don’t just lurk around here all day.â€Â

Jeb: “I’m going home, for now. There’s… stuff that I need to sort out. I’m going to be gone for a while, so I may as well sort it out while I can.â€Â

Lengas: “Oh, alright then. Catch you later.â€Â

Jeb: “Yeah, bye guys.â€Â

Sid and Gene shuffle past the folks who just left.

Gene: “Still here, Jeb?â€Â

Jeb: “I won’t be lingering for much longer.â€Â

Gene: “Alright. Say, you know that AI, ANSI?â€Â

Jeb: “Stanley, yeah? What about it?â€Â

Gene: “The techies just pulled it out of Venturer, and they’re adapting the hardware to plug into our grand tour cruiser. They’ve told me that they won’t have it prepared before the launch, but by the time you’ve finished business around Mun or Minmus, it should be ready to go.â€Â

Jeb: “So we’re going to have an AI on board?â€Â

Gene: “Yep, and a reliable one, too.â€Â

Jeb: “Cool, extra help is always good, especially if it gives me more breaks.â€Â

Gene: “Well, it should ease a few burdens.â€Â

Jeb: “Also, Gene, before I go…â€Â

Gene: “Yes?â€Â

Jeb: “What’s that part about me visiting one of the old Venturer bases on Duna, in the mission plan?â€Â

Gene: “…â€Â

Sid: “Really? Why would you do that?â€Â

Jeb: “I don’t know. The only thing I do know is that it’s the Volcas base. Hell, there’s a station around Duna, Gene. Get them to check it out! They have the lander, right?!â€Â

Gene: “They’ve got no fuel. We’ll be sending a tanker at the next available opportunity, but we’ll also be replacing some of the existing hardware with updated equipment. They won’t have enough time in between the replacement work and the lack of fuel to check this out before you get there.â€Â

Jeb: “’Check this out?’ Check what out?â€Â

Gene: “They’ve reported some… activity. Nothing solid, and for all we know, it’s probably just a malfunctioning circuit, but even so, it’s curious.â€Â

Jeb: “And they definitely can’t go and have a look?â€Â

Gene: “They could land, but they’d be stuck on the ground with no help coming. Sorry, Jeb, it’s up to you.â€Â

Jeb: “What if it’s that weird signal hill in near the south pole messing with the sensors?â€Â

Gene: “We don’t know. Again, sorry.â€Â

Jeb: “No, it’ll be good just to go to the surface of Duna, but the Volcas region? Something isn’t right…â€Â

Meanwhile…

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Crew roster:

Jebediah (Jeb): Captain, Pilot.

Bill: Commander, Navigator, Comms.

Bob: Commander, Subsystems, Comms.

Lengas: Chief engineer, Geologist.

Macwise (Mac): Doctor/Surgeon (Chief Medical Officer).

Dean: Pilot.

Ed: Field Medic, Biologist.

Buzz: Pilot.

Matton: Geologist, Geophysicist, Geochemist.

Calwell (Cal): Astrophysics, Logistics.

Sidman (Sid): Engineer.

Jim: Pilot.

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Asassins! Aaah! :0.0:

So if I have this right, you're using the (fusion-powered?) ENT-053-A to do the tour?

Hopefully less lethal than the czo-tour.

ENT-051-A. But yes, a ship by the name of Enterprise has finally succeeded on my save (the other two blew up...).

And I do hope it's much less lethal than the czo-tour, but of course, anything can happen...

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Wait, what? A .22 rifle? You weren't... if I'm reading this right... are you alright? Nothing too bad happened? If I've got this horribly mixed up, please say, because it sounds to me like someone got into your house...

Yeah, a (minor) case of home invasion. Didn't trip the alarm system because he slipped through the windows leading into the basement (which are quite small, mind you). Also, I was more just pointing the gun at him to get him out of the house, since a .22 longrifle is only really good for target practice and not much else (Also, my dad keeps the ammo in a secret location. Have to find out where he's keeping it one of these days.).

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