A Manned Mission to Mun – From Ignorance to Enlightenment via Fear: Part Four
Success! Bill Kerman is the heroic pilot who brought capsule Round Trip Ticket II down from orbit, and as such he has won a 100 Kerbit gift voucher. He was last seen staggering towards the Kerbal Space Center Gift Shop. He has also been awarded the Order of Jebediah for conspicuous not-dying, and lastly, he has been declared Employee of the Month and may use the Employee of the Month parking space behind the management parking lot.
Even better, he had smuggled his camera on board against strict orders, and took this photo of Munrise from orbit.
We don’t know how he managed to take a picture of the outside of the spacecraft while he was inside. We asked him how he managed it, but all he said was “Eh.”
Two oddities have revealed themselves. Firstly, scientists have long theorized that an object entering the atmosphere at great speed would experience great turbulence and heat, due to the air’s anger at being brushed aside without so much as an “excuse me”. The Round Trip Ticket II capsule experienced no such phenomenon, leading scientists all over Kerbin to agree that air is significantly harder to annoy than we have previously suspected. The only Kerbal who was not pleased by this development was Randy Kerman, owner of Randy’s Ceramic Heat Tiles And Bathroom Accessories, who was looking forward to getting the contract to tile the capsules.
Secondly, it appears that some unknown force in the universe is preventing us from communicating with the unmanned docking station we placed in a stable 100km orbit. We fitted it with a radio, battery pack, and photovoltaic arrays, and Bill swears he hit every switch on the dashboard before declamping for his deorbit burn, but it has not transmitted any telemetry and our tracking station picks it up only as debris. Our dedicated team of engineers is even now breaking the seals on the instruction manuals to find out if there is any hope of establishing contact before we fire them for negligence. Ezekiel Kerman, the assistant explosive bolt tester, has been promoted to chief explosive bolt tester for suggesting “maybe the Communitron doesn’t work that way”.
In any case, we have plans to launch a larger and better docking module on a dedicated delivery rocket, and one day we might even work out how to dock with something in orbit. But that’s for another day – the Mun is still our goal.
The Round Trip Ticket Launch Vehicle has served its purpose well, but it is not capable of achieving orbit with enough delta-V left over to reach Munar orbit. Well, it does, but sadly the ham-fisted flying our pilots can muster means they waste a huge amount of fuel in even the simplest maneuvers. Time to go to the drawing board to devise a rocket that has the legs to carry even our fat-fingered Kerbal pilots to the Mun.