A Manned Mission to Mun – From Ignorance to Enlightenment via Fear: Part Five
The unmanned Mun-shot Daytripper II is now underway, the second launch of the Daytripper Launch Vehicle, or DLV, to deliver a Munar Probe to the surface of Mun. This follows the unsuccessful Daytripper I mission, which failed due to someoneforgetting to deploy the photovoltaics after putting it into orbit. It ceased responding to commands at 6:00 minutes Mission Elapsed Time when the electronics ran out of juice. This error will not be replicated, we have hired a new Photovoltaic Deployment Associate to say “deploy the photovoltaics” after orbit has been established. Rather than write it off as a complete failure, Daytripper I has been declared to be the first Orbital Heritage Site and it is now open for visitors. We’ve launched and recovered one Kerbalnaut out of two, so clearly this technology is ready for commercial development. The first lucky space tourists will be Class 5 from the Happy Kerblings School for Unhappy Kerblings. They launch tomorrow.
I’ve received special authorization to share the mission plan with you.
It is a little unconventional to burn for orbital transfer in the middle of an orbit rather than at the high or low point – or, as we say in the trade, the slightly pointier bits. This is because the high and low points are the slowest and fastest parts of the orbit respectively, making it easiest to make a large course change by burning the smallest amount of fuel, but a design flaw was discovered after launch; The Munar Bus Assembly (MBA) has no onboard electrical storage, so it relies entirely on the Munar Probe’s tiny onboard battery, which runs flat 6 minutes after the DLV enters shade. So while Daytripper II might be in a perfect position to burn for Munar encounter, the onboard guidance system has no power at the perfect time, so we have to burn early, wait until the vehicle gets out of the Kerbinal penumbra, then burn late.