12) Blue Marble

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After the Kerbals sent a set of probes to Jool, they couldn’t wait to get a closer look at Laythe. With it’s blue oceans and abundant Kerbal-babes it seemed an ideal location to send the intrepid Jeb, greenest of all Kerbals. So it was that he was strapped to yet another tubular wad of explosives and sent back into space.

 

(For once, nothing went wrong in this mission. It’s relatively straightforward and so this entry is mainly picture based.)

 

Flight 15: Laythe landing

Laythe has it’s own atmosphere and a decent gravity well. It therefore required a reasonably large lander to get Jeb back home safely. The weight of the lander combined with the distance to the Jool system meant that a large ship was needed to get the job done. This is that ship:

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Lift off!

It consists of SLS parts to reach orbit, a rockomax-sized interplanetary stage and finally the lander itself.

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After reaching orbit, the interplanetary stage ditches what’s left of the orbital engines

A burn was set for Jool and the lander arrived without a hitch.

And this is what a Jool slingshot looks like, if you ever wanted to try for interplanetary space this would be a good way to do it! Apoapsis wouldn't have been reached for 378 years!
And this is what a Jool slingshot looks like, if you ever wanted to try for interplanetary space this would be a good way to do it! Apoapsis wouldn’t have been reached for 378 years!

Luckily, I wasn’t aiming for a slingshot from Jool, I just wanted to stop in it’s neighbourhood. So, once inside Jool’s SOI, I burned again, aiming to pass it at 110km above the ‘surface’. This is inside the atmosphere, allowing my ship to bleed off it’s huge interplanetary speeds and establish an orbit around Jool.

In orbit around the big blue giant
In orbit around the big green giant
Once the orange tank was used up, it was ejected to save weight
At around this point, the orange tank was used up. It was ejected to save weight

Another quick burn and another aerobrake put Jeb in orbit around Laythe.

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So blue!
So blue!

The lander was detached and Jeb aimed for one of the small continents dotted around Laythe’s huge oceans.

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The clouds on Laythe look exactly like the ones on Kerbin... almost like they used the same files or something...
The clouds on Laythe look exactly like the ones on Kerbin… almost like they used the same files or something…
Landing!
Landing!

Jeb puts her down on one of the many sandy hills covering this continent.

Jeb climbs down the ladder for his historic landfall
Jeb climbs down the ladder for his historic landfall
Jeb has a jump on Laythe. Nowhere near as high as he could get on other bodies he's been to
Jeb has a jump on Laythe. Nowhere near as high as he could get on other bodies he’s been to

From his angle, Jeb reckons he’s pretty close to the water. Since the eggheads back home say there’s at least a 62% chance that Laythe’s oceans are safe. So, he decides to pop down for a paddle.

Unfortunately it was a much further walk then it looked. That's the lander way back in the distance!
Unfortunately it was a much further walk then it looked. That’s the lander way back in the distance!
Still,at least Jeb got to have his paddle. The liquid didn't seem to be corroding or dissolving him at all! Statistics be praised!
Still,at least Jeb got to have his paddle. The liquid didn’t seem to be corroding or dissolving him at all! Statistics be praised!
He was so encouraged by his continued safety he even risked a quick swim
He was so encouraged by his continued safety he even risked a quick swim
After his long trek down to the water, Jeb wanted future explorers to know that he could walk as well as fly.
After his long trek down to the water, Jeb wanted future explorers to know how far he had walked. He’s a multi-talented kerbonaught after all
After a bit of a splash around, it was time to head back to the lander
After a bit of a splash around, it was time to head back to the lander

Jeb was a bit disappointed that no green babes were spotted on this trip but to be honest he had always suspected those images were photoshopped. Probably boffin propoganda to get more Kerbals into space exploration, as it they need a reason!

And blast off away from Laythe
Blast off away from Laythe

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The final lander stage completes it's orbit around Laythe, heading for the interplanetary stage
The final lander stage completes it’s orbit around Laythe, heading for the interplanetary stage

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The lander approaches the interplanetary stage. (sorry about the darkness, it's nightime on Laythe)
The lander approaches the interplanetary stage. (sorry about the darkness, it’s nightime on Laythe)
The re-united ships blast off to return to Kerbin.
The re-united ships blast off to return to Kerbin.
It doesn't matter how many millions of miles Jeb travels, he always likes to show off. In this case he managed to land right next to the space centre (nightime again, dammit!)
It doesn’t matter how many millions of miles Jeb travels, he always likes to show off. In this case he managed to land right next to the space centre (nightime again, dammit!)

So now Jeb has travelled to Laythe. He doesn’t know where he will go next but he’s damn sure it won’t be anywhere as blue as Jool’s marble.

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “12) Blue Marble

    Jonathan said:
    July 16, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Excellent post. Wondering where you got the launch engines from…

      chrise2014 responded:
      July 21, 2014 at 7:51 am

      All the parts are stock, if you mean the ones used to launch from Kerbin, they’re the Kerbodyne KR-2L Advanced Engines.

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