The “Sea of Storms” lives up to its name

1954 May 25, Illyrien Space Center

Today we are happy to announce that we have indeed managed to touch down on the surface of the Moon. A most stunning achievement. The probe carried 4 cameras  which were able to return these images. Unfortunately the probe landed close to the terminator, meaning it was still somewhat dark:

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The probe touched down just north of the Aristarchus Crater in the Sea of Storms. While the mission went almost perfectly at all stages, we lost stability at about 200m above the surface, tipping the probe over and preventing a safe landing. In fact, it was quite “rough” and the impact trashed half the probe. Fortunately the core survived, along with all cameras, all science instruments and the transmitter. The solar panel was destroyed, but sufficient power remained to operate the equipment for a short while. We where expecting to be able to wait for full daylight, but that is not possible by now.

All beginning is hard, just like the Moon’s surface, but we gained a lot of knowledge about such operations and further missions should be easier. We had originally planned 3 identical missions, all of them aiming for a landing on the Moon. Perhaps the final third, if we choose to undertake it, will succeed completely.

The landing represents the pinnacle of what is possible within our current scientific and engineering skills. It took many engineers many sleepless nights planning around the limitations and boundaries, to achieve this end. Hopefully, future technical progress will make these missions easier in the time to come. Then, one day, we will be able to land Kerbals and truly venture forwards into the solar system.

A full paper on the mission and the rocket, will be published later.

To the stars,
-Gene Kerman

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One comment

  1. It took me quite a while to figure out how to do this, given the kind of engines have have available and all the fuel and ullage problems. Not to mention issues with power and time lag. Then I had to launch it, which was the heaviest mission I have done so far. Then there where some issues with communications links back to Earth, and with landing in less then full light. The final probe was tested in LEO, and appeared to function adequately, though I had little idea if it was going to be able to provide sufficient TWR, for a safe landing. All in all, quite the nervewrecking mission. Which all seems to be a failure when it crashed in a ball of fire… Thankfully it actually survived that!

    Like

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