Missions to Ike and Gilly

With Jeb and Valentina safely recovered from their respective trips to the moons of Kerbin, it was time to have some other adventures.

There were some contracts available for Ike exploration, so let's see if we can get a manned rocket out that far.

Well that went poorly. More struts needed?

Bob and Jeb heading off on adventure. It's hard to see but Bob is hanging upside down there in a small lander, connected via a small docking ring.

Launch to Duna! We just took the first encounter we could find, which turned out to be a mistake as we didn't have enough delta-v.

They made it! The original plan was to send Jeb to Duna while Bob explored Ike, but getting into Duna orbit took all of Jeb's fuel so he's stuck in an eccentric orbit in the hopes that Bob has enough fuel left to do something useful.

Hmmm, maybe a mistake trying to land a non-pilot, without RCS. Also apparently without solar panels or batteries, oops, this won't go well. To add to the fun he's going to try to land in pitch dark conditions.

He made it, more or less! But not enough power to transmit any science, so the contract left unfulfilled. And now two Kerbals are stuck awaiting rescue.

Meanwhile Valentina has decided to take a contract to visit Gilly. Will her team do better than Jeb's?

Here they are at launch, the best she could recruit from the Astronaut Complex was "Mad" Madchell as Engineer and "Loser" Luzor as Scientist. That doesn't bode well.

The lander has been significantly redesigned from the Ike mission. What a happy crew.

After a lot of hassle managed to get an Eve encounter, though too impatient (need to fire up some porkchop plots) so very short on delta-V. And even worse, we managed to enter the system retrograde.

With what little delta-V we have left can we intercept Gilly? Totally a pain, what with the retrograde orbit and the very tiny encounter window. We did manage in the end after many RCS firings:

Valentina for the win! Plus a lot of science transmitted and the contract complete. However there's definitely not enough fuel left to return to Kerbin. Three more Kerbals in need of rescue? At least they aren't on Eve...

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