Year 15: Resolving the Cliffhangers

and a lot of time acceleration

It's time to resolve some of these pending missions and contracts, especially as we are running low on funds.

The crew coming back from Gilly finally got to make their return-to-Kerbin burn:

The various bases are a pain, but I have to admit those science labs really crank out the science. Good job science twins!

Now some more of the waiting game. Let's fast-forward a bit.

The Ike station approaching Duna:

And once again we end up around Ike. This time our expansion made it with lots of fuel to spare. Let's disassemble IkeStationZebra in preparation for making it way more awesome.

I'm always pleasantly surprised how easy docking is when not trying to do it in low Kerbin orbit.

A better base! The newly upgraded and renamed IkeStationZebu. The six inhabitants seem horrified for some reason. It's nice finally having a base that doesn't look entirely like a bunch of ships stuck together.

Mid-course correction for the Gilly returnees:

We finally got a trajectory for the Jeb rescue. Let's go, robot probe! And be careful about the overheating!

Now let's see what contracts we've accumulated. Another rescue? Let's try to do it on the cheap. Always a bad idea. Crashed the first after trying the gravity turn too soon. Trying again with some SRBs on the side:

We made it and rescued Elulz, just barely.

Let's fast forward again for a bit. Year 15 is flying past.

The Gilly crew is nearing home! After 10 years you can see how excited they are:

I really should separate before re-entering.

And they made it!

Thats a lot of experience, but sadly didn't really get much funds.

Now let's see if we can find Jeb. A busy part of space: that's the other failed rescue craft zipping nearby:

A long burn, lots of fiddling, and a long deep-space EVA later and Jeb is finally on a ship with enough Delta-V to make it home! Not sure how wise it is to ride on the outside, the designers were trying to keep the mass low.

Wow we've got 1337 LEET science, let's cash some of it in.

Still not enough funds for the R&D center. The Jool expedition might be our only hope. They've entered Jool's SOI, but they are still weeks away from perapsis.

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