The Rescue of Jebediah Kerman

The people of Kerbin want a mission to Duna!

They refuse to pay for such a mission unless it is led by Jebediah Kerman, first astronaut and hero of the Kerbal people.

Unfortunately Jeb was lost in space after a failed Munar insertion burn during the first mission to the Mun. He somehow ended up in a crazy eccentric solar orbit inclined 15° to the ecliptic with a perapsis near that of Eve.

The people of Kerbin spoke. Jeb must be rescued at any expense!

The R&D people had a hard time coming up with a ship with enough ΔV. The first few attempts exploded for various reasons. Thankfully there was little loss of life.

This first landing on minimus happened after one of the earlier attempts was re-routed due to lack of ΔV.

Another attempted design, but not enough.

The designs got crazier w/o much success. In addition at least one ship/Kerbal is now also stranded in a similar orbit.

About this time the R&D people discovered thrust-to-weight ratios and the Tsiolkovsky Rocket Equation. Much scrawling on scrap paper ensued and the designs got a bit closer to usefullness.

This one managed to make it to Jeb's ship!

Rescued! But only enough ΔV to reduce the orbital inclination by 1° before both Jeb and rescuer Lenbret were stranded again.

Night launch of another attempt:

Deep space activation of the inclination-busting solid rocket boosters. Not enough sadly.

About this time it was calculated that at least 13,000 m/s of ΔV were needed, and that really nuclear thrusters were the only option with a single launch. Using just one thruster ended up not being practical though.

Check up on our brave crew, Lenbret seems to be enjoying himself fine.

Finally, this super-booster capable of putting 100t in orbit came to the rescue!

We made it! Though still not enough ΔV to get home.

One more try

And one more EVA transfer in the depths of space. Running out of seats.

Getting close to home! Orbit matching in view of Kerbin and Mun.

Will we have enough fuel?

Yes! Almost there!

Will our brave heroes survive re-entry?

Yes! Home at last, after 16 years away by Jeb.

Although poor Lenbrett there, his chair broke on landing and his foot is stuck and he couldn't be moved. And due to a bug in the game even after the lander was recovered he's still listed as sitting in it, somewhere, in Limbo apparently as he can't be found by the tracking station...
More Kerbal stories...