Getting to Minmus is a bit harder than getting to the Mun, as it is quite a bit further away from Kerbin and its much lower mass means you have to hit it somewhat more precisely in order to get caught by its field of gravity. Landing there on the other hand is easy as pie, since it has very obvious flat areas that have a zero-elevation and the low gravity means you don't have to reverse-thrust to much in order to land softly enough. All in all a good test-run for interplanetary travel. Thus the first ship I designed was more of a test-craft than a mission-specific design. Let me explain:
The Minmus Lab is half space-ship, half ground station. Riding on the fire of three nuclear engines fueled from a central tank, the main engines would be a test-run for future interplanetary missions both manned and unmanned, whilst the crew pod itself could detach and lift off on its own. As I saw no way of landing this thing back on Kerbin in once piece, I added two escape-pods identical to those used on the KSS. The plan was to do a close fly-by of Kerbin and land with one of the two crew members, then get the ship into a crash-landing orbit and vacate it with the remaining premise before it entered the atmosphere. It was a big, heavy, glorious thing, possibly the largest thing I had ever attempted to get into orbit in a single launch.
|Okay maybe using a new pattern of launch-rockets was a bit to much of the experimentation...|
|Well, drives, seperators and chutes did work. Not to surprising though.|
|Ah, the frozen wastes of Minmus. Notice the curved horizon on this little rock.|
|Another rover in active service. I really like driving.|
|Racing over the ice.|
|Getting out to check out the damage. Annoying but also interesting...|