Feeling the need to reach the mysterious anomaly as fast as possible, as I was running out of game-time due to some real-life scheduling coming up soon, I decided that the best course of action to reach it fast would be to sent another rocket to the Mun. Now, reaching a specific spot on the Mun is, with my amateurish abilities in orbital physics and piloting, a rather fuel-intensive exercise but I didn't need to get whomever I was sending up there back because now I had a MunBase where they could go after exploring the anomaly. So I fired up another Munshot I, the trusty ship that had sent my first manned Munar mission successfully there and back again, figuring I could use the fuel originally reserved for the return-trip in order to fly the thing to a landing-spot near the anomaly - and then walk the rest on foot.
The ship went up to the Mun in less than six hours. Deceleration and aiming at the landing-site went well and soon I was getting close to the anomaly, which turned out to be a huge stone arch, an object called MunArch by the KSP community, as I would find out later:
|The MunArch, residing on the ridge, overlooking the crater-bed below...|
|Larger than I had thought - but you can see it from rather far away.|
I didn't want to waste jet pack fuel while walking there so Ed could actually jet up onto the huge arch. It took a few seconds and then he had a rather spectacular view of the surroundings. The first anomaly that the MadSpaceProgram had ever encountered. I had by now checked the games wiki in order to find that there are quite a lot of anomalies spread around the solar system, which makes the exploration so much more exciting that I have problems to fathom it all. An important thing is that you cannot be compulsive about these things, unless you're unemployed and have no life other than this game. Try to find some, but not all of them...
|Distances to the lander and MunBase Alpha visible. Somewhere in between there is a Kerbal, just standing and waiting...|
Anyways, I had to get my two Kerbals walking around the Mun back to the MunBase. I had already designed a rover but not yet tested it - it was time for that. My rover is fueled with eight ports of RCS-thrusters and has a back-up ion drive for when everything else runs out. It has an A.I.-box to drive it when there is no driver inside so it can actually go and pick someone up to get them home. The cockpit holds one Kerbal. It's a light-weight, simple design. I strapped not only an asparagus-rocket for getting it to the Mun to it, but also a smaller stage with a nuclear drive (nuclear drives are weaker but more fuel-efficient than the regular thrusters), which was supposed to get the rover above the target landing-area and slow it down enough so I could then just drop the thing to the Munar surface. It would have to half-crash-land and then - then I'd drive it first to one Kerbal, drive him back to MunBase Alpha, then to the other one, pick them up and get them to the base too. The mission seemed completely doable, once the rover was on the Mun and if the fuel-efficiency during driving would be good enough. Little did I know what lay ahead for the MadSpaceProgram...