So, Eve's the next target. Close to the sun than Kerbin is, Eve is a dense planet with gravity that is a bit higher than on Kerbin and an atmosphere that is quite dense too. Having landed there during a play in a previous version of the game, I know that the planet is pretty much impossible to explore with a manned vessel if you intend to get your astronaut back to Kerbin. This is what made me chose this as my next exploration target over Duna, which I intend to land a Kerbal on. Eve is going to get robotic exploration only, because the only thing I could think of that would get back out of that atmosphere and gravity-well would be some sort of really efficient space-plane and I'm horrible at designing and flying aircraft so forget it.
Eve has land as well as liquid oceans. As I intend to do a parachute-landing with my probe, I better land on land or lose the probe upon touch-down. At the same time this is a scientific program, so I should reach the oceans too, as I need to explore what they're made of and if they do contain life. Thus I will need another rover. I modified my proven rover-design, removing the cockpit in favor of more RCS-fuel tanks, adding more RCS-thruster, parachutes and a drag-chute instead of the ion-drive. Then I launched the thing with some small rockets in order to test the thing on Kerbin, as both gravity and atmosphere are somewhat similar to that on Eve. The dense atmosphere on Eve means one thing for my test: If the chutes slow it down enough for a soft landing on Kerbin, they will surely work on Eve too. It's just a question of slowing the whole thing down with the drag-chute first, in order to prevent the rover from being ripped apart once the chutes open up.
|So far, so good.|
|Unmanned exploration of our own space center.|
|Surprisingly, this is flying somewhat stable.|
|Getting lighter and faster...|
|At this point, the thin gis still working properly...|
So, I'll have to re-try that one. Unmanned ground mission to Eve. And after that I guess I'll have to assemble my three-part manned Duna-Explorer ship. Tune back in after Christmas. Have a merry and peaceful one, everybody.