Remember how I had said that we had enough money to finally upgrade the construction facility? That was only technically true (the best kind of true though). While we had the money to upgrade it, we lacked the money to get any use out of the new upgrade. A sad state of affairs for us, as we wouldn't be going anywhere new this time, but ah well. Earning one's worth never hurt. The selection of contracts is interesting though, and I pick out a few.
First up is another mission to save the hapless pilot of a careless private space program. Good pay, better than usual even, so what's the catch? They forwarded the details over, and it became apparent what the catch was:
Looks like they had intended on going for a Munar runby. All seemed well until on the return trip back they didn't have the fuel to re-enter the atmosphere. Normally, I'd put this up to bad rocket craftsmanship, but looking closely at the data, I realized that they had gone west instead of east. They didn't want it known publicly that their flight plan was completely backwards.
I wanted to go blabbing to the press at yet another failure by the private industry in the hopes of getting more contract money sent our way, but Fishman had me promise not to. Signing the contract meant we'd be stuck to silence. What I wouldn't give for the chance to send all lawyers into the sun.
Well, no time for that now. I have work to do in getting that pilot back home. I had plenty of time though, as she's a day out from a good intercept point. Rather than wasting the entire day, I have Capt. Kiwi suit up for a side mission. As well, I grabbed two other missions, one to test parts, along with a future run to Minmus. Likely we'd do it after rescuing the lost pilot, but for now the juicy advance money would come in handy.
It was the usual Aeronautics mission. Go take temperature readings somewhere in low altitude. Easy money. This one was a short flight over, just past the lower peninsula I named "Kerbea".
Capt. Kiwi and his trust flyer were soon brought out onto the runway. Easy money.
The beauty of these trips is great. We don't normally get such good pictures from our rockets. Something about too much wind pressure breaking the cameras.
Almost half an hour later, and Capt. Kiwi begins approaching the Kerbean peninsula. This marks the halfway point to his mission objective.
Another 20 minutes later and Kiwi was "busy" collecting the readings. Simple job really. I'm not sure why they wanted readings over empty water like this. Isn't the weather over land where all the interesting stuff happens? You can barely see any from here, even 11,000 m above water.
The collection goes smoothly, and Capt. Kiwi moves to begin landing. He cuts power to the engines, and dives down; he's eager to get back home. Something something religious celebration.
I warn him about the treacherous water, but he insists. It'll be fine, he says. If the plane lands on hard ground, why couldn't it handle a soft wet landing?
Final approach, he's slowed down as much as he can. Splashdown imminent.
Why doesn't anyone listen to me? Kiwi's craft hits the water with enough force to rupture the tanks. launching him up into the air again and destroying much of the craft. Luckily for him, we heavily reinforce our crew compartments.
He lands safely a short distance away. It cost us some money in damaged parts, but maybe we'll get it back in advertising money. The people do love a good explosion, especially if it is because of someone's silly decision.