Project Silverfall – The Landing

OPSCON: Silverfall Four, confirm your intent to land this orbit?  Over.

Pilot (Calria Adae-ith-Adae): The window’s not broadening just sitting here, and this periseléne’s still in the band, even at the high side for burn.  We’ll take this window, Opscon.  Over.

OPSCON: Communications check.  Over.

Pilot: Do you have us, Eyeball?  Over.

Oculus Control: 12/12 on the whisker, 7/12 on the omni.  Over.

Pilot:  Good enough, Eyeball.  Four, clear.

OPSCON: Four, you are go for deorbit preliminary.  Confirm systems, over.

Pilot: By threes, call the checks.  I show mains, accumulators, radiators; blue, blue, blue.

Co-pilot (Airin Muetry-ith-Mirari): Check, check, check.

Pilot: I show fuel, cold-gas, life; blue, blue, blue.

Co-pilot: Check, check, check.

Pilot: I show telemetry, computer, radar; blue, blue, blue.

Co-pilot: Check, check, check.

Pilot: Attitude is six, zero, zero.  Inertials are aligned within point zero zero three, within parameters.  Clock drift is fourteen micro, within parameters.

Co-pilot: Check, check, check.  All systems check out for deorbit and landing.

Pilot: Opscon, systems check out, navigation variances are point zero zero three, fourteen.  Window’s coming up – do we have a go?  Over.

OPSCON: Four, our telemetry matches yours.  You are go for deorbit burn.  Opscon, clear.

Pilot: (loud breath) Okay, here we go.  By the numbers… mains to capacitors for charge.

Co-pilot: Capacitors charging.

Pilot: Stow the radiators, switch to heatsink.

Co-pilot: Radiator stow, check… cooling pumps to internal, no flow in the vanes.

Radiators inboard, four blues.

Pilot: Coming up on window in… two minutes.

Co-pilot: Capacitors show charged and ready.  Clock is running.

Pilot: Opscon, initiating burn in 36.  Four, clear.

Run up the pellet launcher.

Co-pilot: Pellet launcher to burn speed.

Speed nominal.

Pilot: Nominal, check.

Co-pilot: Burn in twelve, eleven, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, mark.

Pilot: Ignition.  Throttle at nominal-high, acceleration two point seven.

How’re the sinks?

Co-pilot: Heat flow is within parameters, about point five above predicted, no worse.

Pilot: Got some oscillation here…

Co-pilot: Standing by to cut.

Pilot: …trying the dampers.  There, it’s planing out.

Co-pilot:  Very well.  Pellet feed is steady.  Groundspeed 1600, height 490, range 475.  In the grid.

Coming up to inflection.  Standby for pitch-up maneuver.

Pilot: We’re coming in a little short.  I’ll take it to pitch four; compute me a second inflection.  Initiating.

Co-pilot: Pitch five point five, five, four point seven, four point four, four… steady at pitch four.  Pitch-up complete.

Second inflection point on the glass.

Groundspeed eight.  Delta-A in the slot.  Coming up to second inflection.  Standby for pitch-up maneuver.

Pilot: Pitching to zero.  Take the throttle down to thirty.

Co-pilot: Pitch three point five.  Throttle eighty.  Pitch three.  Throttle fifty.  Pitch two point one.  Throttle forty.  Pitch one point five.  Throttle thirty.  Pitch zero…

Attitude zero, zero, zero, throttle steady at thirty.  Range point three eight.  Vertical 28.  Glass to landing configuration.

Heatsinks at half capacity.

Range point one three, vertical fourteen.

Pilot: A little more throttle now.  Throttle to sixty.

Co-pilot: Range point zero seven, vertical one point nine two.

Pilot: Throttle to eight five.

Co-pilot: Range point zero five, vertical point one four five.  Starting to get some ground pushback.

Pilot: Throttle back to three zero.

[expletive] Looks like there’s a crater under us.  Hold us on the throttle; switching to manual lateral maneuvering.

A little more.  A little more…

Co-pilot: Range point zero three, vertical point one eight.  Kicking up the regolith.

Pilot: Stand by to switch to cold-gas thrusters.  Terminate pellet feed in six, five, four, three, two, one, mark.


Co-pilot: Range point one three, vertical point one.  Point zero eight.  Point zero five.  Point zero four.  Point zero two.  Point zero one.  Point zero zero five.  Point zero zero two.  Contact.

Pilot: Thruster shutoff.

Co-pilot: Gear holding, stress shows in the blue.  Internal pressure, blue.  Hull integrity, blue.  Attitude, zero, one point two, point three.

Pilot: Capacitors, cycle to discharge.  Radiators deploy and push.

Co-pilot: Capacitors to discharge, check.  Vanes deploying in ground configuration…

Check.  Pumps running, flow in the vanes.  Heatsinks show two-thirds capacity.

[laugh] We did it!  We’re here!

Pilot: I believe we did, at that.

Opscon, this is Silverfall Four.  We are down safe at White Plains.  I repeat, Four has made landing on Seléne. Over.

OPSCON: We read you down safe, Four. [swallowing]  Good to hear it from you.  Congratulations!

[sound of cheering]

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