January 25th, 1957; Baikonur Kosmodrone.
As I am writing this report, Jebediah is off to hand a Moon rock to our Glorious Leader (joking as he left that our Glorious Leader could then throw it at the Illyrien president) after having returned safely to the Earth – although he had to make two aerobraking passes before he had slowed down enough to get down.
We will shortly be releasing a press release with a number of items, beginning with pictures of him docking with the return module in orbit of the moon.
Aside from this, we can now publicly release our Lunar map as well (we of course elected to land in one of the flat, even spots), as the map was previously kept classified, in order not to have it leak to the Illyriens and make their job easier.
This mission has clearly been our most expensive and complicated mission to date. Between the actual rocket costing around 1/8th of a million, other preparatory missions (like extended stays in space and practising docking) and around a full 1/4th of a million spent in simulations, this will definitely be one for the history books.
This venture have probably cost us well over a million, ignoring all our facility improvements etc., which probably brings it around thrice that in all. But the gains have been remarkable.
The KSA program will now shift focus a bit, as we have a number of ongoing R&D works, planning for future launch windows to other planets and having a look at extended stays in space and possibly beginning construction of an actual space station not too long from now – possibly within this decade, if the Ministries will fund it.