May 15th, 1961, Baikonur Kosmodrone.
“Welcome everyone to a brief press conference about our current activities around Venus, for which I will start by putting up a nice picture for you, that Bob took yesterday when he were on a short spacewalk to take scientific readings, when the Venutian Discoverer passed low above Venus”, Gene began the conference, while pressing a button to show the picture.
“Yesterday, our Venus-5 probe also got into a good parking orbit above Venus, and we’ll be adjusting it down to its final scanning orbit over the coming weeks. The inclination was almost spot on this time, being the third surveying satellite we have in orbit – but the intercept was rather close to the Venutian Discoverer’s arrival which is why the probe was merely put into a parking orbit for now”.
“Since the pass yesterday, our scientific and engineering staff have also double checked the gravity assist that the ship has received from Venus, and confirmed that it was indeed more than were needed, as our initial calculations showed”.
“This means that tomorrow, the ship will fire what is likely its last major correction burn, lowering the orbital time and adjusting around 1 degree in misalignment to ensure the arrival of the crew back on Earth 264 days from today”.
“The central tank has yielded invaluable data on evaporation so far, and we are expecting to have some theories confirmed on the way back, with the last of the fuel as the remaining fuel continues to evaporate”.
“Now, are there any questions?”, Gene ends the conference, picking the first of the inquisitive reporters.
“Jack Kerman, The Kerbinian Engineer”, the reporter begins, “what are the remaining fuel levels, are they in line with expectations and what is the evaporation rate?”.
“Well now”, Gene begins, “the central tank has around 15 % of its fuel left, which is below the expected amount – but on the other hand, we have gotten the return adjustment burn done in a single go, and are not going to have another mid-course correction as originally expected – so all in all I’d say we’re about as expected which was 20 % minus evaporation at this point”.
“As for your question about evaporation, that is a closely guarded state secret for now, although I can tell you that we appear to have been able to confirm that moving closer to the sun exacerbates the phenomenon, next question”.
“Gilly Kerman, The Kerbin Star. How is the crew doing? Any stress or other issues?”.
“There are of course minor things all along, but even Jebediah who is the most restless of the three have found that taking short walks outside does wonders for his mood, combined with plenty of exercise and a healthy diet. We are currently examining the long term effects in space on KSS as well, and are of course also looking at Valentinas upcoming Lunar mission and have further plans for a long term mission as well in order to have examined the complexities on both all male, all female and mixed crews for optimal crew composition in the future”, Gene answered the question with a slight smile – knowing that Gilly’s follow-up question would have been about women in space, and whether they would not be better fit psychologically.