As the next step in conquering space, I decided to put a space station in Kerbin orbit. Of course, just sticking something in orbit is trivial, so I would be trying to dock two different space station parts together - docking being one of the hardest things to do in Kerbal Space Program, or indeed actual space.
Did I say putting things in orbit was the easy bit? The launcher I threw together seems to have a strange flaw where if it's throttled up towards the end of one of its stages, it suddenly spins out of control and explodes (the crew module is mercifully left intact and able to parachute back down to Kerbin).
Spoiler: I will actually complete the space station before realising that the issue is with some incorrectly connected fuel lines causing some of the engines to run out of fuel before others, throwing the rocket fatally off-balance.
While the Auto-Kitten 1 arced along its slow orbit to Eve, poor Bob Kerman was still trundling around on the Mun.
Unfortunately, the Auto Kitten 1 was such a pleasure to drive because of the many lessons I learned the hard way with Bob's rover, and realising that I was never going to get him to any interesting locations, I decided he should turn around and make the arduous return trip to Kerbin.
*Except Hudbles Kerman.
Keeping my desire to go ever higher and faster in check, I did manage to get my space plane to the north pole of Kerbin, and bring it carefully down close to the smooth ice, nicely lined up for a gentle landing and ice cream picnic.
And then I suddenly remembered that I've managed to safely land a space plane in Kerbal Space Program exactly once and my chances of doing it at this crucial moment were low enough that I should just separate the cockpit and parachute Rayvis Kerman down to the ice - humbled, but in one piece.
After a lot of failed space planes sent spiralling into the sky while Jebediah Kerman descends safely to the ground in a detached cockpit, I finally managed to design an aircraft that can go crazy-fast and make very careful turns without going into a spin.
And the higher you climb, the faster it goes - well past the speed of sound, right up until... well, right up until the engines stop getting enough air from the attenuated atmosphere and flame out, putting the plane in a fatal spin.
I made a good bid for the north pole of Kerbin in this kite before finally succumbing to the temptation to go just that little bit higher and faster and dooming the expedition to failure. The worst part was starting to get the plane back under control, just as the engines sheared off.
After my initial decision to land on one of Eve’s large flat areas led to the discovery that the planet has vast, dark oceans, I quick-loaded and brought my automated rover down on solid land instead.
Having successfully avoided the sea, the next obvious step was to drive to the nearest coast and check it out from a safe distance.
With poor Hudbles still stuck on Duna, I decided to experiment with
Duna was the obvious target, but it seems to be in a tricky part of its orbit relative to Kerbin (I swear I will learn about transfer orbits properly one day), so I picked Venus-a-like Eve instead.