THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 163
…No strangers to astronomy, like any astronauts worthy of his or her spacesuit, the combined knowledge of the McKinneys serves them well …
Celeste gradually recovers from time distorting space speed and the resulting blackout, examining Sammy for signs of physical harm. It seems that the 1st baby in space has slept through the 100-to-300,000 mph acceleration. She is very much like any other child when come to riding in the family car; after a couple boring minutes they are fast asleep, usually for the duration.
For the duration of their trip away from their solar system home-space is:
- up for grabs
- one guess is as good as the next
- let the meter run
- the GPS is on the fritz
Unlike distances between planets in the same sun-system, intergalactic space travel entails the equivalent time light needs to travel from point A to point B, and where the only significant “landmark” celestial bodies are an occasional asteroid, meteors of erratic size, and the granddaddy of them all, the wandering comet.
No strangers to astronomy, like any astronauts worthy of his or her spacesuit, the combined knowledge of the McKinneys serves them well. They are charting their progress through this new astronomical perspective with the aid of galactic star charts salvaged from the dear departed Tycho plus old fashioned reconnoitering.
“Do you remember the history syllabuses that taught us about Alpha Centauri correctly being the closest star to our star and all the speculation about where other forms of life may come from,” asks Sampson about the horse ‘n buggy days of dim understanding.
“Yes I do. They were a light-year short in calculating the distance and didn’t even know that it was part of a three star system.”
They harken back to when the Hubble Telescope altered cosmic perspectives from seeing uncountable #’s of stars to reveal a jaw-dropping millions of galaxies.
Then to have had the brief privilege of working with Space Colony’s 20” mirror, you could say that the Universe is getting smaller and bigger at the same time. “But we are not traveling on a course that remotely resembles a path to Centauri. I think we are going to dissect the Orion Constellation, right about at “The Hunter’s” navel.”