THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 132

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 132

…“Russia is like a bastard cousin; you have to invite them to family gatherings, but you serve them cheap beer instead of fine wine…

 

“I have fashioned a schematic for you to forward to the crew of the New Mayflower, if it’s not too late. They must construct a circuit in that vehicle with an anti-laser deflection field. I can be fairly positive that Sang-Ashi’s path may be on an intersecting course.”

“They have had a small shadow following them ever since they got a million miles past the moon. Do you have any idea what that could be? Does Sang-Ashi have a twin?” asks Roy Crippen.

“I know that the Russians were ready to launch their own probe, Uralsk I think it’s called, but I only know this because of a launch conflict with an astronaut exchange to the old International Space Station.” ISS is still in orbit, though its usefulness has long since been relegated to space lab experiments. “They claim that it is headed for Uranus, but if that was the case, they’ve missed their mark by 10 million miles, like they were aiming for the elliptical, but used parabolic calculations.

“Can they be that bad? They are truly like the Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight.”

“They will claim to have had Mars in mind the whole time, who would know the difference. And I don’t think any harm can come from a country whose Soyuz continues to be the workhorse of the ISS, ever since the United States stopped the shuttle program. Regardless, my system must be implemented.”

Russia is like a bastard cousin; you have to invite them to family gatherings, but you serve them cheap beer instead of fine wine.” United States’ relations with the Great Sleeping Bear has been as chilly as the original Cold War, but has warmed since they put Putin in the ground in 2028.

“Okay Aldona, I will forward this plan to Rick Stanley, before they go into hyper-sleep.” Roy Crippen trusts this man’s insider instincts, even though the verdict is still officially out on the fate of SC1. “As for you, my friend, I am getting you an office at Lovell and your family will be set up here at Elgin—you are officially onSOL-logo the payroll, with an eye on placing you in the SOL Project.”

“Do you mean speed of light?”

“Can you dig it Mr. Afridi?” Roy is retro-hip.

“Working for NASA seemed like a foolish dream to me and now it has come true!”

“We can use your expertise and any tidbits about the Korean factor.” —


THE RETURN TRIP

Robert McCall, NASA Artist (1919-2010)

Episode 132


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 6

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 THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 6

…The future is reserved for the dreamer, the past is there for the reminisce(r), but the present belongs to the opportunist, as it is for Roy Crippen. …

Image result for past present future

Image result for early nasaWhile the happily married McKinney’s prepare to inaugurate Space Colony 1 and the whole of Colony Control/Command Com gawks at the spectacular views sent back by the huge orbiting station, the project coordinator still has his head under the hood, so-to-speak. For Roy Crippen, a shuttle astronaut from the horse and buggy days, with the Chronicle currently in place, the task of dispatching the deep-space shuttle New Mayflower now becomes his top priority; a green light has replaced the amber shade which has been flashing on the project status screen for an agonizingly long time.

Mars City Mock-up

Mars City mockup

Here at the Galveston Launch Facility, finishing touches are being applied to the refitted shuttle. The passenger liner type vehicle and its load of astronauts, scientists and miscellaneous personnel must be ready to hit the long and empty reaches of space ASAP; 26 future citizens of Mars City.

Getting the New Mayflower into space is routine, save the very rare and unfortunate exception. All precautions have been taken and were a breeze compared to the 140 million kilometer journey ahead, at the painfully slow space-pace of 50,000+/- km/hour.

Speed-of-Light2It seems like so-much wasted time to Roy Crippen. “We should be able to go much faster than this.” Beside his duties as heart-and-soul of Space Colony 1, a considerable soul by itself, he lays awake nights working out one particular science project in his mind; speed-of-light space travel. 100 physicists and “spacies” are presently taking theory and making it reality in the laboratory, but the physical application of SOL theory is his persistent pet peeve. There resides a completed SOL Cruiser on the drafting board of his soul.

crippen-2036-001The future is reserved for the dreamer, the past is there for the reminisce(r). But the present belongs to the opportunist, as it is for Roy Crippen. This tall, thin man has garnered worldwide attention because of the Colony, the kind usually coveted by more attention seeking men. He has minimized the office of the President of the United States or the ever busy Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency in his mind.

There are reporters from Fox International, Reuters and World Newsmakers assigned to follow his every move. Some suggest he run for President in 2036, a notion he scoffs at, but secretly finds intriguing.


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new-mayflower-001

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 244

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 244

…it is impossible to learn from the mistakes, when you are not apprised of the actual outcome…

There are no concrete answers let alone solutions, in this speculative world of SOL technology. How could this be… having tested three unmanned cruisers (the same one x3) at these exact speeds complete the mission without a hitch and now this?

When you test drive a new automobile/sky-car/jet-cycle, does one try out every color of your preferred model? Does the red one go faster than the black, or does it only look faster? In the case of the SOL Project, the only variable being 397 pounds of human beings, could that have changed the norm to such a radical degree?

Many other like questions and some more technical ones has crossed Roy Crippen’s mind. Perhaps the most humble of those drives to the fundamental heart of the matter: Does man belong to space? In other words, are they technically capable of tackling projects such as SOL or going twenty years back, Space Colony 1?

 

You can have everything right, cover all your bases and this happens:
  1. a killer satellite from a rogue nation blasts the first orbiting space colony out of  Martian orbit, stranding the world’s most prominent and popular married couple and they disappear before they can be rescued
  2. the accelerator on a spacecraft, that has only been on a couple test-drives, gets stuck just as two of your young and brightest test-pilots reach the speed-of-light and those brave young men are related to their folks in number 1
Bad luck–maybe, bad science—probably, but in either case it is impossible to learn from the mistakes, when you are not apprised of the actual outcome:
  1. Either branch of The Space Family McKinney tree is alive and well. Without the clueless people on Earth knowing, their math is incorrect
  2. Instead of -4, the McKinney count currently stands at +5

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 243

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Read Daily

Read Daily

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 243

 

CHAPTER TEN

 

Where Were We?

 

“SLAV we are losing contact with the chrono-link. The ship is breaching the threshold, but it’s like we are watching it via remote hookup…,” Deke tries to explain what is happening.
“We have you on our screens, engage the emergency decelerator immediately…………,” encourages the SLAV.

Stellar Explorer

But instead of slowing, it has more than doubled its maximum velocity. The SLAV crew struggles with what they are seeing and the data that defies description, considering known parameters.

“We were talking with them one minute… they were having problems… we cannot regain contact.”

At SOL Mission Control they are desperate for answers. “How can that be Fletcher Fitch? You never hinted that they could travel that fast!” Roy Crippen’s comprehension cannot possibly keep up with the pace Stellar Explorer was setting.

“No sir. We don’t know if the speed-of-light can be exceeded……and the crew blacked-out just after they lit the fuse.” After reviewing the data, the former Talibanistani-national posits, “But then after reaching SOL 1 and maintain it for a minute, it immediately jumped to SOL 2 and they are now approaching SOL 3. The heliosheath {rim of the Solar System} will be breached in five minutes.”

There is only disbelief from Okaloosa.

“What do we do President Crippen?”

“Didn’t that thing have a velocity governor, Afridi…..I mean Fitch, can they make the turn going that fast?”

“We are running the numbers now Mr. President. The unmanned test went nothing like this. We are only scratching the surface of Exo-WARP conditions.”

“Tell me about it!” President Roy is at a loss for action. The fate of Space Colony 1 haunts him still. “Holy crap! This cannot be happening!”

SPACE COLONY 1

SPACE COLONY 1

There are no concrete answers let alone solutions, in this speculative world of SOL technology. How could this be… having tested three unmanned cruisers (the same one x3) at these exact speeds complete the mission without a hitch and now this?

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 240

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 240

…Project a reassuring pose and attempt to place a thought in their minds that will lead them to believe that it is you that they see…

In the fractional-seconds it takes for the Eridanian mental connection to insert their irregular pentagonal confluence into the Stellar Explorer’s time-stem, Celeste sees her entire life, after the day she became pregnant with Deke and before her arrival on Eridanus, passes before the cinema of her mind.

#Stay with us Celeste# whispers Cerella into her subconscious, #we are approaching their time-stem 2050.925. Once inside the ship, we have .003 to rectify the faults in their propulsion and remove them from their time-plot. You will be but partially visible to them and unable to verbally communicate. Project a reassuring pose and attempt to place a thought in their minds that will lead them to believe that it is you that they see and that the Eridanian technicians mean them no harm#

After being stranded on Mars, resigned to life inside an alien spacecraft on that barren planet, being whisked away on that ship for fifty million-million mile five year trip to parts unknown, and ultimately re-resigning yourself to life without ever seeing your children again, what a true miracle this is.

  • Never look a gift-horse in the mouth
  • If the shoe fits, wear it
  • Do not tempt the fickle finger of fate
  • Seeing is believing & the proof is in the pudding

 

The above earthly wisdom is apt and are worth the heeding.

From the stark darkness of the Black Frontier to the dim artificial light of the Stellar Explorer, the second known meeting between an Eridanian expedition and the people from Earth takes place on Earth’s home field. At a point ten million miles short of the very point in space (Mars) which effectively put an end to Eridanus’ conventional space travel, within eyeshot of that round-red-jinx, a miracle is about to be consummated.

Stellar Explorer2

#They are about to exceed the SOL threshold#, one of the technically trained expedition-ists thinks aloud.

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 232

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 232

…There are three very good reasons for Deke McKinney to be relieved…

“What time is it,” Deke McKinney asks, as his eyes adjust to the bright lights of the kitchenette, having been awaked from quality sleep?

“I don’t know, 01:30 I guess, why?” Brother Gus doesn’t think much about it.

“We’re going to dust-off the moon in six short hours Gus!” The elder of the pioneering duo does not want any puerile thing to interfere with their brush with the future of space travel. “Did anyone see you come in? You will be scrubbed from the mission if they find out you blew curfew… you know that Maddox has been waiting for you to screw up, he hates you, you know?”

“That sapsack? He’s been pissed since his girlfriend hit on me at the Christmas party,” Gus’ voice echoes inside their small refrigeration unit scouring it for a late-night snack.

“Leftover steak in the vacuum chamber, you need the protein,” practical advice from one who knows. “I told Dad that we would douse the lights at 2100 {military time}.”

“There are three good reasons for staying out:

  1. Roy hasn’t been President for 10 years
  2. The SOL test is a 15 minute trip around the block.”

“Hey Buddy, Roy Crippen may not be President, but he does oversee the SOL Project and as for that trip around the block comment, I wouldn’t take it so lightly. And that’s only two, what’s the third?”

“3. I asked Mindy to marry me,” he licks the cold beef fat off his fingers.

There are three very good reasons for Deke to be relieved:

  1. He had not been out partying
  2. He had disabled the security cameras
  3. Mindy McDonald has been a game-changer in his brother’s life

“We are going to have the biggest wedding that Houston has ever seen!”

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 227

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 227

…“I knew my boys would become astronauts!”…

 

#Then you are familiar with the situation# Ekcello goes on to explain, #As you may have surmised, on your journey aboard the Explorer, the key to exceeding the speed of light particles lies not in the fusion or fission of atoms. Unfortunately that is the path your sons have been designated to pursue. To exacerbate that mistake, there is another private faction that is attempting to achieve this milestone first; whoever is first will face the consequences of the same flawed technology#

“Don’t tell me. Let me guess. Of course the Space Family McKinney is going light-the-candle first.”

#It appears your sons’ cruiser will be the first to fall victim to that tragic misjudgment#

“They are lab-rabbits, it’s in our blood Ekcello. MY father blew past Mach 5 when I was only 3 years old!”

#We have not pinpointed the exact date, but Deke and Gus McKinney have disappeared from Earth’s timeline#

“So you are into time-travel too?”

#The temporal fabric of time is the secret behind successful space travel; when entropy is suspended, the Universe is at your disposal# Ekcello speaks as an enlightened being, wanting desperately to share his awakening with the McKinneys.

“Are you telling us they have died?” Celeste digs deeper for the truth. “And if they are, have or otherwise dead, are you telling us that you can do something about it?”

#Yes#

Ekcello is being his pragmatic self. From his view of perpetuity, he is relating fondly to these people from the planet Earth, a distant place they had previously determined to be a lost cause.

#We are able to alter the fate of your offspring without significantly affecting the orderly flow of the present time-mainstream#

“Why are telling us about this now? Did you ever consider that what we don’t know can’t hurt us?”

#Unlike you Sampson McKinney, the woman Celeste may soon be capable of making an out-of-body journey of this magnitude. If she did at this very moment, she would be devastated and I cannot allow that#

 

SPACE FAMILY MCKINNEY 3

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