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Science fiction, actual science, history, and personal ranting about life, the universe, and everything

Bringer of Light, Chapter 37: Transit Ceres to Luna

December 10, 2022
MThomas

In a story long, long ago…

Sorry that it’s been almost three months since posting more fiction. The colonists on Mars are still undergoing training by Riss and Sanvi so that they can understand and control their new abilities. Meanwhile, Bardish has headed out into space, where he met his destiny.

And Gennaji, who had been headed to discover Bardish’s fate on Luna, is now approaching his own.

“Prepare to board that Loonie ship,” Gennaji said tersely, unstrapping his flight harness.

“Aye, Captain.”

Karel’s voice sounded void of emotion. As if the big man had gone numb.

Gennaji glanced over at his new navigator. It looked as if the man hadn’t slept at all since they left Ceres. Since their failure. Since Andrej betrayed him.

He couldn’t help himself. 

“Pining for that backstabbing vybliadok?”

Karel shot him a glare that Gennaji could not back down from. He planted his magboots firmly down on the control room deck and returned the glare. Neither spoke for a moment.

“He made his choice,” Karel finally said. He kept his eyes firmly on his captain.

“Yes,” Gennaji said, crossing his arms. “He did. And you?”

No response.

“You agreed to join this crew. Standard sixteen-month contract.”

“For two more weeks.”

“Yes, two more weeks! A man makes a promise, a man keeps it. You have a problem with being a man?”

Karel turned red, clenched his fists. 

“Captain,” said the pilot. “The Lunar skiff is changing course. Heading…directly at us!”

“What?” Gennaji took a step towards Orynko. He felt a big hand grab the back of his right upper arm, twisted him around to face behind him. The punch came in slightly off target, a glancing blow on the chin that sent him backward a step or two. He staggered, recovered, anticipated the left body blow and blocked with the inner part of his right arm. Karel fell forward, his momentum carrying him into his captain.

Gennaji immediately sidestepped, tripping the bigger man and forcing him into a headlock from behind. Left forearm under the man’s left shoulder and neck, right arm behind and locked with the left bicep. Twisted hips, pushed down to the floor, pinning his opponent down with his body weight.

Karel gasped, grabbed at the forearm, kicking futilely.

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Looking for aliens in all the wrong places?

August 12, 2022
MThomas

Our search for alien life is getting serious. With better telescopes and a growing scientific consensus that we’re probably not alone in the universe, we’re beginning to look farther and wider across the vastness of space for evidence of extraterrestrials.

But it’s possible we’re looking for too few signs in too few places. Having evolved on Earth, surrounded by Earth life, we assume alien life would look and behave like terrestrial life.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/alien-hunters-need-to-start-rethinking-the-definition-of-life?

I agree that we are biased, simply based on the basics of what we understand as (carbon-based) life (i.e., ourselves).

And I agree — in principle — that scientists need to keep an open mind when looking for other life forms on exoplanets.

However, they also need to retain a sense of skepticism.

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China investigating how to build a mega spaceship

January 9, 2022
MThomas

China is investigating how to build ultra-large spacecraft that are up to 0.6 mile (1 kilometer) long. But how feasible is the idea, and what would be the use of such a massive spacecraft?

https://www.livescience.com/mega-spaceship-china-proposal.html

The original title of the Live Science post linked above is “China wants to build…” but this is incorrect. The National Natural Science Foundation of China is proposing a feasibility study. This is not the same thing as “China wants to build a kilometer-long ship.”

Likely the study will find out that it’s just too expensive and not worth it in terms of effort, resources, and maintenance costs. But it may show the benefits of setting up a base on the Moon and then sending materials there to be 3D-printed for future exploration or human colonies elsewhere.

Sending up a ginormous ship from Earth is foolhardy. Figuring out how to build stuff in space is much smarter.

Have Gravity Link Spaceship, Will Travel?

October 16, 2019
MThomas

Youtuber smallstars has proposed a concept that he calls the Gravity Link Starship (GLS), a variation of SpaceX’s Starshipthat will be able to provide its own artificial gravity.

Hm, I guess we’re at the point where YouTubers have better ideas than NASA…

But who pays for this? is the several billion dollar question. Not just the construction of the “hub and truss” system, but the expense of getting it into space in the first place.

Seems like science fiction at this point. But still worth a read/look:

www.universetoday.com/143368/real-artificial-gravity-for-spacexs-starship/

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