Sunday, February 23, 2014

What happened to my Asteroid? Section 23:

Transport 1 slowed as it approached the ice cloud.  The pilot looked over the field and muttered to himself “where is she?”  He had a track on the locator beacon and had heard the distress call but couldn’t get a lock.  The ice cloud was not just a problem for visibility it interfered with all of the other sensors and with radio communications as well.

“Captain Stewart, this is transport 1.  Do you copy?”

The craft drifted into the ice cloud slowly.  The pilot was looking for any sign of life ahead while he directed the ship toward the locator beacon.

Transport 3 headed into the cloud a few hundred kilometers from transport 1 in the direction the cloud was heading.  The pilot was a little less cautious but was heading toward where the computer models predicted the larger fragments of the broken ship would be located.  The ice started accumulating on the hull and obstructing the view ports severely limiting visibility.  “Look sharp people.”  The pilot announced to his passengers “And keep an eye on that locator beacon, we are getting close.”

Transport 4 continued at full velocity toward the leading edge of the cloud which would give them the ability to just let the debris float to them.  This 3 pronged approach would give many options for locating their distressed captain somewhere in the opaque cloud floating slowly away from the asteroid.

Transport 2 gently landed on the asteroid less than a kilometer from the crater caused by the impact of transport 6.  They quickly set about preparing the survey team as the pilot shut down the engines and secured an anchor to keep the craft from drifting away.  The pilot extended a camera above the craft to get a higher perspective on the crater.

“Albatross Station, this is transport 2.” The pilot announced.

“Go ahead transport 2.” The reply echoed through the transport.

“We are on station a few hundred meters from the crater.” The pilot checked the condition of the survey team. “The survey team should be heading out shortly.  I’m sending our precise location now.”

“Very well transport 2.  We’ll send the required survey pattern as soon as it is ready.”

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