Thursday, March 27, 2014

What happened to my Asteroid? Section 54:

Sam entered the airlock, closed the door behind her and activated the pressurization cycle.

Tim saw the indicators on the control panel signaling the airlock was sealed and started moving the shuttle in to the towing position.  The probe was positioned exactly opposite the position of the shuttle to balance the thrust.  This would insure the thrust from each craft was clear of the asteroid in tow allowing for maximum thrust and maneuverability while not eroding the asteroid or placing excess strain on the cables.  As he positioned both craft he adjusted the cable tension to keep everything balanced to maximize the pull and the safety factors.

The inner airlock door opened, Sam floated out and headed for the cockpit.

“Welcome back, Major Tom.” Tim started the playback of “Major Tom”.

“Very funny, space cadet.” Sam sarcastically replied.  She would have been annoyed but was entirely too happy from her trip outside even if she was quite tired from the work.

“Strap in and get set up to keep an eye on me.  I don’t want to mess this up.” He looked over and watched her slide into the control position next to him.

“How long is the burn?” She adjusted the restraining straps clumsily “I want out of this suit.”

“I want out of the suit too, but we have to stick to the safety rules.” He looked back to the panel, checking the cable tensions and the craft positions.  “We’ll start with a 5 minute burn and see how it goes.”

“That’s going to be a very long process.” She was not happy.

“You don’t want to re-set those anchors and cables do you?”

“Good point.” She conceded as she activated the control panel in supervisor mode. “Ready when you are.”
“Engaging thrusters, balanced load, 25% available thrust.” Tim was all business and running the checklist.

“Acknowledge balanced load, 25% available thrust.” Sam activated the radio “Albatross station, Shuttle 2”

“Go ahead Shuttle 2.” Captain Calhoun’s voice came through the radio.

“We have just started our initial pull and are adjusting to the course plot provided.” Sam was a bit confused “Where is Commander Dickerson?”

“Commander Dickerson and Captain Stewart are …” The captain searched a moment for the correct words “are a bit … indisposed of.  T-Ops is tied up with transport inspections for the next 4 or 5 hours, so we’ll be handling your flight directly from the bridge for now.”

“That’s our Commander,” Sam fought to keep a straight voice “bravely saving the fleet from a ravenous beast.” She barely cut the transmission before both she and Tim burst out laughing.

“Good lord Sam, don’t do that again!” Captain Calhoun shouted after a long pause “I just sprayed my console with coffee that should not be taken nasally!”

“Apologies Captain.” Sam struggled to regain composure “I couldn’t help myself.  The tension between those two could only be cut with a laser torch.”

“I am fully aware of that.” The captain replied “So they are going to get the time they need to work that out.  Keep us posted on your progress, and don’t take any chances.  Take all of the time you need.”

“Aye Sir.” Sam got back to business “We’ll let you know at each phase where we are.”

“Very well Shuttle 2.” The captain sounded relieved “Albatross out.”

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