Saturday, April 12, 2014

What happened to my Asteroid? Section 69:

“Albatross, this is Reykjavik.” Commander Dunst signaled the station.

“Go ahead Reykjavik.” Commander Johnson replied.

“Let’s not try that again anytime soon.”  The commander on the ship suggested.

“Agreed.” The commander on the station got a bit of relief.

“How long until that shuttle can bring us our captain?” Commander  Dunst wanted to have everything prepared.

“That’s not the limiting factor.” Commander Johnson hesitated “Both of our captains are in surgery right now, and we have been told that we have to wait.”

“Wait for what?”

“Wait for what is indeed what we are waiting for.”

“Well that is about the best I can expect.”  Commander Dunst resigned himself to the realities of the situation “I’m going to get some rest, I’m sure my crew can handle things for a while.”

“That is what I keep telling myself.” Commander Johnson was trying to reassure himself as much as everyone else “I’m going to get some rest myself.  Talk to you in 4 hours.”

“That’s a date.” The ship commander lightened up “Just don’t tell my wife…”

They both laughed.

Shuttle 2 slowly departed docking bay 5.  With all of the commotion on the station, very few people took notice or even cared.  The shuttle looped around the station in a slow, lazy arc and headed toward the newly arrived block of “who knows what” and accelerated toward it.  The probe that was still attached to the asteroid activated and started moving around to a pulling position.

The slow dance of two small craft docking in the vastness of space can be breathtaking.  For all of the strength built in to space faring vessels, they are incredibly fragile when the velocity and energy levels involved are considered.

The shuttle gently pulled next to the probe and came to a relative stop.

“Go for it,” Tim told Sam “Get that probe refueled!”

Sam launched herself off the shuttle with the fueling hoses in hand.  She hadn’t done this in a long time so she was running the checklist like a rookie.  She assumed the right stance and had the hoses in the right position, sweated the entire transition and even relieved herself along the way.  Her contact with the probe was nearly perfect, the connection of the fueling lines was textbook.

“Fill ‘er up!” Sam announced.

“Topping off with premium.” Tim played back.

“How long do you think it will take for anyone to notice what we are doing out here?” Sam pondered as she looked toward the station.

“Probably not until we are connecting the cables to the Reykjavik.” They both laughed.

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