Friday, 5 June 2015

Riding the Rocket

The Commorium Bomber makes a turn.

Lieutenant Tontor Lothnon was fastened into the chair in his cockpit. He toggled the comm gear, “All lights are green, I am go for countdown.”

“Initiating primary launch sequence.”

Tontor’s Commorium Bomber sat on the deck of the StarCruiser Muriel’s Endeavour. Not really on the deck of the cruiser but rather clutched by an ion powered, reverse polarity repulsor shielded metallic clamp over 50 meters above the deck and strapped to the back of an Onsolon rocket. The Onsolon rockets were used to fire deep space probes or satellites into space. Using one for a manned mission was unheard of in these days of easy space travel. However, to reach the far side of the galaxy, to break out of the Commorium Quadrant one had to use this “new” technology.
The military needed to see what was happening in the UGC12613.80 system. This was there response. Dreamed up by some whiz kid in planning, now it was up to Tontor to make this trip a reality.

“All systems are go, we are about 90 seconds until launch.”

Tontor’s Bomber, the Lady Grey, and the Onsolon rocket to which it was strapped had to be above the deck, otherwise the blast from the rocket would be impossible to use so close to a star vessel.
Tontor, clutched his arm rests and took a long pull on his water feed. It would not be long now.

“T minus sixty seconds and counting.”

Tontor’s mission, as laid out by Admiral Amadesu was simple. Ride the Onsolon rocket out the 37 parsecs that it was useful for and then release his bomber and kick off in search of the UGC12613.80 system. That he might not make it back was of little issue. The plan was for him to be picked up inside the Escape pod of his Bomber, which had been specially modified, within a week to ten days at the most. This is how long it would take the flight to the UGC12613.80 system to be made by the exploration ship FSS Challengers Bay. That was if Tontor sent back the all clear.

“Please give me a Go or No Go for liftoff.”

Tontor’s Bomber had been equipped with a special Nikkion high speed surveillance camera and a tight beam, high output data transmission transponder that was keyed to the StarCruiser Muriel’s Endeavour comm’s and would transmit his entire journey back to the military cruiser.

“We are transferring to bomber internal power at this time, the Onsolon rocket is now running off its on board fuel cells.”

It would soon be time for him to go. The Surgeon had told him he may pass out from the effects of the rocket ignition. It wouldn’t be the first time he had blacked out in space flight.

“Coming up on Go for auto sequence start.”

“We have a Go for auto sequence start.”

This is what heroes’ do he thought. This is what the Admiral expected from him and this was his duty, protecting the Federated Republic from any and all terrors.

“On board computers have primary control and have all the vehicles primary functions.”

He could just imagine the crush on his spine and sternum as he accelerated away from the Muriel’s Endeavour.

“T minus seventeen seconds and counting.”

The Onsolon rocket to which his bomber was strapped was a solid rocket booster which carried more than one thousand pounds of solid propellant.


The countdown would start in seconds and then he would be launched off into the coldness of space at a speed that would increase from 0 to 7400 m/s, relative to the speed of Muriel’s Endeavour which was at a full stop for this launch. The rockets acceleration during the initial blast phase would peak at 3g, but for the first seconds of flight it is on the same scale as a sports car accelerating. The Onsolon rocket needed about 5 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h, but also would reach 1000 km/h in about 45 seconds and would pass 2000 km/h in about sixty-five seconds after lift-off.
At least that was what they told Tontor.

“Start Engines”
“Booster ignition and we have lift off.”

The extra-large booster rocket fired and the rocket with its extra cargo slipped its tether and headed off into space. It gained speed and distance off the deck of the StarCruiser Muriel’s Endeavour. After thirty seconds of bone jarring acceleration the launch coordinators voice came over the comm link.
Courtesy ESA Hubble and NASA

“Negative Return has been reached.”

“Copy Negative return,” Tontor replied as was required, happy to not have passed out, and tentative about the mission ahead.
“Negative return, see you in a couple of weeks, I hope.” He breathed to himself.

Thanks to NASA for making science fiction a reality.

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