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“Are the dilation calculations correct” the jump coordinator asks you as he approaches your desk. You look over some papers in front of you that contain various equations scribbled down with certain values circled. The equations are more for your own sense of security, as the computer console in front of you displays the same values you’ve circled. You look back up at the jump coordinator and reply,

 

“The numbers are solid and the contraction values are set for the trip. Helios II has a copy on board for their astrophysics department to review. Their cryo-engineers have already begun checking the nap-tubes to make sure they have the appropriate wake time in their reference frame.” The jump coordinator nods and walks over to the launch director of Lunar Launch Base Bravo (LLB Bravo). He leans over to relay this information to her and she nods while tapping the screen of her console.

 

 

 

“Helios II, this is LLB Bravo Command,” she barks into the comm, “Everything here checks out cleanly and you are clear for departure to the Andromeda galaxy. Safe travels and do humanity proud.” After she closes the comm she continues as if only to those nearest her, “Because humanity will likely not exist when you get there…” You look out the domed viewport and see the edge of a massive lunar crater which conceals the Helios II locked in on magnetic tracks that run the diameter of the depression. The tracks are a part of the electromagnetic launch system that eventually follows the curvature of the crater’s bowl upward and was developed for accelerating massive ships onto their trajectories (and out of the lunar gravity well) without the ship burning any of its fuel. You see the countdown timer holographically displayed on the dome glass tick down to zero and then disappear.

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Category: Science