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Showing posts from March, 2011

Do You Trust Your Mechanic, Pt 1

Do You Trust Your Mechanic?

Barring an unlikely intervention, he figured he had a minute before he was rendered sterile. It was moments like these (if by 'like these' one referred to dangling above the exhaust thrust, being pelted with cosmic radiation, and hoping one's EVA shield holds up) that he finally felt he understood the vast, incomprehensible stupidity of his lifelong dream. Jupiter lounged in the star field, turgid and inviting. Something childish and primordial in his brain tried to convince him that is wasn't all that large and quite likely very soft, like a massive beanbag. A boost in that direction and who knows, he could be sitting in the first relaxing position he had in nine years.

The electromagnets wobbled in their moorings, millions of tiny craters dusting the ceramic and carbon shell of the exhaust assembly. Up close, the whole contraption looked slipshod, an amateur hack to keep the rocket looking stereotypically rocket-like. He pried the pan…