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Escape From Atlantis

Escape From Atlantis

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Escape From Atlantis

Longueur:
108 pages
1 heure
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Dec 28, 2020
ISBN:
9781393365549
Format:
Livre

Description

During the first manned mission to Mars, three astronauts encounter a rogue comet and are forced to pass through the comet's tail. Unknowingly, they are transported ten thousand years back in time. Forced to scrub the mission because of irreparable damage to the ship and life-threatening injuries to the pilot, they crash land on the continent of Atlantis just weeks before it sinks. Will they too become a casualty, or will they be able to Escape From Atlantis? 

Éditeur:
Sortie:
Dec 28, 2020
ISBN:
9781393365549
Format:
Livre

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Aperçu du livre

Escape From Atlantis - Dr. Ira May

HOME

CHAPTER ONE

A NEW BEGINNING

***

Colonel James Nelson, tall for an astronaut, stood alone in the control room at Cape Kennedy with his hand clenched. He remembered back to the first time his job had brought him here, how the space program seemed to shape itself around him, take him in, and fill something inside he hadn’t realized was empty. He shook off the reverie and set himself to the task at hand. He looked down at his clenched fist and slowly opened his fingers. In the center of his palm was a woman’s diamond wedding ring. He closed his hand around it again and walked toward a control console. He reached down, took a piece of tape from a dispenser on a nearby desk, and secured the ring beneath control console number four. He hesitated for a second, then turned and walked away.

CHAPTER TWO

LIFTOFF

***

It had been ten years since a manned flight launched from Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. With the advent of the new Space Launch System, a manned mission to Mars, officially known as the Martian Excursion Mission or MEM ONE, was in its final stage. Seated on the launch pad, only minutes from liftoff, engulfed in clouds of steam from vaporizing liquid oxygen, was the silver-colored Orion spacecraft. Three helmeted astronauts stepped aboard the Orion, climbed into their seats, and were strapped into their seats by the Astronaut Support Personnel. As they prepared for liftoff, the support team gave them a thumb’s up, closed, and secured the outer hatch.

Commander Nelson reached up and flipped a switch on the console. I need a go or no go for launch, he said.

A voice came on over the radio. You are go for launch, MEM ONE. We are at T minus nine minutes and counting.

Roger that, Houston, replied Commander Nelson. He turned toward Colonel Bradley Freeman and picked up a clipboard. Let’s run a final systems check.

Colonel Freeman, the Orion pilot, was forty-two, had steel blue eyes, a square jaw, a military haircut, and the demeanor that went with the job. Bradley nodded, flipped several switches on the console, and said, Guidance systems.

Check, replied Colonel Nelson.

O2 pressure.

Check.

Auxiliary power units.

Check.

All systems operating normally, replied Colonel Freeman.

A voice came on over the radio. This is CAPCOM. We are now at T-minus seven minutes and thirty seconds.

Colonel Freeman flipped another switch. Retracting the orbiter access arm and leg.

Captain Johnny Marshall, the navigator of the Orion, was young, blond, and athletic. He quipped, Adjusting the rear and side-view mirrors.

T-minus five minutes and counting, said CAPCOM.

Go for APU start, said Colonel Nelson.

Johnny smiled and said, Placing the key in the ignition.

T-minus four minutes and fifteen seconds, said CAPCOM.

Colonel Freeman reached over and turned a knob. Closing LOX inboard valve. Initiating purge sequence.

Pumping gas pedal, said Johnny.

A voice from CAPCOM blurted out over the radio. T-minus three minutes and counting.

Verify body flap to launch position, said Colonel Nelson.

Verified, said Johnny. Uh, sir. We have a door ajar light.

Scowling, Colonel Freeman turned toward Johnny. Just do your job and knock off the comedy act. Okay?

This is his first flight, Brad. He's nervous. Cut him a little slack, said Colonel Nelson.

The voice of CAPCOM blared out over the radio. T-minus two minutes and counting.

Closing vent and topping valves, said Colonel Freeman.

T minus one minute thirty seconds, said CAPCOM.

Switching off bipod heaters, said Johnny. Hey, what are bipod heaters anyway?

Colonel Nelson reached out and flipped a switch. Closing LOX outboard fill and drain valves. Deactivating joint heaters.

T-minus thirty seconds and counting, said CAPCOM.

Starting APU's, left and right, said Colonel Freeman.

Activating pilot and copilot airbags. Setting trip odometer to zero, said Johnny.

T-minus ten seconds, said CAPCOM.

Rotate ignition key to the start position, said Johnny.

CAPCOM came on over the radio and proceeded to count down. Nine... eight... seven... Main engine start. Four... three... two... one... Ignition.

Place the transmission in drive and release foot from the brake. Please place your trays in the upright position, said Johnny nervously.

Outside the Orion, there was an explosion of rockets. The ground vibrated beneath them with the force of millions of tons of thrust. Exhaust from the engines filled the air with smoke and dust. The giant spacecraft slowly began to rise.

Back inside the Orion, the voice of CAPCOM came on over the radio. We have liftoff. You are clear the tower.

Johnny started singing. Come on baby, and let the good times roll. Come on baby, and let me thrill your soul. Come on baby, and let the good times roll. Roll all night long.

The voice of CAPCOM interrupted Johnny’s singing. Altitude and velocity online.

The rocket shuddered as it quickly gained speed and soared toward space.

CAPCOM announced, Roll complete. Trim good. Main engine cutoff in T-minus ten seconds. Stand by.

There was a slight bump as the main engine fell back to earth.

The minutes flew by as they continued to gain altitude.

Coming up on eleven minutes, fifty-four seconds, said CAPCOM. Booster cutoff in five... four... three... two... one.

There was another bump.

Colonel Nelson tapped Johnny on the shoulder. Well, that’s it, buddy. You made it to outer space.

Johnny uncrossed his fingers and took a deep sighing breath. Wow, that was some ride. Nothing like the simulator. Are they all that hairy?

Hell, kid. That was a walk in the park. On our last mission, we lost a booster and a main-frame computer, said Colonel Freeman.

Colonel Nelson patted him on the shoulder and smiled. You can relax. The exciting part's over. There won’t be much action for the rest of the trip until we reach Mars.

Great. Wake me up when we get there, said Johnny.

In case you forgot, you're navigating this baby. If anyone sleeps, it should be Colonel Freeman and me.

An incoming radio transmission from CAPCOM interrupted their conversation.

You are Go for Mars, MEM ONE. Over.

Roger that, Houston. Over and out, said Colonel Nelson.

CHAPTER 3

DEEP SPACE

***

Stars twinkled like diamonds against the velvet blackness of deep space, and in the distance, a tiny speck floated silently. It was the MEM ONE. Inside the spacecraft, Johnny gazed out the porthole at a bright pinpoint of light near the moon.

Colonel Nelson. Have you got a minute? There's something I want you to look at,

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