Jupiter Mission – Error

August 10th, 2012 | Posted in Short Stories | Comments Off on Jupiter Mission – Error

From the Captain’s log USS Discovery, Wed Aug 22 2012 10:59:59 GMT

Hal was right.

Tracking shows our course is significantly off of plan.  The difference exactly matches what Hal said it would be.  We have escaped Earth’s gravity and are in fact in independent orbit around the sun however that orbit is in fact only a little different from that of the Earth.

It does not and without a major increase in velocity it never will intersect with the orbit of Jupiter.  We’re doing our first mid-course correction burn now in about 15 minutes instead of waiting until November as was originally planned.

Hal is being very good about it.  He hasn’t said “I told you so” even once.  He doesn’t have to.  The numbers and tracking data do that all by themselves.

Heads are rolling back at mission control.  Several entire departments are getting new anus’s chewed out and a number of people have suddenly decided to quietly resign.  Others who weren’t so wise were simply fired.  News media is reporting that a number of officials and “responsible parties” have been subpoenaed to appear before a senate investigation.

Jokes about the 2001 and 2010 movies have suddenly stopped and every voice we hear from Earth is serious and to the point.

Current projections indicate our course corrections will give us a minimum altitude at Jupiter of 505,400 kilometers and an inclination 38.97 degrees.  The correction burn is more like what the Jupiter injection burn should have been.  It will involves a delta-v (change in velocity) of 16,120 meters per second.

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