Jupiter Mission – Mid-Course Correction

August 11th, 2012 | Posted in Short Stories | 1 Comment

From the Captain’s log USS Discovery, Wed Aug 22 2012 11:21:19 GMT

After a 13 minute 40 second burn we have 96.2% fuel remaining.  The updated projections for our Jupiter encounter predict a minimum altitude of 491,000 kilometers and an inclination 39.96 degrees.

The single biggest change is in our expected arrival date.  Figures now show that we will be at our closest approach to Jupiter on Saturday Feb 14 2015 at 22:16:28 GMT.

Jupiter now actually shows as a noticeably bright star just below the ecliptic plane in the constellation Taurus, seen in the lower left quadrant of the view ahead when we face prograde (meaning, in the direction of our flight path) in reference to the sun.

HAL now agrees that our current projected course actually intersects Jupiter’s orbit on the predicted date and that Jupiter will be in that position when we arrive.

He also says that due to the limitations of our instrumentation the figures cannot be precise this far out and will almost certainly change, becoming more accurate, as we get closer and make further mid-course corrections.

I know he’s not supposed to have real emotions and he’s not programmed for smugness but I still sense a distinct satisfaction in his voice.  He was right, mission control was wrong and nobody’s ever going to let them forget it.

Click Here for part five

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