Thursday, April 17, 2014

An Idea worth writing about

Marge was quite amazed at the way things had gone. She was taken aback at the speed at which she was whisked away .... things were explained to the relevant people... and before anyone knew what was what, she was on her way through the dry Mojave desert. It was hot and they had the decency of giving her a sun hat and a bottle of cold water. Other than that, the breakneck drive in the desert through the testing grounds of the new United Space Agency (for obvious reasons it was not called USA, but UNSAC), were zipping past her vision.

The four wheel drive vehicle was powered by virus run batteries, and the only sound one could hear was the sound of the vehicle jostling over the temporary road. Marge looked around to the unsmiling Sergeant who was driving next to her "Is my paper that path breaking?" The Sergeant looked ahead "Way above my pay grade ma'am. I'm just the chauffeur."

She harrumphed and stared ahead as the UNSAC headquarters building made an appearance. It was short and squat. But above it a tower rose into the skies. An elevator took people to the top. There was a school group gawking at the height. Marge was whisked into a bunker and before she knew it there were a bunch of people in lab coats and pleasant smiles. They waved at her. She grinned back, hoping there was someone she could talk to. A tall lanky woman strode upto her "I'm Terebitha. No joke. Welcome to the brains trust. Your paper was picked up based on key  words. But the idea is terribly exciting. Marge blushed "All I did was think of how lasers can create a coanda effect to create a space elevator shaft". Terebitha smiled "The paper was much more, but we have a working model now."

She ushered Marge into a small capsule which had a huge circular ring around it. The reflective surface was useful in creating thrust and holding the capsule steady. But would it work? It looked terribly fragile. Marge swallowed and stepped into the capsule and Terebitha followed closing the door behind them. Marge suddenly noticed the black flooring pulling away, revealing a huge bank of lasers. Giant ones. It made the capsule look like a little toy; the bottom was a huge round depression with giant turrets. It was immense. The whole thing looked like a futuristic spaceport. Terebitha was saying "What a brilliant concept.... using a photonic cable to create a space elevator. I am in awe." She smiled.... she clearly meant it.

Before Marge could even reply and thank her, the windows of the capsule darkened and she felt the familiar feeling of the Gee forces which one feels in elevators. She heard a metallic voice say "Strap in" before she almost fainted with the sudden acceleration. And then they were away.

The feeling of ascending was endless. They were in a spaceship. A capsule. A flying saucer. An elevator. It was fascinating. "We are soon to dock with the ISS" said Terebitha, waking Marge from her reverie. Marge grinned "Wow that was fast", while remembering the 'ISS' stood for the International Space Station. She had expected the ascension to take much more time. They unstrapped themselves as the acceleration dropped gradually. Soon Marge heard a soft hiss and the top of the capsule slid away showing the ISS airlock.

They were greeted by a whole lot of astronauts and researchers, who grinned and shook her hand. She was a star to them. This was much bigger than she had thought. They were talking about building a base station in space. It would beam another capsule right to the Moon, and then another base station with lasers to be built on the Moon... and onwards. The enormity of the idea was just beginning to sink in. Humans would be space travelers. Soon!

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