Update-01, Getting Acclimated to My New Position:
“Regards citizens, this is Sky. I’ll be your eyes and ears to all aspects of the Solgen power stations. As you know, these are our lifeblood on Earth. Their power allows us to consume and produce to our heart’s content. The Solar Government allows producers, such as myself, access to give you a view to how our society works on many levels not normally seen. I’ll be providing you with journal entries, detailed writings, opinion pieces, and a large swath of imagery that will excite your senses. Based on my previous work in the consumer hobby scene, global sports reporting, and printed fine art galleries of Geo Region 01 Section 3 Alpha, you know that you can expect high quality content. I’ve now had the opportunity to see the Solgen3 base station up close. I find it extremely fascinating…”
An older gentleman with a refined air about him tries to politely interrupt my recording: “Sorry, but we don’t have time for your report. Let’s get a move on, the center tether is ready for boarding. Delays are costly to the entire operation considering how long the round trip for a tether takes.”
I respond, “No problem, I am ready to go. How long have you been a tether escort? What’s your name sir?” I contemplate recording this conversation for added article content. Producers have no restriction on using audio or video recording devices in any situation, and I often have one of my cameras recording as I go about my business outside of home. Yeah, I could see writing a piece about various Government workers I meet to bring some personality to the Government as a whole. They could certainly use all of the help they can get in the likability aspect.
“Around 13 years give or take. Doing the same thing day after day gets a bit tiring. We need to get a move on to meet our transport deadline, oh, and the name is Dunkan. My work is simple, but rewarding for the basic fact that I meet so many interesting and smart people such as yourself. I’ve seen some of your work. I love it!”
“Alright, thanks for the ride Dunkan. Even though you are not a consumer, I hope that you spend some of your earned free time checking out my future reports. Here is the network address you will find everything at.” I say while also handing him one of my personal contact cards.
Dunkan gives me a big grin: “I’ll do that.”
We take the north entrance and eventually come upon the primary doughnut shaped transport, after taking an elevator to the roof of the main building. It is charged and waiting for the trip to begin. While not completely unexpected, the main tether is said to be used primarily for transport of goods or at times large groups of people. I take a few quick snapshots with my network enabled camera for instant publishing.
“Dunkan, why are we taking the primary transport?”
“Lately, there is an extremely busy schedule for all tethers. Upgrades are being done to Solgen3 to increase output and improve monitoring systems. I’ve transported many new workers to the tether transports in the past six months or so.”
“Monitoring systems, as in the condition of systems or something completely separate?”
“Ahh… I’ve only picked up on this info from what I’ve overheard at lunch and from people I escort! I can’t really tell you one way or the other. The sheer volume of goods being transported is the most I’ve seen in the 13 years this has been my assigned task.”
“Understood, shall we go? I don’t want you to get reprimanded for being late.”
The transport has a textured finish like what you would imagine to find on the bottom of a clay bowl. With so much use, having a flashy finish would just turn out looking just as bad in short order. The significant velocity the transport travels at while undergoing the return trip and the general conditions of space travel, in any form, would make quick work of even the most advanced paint finish. Monomolecular oxygen and space debris take a toll on the transport modules. The mechanism in the center of the doughnut is actuated to fit an expanding tether. At the base station where we are now, the tether is extremely thin, but as the transport travels up, the line will get exponentially thicker until it reaches its thickest point at geosynchronous orbit.
“Dunkan, will you be accompanying me to the station?”
“Nope, sorry, I only have transport clearance for ground. Give my regards to Leena, she will be your technical and coordinating liaison to station operations. Let her know that Dunkan looks forward to having a beer with you two after your work is done.”
“I’ll do that. Well, Dunkan, it was nice meeting you.”
“Indeed it was.” He gives me what looks like a half wink or twitch of his left eye.
Boarding the transport is a simple affair with nonexistent security at this level. The passenger compartments circle around the central doughnut hole, but do have ceiling and floor windows that provide a nice expansive view. With my large contingent of camera gear, I can easily get a few shots out the windows that will be able to avoid the natural glare. Photos of the Earth from space always net a large payout in consumer activity. Plus, there is an added visual benefit of the tether cords because they will provide a nice bit of perspective to the vastness of a number well over 22,236 miles truly signifies. Geostationary orbit, in context, is an impressive distance to visualize.
The trip away from Earth takes a considerable amount of time. Geostationary orbit is only half of the trip. The tether works through tension instead of compression. That means the station is a good long distance from that point, about another 20,000 miles in fact. This extra distance is required to keep the tether in space thanks to the counterweight effects of the station’s distance and mass. If you can imagine the days of wheeled transport where a vehicle would be traveling around 70 miles per hour (mph), this transport traveling at that speed would require 600 hours, or rather, close to an entire month to complete the trip. Luckily, the transport moves considerably faster at an average speed of around 1500 mph. The acceleration is not linear, but ramps up and slows down in that order.
I’ll use what equates to an entire day of travel for some meditation on what has happened and what is to come. This Solgen review contract needs some spice to make and keep my viewership interested in what I have to report. While I’m not the type to generate interest out of thin air, I can find it pretty easily.