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Friday, May 6, 2016

F3 Reduction

            Peter Lee tapped his foot nervously while Jim Macomber and the rest of his team looked at the design on their slates.
            Jim let out a sigh and scratched his nose.
            Peter swallowed hard.
            Charlie Nichols, across the table, caught his eye, gave a brief nod, and a smile.
            Easy for him, his expertise is navigation. But then, this whole thing was his idea.
            Macomber cleared his throat. “So, it’s about the size of a microwave oven?”
            “Yes, sir,” Peter nodded.
            “The ion engine is smaller than I expected.” That was Walker.
            “The whole thing is smaller. Less mass, so the produced thrust will be more effective,” Ed Carr said.
            “The numbers work out.” Peterson said. According to Charlie, that was a compliment. Peterson was disagreeable on good days and a jerk on normal days. “The antenna will be powerful enough to reach earth. Using capacitors is a brilliant idea since there will be such a delay for the signal to reach us.”
            Everyone in the room looked up from their slates to Peterson. He didn’t notice.
            “Okay, we’re doing this,” Macomber said. “We proceed with this design. I’ll call Sophia at JPL. She and her team will have eighteen months to get this done. I want our baby mounted on the new Argo launch system. Peter, this is good work.”
            “Can we possibly make it?” Jennifer said.
            Wish I could work up the courage to ask her out.
            “There’s no can about it,” Macomber stood. “We’re going to make it. I can get funding. We need to verify if we actually can send a vehicle faster than the speed of light. Now our travel time is under two years.”
            “What are we calling it?” Nina asked.
            Macomber looked at Peter, the rest following suit.
            “Um, well, since it’s going out into the unknown, and sailing dangerous waters, what about Odyssey?”
            Macomber thought for a moment, then wrote on his slate, the image popping up on the table in front of them. At the bottom of the satellite’s design in big, bold letters, he had written “Odyssey 1.”

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