Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

This is the only moon mission I am gonna accept:

Perry_Rhodan_issue1.jpg



An immortal Kat, kicking ass well into the 50th century...ah, one can dream... :):cool:
 
Part 107, Chapter 1740
Chapter One Thousand Seven Hundred Forty



10th August 1966

Saint Mary Bethlem Royal Hospital, London, England

While Roger had been sectioned six months earlier the Doctors were reluctant to let him go and were moving to have it extended. At first it had been thought that the stresses of University had gotten to him, resulting in him landing in old Bedlam. Then as time wore on, they had come to a different conclusion and that had changed everything, Schizophrenia. While Roger had responded well to drugs, it was feared that he would be the type who would relapse as soon as he got out because he would stop taking them. It didn’t take a genius to understand why, the drugs left Roger feeling rotten most of the time and he had not been shy about his desire not to take them.

So, Roger was stuck in the hospital until this impasse was resolved. During her last visit, his mother had told him that she wanted him to come home and eventually return to University so that he could eventually become a Doctor like his father had been. Roger considered that a complete farce. After the circumstances of his departure from the dormitory that he had lived in during his breakdown, he doubted that they would be too welcoming of him in the future.

Walking through the ward after his latest session with his Doctor, Roger saw Edward reading a newspaper while seated on a chair. Everyone knew that he was Royalty and he had his own room because of that, just he insisted upon drifting around the wards as if he owned the place. The fact that he was the former King of England until he had become an embarrassment to his family and his niece was the Queen afforded him special treatment.

“How goes the battle young Mister Barrett?” Edward asked as Roger sat down on his bed.

“They still think I’m mental” Roger replied.

“I find that insanity is relative” Edward said, “What if I told you that as we speak there is a German Rocketship Captained by a Scotsman circling the moon?”

“That sounds like something from bad Science Fiction” Roger replied, wondering why Edward had chosen him to bother today.

“Yet here it is” Edward said, showing Roger the article that he was reading. Amicitia III, composed of three modules that had been launched from Cam Ranh as part of the Taxidiotis program, was in orbit around the moon. “Amicitia means friendship in Latin, in case you were wondering.”

Roger hadn’t been wondering at all.



Lunar Orbit

The insertion into orbit around the Moon had gone off without a hitch and everyone had looked out the windows transfixed by the landscape that was passing below. After a few minutes, they had needed to get to work. Even as he was helping Viktor Himmel with the checklist to start the scientific portion of this flight, but only if Vik needed the help, which he didn’t. Ben still looked out the window at the dark side of the moon that was lit up. It had taken him a moment to realize that with the Moon being in the last quarter, as seen on Earth, of course the dark side would be lit up. Fortunately, Ben had not said anything, otherwise he probably would never have heard the end of it. Captain Brown and Dieter Dohman, the Systems Engineer were already preparing for the return trip that was due to start in twelve hours. Brown had said that he would need Ben as soon as he was done meeting with Dohman, so he should enjoy the sightseeing while he could.

“Look at this!” Vik said excitedly as he looked at the feed that he was getting through his console, data that was being fed to him through the Recon Module where Ayano was working feverishly now that they were over target.

“What?” Ben asked.

“Craters” Vik said with a sly smile.

Ben tried not to be annoyed by getting pulled into a silly joke like that. Vik had not minded when Ben had been pulled from being his Alternate and had leapfrogged him in the Mission hierarchy. Instead he had been delighted that a friend was getting a chance to come on this journey. Back in Cam Ranh, he had told Ben while they were on the elevator going up to the capsule that he would be a passenger for most of the trip while at the same time Ben would get stuck with a great deal of work. That had certainly turned out to be true.

Looking at one of the screens, Ben saw the Earth rise from behind the Lunar horizon, he had seen that through the window on the last pass. Everything that they were seeing on those screens was being recorded. “It looks like the people back home must be getting quite a show” Ben said absently.

“I would think so” Vik said, “Not the same as being here.”

“Certainly not” Ben said.

“While we are here, is there anything you want to name?” Vik asked.

“Can we do that?” Ben asked in reply.

“One of the perks of being an explorer Benjamin” Vik answered, “Sometimes the name even sticks. We got mountains, craters, and mares. Which will it be?”

Looking out the window, Ben saw a mare passing below.

“How about that one?” Ben asked, “For Kristina.”

“Your girl, the wayward Princess” Vik said, “The press will eat that one up.”

“I don’t care” Ben replied.
 
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“While we are here, is there anything you want to name?” Vik asked.

“Can we do that?” Ben asked in reply.

“One of the perks of being an explorer Benjamin” Vik answered, “Sometimes the name even sticks. We got mountains, craters, and mares. Which will it be?”

Looking out the window, Ben saw a mare passing below.

“How about that one?” Ben asked, “For Kristina.”

“Your girl, the wayward Princess” Vik said, “The press will eat that one up.”

“I don’t care” Ben replied.
I can't wait for Kiki's reaction to this!
 
....so I'm going out on a limb, but if he is who I think he is, Roger shouldn't worry about going back to university.

He'll shine on anyway, that crazy diamond.

Though it is nice to see him getting help this time around.
 
At first I was wondering why he didn’t name her after a mountain but reading about mares changed that, it makes sense. A dark surface once thought a sea but upon closer inspection is actually a pitch black plain rich in iron, formed by ancient volcanoes. Kind of like Kiki who comes from an ancient family, who people from a far thought to be a prim and proper but otherwise useless princess, is actually far more useful and intriguing upon getting to know her.
 
Actually more formed by meteorites hitting moon.
Headline in UK newspaper: Britain rule the mare.
French newspaper: La lune c‘est nous
 
Ben's just dooming himself more here, with it possibly being that Brown might not take the command of the first Lunar Landing, Albericht will want someone experienced, capable and so on. With what he's been doing over the flight, plus the fact he's put himself into the media with his interviews and his naming of a mare after his princess, he's essentially making himself into the frontrunner to command the Lunar landing
 
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Ben's just dooming himself more here, with it possibly being that Brown might not take the command of the first Lunar Landing, Albericht will want some own experienced, capable and so on. With what he's been doing over the flight, plus the fact he's put himself into the media with his interviews and his naming of a mare after his princess, he's essentially making himself into the frontrunner to command the Lunar landing
Being "doomed" to be the first human on the moon sounds worth it, though.
 
Being "doomed" to be the first human on the moon sounds worth it, though.
The issue is, it seems as though they are not going to have any other test flights in Lunar Orbit, so they might not find some of the gravitational issues that Apollo 10 had which helped Apollo 11 land
 
While the United States and Germany are rivals they are not adversaries ITTL unlike how the United States and the Soviet Union were IOTL and that should mean that scientific research is more open and shared.
IOTL the United States had Ranger, Pioneer, and Surveyor missions before attempting to land on the Moon so I would assume that both the ESA and the United States are doing the same thing and may even be sharing some of the data with each other.
If the United States are not going to be first in the moon they may decide to build the biggest man-made object in space and go with an Earth Orbital Laboratory instead and trade access to it in return for American Astronauts being part of possible future moon landing missions.
What I would.really love too an international space rescue mission.
 
Salamander if you think overly nationalistic newspaper headlines do only appear in Germany and France and England have none of them...

you may not have been in any of those countries. Right ir wrong my country was not coined by a German.

I am perfectly aware that other countries have overly nationalistic newspapers and headlines, every country has them. In the above scenario, however, it is far more likely that they will be trumpeting the presence of any astronaut from their own nation, while trying vainly to down play those from other countries. As for the phrase, no self-respecting tabloid editor (an oxymoron if ever there was one) would pass on using that phrase, regardless of who invented it, where or why. Its just too eye-catching as a headline.
 
I had been wondering what had happened to the Duke of Windsor; his current abode seems appropriate. As for the schizophrenia drugs for 'young Mister Barrett', I hope they can find something that doesn't make him feel like crap, and that he won't decide that he doesn't need to take 'because he feel's fine'.

Good to see that the crew of Amicitia are meshing well. The 5 person crew probably makes the scientific part easier as the dedicated science team handles that part of the mission leaving the flight crew & engineer to worry about keeping everything together & pointed the right way. I'm guessing the 3 modules are Command, Recon & Landing, with Recon designated for the laboratory & survey equipment. I'm also guessing that TTL's ESA command module pilot for the actual landing won't be orbiting the moon by him/herself and that the Lunar landing Module will have a 2 - 3 person crew.

As for Ben commanding the Moon Landing mission, I'm not so sure. Remember Jim Lovell was on Apollo 8 & didn't return to the moon until Apollo 13. There are others in the hierarchy ahead of him, including Sigi. Also remember that Ben is primarily in the program for his scientific skill-set, not as a pilot, and that his being a pilot is a happy & fortunate bonus as far as the ESA is concerned.

Now imagine the PR campaigns that would result from the first moon landing ever being commanded by a woman.

And then imagine that the first person on the moon is Sigi and the second is Ben in a scientific role.
 
Good to see that the crew of Amicitia are meshing well. The 5 person crew probably makes the scientific part easier as the dedicated science team handles that part of the mission leaving the flight crew & engineer to worry about keeping everything together & pointed the right way. I'm guessing the 3 modules are Command, Recon & Landing, with Recon designated for the laboratory & survey equipment. I'm also guessing that TTL's ESA command module pilot for the actual landing won't be orbiting the moon by him/herself and that the Lunar landing Module will have a 2 - 3 person crew.
The three modules are Command, Rocon/Lander depending on mission, and the Service module which contains propulsion and mission consumables, such as fuel and air.
 
....so I'm going out on a limb, but if he is who I think he is, Roger shouldn't worry about going back to university.

He'll shine on anyway, that crazy diamond.

Though it is nice to see him getting help this time around.

I thought it was Syd who was the crazy one.

In any case it seems appropriate while the other part of the chapter i happening on the dark side of the moon.


As for the moon landing. I expect that the public will react accordingly to the makeup of the crew.

Having a diverse crew will make a slogan like "For all Mankind" ring a bit more true.

Perry Rhodan mentioned above or whatever sci-fi replaces it will not feature American astronauts landing on the moon to create a third power in the cold war, but more likely envision fairy tales from the day after tomorrow, where nation states are no more and starships with diverse crews fly among the stars.

With a Japanese woman being part of this crew and later crew actaully landing likely being similar, the notion of "Whitey on the moon" will not hold water as much.
 
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There won't be too much joking with the whole Mare Kristina thing because:
Most non-English speakers won't make the connection since that isn't a word they use for a female horse.
Kiki's siblings, especially Freddie, have learnt that she REALLY doesn't like stupid "joke" nicknames.
Most English speakers would snigger a bit, true, but would also think its juvenile.
 
Is there a dramatis personae or even a few family trees anywhere to help keep track of this ever increasing cast?

It's well written enough that i can usually keep track of almost everyone, but sometimes it takes a while for me to figure out who a character we haven't seen for a while is...
 
Part 107, Chapter 1741
Chapter One Thousand Seven Hundred Forty-One



12th August 1966

In transit, nearing Earth orbit

It was “night” aboard the Command Module when Ben woke up and remembered where he was when he saw Ayano floating in her sleeping bag which was tethered to bulkhead just a few dozen centimeters away. Vik and Dohman were on the other side of her in the narrow confines of the aft cabin. Looking at the glowing numbers of the mission clock Ben saw that he would need to spell out Captain Brown and take the next watch in just a few minutes. While the outbound flight had been full of excitement the return journey had been almost boring so far. By this point, everyone just wanted to get home and feel gravity again. Breaking Lunar orbit had been easy enough. They had jettisoned to Recon Module. It was to remain in Lunar Orbit and send data back to Earth until the fuel cells ran out. Then its orbit would decay, and it would eventually crash into the surface to create one more crater on the face of the moon.

Leaving his sleeping bag and being mindful of the battery pack that connected to the medical gear that was attached to him, Ben launched himself towards the hatch that went up to the cockpit, careful not to bump into any of the others. The “floor” between the two compartments was only a plastic screen, just enough to block out the light and some of the noise from the cockpit. During the “day” the aft space included the workstations of the other three members of the crew, but for the next few hours it would be used for sleeping.

Brown was sitting strapped into the Pilot’s seat, the lights dimmed and the Earth shining in the distance visible through the tiny windows. He had asked Ben to spell him out so that he could get a few hours of sleep before they would need to jettison the Service Module and reorient the Capsule for reentry. All of that was automated and could have been done by Mission Control, they however preferred it if they were awake and talking to them during that process.

“Sir” Ben said as he strapped himself into the Co-Pilot’s seat.

“Awake early I see” Brown said.

“Couldn’t sleep” Ben answered.

Brown just shrugged before he resumed looking out the window at the Earth. “I will have you know that this is as good as it gets” He said, “You and the others on this mission will probably be back up here in due time, not me though.”

Ben gave him a quizzical look.

“Something going on?” Ben asked.

“Age” Brown replied, “Forty-Seven is an old man in this game. I’m due to take command of a Royal Navy Aircraft Carrier in the coming weeks and all of this is supposed to be the grand finale of a long and distinguished career.”

Ben hadn’t thought about that. If he were to suffer another bout of insanity and volunteered for another Taxidiotis mission it wouldn’t be with Eric “Winkle” Brown. There would be a different Commander, possibly the entire mission would be different as well.

“I saw the roster for Taxidiotis IV” Ben said, “Oberstlieutenant Sieglinde Grimmelshausen is the Commander of the Prime crew.”

“That ought to be interesting” Brown said, “Sigi in an interesting woman, very aristocratic bearing.”

As well she should, Ben thought to himself considering what Kiki had told him about Sigi being her father’s half-sister. It seemed that Wilhelm the 3rd had gotten around, so she was just one of several. Louis Ferdinand had quietly guided her career, making sure that she had every opportunity starting out in life.

“I also saw who her First Officer and Systems Operator are going to be” Ben said, “Yuri Gagarin and Alexei Leonov. Don’t get me wrong, I admire the skills of our Russian partners in the ESA. But Leonov though? His idea of fixing things is hitting it with a hammer, if that doesn’t work, find a bigger hammer.”

“How do you know this?” Brown asked.

“I saw it play itself out in Peenemünde” Ben replied, “To fix computer, I hit with six-hundred-gram hammer, now I try five-kilogram sledgehammer. It will work.”

Ben said that last part in a bad imitation of a Russian accent.

“Leonov did that?” Brown asked in disbelief.

“There was already smoke pouring out of the computer before he got the hammer” Ben said, “Still, it did happen.”

“You know that we can hear every word you Gentlemen are saying?” A voice said coming out of one of the speakers, the same voice that Ben had been hearing since he had started training for this mission months earlier. Albrecht von Richthofen.

“A sledgehammer might not be good to fix computers” A voice with an actual Russian accent said, “But for fixing a smartass, perfect.”

“So, you heard that Alexei?” Ben asked.

Brown just chuckled at what had just happened. He might have warned Ben that Mission Control was listening in, but clearly thought that it was a lot more fun not to have done so.

“Good night Hauptmann” Brown said, “I’ll leave you with your Russian friend, I’m sure you have a great deal to discuss.”

With that Brown unbuckled himself from the Pilot’s seat and swung himself through the hatch in one movement. Ben envied the grace with which he had done that. Whenever Ben tried to maneuver himself around the capsule, he felt like he was clumsy and always needed to grab things to keep under control.
 
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