Plate No 14

Plate No 14

The Zeroth Institute, Cumbernauld. Calculations made on a pro bono basis by the telemetrists and mathematicians of this independent scientific foundation have determined that, if the purported nuclear engine of Golden Eagle suffered a runaway chain reaction during the launch, then it would not only have left Earth’s orbit, but continued on a parabolic course that would have taken it beyond the orbit of Uranus and through the Oort Cloud at the edge of the solar system. “At sufficient velocities,” the Zeroth report states, “interplanetary dust and ice crystals scooped up by the propulsion system’s air vents would act as a perfectly adequate reaction mass.” Working hypothetically on a number of assumptions that were suggested by the Alba ad Astra team, the authorities of the Institute predict that the spacecraft will return to Earth almost exactly forty-three years after its departure. In the circumstances, one would assume that Bill MacKraken’s remains will finally be cremated when Golden Eagle inevitably burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere, but recent reports suggest that the craft has been firing its retro-rockets to initiate course corrections and deceleration procedures. Of course, there can be no possibility that the astronaut is still alive, but as Hector MacKraken asks: “If my dad isn’t at the controls, then who or what is?”
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Plate No 14

Plate No 14

The Zeroth Institute, Cumbernauld. Calculations made on a pro bono basis by the telemetrists and mathematicians of this independent scientific foundation have determined that, if the purported nuclear engine of Golden Eagle suffered a runaway chain reaction during the launch, then it would not only have left Earth’s orbit, but continued on a parabolic course that would have taken it beyond the orbit of Uranus and through the Oort Cloud at the edge of the solar system. “At sufficient velocities,” the Zeroth report states, “interplanetary dust and ice crystals scooped up by the propulsion system’s air vents would act as a perfectly adequate reaction mass.” Working hypothetically on a number of assumptions that were suggested by the Alba ad Astra team, the authorities of the Institute predict that the spacecraft will return to Earth almost exactly forty-three years after its departure. In the circumstances, one would assume that Bill MacKraken’s remains will finally be cremated when Golden Eagle inevitably burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere, but recent reports suggest that the craft has been firing its retro-rockets to initiate course corrections and deceleration procedures. Of course, there can be no possibility that the astronaut is still alive, but as Hector MacKraken asks: “If my dad isn’t at the controls, then who or what is?”
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Photographer: