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A Spectacular View

Posted on Tue Jan 9th, 2018 @ 10:23am by Lieutenant Erin Whitlam PhD
Edited on on Tue Jan 9th, 2018 @ 10:24am

Mission: A Day in the Life

The view was stunning. The kind of view every kid who dreams of working in space imagines when they picture their future selves. Vast and seemingly without limit; a blanket of stars, nebulae and galaxies in every direction. So open, so distant and yet, somehow, so claustrophobic. A person could easily get lost gazing into that infinity of stars and forget themselves.

That wasn’t the case for Erin Whitlam, however, as she floated twenty metres above the very top of Starbase 332 in an EVA suit. She was focused entirely on the crew of technicians below her, crawling about the outer hull of the starbase as they completed the installation of the external platform of the brand new Mark IV Subspace Gravimetric Spectrometer.

After what seemed like an eternity, but was, in fact, a record fast dispatch, especially when they weren’t scheduled to have the thing for at least another six months, her spectrometer had finally arrived! Since it had, she had been making herself as much a pain in the neck for the installation crew as possible. She watched them unload it from the transport, supervised the installation of the primary processing unit, carefully monitored its integration into the station’s EPS network, took extreme interest in the countless data connections it required, and now she was floating above the crew as they installed the external platform.

She was not going to allow anything to go wrong with this installation.

“Watkins, watch the angle on that receptacle,” she said over her helmet comm link. She had been doing that, too; telling people how to do their job. She had permission from their supervisor to be there, so it wasn’t like she was officially stepping on people’s toes. Of course, she would probably not be their favourite person on the starbase once this thing was installed.

She didn’t care. Her spectrometer was finally here, which meant she would soon be able to continue her research. It also represented a major upgrade to the Starbase’s already formidable sensor suite, which would mean better quality research coming out of their science department. And that had to be a good thing.

Of course, Whitlam’s primary concern was for her own research. With this spectrometer in place, she would be able to collect a treasure trove of data about any binary star system within about 100 light years. She had already compiled a list of primary targets in that range, and then whittled it down to the thirty highest priority systems. It would take a good couple of months to collect all of her data, but she was excited to get started.

With luck, that data would help her to expand her research, prove a few more of her hypotheses, and publish more papers. Her research was important and she knew she was onto something significant with her study of binary stars. Now, with this equipment, she could continue to push the limits of knowledge and further that noble goal of understanding a little more of the vast enormity universe.

The view was looking pretty spectacular from where Erin Whitlam floated.

Lieutenant (j.g.) Erin Whitlam
Science Officer


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