by D.J. Sylvis
Broadcasting. Roger Bragado-Fischer, Moonbase Theta. September 22nd, 2098.
Emergency alert to all teams receiving this broadcast. We have identified a potential collision event, an asteroid that we believe could impact planetside. Please distribute this report to all relevant parties. Again – we have found an astronomical object on course with Earth.
Using the Base’s full range of telescopic arrays, we have identified an asteroid not previously known or tracked to this date, on a path that could bring it into range for a terrestrial impact event. This object originated from outside our system and entered close enough to the Sun that it was previously unidentifiable by our instruments and remains so to any planetside viewing stations. What we’ve been able to discover is that this is an M-type nickel-iron composition asteroid, approximately 95 meters in breadth, approaching at 8 kilometers per second. Provisional designation of the object would be 2098 SK156; to simplify things we are calling it ‘SK’.
The current projected path for SK could easily take it within the Earth’s atmosphere. Potential impact sites have not yet been identified; the calculations are quite complicated. There is the possibility that it might fragment before reaching us, or carom between orbital debris and be diverted, or even impact here on the Moon. The Moon is hit by about 2800 kilograms of material per day, with no significant atmosphere to cushion the impact – you might say we’re specialists in this area. You’ll recall the meteor strike of June 2082, which created the Degrasse-Tyson crater and demolished our first mining operations on this side.
I was a part of the actual discovery – I continue to take shifts in the observatory as a part of my duties to craft the spaceward broadcasts sent out by the array, so I help now and then with the monitoring, as well. The initial radio reflections were so minute, partially hidden by noise from the Sun itself – I didn’t even notice them. But Ashwini caught on right away, recalibrated and focused the array to that direction.
I’ve never seen them that agitated. They practically raised their voice, they actually left the room for a few moments to think. It was something to see. I’m sorry, of course this is a serious situation.
A full report regarding the asteroid SK, including copies of all relevant data and projections, is being prepared by Astrophysicist Ashwini Ray and will be submitted by separate broadcast as soon as completed. We will await your instructions.
Base operations remain at acceptable levels. Helium-3 stores are at 74%; water remains stable. Power levels are optimal; rations are generally good. We’ve had to reduce provided sweets and snack items, but morale remains positive in that area. There are a few minor supply requests; I’ll have Wilder provide a list before my next broadcast.
We’ve reviewed your analysis regarding the stasis pod fluctuations. While “an acceptable level of efficiency” is a positive result, we’d like to know more about how the data compares to the near-side Bases. The warning lights continue to be a concern.
I have yet to begin the review of internal communications that you …requested, as of September 15th. Obviously, the current emergency had to take priority; we’ve all adjusted our focus and our duties. Nessa in particular has taken up additional responsibilities during this crisis moment, particularly in resource allocation and personnel management – this should be noted in their file.
Once more, to all receiving. There is an astronomical object approaching Earth on an impact course. Please review the additional documentation appended; we will provide further data as it becomes available.
Note that we would have relayed this message far more quickly if it were not for current issues with the communications towers.
Personal message – Alexandre, I promise you, everything will be okay. I love you. Best to the hounds and everyone there.
Moonbase Theta, out.