by D.J. Sylvis
Broadcasting. This is Roger Bragado-Fischer, Communications Lead, Moonbase Theta. The date is September 29th, 2098; the time is 8:34.
We are at twelve weeks before base shutdown, resuming normal operations and holding to our schedule. Following up on our broadcast of the 22nd, the asteroid known as 2098 SK156 is no longer a threat. I repeat, SK is no longer an astronomical object of any concern. Emergency status is complete.
The course of events is as follows: two days ago, at approximately 9:42 Lunar Standard Time, we observed by radio telescopic array that the path of the asteroid had varied to the point where it would pass within 5,200 kilometers of the planet Venus. This brought it just within the tipping point of Venus’ gravity well, and into a parabolic orbit. On escaping that planet’s pull, it will have been taken 79 degrees off the original trajectory and … well, far from the Earth or the Moon, that’s the important part. I’ll leave it to Ashwini to provide the mathematical details. I’ve been asked to note that this possibility was included in the calculations they previously provided.
We will monitor this progression closely, and continue to keep watch for any other objects that might encroach. We’ll continue to feed data for review by your observatories planetside; as noted in last week’s broadcast, this particular object was only visible to our instrumentation on-Base.
Offloading procedures have begun in preparation for next week’s rocket arrival. Helium storage tanks and personnel stasis pods are being prepped for transport. He-3 will be transported in the usual tanks, also being used as the stasis cooling liquid. We have identified the pods for priority removal that have shown the warning light sequence previously discussed. After personnel are revived and those pods are decommissioned, hopefully you can identify the issues. A list of personnel for transport has been attached so you can issue the appropriate notifications.
Maintenance has provided the following supply requests: Additional stock of duct and electrical tape; a replacement 13 millimeter socket suitable for cybernetic attachment; a dozen air fresheners, Lilac Lavender scent; and … two bags of the seeding salts previously detailed in notes for experiment GRO-BEAR. Also, if you can provide any chocolate, it’d go a long way.
In your most recent message, you asked for a report on crew morale. There’s no question there have been a few difficulties. The changeover in management, the stress of continued changes to the task list for Base shutdown, the emotional difficulty of watching over our colleagues already in stasis. The end of our term on Theta is becoming visible, and I suppose we’re wondering just what we’ve accomplished. We’re looking forward to life on Earth … but also looking for the meaning in our time here on the Moon. Sometimes, you throw yourself more fully into your work; sometimes you find yourself staring off into … waiting for the end.
Agriculturist Cheong has been organizing intramural competitions and game sessions to try to jolt everyone out of their funk. They play a mean hand of ten-card Sueca. Even Michell has joined in at times, and if anyone needs to shake themselves loose …
There are always the standard distractions. I don’t believe anyone in the crew is having sex these days, at least with each other. The senssuround library is being accessed regularly by those who have kept up their licenses – lately, the Shaolin Superteam series has seen a lot of access, we’ve all lived Professor Wing a time or two. Ashwini has licenses for the Narnia properties, I heard them talking to a faun under their breath in their cubicle. Full logs are available to the Entertainment group as required.
Base operations remain at acceptable levels. Helium-3 stores are at 98%, currently being converted to superfluid state and stored for transport. Water remains stable, rations are generally stable, we’ve switched back to the solar panels at the poles for power supply, but have had to rely on generators a few times while Wilder tracked down some wiring issues.
Personal message to follow, as usual to my husband. Hi, love. Are you counting down? Hopefully nothing happened to the kitchen cabinets during the recent upheavals, because you’re going to want to look on the top shelf above the waffle iron … but not until Thursday. I hope the vet went well, give me an update. I’ll talk to you next week.
Moonbase Theta, out.