A number of startup companies have sprung up in recent years, such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic, hoping to create a sub-orbital space tourism industry. Why would Soyinka be dead if his suit was undamaged? Moolie bought the Sipson Lane house because it was cheap and because it was close to her job, and the best thing about it is that it’s close to my job too, now. Something to keep once they are gone, that will remind me that although they’re Martians now, they started out from here. Vector illustration. “I will,” I say. They say I can probably go home tomorrow, in any case.”. “I think we should ask ourselves what they would have wanted. Some of the other houses in the row are in a terrible state—the metal window frames rusted and buckling, the lower floors patchy with mildew. Yellowing and crumpled, yes, but still telling their stories. It went on for hours. It’s not always like that, though. He’s balding on top, and his suits are getting too tight for him. I have brought The Art of Space Travel into work with me this morning. “She was part of the forensic investigation team that went out to the crash site. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), © 2021 Macmillan | All stories, art, and posts are the copyright of their respective authors, On Safari in R’lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera. There’s a good chance the whole crew will wind up dead before they can even set up a base there, or a sealed habitat, or whatever it is they’re supposed to be doing when they arrive. I am sure this list will increase in the coming decades. I’m trying to keep my voice low and steady, as if we’re just having a normal conversation about nothing in particular. I know exactly how that paper feels: soft to the touch, slightly furry with impacted dust, old. The dates fit, for a start. I’m running for the lifts by then. There’s no point in us pretending. In "The Art of Space," artist Ron Miller tells the story of space art, from the 1600s through the present, as illuminated by more than 350 images from some of the greatest space artists of all time. Space exploration is another frontier now ready for new beginnings. It’s done now, though, isn’t it? What will our Earth seem like to them, our built-in atmosphere and water on tap, our border controls and health and safety laws, our wars over patches of land that we like to call countries? Later, after Laura is gone, I try to imagine her with Moolie, asking her questions. I have to ask myself what might happen to that happiness if I sent my email. The traffic on the perimeter road is a constant nightmare. People would look at me with sympathy, and fascination. Moolie begins telling me about the TV programme she was watching before she had her turn. “I found it in the built-in wardrobe in your bedroom, covered in dust.”. I can’t imagine why she’s asking me this question now, when the camera is off. You know, the kind of rubbish you read in magazines. Most are proposing vehicles that make suborbital flights peaking at an altitude of 100–160 km (62–99 mi). I know these things are important. Moolie would let me look at the book if I asked but she would never leave me alone with it—I suppose she thought I might accidentally damage it. Emily’s mother, Moolie, has a message to give her, but Moolie’s memories are fading. My clobber’s everywhere, suddenly. In the movies when something goes wrong and one of the crew is left floating in space with no hope of rescue, the scene almost always ends with the doomed one taking off his or her helmet, making a quick and noble end of it rather than facing a slow and humiliating death by asphyxiation. I want to find Dad. I know it won’t last, but it makes me feel like crying, nonetheless. I’m less sure of that now—why should everything have to be about me and my father? I remember the book from when I was a little kid because of the star maps. I gazed up at the big lit-up star logo and it was as if I could hear Otto Okora saying, You go for it, Benny boy, that’s a good omen. She gave me a look, boiling over with impatience, as if I’d asked her if the world was flat or round. Our house is on Sipson Lane, in the borough of Hillingdon. It’s a wonder it’s lasted this long, actually. It’s a whole new disease. At the age of six he won a place at a specialist academy for gifted children. And it’s not as if he doesn’t work hard. But can I tell Laura any of this? “I didn’t have a clue.”, “I won’t always get better, Emily. “Your dad was an astronaut,” Moolie says. All those dazzling ropes of stars, all those thousands of possible futures, and futures’ futures. 117 257 6. They’ve been together now for almost thirty years. I saw them at night, when I couldn’t sleep. She seems full of an inner purpose I cannot divine. Other times she burbles away to herself in a made-up language like a child of four. The Art of Space Travel: 2016-07-27: Nina Allan: Tor (A Tor.com Original) 978-0-7653-9065-3: $0.99 : ebook? But then her expression becomes serious again and she asks me another question. It’s almost painful, like the stitch in your side you get from running too far and too fast. Laura has moved to stand in front of me, blocking my view of the rest of the lobby and clearly expecting me to say more, but I’m not sure what I should say, whether I should say anything, even. I know I shouldn’t accept it but I do, mainly because he insists the money is for Moolie, to help me look after her. Angelo achieved perfect scores in three out of his five first-year assignments. In a way it would be easier if my father turned out to be Toby Soyinka after all. 155 173 46. I once showed Moolie a photo of Marlon and asked if she remembered him. I don’t think I would. “She called me on the phone, tore me off a strip. The day Moolie drops the bombshell is a Tuesday. They became civil partners in July 2048. I never feel comfortable talking with him about Moolie—it’s all too close to home. Ludmilla Khan is especially upset because one of the women astronauts is a mother. The idea of settling for anything too concrete begins to seem like death, so you settle for nothing. I’ve learned it’s best not to question her when she gets like that because it makes her clam up, whereas if you leave her alone for a while she can’t resist sharing. I’d know the book anywhere, because it belongs to us, to Moolie and me. It’s inevitable, isn’t it, when you consider the facts? Space travel is nothing like in the movies. Passengers would experience three to six minutes of weightlessness, a view of a twinkle-free starfield, and a vista of the curved Earth below. Since the early part of the 20th century and even before scientists have been trying to discover how space travel would be possible. Grandma Clarah is wearing a hideous knitted blue bobble hat and a silver puffer jacket, even though it’s May in the photo and the sun is shining, reflecting itself off the oily water like electric light. See how long it takes before you start a file on him. It was supposed to be a holiday job, something to bring in some money while I went through college. There’s a biscuit in the saucer, too, with a bite taken out of it—Moolie eating something without being reminded is always a good sign. You should have a talk with Benny, before that day comes. He slams the book shut, making a slapping sound. In leaving this world, she makes me feel more properly a part of it. The doctors say there’s nothing to stop her living out a normal lifespan but I think that’s bollocks and I think the doctors know it’s bollocks, too. Maybe shortly we can fly to space. The truth has been here in front of me, all the time. She’s sipping her tea as if she’s actually enjoying it. I looked at her looking, curious to see what her reaction would be, but Moolie’s eyes slid over his features without even a single glimmer of recognition. Even when I’m at home I’m constantly running through mental checklists, trying to head cock-ups off at the pass before they happen. Sometimes when I look at pictures of Toby I can’t help thinking he seems out of his depth, as if he’s wondering what he signed up for exactly, although that’s probably just my imagination. It makes a soft, plump sound as it hits the duvet. Moolie seems okay, though—this time, anyway. Moolie would have come into direct contact with every one of them. “If I went to see her?”, “It’s your funeral,” I say, and shrug. As space travel is related to both human spaceflight and robotic space missions, it is necessary to refer to the history of space exploration which states that “space travel began in 1957 when the Soviet Union launched the satellite Sputnik I into orbit around Earth” (Space Travel). “I was supposed to study medicine,” Benny says to me later. “I’m here now,” I say. Thirty years later, a second expedition is preparing to launch. One of the downsides of working in a close environment is that you often get to know more about the people you work with than you strictly want to. Suddenly the Edison Star is the place to be. I wrapped it inside a supermarket carrier bag for protection, then stuffed it into the back of my locker with the trainers I wear for walking in and my rucksack and my spare cardigan. We have a press lounge and a flight lounge and conference facilities. I was born in March 2047, just three months before the New Dawn was launched on its mission to Mars. Her whole system is riddled with wrongness of every kind. Space travel is traveling to or traveling in space for recreational, tourism, exploration, colonization, or mining purposes. I need to get to the basement, where the staff lockers are. “Don’t talk to me about that boy,” she hissed at me. Space stations marked the next phase of space exploration. Everything from the acknowledged facts to the certifiably crazy. I’ve never been able to make up my mind if I did the right thing or not.”. How do they cope with knowing that? But she never questioned it or gave me a hard time, or tried to talk me out of it the way a lot of parents would have. It would make a good miniseries, actually. You will know more about space travel after reading and understanding this part of the journey. The researchers developed an origami inspired folded plastic fuel bladder that stays intact even at … Universe Star Space. There’s nothing for you to be anxious about, I promise you. The book’s shiny yellow cover is torn in three places. Braun later worked with NASA on the rockets that went to the moon. I lie awake at night sometimes, scheming and dreaming about these things, but in the morning I wonder how I’ll manage. Not in and of themselves, anyway. I nod briskly. I’d rather stick to work, any day. The problem is that it will be business under intense scrutiny, and until the astronauts actually arrive, the press hounds have nothing to do except sit and bitch. The Art of Space Travel (eBook) : Allan, Nina, 1966- : In 2047, a first manned mission to Mars ended in tragedy. It was built in the 1970s, almost a hundred years ago now to the year. He speaks six languages fluently, and has a solid working knowledge of eight others. “Nothing much,” I said. “That girl,” she says instead. Instead of counting chickens I would count stars, picking them out from my memory one by one, like diamonds from a black silk handkerchief.”. It’s The Art of Space Travel. The enriched oxygen seems to kill the mushroom things off, or make the growths subside, or something. There’s nothing, though, not even a random inkblot. ‘We never lost our sense of life’s mysteries,’ was what he used to say. “He left it here when he went.”. When you think about what Zhanna Sorokina and Vinnie Cameron and the rest of them are actually doing, everything else seems juvenile and pointless by comparison. She seems so engaged, so invigorated, so happy that I don’t want to question it. “That was great,” she says to me, off-camera. As head of housekeeping, it’s my job to make sure things run smoothly behind the scenes. For the first time ever I was seeing Moolie as a person in her own right, someone whose life could have taken a whole different path if little Emily hadn’t come along to mess things up. She’d had several boyfriends back then. The space shuttle leaves orbit at 16,465 miles an hour (26,498 kilometers an hour) and glides to a stop on a runway without using an engine. I am talking about the book, of course, which I can’t stop staring at, the way Benny is holding it to him, like a shield. She exchanges a couple of words with the camera guy, who’s preoccupied with packing away his equipment. Vector. There’s a chance Ludmilla Khan told him, I suppose, or Antony Ghosh, the guy who oversees our linen contract. Not from the likes of me, anyway. “What on Earth are you talking about?”, “He knew I was pregnant,” Moolie says. I glance across at the camera guy, wondering if he’s somehow still filming this, but he’s moved away from us slightly, towards the reception desk. The second is that Benny’s on meltdown twenty-four hours a day now instead of the usual sixteen. Aside from being yellowed and a bit musty-smelling, the pages are clean. “He was part of the New Dawn mission.”, My hands are shaking, just a bit, but I’m trying to ignore that. Of that original forensic team, two are still working and seem in good health, three have died of various cancers, and four are like Moolie. That she was out there for almost three weeks, picking over what was essentially radioactive trash, trying to come up with a reasonable theory of what had happened and who was responsible? I’ve always found it strange, this spasmodic concern of his for a person he’s never met. It’s no wonder he’s never made it to the top. They’re pretty naff, those stories, but they do draw you in. He was in Hamburg at the same time as Moolie, though, no doubt about it. All the taking off and landing, the enigma of arrival. Even in the midst of my confusion I want to hug him and tell him that I feel the same, that I have always felt the same, that we are alike. I failed my first-year exams twice. “You know damn well what he’s called,” she said. All space travel artwork ships within 48 hours and includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. Even if they crash and burn like the crew of the New Dawn, we’ll never stop talking about them, and speculating, and remembering. I don’t mean sad in the sense of pathetic, I mean genuinely sad, sorrowful and bemused at the same time, as if he’d been kidnapped out of one life and set to work in another. The paramedics soon got her stabilized but it’s still very worrying. Just like in those old TV miniseries Moolie enjoys so much, those overblown three-part dramas about twins separated at birth, or men of God who fall illicitly in love, or lost survivors of the Titanic, stories that unfold in a series of unlikely coincidences, all tied together with a swooning orchestral soundtrack. It’s like an oasis in time, if there is such a thing. How’s your mother?”, “Moolie’s fine,” I say. It was a shock, to put it mildly. If we cock up it won’t just be Benny who looks an idiot, and the last thing I want to see is some kid in the catering department getting fired because someone forgot to tell them to stock up on mixers. She reminds me of Pinocchio, or one of those Pierrot dolls that my school friends were so crazy about when I was a kid. Eighteen, sixteen, and nine. I prefer staff to keep their mobiles switched off while they’re on shift because they’re so distracting, but I have to keep mine by me because of Moolie. They squeeze every last ounce of juice out of what they have—then they go back to playing the old documentaries, home video footage, endlessly repetitive Q&As with scientists and school friends. I clear my throat with a little cough. “But it’s a book about space. I don’t think it’s even Benny she’s remembering, it can’t be, or not the Benny Conway who’s my boss, anyway. That swagger, and then the small hesitation. “Well, tell her I asked after her,” Benny says. It is situated on the northern stretch of the airport perimeter road, and operates its own private shuttle bus to ferry patrons to and from the five terminals. My mother, Moolie, claims to know Benny Conway from way back, from the time he first came to this country as a student, jetting in from Freetown or Yaoundé, one of those African cities to the west that still make it reasonably easy for ordinary civilians to fly in and out. Everything she knows about the crash will come from old TV footage, the slew of documentaries and real-time amateur video that followed after. Not then. So I think we should, too. The Art of Space is the most comprehensive celebration of space art ever to be published, profiling the development of space-based art in a variety of media. She’s twenty-six tomorrow, did you know that? “He wanted to be involved—to be a father to you—but I said no. After a moment Laura turns back to me. Steven Cutts Will we one day sail through space on light alone? Life’s hard enough as it is. Moolie has me in one of those front-loading carry-pouch things—all you can see is the top of my head, a bunch of black curls. There’s a kind of book called a grimoire, which is a book of spells. I’m still not sure I understand, though. I guess they thought it would be churlish to deny him, considering. I don’t know if I should believe that story or not. “You could at least have asked me first.” Benny looks hurt and just a little bit surprised. Dear Marlon, Dear Dr Habila, Dear Marlon again. Thirty years later, a second expedition is preparing to launch. Oh, for God’s sake, Benny, what are they expecting me to say?”, “You’re head of housekeeping at the Edison Star, Emily. It has been a long time since then. What is it that fascinates her so much? In the meantime, the doctors stave off the attacks by giving Moolie a shot of adrenaline and then supplementing her oxygen for an hour or so. Space exploration is the use of astronomy and space technology to explore outer space. After a number of years in Hamburg, Marlon was headhunted by NASA as a senior communications technician and relocated to Austin, Texas, where he still lives today. He looks skinny and hopeful and nervous, all at once. She says she doesn’t want children, that her work is enough for her. Benny’s great with the press, actually, he’s what you might call a people person. Get the latest updates on NASA missions, watch NASA TV live, and learn about our quest to reveal the unknown and benefit all humankind. Knowing that would tell them all kinds of things, apparently—important information about the last moments of the New Dawn and why she failed. As housekeeper of the hotel where two of the astronauts will give their final press statements, Emily finds the mission intruding upon her thoughts more and more. Thank you for keeping the discussion, and our community, civil and respectful. 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