We had heard exciting news that morning, July 3, 2021: ‘Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson will travel to the edge of space on Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc’s test flight on July 11, Branson’s space tourism firm said on Thursday, beating out fellow aspiring billionaire astronaut Jeff Bezos’. Flight of the TItans, Branson to blast off on July 11 and Bezos on July 20, 2021. Even more exciting was that a young lady of Indian-American astronaut Sirisha Bandla was to be part of Branson’s crew. She would be the second woman of Indian origin after Kalpana Chawla to travel in space! Or was she? If successful these flights would usher in a new era of private commercial travel into space.
Now is’nt that exciting? Of course, but if you have been following my posts, modest ‘Us’ have been travelling in our Spaceship 502 since March 2020! I have been documenting our exploration through space, and how we weathered the attack by the Black Fungus Monster and Cyclone Tauktae. We are nowhere near Billionaires, but life in the times of the pandemic has created the ‘opportunity’ for being ‘spaced out’ (pun intended).
As we sailed along in space for over a year, we needed some re-fueling of gasoline for our rover (lander) and needed to replenish the foodstock. All spacecrafts have smaller ‘rovers’ that are used to land on the surface of a planet or shuttle between crafts. A rover (or sometimes planetary rover) is a planetary surface exploration device designed to move across the solid surface on a planet. A lander is a spacecraft that descends towards, and comes to rest on, the surface of an astronomical body. Our Spaceship 502 had a rover cum lander named Amaze!
I briefly document for posterity our travel on Amaze and space walk on the closest alien planet to refuel Amaze and our food stock! Our first stop on the alien planet was at the space gasoline station, where we saw other rovers. One rover had one wheel removed and under repair. These rovers must have come from other Spacecraft roaming space in search of life or like the Bransons and Bezos, just for the thrill of it!.
Amaze required some air! This was a friendly alien planet and the fuel station was offering FREE AIR! Go for it! An ‘Alien’ helped with refueling and filling air in the tyres. While we waited we saw a smaller and different type of rover parked near by, known as a ‘Scooter’! These smaller rovers were used for quick getaway, if one needed to scoot from a place where danger was lurking on the alien planet!
Our next stop was to replenish our foodstock. The store had coconuts, mangoes and sweet potatoes. We replenished our stock.
We next stopped at a store that had very sophiscated machinery to grind grain! An ‘alien’ was running this machine where we bought the ground grain. We saw a strange sight, a ladder leaning against the alien store leading up to nowhere. Obviousy the aliens on this planet were more advanced than us and had gadgets to travel into space without a rover or spacecraft. Just climbing up the ladder to nowhere!
We were exhausted with all this exciting space travel on Amaze and space walk on the alien planet. We returned safely to Spaceship 502 with our goodies and parked our Rover, waiting for the next trip to another alien planet.