“Peripatetic, this is Control Room. Radio check. Over.”
“Visual cabin pressure nominal. Over.”
9 Years ago; Location: Aerospace Camp, Mumbai.
“Sir, can you take a look at this?”, Alex said. As I saw through the Fermi Telescope, I noticed a wormhole.
“Excuse Ladies and Gentlemen, can I have your attention for a moment please? We have just observed a wormhole which is underneath Jupiter. I have a proposal of going through wormhole to find what exists on the other side. So, I request each one of you to start working on this mission. I am going to approach the authorities for further permissions. Keep watching and get me every detail about the wormhole.”
Location: Aerospace Head Office, Delhi.
“It’s not possible to give an approval on your mission, Mr. Ayudhin. We do not have any clue about the place which the wormhole heads us to, we have no idea about the conditions on the flipside. I think we shouldn’t risk our lives cause loss of any life during this mission could lead to complete shutting down of our company.”
“Sir, I assure you that there won’t be any loss of life during this mission. I am very much aware about the complications that would arise if someone dies. I agree to your point that we have no idea about the conditions on counter side. But sir, we will make our spacesuits and rocket in such a way that they can withstand extreme conditions even. Sir, I can’t step back from this mission cause this wormhole can lead us to another planet which is suitable for life and any such discovery would lead our company to a great esteem.”
“Even after all this, I can’t agree with your proposal.”, Mr. Nazir rejected my proposal.
I had to been in Delhi for nineteen days to get the approval. The funds were sanctioned only after I signed a NOC; a NOC with the terms that I bare complete responsibility to the lives of every single person working on this mission and the consequence of any loss of life is imprisonment.
In this span of time, my team had collected all possible data about the wormhole. The following day, a meeting was held.
“Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen. I hope everyone of you are aware of the mission which we are working on. Can you switch on the projector? This is the wormhole. None of us have any clue of where this wormhole could lead us and what are the conditions out there on the counter side. So, we should be prepared for the worst climatic conditions even. For this mission, we are designing our rockets made of Titanium and space suits made of Tungsten. I will be accompanied by any four of you on this journey. Our spacecraft will have four tanks of capacity 700,000 gallons of propellants- 500,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen, 200,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and could produce a thrust of 2.5 to 3 million pounds. While we travel, we should match with the relative speed of wormhole, else this mission would be considered a failure. None till date travelled through a wormhole and there are many theories which tell us that it’s impossible to travel through it. But guys, it might be possible by factoring in an extra dimension. We will be carrying 3.5LPM oxygen “D” cylinders that could be sufficient for a time of three days. I don’t know how many years might pass by the time we return but the success of this mission would be a milestone in the history of space study. We are naming this mission – ‘MISSION PARIPATETIC’. So, Ladies and gentlemen get going with the work.”
First space shuttle was built in a span of five years and that failed in the testing stage itself. It took us four more years to build a perfect space shuttle which successfully cleared the testing stage and everything was set for our journey through the wormhole.
Location: Dr. Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha. Time- 10:24 IST
“H2 tank pressurization is okay. You are ready for launch.”
“T minus ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Zero. Ignition. Lift off”
“We have SRB burn out.” “Copy”
“We have external tank separation.” “Copy”
“Ground Control. Peripatetic 2 reporting. We are at 450KMs from earth.” “Copy”
The space shuttle reached space within 8-1/2 minutes of lift off and we had to travel for twenty-one hours in the outer space before reaching the entry of the wormhole. Travel codes were already set using the coordinates and velocity of the wormhole. As soon as we enter the wormhole, our connection will be completely shut down.
For the next 3 minutes, none of us knew what happened because we were superluminal travelling and we travelled ahead in time.
We somehow managed to land Peripatetic on a planet and that when we noticed our space shuttle was hit by cosmic ray radiation and got vandalized. The doors fell open and we walked out of the space shuttle. As we stepped out of the space shuttle, we could feel the extreme temperatures. Through the coordinates, we got to know we were on 55 Cancri e, Super-Hot Super-Earth present in the Cancer constellation.
Location: 55 Cancri E. RA 8h 52m 36s | Dec +28° 19′ 51″
“Sir, we need to fix this; at-least partially fix. I need some time to detect the issue and fix it”, Alex said.
“How much?”, I questioned.
“The surface is molten and this will make work slightly complicated sir. May be 12 to 13 hours.” “No Alex. We can’t afford to stay for 12 hours. We are on the darker side of 55 Cancri E. Our space shuttle can’t withstand the temperature if we are on the side facing the 55 Cancri A. All we have is 9 hours. Even a second after that there will be no chance of us surviving.”
“I will try my best to fix things up as soon as possible sir.”
As Alex and Cody started to work on fixing up the space shuttle; I, Farid and Ferid started researching on 55 Cancri E. We wanted to state proves for few theories about 55 Cancri E. With the surface being molten and the weight of tungsten suits, made moment was a bit difficult. We wanted to know whether the theory of 55 Cancri E is made of graphite and diamond is true or not. We wanted to collect the molten material but the surface temperature is about 1,700 degree Celsius and storing this in glass or iron would result in melting. “Are we carrying anything in which we can store this?” “Sir, our OKO water bottles are made from graphite filter sir. I think we can use them to store.” “Perfect. Ferid, get the bottles.” “But sir? We are left with the just forty-seven litres of water and if we empty a bottle, around five litres will be wasted. It’s impossible for five of us to survive for nine hours.”, said Ferid. “Do we have any other alternatives?” “No sir.” “Then I can’t afford to go back with empty hands, I should take this material and get it tested.” “Ferid, just empty one bottle. Let’s manage with the left over forty-two litres.”, said Farid.
As water was being poured out of bottle, we noticed the water being decomposed into oxygen and hydrogen. In the thought of carrying the material with us, we forgot the fact that water decomposes at temperature higher than 800 degree Celsius. In fraction of a second, there was a huge explosion; an explosion due to release of energy; energy released due to reaction of hydrogen and oxygen at such high temperatures. The explosion occurred nearly on the surface, this explosion led to tectonic plate movement and this movement caused volcanic eruption.
“Volcano……”, Ferid screamed out of fear. Three of us started to run. We running and boom, the lava erupted. It was pretty hard for us to run due to the conditions and the lava was fast approaching.
“Run. Run. Run.” We couldn’t escape, we were hit by lava before we could run hundred metres. Our suits protected us from being turned into ashes. But the problem arose when the lava entered one booster of the space shuttle. This got added on to the existing engine damage.
“Sir, now it is quite impossible to go back. One engine isn’t in proper condition. We could fix it just partially. And now with one booster blocked, our journey back is something next to impossible.”, said Alex.
“We can Alex. We can go back if we can clear the blockage. I think 3 engines will be more than enough to take off cause normal space shuttles have just 2 engines. But cleaning lava takes a lot of time.”, said Cody.
“No Farid. We can’t survive here for more than two hours. In two hours, we would be facing the star and then the space shuttle starts melting. We don’t even have sufficient amount of water. So, we need to leave the planet ASAP.”
“Sir, we will try our level best to clear the blockage. In case, we can’t clear; we need to find a way to fly with a single booster.”
One and half hour passed; “Sir, we couldn’t clear the blockage.”
“We have no time left. We need to start.” “But sir?” “All of you just hop in.”
As commanded, everyone got into the space ship. “All we have is fifteen minutes, even a second more could cost our life.” “Sir, a small notice. The lower part of the space ship is slightly melted because of the surface temperature and then we don’t have enough fuel to return to Earth. We should somehow reach the orbital of the space station. We can refuel and go back to Earth.”, Alex said.
“Ok. Start the engines and turn on the boosters.”
Engine starts, fuel started burning and gases started expelling out. But there was no moment in the space shuttle.
“Sir, acceleration due to gravity of 55 Cancri E nearly two times more than that of Earth. So, we need perfectly working four engines to escape through Cancri E’s gravitational field. We need some extra force to lift off.” We had not more than five minutes left. “We can’t stay and repair the engine Alex. Start the engine and exert maximum thrust.” The space shuttle started moving a bit. “Sir we just need a little more amount of push to escape from this planet. But we are already operating at maximum thrust” “Try Alex. We can’t afford to give up. If we give up, we are dead.” Alex was trying his best to lift off the space shuttle but he couldn’t. While we completely lost hopes of escaping from 55 Cancri E, the revolving wormhole came exactly above us and the immense gravitational pull of the wormhole helped in lifting off our space shuttle. We escaped through 55 Cancri E just a minute before we completely faced the star (55 Cancri A).
After two hours of lift off, we entered the wormhole. In three minutes or less, we were in our Solar System. We managed to end up being in the orbital of the space station. We refuelled and started back to Earth. By the time we came back, forty-seven years passed. Everyone in the research were newly appointed. Thus, none identified us. We were taken to the higher authorities for landing without any permission. The Managing Director of our research centre was one amongst our research crew then and that’s how we were identified.
The following day,
“Voyage of the Wormhole.”; “Ride to 55 Cancri E” etc; were headlines in few newspapers. Research is being carried out on the material which we have brought from 55 Cancri E. Though we couldn’t find other planet suitable for life, this journey will always be remembered. The same day evening, a national channel was interviewing me-
“Sir, I heard that your mission was called MISSION PARIPATETIC. What does the word mean?”
“an Aristotelian philosopher.”