Family Bunker Plans
Though this is an expedition intent on capturing the creature, Biscardi does not rule out killing it if we have to. A regiment of Bigfoot hunters from Arkansas has joined Tom's group for this hunt, all of them carrying rifles. In addition, Tom has placed one of our team in a sniper position. Despite the wind and lightning, a member of the team has climbed to the top of a tall pine tree. He sits there, crouching on a hunter's platform with his rifle at the ready. Assuming he can see well enough in the darkness, he has orders to shoot the creature should it place any one of us in danger, or should it be on the verge of escape. As we move closer to the sniper, T.J. breaks his own rule of silence and radioes our position. He doesn't want one of us to be mistaken for the creature and fall victim to the sniper's bullet. The radio is not working properly, however - he can't raise the gunman in the tree. As an alternative, he radioes our position to the command post and asks them to contact...
Which explains why I am standing knee-deep in the swamps of north Texas, worried about snakes and ticks and the lightning flashing overhead. A creature has been seen in this area, first by locals and then by members of Tom Biscardi's team. Tom himself claims that there is a family of creatures, what he calls a 'pod,' living on the site of the old Camp Maxey army training grounds, perhaps sheltering in underground bunkers.
This moment, which relived the experiences of two previous Shuttle crews in 1984 and 1985, was one of the most dangerous and unwanted episodes in the entire programme. With unburnt hydrogen possibly hanging underneath the still-hot engines, the risk of an explosion or fire was very real. Although the astronauts had been trained to escape from such an on-the-pad abort and slide to a fortified bunker, the danger of them running through invisible hydrogen flames prompted NASA to keep them in the relative safety of Columbia's cockpit.
With his father's help, Clyde built a storage and storm cellar that could also provide the stable air needed for telescope-mirror testing. He then made a fine 7-inch reflector and sent it to his Uncle Lee. His uncle paid him, and Clyde plunged the money into a 9-inch mirror of his own. His days belonged to farmwork, but his nights were devoted to observing the skies and carefully sketching the planets. He completed his excellent new telescope in time to enjoy the 1928 close passage of the Earth by Mars.
These surface conditions were not healthy for children or other living things. For this reason, we think that life may have originated deep underground, or at the bottom of the oceans, places that provided natural fallout shelter from the cosmic bombs still wreaking havoc at the surface. A currently popular location for life's origins is at hydrothermal submarine vents on the ocean floor. Plenty of chemical energy was supplied by the hot, mineral-rich waters pouring out of these vents, and the deep ocean was relatively immune to the extreme environmental hazards plaguing the surface at the time when life seems to have gotten its start. As the impact storm raged above, the first glimmerings of life on Earth may have been safe and warm below the storm in an octopus's garden beneath the waves.*
Once the spacecraft leaves Earth orbit and the shelter of Earth's magnetic field, we have another situation entirely. Future trips to other planets will involve astronauts traversing large distances, taking hundreds of days to reach their destination. In these cases, the crew is at the mercy of direct particle radiation from the Sun. At times of solar maximum, solar storms can occur that fling huge quantities of particle radiation across the solar system. If the spacecraft happens to be in the path of one of these outbursts, the level of radiation can be potentially lethal for an unprotected crew. Thus the problem of providing adequate radiation protection would appear to be a potential roadblock for future manned flights to the planets. However, there is a cost-effective two-part solution. First, there must be an effective early warning system that monitors the Sun's output to detect the solar storms, probably using a system of spacecraft sensors in orbit around the Sun. A storm...
The launch was scheduled for 5.20 a.m. local time (3.20 a.m. Moscow Time) on 22 April. Despite the overnight heavy rain, it was decided to proceed as planned. On arriving at the pad, the cosmonauts rode the elevator up the service structure, entered their craft and strapped into their couches. One by one, the service masts were swung away from the vehicle and people left the pad. The final preparations were conducted from the nearby command bunker, with the cosmonauts participating by radio. But with only a minute remaining before the rocket engines were due to ignite, the umbilical that had supplied electrical power failed to retract from the third stage, and Mishin, who was the technical director for the launch, halted the operation. As Shatalov recalls We were awaiting the command 'The key is on the Start switch'. But instead from the command bunker we heard 'Prepare for evacuation The launch is delayed for a day ' This was nothing new for me. I'd heard the same command in...
The control room was in a bunker some 2 km from the pad. A black-and-white TV monitor showed the cabin, but because the camera was located above Volkov's head only Dobrovolskiy and Patsayev were visible. The communication officer was Leonov. Also present was Afanasyev of the Ministry of General Machine Building, who had just arrived from Moscow. The traditional radio call-sign for the TsUP was Zarya.3 The call-sign for the mission was Yantar.4
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