by A21 Reporter Andy Clems
The launch of the first ever crewed mission to Venus is just days away and anticipation is reaching fever pitch as the final hours count down.
The Venusian Space Probe rocket has been transported by sea and road to the optimum launch position on the south coast of Ireland. The mission has been undertaken with the strictest possible safety measures in place. Project Controller Mike Eaton elaborated, “We all remember the day of the Martian Space Probe disaster. Thanks to the intervention of International Rescue no lives were lost, but the failure of the project resulted in humanity’s first successful mission to Mars being undertaken by the Zero-X. Venus remains a largely untapped resource, with orbital satellite scans forming the bulk of our knowledge of the planet. It is our aim to investigate Venus first-hand, using some of the most advanced space exploration gear ever devised.”
The Mark II version of the probe rocket incorporates a three-stage fail-safe. Like its predecessor, it cannot be launched until it is upended into go position. In addition, the launch cannot commence unless the craft is in direct contact with the proximity sensors on the portable launch platform at the launch site. The final fail-safe is a bio-metric security system that requires a scan of the mission commander’s retina before ignition can be authorized.
The planned journey to Venus is due to take five weeks, with primary and secondary landing sites scheduled for survey by the Venusian Exploration Rover (V.E.R.) over a period of ten days. The crew of four is comprised of Mission Commander Laura Gale, Space Captain Jonathan Stewart, and Geologists Florence Magambo and Walter Maddox. Commander Gale reports, “We’re raring to go. It’s not every day you get a chance to be a genuine pioneer and we all feel the huge sense of responsibility. Hopefully this flight will be one for the history books.”
Stay tuned for further updates as the countdown to this historic mission continues. Here at A21, we wish the crew every success for their mission.