فصل 18

مجموعه: کتاب های متوسط / کتاب: 2001 - اودیسه فضایی / فصل 18

کتاب های متوسط

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فصل 18

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 3 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی سخت

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

Through the Asteroids

Week after week passed, and Discovery moved beyond the orbit of Mars towards Jupiter. Ahead lay the most dangerous part of the journey, an area of space crossed by the orbit of more than a million known asteroids.

Only four of these were over a hundred kilometers across, but even the smallest could completely destroy the ship. However, the chances of this were very low. The average distance between asteroids was at least a million and a half kilometers.

‘On Day 86 they were due to make their closest approach to a known asteroid. It had no name - just the number 7794 - and it was fifty-meter rock that had been discovered in 1997.

Bowman came on duty, Hal reminded him of the meeting. The path of the asteroid against the stars was already on the screens. There was also the information that 7794 would miss them by only fifteen hundred kilometers, at a relative speed of a hundred and thirty thousand kilometers an hour.

When Bowman asked Hal for the telescopic view, a small number of stars flashed onto the screen. There were a number of points of light, but nothing that looked like an asteroid.

‘Show me which one it is,’ Bowman said, and immediately four lines appeared on the screen, surrounding a tiny spot of light. He stared at it for many minutes, wondering if Hal could be mistaken, then he saw that the spot was moving. It might still be half a million kilometers away, but its movement showed that it was much closer than anything else they could see.

When Poole joined him in the Control Room, six hours later, 7794 was much bigger and moving faster against its background. They both stared at it. Though they knew that 7794 was only a lifeless piece of rock, it was also the only solid thing they would see this side of Jupiter.

As it raced past them at over thirty-six kilometers a second, the automatic cameras took dozens of photographs, which would later be sent back to Earth.

Within an hour, 7794 was just a spot of light again. The next time Bowman came on watch, it had gone completely. They were alone again, and would remain alone until the first of Jupiter’s moons came towards them, three months from now.

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