فصل 31

مجموعه: کتاب های متوسط / کتاب: 2001 - اودیسه فضایی / فصل 31

کتاب های متوسط

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فصل 31

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 3 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی سخت

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PART FIVE

THE MOONS OF SATURN

CHAPTER THIRTY ONE

Survival

Work is the best cure for any shock, and Bowman now had plenty to do. As quickly as possible, he had to get Discovery working properly again.

Life Support was the most important thing. Much oxygen had been lost, but there was enough left to provide for a single man. The computers on Earth could now do many of the jobs that Hal had done. It would take them quite a long time to react to a change in conditions, but none of the work was urgent.

Bowman went back and closed the doors of the hibernators. It had been the worst job, getting the bodies out. He was glad that they had been colleagues and not friends. Now all three of them would reach Saturn before him - but not before Frank Poole. Somehow, Bowman was pleased about this.

He did not try to check if the hibernator was still working. One day, his life might depend on it, but many things might happen before then. He tried to avoid thinking about such distant problems, and concentrated on immediate ones. Slowly he cleaned up the ship, checking that its systems were still running smoothly and discussing technical difficulties with Earth. During those first few weeks he did not get much sleep, and he did not think very much about the great mystery that lay ahead.

At last, when the ship settled down into its automatic routine - though it still needed a lot of his attention - Bowman had time to study the reports sent to him from Earth. Again and again he played back the recording made when TMA-1 woke up and greeted the dawn for the first time in three million years.

Since that moment, the black object had done nothing. No attempt had been made to cut into it. The scientists were naturally cautious, and they were also afraid of the possible results.

One strange, and perhaps unimportant, feature of the block had led to endless argument. It was roughly three meters high by 1.3m across by about 0.3m deep. When its size was measured with great care, the relationship between the three figures was exactly 1 to 4 to 9. This remained true to the limits of accurate measurement. It was also true that no technical process on Earth could shape a block of any material so accurately. In a way, this was as amazing as any other feature of TMA-1.

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