فصل 07

مجموعه: کتاب های متوسط / کتاب: 2001 - اودیسه فضایی / فصل 7

کتاب های متوسط

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فصل 07

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 8 دقیقه
  • سطح ساده

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متن انگلیسی فصل

PART TWO

TMA-1

‘Take off in fifteen seconds. You will be more comfortable if you start breathing deeply.’

As the great machine left the ground, he felt himself sinking deeper and deeper into his seat. It was difficult to move, but there was no real discomfort. In fact the blood rushing round his body made him feel young again, and he wanted to sing aloud. This was certainly possible, because no one could hear him above the great noise of the engines.

His mood changed quickly as he realized he was leaving Earth and everything he had ever loved. Down there were his three children, motherless since his wife had died in a plane crash ten years ago.

The pressure and the noise both suddenly decreased, and he heard the Captain’s voice again.

‘Preparing to separate from lower stage. Here we go.’

There was a slight movement as the spaceplane freed itself from its carrier. The lower stage would fly the sixteen thousand kilometers back to Florida, and it would then be prepared to lift another spaceplane away from the Earth.

When the spaceplane’s own engines started, the speed increased only a little. In fact he felt no more than normal gravity. But it was impossible to walk, since ‘up’ was straight towards the front of the plane. If he had been foolish enough to leave his seat, he would have fallen right to the back.

It was an uncomfortable feeling, as if his seat was fixed to a wall, with all the others below him. He was trying to ignore it when dawn suddenly exploded outside.

In seconds they moved through layers of red and pink and gold and blue into the shining white light of day. Though the windows were heavily colored to reduce the light. Floyd was still half-blinded for several minutes. He was in space, but he could not see the stars.

Then he felt his weight decreasing as the spaceplane levelled. The engines slowed down and then fell silent, and they were in orbit. If he had not worn a safety belt, Floyd would have floated out of his seat; his stomach felt as if it wanted to do so anyway. He hoped that the pills he had been given half an hour and fifteen thousand kilometers ago would do their work. He had been spacesick just once in his career, and that was too often.

The pilot’s voice came through the loudspeaker. ‘Please observe all zero gravity rules. We will be arriving at Space Station 1 in forty-five minutes.’

The stewardess came walking up the narrow passage to the right of the seats. Her feet came off the carpet slowly, as if they were stuck in glue. In fact she was walking on the bright band of magnetic carpeting that ran the full length of the floor - and of the ceiling. The bottoms of her shoes were also magnetic.

‘Would you like some coffee or tea, Dr Floyd?’ she asked cheerfully.

‘No, thank you,’ he smiled. The plastic drinking tubes always made him feel like a baby.

Miss Simmons stayed as he opened his bag.

‘Dr Floyd, may I ask you a question?’

‘Certainly,’ he answered, looking up over his glasses.

‘My boyfriend works at Tycho,’ she said, ‘and I haven’t heard from him for over a week. Is it really true about illness on the Moon?’

‘If it is, there’s no need to worry. Remember the illness in 1998? A lot of people were sick, but no one died. And that’s really all I can say.’

She smiled pleasantly and straightened up.

‘Well, thank you anyway, Doctor. I’m sorry to take up your time.’

‘No problem at all,’ he said, then opened his bag and began to look through his endless technical reports. There would be no time for reading when he got to the Moon.

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