|The swirling gases and assorted other
muck in the atmosphere on Venus meant that not a lot
could be seen from the landing craft, other than a really
nice pattern of gases. A steady barrage of various
objects had been hitting the ship with some force on the
way down, but thankfully the super strong Corduroy(tm)
outer protective shell had been designed to withstand
that kind of force.
At least, thats what the scientists had planned. They hadn't really known how much force the craft would need to withstand, other than "a lot". They also knew that management was going to be pretty annoyed at having spent all that money if it didn't work. But Ralph and Chuck got down to the surface okay and things seemed to be quieter down there.
NASA Mission Control were kept busy. They were monitoring the crafts internal sensors, which were monitoring Ralph and Chuck, who were monitoring the scientific instruments that were monitoring the Venusian atmosphere outside. And of course the population of Earth was monitoring all of this, with their multi-channel big screen digital TVs.
This was a lot of monitoring for the general public to watch. Fortunately to keep them interested, the cream of the worlds graphic designers and advertising people had worked out ways making even the broadcast of the dullest, most boring study of minuscule dust and gas particles more exciting than the latest Hollywood blockbuster.
The monitors outside the craft indicated what the scientists already knew - most of the atmosphere was carbon dioxide, which made it not at all healthy for humans to breathe. Besides which, it was hotter than a February day in Darwin out there, around 450 degrees.
Despite these obvious problems, the boffins had designed some pretty impressive protective suits for Ralph and Chuck to wear, and it seemed like a shame to come all this way and not get out to have a look around. So, after a few hours grabbing samples of things by remote control, Ralph and Chuck prepared to go out for a bit of a walk on the surface of Venus.
- The Year 2031
Copyrightę1998 Daniel Bowen