Translator:Henyee TranslationsEditor:Henyee Translations
The spacecraft hatch closed.
Nie Yun sat down at the pilots seat.
After Nie Yun attached the bio-safety system and seatbelt on his spacesuit, he took a deep breath and slowly shifted his center of gravity on the seats backrest.
The electronic clock quietly ticked.
"Its almost time."
Nie Yun fist-bumped Nie Yan. He then looked at the control console. He heard someone say "all units ready" in his headset. He turned on the safety lock for the sound fusion device before twisting the ignition knob.
The moment the knob was turned, a huge amount of energy came out of the nuclear core. It was like the entire aerospaceplane was an awakening giant monster.
Liu Zhengwen, who was sitting in the passengers seat, felt the vibrations on his feet. He gulped and asked nervously, "Are we about to ignite?"
The communication channel wasnt open, so no one could hear him speak.
Nie Yun stared at the rising energy dial, and he reached out and tapped his headset. He spoke in a clear voice.
"This is Skyglow, fusion ignition is successful. We are ready to fly. Requesting approval."
Soon, the ground command center replied.
"Request approved, begin launch in one minute."
Nie Yun clenched the joystick with both of his hands. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. His thumb pressed the switch, which turned on the engine thrusters.
The moment he opened his eyes, he could hear a countdown in his ear
Last time Lu Zhou let Hou Guang do the countdown, but this time, Lu Zhou was the one counting down.
The five gigantic ion thrusters attached to the aerospaceplane began to fire, leaving behind a blue flame-like substance. The aerospaceplane was slowly being pushed forward on the runway.
The moment the blue lights burst out of the thrusters, the ground crew near the runway, the army soldiers, and the engineers were all completely taken away.
This amazing view would never get old.
Director Li stood next to Lu Zhou as he stared at the big screen in the command center.
After a while, he spoke emotionally.
"I finally know why you want to go up there."
Lu Zhou smiled and asked, "Lets fly together some time?"
Director Li answered without hesitation, "Dont even think about it!"
While the two were talking, the aerospaceplane on the runway was getting faster and faster.
Finally, the silver spacecraft slowly took off from the ground, disappearing at the skyline. The blue lights shined brightly in the dark, like an aurora.
As the ground crew watched the spacecraft disappear into the night, they burst into excited cheers. The aerospace experts in the ground tower were in tears.
Even though the journey to the Moon had only just begun, this successful launch would be remembered in history.
As for whether or not they could successfully land on the Moon and return safely
That would depend on the astronauts
"Skyglow, this is ground command center, please report on your status."
After a short pause, the co-pilots voice was heard.
" This is Skyglow, we are at an altitude of 5 km, speed is 1,000 km per hour, acceleration is 1.25 G. Temperature sensors are looking good. Everything is normal."
"Good, please keep in contact. The ground command center will provide navigation instructions."
Skyglow vanished from sight.
Director Li looked at the ground crew on the launch site clearing the runway and taking away the equipment. He suddenly spoke to Lu Zhou.
"If it takes two hours to reach low-Earth orbit, how long does it take to reach the Moon."
Even though the estimated arrival time was written on the launch plan, the launch plan was sent directly to the China National Space Administration, and the State Administration for National Defense wasnt responsible for specific project details. However, Star Sky Technology did send a copy to the State Administration for National Defense, but Director Li had to urgently get to Jinling, so he didnt get the chance to read it.
Lu Zhou stared at the green dot on the radar. He smiled and replied, "Around 56 hours."
"Only 56 hours?" Director Li looked at Lu Zhou with a shocked expression, and he said, "If I recall correctly, the Americans Saturn V took more than 70 hours, right?"
"If the distance were longer, we could have accelerated to an even faster speed." Lu Zhou smiled and said, "The launch is over. Im going to take a nap, and you should go rest already. The spacecraft is already in the sky, so theres no way for me to fly anymore."
Before Director Li could reply, Lu Zhou took off his headset and gave it to Hou Guang.
"Youre in charge now."
Hou Guang took the headset from Lu Zhou and nodded solemnly.
In the blue sky.
Skyglow had already reached a height of 20 kilometers. The pilot smoothly changed the engine mode, and the spacecraft began to fly toward outer space, with a trajectory tangent to earth.
Liu Zhengwen could feel the change to the center of gravity. He took a deep breath and tapped his helmet, which gave him access to the crew communication channel.
" Have we left the atmosphere?"
After a while, Nie Yans voice traveled through the communication channel.
"Not yet. If you are nervous, you can sleep for a bit."
" I just woke up a few hours ago. I cant fall asleep again now."
Its not like I can fall asleep in an environment like this anyway!
Nie Yan smiled and said, "Stop acting like a little girl, youre a grown-ass man. Professor Lu is also a researcher, and he wasnt scared at all when he sneaked on here."
Most young Chinese scholars viewed Lu Zhou as a role model or even an idol.
After remembering Lu Zhou also flew in this spacecraft, Liu Zhengwen calmed down.
"What was Professor Lu like when he was on here?"
Nie Yun already switched Skyglow to automatic flight mode. He smiled and replied, "He? He was nuts. Even us professional astronauts were a bit nervous, but he wasnt nervous at all. He even took a selfie in space."
Liu Zhengwen: ""
I guess Lu Zhou really is a god.
Other than wanting to post "God Lu is nuts" on his Weibo, he didnt know what to say.
Nie Yun noticed that Liu Zhengwen was staying silent, so he thought Liu Zhengwen was still scared. He tried to encourage Liu Zhengwen.
"Actually, you should relax a little and think about the positive. Once we come back from the Moon, we will become heroes, and thats something to be proud of for the rest of your life."
Liu Zhengwen looked up and said, "What if we dont come back?"
Nie Yun smiled.
"Then well still be heroes."