Translator:Henyee TranslationsEditor:Henyee Translations
A blue arc of light projected from the flared wings of the aerospaceplane.
Starlight was launched from the Jinling aerospace launch site, and with the ground command center watching, it disappeared into the clouds.
The launch plan went smoothly.
After leaving the troposphere, Starlights pair of short ailerons slowly rotated, and this changed the angle of the flight.
The blue arc of light began to shine brighter and brighter, and Starlight worked against gravity and flew toward the boundless deep space on a path that was tangent to Earth.
Time slowly passed by
After nearly an hour of flying, Starlight lived up to expectations and steadily broke through the edge of the atmosphere, reaching low-Earth orbit. This was the beginning of its 72-hour orbital flight.
The test pilot, Xu Zhenghong, who was sitting in the cockpit, took a closer look at the altitude, temperature, and other spacecraft data.
After confirming that everything was operating normally, he sighed in relief.
This was his 57th test flight mission, the highest test flight he had ever been on. He never thought he would fly a plane out of the atmosphere.
That was until one day, his superior contacted him and arranged for him to test fly Starlight
Even though there was an escape capsule on the spacecraft, only God knew whether it worked or not.
Xu Zhenghong reached out and turned on the automatic cruise mode. He disconnected his spacesuit from the cabin life support system and pressed the side of his helmet. He took a deep breath and spoke.
"This is Starlight, we have successfully reached target orbit, requesting further instructions."
A noise came from the communication channel.
After the communication signal stabilized, the command center quickly sent a response.
"This is the ground command center. Congratulations on completing the first stage of the test flight. Please maintain orbital altitude for two hours. The next flight test will begin in two hours."
Xu Zhenghong: "Roger that, spacecraft has already entered cruise mode."
Liu Biao was sitting in the co-pilot seat. He also disconnected the life support system. He looked out the window and spoke with a smile.
"The view is quite nice up here."
Xu Zhenghong looked at the sparkling lights on Earth and the boundless universe above. He then smiled and replied, "Yeah, its not bad."
This was probably the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his life.
Suddenly, far, far away, a silver spacecraft slowly rose to the edge of the atmosphere.
Liu Biao squinted his eyes and asked, "What is that?"
"Its probably Space-Xs BFS spacecraft. I heard they are also launching today." Xu Zhenghong looked at him and said, "Im surprised you saw it. It looks tiny from here."
Liu Biao smiled awkwardly.
"Lets fly over there and say hi to them."
Xu Zhenghong: "Amazing idea, you should tell the command center that."
Liu Biao scratched his head and said, "Yeah, I should."
Xu Zhenghong paused for a second and said, "Alright, enough joking around. Rest for ten minutes, then start working."
Liu Biao sat up straight in his co-pilot seat.
On the other side of the Earth.
The BFR spacecraft also noticed Starlight.
Even though neither of them was equipped with dedicated spacecraft detecting radar, because they were orbiting close-by at the same height, they could faintly see each other.
Travis looked at the silver spacecraft outside the window and suddenly said, "Its a tradition in the marines to write something on a piece of paper and stick it on the window."
Johnson raised his eyebrows and spoke.
"Thats not a tradition in the marines, its the air force Even if we did stick something on the window, there is no way they can read it."
"Yeah, I guess," Travis muttered to himself.
Unlike the two big men, Julia was completely amazed by the blue planet behind the spacecraft.
After looking out the window for a long time, Julia said, "Its gorgeous"
Travis looked at Julia and replied, "It sure is."
"Speaking of which, we all trained at different training bases." Johnson looked at the two and smiled as he said, "Lets get to know each other."
Travis looked at him and asked, "What should we talk about?"
"Talk about life, dreams, why were sitting here, why we signed up for Mars Damn, if only there were a bottle of whiskey here," Johnson said as he scratched his head.
Julia quietly said, "Living supplies are only unlocked after landing Thats what I heard during training."
Travis didnt care about the whiskey.
"Didnt we talk about our lives and dreams on the talk show?"
Johnson shrugged and made a helpless gesture.
"I spoke about it, you guys didnt."
Travis hesitated for a second and looked at Julia.
"Oh? Me?" Julia looked around and sighed. She then said, "Okay then, but promise you wont laugh at me. I came here because there was a problem with my relationship"
Johnson: "Problem with your relationship? Breakup? Divorce? Oh, wait Sorry, I shouldnt be asking."
"Breakup." Julia went silent for a while and said, "Maybe its not a big deal to you guys, but it really broke me. I wanted to pick myself up and live somewhere else."
Travis raised his eyebrows and said in disbelief, "So thats why you decided to sign up to the Ares program?"
"Correct." Julia forced out a smile and said, "Surprising, isnt it? All my colleagues were shocked. No one expected me to actually be chosen The immigration department quickly approved my application and Space-X bought me a plane ticket. I thought about it and decided that it was a good idea, so"
Julia shrugged and said, "So thats how I ended up here."
"Thats ridiculous" Travis looked at Julia and said, "If youre leaving Earth over a breakup, then I have to leave the solar system."
"Hey, dont say that." Johnson tapped Travis on the shoulder and said, "The lady has finished speaking. Its your turn now. Ive always been curious, why did a football quarterback turn into an astronaut?"
Travis hesitated for a bit and shrugged.
"Because of debt."
Johnson was surprised, and he said, "Credit card?"
"Kind of" Travis looked away.
Johnson smiled and patted him encouragingly on the shoulder.
"Haha, there are no debt collectors on Mars, so youre free."
Travis smiled but didnt say anything.
Julia looked at him. From her womans instincts, she could tell that Travis wasnt telling the whole story.
The reason why he signed up for this expedition wasnt just because of a debt.
However, Johnson didnt pick up on these details. He just felt like Travis didnt want to talk about it, so he dropped the conversation.
A persons past wasnt important, what was important was how they handled the future.
They were all teammates, and they were all facing the same problem
After the conversation gates were opened, the atmosphere gradually warmed up.
Johnson looked at his two teammates and nodded with satisfaction.
As the "captain" of this flight, in addition to being responsible for the overall operation, he was also responsible for the mental state of his teammates.
After all, they had to sit in this claustrophobic spacecraft for two months. It was no different than sitting in jail.
Time slowly passed by, and the blue planet slowly disappeared.
Just like that, the BFS spacecraft left synchronous orbit. It then sailed into the deep space, toward the red fiery planet