Chapter 5

The day has come when a ship assigned to land on the distant planet was delivered to the orbit. Exactly because of it was founded the project SQP. This apparatus will take the equipment which will establish new mankind near another sun. Previous ten years Iase and his colleagues were just accumulating the fuel for it, fastening spherical tanks, each five thousand tons, on a common axle, dispose of them in four, like ventilator blades on their spindle.
This axle, divided into two parts, with of one hundred fifty spheres on apiece, were like two enormous grape-bunches. These “bunches”, each one kilometer and a half long, now were soaring in space with the “tails” directed to each other. Between them soon will be situated two more spheres, placed in cylinder assembled out of plastic pipes which would be directed crosswise to tails of those bunches.
At one base of that cylinder, there was settled interstellar rocket. Exactly this apparatus had a task to expend that innumerable amount of liquid deuterium. At another one, the planetary ship will be attached.
All this time Bilikadze and his workmates were not only fastening the gigantic spheres at their nests but connecting their communication lines and pipes to the general trunks, testing the reliability of these connections in the condition of high inner pressure and outside the vacuum. Actually, the entire expedition consisted almost by one hundred percent from fuel. Effective load slightly exceeded the twenty-thousandth part of it.
Soon Iase and his workmate Anzo Gryde, serious, rarely smiling man, left the air sluice behind and went out in the open cosmos. They fastened their security belts to the rope stretched from the station to the moorage and started their way. Soon the riggers approached the cargo ship with the lander on it. Here they previously abandoned their transports – the result of interbreeding of jet shunting engines, chair with control panel and claws. With those machines, they were carrying spheres delivered to cosmos within ten years.
First of all the partners took their places in chairs. In the next step, they connected the crane claws to the lander, having hooked them into a special mortise in the hull. Before that, by rotary bracket, they shifted the informational displays in front of their eyes and put their hands on joysticks in chair arms. The left one of which was managing up-down and leftward movement, the right rod was responsible for forth-back and rightward movement. Subsequent operation: lander’s releasing from cargo ship lasted just a few seconds. From his sensor screen, Iase remotely unlocked latches which held together with those two machines.
Having grabbed planetary vessel, the parallelepiped with four chemical rockets attached on its corners, cosmonauts slowly took it aside from moorage and dragged to the cylinder soaring three hundred meters away. Comparing to their habitual job, transferring of this stool-like apparatus, was very easy. Indeed, transporting of one carriage is peerlessly simple than of sphere with the mass equal to the whole train.
Arrived at cylinder with two spheres in it, Bilikadze and Gryde without problem neared their sophisticated unit to the unoccupied base of it. Ten thousand tons of fuel, accumulated into these spheres, was intended to decrease gigantic velocity, with which the expedition will approach 58-th star of Eridanus constellation in two centuries.
Erectors docked the lander to its place and then left their transports. Mounters fastened their belts to crossbars of the cylinder and then started their usual work: mutual connecting of the sockets and pipes. After that, again remotely, Iase confirmed these two hundred year long junctions. In the end, Bilikadze made a report to flight manager down on Earth about finishing off this phase. Next step was to insert this cylinder between two parts of fuel depository.
The last operation was to observe the start of the interstellar expedition. Iase Bilikadze deserved such honor as a sole specialist, who worked for creating that expedition from the beginning to the end. Anzo was just lucky to be the Iase’s present shift-mate.