Buku Light Sails: Short Stories by unknow

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Light Sails: Short Stories by unknow

Author:unknow

Language: eng

Format: epub

Published: 2019-06-10T03:00:00+00:00

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Light Sails: Short Stories by unknow

###

They did their best, and after twenty minutes it seemed that they had succeeded. Then, somewhere near the center of the sail, the plastic film began to rip. It was slowly driven outward by the radiation pressure like smoke coiling upward from a fire. Within a quarter of an hour, nothing was left but the delicate tracery of the radial spars that had supported the great web. Once again there was a flare of rockets, as a launch moved in to retrieve the Gossamer’s capsule and her dejected crew.

“Getting rather lonely up here, isn’t it?” said a conversational voice over the ship-to-ship radio.

 

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Light Sails: Short Stories by unknow

Author:unknow , Date: June 28, 2019

,Views: 41

Author:unknow

Language: eng

Format: epub

Published: 2019-06-10T03:00:00+00:00
###

They did their best, and after twenty minutes it seemed that they had succeeded. Then, somewhere near the center of the sail, the plastic film began to rip. It was slowly driven outward by the radiation pressure like smoke coiling upward from a fire. Within a quarter of an hour, nothing was left but the delicate tracery of the radial spars that had supported the great web. Once again there was a flare of rockets, as a launch moved in to retrieve the Gossamer’s capsule and her dejected crew.

“Getting rather lonely up here, isn’t it?” said a conversational voice over the ship-to-ship radio.

“Not for you, Dimitri,” retorted Merton. “You’ve still got company back there at the end of the field. I’m the one who’s lonely, up here in front.” It was not an idle boast. By this time Diana was three hundred miles ahead of the next competitor, and his lead should increase still more rapidly in the hours to come.

Aboard Lebedev, Dimitri Markoff gave a good-natured chuckle. He did not sound, Merton thought, at all like a man who had resigned himself to defeat.

“Remember the legend of the tortoise and the hare,” answered the Russian. “A lot can happen in the next quarter-million miles.”

It happened much sooner than that, when they had completed their first orbit of Earth and were passing the starting line again—though thousands of miles higher, thanks to the extra energy the sun’s rays had given them. Merton had taken careful sights on the other yachts, and had fed the figures into the computer. The answer it gave for Woomera was so absurd that he immediately did a recheck.

There was no doubt of it—the Australasians were catching up at a fantastic rate. No solar yacht could possibly have such an acceleration, unless—

A swift look through the periscope gave the answer. Woomera’s rigging, pared back to the very minimum of mass, had given way. It was her sail alone, still maintaining its shape, that was racing up behind him like a handkerchief blown before the wind. Two hours later it fluttered past, less than twenty miles away. But long before that, the Australasians had joined the growing crowd aboard the Commodore’s launch.

So now it was a straight fight between Diana and Lebedev—for though the Martians had not given up, they were a thousand miles astern and no longer counted as a serious threat. For that matter, it was hard to see what Lebedev could do to overtake Diana’s lead. But all the way around the second lap—through eclipse again, and the long, slow drift against the sun—Merton felt a growing unease.

He knew the Russian pilots and designers. They had been trying to win this race for twenty years, and after all, it was only fair that they should, for had not Pyotr Nikolayevich Lebedev been the first man to detect the pressure of sunlight, back at the very beginning of the twentieth century? But they had never succeeded.

And they would never stop trying. Dimitri was up to something—and it would be spectacular.

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Buku Light Sails: Short Stories by unknow

Rp149,000.00

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