Manglayaan Aakashagami Mission (MAM)
There is no difference in the sceneries out there everything feels the same. Red fumes of warm orange sky, blackish valleys having steep slopes of crates and troughs, some low sparking tiny things in grey soil that seems like remains of ugly silicic lava flows. No wonder why anyone till couldn’t land on this planet Prithvi Thilak thought while looking on the small glass door at the anterior of VS Space Capsule IV.
“I can’t control pressure inside the capsule, Captain” said Vidya- Space Capsule Computer girl.
Prithvi regains his sense, “Yes I read you Vidya, tell me”
“Captain, I can’t control the pressure inside the capsule, I checked the processor unit, sensors, control panel but I couldn’t find any error”
“Let me check, Vidya” Prithvi said and turned to Pathik, “check the control panel status”.
Pathik Charan his only partner on this mission checked into the monitor “Yes, pressure is dropping at a rate of .2psi/sec. And it is showing an error on propellant controls too”
Something is wrong Prithvi thought, he contacted the ABSS (Aryabhata Space Station), “Sam we have a problem here, the system is showing an error on propellant controls”
“Roger Prithvi, let me look in to it “said Sam.
Sam with his team checked the status of engine by sending automated responds to the system of the capsule; he monitored the screens, and queried, “Is there any pressure change in the capsule?”
“Yes there is, pressure is dropping at .2psi/sec”
“Prithvi, there might be some problem in the main engine with propellants, we need to look in to it and we have to fix it, so switch to Secondary engine and come home, safely” said Sam.
“Affirmative will do,” said Prithvi. He touched into the monitor, gave the procedures for the Switching. He instructed systems like Altitude Determination & control system (ADCS), Communication &Tracking systems (CTS), Electrical Power Subsystems (EPS) and Thermal Control Systems (TCS), to switch to Secondary Engine. Nevertheless, Vidya showed some messages in the monitor. Prithvi again connected to Station
“Sam, Propulsion module is not responding and ADCS is showing an error while switching, whole system is not responding well to this switching. It smells fishy Sam”.
“We have no other option Prithvi, check the Status once again and do the procedure again. If needed, you can troubleshoot the system”.
He tried once again but errors keep showing, so he gave instructions to Vidya to troubleshoot the system. Vidya begins troubleshooting but the server shows an unknown error, “Captain I’m not able to do it, the server isn’t in my control and capsule is trembling!”
Meanwhile Pathik struggles to locate the problem in the server, but it has gone in vain. “I am losing control on the system,” said Pathik.
“Mine too, I am asking for Manual Control”, Prithvi connected again, “Sam we are losing our control on the system, I think manual control is needed now”.
“We are also facing some abnormal messages on the displays; we are looking in to it. If you can manage, switch to Manual control, but tell me your current location “ Pathik looked in to the screens and replied
“Its 15°0′0″N, 112°30′0″W” “Ok near MC-9, got it,” said Sam
“Vidya switch to manual control” Prithvi instructed. Vidya switched to manual control. Capsule is trembling and shaking. Monitors in the Space station starts flickering and some went very blank, while some showed ‘connection lost’ .Sam looked panicked and turned his head and said to the crew “We have a problem here, VS Capsule IV facing an Engine failure”.
All the crews of the station tried to contact capsule but they failed and they could not even locate the capsule. Sam tried to contact capsule “Prithvi, can you hear me… Can you hear me?”
It seemed like connection has been lost, but Sam keep tried to keep contact.
“Are you there, Sam, Sam…?”
“Pathik, we have lost our communication to space station,” Prithvi said in a desperate voice.
This is not good; my life is going to end; ho God! Pathik thought, “What should we do now?” Prithvi with no time to think, looked for the solutions, the capsule is going out of control second by second. He stretched his eyes takes a glance inside the capsule and he stares at the glass door.
He thought what I do now. Do I need to land? But where, here? In this nasty land? How I could succeed where thousands of men failed? May be this is the right time, right time for us, may be right time for everyone; Mars we are coming.
“Pathik, We have to land now, I had given our location to Sam, so there is a chance that we will be rescued, it is too risky to stay inside this capsule, we may be lost in this black-hole mess forever?”.
Nothing comes to Pathik’s mind, he understands the situation and he just nodded his head “Ok, l am getting Vyomanaut Space Suit”.
They both readied for the landing to the planet of red ‘’The Mars”, Pathik, little panicked, closed his eyes and prayed to his Favorite Goddess Durga Devi. Prithvi looked unsettled but his eyes tell his firmness and boldness, he is not aware of the future, he is only aware of present and he prepared for his duty, the duties of a mankind. He had given the instruction for the landing. He turns on the Supersonic Retro-propulsion and Double Thermal Shielding, he decelerates capsule from 420km/s to 210 km/s and then to 42 km/s, he changes 4/1 weight/thrust ratio for the Martian weight, at last ‘Mars radiate-shield’ instructed to cover over VS capsule and deployed landing gears at 70 seconds. Capsule looked tumbled from outside but it is actually fighting with the Martian atmosphere to land these legends safely. However, the whole picture gives some uncertainty to it something is going to happen.
Prithvi started the countdown “10 seconds for the touchdown” said Prithvi “nine, eight, seven….”
Both of them placed their hands on the switch of Orbital Escape System, if there was any threat to their life, they were trained to switch on this system.
“Six, five, four….” Hundreds of images are going through their minds. Prithvi remembers his childhood of playing pilot of spacecrafts in bed, a model of spacecraft that he managed to grab first prize at college project fest, images of his selection for this job and Father Thilak Chauhan’s gratitude face at the entrance of ISRO Bengaluru. His suits, office, workshops, training sessions, colleagues everything screened before him in a flash of seconds.
He thought why I do choose to become a Vyomanaut?. How much I sacrificed for this Job, my family, my marriage life. Maybe I would been with my parents, wife and children living happily in a small lakeside home. Pathik get little more emotional when he sees the image of his mother Sethulekshmi sending him off to Space center before launching, the two hands of Malini Agarwal, his lover, welcoming for a warm hug. His best friend Ram’s house and his favorite play ground where he always watches airplanes flying. “Three, Two, One” ………………… –
Meanwhile In India, latest News of MAM mission flashed on every E-paper. 20 November 2034 VS CAPSULE ENGINE FAILED, THREAT TO TWO VYOMANAUT PILOTS Bengaluru:
In part of India’s prestigious space mission on mars know as MAM (Manglayaan Aakashagami Mission), one VS (Vikram Sarabhai) Space Capsule, which was send to mars orbit for the studies of radiation in Martian atmosphere, faced an engine failure. According to the statements of ISRO, the capsule is carrying two Vyomanaut Pilots lost connection from the ABSS (Aryabhata Space Station) just before the engine failure. Two pilots one Mr. Prithvi Thilak and other Mr. Pathik Charan is present inside the capsule during failure. Reports are saying that they may tried to land on somewhere near MC-9, Tharsis quadrangles (A location according to an image map location of Mars defined by US Geological survey).ISRO members hesitated first to queries of media, but later arranged a conference with confirmed statement.
Two years ago, ISRO had sent a manned spacecraft MAM capsule 110 to Martian orbit, but it disappeared from the radars of station antenna, after it entered on Martian orbit. ISRO could not yet find a reason for the sudden disappearance. Therefore, this time ISRO deployed a space station near Martian orbit for preventing such occurrence and for the secureness of Vyomanauts take part in the mission, but this could not resist from this VS capsule failure. ISRO scrutinized from whole media over the world for the irresponsibility of Vyomanauts life threatening missions and security measurements taken for humans sending for space missions.
Some media is blaming ISRO, by accusing ISRO is experimenting secretly on ‘Mars To Stay’ mission (a theory proposes humans sent to Mars for the first time should intend to stay there forever), which helps to reduce the cost of mission and to ensure permanent settlement on Mars. ISRO rejected this statement and told UNO and Indian Government already ban this experiment. However, ISRO pressured to initiate a rescue mission, a specially prepared 4 crewed VS capsule capability of carrying 6 crew including an experienced commander, should sent soon to the MC-9 for the rescue of two Vyomanaut Pilot.
—– Boom……… Faded image of land with small rocks and narrow dried dips, dust has filled all over the atmosphere. There is the location where VS Capsule kisses the Red Planet. Inside the capsule, two ‘Space suits’ lying on the platform of the capsule with the tightly packed Vyomanaut in it. One Spacesuit started to move and kept trying to stand by its own balance.
“Pathik are you alright?” Other spacesuit also started to move
“Yes, I am little dizzy but am alright”
“Capsule Thermal controls system broke down, temperature inside capsule is increasing, we have to get down from this capsule,” said Prithvi
“Ok, let me take our Food box and O2 module from the cabin” said Pathik
“We don’t have much time, I am getting our Image map and oxygen re-filler, it might help us to survive out there”
Both of them checked inside the capsule hurriedly, for taking the needy things, they took all they wanted and turn the knob for exit. The door opened slowly, they sensed some special kind of feeling inside their eyes something that they had never experienced before. The door almost opened fully, they waited for a second before stepping down from the capsule.
“Forgot to take communication module, let me take it” said Pathik.
Suddenly something happened, both thrown outside the capsule. What happened? Is that an explosion? Or some kind of a force pushed them? .Now both are floating in the air, like a light feather, they are moving forward. Prithvi looked back, they are moving far from capsule, he thought more away from capsule means less the chance of being rescued .But what I can do? How can I tell the ‘gravity’ to stop moving and get me down? Prithvi couldn’t think of any solution. He thought, it’s been few minutes since I’ve been floating like this, I no longer have control on my own body .What is this? Oh How stupid I am? I am no longer on Earth to have control on my own body, I am in another planet, where I have no control even for my body, and anything going to happen here is out of my control.
“What is that?” asked Pathik while looking forward with frightened eyes. Prithvi looked forward, saw a saturated image of small molten reddish flamed things are flying and marching towards them at a high speed. Prithvi is stunned seeing this and doesn’t know what to do.
“Listen carefully to save your life, Activate Nitrogen-Jet thrusters of your SAFER on the back of suit, and slide towards the north”
“Who is this talking” Prithvi exclaimed,
“Pathik who is on the channel 3 of our radio?” Prithvi asked with dire and shockingly.
“I don’t know, who or what is it, but message is right, I forgot about SAFER, let’s move towards the North” said Pathik Both activated Jet thruster by pressing switch on the cuff of their left hands, they slid towards the north, with the reddish flamed things flying, just missed them without hitting. Temperature raised in the atmosphere, but they left very quickly like a supernova, so it didn’t affect them. Prithvi looked around it, he understood that they are now standing on large wide hole. Suddenly something started melting on underneath of lower torso, the boots with soil. Some gases are forming under the boots of both.
“Warning signals are displaying on the helmets? What is this sh*t?” said Pathik.
Both tried to increase thrust on the Jetpacks but couldn’t move on from it, both looked each other, both shared their helplessness through their eyes .Their minds are prepared for an end, end to their existence in this space. Small amount of gases pierced into helmet, both felt dizzy.
“Give me your hand” Prithvi saw in his half cautious, that a ‘thing’ comes towards him and tried to escape him and Pathik. Then the whole place started to rotate around him. He fell to the ground. Prithvi took a deep breath, and tried to open his eyes, he is laying on prone position at unknown ground. He looked around, it’s a closed place, and it seems like interior of a big rock like thing. He looked for Pathik, yes he is there, and laying opposite to him, not yet awake. He called him “Pathik, are you ok? Pathik…”
Pathik moved a little bit from his position, he responded “yes” after a small pause he continued “What happened to us? Where are we?”
Prithvy too didn’t have an answer for that questions. He looked all-round once again, now the place seemed like a long channel built with some kind of rock. Suddenly a dark shadow appeared in front of him. He looked at the opening of channel, there stands a Spacesuit, steadily and firmly. He remembered the ‘thing’ that saved them. It looked like a Human being, human being? On Mars? And that too with a space suit? What is happening here?
“So you two are awaken” said the spacesuit while moving towards them, through channel 3.
Prithvi couldn’t resisted from asking “who are you?”
“I am Commander Arya, tell me how you landed here?”
Prithvi thought for some seconds, he looked closely in to commander’s right shoulder, his name stitched under ISRO logo “Arya Gautham Menon”, while Pathik replied “Our capsule’s engine failed, we were forced to land near MC-9”.
“But how you landed here?”
“It’s a long story, you won’t get it…, tell me, do you guys have any device to contact station? We have to contact them” Commander said firmly.
“We don’t have any device right now, but we forgot to take alternate communication module from space capsule” said Pathik.
“I am going to get it, just don’t get into trouble sanely by going outside of this lava Tube, you know what will happen.” It was an order given by the Commander. Commander went outside through the opening of channel.
“I think, I know this guy” Prithvi said “I think… he was the commander of the MAM capsule 110 that disappeared two years ago.”
“Yes I remember that incidence, but I don’t know who the commander was, anyway he is wearing a Commander suit. Can we trust his words? ”
“I am not sure about it, but I don’t trust him and how would he have survived so long in here? That’s very difficult.”
Prithvi started to move around the lava tube, his eyes struck at one pit like corner, where some parts of spacesuit were dumped. He went near it and started checking it, it seems like parts of two old spacesuits parts, pairs of lower torso, EVA gloves, cliffs all suit stuffs. He looked for upper torso for a name, he found pair torsos, under ISRO Logo, name is written on both, but he couldn’t read it, it’s all covered with mud or something .He tried to remove mud, he understood the first letter of both name starts with letter ‘P’.
“What are you looking there?” commander voice came from the back.
“What happened to them?” Prithvi anxiously asked.
“They were my companions” he paused for a second then looked into faces of Prithvi & Pathik, and said “They couldn’t make it”.
He walked inside the channel and placed the Communication module in the middle of them. “Here is your device, this needs source power, may be through our three Spacesuit power we could make this work”
“We won’t give you power unless you tell us, how you survived in here?” Prithvi said boldly.
“Prithvi, I am your commander, Obey my order” said the Commander
“That’s not the answer to my question. If you want to make this work tell me the truth, I need to know”
“You are not trusting me, right? Am I am a fool or something to save your life and answer your stupid questions? Do you know one thing, we have only few hours left for a volcano eruption, you have seen the flying molten lava stones on the way right?”
Pathik looked disturbed but he didn’t say any word, just looked into the eyes of Prithvi.
Prithvi said “You are right, we don’t have time”.
Commander seemed irritated, he said “Ok, I will tell you, but I don’t think you will understand all things in a sudden. Me and two other pilots survived the crash, we had collected all devices from the craft to survive here .We looked for communication module but it completely got damaged. We found a place to survive here ,a ‘lava tube’, which is perfect because inside this, temperature is less, radiation protections and gravity is little high compared to other places in here.” “What about food and water, how did you all tackle it?” asked Prithvi
“Since we have food and water for 6 crews for one year, we make it out with two years with three crew. Now make this work” Prithvi looked little slackly, but he comes forward and took the Communication module. Three of them round together and give power to the Communication module. Prithvi tunes to various bands, but couldn’t find any active one within the range.
Prithvi said “I had given location where we lost engine, so when they come to rescue they would have to enter on our range, then we can contact them”.
“Ok, but keep trying” said Commander
“I can’t believe on what you said. How could you survive here while not a single one to succeed land in here?” Said Prithvi.
Arya just smiled and told “Like I said, you will not get all things in a sudden. We were fighting hard in here to survive .We traveled many places in here and meanwhile we have learned many things about Mars, we have found many things which are very interesting and from our findings, we have solved many mysteries about Mars and Earth”
“Mysteries? What kind of Mysteries?” asked Pathik?
“That’s the part, you won’t understand or believe it until you see or feel it all yourself”
“I believe in you, please tell to me” said Pathik while looking at Prithvi.
Prithvi seems confused but he listened to his voice. “Ok, I will tell. Meanwhile in our search for water around here, we dug deeply with our tool, surprisingly we found some corpse, corpse of human being, we carbon dated the corpse, we found that it is not older than a 1000 year.”
“What, a 1000 year old human corpse? It’s not possible at all because, the scientist says last possibility of life in here is about 4 billions of years ago?” said Prithvi
“Yes I know, but you should remember that, this whole time system we built is for us, for Earth, may be Mars have different system or maybe we were wrong at first thought. You do know how many times we humans reach in wrong conclusions.”
“But what would have happened to them?” said Pathik
“I don’t know about it .But we also discovered many things that gives strong evidence for life habitat that may have existed in here. And also we found many materials which are very similar to the materials that we used in Earth. All those materials leads to the fact that there is a strong connection between Earth and this planet Mars. We discussed about it for days and we had made some conclusion that. Mars may be the Future stage of ‘Earth’s life’. Maybe God created whole planet system like this; that is, according to the order of planet system, each one holds each stages of ‘Earth’s life’. The stage begins with Mercury, and Venus is the Past stage of ‘Earth’s life’ . And Mars, Saturn all other planets are the future stages of ‘Earth’s life’”
“So you are saying that Venus is the past, Earth is the present and Mars is the future, that is, we are in the future, right? So if we know what happened to Mars, we can survive for a long period in Earth and maybe life in Earth will not extinct at all and Humans have the control over their existence! Wow…! Which ‘God’ will allow something like that?” said Prithvi
“I don’t know about God’s attitude and all his thoughts for this, but what you said is right. May be God has chosen us to reveal this to the world. If we get back to Earth, then we are going to change the fate of all human being in the Earth. We are going to be the legends” “Oh my God! Legends…we..?” Pathik exclaimed.
“I won’t believe in this crap. Commander I am not a fool to believe yours made up conclusions.” Said Prithvi Commander smiled again.
The Communication module started capturing some signal, Prithvi talked “Roger, Roger, this is Prithvi speaking”.
“Loud and Clear Prithvi………” said From the Rescue capsule “Ok you stay here, I will go outside and lookout for the spacecraft” said Commander ——-
After few hours, a four crewed Rescue capsule entered in the Martian atmosphere and Prithvi told their current location using Image map. And Capsule reached at the atmosphere, where they stayed.
“Pathik, we need to move towards south, capsule is waiting for us” said Prithvi. Pathik asked “But where is Commander Arya?”
“We don’t have time to wait for him, maybe he don’t want to go; come let’s go” said Prithvi. Pathik has no other option he obeyed him. Both moved towards south and somehow they managed to enter inside the capsule with the help of crew members in the rescue capsule. In the capsule one of the crew asked “You both alright?”
Both said “yes”. Prithvi made sure that Commander couldn’t made to the inside of capsule. Prithvi seemed relieved and thought “Commander, go to Hell!” An announcement played in the capsule “Welcome Vyomanauts, I am Arya Gautham Menon, commander of the capsule happy to see you guys again with us”.
Both were shocked and asked each other, ““Then who was the Commander with us????”” .
Suddenly a huge wind storm blows at the Martian atmosphere, the whole atmosphere gets filled with Red fumes. Something big hits the Capsule and Capsule starts to tumble and it crashes down at the land of mars. But three out of six crews survive, Pilot Prithvi Thilak, Pilot Pathik Charan and Commander Arya Gautham Menon.