It is 2117, November 22. I am finally back from my short excursion. I had been invited to attend a conclave upon a newly christened space habitat. It was an opportunity to experience gravity surfing first hand.
The vessel was parked at an orbit at L4, while various supply ships accumulated. When enough supplies were mounted, the vessel was deemed ready for human occupation. Over the course of three months, crew shuttles were catapulted to rendezvous with the space colony to be. Final installation of bio mass was certified and the ceremonies of initiation were completed.
I volunteered to help with the set up of the biological restoration facilities. The bulk of the non-human lifeforms was transshipped as embryos, seedlings, and swatches of DNA. It was grunt labor for the most part, so I wasn’t required to be an adept. I followed directions, set up the mass reproducer and properly stored the lifeforms so that the bio data base could easily find everything.
The mothership has a charter crew of about 2 million, with an expansion factor of 16, enough for about 200 years at standard doubling rate. The charter subscribers will be very busy, setting up all the varied habitats, and environments for humans, agriculture, and wildlife. In addition to the human labor, the fabricators and robot machines will also be engaged, building expansion volume (aka another vessel) as well as a stock of spare parts. Though it is easy to computer generate a part, in times of emergency, it’s nice to not have to wait. And when a hull gets punctured, and engineering compromised, there is no time to waste.
When I was finished, I stayed aboard when the vessel began to slide down the gravity well to a new orbit. Yes, I knew that such an orbit would take me away from Earth for decades, but there was another vessel within shuttling distance, that was going to intersect Earth space. I hitched a ride back home, in less than two weeks.
It was a fun trip, and coming out of orbit in the vacuum tube of the East Pole was exhilarating. The mag-lev braking was a simple matter, and by coming down in a near vacuum eliminated the problem of atmospheric heating from friction.
Glad to be back home.