COLONEL RONALD BRENT'S
21st CENTURY AMERICAN SPACECRAFT
Later in the series,
the three astronauts encounter the wreckage of yet another spacecraft,
this one much more advanced than even their own...
The ship has a curious swept and curved rear wing assembly with shattered engine nacelles on the wing tips. It is clear from this picture that the United States survives well into the 21st century and is still launching rockets and missions into space. That is a crew hatch shown open into the interior of the ship. Below the crew hatch is assorted "space junk" some of which looks like a computer panel and another looks like a communications dish antenna, as can be seen in the next picture.
Another shot of the open escape hatch and the salvaged equipment.
"It's a spaceship! An AMERICAN SPACESHIP!" Bill Hudson declares, astounded at their discovery.
A better picture of the twisted wreckage showing the bow and cockpit. That is a huge hole torn in the underside of the ship but it's not clear if it came to rest pointing up in the air like that after the crash. There are two schools of thought here; one is that the ship is complete as we see it and that it glided in then nosed up when it stopped sliding. The other idea is that there is a third, lower wing with another engine nacelle on it and that the ship landed on these three engines, something happened and the engines exploded or were destroyed somehow in the descent. It could be that the lower or ventral wing was damaged more so than the others and as the decades have passed, it has collapsed more, leaning the ship over further and the sand covers up the damaged wing.
The escape hatch is in the middle, near the rise in the dirt around it, you can make out
American flag and the "UNITED STATES" on the side of the ship.
This is a shot of Colonel Brent's ship as it was discovered. You can see the crew of the "Venturer" in the far right side of the shot, approaching the ship.
The figures to the right are to scale. This was a big ship! The fact that the "Venturer" is crewed by three astronauts and is smaller than Brent's ship (which is crewed supposedly only by one astronaut) clearly shows that technology has marched on. Brent's ship is a very advanced design, the engines clearly more so than anything the "Venturer" was outfitted with.
Brent never talks
about or even hints that any other crew were aboard his ship nor is there any
mention of graves or other markers for any crew who died in the crash.
Apparently, Brent's ship is designed for solo operation. Whether it could
accommodate passengers is another topic for discussion.
A larger sized picture of the crash site of Ronald Brent's much more advanced American spacecraft.Another picture showing about as complete a shot of the 'whole' ship as we can see.
A collage of pictures showing the ship close up, as much as was shown. The cockpit was never shown in detail, but looks similar to that of the X-15 rocket plane.
As the astronauts approach the wreckage, they meet the pilot of the US spacecraft, NASA astronaut Colonel Ronald Brent. Brent crashed decades ago and lived with Nova and her people for a time. There was a bad sand storm and he was separated from Nova and her people, but not before he had given her his dogtags. Now, years later, he is surprised to see Nova, but even more so to meet Bill, Judy and Jeff because he left Earth nearly a hundred years after they did.
Brent stands on a dune, looking down on the travelers. Nova recognizes him instantly.
Nova introduces Brent to Bill, Judy and Jeff.
Colonel Ronald Brent, United States astronaut from the late 21st century.
NASA astronaut Colonel Ronald Brent who has survived for decades in the wilderness, alone. Brent left Earth almost 100 years after Hudson, Franklin, and Allen did, but he arrived several decades before they did on the future Earth. As he says, in the 100 years since the "Venturer" left Earth, America has made quite a lot of advancements in rockets and fuel. That much is evident. It is a large ship for a single person to handle implying that NASA must have relied heavily on automation for a good part of the flight chores. What Colonel Brent's mission originally was is never disclosed.
The "other" Brent and the "other" Nova. Brent knew Nova when she was just a little girl.
The "other" Nova, again.
dogtags given to Nova when she was a little girl.
You can make out the following information:
Brent, Ronald NASA
Date of Birth ?27678
What is interesting is the round tag at the back may or may not be Brent's. The characters on the third tag at the back look like Kanji but they could also be Nova's people's writing, if they have writing. Most members of the armed forces and USAF / astronauts carry two dog tags. The third tag and what it says remains a mystery.
What this proves, of course, is that NASA was still around when Ronald Brent left Earth.
Brent answers questions about his flight and how he arrived in the future before joining our three astronauts in their adventure. The only thing of value he has left to salvage from his spacecraft is a "self destruct module." It's a little funny that all of these spacecraft carry powerful bombs on board designed to blow them to pieces let alone that the bombs can be so easily removed and used for other purposes, like blowing up other things.
One explanation for this was taken from the novel of the TV cartoon series which stated that an American spacecraft went down in a communist country and the communists stole quite a lot of technology before returning the crew and salvage parts to the Americans. Bill Hudson thinks about the self destruct on the "Venturer" designed to keep the American spacecraft from falling into communist hands. It was Cold War paranoia at its finest.
A very special thanks goes out to Neil Moxham for his graphic work in tidying up Brent's ship from a collection of jagged stills and also for most of these pictures which have now replaced my older, poorer images. Good job, sir! -ANSANAUT
Questions or comments?