PART 3- OPENING THE
Farro walks quickly to the strange ship to investigate. Curiosity getting the better of him.
A good human / ship size comparison from a bird's eye view. This ship is much smaller than either Taylor's or Skipper's / Brent's ships are. However, it appears to be a match to the ship that Cornelius, Zira, and Milo travel in.
Here we see what could be control / roll jets and attitude control thrusters recessed into 'pits' in the hull. You'll notice that this ship, like the one which returns in EFTPOTA, has no rear hatch or bulkhead. Taylor's ship had a rear hatch just past the hibernation compartments. This ship looks like it may have been attached to something else, but how the astronauts moved from one part of their ship (the ATSOL drive section) and the command part is anybody's guess...
The fact that Farro is
standing this close to a spacecraft which just made reentry and slid out in soil shows
that the spacecraft either bleeds thermal residual heat very quickly or it used a
controlled landing. The landing of this vessel was preceded by a hurricane force
wind which bent trees and blew leaves and debris around to the point that poor Farrow had
to cover his face with his arms and was almost blown out of the tree he was sitting
in! Here is the wav file (450k). This time it is fairly obvious that this
Icarus lands in a controlled manner using some form of gravity field generator. You
will notice the absence of any type of rocket sounds, only a slowly rising undulating
'spacey' type wail before the landing and slide out of the spacecraft.
To download the file, right click on the link below and select "SAVE AS". File: virdonarrives.wav
The heat and steam from the slide out should be roasting Farrow, but it isn't, which means that this ship made reentry using a very controlled method that kept its speed in the atmosphere below that of heated air friction.
Farrow touches the cold skin
of the spacecraft. It has been at rest for all of one minute.
Much too short a time for the skin to cool from reentry temperatures to be cold enough to touch with bare skin.
Four fingers laying on the edge of the main wing spar. Notice the deformation to the leading edge to the right, very jagged. You will notice other deformations in the fuselage / skin which could start a topic for discussion all on their own.
Two hands, palms down. This ship isn't even warm.
Strange. What is this thing?!
Huh?! What is this? It wasn't there a minute ago! It appeared magically! Let's take a closer look...
Could this hidden panel, with a single blinking button recessed into it, open up this strange spaceship? And why does Virdon's ship have this mysterious 'rescue' button when the ship in EFTPOTA did not and the frog men had to force the hatch open. Maybe if the crew is incapacitated, unlike the crew in EFTPOTA, the onboard computer activates this panel after touchdown so that spacecraft recovery crews can gain access to the crew and the interior.
Farrow presses the brightly lit button and ...
A low whine is heard, coming from the top of the spacecraft...
The spacecraft hatch opens fully! Farrow has wisely stepped back several paces during this process. Notice further evidence of deformation along the leading edge of the wing spar. Did the spacecraft smash through some trees before it came to rest? If it did, it must have been protected by some type of impact field or inertial dampening system to avoid being broken apart and spread over a large area. Perhaps a side effect / intentional design capability of the artificial gravity landing system? Also notice that there was no atmosphere processor this time, no periscope to check the air before the hatch was opened, and you will also notice that this vessel does NOT have a forward emergency escape hatch like Taylor's ship did. Maybe the computer was still online, and had already read the atmosphere... Another topic for debate, perhaps.
What Farrow discovers is in the next section.
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