Space Odyssey: Io and Europa

Here, the Pegasus sends a lander to Io, which turns out to be a disaster, and a robot probe to Europa.



The story is meant to continue at this point, with the Pegasus moving on to Saturn, where they send down a robot probe to Titan - which fails - and nestle the ship in the Cassini division (a manoeuvre which is nowadays considered impossible because even in the gap, there are too many ring particles to allow entry to the rings).

It is while exploring the rings of Saturn that tragedy strikes the crew of the ship. After the radiation storm on Mars and the passage of Pegasus around the Sun, on-board medic John Pearson discovers that he has been exposed to some solar radiation which got past the disk. He then receives the news that he has contracted terminal lymphoma from this exposure. Chemo is available, but he refuses to take it because the chemo would end up contaminating the water recycling system and poison the rest of the crew, so he forgoes treatment.

He lasts as far as Saturn, before succumbing to his disease. The Pegasus takes time off, breaking contact with Mission Control for 24 hours to mourn. Flight Commander Tom Kirby personally commits John Pearson's body to space, floating in the gaps between ring particles, forever a part of Saturn's ring system.

When the Pegasus resumes contact, the crew announces their intention to continue on to Pluto ... to be continued in the next post.

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"And if we have unearned luck, now to scape the serpent's tongue, we will make amends ere long. Else the Puck a liar call ..."

So speak.