[Tech] Anon's Space Program

May 12th, 2016
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  1. >Anon goes to space with ponies.
  4. Launch one:
  6. >You step out of your command pod and onto the uneven ground on which it had landed.
  7. >The re-entry was pretty rough, and you don't think that the ponies were expecting something so jarring.
  8. >Frankly, you're just happy that the parachute didn't fail.
  9. >"Ah-ah-ah-anon?"
  10. >Twilight tries to climb out of the pod but she just sort of flops down onto the ground.
  11. >"Is-is-is... oh Celestia.... Is... normal?"
  12. >Is she asking is that sort of landing is normal?
  13. >You sure hope so; because that's the question you're going to answer.
  14. "Just about, Twi. We WERE falling from several hundred kilometres above the ground and travelling fast enough to nearly RUIN my heat shielding."
  15. >You resist the urge to run your gloved hand fondly over the surface of the ablative heat shield.
  16. >You learned that lesson after your SECOND case of third-degree burns, thank you.
  17. >You turn around when you hear a retching sound and catch Rainbow Dash, head sticking out of the pod door, being violently ill all over the side of your re-entry craft.
  18. "Fucking hell, Rainbow! I told you: no eating before we left!"
  19. >>"I didn't think... hah... that it would be... so fast... urh... wh-aabluruURRAHAHHAA"
  21. "Don't go back in!"
  22. >FUCK
  23. >Do you have any idea how long it'll take to get the smell of pony-vomit out of the interior of your command pod?
  24. >This is the LAST time you take any pony other than the Princesses up with you to your space station.
  26. --------------
  28. Launch 2:
  30. >"Fair A-Anonymous, art thou sure that this is safe?"
  31. >Luna scuffs her hooves as best she can while being strapped onto the passenger (aka co-pilot) seat.
  32. "Absolutely not, but it's worth a shot."
  33. >"Wh-"
  35. >"N-no, wait! I want to get off!"
  36. "It's too late for that, Princess."
  37. >The entire rocket begins to shake as the solid rocket boosters strain against the launch towers.
  38. "It's always been too late."
  39. >You hammer button that activates the next stage of your rocket: liquid fuel and the release clamp that had been chaining you to Equestria.
  40. >Luna shrieks as the sudden increase in G's press the two of you against your seats and you go higher and higher.
  41. "Fifty metres per second...."
  42. >You throttle up to 75%, careful not to put too much strain on your craft.
  43. >Lord knows the solid fuel rockets will tear you apart if you go too fast in too thick an atmosphere.
  44. >Backwards re-entry is NOT something you want to deal with again.
  45. "One-hundred metres per second..."
  46. >"Anonymous! How did we let thou talketh us into this?!"
  47. >Honestly, you don't know.
  48. "I figured you'd be pretty hesitant to go back into space, really."
  49. >You turn your attention back to the spinning dials.
  50. "Two-hundred metres per second..."
  51. >Your boosters are nearly out of fuel. It's about time to jettison them.
  52. "Aaaannd.... Now! I hope nopony lives directly below us, Luna!"
  53. >"What."
  54. >You slam your fist into the "next stage" button and brace yourself for the sickening -jerk- as the spent boosters fall away.
  55. >"Anonymous! Thou hast doomed innocent ponies! Thou shalt be pun-"
  56. >You gently pat her muzzle to quiet her.
  57. "Look out the window, Princess."
  58. >She does so with a parting glare, and then visibly sags in relief when she spots parachutes gently guiding the boosters down to the ground.
  59. >Shit's expensive, yo.
  60. "Throttle up to 100%. We are currently at... Three-hundred-fifty metres per second at approximately forty-five kilometres above the surface of Equestria."
  61. >You gesture with one hand outside of the craft.
  62. "Drink it in, Princess."
  63. >Once you've reached 54,000 metres above the surface of the planet, you turn off your engines and decrease your thrusters down to 0%.
  64. "And now, we play the waiting game."
  65. >You turn to Luna, who is visibly shaking.
  66. "The most dangerous game of all."
  67. >"Wh-why did th-thou stop? Art we... art we in space yet?"
  68. >You know, for somepony who'd been banished to the moon, Luna knows remarkably little about how to space.
  69. "Not yet, Princess. Right now my computer is telling me that our apoapsis is just a hair over seventy-five kilometres."
  70. >You tap the computer screen to encourage Luna to look at the visualization that's being displayed.
  71. "But right now, we're going too slow to be in orbit. We'll reach seventy-five kilometres and then we'll begin to slow down. After that, we'll fall right back down to the ground going about eight-hundred metres per second."
  72. >Luna's gaze doesn't shift from the little animation of a pixel-ship rising up (following a bright-blue line) to 75km and then falling back down onto the surface of the planet.
  73. >The little explosion animation at the end probably wasn't the best idea for you to include.
  74. >Oh, dear, she's shaking again.
  75. "Which is why!"
  76. >Your shout causes Luna to jump and, more importantly, make her too busy glaring hatefully at you to focus on panicking.
  77. "Which is why once we hit our highest point, the apoapsis, we'll turn the thrusters back on and make ourselves go faster. Around two kilometres per second sounds about right."
  78. >You press a few more buttons and a new animation starts playing.
  79. >It's the same one as before, only the little pixel ship gets a two-frame animation of fire behind it where its thrusters are.
  80. >The blue line it's been following stretches out in both directions until its shape follows the curvature of the planet.
  81. "Being in orbit is falling, Princess. But the thing is, our goal is to fall SO FAST that our lateral movement is great enough that the path of our falling is the same shape as the planet we're orbiting."
  82. >"We... but if we goeth faster, wouldn't that mean that we shalt hit the ground harder?"
  83. "No, Luna. You need to start thinking [spoiler]with portals[/spoiler] in three dimensions.
  84. >The animation zooms out to show the pixel ship circling the planet over and over.
  85. "We'll be falling SO FAST that we'll miss the ground."
  86. >Luna blinks in confusion and looks back and forth between you and the screen.
  87. >You're pretty sure she gets it.
  88. "That's why it feels like we're floating right now, Princess. We're in free-fall, only we won't hit the ground unless we slow this craft down first."
  90. >Luna shrieks and clutches her chest with her strange horse-hoof.
  91. >Your ship is notifying you that you're approaching your highest point.
  92. "Get ready, Luna! I'm about to turn the thrusters back on."
  93. >You grip your control interface (aka two control sticks) and get ready to flip the switch to make this fucker fly.
  94. "This is going to be the point where I get us into a stable orbit."
  95. >"W-wait! We understand what thou art doing, but we still wish to go back down! We miss our country and our comfortable cushions!"
  96. "Luna, do you have any idea how expensive it is to produce rocket fuel?"
  97. >Sniffling, she turns to you.
  98. >"H-how exp-"
  99. "Too expensive!"
  100. >And with that you turn your engines back on and throttle up to 100%.
  101. >The increase in G's pushes you against your seat once more and you grin like a maniac.
  102. >Luna isn't taking it as well as you are.
  103. >She somehow manages to escape her seatbelt and decided that your lap was the place to be.
  104. >Luckily for you, her mane is ethereal and you can still see your controls even though you have a horse burying its muzzle in your neck.
  105. >"S-sister, save us! Send it to the moon!"
  106. "I can do that too, you know."
  107. >Terrified sobbing is your only response.
  108. >[spoiler]Celestia promised not to banish you on the condition that you take her up to space next time.[/spoiler]
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