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Kevin Kingswell
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Lower earth orbit above the Grand Republic

 

The Hermes One space rocket that had been launched from the Grand Republic continued its journey up from the surface, a blazing trail of fire roaring from it's engines as it climbed ever higher. The rocket was unmanned but contained both a wealth of information gathering devices and the core module of the Hera space station. As the rocket journeyed on wards the instruments and devices continued to collect, process and store information about the vehicle's flight whilst a simple automated system began the first sequences in detaching the Hera core module.

 

Shortly after this automated system had started up Hermes One reached the detach point and the automated system swiftly and precisely detached the core module away from the rocket. As the rocket continued on its curving journey the core module floated and spun away freely until a number of RCS pods kicked in and slowly brought the module's spin under control and eventually had the module settled into its assigned position above the Grand Republic.

 

On the ground command and control staff leaped up from their seats in celebration at the successful outcome of the first part of the space station mission. They quickly settled down as they still had to supervise the rest of Hermes One's journey. Meanwhile the management of the program were already planning the second stage of the space station mission which would involve sending the newly built Argos space shuttle into orbit loaded with a residential module for the Hera space station as well as the equipment for attaching it to the core module. On board would also be six astronauts of which two would stay on Hera for three months to run basic tests on the station itself.     

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Two days after the successful launch of Hermes One

 

Astronaut Raymond Mugabe carefully and slowly checked each part of his assigned pre-launch checklist as his fellow astronauts did the same inside the cockpit of the Argos. Though each one of them sounded perfectly calm and acted calm they were in fact quite nervous and understandably so, after all this was the very first manned space launch for the Grand Republic and many things could go horribly wrong. However, a short time later and all checks were complete and no problems had been discovered and so the crew readied themselves for the launch itself. 

 

The command and control staff more than satisfied with the results that were coming in and initiated the launch. As the countdown began each member of staff sat or stood watching their screens hoping and even praying that everything went well. As the timer hit zero the engines on the Argos' booster rockets engaged and with a mighty roar the shuttle began to lift upwards into the sky. The shuttle continued to climb and climb and everything read okay on the instruments.

 

It did not take long before the shuttle broke through the atmosphere and entered lower earth orbit upon where it released the now spent booster rockets and began to make the short journey to where the Hera core module floated ready to receive its next part.  

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