The Slingshot crews were in charge of shooting gigantic ice rocks, and hydrogen encased in water ice toward the Earth, from various points in the outer solar system. Their aim was so precise, that the gigantic chunks would end up orbiting the earth, waiting to be picked up by the ice ships. This provided plenty of fuel and water for The Station at very inexpensive prices.

Slingshot crews were serving multiple functions, and they were assisted by a myriad of intelligent machines. The sling shots were constructed by binding together very long nanotubes, by the millions, into a mile-long “rubber band”. Computers and mechanical devices to control the gigantic cable are intertwined into the fibers, so that the rubber bands do not need to be attached to anything and is a self-contained system.

The gigantic cable slingshot machines are autonomous robots that know how to sling any rock, by utilizing their powerful hydrogen thrusters, so that it will reach the Earth with little likelihood of smashing to bits before it ever reaches there.  Jon’s slingshot crew would decide which comet or astroid field would be next and what strategy to deploy. Meanwhile, they researched and mined other precious material that they would eventually return with to Earth.

The ice rocks were constructed by special machines that attached themselves to comets and asteroids. The machines were designed to detect water, hydrogen and other valuable resources, extract the material, and dispense of it in the form of gigantic ice-rocks. Some of the material was saved for local use. Machines were designed with self-repair in mind.

Jon’s crew consisted of 17 humans, 23 very intelligent androids, and over 100 special-purpose robots. The craft reached its destination by traveling from Earth, accelerating at one-G from low-Earth orbit where the ship was constructed. At slightly more than 1/2 way to its current destination, the craft began to decelerate down at the same, one-G, rate. Ceiling and floor would exchange places, while the crew momentarily floated from one to the other. A computer program ensured that all went as smoothly as possible for the humans.

The ship utilized solar and fusion power to generated the large amounts of energy required to fuel its 19 ultra-modern, ultra-efficient ion rocket engines. These new ion engines were very light, because they were made atom-by-atom, and molecule-by-molecule from the latest, strongest, lightest composite nano-materials.

The engine’s magnets were the most powerful, yet the lightest ever built. Ion engines performance had improved several hundreds of times since their initial introduction in the late 20th century.

In addition to the ion engine’s, Jon’s Solar System-class ship was equipped with a solar sail. The solar sail, along with whipping around the giant planets, was another way to accelerate the ship beyond the one-G rate for relatively short periods of time. The more power generated from external energy sources, the better!

Most of the material to be brought back to Earth, along with a good chunk of a percentage of the ice and hydrogen, would be deployed for the next-generation, outer-space class ships. These new ships will dwarf Jon’s ship in both size and capabilities. Some of the ships were designed to reach prolonged acceleration rates of up to five-G and would be used to send machines only.

These next-generation machines will eventually explore the nearby stars, well in advance of the arrival of the humans in their one-G ships. All of the ships will be built in Earth’s orbit, several thousand miles from The Station, and communications satellites.

Jon and his crew were all candidates for one of the human star ships. By the time the first ships were to be completed and ready for launch, slingshot crews like Jon’s would no longer be needed, because the systems are expected to become completely autonomous within the next five years – well ahead of the launch dates.

It was a good thing that Jon and his crew all had had special DNA upgrades that would give them another few hundred years of life in high-radiation space. It was a good thing that the new materials were expected to block a good deal more of that radiation, although there was still no possible way of blocking all of it. In addition, Jon and his crew had bodies that were well-trained in fairly long three-G acceleration spurts, giving them a tremendous advantage over the vast majority of human crews.

Jon’s girlfriend remained on the Earth, but Jon had a replicant android with him instead. Mary could communicate with Jon through the android/cyber-bot interface. The android’s skin was cloned from a few dozen of Mary’s own skin stem cells. The android’s brain was initialized with Mary’s brain patterns, so that it contained all of Mary’s memories and life experiences. Mary had a Jon-bot of her own, back at home in New Los Angeles. The bot’s neural networks would update their patterns everytime that their host interfaced with them.

The unmanned and manned ships will reach speeds of over 600 million miles-per-hour, but some of the unmanned ships will achieve 97% of light speed, before decelerating to begin preparations for the humans and cyborgs.

The machines will construct a livable space station ahead of the people who will inhabit it. This “first” station will be built from materials mined from our own solar system on a remote, roaming planetoid, recently discovered just 3 light-years away from our home planet Earth. The rock is about 2000 kilometers in diameter, full of useful, raw materials, and traveling away from our system. It will be converted into a giant, roaming space station for humans and machines to utilize as a stepping-stone to the stars.

By the time Jon’s crew reaches the planetoid, it will already have been converted into a gigantic, livable, 1G space station. They will rest and work at the station for about two months before heading out again.

At each milestone on their journey, they are guaranteed living quarters, built by the machines that travel well ahead of them, along the way. New fuel supplies await them. They will first utilize hydrogen fuel upon leaving each milestone, to first kick into high-gear, before switching to ion drive. The straight hydrogen pulse allows them to achieve around 3G for about 5 straight hours, a force well within their enhanced bodies’ limits.

Each station is moving about twice the speed of the previous “station”, so that not as much energy is wasted, just to stop, and rest. Each station has velocity, but little acceleration.

The machines know what they are doing. They build while orbiting around rock planets, asteroids, or planetoids, whenever they can. They constantly grab up water, hydrogen, and many other elements to generate whatever they need, and to create a life support system. Replicated machines simply continue on to the next construction sight. Humans will tend to colonize these spots, as some of the ships will stop permanently, splitting off from the convoy.

Some of the other stations will be moving along at fairly high speeds (.1 to .5 of the speed of light), but not accelerating, so they must spin to achieve 1G for the humans. The space stations will act a good deal like space ships, in a giant orbit around our sun and half a dozen other neighboring stars, only they will not utilize fuel for thrust, except to maneuver. The machines will construct them while traveling away from the earth at high speeds, but no longer accelerating, or decelerating.

Newer technologies will allow for faster and much improved flight. Neutrinos now rush out of the back of the ion, and plasma hybrid drives. The newer machines will eventually catch up and take over construction from the outdated machines of decades and centuries ago Earth time. Satellites and data now whiz along together around the sun and it’s neighbors, in all directions. Electro-magnetic waves of all possible frequencies make up the spokes. Data can take years, but there is a pipeline of continuous data updates throughout the system. Eventually, quantum data helps somewhat, but progress was disappointing in that area.

Old technology, and some humans will eventually return to our system and may be studied or upgraded. More than thousand years will have passed on Earth, and Jon will have become pure machine by then.

In the beginning, technology flow will mostly be from Earth to the space pioneers. Technology and information exchanges will take place more and more bi-directionally, as the populations move off the home planet Earth. Over time, the Earth will gain as much or more knowledge from it’s colonies.

Mars will have become another biosphere and filled with people, should the machine, Jon ever decide to return.

At each stage, the machines and then the cyborgs, like Jon, will lead the way and pave the way for the other humans. Eventually, they will harness the power of entire stars and perhaps learn to warp space.

Eventually, many of the humans and machines merge so that the humans may survive on fewer recourses, and withstand longer, and faster, and more dangerous journeys.

It was beginning to look a lot like the humans and their machines might beat extinction for a little while longer now. There would be warp drive soon! The engine required the power of a couple dozen stars.

The machine, Jon, wanted to go! Now machines could build ships as gigantic spheres. Human bodies could be produced and live on the inside. Jon would be one of them! They would live and re-live their previous lives, along with many of the “what ifs?” at will, partially in a virtual world and partially in reality.  It was as if Jon had become his own, personal god!

Meanwhile, back on Earth, there were still fairly ordinary humans, living ordinary lives of only 120 years, or so.  As ordinary humans, these people were highly intelligent, but they were largely highly dependent upon the machines and more advanced humans for their survival.  They would all be considered wealthy, by early 21st century standards, but they lived as primatives. compared to the rest of the world.

“At least they were happy”, Jon thought.  Jon considered himself to be quite happy and he enjoyed the entertainment of ordinary humans from time-to-time.  Many wrote interesting music and poetry.  Others were tremendous dancers, painters, other types of artists, actors, and comedians.  Some tried to be scientists, but they simply could not keep up with the current state-of-the-art science and technology, unless they installed digital interfaces and added comlementary processors to their brains. Some worked on the police force to assist with human and human/cyborg legal disputes.

Jon wondered what had happened to Mary.  “Oh!”, he thought, as the data automatically flowed into his consciousness.  She had remained in New Los Angeles, until about three years ago, when she had died on a routine, commercial flight to the Earth’s moon base.  Now, the data was flowing around the Earth and the neighboring stars at near light speed, in all directions.  The data was transmitted like spokes inside of a gigantic sphere of near-light-speed satellites racing around the systems at near-light-speed.  Some data could be years old, and other data only hours or minutes.  The quality and amount of data coming from the colonies was on the verge of passing that of the Earth – at least this far out in space.

Jon’s human replica began to cry, as the Mary android sat there, stuck in less-and-less accurate simulation.  Jon reached over, and shut her off.

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That Sentence is Gold
Version: 1.0 alpha

Author: David Saxton Ullery

What? You cannot tell the difference between a sentence and gold?

Sentences are sometimes used as units of mememic exchange. Gold is sometimes used as a standard for monetary exchange.

Gold (Au) is an element with atomic number of 79 (a non-twin prime number!), with a melting point of 1064.18 °C.

Although some groups of sentences may lead to a heated debate, a sentence, has no mass and therefore travels at the speed of C. This is paradoxical, because sentences are known to change their form over time, and only particles with mass can do that (that is why we know neutrinos have mass). Therefore, a sentence has negative mass, travels faster than light and travels back in time. Evidence supports this, because one can find many sentences trapped in books written hundreds or even thousands of years ago.

Like neutrinos, sentences may travel through your head without notice. They both have weak interaction with ordinary matter. Sometimes sentences allegedly interact with gray matter, but evidence for this is purely subjective and anecdotal. Gray matter is extremely rare is not to be confused with dark matter – a completely different matter believed to account for 25% of the mass of the Universe – a very big place. Gray matter is known to distort information, leading to information loss over time.

For more information and other non-related massless sentences, please visit:

https://upgrade01a.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/telepathy-verses-cell-phones/

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The Station

By David Saxton Ullery

for: Upgrade 01A

Note: Some of the text is taken from the story “Upgrade 01A” (inside square brackets) and the rest is meant to expand upon “The Station” in greater detail.  The reader can expect this post to expand over time, including adding links to words within this post that are meant to add additional information.  In fact, virtually every post or page on this site is somehow related directly or indirectly to the central story: “Upgrade 01A”

[Thanks to polar meltdown, the world’s oceans had supplied all of the water needed to make the Station both necessary and possible! Large amounts of water were required for the huge space station’s completion. The station was ideally located for both military and civilian needs, but it still required vast quantities of water to make it livable for most humans. Meanwhile, the space station was largely populated by androids and certain cyborgs. Other cyborgs and humans were for the most part confined to certain areas already protected, but they could venture out to other sectors if they were willing to wear rather heavy coveralls, and a heavy-duty space helmet. Even with all the protection, visits to unprotected areas were limited to a maximum of five hours. Still, the current status was looking pretty good, already 13.31% of the Station was completed with virtually zero cosmic ray bombardment.]

The Station was essentially several loosely integrated space station discs (19) contained within a gigantic nearly spherical protective skin, or outer shell. The outer shell was capable of operating as an independent space station on its own… One huge disc was in the center, spanning nearly the entire diameter of the skin, yet able to function independently of the outer shell, as were the nine progressively smaller discs below and above. Each disc was modular with separate layers or floors, with gaps between each floor, but they were connected …

The entire, nearly spherical station was huge, with a diameter of over 41 kilometers across, so there was still plenty of room for the small population to roam within the completed upper and lower sectors, in spite of the its extremely thick, partially transparent and partially translucent outer walls. The living areas were multi-layered, and multi-floored discs and rotated deep within the protected outer structure, with the successively smaller upper layers moving synchronously with the central layers, providing constant artificial gravity on nearly every disc and every floor within the layer.

The center disc was by far the widest (forty one kilometers), with the outer-most floor being the by far the largest with a very high “ceiling”, just over three kilometers high. It was far from being completed. Huge virtual windows within this level (and others) provided extremely high-resolution views of space from outside, with an appropriate amount of redirected and pleasantly filtered sunlight, which provided an artificial day. A huge “outdoor” park complete with a small lake, and stream was planned for construction at this level, with the project to begin in a little over three years. Some day, hopefully within the next several years, the lake would be full of fish, ducks and paddleboats.

The upper two layers did not rotate with the rest of the station, and in spite of their relatively small size, still provided plenty of room for several zero-gravity laboratories, special manufacturing factories, and even a sizable recreation area where humans could literally fly about. Still another layer was capable of varying rotation speeds and was used to “grow” and self-assemble many useful products – some for export back to Earth.

Very large spaceports were located at the north and south poles of The Station. An opening at both poles could be sealed with a gigantic circular, inward sliding door, but the huge kilometer-wide openings were normally left partially open, leaving plenty of room for military (south pole port), industrial freighter, commercial (north pole port) space craft, and the tiny “pleasure crafts” – like Jacobal’s space bike to come and go.

Huge zero gravity elevators provided transportation of goods, with smaller units for people, and both located at the central, non-rotating hub. Each floor faced outward, toward space, so people’s heads were always facing the center of the disc while they were standing or sitting. In addition to all of the elevators, small, automated vehicles provided highly efficient, zero-gravity transportation between and around the relatively small gaps between each disc, thus providing swift movement between any of the several discs, the non-rotating hub, and access to the outer “skin” of the station. Several large and small elevators connected each successive floor within a single layer.

[Fortunately, wetware had largely solved the bothersome cosmic ray problem, but not completely. The Station still needed several layers of various materials separating layers of water: purified water, saline water, and even natural ocean water (complete with marine life). The materials were the new super ultralight, ultra-strong, meta-metallic nano-hybrid transparent and translucent composites. Each layer was extremely thick and blocked a significant percentage of the harmful cosmic rays, but the water was still required to complete the job as well as to supply the huge space station with drinking water, protein (from fish), fuel production, waste management, and so on.]

© All rights reserved, with the exceptions given on the home page. In short, feel free to use this material in any public URL with “.com”, or “.edu” domains for non-profit purposes. Please link back to whatever you reference.