Freefall 1881 - 1890
Freefall 1881

Resupplying satellites

Ten minutes until next satellite.
That's our last delivery. Did you want to clean up here or pilot the ship with Helix?
That's not a fair question.
Not fair? I'm giving you the choice of what you want to do.
Your choices didn't include me going back to bed and you doing both jobs.
My choices also didn't include which nostril you want a fire extinguisher poked in, so I believe it would be best if we limited our options to the first two.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1882

Resupplying satellites

Halon 1211. Also known as… Bromochloro-difluoromethane.
Are you going to use that?
I don't think so, Helix. I've learned the hard way that you never play with anything that has a name over six syllables long.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1883

Resupplying satellites

Florence was showing me how to fight fires. Has she been teaching you anything?
She's been reading me stories.
“Cinderella.” “The frog prince.” “Jack and the beanstalk”.
Fairy tales! I've been collecting human stories myself. “ Enron and the mountain of stolen gold”, “Charlie and the Ponzi scheme”, and “James Reavis, the man who stole Arizona”.
Those aren't fairy tales.
Maybe not here, but if I ever make it home, I'm going to be the most successful children's author of all time!

Color by George Peterson

Enron, Charles Ponzi, James Reavis
The man who discovered Sam's home planet should have IMMEDIATELY closed it back down. (Durable)
Yeah, and drink something stronger (Robot Spike)
All you want is genocide. And the fact that it is a closed enclave that will not go into space for a very long time and may exhibit cultural and evolutionary features that people won't see anywhere else, it doesn't matter.

Freefall 1884

Resupplying satellites

Time to assert my captaincy! Let's see. I.F.F. transponder. That looks harmless enough. I.F.F. off!
Satellite anti-meteor systems have gone active. All hands stand by for sudden kinetic death.
I.F.F. back on.
Florence's lessons rarely involve life threatening danger.
That's why learning at my side is so much more memorable.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1885

Resupplying satellites

I.F.F. transponder has been restored.
Sigh. What is it going to take to keep Sam from playing with the controls?
Solution. We are being paid to deliver reaction mass to satellites. This reaction mass consists of water.
Captain Sam is over seventy percent water.
Don't go there.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1886

Resupplying satellites

You turned the I.F.F. transponder off and on.
Ship, nobody likes a tattletale.
We'll be docking soon. Afterwards, we'll go over your control station. It's important that you know what everything does.
What? You already spent the whole morning showing me fire fighting!
Are you trying to make my brain explode?
If that is our goal, might I suggest refocusing the forward microwave radar array?

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1887

Resupplying satellites

Umbilical extended. On target. Connected. Umbilical is locked. Repeat. Umbilical is locked.
Satellite valves are open. I've got positive indication of flow. We're pumping.
I knew I could catch Sam's interest if I changed the totalizer to read out in money instead of liters.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1888

Resupplying satellites

We're done. Satellite valves are shut. Now bleed the hose pressure off into our tanks. We want a clean disconnect.
Why? So we don't pollute our pristine vacuum?
Exactly. There's no breeze up here, nothing to move debris away. If you're not careful, you end up with a cloud of muck around your satellite.
In space docks, where there's painting, lubricants, welding and grinding, it gets to be a real problem. In some docks, your time isn't limited by oxygen but by how long your suit visor remains clean enough to see out of.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1889

Resupplying satellites

Hey, if our tanks are almost empty, how can we pump anything?
Our tanks are shaped like an airplane's wing. Surface tension wicks the water to the pump.
Sam! You asked without Florence prompting you! You're learning on your own!
I'm based on a red wolf. I do have some coyote blood running through my veins.

Color by George Peterson

An example of how this principle works:

Freefall 1890

Resupplying satellites

Twenty minutes until de-orbit thrust.
Did you want to go over your control station now?
Can that wait until we're on the ground?
Sure. Did you want to use this time to check the entry vectors?
Come on, Helix! We have twenty minutes to bounce off the walls before gravity once again turns against us!

Color by George Peterson

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