Outside Orbit

Outside Orbit is the second in the Outside Book Series.

By Dale Johnson, Johnson Consulting    
Published February 2013

Electronic ISBN: 978-1-300-69350-5
Paper ISBN: 978-1-300-70670-0






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The Journey from Lunar to Enceladus is a long one and many things can happen in open space.  Join our pioneers cross our solar system to their new moon.  Landing on their moon will be the end of a long journey for 2500 humans on 21 ships.

They will meet obstacles; they will laugh during success and cry during death.  This is what life will be like in the future. 

Would you give your life to Enceladus?


No matter how many times you walk into a dome, Anton still gets a shock of amazement.  The Dome takes floors 2 thru 5 of the ship itself and is 1100 meters square.  If you look up you will see the dome itself rising another 2 stories above the top of the ship.  At the moment the dome is covered by black tiles.  Two weeks ago the mission had passed the point where the sun was strong enough to help the plants grow versus the loss of heat leaving the open dome.  At that point the dome is automatically covered with the night-time black panels and the internal sun-lamps are turned on each day.  They will remain closed until the mission lands, the sun mirrors are attached to the Main dome and the sun’s light becomes enough to grow plants again.

On the ground floor of the dome are the ground growing crops, mostly trees of fruits and some underground vegetables that don’t like growing in water.  This dome has orange trees and various types of nuts growing on the ground.   Each floor in the air is a full set of hydroponic growing systems.  The hydroponic floor systems cover the whole of the dome and can be walked on with the connecting ladder system.  Each of these floors contains thousands of plant systems.  Each system being  made of a single tall water tower rising eight feet high.  There are between one and six plants growing on top of these towers.  The plant will grow downwards to the bottom of the plant system and be manicured so that the food produced is correctly held up or let hang, depending on the plant type. 

Above each of the hydroponic floors is a full set of lights set to turn on and off each day to produce a daily light cycle.  When it is night time the lights change from sun-light to yellow-light to allow workers to work in the dome without effecting the sun cycle of the crops.  For each type of crop the actual sun-light is computer controlled to make the plant it’s happiest.  Some plants use more red light than others, while some use more blue light than others.   The computers maintain the whole balance.

Three of these hydroponic floors sit on top of each other and the ground floor on the dome.  The top floor having the tallest crops for that dome.  The floor above the ground flor in this dome holds different types of tomatoes.  Floor three grows squash, and floor four is totally comprised of beans.  All of the plants in this dome are younger than those on the other dome ship and are just about to bloom and fruit.  Encel18 and Encel19 have exact duplicate food in each dome, but are synchronized to pick food at different times.  Encel19 is picking and delivering food now from these four domes, while here on Encel18 these domes are about four weeks away from producing their first delivery to the fleet.

Each ship has sixteen domes, in groups of four, holding close to half a million plants.  The dome ships feed close to 2500 people every day.  Everything is automated so it can be done with thirty-two famers on each ship along with the Master Farmer.  The day time is when the farmers farm the plants, the night time is when the bots take control.  One can’t even go into the dome when the automated machines are picking the crops for delivery.  The sounds and speed of the machines can easily confuse and hurt even the most experienced farmer. 

The fleet can survive with just one food ship, but it truly lives with two.


Outside Orbit

More Books by Dale Johnson



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- AfterWorld Diaries: Book 1
AfterWorld Diaries: Book 2