Endeavour loading supplies during yesterday afternoon’s snowstorm.
Endeavour Heading for Venus and Outer Planets, Flies from Young's Field Tonight
By Kent Clarkson
HMSS Endeavour, one of the British spaceships assigned to the League of Nations Patrol, will lift from Young's Field, Long Island, at 3.35 A.M. tomorrow, bound for Erotia, Venus.
The flight is the first leg of a multi-planet expedition, whose aims include scientific research, tests on methods of automating spaceship power and control systems, piracy suppression, etc. The launch should be visible from most parts of the New York Metropolitan area and parts of New Jersey.
The captain of the ship, Commander Hubert Palmer, stated that the night launch was essential to conserve fuel: 'We're heavily loaded, and Venus isn't currently in the most advantageous position for a direct flight. However, by travelling there now we'll save considerably on fuel and supplies in later stages.'
Lieutenant Hiram Jones, a native of the city and Endeavour's chief engineer, said ‘We're looking forward to takeoff, and to getting to know each other en route. I've already briefly met the scientific team and Professor Morton, the guy who's working on the control systems, and I'm expecting this to be a memorable flight.'
Two key crew positions will be taken by civilian scientists; Hamilton 'Ham' Hammond, the noted explorer and journalist, will be co-pilot, and is covering the flight for National Geographic; his wife, botanist Patricia Hammond (nee Burlingame), famed as the first woman born on Venus and as the discoverer of many new species on Venus and Uranus, will be the expedition's science officer and physician. Both said that they were looking forward to the flight, and to returning to Venus, where they first met.
Herr Otto Gerber, the League attorney and prosecutor who recently secured the conviction of the space pirate Alfredo Garcia, is accompanying the mission as supernumerary, and for 'talks with local law enforcement organizations on subjects of mutual interest,' widely believed to be improved co-operation between the League and other law-enforcement agencies, extradition treaties, etc.
In a related story, the Space Pilot's Association and the Union of Spaceship Engineers have again expressed concern about attempts to develop automated control systems. Donald Corleone, representing the SPA/USE Local 32, said 'This is the sort of crazy stunt that management keeps pulling. Ships are already flying undermanned; there should be more pilots and engineers, not less. In the last five years three crashes have been caused by pilot exhaustion, if they try to put [deleted] machines in the cockpit it'll just get worst. The League must be nuts to have anything to do with it, they should know better.'
Interviewed at his hotel, Professor Milton Morton, the engineer who is developing the new control systems, stated 'The purpose of these experiments is to help pilots and engineers, not replace them. There will still be a role for them, especially during takeoffs and landings. The aim of this project is to relieve them of some of the pressure that drives so many to early retirement.'
The New York Spaceport Authority has stated that ships will not be allowed to takeoff and land under automatic control until the system is proven to be '100% reliable.'
The names I'm dubious about
Kent Clarkson, the reporter who wrote the story - speaks for itself.
Donald Corleone, union rep - Don Corleone?
Alfredo Garcia - as in Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
Anyone got any good suggestions for replacements?