Tuesday, 2 May 2017


Yes, because in 1963, they saw "Lolita" and thought THIS IS THE GUY WE NEED..!!

This is the guy for The Job!!

Well, the chronology in the song presents it as "We gotta get the President out of the way and hire Stanley Kubrick".

You know - the Spartacus guy...!

All of which Kubrick/Apollo nonsense is, for me, a MASSIVE distraction from the REAL question :

 Why is Stanley so afraid of Saturn...?

The God who ate all his own children and castrated his own father with a scythe in his sleep to steal his power and his throne -

Well - Wouldn't You Be...?


 15 - Discovery

 The ship was still only thirty days from Earth, yet David Bowman sometimes found it hard to believe that be had ever known any other existence than the closed little world of Discovery. All his years of training, all his earlier missions to the Moon and Mars, seemed to belong to another man, in another life.

 Frank Poole admitted to the same feelings, and had sometimes jokingly regretted that the nearest psychiatrist was the better part of a hundred million miles away. But this sense of isolation and estrangement was easy enough to understand, and certainly indicated no abnormality.

 In the fifty years since men had ventured into space, there had never been a mission quite like this.

 It had begun, five years ago, as Project Jupiter - the first manned round trip to the greatest of the planets. The ship was nearly ready for the two-year voyage when, somewhat abruptly, the mission profile had been changed.

 Discovery would still go to Jupiter; but she would not stop there. She would not even slacken speed as she raced through the far-ranging Jovian satellite system. On the contrary - she would use the gravitational field of the giant world us a sling to cast her even farther from the Sun.

 Like a comet, she would streak on across the outer reaches of the solar system to her ultimate goal, the ringed glory of Saturn. And she would never return.

 For Discovery, it would be a one-way trip - yet her crew had no intention of committing suicide. If all went  well, they would be back on Earth within seven years - five of which would pass like a flash in the dreamless sleep of hibernation, while they awaited rescue by the still unbuilt Discovery II.

 The word "rescue" was carefully avoided in all the Astronautics Agency's statements and documents; it implied some failure of planning, and the approved jargon was "re-acquisition." If anything went really wrong, there would certainly be no hope of rescue, almost a billion miles from Earth.

 It was a calculated risk, like all voyages into the unknown. But half a century of research had proved that artificially induced human hibernation was perfectly safe, and it had opened up new possibilities in space travel. Not until this mission, however, had they been exploited to the utmost.

 The three members of the survey team, who would not be needed until the ship entered her final orbit around Saturn, would sleep through the entire outward flight. Tons of food and other expendables would thus be saved; almost as important, the team would be fresh and alert, and not fatigued by the ten-month voyage, when they went into action.

 Discovery would enter a parking orbit around Saturn, becoming a new moon of the giant planet.

 She would swing back and forth along a two-million-mile ellipse that took her close to Saturn, and then across the orbits of all its major moons. They would have a hundred days in which to map and study a world with eighty times the area of Earth, and surrounded by a retinue of at least fifteen known satellites - one of them as large as the planet Mercury.

19 - Transit of Jupiter

 Even front twenty million miles away, Jupiter was already the most conspicuous object in the sky ahead. The planet was now a pale, salmon-hued disk, about half the size of the Moon as seen from Earth, with the dark, parallel bands of its cloud belts clearly visible.

 Shuttling back and forth in the equatorial plane were the brilliant stars of Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto - worlds that elsewhere would have counted as planets in their own right, but which here were merely satellites of a giant master.

Through the telescope, Jupiter was a glorious sight - a mottled, multicolored globe that seemed to fill the sky. It was impossible to grasp its real size; Bowman kept reminding himself that it was eleven times the diameter of Earth, but for a long time this was a statistic with no real meaning.

 Then, while he was briefing himself from the tapes in Hal's memory units, he found something that suddenly brought the appalling scale of the planet into focus. It was an illustration that showed the Earth's entire surface peeled off and then pegged, like the skin of an animal, on the disk of Jupiter. Against this background, all the continents and oceans of Earth appeared no larger than India on the terrestrial globe.

 When Bowman used the highest magnification of Discovery's telescopes, he appeared to be hanging above a slightly flattened globe, looking down upon a vista of racing clouds that had been smeared into bands by the giant world's swift rotation. Sometimes those bands congealed into wisps and knots and continent-sized masses of colored vapor; sometimes they were linked by transient bridges thousands of miles in length. Hidden beneath those clouds was enough material to outweigh all the other planets in the Solar System. And what else, Bowman wondered, was also hidden there?

 Over this shifting, turbulent roof of clouds, forever hiding the real surface of the planet, circular patterns of darkness sometimes glided. One of the inner moons was transiting the distant sun, its shadow marching beneath it over the restless Jovian cloudscape.

 There were other, and far smaller, moons even out here - twenty million miles from Jupiter.

 But they were only flying mountains, a few dozen miles in diameter, and the ship would pass nowhere near any of them. Every few minutes the radar transmitter would gather its strength and send out a silent thunderclap of power; no echoes of new satellites came pulsing back from the emptiness.

 What did come, with ever growing intensity, was the roar of Jupiter's own radio voice. In 1955, just before the dawn of the space age, astronomers had been astonished to find that Jupiter was blasting out millions of horsepower on the ten-meter band. It was merely raw noise, associated with haloes of charged particles circling the planet like the Van Allen belts of Earth, but on a far greater scale.

 Sometimes, during lonely hours on the control deck, Bowman would listen to this radiation. He would turn up the gain until the room filled with a crackling, hissing roar; out of this background, at irregular intervals, emerged brief whistles and peeps like the cries of demented birds. It was an eerie sound, for it had nothing to do with Man; it was as lonely and as meaningless as the murmur of waves on a beach, or the distant crash of thunder beyond the horizon.

 Even at her present speed of over a hundred thousand miles an hour, it would take Discovery almost two weeks to cross the orbits of all the Jovian satellites. More moons circled Jupiter than planets orbited the Sun; the Lunar Observatory was discovering new ones every year, and the tally had now reached thirty-six. The outermost - Jupiter XXVII - moved backwards in an unstable path nineteen million miles from its temporary master. It was the prize in a perpetual tug-of-war between Jupiter and the Sun, for the planet was constantly capturing short-lived moons from the asteroid belt, and losing them again after a few million years. Only the inner satellites were its permanent property; the Sun could never wrest them from its grasp.

 Now there was new prey for the clashing gravitation at fields, Discovery was accelerating toward Jupiter along a complex orbit computed months ago by the astronomers on Earth, and constantly checked by Hal. From time to time there would be minute, automatic nudges from the control jets, scarcely perceptible aboard the ship, as they made fine adjustments to the trajectory.

 Over the radio link with Earth, information was flowing back in a constant stream. They were now so far from home that, even traveling at the speed of light, their signals were taking fifty minutes for the journey. Though the whole world was looking over their shoulder, watching through their eyes and their instruments as Jupiter approached, it would be almost an hour before the news of their discoveries reached home.

The telescopic cameras were operating constantly as the ship cut across the orbit of the giant inner satellites - every one of them larger than the Moon, every one of them unknown territory.

 Three hours before transit, Discovery passed only twenty thousand miles from Europa, and all instruments were aimed at the approaching world, as it grew steadily in size, changed from globe to crescent, and swept swiftly sunward.

 Here were fourteen million square miles of land which, until this moment, had never been more than a pinhead in the mightiest telescope. They would race past it in minutes, and must make the most of the encounter, recording all the information they could. There would be months in which they could play it back at leisure.

 From a distance, Europa had seemed like a giant snowball, reflecting the light of the far-off sun with remarkable efficiency. Closer observations confirmed this; unlike the dusty Moon, Europa was a brilliant white, and much of its surface was covered with glittering hunks that looked like stranded icebergs. Almost certainly, these were formed from ammonia and water that Jupiter's gravitational field had somehow failed to capture.

 Only along the equator was bare rock visible; here was an incredibly jagged no-man's-land of canyons and jumbled boulders, forming a darker band that completely surrounded the little world.
 There were a few impact craters, but no sign of vulcanism; Europa had obviously never possessed any internal sources of heat. There was, as had long been known, a trace of atmosphere. When the dark edge of the satellite passed across a star, it dimmed briefly before the moment of eclipse.

 And in somr areas there was a hint of cloud - perhaps a mist of ammonia droplets, borne on tenuous methane winds.

 As swiftly as it had rushed out of the sky ahead, Europa dropped astern; and now Jupiter itself was only two hours away. Hal had checked and rechecked the ship's orbit with infinite care, and there was no need for further speed corrections until the moment of closest approach. Yet, even knowing this, it was a strain on the nerves to watch that giant globe ballooning minute by minute. It was difficult to believe that Discovery was not plunging directly into it, and that the planet's immense gravitational field was not dragging them down to destruction. Now was the time to drop the atmospheric probes - which, it was hoped, would survive long enough to send back some information from below the Jovian cloud deck. Two stubby, bomb-shaped capsules, enclosed in ablative heat-shields, were gently nudged into orbits which for the first few thousand miles deviated scarcely at all from that of Discovery.

 But they slowly drifted away; and now, at last, even the unaided eye could see what Hal had been asserting. The ship was in a near-grazing orbit, not a collision one; she would miss the atmosphere. True, the difference was only a few hundred miles - a mere nothing when one was dealing with a planet ninety thousand miles in diameter - but that was enough.

 Jupiter now filled the entire sky; it was so huge that neither mind nor eye could grasp it any longer, and both had abandoned the attempt. If it had not been for the extraordinary variety of color - the reds and pinks and yellows and salmons and even scarlets - of the atmosphere beneath them, Bowman could have believed that he was flying low over a cloudscape on Earth.

 And now, for the first time in all their journeying, they were about to lose the Sun. Pale and shrunken though it was, it had been Discovery's constant companion since her departure from Earth, five months ago. But now her orbit was diving into the shadow of Jupiter; she would soon pass over the night side of the planet.

 A thousand miles ahead, the band of twilight was hurtling toward them; behind, the Sun was sinking swiftly into the Jovian clouds, its rays spread out along the horizon like two flaming, down-turned horns, then contracted and died in a brief blaze of chromatic glory. The night had come.

 And yet - the great world below was not wholly dark. It was awash with phosphorescence, which grew brighter minute by minute as their eyes grew accustomed to the scene. Dim rivers of light were flowing from horizon to horizon, like the luminous wakes of ships on some tropical sea. Here and there they gathered into pools of liquid fire, trembling with vast, submarine disturbances welling up from the hidden heart of Jupiter. It was a sight so awe-inspiring that Poole and Bowman could have stared for hours; was this, they wondered, merely the result of chemical and electrical forces down there in that seething caldron - or was it the by-product of some fantastic form of life? 

These were questions which scientists might still be debating when the newborn century drew to its close.

 As they drove deeper and deeper into the Jovian night, the glow beneath them grew steadily brighter.
 Once Bowman had flown over northern Canada during the height of an auroral display; the snowcovered landscape had been as bleak and brilliant as this. And that arctic wilderness, he reminded himself, was more than a hundred degrees warmer than the regions over which they were hurtling now.

 "Earth signal is fading rapidly," announced Hal. "We are entering the first diffraction zone."

 They had expected this - indeed, it was one of the mission's objectives, as the absorption of radio waves would give valuable information about the Jovian atmosphere. But now that they had actually passed behind the planet, and it was cutting off communication with Earth, they felt a sudden overwhelming loneliness. The radio blackout would last only an hour; then they would emerge from Jupiter's eclipsing screen, and could resume contact with the human race. That hour, however, would be one of the longest of their lives.

 Despite their relative youth, Poole and Bowman were veterans of a dozen space voyages, but now they felt like novices. They were attempting something for the first lime; never before had any ship traveled at such speeds, or braved so intense a gravitational field. The slightest error in navigation at this critical point and Discovery would go speeding on toward the far limits of the Solar System, beyond any hope of rescue.
 The slow minutes dragged by. Jupiter was now a vertical wall of phosphorescence stretching to infinity above them - and the ship was climbing straight up its glowing face. Though they knew that they were moving far too swiftly for even Jupiter's gravity to capture them, it was hard to believe that Discovery had not become a satellite of this monstrous world.

 At last, far ahead, there was a blaze of light along the horizon. They were emerging from shadow, heading out into the Sun. And at almost the same moment Hal announced: "I am in radio contact with Earth. I am also happy to say that the perturbation maneuver has been successfully completed. Our time to Saturn is one hundred and sixty-seven days, five hours, eleven minutes."

 That was within a minute of the estimate; the fly-by had been carried out with impeccable precision. Like a ball on a cosmic pool table, Discovery had bounced off the moving gravitational field of Jupiter, and had gained momentum from the impact. Without using any fuel, she had increased her speed by several thousand miles an hour.

 Yet there was no violation of the laws of mechanics; Nature always balances her books, and Jupiter had lost exactly as much momentum as Discovery had gained. The planet had been slowed down - but as its mass was a sextillion times greater than the ship's, the change in its orbit was far too small to be detectable. The time had not yet come when Man could leave his mark upon the Solar System.

As the light grew swiftly around them, and the shrunken Sun lifted once more into the Jovian sky, Poole and Bowman reached out silently and shook each other's hands.

 Though they could hardly believe it, the first part of the mission was safely over.

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