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Robert Alan Ryder
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Chapter 1: Space Station Poseidon

Controlled burn from the port thrusters rolled the shuttle slowly to the left. forward aft thrusters spun the vessel about to reverse its direction.

The airlock sealed beyond the receiving shuttle hangar bay, the external airlock closed sealed as soon as the nose of the shuttle passed the sensor entry threshold.

The docking procedure, it was under close observation of the station's monitor. Forward thrusters inched the shuttle safely into the bay landing pad.

The bay slowly triggered to decompression. Gravity gradually reinstated within the sealed dock. The safety lights flashed green.

Internal communications switched on to activation. Static slowly cleared. The voice of the monitor now came over the bay speakers.

".... Welcome to Space Station Poseidon..... Docking bay has re-pressurized, and is within safety life expectancy limitations....."

Still secured within their air-locked protective suits, the crew of the USS Alexander treaded slowly from the shuttle exit hatch. Cords extended from their belts, hooked to waiting rings of the walk's rails.

The interior station's gravity still adapting to the change of decompression.

Stepping past the scanning threshold of the interior airlock, the exit hatch sealed closed behind them.

The airlock chamber now slowly vented. The air purged of multiple forms of space roaming contaminants. Filters within the exhaust jet release systems separating bacteria from clean filtered atmosphere, as the recycled air is rapidly fed back into the chamber. The chamber safety lights flashed green.

Four medical technicians entered the chamber to aid the crew members with the removal of their bulky space suits.

For the crew of the Alexander, for many years to follow; space will now be their home, and this station will serve as launch point to the space boundaries that have not yet been explored.

The space program, it was near time of extinction in the mid thousands. Thanks to private funding and a renewed scientific interest in continuing exploration, the space program was now expanding.

Space Station Poseidon, not just a station where astronauts can spend their days living in space for scientific research and observation; it stands as the first station with an interstellar launch port for the christening of advances in new space ship technologies.

The space ships, delivered from one orbital station to the next. Carried to the stars by multiple shuttle launches. Each launch toting a payload of modular space ship construction materials and design schematics.

Orbiting the planet Neptune, this station, it was the last to be constructed.

The process, as with all good things; it took time, as scientific understanding and financing would allow. The space program already moving forward with other high dollar projects. The terraforming of MARS, it was now passed the first phase of atmosphere processing; for a continuation of the one thousand year project.

The future, it was now looking to be one that is to be of a renewed interest in interstellar space exploration.

Advances in the sciences, a special intermix atmospheric formula for space stations and for space ship technologies allowing for existence within the pressure sealed cabin spaces with a decent amount of gravity.

Men and women in space, they now can walk free of the restraints of their space suits. No more floating in zero-g gravity atmosphere conditions to conduct the normal routines of their daily lives. Although the walking is still slowed, and the atmospheric conditions allow for only a limited amount of time of breathable air within specified locations, progress has been finally attained.....

It is the year 2118..... The expedition to explore the boundaries of space that lie beyond The Milky Way, it begins in two day's time.....

For today, the crew of the USS Alexander and of the Space Station Poseidon; they will spend some time getting to know each other. Food packs will be shared, as will stories of family and of hopes and dreams.....

Tomorrow, for the most of the day; they will sleep. The tour of the Deep Space Exploration vessel Christopher Columbus, it will have to wait until the day after.....

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