Posts Tagged ‘Steven M. Caddy’

We’re blasting off from Earth today and heading into space with an extract from In Exchange, the debut novel by Steven M. Caddy. We hope that you enjoy it and if you’re curious about the world of Michael Morgan, you can find out more here!

In Exchange: An extract

A flash of light tore through a scene of ecstasy. Michael pictured himself standing on a stage with a nameless band, plucking the strings of a bass guitar as a throng of screaming, sweating teenage girls surged towards forwards. He grimaced as he fought to hold on to the image in his mind, but it was no good. He was awake. He opened his eyes to reveal his darkened surroundings.

Damned cosmic radiation, Michael thought. He often saw little dashes of light skipping across his vision, caused by high energy particles that raced through outer space. Unfortunately, this usually happened when he was having his best dreams.

Michael’s life was something of an experiment because he was the first person born in space. He often fantasised about what he called “Earth life”. Daedalus, the space station that he called home, was very unlike Earth. Everything floated about to start with, and obtaining supplies was time consuming and expensive.

Michael pushed himself over towards a control panel, and adjusted the lighting. He turned and reached out to open a window blind. The window revealed the Earth’s continents speeding by at a furious pace. He pressed his nose to the window and looked at the planet. “Southern Australia, with the sun setting,” he said out loud, his breath fogging the window.

“I thought I could hear you moving about.”

“Max!” Michael exclaimed with a start. “I didn’t hear you open the hatch.”

“You’re awake early,” Max said in a casual voice. “Much more awake now that you’ve tried to jump out of your skin like that.”

“Yeah, very funny. A cosmic ray got me.”

“Lucky you. We don’t get many of those in low Earth orbit.”

“They always wake me up when I get to a good bit.”

“You remember your dream?”

“Yeah, I was playing bass in a band. We were on stage, in front of lots of good-looking girls.”

“Wow. I don’t dream at all when I’m in orbit.”

“Really?”

Max nodded.

Michael thought he knew Max well. The astronauts lived together in extremely close quarters, and didn’t usually keep many secrets from each other. However, Max hadn’t talked about his sleep problems in this much detail before.

“I know you’ve been issued with sleeping tablets. Maybe they make you sleep extra deep or something,” Michael said.

“Maybe. Anyway, the sleep problems are why mission control won’t let me do the normal six month tours up here. Not without taking a break for a couple of weeks in the middle.”

“But isn’t that better?” Michael asked. “You get to bring more fresh food with you. You can also see your friends and family more often.”

Max didn’t say anything. Michael’s words apparently hit a nerve.

Max pulled himself next to Michael, and recovered from his reverie. “So what have you got scheduled for today?”

“I haven’t checked the schedule yet, but I guess it’ll be more physical exercises as usual.”

“Uh huh.”

“And it’s Friday, so there’ll be a conference call with the nerds at mission control.”

“You don’t like the mission scientists, do you?”

“Not while they treat me like some sort of orbiting lab rat,” Michael furrowed his brow, and turned to look at Max. “At least you seem to understand me a bit.”

“Chocolate nut bar for breakfast?”

Michael’s sour expression melted into a wide smile. “I keep telling you that you’re the best. Mind if I remove the taste of last night’s curry first?”

Max nodded, and grabbed a hand rail to pull himself back into the core of the space station.

Michael rushed to brush his teeth, and threw his tooth-brush into a locker. With elegance learnt from years of living in micro-gravity, he pushed himself away into a forward roll, and headed over to the hatch to follow Max.

“I’d close the hatch after you,” Max called down the space station.

“Following all the safety rules today?”

“No, it’s just a mess in there, and I’d rather commander Yvetts didn’t see it first thing this morning.”

“Her lab is just as bad.”

“Not really. She keeps her lab tidy.”

“But all those rabbit posters?”

“Okay. Yeah. I prefer to see rabbits in a stew, not on posters.”

Michael considered Max’s comment about rabbit stew for a moment.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had rabbit on the station menu,” Michael said.

“Maybe I should suggest having it added?”

Michael shrugged. Max reached into a locker, pulled out a silver wrapped package, and sent it tumbling down the space station towards Michael who gave Max a quizzical look.

“Chocolate nut bar,” Max confirmed.

“Any of those bananas left that Jameson smuggled aboard?”

“Nope. He could only hide four in his baggage.”

“Pity. It was one of your better ideas, asking him to bring them with him.”

“If Dr Kleets found out that you’d been taking on extra calories, he’d be mincing me for lunch.”

“Boring British bumbling-”

“He’s still your mission doctor. He’s not someone you should ignore.”

Michael ripped open the package, and shoved the nut bar into his mouth.

“When is everyone else due to wake up?” Michael asked, still chewing.

“Another hour. You woke up very early this morning.”

Michael looked at his watch. 06:07.

“I guess I can get started on my exercises, before everyone else gets up,” Michael said.

“I would. Get them in before your conference call.”

Max pulled himself over to a window to admire the view while nothing else was going on.

“Max, do you think it matters that I’ve been pushing myself a bit harder with my exercise schedule?” Michael asked after a few minutes.

“That sounds a bit unlike you,” Max raised one of his bushy eyebrows.

“Maybe, but I can’t see what harm it would do to build myself up a bit.”

“It’d help burn off the extra calories.”

Michael nodded, and pulled the exercise rack into place. He located the securing bolts, and strapped himself down for a quick thirty minute march.

“Hey, could you fetch my mp3 player from my lab? It’s hanging next to the sleeping rack,” Michael asked Max.

“I suppose. And then I could try to get a bit more sleep, since you’re on top of things.”

“Yeah, I’ve done this a few thousand times now. You don’t need to watch me.”

“Watching you exercise is like watching paint dry. Although sometimes the paint moves quicker.”

“Cheeky!”

Max pulled himself along the space station’s core towards lab four to recover Michael’s small, battered mp3 player.

“What are you listening to at the moment?” Max enquired as he clambered his way back to Michael.

“Dented Armour – the best bass lines I can find.”

Max had never heard of ‘Dented Armour’ and decided now wasn’t the time to find out. He left Michael to his exercises, and dragged himself off to his laboratory to try to get some sleep.

As Michael exercised, he listened to his music, which wasn’t quite loud enough to block out the snores emanating from laboratory four. From this, Michael could deduce that Commander Alexandra Yvetts was still asleep. He gazed along the familiar layout of the space station’s central core. From the galley area at the rear of Daedalus, he could see the hatches to all the laboratories, airlocks, and return or resupply modules docked to ports on the four faces of the core.

Two loud tones from the station’s intercom startled Michael. He flinched, and ripped his earphones out of his ears. Alarms always made Michael rather nervous.

Inexchange

Sign up to our mailing list to get the latest news, releases and offers from Mightier Then the Sword UK.

As you may have noticed, we have a number of locations that you can buy officially sanctioned merchandise from, however most of this isn’t directly available from us. But we do have an etsy store that you can purchase eBooks, paperback books and even posters directly from us.

Our current range of products includes:

RE 1 bestseller

The paperback and digital copies of Rising Empire: Part 1, Book 1 in The Chronicles of Celadmore

eBook £2.39
Paperback £11.98
Paperback, eBook, Poster & Postcards Gift Set £16.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

RE 2 bestseller

The paperback and digital copies of Rising Empire: Part 2, Book 2 in The Chronicles of Celadmore

eBook £2.39
Paperback £11.98
Paperback, eBook, Poster & Postcards Gift Set £16.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

SoD bestseller

The paperback and digital copies of Shroud of Darkness, Book 4 in The Chronicles of Celadmore

eBook £2.39
Paperback £12.98
Paperback, eBook, Poser & Postcards Gift Set £16.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

LoF bestseller

The paperback and digital copies of Lady of Fire, Book 5 in The Chronicles of Celadmore

eBook £2.39
Paperback £12.98
Paperback, eBook, Poster & Postcards Gift Set £16.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

EoD bestseller

The paperback and digital copies of End of Days, Book 6 in The Chronicles of Celadmore:

eBook £2.39

Paperback £11.98

Paperback, eBook, Poster & Postcards Gift Set £16.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

SoD Tril bestseller

Are you already enjoying the Rising Empire trilogy? Then you can get the next three books in the Chronicles of Celadmore as a single boxset:

eBook £6
Paperback £17.99

All prices include shipping for domestic and international customers.

Beginnings best seller

The life of a private investigator is not the glamorous one that the movies would have you believe – join Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren in Beginnings, Book 1

eBook £2.39
Paperback £11.98
Paperback, eBook & Poster Gift Set £14.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

kevin Metis best sellerThe life of a private investigator is not the glamorous one that the movies would have you believe – join Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren in the Kevin Metis Saga, Book 2
eBook £2.39
Paperback £9.98
Paperback, eBook & Poster Gift Set £14.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

Derek Long best seller

The life of a private investigator is not the glamorous one that the movies would have you believe – join Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren in the Derek Long Saga, Book 3

eBook £2.39
Paperback £9.98
Paperback, eBook & Poster Gift Set £14.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

FATE bestseller

A viking saga for children, Fate is the ideal book for children from ages 5 to 500.

eBook £1.80
Paperback £6.98
Paperback, eBook & Poster Gift Set £11.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

Map Poster

If you already have your copy of Fate, then the map of Viking Denmark is the ideal accessory to put on your wall.

Printed on 135 gsm, A3 paper and coated with a gloss finish, the map is the perfect way to track the adventures of Erland, Eva, Christian, Dalla, Riki and Wifrith.

Map £7 including international shipping

Inexchange

Journey into the not too distant future and discover what it’s like to live in space and experience life on Planet Earth for the first time through the eyes of Michael Morgan

Paperback £11.98

Domestic shipping is free. International shipping is set at £2.51

It’s July 1st once again, which means it’s Indie Pride Day! Yes, it’s one of our favourite days of the years (the others including May 4th, Tolkien’s birthday, World Book Day, the E3 conference days – well we could go on, but it’s still a pretty great day)

It’s been a bit of an up and down and quiet time for use here at Mightier Than the Sword UK for a wide variety of reasons. In the next week we expect to be making some major announcements on a range of topics, so keep checking back for those.

So as it is Indie Pride Day, we wanted to take this opportunity to shout about two books in particular.

  1. In Exchange

IN EXCHANGE EBOOKfb size

Yes, the children’s space epic aimed at boys between 12 and 16 is one that we could gush about all day, but instead we will simply say that this is an incredible book that is a must read for any space enthusiast – young or merely young at heart.

http://mybook.to/inexchange

2. FATE

Though we have yet to do an official blog post about this one, Fate is the first book in the series, The Children of Ribe and C.S. Woolley’s first children’s book. Set in the Viking lands of Denmark, this is a book for children of any age – it’s written as a book that can be read on your own or out loud as stories in the Viking times were told (we’re waiting for someone to attempt singing the whole thing).

Priced from £1.80 for digital copies and from £4.99 for paperbacks – there really is no reason why you can’t find yourself gripped by FATE today!

http://mybook.to/TheChildrenofRibe1

http://etsy.me/1rk6CdX

 

 

 

On 28th January 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight. The seven crew members (5 NASA astronauts and 2 Payload Specialists) all died. An O-ring seal on the right solid rocket booster failed and led to the disintegration of Challenger.

The Crew Members

722342main_challenger_full_full

Left to right: Teacher-in-Space payload specialist Sharon Christa McAuliffe; payload specialist Gregory Jarvis; astronaut Judith A. Resnik, mission specialist; Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, mission commander; Ronald E. McNair, mission specialist; Mike J. Smith, pilot; and Ellison S. Onizuka, mission specialist. Photo credit: NASA.

Recovery, Funerals and Time of Death

The time of death for some of the crew members is unknown. The crew compartment had no escape system, and after along search and recovery operation, it was eventually recovered from the ocean floor. Some of the crew members survived the initial disintegration of the shuttle, however the impact of the crew compartment with the surface of the ocean was too violent for those that were still alive in the crew compartment to survive.

Payload Specialist, Christa McAuliffe was due to be the first teacher in space and though only 17% of Americans watched the launch live, 85% of Americans knew about the disaster only an hour after it had happened due to extensive media coverage.

When the bodies of the crew were recovered, they had become semi-liquified. It took several hours for the bodies and fragments of the bodies to be removed due to the it being unsafe for Navy divers to recover the bodies. During the recovery, George Jarvis’ body floated out of the crew compartment and the diving team was unable to recover it. Astronaut, Robert Crippen, rented a fishing boat out of his own pocket and went in search of Jarvis’missing body. On 15th April, Navy divers found Jarvis’ body and recovered it. It was taken to be processed with the other crew members before it was released to his family.

Due to the condition of the bodies after they had been recovered, it was impossible for Navy pathologists to determine a cause of death. However, some of the life support equipment in the crew compartment, that was recovered, had been activated and after investigation it was shown that it had been used between the disintegration and the impact with the ocean.

Three months and a day after the crew transfer took place, on 29th April 1986. The Challenger crew were escorted by astronauts, Dan Brandenstein, Jim Buckley, Norm Thagard, Charles Bolden, Tammy Jernigan, Dick Richards and Lorn Shriver. They were flown from Cape Canaveral to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware where they were released to their relatives.

Judith Resnik, Dick Scobee, and Captain Michael J. Smith, were buried by their families at Arlington National Cemetery at individual grave sites. Mission Specialist Lieutenant Colonel, Ellison Onizuka, was buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. Christa McAuliffe’s remains are buried at Calvary Cemetery in Concord, New Hampshire, her home town. The unidentified crew remains were buried at the Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial in Arlington on May 20, 1986.

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order forSmashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble andKindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.

The Space Shuttle Discovery was the third of the five shuttles to be built by NASA. Discovery was the third shuttle after the Space Shuttle Columbia and the Space Shuttle Challenger.

The Service of Discovery

The Space Shuttle Discovery flew it’s first mission from 30th August to 5th September 1984 and was in use for over 27 years. It landed 39 times and gathered more spaceflights than any other spacecraft to date and accumulated a total number of days in space that adds up to almost a year.

It’s final mission launched on 24th February 2011 came to an end on 9th March 2011 when Discovery touched down at the Kennedy Space Center.

Discovery was the Space Shuttle that launched the Hubble Space Telescope and was the first space shuttle to be retired.

Discovery, like the other Space Shuttles, was named after several ships of exploration. The ships are thought to include the HMS Discovery captained by Captain James Cook, Henry Hudson’s Discovery, the British Arctic Expedition ship, HMS Discovery, and the RSS Discovery, which led the 1901-1904 Discovery Expedition to the Antarctica.

Decommission and Display

NASA donated the Space Shuttle Discovery to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum so that it could be preserved and displayed for the public to visit. It took a month to decontaminate the space shuttle and the Space Shuttle Discovery replaced the Enterprise at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia. It arrived at the center and went on display on 19th April 2012.

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order for Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.

Apollo 11

Apollo 11 Mission Badge, NASA

“It’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.” These words still give people goosebumps when they hear them, such is the impact that Neil Armstrong stepping out onto the surface of the moon had on the hearts and minds of millions.

The first moon landing, after so many firsts, was something different from merely putting men and women into space – it was exploration of worlds beyond our own, of that great lump of rock in the sky that has so much influence over life being sustained on Earth. It was an event that spoke to the human sense of adventure, that need to explore and discover new things, to learn more about the universe around us.

Going to the moon

The primary mission objective of the Apollo 11 launch was set on 25th May 1961, when President John F. Kennedy declared that America would put a man on the moon before the end of the decade. Man had already ventured into space when Kennedy made his statement, and many more would follow before man made it to the moon.

Ignition

s69-39961On 16th July 1969, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins stepped out into the heat of the Floridian morning at the Kennedy Space Center and marched towards the Saturn V rocket.

At 9:32am EDT, ignition sent these three men hurtling towards the heavens and the history books.

“Tranquillity Base here, the Eagle has landed!”

The Eagle was the lunar module that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in. The men were landing on a part of the moon that is known as the Sea of Tranquillity.

During the final descent, the Eagle computer alarms went off. Having seen so many disasters already, it was a tense moment for not only Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and Neil Armstrong, but also for all those back at NASA. Fortunately the alarms were triggered by the computer trying to do too many things at once.

At 4:18pm EDT, Neil Armstrong radioed in, “Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed.” The tension was broken and those in mission control began celebrating, returning the message, “You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue, we’re breathing again.”

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

o-APOLLO-11-ANNIVERSARY-facebookBefore Neil Armstrong could step out of the Eagle, there were other preparations to make and TV stations around the world had over half a billion people tuned in to watch.

At 10:56pm EDT, Neil Armstrong stepped out of the Eagle, climbed down the ladder and became the first man to ever set foot on the moon, making his immortal statement, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Buzz Aldrin followed shortly after and the two men planted the American flag and explored the surface of the moon. They also placed a patch on the moon, honouring the crew of Apollo 1.

The Eagle was also left behind, and on one of it’s legs is a plaque that reads “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”

Home again

Aldrin and Armstrong rejoined Collins in the Columbia and headed back to Earth. The crew splashed down off the coast of Hawaii on 24th July 1969.

10 other astronauts have been to the moon since Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan was the commander of the last Apollo mission to the moon and said when departing, “We leave as we came and, God willing, as we return, with peace, and hope for all mankind.”

Nixon’s Speech

downloadOne of the things that fortunately never had to be used in relation to the 1969 moon landing is the failure speech that President Nixon wrote:

“Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

imagesOthers will follow and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.”

There are always risks when it comes to space travel and yet, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong went anyway. Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepared went anyway. Alexei Leonov and Ed White stepped out into the vacuum of space despite the risks. There have been so many accidents and disasters involved in space travel and yet we keep going as a species, we keep pushing for more and extraordinary individuals keep stepping up for the next challenge, even when previous missions have ended in disaster.

Mission to Mars

Mars is the next place for man to go and Apollo 11 astronaut, Buzz Aldrin is strongly abdicating a mission to Mars, so much so he has written a book about his vision for space exploration.

“We need to make sure that the experience that we’ve invested in at the moon helps us to be the leader to establish the first human beings that set foot on the planet Mars,” Buzz Aldrin says in a video preview for the book.

NASA’s deep space exploration program has Mars as a goal for astronaut exploration at some point during the 2030s, the immediate goal is visiting an asteroid by 2025 (yes, we thought about the asteroid in Armageddon too)

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order for Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.

Though Alexei Leonov was the first man to walk in space, the first American to walk in space stepped out into the black a few  years after Leonov.

Ed White

Edward Higgins “Ed” White II performed his spacewalk as part of the Gemini 4 mission. On 3rd June 1965 Ed White stepped out into space and enjoyed the experience so much he didn’t want to return to the spacecraft at the end of the allotted time for the EVA. He had to be ordered back inside.

During his spacewalk, one of the spare thermal gloves floated out of the open hatch and became one of the first items of space debris in low orbit, though it burned up on re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Like many space flights, there was an element of near disaster that came with the Gemini 4 mission. There was a mechanical problem  with the hatch mechanism. This made it difficult to open and shut. It was even difficult to relatch. The men managed to secure the hatch.If they hadn’t been able to, the lives of both Ed White and the Command Pilot, James McDivitt would have been in danger.

Tragedy was not far away

In March 1966, Ed White was selected as the Senior Pilot for the Apollo flight AS-204. Also assigned to this mission were Virgil ‘Gus’ Grissom and Roger Chaffee. During a test of the craft on 27th January 1967, a fire broke out in the cabin. The cabin was filled with pure oxygen. The three men were all killed by asphyxiation and smoke inhalation.

White’s job was to open the hatch cover in an emergency. The position his body was found in showed that he had attempted to do so, but opening the hatch was impossible. The plug door design needed venting and due to the location of the fire, Grissom couldn’t reach the cabin vent control.

The cause of the fire was never determined, however many safety problems were addressed after the fire.

Ed White was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1997 along with Roger Chaffee but President Clinton. Gus Grissom had received his posthumous Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978.

Other recipients of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor include Pete Conrad, Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Frank Borman, John Young, Jim Lovell, Shannon Lucid, Thomas P. Stafford, Kalpana Chawla, Christa McAuliffe and Laurel B. Clark

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order for Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.

maxresdefaultIt has been just over 51 years since the first man freely floated in space. Alexei Leonov, a Soviet cosmonaut. Leonov spent 12 minutes floating in space above planet Earth tethered to his ship by a 16ft cable.

Though the idea of walking in space seems to be somewhat routine in the exploration of space; there have been more than 200 astronauts that have floated in space on EVAs since Leonov, undertaking tasks that range from making repairs to the Hubble telescope to building the International Space Station.

Leonov’s Space Walk

On 18th March 1965, Leonov took off in the Voskhod 2 capsule that he shared with Commander Pavel Belyayev.

Leonov was no stranger to the idea of space travel, he had been the man who trained Yuri Gagarin after all, and he was going to make his own journey amongst the stars.

In an interview last year with the Observer, Leonov commented, “It was so quiet I could even hear my heart beat. I was surrounded by stars and was floating without much control. I will never forget the moment. I also felt an incredible sense of responsibility. Of course, I did not know that I was about to experience the most difficult moments of my life – getting back into the capsule.”

The capsule made one orbit around the Earth before Leonov was given the green light for his spacewalk. The first portion of the spacewalk was a success, but when it came to getting back into the capsule, things started to go wrong.

The vacuum in space had caused his spacesuit to begin to balloon out of shape. The fabric became dangerous stiff, his hands slipped out of his gloves and his feet slipped out of the boots – worst of all, Leonov couldn’t fit back through the airlock.

The spacecraft was moving in an orbit around the Earth all the time Leonov was out making his spacewalk, and he had only five minutes to get back into the capsule before they reached the dark side of the Earth.

Aleksey_Leonov_ASTP_-_croppedIn order to shrink the suit, Leonov began to bleed the air from it and the suit began to return to normal size. However, it was at this point that Leonov realised that he was exhibiting the first signs of decompression sickness.

Despite this, Leonov managed to squeeze himself, head first, back through the airlock. His temperature was through the roof and he collapsed back in his seat, beside Belyayev in an exhausted state. But his troubles were not over yet.

The airlock was no longer needed, so it was fired off into space. The force of the explosion caused Voskhod 2 to rotate, causing both Leonov and Belyayev to become disorientated. The instruments showed that the oxygen levels in the capsule were rapidly climbing and threatened to start a fire that would have burned both men alive. For several hours the two men worked tireless to get the oxygen levels back to normal, and they were successful.

496806332The two men were due to return to Earth, however there was yet more drama to unfold for the two men. The automatic re-entry system no longer worked. This meant that the men had to fire the re-entry rockets manually. The rockets were designed to separate the landing capsule from the orbital module, but things didn’t work out quite as they planned.

A few seconds after the firing of the engine, we felt a jolt as the orbital module separated from our cabin – but something went wrong. We felt a tugging force pulling us back! I looked out of a window and saw the orbital module was still connected to us by a communications cable. As a result, both modules were spinning rapidly as we fell steeply to Earth!

Fortunately for both Leonov and Belyayev, the heat generated by the re-entry burned through the communications cable, finally separating the landing capsule and orbital module.

The two men landed 2,000 km away from their intended landing zone in the Siberian forest. It took two days for the two men to be found and rescued. The two cosmonauts had to survive in temperatures below zero in a forest that was inhabited by wolves and bears.

Both men survived until they were rescued, however, Belyayev died five years later. He contracted peritonitis after an operation on a stomach ulcer. Leonov was scheduled to be the first cosmonaut to walk on the moon, however the rocket that was to take him there was scrapped after several failed test flights. 118785main_astp_hatch_full.jpg

Leonov’s space career didn’t end with floating in space though, in 1975 he commanded the Soviet Soyuz that docked with the Apollo capsule, an event that marked the end of the space race.

First Time

A movie, due to be released in Russia this year, goes through the events of Leonov’s spacewalk, including the moments that almost ended in disaster.

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order for Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.

Apollo 15 was the fourth Apollo mission where men landed on the moon. It was a mission set to explore the Hadley-Apennine Region of the moon.

LRV

Apollo_15_Lunar_Rover_and_Irwin

The LRV or Lunar Roving Vehicle was deployed for the first time with the Apollo 15 crew. The LRV allowed the astronauts to explore much further than the Lunar Module had allowed before. It meant that the astronauts could explore tens of kilometres instead of the hundred or so metres that the Lunar Module allowed.

A successful landing

Apollo_15_flag,_rover,_LM,_IrwinApollo 15 was successful and was the first in a series of three advanced missions that were planned for the Apollo program. The shuttle launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9:34am EST on 26th July 1971.

The Lunar Module landed on the moon at 22:04pm GMT on 30th July 1971 and the astronauts spent 66 hours, 54 minutes and 53 seconds on the surface of the moon. The astronauts returned to Earth with 76kg of lunar material samples that they collected from the Hadley-Apennine Region which included soil, rock, core-tune and deep core samples.


The Crew

The_Apollo_15_Prime_Crew_-_GPN-2000-001169

 

 

The Apollo 15 was manned by David R. Scott, Commander; Alfred J. Worden, Command Module Pilot and James B.Irwin, Lunar Module Pilot.

Returning to Earth

There was one slight hiccup to the Apollo 15 mission when one of the re-entry capsule parachutes collapsed before splashdown. Despite this, the capsule landed safely on 7th August 1971 at 20:45pm GMT

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order for Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.

When it comes to space, there is something about it that draws out the imagination. From TV and movies to games and books, we’ve gone through and found our favourite interpretations of life in space in honour of the release of In Exchange on 12th April 2016. So in no particular order:

Star Trek

Teleportation-Beam-me-up-Scottie-EatSleepDigitalsStar Trek as a franchise is possibly one of the greatest to ever exist. Not did the first series attain a cult status that led to some of the best space movies and reboot movies that have ever graced the silver screen, but the number of TV series to exist in the same extensive universe is mind blowing. Rather than pick a particular one, we’ve chosen to honour the franchise as a whole – this is partly as none of us can agree on which is the best series, but also because each movie and series has something in it for Star Trek fans to love. Besides, which other space based series can boast a commander that has to step over chairs to sit in them?

Mass Effect
309321

Image by Joe Black, Deviant Art

When it comes to games set in space (we’re not including No Man’s Sky just yet since it hasn’t been released) Mass Effect might just be the pinnacle of perfection. It is a game that can be replayed again and again and loved more every single time – even the first game, which is looking very dated now and feels clunky to play when compared to Mass Effect 3. It is packed full of some of the most imaginative characters and geeky references, throw backs and the best damn pilot in the galaxy. Though nobody ever has the same Shepard, every incarnation of the game’s hero is awesome and when you throw in the unstinting loyalty of Shepard’s companions – especially Garrus and Joker, you get one brilliant space adventure.*

Captain Harlock

The manga and anime genre has such a wide range of different settings, pulling one out of it that is exceptional is so difficult, but Captain Harlock: Space Pirate, really is one movie that distinguishes itself. Yes, the original cartoon was comical and a much more in depth exploration of the source material – the recent movie blows everything away and can easily be watched repeatedly. After all, everyone in Captain Harlock seems to be searching for their kind of redemption, so what could possibly go wrong?

Battlestar Galactica

Whether you like the original series or the more recent reboot and spin off series (Caprica), BSG has got so much to offer. Rather than being an exploration mission that involves hundreds of different races it gives a twist on the universe – humanity is alone in it, save for the technology it has created that now threatens to destroy them. The cylons and the fight against them is something that is easy to relate to and being set so far from Earth makes it all the more imaginative.

Firefly

The beloved and short-lived creation of Joss Whedon is something that sci-fi fans will never give up on seeing a second series of, and with good reason!

“Picture Star Wars, but the Rebellion is crushed. Han and Chewie escape to the Outer Rim, where they take whatever smuggling jobs they can find. The worlds are mostly tech-poor, so no blasters. Now, change Chewie into a hot woman soldier, give her a smart ass husband for a pilot, a rude mercenary for protection, a cute farmgirl mechanic, a smoking hot professional escort, and a couple of mysterious passengers. And that’s just the first episode.” – Jeff Struckhoff

What’s not to love? Packed with adventure, a struggle to survive, being chased by the authorities, haunted by the past and threatened by a race of mad cannibals that it turns out the higher ups in the confederation of planets created and you might understand a little of why so many still want more from this series.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Best Retro PC Games Star Wars Knights of the Old RepublicBefore this game came out, RPG games were a little bit samey, yes, they were enjoyable, but Bioware brought something new and fantastic to the table and created some of the best Star Wars canon around (the Mandelorian Wars). With fans working on transforming the old graphics of this game into pretty shiny new ones, we couldn’t be more excited! This game gave Star Wars fans the chance to run around, become a Jedi and save or condemn the galaxy as they saw fit and gave us the brilliance of HK-47, our own wookie friend in Zaalbar, a grumpy former Jolee Bindo and the chance to romance a character, that could go very well or extremely badly depending on how things played out. Besides all this, you were being racing against the bad guys and had one of the best gaming twists thrown into the plot to boot!

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

One of the most beloved and influential books of all time, there isn’t much we can say about the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that you won’t have heard before, all we have to say is that no we don’t know the question, but the answer is 42 and if you haven’t read it, well you should!

The Martian

Spending yet more money on rescuing Matt Damon, the Martian is an exceptional space movie that is a lot closer to home than other movies and TV series set in space. The reviews will give you a much better idea of how brilliant this movie is than we can!

Stargate

Though the movie has some merit, the series that the Stargate universe has spawned are what we adore. Whether it is the original SG1 team, the series set in Atlantis or Universe, there is plenty to get exited about when it comes to space.

Halo

Space marines in battle armour and genetically modified humans fighting alien races with the help of an AI – Halo not only has an incredibly rich back story and compelling plot that has spawned movies and comics to support the series, but it is amazing fun to play. Besides, there are very few franchises that can boast a spoof that is as funny and entertaining as the wondrous Red vs. Blue.

Cowboy Bebop

download (5)

 

Cowboy Bebop is space combined with film noir to create something that is just spectacular and irresistible cool. Not only does Cowboy Bebop follow bounty hunters in space, it is also one of the influences on C.S. Woolley‘s Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren series.

 

Star Wars

Need we say more?

*We would like to apologise to all those gamers who are now feeling the need to spend several hundred hours playing through Mass Effect from 1 to 3 yet again.**

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order for Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.

**We’re really not all that sorry as we know that it will be freaking epic.