Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"There's a tendency to think that maybe if we can just throw enough hardware at the AI problem, then evolution can take care of the rest. Certainly that's how God went about making us."
- Rudy Rucker

Manual Search For Habitable Planet  
  A tedious search for habitable planets by hand.  

At the edge of the strange galaxy though they were, many days were required to reduce the intergalactic pace of the vessel to a value at which maneuvering was possible, and many more days passed into time before Crane announced the discovery of a sun which not only possessed a family of planets, but was also within the specified distance of a white dwarf star.

To any Earthly astronomer, whose most powerful optical instruments fail to reveal even the closest star as anything save a dimensionless point of light, such a discovery would have been impossible, but Crane was not working with Earthly instruments. For the fourth-order projector, although utterly useless at the intergalactic distances with which Seaton was principally concerned, was vastly more powerful than any conceivable telescope.

Driven by the full power of a disintegrating uranium bar, it could hold a projection so steadily at a distance of twenty light-years that a man could manipulate a welding arc as surely as though it was upon a bench before him which, in effect, it was-and in cases in which delicacy of control was not an object, such as the present quest for such vast masses as planets, the projector was effective over distances of many hundreds of light- years.

Thus it came about that the search for a planetiferous sun near a white dwarf star was not unduly prolonged, and Skylark Two tore through the empty ether toward it.

Close enough so that the projector could reveal details, Seaton drove projections of all Page 173 four voyagers down into the atmosphere of the first planet at hand. That atmosphere was heavy and of a pronounced greenish-yellow cast, and through it that fervent sun poured down a flood of lurid light upon a peculiarly dead and barren ground-but yet a ground upon which grew isolated clumps of a livid and monstrous vegetation.

"Of course detailed analysis at this distance is impossible, but what do you make of it, Dick?" asked Crane. "In all our travels, this is only the second time we have encountered such an atmosphere."

"Yes; and that's exactly twice too many." Seaton, at the spectroscope, was scowling in thought. "Chlorin, all right, with some fluorin and strong traces of oxide of nitrogen, nitrosyl chloride, and so on-just about like that one we saw in our own galaxy that time. I thought then and have thought ever since that there was something decidedly fishy about that planet, and I think there's something equally screwy about this one."

From Skylark of Valeron, by E.E. 'Doc' Smith.
Published by Astounding in 1934
Additional resources -

Compare to the search for habitable planets from Edmond Hamilton's 1936 story Cosmic Quest.

Special thanks to Fred Kiesche and Winchell Chung for leading me to this item.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Skylark of Valeron
  More Ideas and Technology by E.E. 'Doc' Smith
  Tech news articles related to Skylark of Valeron
  Tech news articles related to works by E.E. 'Doc' Smith

Manual Search For Habitable Planet-related news articles:
  - Amazing Kepler Space Telescope Decommissioned By NASA

Articles related to
DNA Controls Swarms Of Molecular Robots

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Salto Jumping Robot Now Sticks Landing!
'Lucky touched the leap knob and the hopper's leg retracted.'

Gyroscopic Median-Straddling Mass Transit Vehicles
'It was among these leviathans that the little gyrocar was daring to thrust its puny self...'

Bigrating Laser Beam-Riding Light Sail Is Self-Correcting
'That sail will be twenty thousand miles at the wide part.'

ISS Astronauts Test Estee Lauder 'Advanced Night Repair' Skin Serum
'Out in the New Moon, just ask for what you want...'

LG Wing Twisting Smartphone Might Be Fun
'A polycarbon screen unfurled...'

Mushroom Coffin Returns You To Nature, Naturally
'She touched the leaf. She was wanted.'

Will ATT Offer Ad-Subsidized Cellphone Service
'For long-distance calls the ratio of commercial to conversation was as high as 10 to 1...'

Gyro-X Self-Balancing Two-Wheeler Car
'Indeed, the gyrocar was a sight to make a man look twice.'

Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition OLED TV
The Look of Things To Come.

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.