Sunday, March 6, 2016

Cosmos: An Epic Adventure

Yesterday was the final episode of Mythbusters.  Over the years I’ve had a few issues with the show, but all in all I loved it and will miss it.  As I watched the final and reunion shows, I tried to think of some story I could write to commemorate it.  I did come up with an idea of two people living at a lunar base doing basic science experiments as well as showing the children of Earth how people actually live on the moon.  It’s an interesting idea, there’s just not much of a story to it.  But the seed has been planted, and we’ll see where it goes.

As I was thinking about that, I remembered “Cosmos: An Epic Adventure,” a short story I wrote two years ago just before the premiere of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.  I posted that on a site that is no longer around, so I figured I’d give it a quick polish and repost it here.  Because it is people inspired by Cosmos and Mythbusters and other science based shows that will get us to a lunar base. 

“Cosmos: An Epic Adventure”

The show opened with a middle-aged woman in a light blue jumpsuit standing before a bare white wall.  Text at the bottom of the screen read “Dr. Diane McCarrick.” She smiled at the camera and began, “In 1980, Carl Sagan hosted Cosmos: A Personal Journey, a thirteen part miniseries covering the wonder and grandeur of the universe.  Untold millions were inspired by it to learn more about the world we live in.

“In the following decades, new discoveries in every branch of science greatly expanding our knowledge.  Thus thirty-four years later, the show was revised for a new generation as Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  And now, thirty-three years after that with our knowledge expanded even more, I am honored to join them by hosting this third iteration of Cosmos.

“Like its predecessors, this show will explore the history of exploration and discovery.” Brief animated scenes of camel caravans, vast fleets of sailing vessels, and probes landing on Mars played.  She continued the voice over with, “And we will showcase the lives of people who changed the world.” More animated scenes showed people arguing in ancient Greece, Galileo with his telescope, and teams of scientists at a particle accelerator.

The woman returned to the screen.  “We will explore the universe, from the infinitesimal world of subatomic particles to the filaments of galaxies stretching across the observable universe.  We will go back to the Big Bang, and forward to the potential end of the universe.  We’ll do all of this with our own ‘Spaceship of the Imagination.’” There was more animation of a sleek dart flying through alien atmospheres and along the accretion disc of a black hole.

The animation ended, and the woman smiled.  “But we won’t need our ‘Spaceship of the Imagination’ for everything.  Of all the advances made in the past sixty-seven years, this is – undoubtedly – one of the greatest.  Doctors Sagan and Tyson could only have seen such a view in their imaginations.”

Panning to the right, the camera came to a large window.  The dimly lit, rough landscape beyond was made up of grey rocks.  But shining in the sky above were the deep blues of ocean, luscious greens of forest, and the fleecy white of clouds.  A full Earth shone down upon the lunar night.

The woman walked into frame and smiled.  “Welcome, to Cosmos: An Epic Adventure.”

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