Centaur 1 by Heston H. Snodgrass


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SUMMARY: A letter from a from the captain of the first ship to journey to Alpha Centauri.

July 3rd, 2176

Dear Dr. Terence Braun,


We arrived in Alpha Centauri today. It's a strange feeling being one of the only humans to ever see this solar system first hand. We are still about three months away from reaching Proxima. It's weird to think that our craft entered the Hole less than one second ago and we have traveled over four and a quarter light years. We sped past our goal of one and a half times the speed of light. Superluminal Two, the fastest anything has ever traveled in our know physics. If Einstein were alive today he would spit on the ground and swear like a sailor... after he was done celebrating.

Traveling through the Hole was anticlimactic at best. No sight, no sound, it was like walking through an open doorway. One minute we were orbiting the fringes of Saturn, the next close to thirty trillion miles away. Joey, my son, turned three last week. Last time I saw him he could barely walk.

There was only one notable side effect from the trans-verse travel. Massive headaches hit us the moment we went through the Hole. They warned us about them, our brains fired neuron signals at the moment of entry and those signals didn't catch up with us until after we were on the other side. It was nothing a couple aspirins couldn't fix. It was a bit jarring, I'm still trying wrap my mind around the fact that I went across the universe faster than I can think about the next word I write.

Over all the operation was a huge success. I'm sure the champagne has long been popped, but drink a cold one for me. It will be a little over four years until you get this letter and five years until we get back. Our ancestors on the Mayflower thought five months at sea was a long journey, I've been in space for over four years, aged a little over two years, and it took less than a second. That's some science to be proud of!

Sincerely,

Lieutenant Colonel Jeremiah Hiram Falls, USSF
And Crew of the Centaur I

P.S. One gigantic step for a man, one incalculable leap for mankind.