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Titan

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Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2018 год
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      Titan
Stephen Baxter

Signs of life have been found on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.A group of visionaries led by NASA’s Paula Benacerraf plan a daring one-way mission that will cost them everything. Taking nearly a decade, the billion-mile voyage includes a ‘slingshot’ transit of Venus, a catastrophic solar storm, and a constant struggle to keep the ship and crew functioning.But it is on the icy surface of Titan itself that the true adventure begins. In the orange methane slush the astronauts will discover the secrets of life’s origins and reach for a human destiny beyond their wildest dreams.

STEPHEN BAXTER

TITAN

THE NASA TRILOGY

COPYRIGHT (#ulink_cd70d62f-2cf7-5ef5-ac7c-6dde62b958ba)

HarperVoyagerAn imprint of

HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd

1 London Bridge Street

London SE1 9GF

www.harpervoyagerbooks.co.uk (http://harpervoyagerbooks.co.uk/)

First published in Great Britain by HarperVoyager 1997

Copyright © Stephen Baxter 1997

Cover photo © NASA

Cover layout design © HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 2015

Stephen Baxter asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work

A catalogue copy of this book is available from the British Library.

This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, nontransferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books.

HarperCollinsPublishers has made every reasonable effort to ensure that any picture content and written content in this ebook has been included or removed in accordance with the contractual and technological constraints in operation at the time of publication.

Source ISBN: 9780006498117

Ebook Edition © June 2012 ISBN: 9780007502066

Version: 2015-10-07

DEDICATION (#ulink_edb41fd9-c833-54d1-9ea4-3828d283c3c3)

For Tony, Christine and Catherine

CONTENTS

Cover (#u4dcdbcf6-f0a1-5372-8684-33b7ca637556)

Title Page (#u9afcc76b-1cdc-5bae-b36b-9ad912c44b86)

Copyright (#ulink_a18f7c50-d04b-51fa-a5d9-0f2e31630808)

Dedication (#ulink_5a9d7d6c-0e45-5286-8ced-316f33e9410e)

Prologue (#ulink_95a3ea63-c57e-540e-996a-ea43652b95bc)

Book One: Landing (#ulink_003cbb22-12e6-5fb7-b39a-ecaace2f8a35)

Book Two: Low Earth Orbit (#ulink_f65c7f11-a802-5878-8f9f-f9a42e0a20eb)

Book Three: Cruise (#litres_trial_promo)

Day 80 (#litres_trial_promo)

Day 169 (#litres_trial_promo)

Day 325 (#litres_trial_promo)

Day 504 (#litres_trial_promo)

Day 680 (#litres_trial_promo)

Day 1181 (#litres_trial_promo)

Day 2460 (#litres_trial_promo)

Book Four: Ground Truth (#litres_trial_promo)

Book Five: Extravehicular Activity (#litres_trial_promo)

Book Six: Titan Summer (#litres_trial_promo)

Epilogue (#litres_trial_promo)

Afterword (#litres_trial_promo)

Keep Reading (#litres_trial_promo)

Acknowledgements (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Author (#litres_trial_promo)

Praise for Stephen Baxter (#litres_trial_promo)

Also by the Author (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)

PROLOGUE (#ulink_f9c95ab9-0a2b-5861-9746-6dd50029197b)

After seven years of flight, after travelling a billion miles from Earth, the human spacecraft Cassini reached Saturn.

Cassini was about the size of a school bus. Thick, multi-layer insulation blankets covered most of the craft’s structure and radiation-hardened equipment. The blankets’ outermost layer was translucent amber-coloured Kevlar, with shiny aluminum beneath; the two layers together made it look as if the spacecraft had been sewn into gold.

But Cassini looked its age.

The blankets were yellowed, and showed pits and scars from micrometeorite impacts. The brave red, white and blue flags and logos of the US, NASA, ESA and the contributing European countries, fixed as decals on the insulation, had faded badly in the years since launch. Cassini’s close approach to the sun, with the intense heat and solar wind there, had done most of the damage.

A fat pie-dish shape, ten feet across, clung to the side of the Cassini stack, so that the craft looked like a robot warrior going to battle, clutching a shield. In fact, the shield was a combined aeroshell and heat shield for a separate spacecraft, called Huygens, which was designed to land on Saturn’s largest moon Titan. The results Huygens gathered would serve as ‘ground truth’, confirmation and calibration for the more extensive orbital surveys Cassini would perform of the moon.

Now Cassini reached a point in space almost four million miles from Saturn’s cloud tops.

From here, the planet looked the size of a quarter-inch ball bearing held at arm’s length. Spinning in just ten hours, the planet was visibly flattened. A telescope might have shown its yellowish cloud tops, with their streaky shading and complex, anti-cyclonally rotating cloud systems. The sun was off to the right, with its close cluster of inner planets, so Saturn, seen from the probe, was half in shadow. The ring system, tight around the planet, was almost edge-on to the spacecraft, all but invisible, and it cast sharp shadows on the cloud tops.
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