Crowdsourcing

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Humanity needs to enter the next stage in civilization. But it does not comes naturally. It is up to the best minds in the world to spin in a way it attracts public support and rally the masses behind what needs to be done.

Submitted: September 16, 2016

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Submitted: September 16, 2016

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1

 

I’m on edge. I know it. The place is just so small and everything.

 

I hope making this helps relieve some of the pressure.

 

Ok. So someone just told me i have to write this thing with all the details and everything. So, from the beginning.

 

Hi. My name is Eleanor and i’m an engineer. And also an astronaut, apparently. Last year there was this online poll on if you would mind getting off the planet for a couple of years. I, with most of my friends sign up right away.

 

You must understand that for my parent’s generation they had the moon landing and all that. For us there was the dream of space, of a better future, where we as a people would rise out of petty infighting and finally get a robot maid and a flying car... but no real sci-fi achievements. At least it did not feel like we had.

 

So out came Google and MTV or something like that and made the poll, and i got past the first filter. And then it became a pageant. We were all sent a long contract to review and sign, which requested we asked for a sabbatical on our current jobs. Google picked up the tab. Kept the checks coming until you were disqualified.

 

So they explained it would be 2 missions. A first wave of 20+ specialist, that can identify a site for a base, lay the groundwork and everything, and then they would send a hundred more just to inject enough population in the new settlement.

 

And the selection would be televised and voted by the masses. I mean WTF. Di’nt NASA used to vet the astronauts for years before strapping a rocket on their pants. I mean they used to do some extreme vetting for this kind of thing, right? How come public scrutiny is going to do that job in a fraction of the time??

 

No matter. We did not had a say in this, and if any of us had any misgivings, the public outcry of support and the following this thing got swamped us all. We were celebrities overnight. We were the candidates!! Some of us would get to step on another planet and be the first people in Colony 1.

 

So we all had to open a profile in this site and write an essay on why we wanted to participate. We got 3D scanned and that went online so anyone could comment or something. I really do not understand why they asked to do some of the things we did.

It seemed for a while like we were on one of those japanese gameshows, that are really weird. So after we had a medical checkup and those with anything got disqualified, it started to dawn on me i just passed the third filter. OMG this thing could happen to me after all.

 

Oh.


I need to go check out the sprouts. I think this took my mind off things. Maybe it’ll work.

 

2

 

So this might be more than i first thought about it. Last night i slept like a baby for the first time in a long while. I must admit that my first impression was they asked me to do this just to have additional content to sell the fans.

 

I suppose is the whole “confidant” persona a diary gives us. When i was a child i never had one. They seemed silly to me,  even when other girls my age where buying notebooks with little princess locks on them.

 

Ok. Where were we on the story? Yes, i just passed the medical check up. Well, the first one at least. The company also requested a DNA sample from all of the remaining contestants. And they posted them up online for the public to peruse. I mean, who is going to view my file and say “Her kids are propense to obesity” or “She is most likely to murder someone”??

 

I don’t know. It seemed both silly and a violation to me. But we all wanted to get to the goal. Nothing else mattered at the moment.

 

I think midway it got confused why we were doing everything. It just seemed like any other TV reality contest, were the prize was fame, popularity and money.

 

The company sent me an airplane ticket to California, where the next stage of the contest would happen. They told me it would take anything from 3 weeks to a couple of months, so i had to make the proper arrangements where i lived.

 

I asked my mom to store my stuff at her place for a while and to sell anything that bothered her. With any luck i would not be coming back at all for who knows how long.

 

When i went to the airport there was a bunch of cameras and news people. They knew that was the day most of the contestants would travel. I had not gotten any calls requesting an interview or something from the local media, so i thought they did not care.

 

So that was weird. I felt like JLO with all the camera flashes and everyone calling my name. Airport security had to help me get to the gate, everyone was going crazy.

 

This people could have not care a bit about me a couple of weeks ago, and now i was something of a national hero, just by being picked on this thing. I have not saved anyone. I am not a veteran or a firefighter. I design things, and most often than not, the designs are stored in shelf somewhere never to resurface.

 

 

Well the flight was alright. My first time in first class. They gave me a complimentary upgrade. Being famous is fun. I don’t understand celebrities. Why do they whine so much? People just want to give you things.


I have to go. Talk to you later.

 

3

 

I haven't come back to this in some days. We had a problem in the “farm” module. I have no idea how, but the mice on one of the habitats got out and went loose all over 5th e ship.

 

It was horrible. They were floating everywhere and some were chewing on the walls. The worst is i don't think we got them all back.

 

So yea, we got rats on the ship. We are repeating the story of the last human colonization. We will be bringing vermin all over space.


I’m not in the mood to reminiscence today, so sorry, but i promise i will come back to the story in the next couple of days. Bye.

 

4

 

I am back, where was I?

 

Oh I see here, we were traveling to California in first class. Yep, that was great.

 

Once I got to there the crazyness really started. They had concentrated almost a 1000 people from all around the world, all being considered as candidates, some to stay an help to direct the operation from within.

 

The companies figured out they were starting this newhttps://www.booksie.com/posting-update-content/479348 "corps" of volunteers on this endeavor. We had to pledge allegiance to UN and everything, not to be tied to any particular government and such bull. In my case it was more of "I really am fed up with everybody taking decisions for me" motivation.

 

My resaerch grants are all evaluated by boards of donors that do not understand the technical stuff nor the actual consecuences of the research, just what and what does not alling with their moralist or political views at the moment. My corporate donors are all interested in an immeadiate solution for the problem of the month, be it the new packaging material or how to lower the cost of making a bottle in half a second faster.

 

I don't get to research the things I think matter the most, how to abolish hunger, famine and sickness, how to protect the resources on the planet without condeming the poorest people to remeain in misery. How to make a car that floats like in all my childhood comics. Man i really would want to have figured that out.

 

So we were all there and eager for the next step, the next filter for the selection. We were separated in 10 teams, each one with a research project, that would be crucial for the mission. We could read the others teams findings, but not participate directly in their research. In theory, the ones who stood out were the most likely candidates. My team got the "enviromental" design challenge.

 

That is, how to keep a whole colony of people alive in a ship for 6 weeks, and how to make a livable enviroment on the ground of Mars. And not for a limited time, the colonny had to be selfsufficent at all times.

 

So we crunched the numbers, and everyday a person consumes on average 5 Lt of water, 550 Lt of pure oxigen, and 2500 calories. So we needed to design an environment that provided that for us. So the first thing we needed was reliable energy, we could not be considering an unrealiable power source if every aspect of our survival depended on it. The answer was a shoo-in, nuclear. It its realiable, affordable to our resources and posed no further risk that the environment itself. We just had to include lead linning to most of our clothes.

 

The next thing is air. At this time, the national space programs all over the globe, or rather above the globe, had been using suppliyng the oxigen from earth one way or another. Our best bet was to find a cycle to turn CO2 in to O2 at the same rate we consume it. We cannot rely on external tanks or sources. In space there is no turning back for refueling.

 

This will all come back to the farm and the escape of the rats, in the worst possible way. You will be horrified. Be back in a couple of minutes.


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