Chapter 944: Asteroid Mining Program
Translator: Min Editor: Caron_
The busy runway didn’t affect Jiang Chen’s return from Canberra .
At his level, even if a runway wasn’t available, Coro Island International Airport would find a way to construct one for him . In the worst case scenario, his private jet could land at New Moon Island’s military base .
That runway could even land AN-225, let alone a Gulfstream G650?
Back to Coro Island, it was the fifth day after the United Nations Outer Space Summit, and the successful first train of the space elevator was a week ago . In a few days, the passengers on Celestial City would return to the surface .
Nowadays, Celestial City was empty . Other than an experimental field that used some of the Garden of Eden’s technology, only a small area of living space was available that could fit around a thousand people . Only 30 of the astronauts who traveled to the space station would stay in the city .
The first thing Jiang Chen did after he got off the plane was to see Kelvin .
The asteroid capture project was completed, and eight rocket engines all stalled . They quietly rotated around an asteroid 500 meters in diameter in a circular orbit far from Earth .
Kelvin was in charge of preparing for the launch of the Dragon Spacecraft . It was the outsourced project from SpaceX for only two million XND . Compared to the earnings of the first two projects, it was negligible . The launching was quite simple . The robotic arm would lower the Dragon Spacecraft on the outer track of the space elevator, then the rest of the steps were all foolproof .
The launching task was given to his assistant so that Kelvin, who was already bone-skinny, could give himself a small vacation . He didn’t want to do anything other than sleeping on his private island he bought for 10 million . He wanted to catch up on all the sleep he lost last year .
However, after spending just two days of leisure time on the island, he was disturbed by Jiang Chen’s helicopter .
The helicopter’s rotors blew the sand away on the beach as Kelvin sat up from his beach chair . Seeing as it was Jiang Chen, his furrowed eyebrows instantly disappeared as he greeted Jiang Chen with a smile . The technology of Celestial Trade completely blew the mind of the scientist from Mississippi .
Who did he respect the most in the company? It was undoubtedly Jiang Chen . Even if their work relationship didn’t exist, Jiang Chen’s strategic foresight alone was worthy of his respect .
“President Jiang, what brought you here?”
“There’s a problem with the asteroid project . Have you read the news?” Gaining his footing on the beach, Jiang Chen was straightforward .
Kelvin took a moment to think, then shook his head .
“No, what happened?”
Like most companies, Celestial Trade certainly had a public relations department, and public opinion monitoring was its responsibility . Unfortunately, the asteroid capture project was a high-level secret within Celestial Trade . Apart from the relevant personnel, even the group’s top management didn’t know the space launch center executed a plan to capture the asteroid .
Until NASA’s observations came out that the Bennu asteroid was guided by eight rockets . The responsible people from public relations realized this matter might be related to their own company .
Jiang Chen briefly explained to Kelvin what happened and asked his opinion .
“They can see the ‘construction site’ on the space elevator? This is…” Kelvin had a speechless expression as he thought for a while, still unable to come up with a suitable word to describe this coincidence .
Celestial Trade didn’t use traditional chemical rocket engines as the propulsion device . They used an electric propulsion rocket engine named RM-400, modified by Jiang Lin, based on the RM-320 rocket engine .
Electric propulsion was using electric energy to generate thrust using electric field . The application of electric propulsion technology in the aerospace field actually appeared at the end of the twentieth century, but it was limited by insufficient thrust, so the technology was not widely applied . In the apocalypse, electric propulsion technology didn’t make a big breakthrough until the middle of the 21st century .
Among them, the plasma propulsion derived from electric propulsion technology was used in some engines of “Zhenghe (1)” Space Colonization Ship . The technical aspect was also very simple . It was nothing more than electrons in the ion body experiencing Hall effect under the action of the cross-vertical electric and magnetic fields, and the ions propelled out were used to form thrust to move the spacecraft forward .
However, this seemingly simple technology in the modern world remained in the conceptual phase . In the modern world, even Ad Astra Rocket Company, the company with the farthest progress in rocket engines, just used this concept as a way to draw investors .
The characteristic of this type of engine was that it didn’t form overly visible tail flames at the tail of the rocket .
This wasn’t to be underestimated as it was quite critical . This meant that with the naked eye, the spacecraft using this engine could only be observed at a certain angle or close enough distance . And if it was on the ground, in most cases, even if people did discover it, it would usually be treated as an ordinary star without drawing too much attention .
“Now, the outside world has speculated it’s Celestial Trade who dragged the asteroid into the Earth-Moon system . Because of the controversy created by a certain group, a wave of negative public opinion formed . The Celestial Trade didn’t drag a big mine into the Earth-Moon system, but an equivalent of three billion tons of explosives . ”
“This has no scientific basis . ” Kelvin facepalmed .
“Yes, but you can’t expect everyone to study physics and learn to think rationally . ” Jiang Chen mocked .
The Bennu asteroid capture program was already successful, and even without considering the dozens of tons of explosives placed on the asteroid, there was no need to worry about any safety hazards .
As for why, it was easy to explain . Since “Bennu” was captured by the gravity of the Earth-Moon system, its relative speed with Earth as the reference point already dropped to less than ten kilometers per second . Even if it really crashed into Earth, the impact would be much smaller compared to before .
It was a headache .
After some discussion, Jiang Chen made a decision .
“The asteroid mining program will start right away, and we must change the public’s false impression that ‘our’ asteroid is not under our control . ”
As long as the public could see that Celestial Trade not only possessed the ability to drag this trouble beside the Earth, but they also possessed the ability to solve the trouble, all negative opinion would fade away . The plan was completed as early as last year and only required some minor adjustments .
After arranging this task, Jiang Chen didn’t hold up Kelvin’s vacation any longer . He boarded the helicopter and flew away from the private island .
Looking at the beach hut covered with sand and mud, Kelvin twitched uncontrollably . If he knew, he would’ve built a tarmac .
After hesitating for a moment, he finally gave up the urge to clean himself and called the construction company . The company’s phone number was left for him when he bought the mansion . Its business scope wasn’t only renovations but also maintenance, cleaning and other value-added services .
But then, his plan for a vacation on this beautiful uninhabited island just went down the drain .
(1) Zhenghe – A Chinese mariner from the Ming Dynasty . Zheng commanded expeditionary treasure voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, Western Asia, and East Africa from 1405 to 1433 . According to legend, his larger ships carried hundreds of sailors on four decks and were almost twice as long as any wooden ship ever recorded . (Source: Wikipedia)
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