Ascension: Depends on Your Viewpoint

The military shuttle continued to rocket upwards, the ride slowly smoothing out as the atmosphere fell away. Just out of interest, I queried the shuttle and was pleasantly surprised when the spacecraft offered me access to its hull cameras.

I saw the Earth below us in rear cam, a superbly pale blue sphere that shaded into bright pink and magenta as the hyperspectral imagery shifted to infrared and microwave at my curious touch. I pulled more data down, and the shuttle complied: tactical information showing the locations of major spaceport facilities and other spacecraft.

I snapped to the lateral views. Earth orbit was a mass of satellites, space stations and habitats, some easily seen as twinkling dots even without being tagged by the overlay. We passed high-atmosphere research labs and a few resupply drones on low-burn trajectories.

Tiring of that, the forward view offered a clear sight of our destination: a medium-sized habitat drilled into the side of an otherwise unremarkable asteroid.

View this story's 3 comments.