Shadows and Dust
Captain’s Log Day 8130
The mission may be salvageable. Scanners have detected an interstellar cloud passing in front of Rigel 36-F. To reach the cloud, we have to divert by 0.09 degrees, which is a lot of delta-v. Calculations show we should have enough fuel from 20 years of gathering interstellar hydrogen to divert to the cloud, but not enough to return to our course. Spectrometry reveals that the cloud has oxygen, nitrogen, and neon. Trace amounts of hydrogen and helium are likely, but it is difficult to tell with the star in the background.
Captain’s Log Day 8132
I presented the plan to divert to the cloud to the General Assembly last night. Reactions mixed. Some worry about the modifications necessary to separate and store the gases. Many in the Church are angry at the idea of losing their “Promised Land.” Some scientists are wondering where we can get supplies of carbon, metals, and trace minerals. Others are overjoyed, and some engineers have volunteered already. The General Assembly votes in 3 days.