My name is Rakesh, and I am an astronaut cum scientist. This is the story of my intergalactic journey. It was the year 3104, when ISRO and Roscosmos decided to send the first manned mission to the celestial body, Vostov, in the Axion galaxy. This was the first time a manned mission to the Axion galaxy was going to take place. I was pretty excited when I was selected for the mission, as it had been my long cherished dream to visit another galaxy. My mate was a Russian cosmonaut Nate, The rocket in which we were going was the Aakashyan –1.
The launch took place on 15th July 3104. It would take about 3 months for us to reach Vostov. Vostov was actually a mysterious celestial body in the middle of the Axion galaxy. Our task was to acquire knowledge and bring photographs of it. On the way, we saw a planetary system with 3 suns, a red supergiant, and a neutron star. But, the most spectacular sight was a distant nebula.
However, being in the ship had taken its toll. I was feeling very claustrophobic and homesick. I missed the comforts of my home. I also felt very weak due to being crammed in a spaceship. I also had many cramps. Nate, too, did not fare well. In fact his condition was even worse than mine. In spite of all this, our mission held the first priority and hence, we did not lose hope and kept going on.
When we were approaching Vostov, I glanced at my fuel tank to make sure there was enough fuel for the remainder of the journey. Only about a quarter of my total fuel was left. I made a mental note to myself to stop at the nearest planet for refuelling my rocket. Something else, however took my attention. As I came closer to Vostov, the instruments in my rocket detected the presence of many X–rays and gamma rays , which was highly unusual. What could it be?
Suddenly, I remembered a fact – that black holes ‘emit‘ X-rays and gamma rays. Could it be that Vostov was actually a black hole? The thought sent shivers down my spine. I quickly calculated my distance from Vostov. It was around 20 light years away. If it was a black hole , its event horizon would be around 15 light years away .I told this to Nate, and we decided to slow down the engine. Then, we decided to wait and watch.
What behold our eyes was nothing like which we had seen before. We watched with bated breath as the light around us started swirling and eventually disappearing into oblivion. Various gases were blasting.
Now there was no doubt that Vostov was black hole. I had quickly switched on the automated camera in my rocket which started taking photos and collected data of the rays emitted by the black hole, when another thought came to my mind. We were entering the event horizon of the black hole.In the blink of an eye I reversed my rocket and directed it towards the Earth. Had we ventured any more closer, we would have been sucked into the black hole.
I hoped that my return journey would be eventless, but unfortunately, that was not to be. Just when we had calmed after this incident, we heard a strange sound coming from the control centre of the ship. Nate quickly hurried to the control centre, when I heard him exclaim something in Russian. I quickly hurried to control centre. Then I came to know the problem.
Just before approaching Vostov, I had mentioned that we had only about a quarter of our fuel left. Now we had only one eighth of the fuel left. It would be enough fuel for us to return to Earth, but , it would not be enough land safely. In fact, with the current circumstances, it would only be possible to crash land.
Unfortunately, there was no habited planet in site from which we could refuel our rocket. So our only option was to crash land. We quickly buckled into our seats, and prepared ourselves for a crash landing, for we were not too far from Earth.
Just before we entered the Earth, I directed the ship towards the Pacific Ocean, as there was a lot of water was we could crash land safely. I even sent a radio message to ISRO, giving them the coordinates of the place where we were going to crash land.
The next few moments were the most frightening moments of my life, as our rocket and we crash landed in water. Luckily, Nate and I escaped unhurt, though our rocket was badly burnt. It was an unforgettable end of an unforgettable journey.
Name – Arnav Kumar.
Class – 5th
School – BVM GLOBAL@PERUNGUDI, Chennai.