Chapter 08.2

Brandon continued, “I think the best we could do with the damaged one, would be to re-attach some of the wires so as to complete a circuit and get partial use out of what’s left. However, that would mean a lengthy spacewalk and whoever pulls that duty is going to be pulling some big rems by the time he gets back in here. But, you’re absolutely right. We should be able to come up with some kind of a workaround.”

Valerie observed, “And, it may be a cold thing to say, but logic dictates that if it comes down to an extended spacewalk as our only option, one crewmember with a fatal dose is better than six.”

“Rewiring that panel could take days of attaching and testing. Perhaps two people for as much as a week. I’ll contact Mission Support and see what they have to offer,” Tom said. “They may have some useful ideas as well.” He turned to the communications system as Sally and Jackie went back to looking out the window, Valerie looked on as Carl began running some wiring schematics on the main monitor, and Brandon headed in the direction of the HP deck. As the end of his shift was approaching, he still needed to wrap up the work he had been involved in. Upstairs, while shutting down the shop he wanted to make sure all unnecessary lights were flipped off, as well.

There was a small water pump with a variable flow regulator, propelling water from a reservoir into an irrigation line. The water flowed through the line, branching off to six trays, which would be seeded the following afternoon. Brandon decided to shut off the flow, reasoning again, to save power during this emergency. As he turned the knob, the pressure increased and water sprayed everywhere. He quickly turned the knob the other way. At that moment an idea flashed brightly in his mind and he froze for a moment while considering it. ‘Sufficient water pressure could drive a paddle wheel to turn a generator’, he reasoned. “A millwheel in space! But, it takes electricity to run the pump,” he thought out loud, talking to himself. “But, I think you’re on the right track.”

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