Chapter 08.3

At 06:30, Brandon toted his iPad down from the HP deck to join Tom and Carl in the general lab area on Deck One. “We may still need to do a space walk,” he said. “But it should only take an hour or two. I have an idea,” he proceeded to explain his plan.

Thirty minutes later, Carl and Jackie were off to the staterooms to get back on track with their sleep. They reasoned that a case of sleep deprivation wouldn’t help the situation.

As Mission Support had assessed the situation and determined that rewiring the panel was the best option, there was natural reluctance to Brandon’s idea, at first. But, once it was thoroughly explained that the necessary spacewalk would be one to two hours instead of ten to twelve hours per day, for several days, the go ahead was given. If this plan ended up failing, the fall back plan would be to have the crew rewire the panel.

Valerie volunteered to relieve Sally on the monitors after her four-hour stint. Spying Sally’s glazed eyes, she was afraid that Sally might not have blinked at all during that whole time. A near miss with an asteroid could have that effect on just about anyone.

Tom and Brandon set to work gathering various types of pipe and fittings, collecting tools, finding sheet metal, snatching up more tools and basically grabbing anything else they thought might be needed. One of the largest pieces of the puzzle was a water pump that had been brought along, in hopes of finding an underground reservoir to tap. They then carried the vast collection of parts and equipment up to the HP deck. For the size and complexity of the task they were planning to undertake, Deck Three was the only place on board this project could be done without interfering with vital ship operations.

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