[Teralogosnews] HORUS I RECOVERY PLAN FALTERS

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Mon, 11 Nov 2002 03:51:11 -0600


HORUS I RECOVERY PLAN FALTERS

WASHINGTON/TERALOGOS   Nov 11 2002 
  
Citing budgetary concerns, the United States Astrographical Survey (USAGS)
failed to come to an agreement with NASA regarding the salvage of the historic
Horus I spacecraft.   
  
The Horus I mission was launched by NASA in 2024 with a joint U.S.-Russian
crew to establish a permanent base on Mars. After an unusual series of
software and hardware failures two astronauts and one cosmonaut were killed in
2025 when a lander crashed into an already occupied landing bay. The 34
survivors were transferred to Earth, but the Horus I itself continued past
Earth into deep space. The failure of the mission delayed U.S. and Russian
development of Mars and gave China the time to establish its dominant position
on the Red Planet.  
  
"We are sensitive to the historical significance of the Horus I mission, but
our resources do not support an operation to salvage the craft," USAGS
Inner System Director Chuck Capretta told the joint commission. "If our
budgetary situation was to improve we would be more then happy to assist NASA
in this endeavor."  
  
NASA Director Dr. Jill Alaimo declined to comment, but according to anonymous
sources NASA is considering alternate plans. Since losing jurisdiction over
manned space exploration to the rival USAGS agency in 2057, NASA has lacked a
deep-space salvage capability. The possibility remains that they may contract
out the recovery operation to private parties, perhaps to Gypsy Angel
freehaulers.  
  
Critics of NASA were skeptical of the plans. "The U.S. government and NASA
have had plenty of opportunity to recover the craft over the decades," said
Dr. Emil Brontes, head of the Citizen Aerospace Advocacy watchdog group. "NASA
have been playing a shell game ever since the Senate inquiry in 2027," he
continued. "If NASA had their way they would let the hulk rot in deep space,
it's an ugly reminder of their past failures."  
  
According to historian and former USAGS astronaut Paul Santiago, the 2027
inquiry failed to get to the bottom of the Horus I issue. "There were many
unusual circumstances surrounding the accident and NASA overreacted to prevent
as much information regarding the incident from leaking," said Santiago, whose
recently-released InVid The Horus Meme Machine (Mawari Digital, 2100) looks at
the many myths and misconceptions surrounding the disaster. "Personnel were
given gag orders and the mission data that was released to the public had a
number of puzzling gaps and omissions. We can only hope that the remains of
the vessel are recovered with appropriate care and these mysteries are finally
laid to rest."  
   
-- filed by Kenneth Peters