“Space Engine” by K-putt is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/?ref=openverse.
Otto turns around in disbelief as he stares at, what looks to be, a different version of himself. How could this be? What is going on? Otto thought.
Skylab III is a private astronaut base located in the Southern part of Kansas. In there worked the head of operations, the lead astronaut, Otto and then astronaut candidates Liam, and Drake, and the operations team. Which is composed of 8 technicians. The crew has been blueprinting and testing for several years ways to increase the altitude of their satellites. After possibly finding the jackpot, Otto and team construct the satellite which will, in hopes, reach the heights they dream of. After long days of building, the space station decided to finally launch the Hites Satellite into space. The launch was successful and after the first week everything went accordingly. However, exactly two weeks after the launch, the crew got to the station in the morning to realize they had lost full signal and location on their new satellite.
The crew were in disbelief, “What the heck happened!” most screeched. Otto sat in his office filled with anger, but more importantly disappointment. While everyone was scurrying around trying to get the coordinates back on the satellite, the head of operations said the only way to figure out what was going on was to find where the satellite went. The head of operations deployed Otto on a mission to launch into space in the morning to the last known coordinates and see if he can get a sense for what happened. Otto bravely stood up out of his seat and said, “Get the Accelerated Indigo (AI) ready. I’m going up in the morning.” Otto left the station that evening being unaware if he was feeling excitement or nervousness. He knew the next time he enters the station, he will be leaving the atmosphere, not knowing when or even if he will return.
Otto arrived at home that evening and gave his son and daughter the biggest hug ever. He walked over to his wife, Carlene, and greeted her with a kiss. She had been preparing dinner for the family. Tonight she cooked a juicy meatloaf with a zesty tomato glaze poured on top; on the side she prepared cubed sweet potatoes that when bitten have the fluffy warm inside. “Guys time for dinner!” Carlene exclaimed. The kids ran to the table with grumbling stomachs, while Otto trotted his way over to the table, ready to tell the family the news. While the meatloaf and potatoes were being passed around the table and everyone was pouring out their portions, Otto said, “Guys something happened at work today. You guys know how I told you about the new space satellite we launched two weeks ago?” Everyone shook their heads yes, “Well today we lost complete signal to it and the chief informed me I must be up by myself and see what happened.” The family was in shock and his wife responded with, “Oh no babe, how long is the expedition going to be?” Otto in reassurance said, “The trip should only last 3-4 days with everything going smoothly.” The family accepted the news and moved on with no overthinking, finished their meals, and got ready for bed. Otto kissed his wife goodnight, rolled over and went to sleep in his comfy bed.
The next morning, Otto rolled out of bed and got ready for work. He gave his wife an even bigger kiss than last night and gave his two sleeping kids a kiss on the forehead. Otto walked out the door, started his 2012 red Honda, and made his way to work.
After arriving at the station and getting everything prepared, Otto shook everyone’s hand and walked onto the nest of the ship. Otto was as ready as he’ll ever be. He turned on the engine, turned on all the terminals he needed to, and strapped himself into the chair. “AI, fly me to coordinates RA: 6h45m8 in T-60 seconds.” Otto strapped himself in and prepared for takeoff. His chair leaned back. “5,4,3,2,1, Blastoff” the robotic voice announced. Otto held onto the handles on the side of him. The Accelerator explodes up into the atmosphere.
After a day of exploration, the artificial intelligence system announced they have reached the destination that Otto was seeking. Otto got up out of his bed and took a peek outside of the cellar. He did not see anything out of the ordinary that could have washed away the satellite. That was until he turned around he heard a huge crash. He went back to look out the window again and he saw a huge bright glow which protruded quickly through the window and blinded him with the glow. When he opened his eyes back up, he was traveling back down to earth. Otto being absolutely confused and having no idea what’s going on, he tries to get in touch with the station, “MayDay, MayDay, do you copy”. The radio just reciprocated static. Otto repeated again, “MayDay, MayDay, do you copy!” this time with more urgency. Otto decides on his own to make an emergency landing in a closest field, which all looks too familiar, “AI make an abrupt landing in the nearest field.” Otto said. “Yessir Mr. Otto.” responded the Artificial Intelligence control console. While he was descending to the open field he hears a beep come from the GPS on the satellite. Once the ship lands, Otto walks over to the console and sees that he has picked up a signal on the satellite again. The satellite sits a couple miles away. In absolute confusion and panic, he recognized where he was and walked a couple miles towards the station. Whilst walking, Otto recognizes exactly where he is although there are some differences now. Otto having no clue what is going on just continues walking and doesn’t stop to even think. There are so many thoughts going through his head right now that he doesn’t even know where to start.
Finally arriving at the station, he walks up to the main entrance, scans his finger with no problem, then he does a face scan. The lights just blinked red and the door didn’t open. This has never been a problem before so he went at it again. Yet again, it didn’t open. Otto decided to just head back to the ship in hopes of finding some light on this nightmare. As soon as he started to walk away he heard the door open from behind him. Otto turns around in disbelief as he stares at, what looks to be, a different version of himself. “How could this be? What is going on?”, Otto thought. A plumpier and hairier version of himself is standing 20 yards away from him. It finally hit Otto what happened up in space. He must have got sucked into another dimension via some type of portal. Otto decided to get back to the AI to call it a day and gather his head around what is going on and how he needs to approach this.
The next day he awakens and speaks to the AI console revealing the ship is out of fuel and how he needs to gather enough fuel to make it back home. The AI generated response was to go to gather a bunch of sticks and leaves and stick it in the gas chamber. Fortunately, this ship can turn natural elements into fuel to run the ship. The system told him the nearest area where he can find an abundance of fallen leaves and sticks. Otto knew he had to get back to “his earth” asap to return the news to his fellow astronauts. He traveled along and returned with a bag of sticks and leaves after 30 minutes. Before leaving he made a pitstop to get back the satellite. Before takeoff, Otto told AI the destination which was the same spot they got dragged into all this mess.
After about a day they returned to the same coordinates as before. Otto knowing, hoping at least, what was going to happen next just sat back and expected it. Before he knew it he was flying back down to his earth, or so he hoped. As he flew back down to the station he was greeted with confusion and loving arms from his wife, kids, and coworkers. SkyLab III thought they lost a mate. His wife thought she was a widow. Otto has a lot of information to tell.
Impey, Chris. “Analysis: How AI is helping astronomers study the universe.” PBS, 8 May 2023, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/analysis-how-ai-is-helping-astronomers-study-the-universe. Accessed 22 October 2023.
“The Future of AI? Robotic Space Exploration.” YouTube, Museum of Science, 2 November 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFfmEUdlqQU. Accessed 22 October 2023.
In these two sources I learned how the use of artificial intelligence can assist astronomers when satellites go farther from earth. I also learned that the AI can help sort out data and pick out patterns or any outliers in the data. In my paper, artificial intelligence is going to be used in the spaceship in the main console area. It will process the information that is put into the system and act upon it. Otto can also give him information or queries and it will relay information back. Otto uses this as an assistance and guide as he embarks on a journey he doesn’t know what will come next.
Zemeckis, Robert. Back to the Future. Universal Pictures, 1985.
I’m modeling my main character, Otto, after Marty McFly from the Back to the Future series. Similarly to Otto, Marty went to another dimension and stumbled into himself, and people he knows and loves, but aged in different ways. Unlike Marty, Otto enters not the past or future, but a separate dimension.
Nolan, Christopher. Interstellar. Paramount Pictures, 2014.
I am basing my setting of the spaceship, the multidimensional space, and space off one of the greatest movies of all time, Interstellar. As Otto lifts off into space, in his spaceship similar to Cooper’s ship in Interstellar. The idea of multidimensional space and another dimension stems from director Christopher Nolan’s unbelievable plot twists. In the end of the movie, Cooper, the main character, enters a bright light and finds himself gravitating in the past, while he is giving signals to his sister through controlling her setting. Which we find out eventually was him controlling everything at the time in the beginning of the movie but he’s doing it at the end. Crazy mind game I know. On the flip side, Otto’s case isn’t this serious but he enters a portal-esque to another dimension where he finds himself puzzled and caught in emotion.