Magi Craft Meister - Chapter 489
“My Lord, please come to the control room as soon as possible.”
While Jin was relaxing at Stearleana’s house, Laojun’s voice suddenly echoed in his ears.
Jin quickly thanked Stearleana for the tea and hurried to the control room in the basement of the laboratory. Reiko followed him without saying a word.
“What is it? Did something happen?”
“We’re in an unpredictable situation.”
“Satellite 001 is falling.”
After the Gravity Magic affecting it was canceled, the satellite was supposed to restore its inertia and put itself into a geosynchronous orbit, but after several tens of minutes, it became difficult to maintain said orbit, and it had started to fall.
“Where did we fail?”
“Falling has a certain velocity. After a mere 15 minutes, according to Satellite 001’s data, it’s no longer stationary.”
“This planet’s rotation speed was higher than anticipated. Satellite 001 seems to have been left behind.”
Jin began to think. Geosynchronous satellites are those that are relatively stationary with respect to the planet’s surface. Preliminary experiments confirmed that when inertia is restored, the satellite’s original velocity would also be restored.
If the time from launch to orbit is 2 hours, the direction of speed would shift by about 30 degrees, but something like that should have been corrected by the satellite’s Magi Gravity Engine.
“Ah, I see!”
Jin realized where his misunderstanding had been. It could never behave like a satellite at the speed it had when it was on the planet’s surface.
The satellite orbit couldn’t be maintained unless its speed was about 8 kilometers per second.
Jin quickly instructed Laojun.
“Laojun, accelerate it using its Magi Gravity Engine. It should be able to reach a speed of 8 kilometers per second if we accelerate it at 1G for about 15 minutes.”
“I’m afraid that won’t be possible.”
“Satellite 001 is rotating as it falls.”
It seemed to have started to rotate at a speed that was beyond the satellite’s attitude control.
“Ah… I should have put a gyroscope in it…”
Jin was not familiar with the mechanism of artificial satellites, so it was understandable that his first attempt would fail.
Jin’s face had made a complete change from his previous expression, and was now groaning with regret.
“Laojun, can’t we use the Falcon or something like that to catch the satellite?”
Jin wasn’t the one who asked that question. But he was the one to answer it.
“That won’t work, Reiko. There’s no air in outer space. The Falcon’s Magi Jet Engine won’t work there.”
Reiko was disheartened after seeing Jin’s own discouraged expression.
The one to come to their aid was Laojun.
“My Lord, I believe there is one thing worth trying.”
“What is it?”
Since they had little time to act, Laojun was brief in his explanation.
“We could transfer an aircraft that can break into the atmosphere and retrieve Satellite 001 with it.”
“But can we match the satellite’s falling speed? Will we be able to catch it as it falls?”
“At this point, we can only take our chances.”
Jin was worried. A golem-operated aircraft shouldn’t have much of a problem being transferred into outer space. However, Jin could not predict what would happen the moment it entered the atmosphere.
It would be nice if Satellite 001 could be retrieved safely, but if all were to go terribly wrong, the aircraft could be lost. And its golem pilot with it.
“Father, I’ll go on Pegasus 1.”
“It feels weird that I say this myself, but I have the fastest reaction speed of all the golems and automata that you have access to. I think that we should take our best chances if we want this operation to succeed.”
“My Lord, we can’t afford to hesitate. Each second that passes, Satellite 001 gets 9.8 meters per second faster than the last.”
Jin made up his mind.
“Reiko, there’s no need for you to do that. I have no intention to put you through that kind of danger.”
“This failure was my mistake alone. I was too greedy. I should have taken a different approach at this. I should have started by making a vehicle with a Magi Gravity Engine to gather data, then launch a regular satellite and get more data before trying to put a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. The satellite falling now is nothing more than my just desserts.”
Jin stared at the ceiling with a sad smile on his face, as if he was actually staring at the falling Satellite 001 through the walls of the laboratory.
＊ ＊ ＊
The dispirited Jin then left the laboratory, and seemed to be heading towards Stearleana’s house.
After seeing Jin’s depressed state, Laojun started to consider other possible ways to retrieve Satellite 001.
“Is there any other way…?”
Although he wasn’t as creative as Jin, Laojun was far superior to him in terms of thinking speed and ability to process multiple pieces of information at the same time.
After spending about 3 minutes, Laojun finally arrived at a conclusion. There was no other way. But he could make slight modifications to their previous plan.
Satellite 001’s current altitude was less than 20,000 kilometers, and its speed was close to 18 kilometers per second and increasing even further with every passing second. It was already impossible to catch it as it fell.
It would be possible to retrieve it by setting up a huge Warp Gate along its fall course, but that wasn’t something that could be prepared at a moment’s notice.
Before anything else, it was essential to reduce its falling speed.
“It should be narrowly possible to reduce Satellite 001’s inertia to 0 by using its remaining Ethenol in the span of approximately 3 seconds. In the meantime, we’d have to transfer the Falcon equipped with a transfer machine and transfer Satellite 001 to the surface.”
If its inertia is set to 0, Satellite 001 would stop instantly. Therefore, the coordinates would be specified and the Falcon would be sent close to those coordinates. Then, the Satellite 001 would be transferred using the Falcon’s transfer machine. The Falcon would be able to safely enter the atmosphere by deploying a “Barrier”.
This was Laojun’s conclusion. Satellite 001 was originally planned to act as a marker for transfer, so determining its position would be an easy task.
And although the principle behind transfer machines and Warp Gates were unknown to him, its inherent speed would be 0 (at relative velocity) at the time of reappearance, regardless of how fast it was at the time of being transferred out.
Fortunately, Falcon 1 still had its transfer machine installed after it was used to bring Stearleana’s house to Hourai Island.
Laojun consulted with Reiko through the Mana Comm. After all, Reiko’s reaction speed was necessary for this operation’s success.
“Let’s do it, Laojun. For Father.”
Immediately, Reiko acknowledged his message and left Stearleana’s house quietly so as to not arouse suspicion from Jin. Then, Reiko boarded Falcon 1, which was just outside the laboratory.
Since Jin had gone inside Stearleana’s house to talk to them about the satellite’s failure, he was unaware of any of this.
“Let’s hurry. Before it enters the stratosphere.”
Reiko put the transfer machine of Falcon 1 in Standby Mode while Laojun prepared the transfer machine that was installed outside the laboratory.
“Falcon 1 is ready.”
With that, Laojun reduced Satellite 001’s inertia to almost zero.
Satellite 001 stopped instantly, with only a slight resistance. Laojun then immediately transferred Falcon 1 to its target coordinates.
Falcon 1 was transferred to outer space in a mere 1.4 seconds. Reiko immediately aimed the transfer machine at Satellite 001, which took her only 0.7 seconds. Then she turned on the transfer machine, and 0.8 seconds later, the transfer started.
The entire operation to transfer Satellite 001 took exactly 2.9 seconds.
A moment later, Satellite 001 appeared in front of the laboratory. Its inertia had been restored at the same time as it was transferred, so there was no danger.
“With this, Satellite 001 has been safely retrieved. The rest is up to you, Reiko.”
Falcon 1 started to fall from an altitude of about 13,000 kilometers.
Its built-in Magi Jet Engine still wouldn’t start.
Reiko deployed Falcon 1’s “Barrier”.
They would enter the atmosphere after falling for another 100 kilometers, in approximately 27 minutes.
“If only we could transfer it ourselves without needing to send an aircraft to set up a transfer machine, this incident could have already been solved without any problems…”
The hints that Alciel the Puppeteer had previously given them about Transfer Magic hadn’t been fully analyzed yet.
“Reiko, please come back to us safely.”
At that moment, Jin stormed into the control room.
“Laojun! Where is Reiko!?”
“My Lord, Reiko is…”
<<Father, I’m aboard the Falcon 1.>>
Reiko’s voice echoed from the Mana Comm.
“Reiko! I told you not to do this!”
<<Sorry, Father. But I couldn’t bear watching the sadness in your face any longer. Laojun feels the same. So we discussed it and came up with this plan.>>
Laojun also explained himself to the worried Jin.
“My Lord, the Falcon 1 also has a Warp Gate, so in case of emergency, Reiko can escape to safety with it.”
“…That doesn’t mean I can feel at ease yet. Reiko, please come back safely. There’ll be time to scold you later.”
Then, after 27 minutes had passed, Falcon 1 finally entered the atmosphere.