Jupiter Balloon

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Now, I’m sure I don’t know all the answers…
the science I know about gas giants is out of date,
I’m sure…

but this is just a Dream.

imagination ignition in Five, Four, Three, Two, One,


[ background music: “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. ]
[ no actual music is playing, nor is this a word substitution.]

“Steady sir ! We are opening the hatch !”

“I’m ready !”

The hatch slides open,
planet Jupiter,
just right ‘up’ there…





One !”

He kicks out of the hatchway.

The ship has killed,
[interesting word that ‘killed’… ]
some of its orbital speed,
the small rocket pack,
on the Jupiter suit,
a modified vac-suit,
does much of the rest.

He free falls,
into Jupiter’s upper atmosphere.

“Releasing drogue NOW!”

CRACK ! go the lines, its gone.

[segue into some acoustic bottleneck music, but ya know, kinda perky and upbeat. ]

Some seconds go by…
[ sorry, no time to name them…]

“Releasing next drogue, NOW !”

That one works.

Using new fibers that one,
or was that the other one,
check later,
kinda busy right now.

It steadies the man,
falling towards Jupiter,
its atmosphere beckons crushingly,
an Earth-sized thunder storm,
barrels up over the horizon,
and slowly goes past the drop zone.

Safe, for now.

“Main ‘chute deploy, NOW !”

Microphones get turned off in the ship,
Faces look at each other,
Voices ask, “Do you see him ?”

No reply,
they go on looking,
not room for a large telescope,
on that ship as it regains,
orbital speed,
to see the suit and the ‘chutes,
down there,
in Jupiter’s at-most-phere…



Just clouds,
and a voice on the radio.

More research was done,
maybe this ensemble of gear,
will work,
unlike the previous attempts.

“I’m not holding altitude !
The suit is too heavy !
Its not keeping neutral buoyancy,
or we figured the gas mixture,
at this altitude,
on this gas giant wrong !”

They relay the message,
back to Marsport.

Aye, back to Marsport,
where the rest of the team awaits.

Nothing they can do anyway.

Waiting is about all they can do.

“Inflating balloon !”

Its highly reflective,
sort of… maybe that wont last long,
in Jupiter’s atmosphere.

“Done ! Wait. Its barely holding me up !
Inflating the other balloon !”

[ segue to: “Learning to Fly” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers]

Then they see it,
relaying the image to distant Mars.

Two concentric circles,
in the upper clouds.

holding position,
up above,
the cloud tops,
on mighty Jupiter,
running down a dream.

His wife,
she designed the suits,
jumps out,
2 ship orbits later.

While he assembles,
a generator of a large wheel,
they got the idea,
from an old movie,
about a three-penny bicycle !

Large wheel turned by gears,
and small pedals,
hook to a generator,
in place of the small wheel.

Enclosed well,
they hope,
against hydrogen getting near,
those electric bushings.

There he goes,
a space man,
riding his bicycle.

They manage to meet up,
no quips about Dr. Livingstone,
the four balloons joined,
the bicycles joined.

So now… they circle Jupiter,
on a contraption,
that looks alot like,
a bicycle built for two.

Doing research,

right there,
telemetry back to Mars,
sometimes relayed by Far Side Base,
on Earth’s Moon,
or the small research station,
out Neptune way.

The next set of suits,
will try for 100 miles further down,
into Jupiter.

Gonna follow a dream,
and probe it,
to see if it has a center.

Or if its just gas,
all the way down.

A distant light,
out by Pluto,
shows our first starship,
heading outward and onward.


Ride that bicycle built for two space-going Texans !

maybe there is something down there,
maybe not,
but we go go go,
and we find out.

Inward and outward,
the journey continues.

Yeeha !

Categories Poetry, science fiction


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