There is something on everyone’s mind at this particular time. On July 8th our nation will commence the ending of an era, yet with that it will bring the beginning of a new one. It is hard to believe the space shuttle has been around since the first launch of Columbia on April 12th, 1981. For approximately thirty years this craft has been the primary source of manned space travel. This massive structure will no longer be used to deliver astronauts into outer space, nor will it carry a payload of up to 50,000 pounds into orbit. Upon the final voyage of Atlantis, the space station will be completed, fully stocked for future visitors via a new system.
Space travel by shuttle has not been without its problems. Seven brave crew members lost their lives when Challenger disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean only seconds into its flight on January 28th, 1986. Seventeen years later, while onlookers gazed into the skies, Columbia broke apart as it re-entered the earth’s atmosphere on its 28th mission. All seven astronauts were killed on that tragic day of February 1st, 2003.
In fulfilling their dreams, these courageous souls have left us something useful. They have proven it is possible to travel in space. It is because of their efforts the brilliant pictures of the vast beyond have been returned to us from the Hubble telescope. Through this unique craft, we have had the privilege of locating a galaxy some fourteen billion light years away. That reveals something for us to think about. The size of our universe is mind-boggling, and all of this has a beginning.
One of the main characters of the Dark Side of the Sun, Mr. Steven Lucas, has discovered a way to travel beyond our galaxy. To do that, he must be able to travel faster than the speed of light which we know to be 186,000 miles per second. Why is so important for him to be able to do that? Because he is convinced the sun is about to enter into a supernova. Yet, his opponents quickly remind him that the size of the sun is much too small for that to happen.
As the sunspots and violent explosions begin to erupt, Mr. Lucas is convinced it is coming. Now he must find a way to tap into the energy that produced the Big Bang Theory that gave birth to the universe, but he realizes the source of that energy is divine in nature. If he can only figure out a way to unwrap time from space, he could achieve warp speed. Needing a source of energy, he finds it in the mysterious black energy that fills the universe.
Before Mr. Lucas could convince anyone of his discovery, the sun begins to act up. Now it is time to leave, and he knows exactly where to go if only he can find a way to get there.
At the moment this is all sci-fi, but the future holds all sorts of possibilities. As these events unfold and come to pass, we need to remember the brave souls who journeyed where no man had gone before. Many of those courageous men and women gave up everything – even their lives – to explore the vast universe that lies before us. As overwhelming as it may seem, we have only scratched the surface.