Chapter 1: Earth Orbit
My first view of Pathfinder is as a newly stripped Commander and as her first Captain. She is long and bulky and definitely not designed for racing but she is still the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I think that most Captains say that about their first command. Her forward section is a modified lifting body and will allow us to land on Epsilon Eridani 4. This sits above and astraddle the containment and habitat module which will hold the labs, the Hyber-sleep chambers and common rooms for when orbit is achieved at EE4. Behind these is the drive section where the fusion reactors and the fuel cells for the Ion-pulse engines. 500 meters long and at over 450,000 M-tons she is capable of .80L; this will give us the speed necessary to rich EE4 in just over 11 years.
The L6 yards have done a first rate job of getting her finished a month ahead of schedule and now it is up to me to get her ready for her maiden voyage to Epsilon Eridani. In two years we leave and I still have to pick the rest of my crew and get the ship fitted out.
First order of business is get my crew picked and I know just the man as my Executive Officer; Lieutenant Commander Paul Winston, we served together on Columbia before my promotion and transfer. Engineering Officer; Lieutenant Commander Tamara Jenkins, second engineer on the Potemkin. Science Officer; Lieutenant Carlona, from Centauri, second science officer on The Sullivan Brothers. As to the rest of the 8 crewman I will let these officers chose who they feel would be the best.
Crew as of Commissioning: (Plank owners)
Commanding Officer: Commander Jason Patrick Lee
Executive Officer: Lt. Commander Paul Gordan Winston
Engineering Officer: Lt. Commander Tamara Ellen Jenkins
Science Officer: Lieutenant Rebecca Delores Carlona
Science Officer 2nd: Lieutenant jg. Daniela Merle Fredrickson
Navigation Officer: Lieutenant Thomas Allen Hayes
Engineering Chief: Engine Specialist CPO Manuel Ian Serdan
Communications/Radar: Electronics Specialist 1st Class Gary Edward Flint
Weapons Specialist/Helm: Sergeant Major Lucas William Jones
Xeno-Biologist: Dr. Amanda Lucille Stanton
Xeno-Geologist: Dr. Raymond James Livingston
Language Specialist: Dr. Kieko Raven Nakamura
22 months to go the crew is complete and we are getting things together. Preliminary tests on the sensors are complete as are tests on the navigation and engineering computers, next up static testing the engines.
It has taken 6 months to get a successful engine run-up but finally we are set for maneuvering trials next week. All static testing is complete and it is time to release the docking clamps and be towed to the Mars testing range. We will be at the Mars range for at least a year while we test the engines in all modes up to full speed .88FTL. We will also be testing the cryo-sleep chambers at Mars station prior to their installation and our occupancy.