Friday, August 5, 2011

ANSA and the Planet of the Apes

ANSA: The American National Space Administration

This space program has been very busy. Under Chairman Dr. Otto Hasslein, ANSA reached many major milestones:

1. The first manned spacecraft to orbit the Earth
2. Landing men on the Moon--Project Apollo
3. Landing men on Mars--Project Juno
4. Successful suspended animation and revival of astronauts for long-duration missions
5. Near light-speed travel
6. Faster-than-light travel
7. Travel to the Alpha Centauri system

On January 14, 1972, ANSA launched Liberty 1, a near-light-speed voyage to Alpha Centauri with astronauts in suspended animation. The expected return time was in the early 1980s. The mission was led by Colonel George Taylor. He graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1941 and served in World War II and the Korean War, where he became an ace fighter pilot in both conflicts. Later, he became the first ANSA astronaut candidate. Lieutenant John Landon was the navigator; he had previously flown on a Juno mission to Mars, also as the navigator. Lieutenant Thomas Dodge was the science officer, who hoped to find intelligent life. The 35-year-old African-American is a professor of organic chemistry at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis. Rounding out the crew is 33-year-old Lieutenant Maryann Stewart, a career astronaut serving as the pilot, who flew in the both the Apollo and Juno programs.

After communication with Liberty 1 was lost, a rescue mission was hastily drawn up. Two of the new Liberty faster-than-light variants, with room for three crew each, were launched in June of 1972 along the same flight path as Liberty 1. One was flown by Colonel Donovan Maddox, 38, and head of the combined rescue mission; the other was flown by Lieutenant John Brent, 34. Communications were also lost with the rescue vehicles. After the apparent failure of this mission, Hasslein resigned from ANSA and became the President's Science Advisor. Brent's vessel eventually returned in April of 1973, rescued off the coast of California, with three strange passengers, intelligent chimpanzees who could speak English, apparently from the far future, nearly 2000 years later.

Shaking off these problems, work continued on the new FTL Liberty variants. A crew was launched to Alpha Centauri in March of 1981. Led by Colonel Alan Virdon, the other crew were Major Peter J. Burke and 'Jonesy' Jones. Contact was lost with the vessel after it reached Alpha Centauri. Another mission was launched, but information is not available about it.

These missions are part of the Planet of the Apes Timeline 1, comprising the five original films and live-action television series.

No comments:

Post a Comment