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  • Writer's pictureRobert P. Fitton

To the Next Generation of Dreamers

Sir Richard Branson stowing away on his own vessel Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spacecraft to the edge of outer space is what I dreamed of when I was a boy. Before John Glenn orbited the earth there were several holds and delays before the actual blastoff on February 20, 1962. So, what, Fitton? Those delays were slightly frustrating for fans of NASA’s Mercury Program. If you were an eleven-year-old kid, jammed inside a cardboard replica of Friendship 7, your feet propped up like John Glenn and your entire body motionless in the confined area, it might get challenging as the blood settled downward toward the brain. (lol) And the only thing to look at were lighted up bulbs arrayed across the control panel like the Mercury capsule. I actually found a photo of a kid looking out the portal window of that exact Mercury replica. Naturally I photoshopped that hotshot out of the picture and installed myself (a fourth-grade photo) into the Pseudo Friendship 7.  And I sprinkled in stars and nebulae from Hubble. There I am dreaming away.

Photoshop 7

I know my parents had their watchful eyes on my spaceflight that never left the ground. They probably talked about it with their friends as they wondered what their kid was doing inside a carboard ship in the living room. Glenn had a problem with his heat shield during reentry and I staggered out of my capsule feeling as if my eyes were going to pop out of my head. That was the first and last living room flight for astro-nut Fitton.

Living to see Branson fulfill his dream of going into space is awe inspiring. This isn’t a new TV series or a well-trained astronaut lifted above the earth’s curvature bordering dark space. It truly is just the beginning of spaceflight like a New Western Air Express commercial plane between cities in the early twentieth century.

Branson in zero G July 12, 2021

Dreaming is important. There was Gene Roddenberry dreaming about the show as ‘Wagon Train to the stars.‘ I would watch my father, a hard-working guy who rose at 4:00 AM in the morning to deliver milk, become comically apoplectic at the antics of the lazy double crossing opportunist Dr. Zachary Smith, the aberrant stowaway on Lost in Space. I have always like how Jonathan Harris stirred up trouble on the Jupiter 2 and beyond. But I was also captivated by the fact the Robinsons and Don West were on other planets and traveling occasionally in space. I wish John Robinson had let West unloaded on Smith-just once!

Dr. Smith at his best

If you’re going to dream about something you’d best be informed by those who know the subject. At the same time, I was laughing at Dr. Smith’s antics I was handed a copy of Science Digest from my grandfather where I began reading articles about science by Isaac Asimov. It was a mixture of inspiration and knowledge.

While in college I was ecstatic when I walked into the campus center at UMASS to listen to a lecture by Dr. Asimov. I have a portion of that talk, which I recorded.

Dr. Isaac Asimov

Today I am scratching my head about how Asimov was out to lunch on these predictions. But the respect is still there along with the inspiration.

I began writing when when my father was taken ill and eventually succumbed to cancer. I never talked to him about what he did and didn’t accomplish in his life. For me, I wanted to make up stories but the insurmountable challenges to getting stories out there kept those dreams inside my head. It was only in college when assigned to write a mythology story, I was shocked I could construct a story. The first novel I wrote was a Star Trek novel. I had a lot to learn about the mechanics of writing but the novel was picked up by an agent and made the rounds in New York City’s paperback publishing houses. Rewriting and copyright issues have sent “The Apex of Power” to freebee status on my web site!

I would have been happy writing Star Trek Novels all day long. There have been lots of novels written and a fabulous reboot of the original series Star Trek Continues by Vic Mignogna. But I decided I wanted my own take on space with my own characters. The effort is called Galactic Command. The Nebula Planet was the first novel and Reunion the second story.

There is no transporter in Galactic Command. The transporter is a great shortcut to a planet. I wanted that tension which results in rough rides with a ship, or trying to skirt enemies during a battle. In the distant future time is measured by a different calendar with a few of our months remaining. Aliens have never been discovered and the lifeforms that exists are genetically linked to humans and now have new qualities. The ship is powered by dimension bending coils that squeeze vessels at high velocity through the galaxy. And what about the crew of this ESS? (EXPLORER SPACESHIP) I have emphasized the interpersonal relations seen on Star Trek the Original Series. That’s the glue that holds everything else together. One more thing-In Star Trek there’s always a Captain whose gone bad or there’s a past to each character. I like that. Provides depth. That scenario runs throughout Galactic Command-i.e. Commander Jack Bragg.

Branson is offering two free tickets to travel into space! Just donate to Space for Humanity. Let’s take a video snoop at Branson and crew in zero G:

This is Fitton from Photoshop 7 -Good day!

Post Script:

Photos of Branson’s Flight

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