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Hard choices Thursday

Posted by James Dubois in CHOIRS, Tech.

I’m not sure how much of this message will get back without edits so I’m just going to say what’s on my mind. At the present time there are 127 people out of commission with complications from acute and/or chronic radiation sickness. 19 of these people were in critical condition and had to be placed back into the Ripley pods. It was a difficult decision to make and not one I was ready to make. My heart goes out the medical team and the captains for the awful decision that they had to make.

Ultimately it fell onto a deadlock with one deciding vote by a member of the medical team. I think he was 100% in the right in his reasons to send the sick people back to the pods, I can’t imagine making that call myself. Logic and reason won out in the end over emotion. There was a huge blowout after the news of the decision. People were really upset, and understandably so. Qiong is asleep now… she was crying for hours. Hard to believe. If anyone should trust the pod technology it should be her.

There is some good news. While developing the optical laser relay, Jayesh had tinkered with calcium fluoride lasers. Sjon was able to hack the key implants to monitor radiation levels using the calcium fluoride crystals as dosimeters. Terrestrial application was limited but up here, with constant low-level exposure, the crystals work much better than some other methods. When the surrounding tissue is dosed, it affects the key implant which and sends out a warning to the medical department and to the user if things get too hot. We’ve been poring over the design specs of the keys and seeing lots of potential uses that even Jay never realized. Thankfully, he was (is) a meticulous technical writer.

The communications team has been busy with data transmission problems that we hope to fix soon. Wide-band communications is still buggy and the optical laser is in low-power test mode for at least another month. In the meantime, we’re dealing with lots of family members sending and receiving messages to/from Earth and elsewhere to CHOIRS team, especially those suffering from illness. Those of us with family aboard the lifeboats have donated our time on the relay to those in need of it. Sasha and Guy came up with the idea, a way to “distribute data flow” based not on personal need but on desire to give it up… kind of brilliant, really. I mean, we all need/want time on the relay for whatever reason but did I need mine enough to keep my friend Sam from talking to his grandkids (yes, he’s a granddad now with a six year old granddaughter!)?

We’re a family up here, all of us, and we have to look out for each other. Now more than ever.



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