I leaned back into the contoured material of the capsule and closed my eyes. This time wasn’t a test, or training, or a dry run. This was it – show time. The inside of this tiny man-sized vessel was as familiar to me as my own skin. I’d chosen to stay awake long enough to watch our ship leave Earth’s atmosphere for what could be the very last time, for me. I wanted to hold that image in my memory, so that it would be the first thing I remembered when I woke up, ten years into the future.
This hyper sleep chamber would keep me alive until we reached the Orion Galaxy. One of its star systems vaguely resembled our constellation Orion, the hunter. The think tank of astronomers who discovered it, named it after the constellation. The deep space robotic probes that had been sent out two decades ago were just now sending back proof that at least two of the planets in that Galaxy could sustain human life. The program to build a craft space worthy enough to last for a bare minimum of ten years in deep space, began the day the three probes left Earth. In that time period, enough data had been sent back enroute, to make reliable star charts, for the Earth controlled guidance system of the ship I would ride for the next decade, to my destiny.