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Escape Velocity


What’s Escape Velocity? In physics, escape velocity is the speed where the kinetic energy of an object is equal in magnitude to its potential energy in a gravitational field. It is commonly described as the speed needed to “break free” from a gravitational field; however, this is not true for objects under their own power.

So says Wiki.

 For me, Escape Velocity means the spirit of adventure. How? Long before i had taken physics as my major, or had understand the basics of rocket science, I happened to read Brian N Ball’s Escape Velocity. It was an additional story in my sister’s english textbook. A book 6 yrs too early for me, as i was still in the 5th std. Being the bookworm that i was (that i still am) I’d read off all the stories in it. This particular story struck such a deep chord, that even now its the only story i remeber from that book.

Escape Velocity is a story of adventure. A science fiction that deals with a young man’s dream to live on the moon, to not be earthbound. Set in 2031 A.D , which’s not that far into the future now, it starts off in the premise that there is a well established observatory on moon where hundreds of astronomers live and gaze at the stars. The young man in question too wants to gaze at the galaxy from there, but is prevented from doing so by a faulty Mitral valve. He doesn’t overcome it, nearly kills himself and in the end is put in prison, the prison on the moon.  More on the story later.

Have you heard of Gattaca? The sci-fi movie where Jude Law ovecomes a 60%-probability-of-heart-disease disability to beat the space agancy and go to the moon? Its loosely based on this story. In that movie though, its a thriller… and of course a romance with Uma Thurman. But this story… well! The version i read am sure is abridged. Made simple and cut short for simple minded school-students. Its not a very well-known story ( which is really surprising). Even google couldnt throw up anything about it, except a mention in a listing of sci-fi books. Neither did a blog search turn up anything. Hell, Amazon didnt have the book listed! Its a pity really, the book was so wonderful… the prose, the thought, everything.