Vietnam or Thailand ? Vote for the TOP Country of the Week !

Just on the moment of departure, the fact was announced by one, who had been making a little calculation on a bit of paper, that the velocity with which a body must be thrown in order to escape forever the attraction of the asteroid, and to pass on to an infinite distance in any direction, was only about forty-two feet in a second.

The asteroid sped on its lonely way for two days and then a cruiser came out of space, its nuclear drive glowing. The Planeteers manned the rocket launcher and Rip and Santos stood by the snapper-boat just in case, but the cruiser was the Sagittarius, out of Mercury.

A cataclysmic burial. A titanic meteor, an incandescent, screaming streak in the night a cloud of billowing steam a wall of water rearing back from the strange grave of the asteroid, so far come from its accustomed orbit around Mars.... The thought came to Carse that Dr. Ku Sui had died as he lived, spectacularly, with a brilliance and a tidal wave and an earthquake to disturb the lives of men....

Ku's operating equipment from the air-car, he called aside one of his assistants and instructed him to go and survey the asteroid through the infra-red device every ten minutes: and with this order the old scientist dismissed the matter from his mind, and turned all his energies to preparing the laboratory for the operations.

As he watched the fuel burn, he wondered why the last nuclear charge had started the spin. He had made a mistake somewhere. The earlier blasts had been set so they wouldn't cause a spin. He made a mental note to look at the place where the charge had exploded. The rocket fuel slowed the asteroid down to a point where it was barely turning, and Rip was glad he had been cautious.

He called for Dowst, then carried the instrument to the center of the cross formed by the four men. Using the instrument, he rechecked the lines from the center out. They were within a hair or two of being exactly on, and a slight error wouldn't hurt, anyway. He knew he would have to correct with rocket blasts once the asteroid was in the new orbit. "X marks the spot," he told Dowst.

Something had happened to Dad. Now Tom peered up at the dark sky, squinting into the sun. Somewhere out there between Mars and Jupiter was a no-man's-land of danger, a great circling ring of space dirt and debris, the Asteroid belt. And somewhere out there, Dad was working.

The question was, would the Connie try to set his ship down on the asteroid? Rip grinned without mirth. Now would be a fine time. His chronometer showed a minute and a half to blast time. He took another look at his own situation. He and Santos were getting close to the asteroid, but there was still over a half mile of Earth distance to go.

From the far side of the dome ahead of them the asteroid stretched back hard and sharp in Jupiter's ruddy light against the backdrop of black space. It was a craggy, uneven body, seemingly about twenty miles in length, pinched in the middle and thus shaped roughly like a peanut shell.

Rip had been feeling a little too proud of himself. "It's good to get back," Rip said. On the Platform There were two things Rip could see from his hospital bed on the space platform. One was the great curve of Earth. He was anxious to get out of the hospital and back to Terra. The second thing was the asteroid. Spacemen were at work on it, slowly cutting it to pieces.