JOURNAL of the DESTINY

April 27, 2023 Humans can do some incredibly amazing things. From the beginning of civilization, we have an wondered what is in the vast emptiness of space. We have always dreamed of going out into the great beyond to see what's there. However, no one really knew how to get there. Just 54 short years ago, we figured it out and sent two men to the moon. Space has been given the name of the "last frontier" for us to conquer.

I'm going to be living in it in two short weeks.

I have always been interested in outer space. As a kid, I loved to go out on clear summer nights and look up into the sky, dotted with thousands of stars. I lived in a valley in the Allegheny mountains of western Virginia. There were very few large cities around, so "light pollution" was not a problem and one could literally see thousands of stars on a clear night. My father bought me a telescope when I was about ten, and since then I have taken it outside on good nights, looking at the splendor of the universe with more interest than ever before. I could see the arms of the Andromeda galaxy, the rings of Saturn, the hundreds of craters clustered on the surface of Mercury. I saw binary star systems, comets and meteors, and nebulas, from which stars are born. However, I had never seen mother Earth from far away, and it was then that I decided I would be an astronaut, sailing among the stars.

April 29, 2023 I, Colonel Craig Jones, along with 11 other people, have been chosen to try out the primary stage of a space settlement. This is not a space station, but a self-sufficient colony which will one day include over 500 residents. To test out the wondrous invention, NASA has built a small colony for me and the other astronauts to live on. We will be living in space for at least two years straight. Once, and if, this incredible floating home is deemed worthy of holding humans in a self-sufficient environment for years on end, more sections will be built and added on to the current prototype.

My job is to supervise my fellow astronauts, but our main function is to see what it's like for humans to five in space for a good amount of time. If we succeed, no one will have been in space as long as us by many months. It should be easy for us, though, because we are going to have amenities that previous astronauts never had.

As of yet, I myself have not seen the colony. In fact, it is in several pieces, orbiting 500 miles above the surface of the Earth. Crews are working on the station right now, getting it ready for me and my colleagues to live on. This project has been going on for the past ten years. NASA ran into some troubles with money about seven years ago, thus slowing production by approximately 50%. At the beginning of the project, in 2013, it was projected to be completed in 2019.

Even though this project was not completed anywhere close to on time, NASA says the colony is "the future meeting the present." I'll see what they mean by this soon enough.

May 6, 2023 Indeed, it was the future meeting the present. Yesterday I was given a briefing on the space colony. Hearing about all of the new advancements combined with near sixty year old technology was quite impressive. It will be using an air filtration system not unlike the kind that is used on standard airliners. However, these older technologies are being meshed with new ones, and now the air filtration system will extract water vapor from the air to provide more drinking water and water for the crop-growth chamber. The crop-growth chamber is a new design that was completed eight years ago. It was a major improvement over the old models. This crop-growth chamber produces the same amount of food as the older ones in half the space. To do this, the design was basically compacted to fit inside a cell in the wall. In order to harvest, a robot arm was invented that will pick plants when they reach a certain height or weight as they get ripe, or when one of the crew decides to pick something. Temperature and humidity are constantly being monitored by a computer and are kept at the optimal levels twenty four hours a day. We have been practicing eating vegetarian meals as we will get little or no meat during our stay in the space colony.

The toilets are standard zero-g toilets that were used on the Apollo missions. They work without water - you simply sit and strap yourself down, and a vacuum sucks away the waste. Not many modifications have been made on this necessity, because it worked very well to begin with, and also because nobody could think of a major way to improve it. Zero-g showers will also be used on the colony. These work the same way as the toilets, except they do use water. The shower is completely sealed during use to keep any water from escaping. All of the water that is used is vacuumed away and filtered for future use.

Cabin pressure will be maintained by a standard airliner pressurization system. Obviously, it is much larger than one for an airliner. The air pressure will be kept at about .95 atmospheres. Even though it will be a bit less than pressure on Earth, NASA studies have shown that it is sufficient enough for humans to live in.

To create gravity, the colony will be rotating about two times a minute. Space stations do not require gravity because the crew will not be on it for more than a year or so. We will be living on it for twice this amount of time. If there is no gravity, we would become weak and fragile, so when we get back down to Earth, the gravity would cause pain and discomfort.

In three days, I will be on my way to the space colony, with eleven other crew members. It seems as if I have been training for years, and finally, I will be living on one of the greatest achievements man has ever constructed.

May 7, 2023 For the past eight months, I have been working with my crew in preparation for living on the space colony. All of us except for two have worked with NASA before. I have been with the Air Force for sixteen years. I was chosen to be the commanding officer on this mission, due to my previous experience with NASA and my many years with the Air Force. Jason Peters, a full time astronaut, is second in command. Our pilot, Danielle Hayes, has been in the Air Force for nine years, however she is the pilot because she has many more hours of flying time than I do. We have two technicians, Mitch Oxford and Linda Young. Their job is to make sure that all of the systems operate properly and to fix any problems if necessary. Jonathan Schmidt is in charge of food harvesting and preparing food for the rest of us. (We refer to him as "chef ") Two computer specialists will be on board - Heather O'Connor and Sean Gibson. Michelle Johnson and Karen Miller are both scientists. Michelle is a biologist and Karen is a chemist. Nolan Palmer is the colony doctor, and Gwen Rossdale is the psychologist, who will be studying the mental conditions of and relations among the crew.

Training for this mission was somewhat difficult compared to that of training for routine space shuttle missions. We did the underwater "space walks," but it was a bit more thorough than normal, with more hours spent on maintenance of a prototype of the colony. The new materials that shield the colony from heat and radiation require extra care to ensure that they maintain their ability to protect the colony's inhabitants. The five solar panels also need to be checked regularly to make sure they have not been damaged by a piece of space junk or other debris. We were also trained on how to use the new computer systems and maintain the crop-growth chamber. Most of these essentials are partially automatic in daily tasks but require manual input to perform certain tasks. Those of the crew who have not worked with NASA before went through quite a bit more training than those of us who did. They went through basic astronaut training long before the rest of us started and then graduated to our level of training. We have been training as a unit for the past eight months.

I have gotten to know the crew very well during our time training together. It is essential that the crew members get to know each other before the mission. This gives a sense of unity and ensures that we will be able to work well together under any stress that may occur during the mission. It is also helpful because we learned how to communicate efficiently and cooperate with each other. This is crucial for the success of the mission and ensures that we will be able to work to our full potential as a unit.

May 9, 2023 Today is the day of the launch - Needless to say, the crew and I are a bit nervous. This morning, we all awoke at four-thirty. I went out for a jog to wake myself up. I'm used to getting up before the sun, but I felt really tired this morning. At seven-thirty, we were given our premission briefing. All of us were greeted by tens of thousands of citizens who were going to watch the launch, the administrator of NASA, Douglas Sykes, and the President himself, Thomas Fremont. After shaking hands with and waving to what seemed like hundreds of people, we prepared to board the shuttle.

As the crew and I found our seats, I had butterflies in my stomach. It was blazing hot and very uncomfortable in my orange colored suit. We would be taking off in less than fifteen minutes. I had been on a shuttle before, but I was very anxious. Perhaps it is because I knew I would not be back on Earth for almost two years. I am going to miss my family very much. It saddens me to think that I will miss seeing my children grow up over two years. However, I am excited to be one of the first human beings ever to live in space on a self-sufficient colony.

Two minutes until launch. The crew is exchanging last minute checks on the systems on board with ground technicians. My headset radio crackled and then I heard a voice on the other end.

"How is everything up there, Commander?" said Martin Williams, the head of Mission Control.

"Seems okay from here," was my nervous reply.

Then, the countdown came over our headsets. "Ten... nine... eight... MY breathing became shallow and rapid. "Seven... six... five... four... " My heart began to pound. I clenched my sweaty fists around the cold steel handles of my hard-backed seat. The liquid engines of the shuttle roared to life, creating a low rumble beneath us.

"Three... two... one.... We have lift-off." Just as that was said, the solid rocket boosters were ignited. They created a deafening, explosive roar that shook the entire shuttle as they blasted us skyward. We were pushed against our seats as the rocket took off, with two million pounds of thrust behind it. About forty seconds after takeoff, the sky became a beautiful shade of purple. An incredible explosion rocked the shuttle as we broke the sound barrier. Some of the crew members who haven't been on a shuttle were shocked at the sonic boom and thought that something went terribly wrong. As the sky grew darker, small explosions coming from either side of the craft could be heard as the empty solid rocket boosters were jettisoned into the Atlantic to be retrieved by Coast Guard tugboats. The liquid fuel tank was ignited, which would carry us the rest of the way to our home in space for the next two years.

May 12, 2023 Two days ago, we docked with the space colony. I never expected to adjust to the colony so quickly, but upon arrival I felt as though I was coming home. We found it rather difficult to align the shuttle with the docking door due to the rotation of the colony. Finally, Danielle was able to dock with the colony. We floated up to the docking door and opened it. We peered inside the colony.

Reaching through the door, I found the handles that are used to climb into the main living area. We climbed onboard and stood up. It was a little different than being on Earth, because the gravity is not as strong. The first thing which caught my eye as I boarded was the seemingly endless space in the colony. Awaiting us were relatively luxurious living conditions as compared to those on traditional space stations. There were cushioned seats, mirrors, and even a sofa. I was impressed by the great amount of detail that was put into the colony in order to give it a comfortable, inviting atmosphere. There were tile floors, but the wall was still the traditional white color of standard space stations. A few windows, closely resembling those of an airplane, dotted the large walls. From a window to my left, I could see the large blue sphere I call home, Earth.

The main computer console was on the other side of the room. The main part of the computer is in a separate room. The crop-growth chambers are also in a separate room, as are the sleeping and dining areas. The bedrooms designed for families were luxurious, each containing its own built-in computer with Internet access, while those designed for crew members were less elaborate, with bunks and less space available. The personal computers with Internet are designed to let future residents shop for clothing and other items. A small remote controlled rocket would fly up once a month with supplies and items people bought. This is possible thanks to the innovation of a new fuel and new cheaper materials. It allows NASA to launch one of these supply modules at a cost of only about three-quarters of a million dollars. The dining area, which reminded me of the mess halls on Air Force bases, despite their fancier decor, was just off the living room and not far from the crop-growth chamber. A kitchen area was located off of the dining room. It was much like those in modern family restaurants, with four large ovens, a dozen microwaves, and two large grills. Pots and pans were stored in large cabinets, and some food essentials, like flour, cornstarch, and other common items, were stored in drawers around the kitchen.

A small workout room for the crew was located at the other end of the station. There were a few "weight" machines, all of which used steel rods to create resistance. There were three treadmills and three stationary bikes. A larger exercise room with a gymnasium might be built to accommodate the hundreds of people that may be living on it in the future. Plans for building a recreation center are also being made, complete with assorted classes in athletics or the arts. However, this is simply an idea at the moment, depending on the size of NASA's current budget. Medical equipment is also on board. It is located throughout the colony, with first-aid kits in every room and a small infirmary located off of the main room. As of yet it is stiff rather primitive, but a larger clinic is guaranteed to be built before the arrival of civilians.

I have yet to fully explore the space colony and all of its amenities. I must admit that the colony is much more expansive than I thought possible. Even after ten years of planning, designing, and building, the colony is still at an early stage in its development. It may grow larger or come back down to Earth in pieces, depending on what happens on this critical mission.

May 16, 2023 It has been only a week since arrival on the colony, but it feels like it's been months due to the emptiness of the large floating vessel and the lack of human contact, other than that of the crew and I. Despite visi-phones that I use in order to keep in touch with my family back home, the gap between Earth and the colony seems to grow larger with each passing day. I miss being at home, playing with my kids in the backyard, and even getting up with the sun every day to go to work. It is strange not having a day and night, so sleeping has become somewhat difficult. Most of us decide to sleep whenever we feel tired, regardless of the time it would be in our native time zones. For the sake of order, we are using Central time so contact with Houston can be arranged with little difficulty.

The crew seems to undertake their daily tasks with little interest, but at least they aren't complaining. I, and certainly Ms. Rossdale, the onboard psychologist, have noticed a slight decline in interest levels. However, it seems as if every time I turn around, I see people working on some part of the colony. So, I gathered the crew in the main room for a conference. I explained that I and Ms. Rossdale had noticed that they had been somewhat like zombies, carrying out their menial and boring tasks every day. So, I decided, along with some guidance from Mission Control, that we would allow the crew to have a day off. When I mentioned that, the crew seemed to come alive again. Sadly, a commander's job is never done, so I will be working as usual in my tight, yet temporary office in the main headquarters. I need to complete some reports on the condition of the vessel, and send them to Mission Control along with Ms. Rossdale's reports on the crew members' mental and health and behavior, and Mr. Palmer's reports on the physical health of the crew members.

On the crews day off, they explored the recreational and entertainment equipment that was provided for the first time. Since the cinemas are still under construction, some members of the crew found comfort in front of the television, equipped with an outdated DVD player. Others were the first to use the exercise room, whilst still others used the game room equipped with billiards, foosball, air hockey, and a few video games installed solely for the crew's enjoyment. While I didn't get to immediately enjoy these new installations, I did find the newly installed PA system much more useful than by word of mouth to announce meetings and to summon people to my office.

I hope that the crew gets used to having so much work to do. Their day off should do good for their moods and the general outlook on their future on this station. Tomorrow, however, it is back to work for the crew, as they embark on another day of hard work aboard the colony.

Due to my responsibility as commander, and all of the hard work I must endure, I will be writing in my journal about every two months from now on. I will use this journal to describe any progressions in technology aboard the station, any problems we may encounter, and any new additions that NASA has completed and sent up to be attached to the existing colony.

July 19, 2023 After almost two months aboard the station, we have all become used to our surroundings. We still have a lot of work to do, but it is a little less now that we have gotten well into our two year mission. Our colony has become more and more our home, and the crew has become like one large family, working together for a common goal, to ensure the success of NASA's most daring project.

Waste disposal is a very important issue that has been discussed before we had even embarked on this mission. However, until today the solution has not been final. Therefore, until now we have resorted to keeping waste bags in a storage area, unsure of where to put them otherwise. NASA has finally declared that with the help of new cheaper and more efficient materials which are being used to construct rockets now, a "garbage rocket" will be built to fly off into deep space, carrying our trash away from Earth. These rockets are launched up eight at a time by a larger rocket. The rockets come to us in pieces and are stored outside of the colony itself. We have been informed that it takes about two hours for two crew members to put one of these together, thanks to new, simpler ways of construction and a robotic arm that uses precision technology to assist the crew members in construction. The rockets use a very minute amount of a new, cheaper fuel to blast them off into space at about 200 miles per hour. NASA will be launching a capsule to our colony soon which will contain eight of the rockets for our use. I am as of yet unsure just how large these rockets are, but the larger the better. I was told that with an average amount of trash, the supply of eight rockets will last about a year. Once these rockets are launched away from the colony carrying our trash, they will simply float off into space for an eternity, because there is no gravity or friction to slow them' down, and they will no longer be the responsibility of our crew.

September 21, 2023 It has been quite a while since we first boarded the colony. The experience aboard this manmade marvel has been fascinating and exhilarating to all of us. Even though we have been on the colony for four months, it is still a thrill to look out the window at planet Earth, and to see all of the thousands of stars in the pitch-black emptiness of space.

We have recently noticed that the air quality is slowly declining; more and more carbon dioxide is building up in our supply. The air filter that is currently installed is old and needs to be replaced. However, we still need to find a way to get more oxygen into the colony. NASA has devised a cheap but efficient rocket which will transport oxygen tanks to us. Currently, the only extra oxygen we are getting is from the plants in the growth chambers. However, that is not enough to replace what our bodies use every day. The oxygen tanks that NASA will supply us should eliminate the need for further oxygen in our air supply for the rest of the mission. A company that works for NASA has developed a new air filtration system that strips oxygen atoms from carbon dioxide molecules that are released by our bodies. It will be coming along with the new oxygen tanks and new filters to go with it.

So far, water has not been a problem on the colony. Our filter is working well. It removes water vapor from inside the crop-growth chambers and from the air in the rest of the station. Most of the water vapor in the air comes from perspiration from our bodies. However, the filter does not remove all of the water vapor in the air - it leaves the humidity around twenty percent most of the time. It also obtains water from our urine.

Hopefully, we will not have a crisis of any sort on the colony. Anything could happen depressurization, failed generators, crashed computers, or a fire. If anything does happen, our crew is prepared to deal with it.

November 18, 2023 Yesterday the inevitable had happened. Much to my dismay, an asteroid had been located on the sonar only a few minutes before it would crash into our home in space. At that point I realized that we were a floating target with no defense mechanism whatsoever, making me shamed to think that as a military officer I had not even thought of any armament or shields at all, should anything of this nature occur. Due to the size of the colony, it was impossible to move completely out of the orbit of the asteroid before it would collide with us, but we were able to use the twelve small thruster engines to turn as sharply as possible to avoid a head-on collision. As a result, a solar panel was lost as the asteroid grazed our left side, but we had successfully avoided a much more detrimental impact. We had six solar panels before, but our colony is designed to operate using only three if the need occurs. Eventually, the pieces of the solar panel would enter Earth's atmosphere and burn up.

I hope that nothing more comes as close to finishing us as it happened today. The chances that we will be hit again are very minute, but the chances that we would be hit in the first place were also quite slim. Some repair work must be done as the entire solar panel was taken off, along with a piece of the colony's outer "skin." However, we are very lucky that the damage is minimal.

January 22, 2024 Last month, another small disaster occurred. We had a small fire in the bedrooms. Danielle was taking a nap when she saw a flame on the wall across the room. Luckily, she was able to get to the fire extinguisher quickly, and she promptly put it out. The only damage is a burn mark on the wall that starts halfway up the wall and goes all the way to the ceiling. One of our technicians, Mitch Oxford, discovered that there was a small wire running underneath the wall which caught on fire because of a small power surge. The wire was taped up, and a patch was put on the wall to cover up the small hole.

Our fire control system is a complex system which includes smoke detectors, sprinklers, and fire extinguishers in every room. Also, any room which is uncontrollably on fire-can be closed off of the rest of the station by a thick fireproof door, in which case the fire would be smothered from lack of oxygen. Another way to keep fire from spreading to the main room is actually to blast the room off of the main station if it is absolutely necessary. It can only be done manually, because there is no way for the computer to know if there are people inside a room.

On the outside of every room or compartment, there are small "lifeboats." These can hold up to twenty people depending on the size of the room that they are serving. In case of a fire or dangerous depressurization, the inhabitants of the compartment affected will load themselves onto a lifeboat. The lifeboats are connected to 1,000 foot tethers, which are connected to reels on the main portion of the station. If one of the lifeboats is disconnected from the room it is serving, the main computer will activate a reel to pull in the lifeboat on its tether to the main part of the station.

The space colony has been a successful mission so far. Everything is going as planned, except for the asteroid incident. However, as I mentioned before, it is not detrimental to the total outcome of the colony. The crew has adjusted well to their new surroundings, and have been able to complete every task with minimal trouble. Even though I am enjoying my stay on the colony, I still want to be home more than anywhere else.

March 19, 2024 So far, everything seems to be going as planned on our mission. I have recently learned more about NASA's plan to continue with the space colony. As usual, further construction of the colony has commenced, and now there are two new additions to the living quarters. It seems as though more people will be able to live on the vessel than I had initially concluded; perhaps hundreds of thousands, if not more. The current colony will be built upon until no more living modules can be supported, and then a few new ones will be made to accommodate more modules. I have been informed that in a few months four more astronauts will be added to the crew on account of the larger size and increasing work that must be done on the larger colony. I am looking forward to having new contact with persons other than the eleven I have been with for the past ten months.

The new crew members are going to be in charge of the new living areas. Even though there is no one living in them at the current time, they will monitor the function and condition of the new quarters. Their job is to report to me on how the necessities and amenities of the rooms are working. They will do this job primarily by living in the rooms for a period of time, and then switching places. Each of them will test out every new wing and give me their facts and also opinions. NASA has told me to be sure to include their opinions in my reports so that they know what improvements, if any, they should make. At this stage of our mission it has become evident that we are becoming more concerned with the future inhabitants of the colony, instead of only monitoring the technological areas onboard. NASA has already concluded from my extensive reports that they will undergo the transformation of this station into a much larger colony, much more livable than it is at its current state. Plans of more entertainment as well as necessities for basic civilizations have been made for the future: concerning law, education, medical services, and a mail system. NASA's goal is to draw civilians into living on the colony, since in order for the colony to become successful, many people who provide services to the community are needed, as teachers, doctors, and so forth. I can see a clearer picture of what the colony will look like and how it will function once people are able to live on it, and what it will look like on the inside and on the outside. I can only hope that NASA feels that our mission was so successful that they continue the program for many, many years to come.

May 24, 2024 It has been more than one year since we boarded our endlessly floating space home. NASA officials will be boarding the colony soon to embark on their annual inspection. Their first inspection occurred before my crew and I had even set foot on the vessel, and their last inspection, before it can be opened to the public, will occur on the end of our mission. The four new crew members will be arriving in a shuttle along with the inspectors next month.

The inspectors will be checking on the progress and unending construction of the colony. Although I am confident that the inspectors win be pleased with what they see, I have always felt a bit anxious during times of inspection throughout my military career. Apparently my tension has been obvious, since my crew has informed me repeatedly that everything is under control, more often than usual.

I am no longer as concerned with the functions of the colony as I am concerned with what the inspectors will think of the living conditions. My crew has worked as hard as humanly possible in order to make sure that everything in the colony is suitable for hundreds of average humans. I will be running my own inspections on all of the living quarters in the colony. I want to make sure that all of my orders are being carried out as I wish. So far, my crew has been doing a fantastic job.

July 22, 2024 Last month, the inspectors boarded the colony. First, they checked the main room and the computer systems for flaws. Technological engineers checked all of the filtration and sanitary systems to make sure they were all in working order. Then, they did more thorough checks on the living conditions and the basic structure of the living areas, ensuring that all automatic doors and the like are functioning properly. I noticed they spent much more time in the crop-growth chambers than I had initially expected. This startled me at first since I had not even remembered to double check the chambers because I am naturally more concerned with technology and so forth. Apparently the crop-growth chambers are well, because I had even received praise from the inspectors for keeping it in such good condition. I almost felt guilty for accepting praise since I came close to neglecting the chambers entirely.

In general, the inspectors were very pleased to see that I had kept the colony in such good order. They actually decided to hold a meeting in the assembly hall for the crew and I, congratulating us on all our hard work. The inspectors were very interested in the colony, and they were granted permission to stay in the colony for another day to enjoy all the pleasures of living in space. They each picked their own room to spend the "night" in.

The next "day," they all thanked us for a wonderful time and boarded the shuttle, which would take them back down to Earth. For a short moment, I wanted to leave with them.

September 21, 2024 The four new astronauts, Shelly Carson, Christopher Donovan, Seth Tiller, and Ingrid Mroczkowski, are getting along well with the rest of the crew, considering they have not seen any of us before. The crew definitely appreciates their help on the mission. They have been working harder than any of us for the past couple of months, probably because the rest of us have become a little tired with our jobs, but no one seems to show it.

We have done very well over the past year. The crew and I work together very well, and everything that needs to be done does get done. It has been a pleasure working with the crew over the past year and a half.

However, NASA has informed me that I am to return to Earth in less than one month. I am not being pulled out of the mission. In fact, they have decided to let me head the entire project from the Earth. I am to be in charge of construction, crew, and all further operation on the colony. They will have a commander in charge of the colony itself, but I am the final authority on all issues.

I cannot wait to get back to Earth and see my family again. It will be a grand reunion. However, I will miss working with the crew quite a bit. I have become very close to all of them, and we have become almost a family. I hope that I get to see them again very soon.

December 15, 2024 I have found myself counting down the days until I must depart from the colony. I never realized how attached I would become, not just to the crew, but to the entire atmosphere of space life as well. However, being the professional that I am, I will not let these feelings get to me too long, thus hindering my performance for certain tasks. The crew insisted, no matter how much I protested, that a small farewell party be thrown in my honor. They requested that the shuttle which is coming to pick me up bring some champagne and fancy crystal glasses.

I hope that the crew will not miss me on the rest of the mission. Most likely however, I will use the visi-phones to communicate with them almost on a daily basis.

I predict tomorrow will be a bitter-sweet day, saying goodbye to my comrades, whilst getting to see my family and friends on Earth for the first time in over a year. I can't even begin to imagine what has changed since I first said goodbye, or how much different my children could possibly look. Even so, coming home will be very happy for my family and me. I will not be writing in my journal for a large period of time, due to the fact that I will be buried in work on my new assignment, one of the most famous this world has ever seen.

June 7, 2025 My time here on Earth has seemed an alien experience to me. I vaguely remember most of the characteristics of Earth; all of its beautiful trees, the clouds and the bright blue sky, and nature in general. The first day I was here, I remember walking outside and looking around for almost an entire hour. I could not believe how much different my home looked. Even though I did not see any real changes, I was so used to my space colony that I was astonished by every little aspect of the blue planet Earth.

I have just begun my new job as leader of the project. As my first order, I sent up the new colony living modules. There were four of them, and they will be assembled and added over the next month or so. The colony's person capacity has increased from just eight to over 400 over the past two years.

Next week, my comrades on the original mission will be coming home. I will be able to see them as soon as they get onto the tarmac from the shuttle. I will congratulate each with a handshake and an award; an award for the first mission on a space settlement. It is a medal commemorating their bravery, hard work, and achievement on the mission. We have yet to name the medal, because it is my job to name the space colony. The medal will be named after the colony, once I find the perfect name for mans greatest accomplishment ever.

August 15, 2025 Today, I have chosen a name for my space colony. After many weeks of deliberation, its official name is The Destiny. I have chosen this name since it seems to fit the idea of Manifest Destiny - to conquer all frontiers and live in places it was never thought possible.

I think that every human has their own destiny to fulfill all of their dreams before death. The Destiny embodies this since all people want to do something amazing or be part of something spectacular.

Our future plans for the station are to keep building upon what we have already done, one step at a time. NASA has so far spent over eleven billion dollars on this project, but all of it has gone for a good cause because the colony is becoming even more successful than previously expected.

Over a period of about six months, two hundred ordinary human beings who have volunteered will be sent up to live in the colony. NASA developed a larger capacity shuttle which has a modified cargo bay that can hold an extra forty people. This shuttle is quite a bit larger than ones used twenty years ago. Shuttle launch costs have been cut by nearly fifty-five percent with the invention of more efficient, cheaper fuels, cheaper and lighter material, and a new booster design which incorporates smaller liquid fuel tanks and slimmer solid fuel tanks.

This will be the first time in history that more than just a few people have been sent up into space to live for more than about a year; to name just a one of the many records that this settlement has broken or will break. Despite the reputation the colony has received for being open to all members of the general public, certain requirements have been made in order to have access granted. For example, one must be in relatively good health, both mental and physical, that would not require emergency medical attention. Even though this need may occur, we want to lessen the risk that someone would die from a disease on the colony because people and the press may begin to think it was a cause of living in space. Another requirement is that people must have skills that will allow them to contribute to the well-being of the community and to themselves. Since living in space is not easy, everyone will have a job to do on the settlement. There will be doctors, administrators of various services, teachers, and maids or janitors, to name a few. There will also be the crew members, which must have a general knowledge of the systems on board and have gone through extensive training.

November 5, 2025 Until this point, law enforcement has not been discussed in as great detail as just about all other aspects of society. The reason is the controversial issue of whether the colony should establish its own laws, as well as national laws since the colony does not belong to one state and cannot, therefore, follow any state or local laws. As a result, a document has been written by the US government specifically for the colony's legal system. In this document it is written that all members of the colony are exempt from taxes, since in this free country of ours there is no taxation without representation. Should a crime occur, the suspect will be forced to appear before an elected jury who will decide whether there is sufficient evidence for the suspect's prosecution. If sufficient evidence is found, the suspect will then be forced to return to Earth to appear before a courtroom jury in the state of their origin. For future generations who will be born and raised on the colony and not have any specific origin on Earth, they will simply be brought in front of any random court that is guaranteed to not have any biased opinions for or against the suspect. A specific branch of crew members will be hired for the sole purpose of protecting the citizens in space, in other words, a mock police force will be made. It is not an official police force since the colony has maximum security in the first place, due to the high number of military personnel which will be on board on a continuous basis.

Education is another very important issue on the station. School will be taught solely by the colony's large internet network. Classes will be held Monday through Thursday at 10 AM, and will run until 1:30 PM. All work will be done on the computer and sent to an automated grading system installed on the main computer's hard drive. Lessons will be taught by teachers, having their lectures broadcast to every computer in the colony. Although students win be taught from the comfort of their home computer, there will be established classes, as well as assignments requiring group work, so that basic communication and cooperation skills essential for survival will not be neglected.

February 19, 2026 New, innovative transportation methods have been installed since my departure from the colony, and they are now all in working order. Moving sidewalks run along halls that will be crowded on a regular basis. Elevators have been installed throughout the settlement, as well as staircases as a safe alternative in case of an emergency. A few escalators go from level to level throughout the colony.

The transportation system is so efficient that one can travel from one end of the colony to the other in less than four minutes. This is a distance equal to eight football fields. Our system must be efficient, in case an emergency meeting must be held or something of the sort.

My next journal entry will be many months in the future so that I may give an update on the colony's operation, growth, and condition. My premonitions tell me that in the near future The Destiny will be much more incredible than it already is. You will soon see if you read my next, last entry.

March 28, 2028 Over the past two years, the space colony has grown to incredible proportions. It now is so large that it can easily be seen moving across the sky on a clear night if the sun is shining on it. Currently, it holds over 2,500 people. The space settlement is no longer just one unit with lots of apartments attached; it now has seven main rooms which were built off of existing main rooms.

So far, there has not been any kind of an emergency on the station. A few small fires were reported, but these were promptly put out. NASA has halted construction on The Destiny so far, but they said they may continue in about 2032 if money permits, or unless the colony project has become abandoned due to an accident or some other catastrophe.

On clear nights, I like to go outside and look up at the stars. Although I was living on a space colony for more than a year and a half, the stars still never cease to amaze me. I go out on a hill with my telescope and try to find my space colony, and I have seen it many times since leaving it.

I wish to go back someday, and be on my home in the stars. Who knows what the future will hold; maybe someday my children and maybe my grandchildren will live on the settlement. Then they will know what it was like for me to fulfill my greatest childhood dream.