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The Williamson Observatory

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The Williamson Observatory

This historic research platform was the brain child of British astrophysicist Dr. Sandra Williamson (2041-2088). The platform was assembled from 2079-2080 by the European Space Agency, and was designed to conduct extensive research into stellar cartography and astrophysics. It became operational in late 2080, and was in continuous operation until 2088.

The platform consisted of five deep-range electron telescope arrays and eight parabolic optical arrays. Collectively the arrays could make observations in almost every frequency in the light spectrum, and with an effectively unlimited range. In short, it was the best space-based telescope to date. The platform typically had a crew of twelve, and received bi-weekly visits from various supply vehicles. For example, an American Apollo-Mk.III is visible in the platform's docking cog in this 2086 image.

The Observatory was in constant contact with two supercomputer networks that continuously synchronized and updated the data provided from the observatory. The observatory first gained public attention in 2081 with the discovery of Williamson's Star, better known as "The Impossible Star." The observatory's research was considered the most accurate and complete work of stellar cartography at the time, and it is still the standard by which modern astronomy projects are measured. The project's research would later prove vital to both Henri Vandoran and Ian MacLaughlin in their research of natural wormholes.

Dr. Sandra Williamson was considered a genius by nearly everyone who met her, but at the same time she was considered an "insufferable egomaniac," and meticulous to a fault. She frequently disregarded the advice of doctors, and remained on the observatory for time periods far in excess of what was considered acceptable at the time. It is believed that her refusal to leave the observatory would have ultimately made it impossible for her to return to Earth.

Whatever her personal flaws, Dr. Williamson's extensive research revolutionized conventional astronomy. Her research, and that of her famous observatory, was tragically cut short in 2088. A catastrophic failure of a power relay subsystem on the observatory resulted in an explosion that broke the structure in two. Four scientists, including Dr. Williamson, were killed immediately. A supply ship rescued the other crew members within a few hours of the accident, but the structure itself couldn't be salvaged. It burned up in the Earth's upper atmosphere two days after the accident.

When the Rhiannon science platform (q.v.) was opened in 2091, many of the scientists who worked on the Williamson Observatory later continued their research from the new platform.


- Citation: Eeq's technological history of the Solar Council, 6th ed.

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Footnote one: Williamson, Rhiannon, the Solar Council, Eeq, and all other specifics belong to and are copyrighted by ME! 'Nuff said.

Footnote two: This was rendered using Space Station Manager, an open source space station simulation program.
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Ninja-G33k's avatar
HUZZAH!!!

Great work!