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INVENTL  7' Inventor's Daughter: maneuvering in outer space

Just before bedtime, Michaela and her family were watching their
favorite comedy show on television when a special news bulletin
flashed onto the screen. The reporter said that the nation of
China had just launched a satellite into space. The Chinese
spokesman said that it was a television satellite.

With that, Michaela's dad jumped out of his chair and headed for
his workshop.

"Where are you going, Daddy?" asked Michaela.

"Something is not right!" was all he would say.

Later that night, Michaela's dad came into her bedroom and
rubbed her arm and whispered, "Michaela. Michaela, wake up."

Michaela rolled over and asked, "What happened? Did I oversleep?
Am I late for school?"

"No, Sweety," replied her dad, "We have an emergency. Get
dressed and come down to the work shop as quickly as you can."

A few minutes later, Michaela came down wearing all of her
inventions.

Her dad was holding open what looked like a full-body suit that
looked like it was made of aluminum foil, saying, "Kick off your
shoes and step into this."

"But won't I need my helicopter shoes?" asked Michaela as she
stepped into the silver suit.

Her dad explained, "Helicopter shoes work by blowing air. But
there's no air in outer space."

"You mean I'm going to outer space?!" asked Michaela.

"Yes." explained her dad. "And, in fact, most of your inventions
were made to work on earth, so they won't work out there. We'll
have to work things out as best we can."

"But why am I going to outer space?" asked Michaela as she slid
her arms into the silver suit.

Her dad replied, "It turns out I was right about that Chinese
satellite that they just put up into orbit. The chinese are our
enemies and that wasn't a television satellite at all."

"What was it?" asked Michaela as her dad zipped up the silver
suit.

"It was a robot that planted bombs on OUR television
satellites." replied her dad, "And if those bombs go off, all of
the televisions in America will stop working."

"I see," said Michaela, "But, if I don't have helicopter shoes,
how will I get around up there?"

Her dad put the clear plastic helmet over Michaela's head, then
picked up what looked like a backpack and replied, "With this."

He put Michaela's arms through the straps of the backpack
explaining, "This is a rocket pack. The remote control for it is
on your left sleeve. You'll steer the rocket by tapping the
remote control with your right hand. Are you ready to go?"

"Yes," replied Michaela, "But I don't see a satellite view in my
left eye lens."

Her dad explained, "The satellite view won't work this time
because the satellites only take pictures of earth, not outer
space. That means you'll need to get up there using another
way."

"What other way?" asked Michaela.

Her dad explained, "There's an airplane waiting at the airport
that will take you high in the sky, then you'll get into a
special rocket ship that will drop out of the plane and take you
to outer space."

With that, her dad touch the keys on his computer and a map
appeared in Michaela's left eye lens.

"I see an airplane view of the airport in my left eye, daddy."
reported Michaela.

"Go." said her dad.

"Take me there." commanded Michaela.

Immediately, she disappeared from the workshop and reappeared
next to a big airplane at the airport. She climbed into the
airplane and strapped herself into the rocket ship inside as the
airplane began moving. Fifteen minutes later, after the plane
flew as high as it could fly, the rocket dropped from the bottom
of the airplane and blasted into outer space. Then, without
warning the rocket motors turned off.

"I think I'm here. What do I do now, Daddy?" asked Michaela.

Her dad replied, "Look around for a satellite."

Michaela opened the side door of the rocket and floated out into
the blackness of space. When she tapped the keypad on her left
sleeve, the buttons lit up. She chose the button that would
rotate her body and pushed it. Then she heard a hissing sound
and the rocket pack turned her around.

"There it is, Daddy. I see it!" exclaimed Michaela as she guided
the rocket pack toward the satellite.

"Look for a blinking red light." said her dad.

Michaela didn't see any lights on the satellite at first, so she
circled the satellite.

"There it is. I see it! It's blinking!" exclaimed Michaela as
she moved closer.

"It looks like the blinking red light is actually a clock
counting down to zero." reported Michaela.

"Open the box and take a picture of the wires inside." said her
dad.

Michaela opened the box and held her left eye close to the wires
inside.

"Picture that." commanded Michaela, "Send Picture."

After a few seconds, her dad said, "Find the screw holding the
yellow wire, then cut the two wires it's connected to."

Michaela found the screw holding the yellow wire, then reported,
"The yellow wire is connected to the red wire and the green
wire. Do I cut them both?"

"Yes." said her dad.

Michaela opened the pocket on her right sleeve and pulled out
the wire cutter. Then she carefully cut the red wire, then the
green wire.

She reported, "I cut the wires and the clock stopped counting
down at two minutes and fourteen seconds."

"Good!" replied her dad, "Now there are two more satellites with
bombs. Go quickly."

Michaela used her rocket pack to twirl around quickly looking in
all directions for another satellite.

"There's another one! I see it!" exclaimed Michaela as she
quickly rocketed toward it.

After she found the blinking light and opened the bomb, she sent
the picture to her dad.

"This bomb is different." said her dad, "Find the screw holding
the white wire to the blue wire and the red wire."

Michaela quickly found the screw that held down the white wire,
then, following her dad's instructions, she snipped the blue
wire and the red wire.

"Done. But that clock stopped with less than a minute left. I
don't have much time!" reported Michaela as she twirled around
looking for the third satellite.

By the time she found the third satellite and the blinking
light, she reported, "The timer has less than twenty seconds,
Daddy. I don't think we have enough time!"

Immediately, she put her foot against the satellite and pulled
the bomb with both hands. The magnet holding the bomb against
the satellite let go and Michaela drifted away from the
satellite. Then she set the rocket pack at full speed and flew
off into open space away from all the satellites.

Then still flying at top speed, she threw the bomb as hard as
she could. Immediately she pushed the rocket control button to
stop herself and fly backward away from the bomb. Less than
three seconds later, there was a bright flash and she felt the
explosion thump against her. But because there was no air in
outer space she didn't hear any noise.

"Michaela! Michaela, are you okay?!" exclaimed her dad.

Michaela replied, "The bomb went off, but I'm okay."

With that, Michaela commanded, "Satellite View, Take me home."

Immediately, she disappeared from outer space and reappeared
inside of her dad's workshop. He turned on the television in the
workshop and pointed to it.

"See?!" he exclaimed, "America's televisions still work because
of your bravery!"

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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