New Horizons Station, 7/5/2038 T.A.D. – As the Earth’s urban sprawl continues to light up the night sky, the study of the stars is becoming increasingly challenging. Light pollution has plagued astronomers for decades, but its effects have been exacerbated in recent years.
In 2038 the solution seems to have moved beyond Earth’s polluted atmosphere to the crystal-clear vantage point of space. New Horizons Station, the bustling hub of scientific progress orbiting Earth, has become a new home for the world’s astronomers. Over a thousand scientists and technicians from a variety of space-related fields, including satellite construction and space medicine, have their workstations here.
However, it’s the astronomers who are seeing the most dramatic shift in their working environment. Dr. Lucy Martinez, an astronomer who has been based at New Horizons Station for the last two years, admits that being an astronomer now feels more like being an astronaut. “You know, when I was a kid dreaming of studying the stars, I never thought I’d actually have to leave Earth to do it,” she said. “But honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way now. The clarity we get up here is unbeatable. The clarity of the signals I mean. But it gives me clarity of mind, too.”
The journey between Earth and the station is a task of its own, with a fleet of rockets managed by a team of pilots. Among them is Captain Jaiti Singh, a former Air Force pilot who now works within the private sector. He is part of the team responsible for the safe transit of scientists and equipment to and from the Station.
“It’s not just about ferrying people up and down,” Singh explained. “We’re a lifeline for these guys, making sure they have everything they need to do their work. It’s a responsibility, but it’s also an honor. Plus, I get to say my office is literally out of this world.” Although the transition to space-based work has been an adjustment for all involved, the consensus is that the benefits far outweigh the challenges.
With Earth’s nights growing ever brighter, the future of astronomy seems destined to be written in the stars, quite literally. Reporting for Future News, this is Alexander Grant aboard New Horizons Station, Earth orbit.