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  • Mars Date/Time:  Year 001, Sur Two, Sunday, Sol 46 (001.2.46)  09:22 NST
  • Earth Date/Time:  Wednesday, 20 April 2016  2:00 PM PDT 
  • Distance traveled:  196,204,876 kilometers   Time Delay:  4 mins 18 secs
  • Distance to Mars Rendezvous:  196,204,876 kilometers
  • Song of the Day:  Halfway Gone (Lighthouse)

196,204,876 was not a number most people would remember, but to the crew of the Sagan it meant they were halfway to Mars.

Keria Cho asked Anna, “Captain, do you ever think about how odd space travel is?” Anna said, “What do you mean? Keria said,

“On Earth, we get in our car and drive to the store, and the store and our home haven’t moved. In space we left Earth orbit, but Earth isn’t there anymore. It’s practically shadowed us in its orbit. And Mars wasn’t anywhere close to where it will be when we catch up with it in June.

It even stranger that we’ve traveled almost two hundred million kilometers in two months, but the Commodore is going to return to Earth and will have gone about 36 million kilometers to get back. It’s just odd.”

Anna said, “I can live with traveling between moving targets, but what I find weird is that time is moving slower for us than it is Earthside. Relativity gives me headaches.”

Jenna climbed up into the Navigation deck and asked, “What’s our ETA to the halfway point?” Kiera said, “13:31 NST, Director.” Jenna said, “That’s weird.” Anna said, “What?” Jenna said, “The time. 13:31, one three colon three one. The numbers are symmetrical and a mirror image of itself. It’s odd that the time represents our halfway point is a palindrome. Anna replied, “Yeah, I that is strange.”

Jenna left the Nav deck. After she was out of hearing range, Anna said, “She’s lost it.” Keira laughed and added, “Completely mental.”

A few minutes later an announcement was made to the crew from the Director, “Attention all hands, all decks. As you’re aware, we reach our halfway point to Mars today. We will have a Halfway to Mars party at one PM Noctis time today to celebrate. We will reach the halfway point at 13:31, which is a palindrome.” Jenna heard laughter coming from the Nav deck, but she continued, ” For those of you who find that interesting there will be refreshments. For those of you who find that funny there will be the cleanup crew.” More laughter came from the Nav deck.

Jenna was still smiling when Paige came down to her workstation a few minutes later. Paige asked, “Something funny?” Jenna said, “Our Captain and her Pilot think I’ve lost it.” Paige said, “The palindrome thing?” Jenna nodded. Paige continued, “It is pretty geeky.”

Jenna laughed. Paige then said, “On a more serious note, I need to talk to you about a possible issue. It has to do with the earthquakes last weekend in Nippon.”