Magellan 2014

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Magellan 2014
Year 2013-14
Mission Destination Alpha Centauri
Mission Dates Feb. 24 - Mar. 1, 2014
Habitat Commander Patrick Melanson
Subcommander Alex Mersereau
Mission Control Commander Matthew Dunbar
Simulator Commander Jared Kelly

Mission Magellan 2014 was a mission to the nearest star system, the Centauri star system. This mission was the first mission to conventionally exit the Sol system. For the previous mission to exit the Sol system, see Drake-Sagan 2011. The Magellan 2014 Logs are available on the wiki.


Mission Purpose

With new advances in long-term hibernation, it was made possible to travel conventionally to very nearby star systems. For this reason, OCESS sent a scientific expedition to the Alpha Centauri system using the AYSE drive and the Hawking III, crewed by six astronauts. Long-term scientific experiments were set up, as described in the following section on Scientific Experiments.

Scientific Experiments

Many scientific observations were taken by the habitat during the mission, especially when landed on Alpha Centauri Aa. Listed are some of these experiments.

  • A low orbit probe was inserted into orbit around Alpha Centauri Bb. Alpha Centauri Bb was the first planet that was observed in the Alpha Centauri system from Earth. However, due to the planet's extremely close proximity to its parent star, the orbit of the satellite was very unstable in the long term. Additionally, transmission from this satellite would also be hard to separate from the huge background of the star's emissions. No analysis was performed on this data during the mission week.
  • Infrared photography was taken of all five planets in the Alpha Centauri system. Because of this, it was determined that Alpha Centauri Aa was the only planet with an astmosphere, since the temperature of the surface did not change suddenly at the terminator. Because of this observation, it was decided that the Hawking III would land on this planet.
  • A radar scan was performed on Alpha Centauri Aa. From this, it was determined that the planet was completely covered in water, except for a single, small, solid landing site at coordinates of approximately 0,0.
  • An atmospheric probe was sent into Alpha Centauri Aa's atmosphere to determine the composition, pressure, and atmosphere. From this data, it was determined that Alpha Centauri Aa's oceans contained sulphuric acid and water, while its atmosphere contained sulphuric acid, water, and oxygen.
  • A seismic probe was sent in a sub-orbital trajectory into Alpha Centauri Aa's surface to determine whether the surface was solid or an ocean. The accelerometer data showed an periodical oscillation in the acceleration of the probe, the magnitude of which decreased exponentially with time. From this, it was determined that the probe landed in a liquid ocean. Coupled with the radar scan, it was concluded that the surface of the planet was almost completely liquid.
  • Laura was placed in the planet's oceans as part of an EVA to determine the composition of the ocean and search for any anomalies. However, by the point in the mission at which this experiment was conducted, it was very likely that active, complex life existed in respectable concentrations near the landing site. Because of this, MC said for the active sonar to not be activated until further notice, as it might scare off (or worse, attract) life. However, the LAURA pilot at the time activated active sonar without officer permission. The exact results of this were not recorded, but the pilot noted that background noise decreased by 50% and more anomalies were detected. Interestingly, these anomalies began to accelerate away from LAURA. The only reasonable (sentient rocks are not reasonable, as they fear nothing) explanation for this is that the additional anomalies were life forms, since they reacted to stimuli and moved independently of everything else. Additionally, samples were also collected by LAURA, and LAURA was later retrieved. Analysis on these samples has not been performed as of the end of the mission week.


  • The initial EVA was conducted as a survey of the surface. It was determined that the immediate area on planet Habsburg had at least one cave, a beach, a pillar, and high cliff walls surrounding the landing site.

In-Beta Mission Results

Alpha Systems Developments



During the mission, the Astronauts enjoyed the new Disney film "Frozen." Their repeated attempts to convey their appreciation for the film to MC were met with such memorable lines as "MC to Hab, do you want to build a snowman?"


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