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Unformatted text preview: Sheet1 Page 1 INHERITANCE @1948 Arthur C. Clarke As David said, when one falls on Africa from a height of two hundred and fifty kilometers, a broken ankle may be an anticlimax Be logical, David, Jimmy Langford had protested. "We knew that you were O.K. because the base 'copter radioed when it pick There's only one A.20, I said, trying to be helpful, "but rocket test-pilots are-well, if not two a penny, at any rate twelve for a dim David glared back at us from beneath his bushy eyebrows and said something in Welsh. The Druid's curse, Jimmy remarked to me. "Any moment now you'll turn into a leek or a perspex model of Stonehenge." You see, we were still pretty light-headed and it wouldn't do to be serious for a while. Even David's iron nerve must have take The A.20 had come down fifty kilometers from her launching point. We'd followed her by radar for the whole trajectory, so we The first warning of disaster had come seventy seconds after takeoff. The A.20 had reached fifty kilometers and was following could tell, the luminous track on the radar screen had scarcely deviated from the pre-computed path. David was doing two kilo The A.20 was a two-step rocket. It had to be, for it was using chemical fuels. The upper component, with its tiny cabin, its fold fuelled. It was to be lifted by a lower two-hundred-ton booster -which would take it up to fifty kilometers, after which it could ca I don't remember who called the two rockets David and Goliath but the names caught on at once. Having two David's around Well, that was the theory, but as we watched the tiny green spot on the screen fall away from its calculated course, we knew t At fifty kilometers the spot should have divided in two. The brighter echo should have continued to rise as a free projectile, an There had been no separation. The empty Goliath had refused to come free and was dragging David back to Earth-helplessly We saw all this in about ten seconds. We waited just long enough to calculate the new trajectory, and then we climbed into th All we expected to find, of course, was a heap of magnesium looking as if a bulldozer had gone over it. We knew that Goliath We could scarcely believe our eyes when we found the two rockets still coupled together, lying undamaged beneath the big p...
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- Spring '10