<< BACK TO RELAY ONE LOG Greetings, spacefarers! This QEC broadcast will describe the layout and basic features of the Shin-Salyut 6 orbital station. Far be it from us to pressume ignorance of mankind's history in space on the part of those selected under close scrutiny to represent our species as it expands into the stars, but of course the unstoppable march of progress means that your own vessels bare little resemblence to our own, and the exact nature of our daily existence here in Low Earth Orbit may be only vaguely apprehended by our readers, many of whom may have recently awoken from cryosuspension. Shin-Salyut 6, from the perspective of those who live on it, is a full-scale replica of the historic Salyut 6 station. Cylindrical in shape, the station is 15.8 metres long and 4.15 metres wide at its widest point. Attached to this cylinder are three solar panels, mounted at right angles to each other, exposing 51 square metres to the sunlight. This provided the original station with some 4 kilowatts of electrical power. Of course, 51 square metres of modern photovoltaic material provides substantially more power, but no more than 4 kilowatts is permitted to be drawn at any time by the facilities used by the station's inhabitatants. The station has fore and aft docking ports. To the fore port is docked a replica Soyuz spacecraft (7K series), and this was our ferry to the station, and its descent module will be our ride home at the mission's completion. The historical Salyut 6 was the first space station in human history to support long-term habitation via periodic resupply from autonomous Progress craft which would dock to the aft port. Lacking the budgetary capacity for recurring resupply launches, the Shin-Salyut 6 has a larger module docked to its aft port, which is, indeed, larger than the station itself. It contains adequate supplies for a 12-month mission. From the perspective of the station itself, this module appears identical to a Progress craft. Rather than being exposed to open space, the Progress craft is, in fact, inset into the larger supply module. On a fixed schedule, and only when the interconnecting door is full sealed, automated systems open one-way doors in the pseudo-Progress and transfer strictly no more than 2,300 kg or 6.6 cubic metres of food, water, air and other equipment. This provides our reenactment with a fine sense of verisimilitude, although our health and well-being depends crucially on the continued correct operation of the automated systems. The engines of the Progress resupply craft also provided station-keeping thrust to the historical Salyut 6. In our case, orbital decay is kept at bay by a Shinohara Heavy Industries 6th Generation ion engine contained in the supply module, which in fact consumes the vast majority of the energy provided by our solar arrays. The engineering minded reader will have noticed that, even without the additional load of the ion engine, 51 square metres of even the finest photovoltaics is woefully inadequate to power any practical entanglement engine for QEC communication, and this is quite right. You do not receive these messages directly from Shin-Salyut 6, space-farers! Comrade Ryumin, fully licensed by the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communciations and a Lifetime Member of the Japan Amateur Radio League, relays these messages to GKRSSHPRS-affiliated groundstations via FM voice channel on the 2 metre band, as an approximation to the 121.75 MHz FM voice downlink widely used by Soyuz craft. From Earth the messages are forwarded to a QEC transmission system via internet. The QEC transmitter itself is several additional "hops" from any contact well-known to the GKRSSHPRS. Comrade Ryumin reads these dispatches from my notes, hand-written using pencils as we are, of course, in a micro-gravity environment, modern artificial gravity systems based on LQG spin-network theory being totally unknown to the Soviet pioneers. Our long term presence in such an environment requires a rigorous exercise routine to prevent muscular atrophy, and our station, like the original, is equipped with an extensive gymnasium. We are also aided in this respect by the outstanding replicas of of the "Pingvin" exercise suit, whose integrated elastic bands provide a substitute for gravitational forces. The crew extends its gratitude to our comrades in the GKRSSHPRS's Cosplay Divison for their hard work in producing these. Our daily life in the station is simple, humble and carefully scheduled. Although automated systems would in principle keep the station and its myriad subsystems running safely in the absence of direct input, this is only a failsafe measure intended to be used due to an unforseen lapse in our ability to operate the historically accurate manual control systems, to which we devote much of our attention and labour each day. This arrangement reminds us and, we hope, you, dear reader, that humanity's place in space is precarious and that close vigilance and unwavering dedication are required to safeguard it. While we can only imagine exactly what form the efforts required of you may take, we are doing our best at living our humble life here, and hope that our endurance of a more "primitive" form of life in space (though, dare I say it, I myself would prefer the characterisation "authentic") provides a clear example and inspiration to those of you facing hardships in your journeys.