Egocentric Orbit

Cover image for


Author: John Cory
Published: 1960
Language: English
Wordcount: 2,052 / 13 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 42.9
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,532
Added to site: 2008.01.02 19570

It took a long time for human beings to accept that our little piece of meteoric rubble wasn't the exact and absolute center of the Universe. It does appear that way, doesn't it? It may not take so long for a spaceman to learn ...

Show Excerpt

apsule and checked the automatic instruments which would transmit their stored data to Earth on his next pass over Control. Everything normal; all mechanical devices were operating perfectly.

This information didn't surprise him, in fact, he really didn't even think about it. The previous orbits and the long simulated flights on Earth during training had made such checks routine and perfect results expected. The capsules were developed by exhaustive testing both on the ground and as empty satellites before entrusting them to carry animals and then the first human.

He returned to contemplation of the panorama passing below and above, although as he noted idly, above and below had lost some of their usual meaning. Since his capsule, like all heavenly bodies, was stable in position with respect to the entire universe and, thanks to Sir Isaac Newton and his laws, never changed, the Earth and the stars alternated over his head during each orbit. "Up" now meant whatever was in the direction of his head. He remembered that even during his initial orbit when the Earth first appeared overhead he accepted the fact as normal. He wondered if the other two had accepted it as


Average Rating of 3 from 3 reviews: ***
JoJo Biggins

"I told you so." I'm saying that first, because you will probably go ahead and read this story even though I tell you it's a waste of time. You will find absolutely nothing of interest here. The only redeeming point is that it's so short that you won't waste more than 5 minutes of your time reading it.

Paulo Respighi

An interesting idea. When you're alone in a space capsule and the Earth and Universe seem to rotate around you, what might it do to your mental processes?

This was written before manned space flight, so we know what didn't happen, but the character and thought processes of the astronaut make the story worth reading.


Short and very clever. Well worth the 15 minutes it takes to read

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