Sasquatch 2

Sasquatch 2 was an unmanned planetary lander and provided us with the first significant data from the world. It was not the first craft sent from Earth to the Tau Ceti system but it was the first to make planetfall.

The lander made several orbits of Polvera before touching down, thus allowing it to photograph many of the planet's major regions as well as to scout optimal landing sites. It is notable that despite Culture B's well-documented Taboo Against Spaceflight, the lander was presented with a wealth of places which looked as though they were specifically created as landing platforms. The Esoteric Geography observed by the estimable (if slightly unhinged) Cpt. Chesthair has been discounted as one of these.

Sasquatch 2 collected the first mineral and biological samples from the planet that we were able to fully analyze. The lander moved about the planet using its AI-driven search patterns and, in fact, exceeded even the most liberal performance projections by a factor of ten. Crewmen from the Drosophila were the first to lay hands on the lander long after it had switched itself into standby mode. It was hoped that Sasquatch 2 could be restarted and put back into service but it looked as though it had been vandalized. We have still not found an explanation for the Ndoniliala Marks we found covering 74% of Sasquatch's surface.

But all is not lost. The lander's passive receivers were still running which means we have recordings of what appear to be radio transmissions. We are unable to locate an origination point but the strength of the signal means it can only be coming from elsewhere on the planet. Some of my colleagues insist that the transmissions are paeans to Ursthurth and I am becoming more and more convinced that they are correct.

by 3Steve Weinberg

See also:
Ndoniliala Mark
Taboo Against Spaceflight

This is a PQRS entry in the Polvera Lexicon

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