Dan Dare

Pilot of the Future


  Project Pluto

Project Pluto
Daily World Post

16 April 2012


by our SFHQ correspondent, D. Steeper.

Space Fleet spokesmen Major Spence today announced that the Fleet and the Hemming Institute have joined forces to launch a manned mission to Pluto, following the loss of contact with the second unmanned probe earlier this year. Officials at SFHQ still attribute the loss of the two unmanned probes so far launched to mistaken hostile action by rebel ships from Hyperion which had evaded Tharl's blockade. Although Titan has officially denied any leakage from its 11 month siege, Fleet sources are satisfied they have determined the cause of the probes loss. Major Spence said that the use of a manned probe this time should ensure there was no similar problem while skirting the Numidol border.


Previous bulletins from SFHQ have outlined the difficulty of reaching Pluto by conventional spacecraft. Pluto is too far for the regular photon drive now used by many Fleet vessels, and too close for the new Halley Drive ships, the first of which is due to be launched from the Fleet's Formby Yards in 2014. The adaptation of the photon drive installed in the Argo, powered by ionised argon gas rather than conventional helenium developed by scientists at the Hemming Institute at Cambridge, opens the way to long deep space voyages to the edge of the solar system, according to Major Spence.

  ARGO as seen on trials.

Tussauds Staff 'Waxy' As Mekon Loses His Head - Again!

by Dave Westaway

Management at the London Waxwork exhibition, 'Madame Tussauds' today called in private investigators after claims that Police detectives were 'baffled' at the continuing disappearance of Mekons heads from the macabre display in the Chamber of Horrors. Since the new 'Masters of Evil' section opened last month no less than five Mekon heads have mysteriously disappeared leaving doorstaff unable to explain how such large items could be taken through the exit unobserved. Suggestions that the wax heads had been 'laser-melted to atoms' which then dispersed through the ventilation system were considered by 'Horror Guide', Mr Roger Coombes (62) to be unlikely. Police referred to continuing trouble with the electronic surveillance system as a 'hinderance'. They remain unable to determine how the heads, which along with the untouched Mekon bodies sit atop a floating antigravity chair some nine foot above the ground, were removed.