Long, Long Road (
The plan to make a satellite telescope continues, with the goal of observing the moon and pinpointing Why-man's location. Orbits are explained to the villagers, who don't yet understand how they work. Senku tells them that the power source in space will be solar cells, since there's no problem of weather up in space.
Using the selenium they mined in Kagoshima, they build a solar panel based on the early modern ones, with the addition of an anti-reflective coating to improve the efficiency. Meanwhile, the launch site on Treasure Island is completed and the unmanned rocket is delivered. Some time later, Xeno and his level 99 jet engine arrives as well, and the elements are combined.
Everyone prepares for the first Stone World rocket launch, with Minami enthusiastically commentating. They begin ignition, but before the rocket gets anywhere significant, it flips over and lands in the water. The thermal insulation was corroded by gas, which poked a hole in the nozzle.
They begin making the second rocket, however that one fails again due to faulty wiring. The third rocket fails because of an air bubble in the fuel. More rockets are built, but they all fail.
Years later, we see that Xeno and Senku are still energetically working on the rockets, while Yo wonders how they can have that level of determination. On the roof, Chrome and Suika observe and draw up their own plans.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Solar panels are created to power the satellite.
- The villagers are taught about space travel, such as orbits and the lack of weather effects.
- Rockets begin getting made.
- All of them end in various failures.
- It took Xeno three years to make a level 99 rocket engine.
- Chrome and Suika continue attempting to craft a return vehicle for the moon team.
- Several years have passed.
- Selenium is a semiconductor that was used in the earliest photosensitive electronics, including light sensitive resistors and primitive solar cells in the late 1800's. This light sensitivity is the reason it was used in the camera tube in chapter 214.
- As Senku and Chelsea explain, being in orbit means the satellite is traveling sideways so fast, the earth curves away from it as it does so and it doesn't get any closer to the ground far below.
- It is possible that Sai's reference to a programming error caused by a missing hyphen, is to the erroneously dubbed "most expensive hyphen in history" which is said to have caused the failed launch of the Mariner 1 space probe. While the malfunction was caused by an error in the program, the error was not a missing hyphen nor a fault of the programmer. Instead, the programmer was given an equation to implement in code, which had the variable 'R' for radius, but it was written down wrongly, and the R was supposed to have been written with a 'bar' on top, indicating the average value of R. This bar is what was misconstrued as an hyphen in retellings of the story. The rocket went out of control and was externally commanded to self destruct on the 22nd of July, 1962.
- The calendar featured in this chapter shows a date that would next appear in the year 5760, which would push the story forward almost 10 years.