Journey To Jupiter

By Joseph Greene

Summary: The following summary was extracted from the back cover of the book. True, it's not very long, but it is the only one that was provided, and as it is both very informative and very uninformative at the same time, it will have to do:


Dig Allen and the brothers Jim and Kin Barry are sent to Ganymede, one of Jupiter's Moons, to investigate trouble at a colonization project. A desperate race against a gang of criminals--who plan to claim Ganymede's fabulous diamond deposits--takes the three young Space Explorers on one of their most dangerous assignments.






An Overview

Journey to Jupiter is the third volume in the Dig Allen Space Explorers series. The series starts out when the team of Space Explorers return from the planet of the little green men (no, not Mars) to get a new assignment from Eros. Once on Eros, they find out that the Langavac (a fabulous machine that can translate a language and embed it into anyone's mind) has translated enough records to enable the scientists to create a device called a nuclatomizer.

A nuclatomizer is a machine that, in simple terms, can take apart matter and reassemble it, theoretically, into anything that is desired. Earth, however, has only figured out how to create Oxygen, Hydrogen, Carbon, and Nitrogen -- five rather simply built but very commonly used atoms. The plan was to use these magnificent machines to create an artificial atmosphere in Ganymede.

Doing this, however, was a really big challenge, even with the nuclatomizers. If you can't think why this would be, think of the size of Ganymede for a minute. Ganymede is, I believe, the biggest moon in the entire solar system. It is so big that it has its own atmosphere and its own magnetic field -- something that very, very, very few other moons have. Given this, it would take hundreds of nuclatomizers to create and maintain an atmosphere for Ganymede (and it would have to be maintained -- Ganymede doesn't have enough gravity to keep a livable atmosphere).

What was done, then, was this: a valley with a very, very steep hedge of mountains around it was found, and the colony was placed in this valley. Four or five nuclatomizers were then built in the valley, and an atmosphere was slowly created. Because of the high mountains that surrounded the valley the atmosphere would only leak out after enough air was poured in to keep the atmosphere -- and atmospheric pressure -- what it should be.

Another benefit of the nuclatomizers is the fact that they, if desired, can change their output to electrical energy instead of gases. This opens up tremendous possibilities for the machine, especially since the machine can use any piece of matter for fuel. Just think about it -- station one of these things on a planet, and you will have an incredible amount of electricity at your disposal. Earth could use a few of these too -- the planet would no longer have to depend on depleting fossil fuels or uranium supplies.

The book isn't too far off when it pegs the date all this happens at the year 2100 -- or, in other terms, a hundred years away. It is already possible to heat atoms to such a temperature that the very electrons of atoms are ripped apart from the nucleus, thus effectively disassembling them. Isn't it reasonable to say that, given a hundred years, we could figure out a way to put them back together?

Maybe we won't need to find our own Eros to figure this one out.


The last thing that I want to comment on before I close is the brilliancy of the Explorer's plot to ruin the mutiny on Ganymede. I, personally, never would have thought of it. In case you hadn't read the book, here's what had happened: The valley the colonists landed in had some very, very rich diamond deposits, and a gang of mutineers, greedy for diamonds, locked the colony up into its buildings. The Space Explorers, however, managed to get locked up inside the nuclatomizer control room and then changed the nuclatomizer's output from atmospheric gases to diamonds -- diamonds of extraordinarily large size. (Diamonds, you see, are made under tremendous heat and pressure from pure carbon -- and nuclatomizers can create carbon in abundance).

When daylight came around and the mutineers were going to blast off and leave the colony to starve they caught sight of the enormous quantity of diamonds that were pouring out of the machine and went insane with greed. They completely abandoned their leader and tried to grab as many diamonds as they could. The mutineers soon started quarrelling, however, because each suspected the other of having a richer cargo of diamonds. During the confusion, the Space Explorers managed to escape from the nuclatomizer control room, round up the ringleader, and then squash the revolt.

Now tell me -- who would have thought of that? I thought that that was a pretty clever way to squash a mutinyÖ




4 stars out of 5. This is another excellent book: it is one of the highlights of the series. The author had a very thought-out plan for colonizing Ganymede, and his nuclatomizer was a brilliant idea that was ahead of its time. The suspense in this book is well done (although not as well done as Captives in Space) and the climax when the Space Explorers conquer the pirates through their own greed is one of the highlights of the series. I would definitely recommend reading this book; it is worth the time and effort.


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