SAO stands for Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory star catalog, and 159841 is the number of this star in that catalog. The C indicates the third planet counting out from the star. The star was first explored by a Dr. Melissa Myers of the 15th Exploration and is therefore called Myers’ Star. The planet, however, was named Highhaven for some reason no one ever explained to me. But that did sound like a good name to me. I was very eager to see this planet because it was going to be our new home. Probably for the rest of my life. I was also a little bit afraid. This was, after all, one big step into the unknown.
The astronomers told us that this star was not too dissimilar to our sun, and Highhaven was close enough to being another earth so we could walk around on the surface without special suits of any kind. There was already a survey team living there. What they did not openly tell us was that colonizing a new planet was always a hazardous task. The Space Authority does not like to admit it, but there have been colonies that failed. And even those that succeeded had problems. Look at the Sand Sharks of Betterman’s World.
Mom and Dad had applied for a colony team without really expecting to be picked. But when the email came offering them slots on the Myers’ Star colony, they took it immediately. Earth is vastly over crowded, as you probably know. There are shortages of everything. The very air is often so bad you have to wear a filter just to go outside. There is always a little war going on somewhere. Dad calls them “brush wars” for some reason. Usually they are over resources; you know, water or oil or fishing grounds. Mom puts it very well when she says, “Too many people, too little Earth.”
As the big day approached, I was so excited at the idea of leaving all that behind for a new world. And scared, too. It is such a big change. Everything I knew was being left behind. All my friends, my school, even the tiny apartment we lived in. Mostly, I would miss my friends. Actually, I already miss Nancy and Ramona and Mashacko. I promised I would write to them, but a letter or disk would not be taken back to Earth until the next supply ship came, and they told me that will not be for another year! Which meant it would be at least two years before the letter reached them. I did plan on writing a diary, however.