Even as Gene stood with his back toward the chalkboard, sweat beading on his forehead, the blue disc hovered silently if not defiantly.
It was baffling. Nothing was reappearing on the other side.
Where did everything go? They’d tossed in a pencil, alarm clock (with the alarm sounding), a handball, a basketball… All had vanished.
The calculations seemed simple enough. A 60-second time portal. Things were disappearing when you threw them in but weren’t emerging from the other side a minute later as they should. Calculations were recalculated and double checked. Everything was as it should be. What was happening here?
So now Gene rested his hand on a powerful transmitter sitting on a cart with wheels. He planned to push the cart through the portal and have them search for the signal that emitted from it 60 seconds in the future.
So the cart was wheeled forward and pushed into the portal where upon it abruptly vanished from sight.
The technicians placed on their headsets and adjusted the dials on their radios while a 60-second timer was initiated. Find the signal 60 seconds from now and they would know where things were going and why things weren’t reappearing on the other side.
What they discovered was truly astonishing, but in retrospect completely logical.
Yes, the signal was detected. Very faint and very distant but completely detectable. So where did the transmitter go?
The transmitter was in space, apparently orbiting the sun, thousands of miles away from Earth.
In the sixty seconds that the transmitter traveled into the future, Earth itself had moved away by thousands of miles.
At the equator, the rotation of Earth is about 1,037 mph (1,670 km/h), or over 17 miles a minute. Meanwhile, Earth has an orbital speed around the sun of about 67,000 mph (107,000 km/h), or about 1,100 miles per minute. The sun and the solar system orbit the center of the Milky Way Galaxy at approximately 448,000 mph (720,000 km/h) or 7,466 miles per minute.
So when the transmitter was pushed into the time portal and jumped 60 seconds into the future, the Earth spun around it’s axis 17 miles at the equator, 1,100 miles around the sun and 7,466 miles around the galactic center. Simply put, the transmitter came out sixty seconds later exactly where it went in, but Earth itself was no longer in that location.
Therefore the pencil, the ringing alarm clock, the handball, basketball and the transmitter all emerged into space, orbiting the sun over 8,000 miles behind Earth’s orbit.
It turns out the time portal was the easiest and most efficient way to send things into space.