• Member Since 14th Apr, 2012
  • offline last seen Oct 29th, 2012




„In a secluded desert on the frontiers of Equestria, an eccentric genius works to bring the stars within reach of everypony. But can smiths and metalworkers who never made anything more difficult than ploughs or golden trinkets really make the dream a reality? Or has inspiration arrived a hundred years too early?“

Originally published on Equestria Daily (6-star), uploaded to FimFiction upon request.
Imported from GoogleDocs in order to preserve formatting (italics/etc.); this may have resulted in table-breaking and other various display bugs. Should you see such issues, please do not hesitate reporting them!

Chapters (18)
Comments ( 110 )
Wanderer D

I was wondering when this would get here :pinkiehappy:

Yeah! Already read it but still good!:rainbowkiss:

:twilightoops: Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes :twilightsmile::twilightsmile::rainbowkiss:

I know how Zvezda feels...I'm reading this while designing an experiment module for a sounding rocket :yay:

...it's taking ages though :fluttercry:

Seriously, though, this is excellent :rainbowkiss: Very entertaining :twilightsmile:

Are you by any chance an engineer?

Thanks for the kind words and ratings, everypony!

To be honest, I held off a bit because of the way FimFiction's workflow is set up. I'm probably just an old-fashioned crokey, but I prefer writing stuff in a 'proper' word editor, then uploading it online, which is slightly hard for this site. Copy-paste doesn't unfortunately work, since it doesn't preserve italics and other rich text stuffs (italics are the biggest thing, though, since that's for character thoughts/written signs/etc.). The GoogleDocs import feature is a lifesaver here, but even then, I had to manually fix some of the formatting (then again, it's marked experimental, so I won't complain too much :pinkiehappy:)
Even then, it's a pretty cool site regardless!

Ooh, an actual rocket builder? Awesome! All my knowledge on this topic is strictly theoretical, so if you see any blindingly obvious derps, that's the reason why! :derpytongue2:
And nope, not an engineer. I hope to be a nuclear chemist/researcher at some point in the future, but for that to happen, I'll have to stop looking at pony sites and start doing some real revision for my finals, which are in a week. Given my track record here, I'm not getting my hopes up!


Quite the contrary, good sir! Your insights into aerospace engineering are actually immensely accurate :twilightsmile:

In fact, as funny as it was in your fic, that 'revision numbering' issue actually happened to our team :flutterrage: (FYI, if you ever have to use a piece of software called PTC Pro/ENGINEER make sure, for the love of Celestia, that everyone is using the same version :raritycry:)

I have no idea if it'll interest you or not, but here's the website of my rocket experiment :twilightblush:

Also, good luck with your final exams (I've already had mine, this year :yay:)

It's a damned shame that one of the best pony fics of all time has a measly 54 views on this site. :twilightangry2:


No story is ever the best, but I see what you mean...sort of.

Would this story be a good read? I started reading it when it first came out, but I became bored to tears in the first few chapters. Now that I see that it's advancing...:unsuresweetie:

Everyone's tastes differ, so I can't tell you if you'll like the story or not. It's usually not fast paced, and is one with the technobabble, so if that turns you off then you should probably skip it. Also, I said one of the best, not the absolute best.

Yeah, there's a point where you can't really pick out the absolute best. This is definitely in the top 3 for me, though.

Don't forget, it got a tad more views of Equestria Daily :twilightsmile:
Besides, 70 views might not be much on the internet, but if you all those people together in a room, it's not that little! In the end, I'm pretty happy with how many views this got overall (on EqD).

To be honest, if you don't enjoy the engineering/science aspect that much, you probably won't like it. I mean, it's not the only thing in there, but it is a fairly important part. The writing does improve quite a bit from the early chapters (which are pretty bad, I admit), but the overall theme doesn't change, so... yeah.

It may not be for everyone, but it absolutely was for me at least. One of my favorites, and I am glad to see it here for some additional exposure.

Instant addition to my user page wall of epic stories.

Nice to see this here. A story fully deserving of the 6 stars it has on EqD

696158 Sam and Frodo Launch from the Shire? All of my yes.

Also, this has definatly got to be one of the best stories I've everread, and it always gets my heart pumping. I have no idea why, but I blame the thrill of space rocketry... I am such a nerd :twilightblush:

Anyway, I have a question Sir author of amazing. To this day, your quotation marks confuse me. In what country do they do them like that?
IE: „Gotcha,“

Oh what a bitter sweet feeling it is to read this. Its sort of sad because this is my ultimate dream, to see the stars. But while other people can feasibly achieve their dreams, those of us whose hearts belong among the cosmos will never feel that sanctification in life. But thats why I'm becoming an aero engineer, to bring us that much closer. :twilightsmile:

Eeep, I upload two more chapters, and suddenly 46 notifications out of nowhere!

That's the German/Czech style of doing quotation marks. I'm from the Czech Republic, you see :moustache:

Well, just think of what a person born in the 1900s would have gone through: From airplanes when they were young, to people walking on the BUCKING MOON in their old age. Plus, computers. If we don't nuke ourselves, who knows what might happen in this century!

715841 Cool! I didn't know that Germans did that.

This is an amazing fanfic :pinkiehappy:. Pretty inspirational stuff. Unfortunately I am not quite familiar with some of the scientific topics brought up, and now I am going to have to take as many math, physics, and chemistry classes as possible over the summer so I can understand them. That would probably be the smart choice anyways, but this fanfic was certainly a big factor in getting my lazy self to do it (stuff I don't know/understand bugs me to a rather large degree). In any case, thanks for making such an awesome (and scientificly accurate) story.

I'm so glad you decided to upload this here. I put off reading it for ages simply because I dislike Google Docs.
I loved it all, the politics, ponies in space, the bittersweet ending, but I must've missed something. Why did the Commissar and the other security ponies continue to wear winter gear in the hot desert environment? I know Celestia did some world-tinkering, but I got the impression that it took place a long time before the story setting.

I can see why this story reached 6-star status on EqD. Your writing is amazing, your characters are so realistic and fleshed out. Plus, there's enough action and interaction to keep me hooked.

Your story is good and you should feel good.

Quite on the contrary! I have no clue what I am doing, and that explains things like the Commissar and his crew. I don't even quite remember if I had a reason for that when I was writing it in the first place - it might have been just a "lol russian ponies" thing, to make the Cosmodrome seem less of a NASA/American-only place. That entire aspect is the weakest point of the story, I think, and one of the things I didn't really manage to wrap up in the finale.
Still, my writing skills certainly improved while writing it, so I am happy with it :twilightsmile:

EDIT: The implication with Tia's tinkering was that the effects/consequences of her action are felt even today, which explains some of the weirdness of the place. Still, I am not quite sure whether I managed to communicate that thought well enough in the actual story...

I also think that the whole Comissar and his crew mystery is the weakest part of the the story. As far as I remember it's the only plot thread that's left unresolved. The whole thing just disappers after the big public accident.
But that's about the only big weakness with the story.

That was amazing! The story you weaved was, in my opinion, greatly integrated to the mlp story and dare I say realistic? Not perfect sure, but not where it matters! You hopefully took pains to give it credibility, gave it substance, the commissars was the only thing that I felt remotely slapped on yet even that had a meaning I can understand (old wound that was better forgotten). The story was funny when it wanted to and serious when it needed, and switched between the two with no problem, Mrakoplaz I thank you and everyone who helped you. This story caught my attention (you are by the way the reason I have no sleep this past day), and I say it was one of the best fanfiction stories among those I've read!

and now enough of my jumbled words, I leave saying one really memorable quote from your story.


A fantastic story, inspirational, very, VERY accurate in terms of scientific background and perfectly capturing the feeling of insurmountable odds the ponies faced.

I love your writing, you did a fantastic job with the characters, though I would have liked to know what EXACTLY Celly did to nuke the "cape".

Keep up the good work!

Hello there! You may remember me as Tosxychor from the EqD topic :3 Gotta say, I'm sorry I wasn't able to provide more commentary than what I already did, but life kinda got in the way ;P And to think I stopped reading just short of the actual launch into space... oh well, time to finally catch up!

The two scenes I liked the most in this were definitely Zvez's great scream at the rocket launch, and the room exploding after the calculations had been made. Such precious moments of joy and relief after all this suffering through! Plus as always, you're just amazing with working with believeble emotions, like Zvez's scream was part joy, part the sand chafing her xD brilliant, brilliant juxtaposition of an important moment with more down-to-earth things.
And of course I adored Luna in this, as of course all the other ponies. You're just too good haha :pinkiehappy:
As always, your chapters are still filled with that mixture of seriousness and comedic relief that just feels right and life-like, and I love this.

You did an amazing job as always, and I can't wait to read the other chapters. :twilightsmile:

Heh, I was wondering where you'd gone off to. Glad to see you're okay! :twilightsmile:
Anyway, I can't wait to hear what you make of the ending and epilogue. Not quite everything got wrapped up together in the end, but I worked in some other neat things instead, so I'm still fairly happy with it.
In either case, I still can't quite believe the kind of feedback this got, from everyone. Makes me think more seriously about writing some more stuffs... if only I had all the time in the world!

Wow, what a spectacular chapter. It also helps that it was so long and tight-packed :rainbowkiss:

Just... everything in this was so amazing. The sense of pushing through the dimmest of hopes was powerful, and then, so many outstanding moment in the middle of all that...
I actually got misty-eyed at those two.
Those moments were worth fighting for. - The emotion of that moment, knowing she can't even think that straight from all the impediments in that suit... wow.
Time for the true heroes. - Hah, this line is just screaming for the readers to sympathize with Vez, and shout at her, "No Zvezda, you are the heroes!"
And then Zvezda was a space pony.

Memes aside, Zvezda and Dash were absolutely awesome in this chap. Vez with keeping strong through all this, even if her brain was visibly failing, and Dash... oh boy, Dash. The morale keeping, through coffee or just plain enthusiasm, her always being all over the place, demanding solutions, doing all she could to help, and then the chase at the end... I imagined her rainbooming throughout the supersonic parts, if only because it made it even cooler. dl.dropbox.com/u/31471793/FiMFiction/emoticons/misc_Rainbow_dealwithit.png Really, this is a level of character development and overall awesomeness, while keeping inherently true to her character, that rivals the treatment she got in Dangerious Business; and if you hadn't read the thing, then just trust me, it's a huge compliment.

Onwards to the conclusion! With all my thanks for yet another masterful chapter ^^

Wow, what a beautiful wrapping to the series.

The plot follows a rather obvious route -- that the ponies would know unprecedented tech advancement after the previous events, and things would line up pretty much with the industrial revolutions we knew, only aided by magic, so incredibly faster, not to mention cleaner. It also helps that the whole thing is kept in check by an eternal, benevolent ruler xD

I absolutely adored the picture painted here, with ponies either reacting to the 'newfangled magitek', or just the plain amazingness of the more powerful or delicate inventions; some ponies changing a lot, and some other not having quite changed; some having gone a long way, and some a longer way still; all finding their lives unimaginably transformed in the last 20 years, never the same again.
Those were such touching, descriptive scenes, and that last one with Celestia and Luna... Whoa, I really felt there the pang of letting go those you have watched over for so long. Mother instincts sure gotta be powerful for a mare watching over millions, if not billions, of ponies, needing her sun to survive... even if only for a while still, or rather, especially so.

Mrakoplaz, this is a true masterpiece of pony literature, and this comes from somepony who has read his fair share of it. In my personal ranking, it is the 3rd completed piece of all time, right after Fallout Equestria and Dangerous Business :pinkiehappy:
I've got only one thing to complain, although this is undoubtedly just a personal issue of mine: I've never ever managed to associate mane/coat colors to the protagonists of this story, no matter how hard I tried, except for Vez and Cherry: It's probably because most had too human-sounding names (Wilhelmina springs to mind), and I managed to remember Zvezda's blonde mane only after she was finally compared to Ditzy Doo xD

The characters are powerful, determined, all-rounded, breathing, feeling, conflicted, fighting, developing, growing, struggling, and coming out on top where it matters.
The story, while having a simple premise (ponies building their first rocket to SPACE), was handled exceptionally: the technicalities only added each time to the realism and immersion of the piece, and I was delighted to swim in a deep sea of competent information about rockets and everything related.
Nonetheless, I was also thrilled when magic intruded in, if just to see how it would play off the mission, and how it would be handled. Seeing it stayed on the side mostly, I completely approved of this decision: both uncompromising (for the most part) the spirit of the launches, and sticking true to the juicy, mechanical, sometimes hilariously complicated, wonders of the new tech era.
The writing throughout was impeccable, being plain and never distracting too much from what's going on, but not fearing to bring out the right words when it came to it; there's exceptions to this, like when some the characters reflected on the written content itself, letting us know that those were in fact the characters' thoughts; if anything, I loved this delightfully meta addition, which proved both convenient, useful for jokes, and somehow even more immersive.

All in all, this story is definitely a mesmerizing piece. I know I definitely learned a lot from it, and I'm not just talking fuel mixes or reentry strategies :twilightsmile: Once again, thank you, thank you so much for writing this. And my blessings to you for any future project of yours, be it pony-related or not.

Based on the feedback I got (and not just on the internets, but from real life peoples, too), I do actually plan on writing a non-pony story thing now. Still sci-fi, but a lot different from what's in here; hopefully a bit less obsessed with technology, and a lot thicker on actual narrative themes and stuffs! I already got a few cool concepts that should work, and I'm fleshing them out as we speak. No idea how I'll fare in the world of actual literature; probably not exceedingly well. But, eh, gonna give it a try anyway. "Always aim for the Moon" and all that.
Not to say I don't have another pony project in the works, however, if that ever gets anywhere, you'll (hopefully) see it anyway :raritywink:

Finally... I must (again) thank you for all your kind commentary, Celestial. Whenever I finished a chapter, I would always look forwards to reading your lengthy writeups, and they definitely helping in getting this thing past that dreaded "halfway point of doom" and all the way to the finish line!

Impressive. I just started this yesterday, but I would have to say that the best part was the rescue from the exploded rocket. Very in character for all ponies involved.

Aw shucks :twilightblush: it was only a pleasure for me to be part of such a beautiful enterprise. (I'm very happy to read they had such a positive effect.)

And about your non-pony project, I can sure tell you've got what it takes to be great! And seeing as you already have in mind something that would appeal to a greater public, I'll just leave it at my general encouragement: You rock! Wohoo~ :yay:

That... was... incredible.

You know, I say this every chance I get: I'm a huge fan of science-fiction. Action sci-fi, epic sci-fi, technical sci-fi... you name it. Needless to say, this was a very technical piece of science-fiction; perhaps that is even an understatement. You obviously did your research, keeping within the realm of established physics rather than creating things out of imagination. And when you had (like the arcane computeronics), they made sense, due to it being set in the FiM universe.

Above all else, though... this was a very inspirational piece of literature. It's weird, because I'm not usually inspired by stories or movies. Any movie that aims to be inspirational usually focuses on an individual's road to success, and my skeptical side usually questions the legitimacy of it all once it's done, and the main character prevails. What was different with this story, though?

This story had a group of strong characters, all of whom with their dreams, specialties and beliefs, coming together to make imagination reality. Of traversing the crushing obstacles, achieving the impossible for the sake of everyone -- not just themselves. Of overcoming all difficulties and accidents to change the path of civilization -- using not violence or cunning, but sheer knowledge and understanding.

So thank you, Mrakoplaz, for writing one of the most believable, inspirational fan-fictions I have ever read. Thank you for motivating me to strive for my own goals. Just... thank you, and godspeed.

I definitely liked the story... a lot.... most of the time... but what happened with the commissar? He was there kicking up a fuss about something and then he disappeared. For 5 chapters I was thinking, "Did he sabotage it? Will she die? Did he run? Has he been paid off by anyone? Where is he? Was it his fault? WHERE IS HE?!?!" and the like. It just really bothersome to me that it was never addressed in any way. Well other than that i thought it was a really great story and felt similar to the Apollo 13 movie with the disaster things happening. You pulled it off great and i loved what you did with Dinky.


I know it is old story. but I must say, this is one of the best written fanfiction I ever read.
this all scientific/technical story is like written just for me.
the first think that get my attention was quotations. I am from Poland, so it was weird to me to see so familiar ones. I other stories it was almost always: 'quotation'.
Back to the topic, now I can see this is going to the end, and I am getting sad. I seen here so much well written scientific theories and great suprises (space dragon?) and nervousness/fear (test launch and explosion.)
Now I only hope to see what happen to cape in past, and it will be great.
Thanks for this.

This story was awesome!!! I have some
questions, what happen to rest of her
friends? I mean Sara , Blues, Redstone,
Lyuka and rest of them? are they still
working at the cape? Are thy still keeping
contact with the rest of them? Please
And this story reminds me some awesome
movie. "The astronaut farmer" please,
check this if you don't allready know this.
Ps. Sorry for my English, I am from poland.
And don't have any problem with reading,
but writting is still little problematic.
Again. Than you for witting this. if you
really writting something no pony related.
can you give me link to this?

This story is utterly amazing, and it's sparked my interest in space exploration. Every time I think of the space race or Curiosity, I start thinking of this story and it gives me shivers.

Heh, people are still reading this story? Honestly, I am quite surprised!

If I remember correctly, I did plan on having Lyuka/Redstone/etc. show up in the epilogue, but it was getting a little too long already, so that's probably why I skipped that scene. Anyway, looking at my notes again, it wasn't really anything surprising: They basically all continue their jobs at the Cape (now that they're getting paid!). Lyuka takes over from Will as the chief chief director, Redstone works on the nuclear stuffs, the rest just... work. After all, rockets or not, it's still a job. I guess that's why I didn't put it in - you can pretty much work it out yourself!
But if you needed confirmation that they all stay in touch (except for Wilhelmina, obviously - she'd still keep with her old friends, but not so much the rest of the Cosmodrome), well, here you have it :raritywink:

And I am working on non-pony stuffs, but I have nothing, yet. This is my first novel-length story, you see!

so, have you ever seen those movie?

sorry for this. I am simply courious, what are you thinking about this. And yes, people are reading this fanfic. because of me you will propably get more wachers and favs at this story, . :derpytongue2:

I've been a fan of the older style of science fiction since I was very young, the sort that flourished during the 50's and 60's. Not the ones about fantastic, faraway settings with impossible technology, but the ones that looked ahead only a few short years to something just barely out of reach. Even though many of those stories had already been overtaken by reality before I was even born, they still have a sense of determination and hope for the future that never fails to engage me.

You've done a really incredible job of re-creating the feel of those works in pony form.

Bonus points for having Rainbow Dash get in touch with her inner nerd. :rainbowlaugh:

Ee-nope, I must say I haven't seen it. Heard of it, though. There's still a little holiday break left before uni, so I might check it out! Thanks for the recommendation :eeyup:

Heh, but it's the optimism in the end, isn't it? All the other "low-tech" pieces are a mechanical part of style too, yes, but it's that Wellsian bright-eyed optimism, the belief that science is genuinely going to make the world a better place, which really seals it in those books. I don't know if you ever read any Soviet literature (or even Soviet science fiction) - I doubt much of it ever got translated into English - but they're all great for the exact same reason, too. A constructive instead of a destructive approach: You're not fighting aliens from outer space, you're building a rocket! You're not hunting down capitalist spies, you're building a tractor factory! Stuff like that. The 'proletariat-hero' works wonders too, I think.
It took me a while to understand it myself, the reason why all these old stories worked, but now I think I almost do. It's a lot easier when the technology is so basic, because you have to concentrate on the people more; but then again, I don't really see why such a humanist/positivist approach couldn't work in any other setting. And that's what I'm trying now, really (in non-pony form).
No idea if it's ever going to work, but, eh, it gives me something to do.

Author Interviewer

Hot damn. :O All this time, I coulda been leaving comments here too! XD

Sergei Pavlovich would have called Wilhelmina 'sister' and 'comrade' without the slightest hesitation, IMHO at least.

Yeah, that was the Soviet space program alright! Pray Celestia they won't have anypony flying that thing. The SRM 'pogo' effect + a bodged IAU will make it a wild ride, assuming the thing just doesn't break up mid-air!

Yeah, to the untrained eye, going through Max-Q looks a lot like an explosion as... well, in essence it's a real-world sonic rainboom... puffs out from around the rocket.

Interesting - Yeah, Rainbow is certainly the ambitious one and maybe, just maybe, she can do it. Personally, I don't think so. An Astropony would need a very methodical by-the-numbers mind and Rainbow is too much of a fighter pilot - all by the seat of her pants instinct. That doesn't mean that she might not be able to be useful, especially if they ever get to the point of flight-testing lifting body or winged crew vehicles. However, I'm not sure she has the 'right stuff' for the early Vostok-style missions.

I wonder what Wilhelmina is really about - going to space as a thing all of itself like Von Braun and Korolev?

It reminds me a lot of what Korolev had to do with first Stalin and later Kruschev. He had to disguise his rather utopian ideas of human space exploration as a defence project (ICBMs and spy satellites) just to get funding. The thing is... I think that Celestia sees through Wilhelmina only too well and I never underestimate her ability to manipulate others.

Great story, I loved it. Kept me interested throughout.

One problem, I don't like how Luna acts like she's beneith Celestia, when they were supposed to be equal. Then again, the show has recently made the same error...sorta.

I expected the manned launch to blow up at some point, especially once Zvez said, 'FILL UP THE TANK!' Forgetting that the whole mission was very sensitive to mass.

Considering the amount of problems during that one mission, I get the feeling that every single following mission was equally problematic, just by sheer odds.

Now, I'm surprised that when the politicians said: 'we can spend this on more important things,' no one responded with: 'I can't see anything more important that the future of our race, and our continued evolution.'

Anyway, that is all.

And I revisit an old classic. Brings back fond memories.

Every once in a while I blunder across a truly great story, the kind that should be published, should be a bestseller were it not for the fact that Hasbro would never let that fly. This is one of those stories, and I reserve hope that someday you'll be able to find these stories in bookstores right in their own little section, perhaps near Sci-fi and Fantasy. This, Fallout: Equestria, and Contraptionology would all be right next to the works of Terry Pratchett, next to the hundreds of Star Wars books, and many others. Congratulations, for this is a magnificent story. It's almost criminal that it doesn't have nearly as many views as it should.

So Rainbow Dash lives with Pinkie Pie in a cloud house? Or was I mis-reading that?

Login or register to comment