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Nighthawk

A Novel from the Numa Files

NUMA Files Band 14

Clive Cussler, Graham Brown

Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
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Beschreibung

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NUMA crew leaders Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala must beat the clock to stop the world's most dazzling new technological advance from becoming mankind's last in this action-packed thriller from the #1 New York Times-bestselling grand master of adventure.

When the most advanced aircraft ever designed vanishes over the South Pacific, Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala are drawn into a deadly contest to locate the fallen machine. Russia and China covet the radical technology, but the United States worries about a darker problem. They know what others don't--that the X-37 is carrying a dangerous secret, a payload of exotic matter, extracted from the upper reaches of the atmosphere and stored at a temperature near absolute zero. As long as it remains frozen, the cargo is inert, but if it thaws, it will unleash a catastrophe of nearly unthinkable proportions.

From the Galapagos Islands to the jungles of South America to an icy mountain lake many believe to be the birthplace of the Inca, the entire NUMA team will risk everything in an effort to avert disaster...but they may be caught in a race that no one can win.

Praise for the NUMA Files Novels

"Cussler's latest is the most breathtakingly suspenseful, wildly inventive, enjoyable thriller in the NUMA Files series to date! Hard-core fans will snap it up."-Library Journal

"Cussler's action-packed, fun-filled 11th NUMA Files adventure provides a deserted volcanic-island lair, tricked-out ships, diving exploits, and plenty of thugs and minions to give Kurt Austin a few problems, to say nothing of a beautiful woman scientist."-Kirkus Reviews

"Electrifying...Cussler delivers all the usual twists and turns on the way to the explosive climax."-Publishers Weekly

"Ghost Ship is the closest yet to a flat-out James Bond adventure. The best Cussler stories are the ones that are the most personal to the hero, and for Kurt Austin, a failed rescue attempt still causes nightmares. Another solid entry in the NUMA Files series."-Associated Press

Clive Cussler is the author or coauthor of more than 50 previous books in five best-selling series, including Dirk Pitt, NUMA Files, Oregon Files, Isaac Bell, and Sam and Remi Fargo. His nonfiction works include 
Built for Adventure: 
The Classic Automobiles of Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt, plus 
The Sea Hunters and 
The Sea Hunters II. They describe the true adventures of the real NUMA, which, led by Cussler, searches for lost ships of historic significance. With his crew of volunteers, Cussler has discovered more than 60 ships, including the long lost Confederate ship 
Hunley. He lives in Arizona.

Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 432
Erscheinungsdatum 01.05.2018
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-525-53515-7
Verlag Penguin LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 17/10.3/3.8 cm
Gewicht 206 g

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  • 1
    Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

    Present day

    Steve Gowdy sat in a comfortable chair on the top level of a darkened control room in the heart of Vandenberg Air Force Base. The setting resembled the NASA command centers in Houston and at Cape Canaveral, but was smaller and stocked with military personnel instead of civilians.

    Gowdy was in his late forties. He wore a gray polo shirt and black slacks, his thin covering of sandy brown hair perfectly coiffed but too thin to conceal his scalp beneath. He looked like a golfer ready to play eighteen holes at the local country club, a visitor on a day tour or a bored middle manager stuck in another endless meeting. Only the tightly bunched wrinkles around his eyes and the unconscious drumming of his finger on the arm of the chair suggested he was paying close attention.

    Gowdy hadn't come to Vandenberg for a tour of the place, or to marvel at the technology, but to oversee the final stage of a mission so secret only forty people in the entire world knew of its existence.

    The project was called Ruby Snow, which meant nothing, of course, but had a poetic ring to it that Gowdy appreciated. It involved an aircraft funded by the National Security Agency and operated by the Air Force and other members of the Defense Department.

    Aircraft was the wrong word, he reminded himself. The Nighthawk was a hybrid vehicle, part aircraft, part spacecraft. The latest in a long line of platforms descended from the space shuttle. It was the most advanced machine ever flown and was finally returning to Earth after three long years in orbit.

    A large storm brewing over the Pacific had caused the NSA to move the reentry up by a full week, but, other than that, everything had gone according to plan.

    Watching the reentry live, Gowdy stared at the huge, high-definition screens that made up the front wall of the room. One showed a column of numbers and symbols that honestly meant nothing to him, except that all of them remained green.A second display showed a chart with a line that dove sharply from the upper-left-hand corner before leveling out across the middle and then beginning to drop again on the right side. Labeled Nighthawk Descent Profile, the chart had something to do with the altitude, speed and distance of the aircraft. But he kept his attention glued to the central display, where a global satellite map showed the Pacific Ocean and the west coasts of North, South and Central America.

    Icons representing the Nighthawk and lines tracing its path were drawn in bright colors. Because the Nighthawk flew in an unusual polar orbit, the reentry path originated over Antarctica, cutting across the globe at a diagonal angle. It had flown past New Zealand, passing to the east by less than a hundred miles, and from there it drew a line directly over the top of the Cook Islands and Tahiti. It passed south of Hawaii, and its projection continued toward Vandenberg and the high deserts of California. It still had several thousand miles to go, but traveling at over five thousand miles per hour meant less than forty minutes before touchdown.

    An echoing call rang out over the loudspeaker system, known as the loop. "Vehicle has cleared Max Q," an anonymous voice said. "Heat shield secure. Temperatures dropping."

    Max Q. That was a term Gowdy knew. A danger point-the point of maximum aerodynamic stress on the craft. A point where any weakness or damage would likely result in structural failure and loss of the craft.

    Hearing that the Nighthawk had passed Max Q reduced Gowdy's anxiety a bit. Many things could still go wrong, catastrophically wrong, but the largest hurdle had been cleared.

    He glanced down to the middle tier of the amphitheater-style room. That level was the domain of the flight director. In this case, an Air Force Colonel named Frank Hansen. Hansen was a steely-eyed veteran of thirty years, a former fighter jock and test pilot who'd survived two ejections and a crash