This is the last section of the fourteenth chapter of Sonnets from a Proton. The novel starts here.
The next section is here.
Jane sat back in her chair, the test had gone quite successfully. A few teething problems but the full power test was quite the success. No-one else seemed to wonder what happened to the exhaust, aside from wondering why Jane was quite so interested in how well the efficiency enhancing laser focusing stages behaved. As far as anyone else knew it would be hundreds of light years before the exhaust hit any known object.
Although there were a lot of questions asked around the base the next day when an unexpected meteor shower lit up the rings and the upper atmosphere of Saturn in quite a spectacular manner; no-one however realised that they had ever been under threat except Jane.