The Astronomer, whose real name was unknown, was an amateur scientist who lived and worked in a loft in North Dayport. He had apparently discovered another planet or moon. He felt that The City was filthy, corrupt, and filled with religious fanaticism, and he wanted desperately to escape the city and explore this new planet.
As he had no understanding of flight or aerodynamics, the astronomer's dreams of interplanetary travel were believed to be insane. He planned to launch a test pilot to the moon in a wooden crate by detonating an explosive device beneath it. His first test pilot, Brellick, was killed after launching the device, and his second test pilot Hilde, who had not yet been launched when Garrett visited the workshop, likely ended up suffering the same fate. (T2: "Life of the Party")