All posts tagged: Space

First Words

NEARLY HALF AN HOUR passed before the panic died down, although to the casual observer the word ‘panic’ would hardly seem to apply. The four astronauts spent that time gabbling at one another in a controlled and even manner, running through checklists and reading out numbers from various screens. Eventually, it was ascertained that the damage was not as bad as had been initially feared and their thoughts returned to the continuation of the mission. Forty minutes after this, Commander Trent Hooper, snug inside a bulky environment suit, opened the outer hatch and looked out over the Martian landscape for the first time. It was a stunning sight. More astounding even than he’d imagined, and he couldn’t help letting out a tiny whistle of awe. On the horizon, miles away under a butterscotch sky, an uneven mountain range ran for as far as he could see and, above it, a ruddy smear in the sky was the retreating dust storm that had so nearly killed them all. It looked so incongruous now and Hooper might …