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Mars. The big picture.



“Give us a bigger version, right, we’re right on track, it’s amazing, handuwaurhts, wrought with the hand. Sure she’s packed?”

They were in big trouble, and I mean really big, they had to get down to Mars base One, say within three days, they had to turn of the merry go round close to Mars, and realign the ship, just before entering orbit, turning of the swinging party meant, no artigrav…

Well they were well prepared for that, training for months, inside their eggs.

It took about 3 days all in all, no problems, except for a water boiler left unattended just at the wrong moment. As the gravity fell away, the water inside the cooker decided to make it self in depended, changing in 4 or 5 little red-hot planets, nicely isolated by their own steamy tiny atmospheres. If a ball of water bumps into a body, be it a human body, them to, the ball decides it don’t want to be a ball no more, it wants to cuddle, get all over your skin. ‘S called adhesion. It’s what fluids do, it’s what kills you in a dark tunnel in a space ship, when your not wearing nothing but an overall, because you been working rewiring some peace of space ship for the 17th time, because some one back on earth 3 years ago had a really bad weekend and fouled up some connections weaving bugs into a multimillion Euro, or what ever they paid the ship with, project of the century, and maybe the next one too. Any how, Airtha got it bad, really bad, in fact she probably wouldn’t make it, not to Mars anyhow. So they tried for a Direct Orbital Approach, not really a nice way to tell you as fast as possible down to Mars Base One, the little place with the many names.

“Bo get me in line again, big dot, three dots, long line, right. Big volcano, three in a row big volcanoes weird patch where our friends do dwell, double crater, Oudemans and the other guy, and the big trench, well we’re on the flipside now. No more problems this time…”

“We got the computer, we’re connected to their guiding system”.

They had packed the wounded crew member in her cocoon, everybody else too, Bo on the drivers seat, the whole crew in the part of the ship that was supposed to land, the rest of the ship would stay in orbit, for a winters day? They would land in the middle of the crater called Oudemans, not at their designated target, they would have to unpack their taxi anyhow, but from Oudemans to Mars base, that wouldn’t take that long, Gussev, that would have taken weeks maybe, or even longer. Problem, at Gussev base camp that’s where the return stuff would be waiting, theirs, and the vehicles of the old Mars crew, and with a bit of bad luck also the ships on their way to Mars, coming behind them, on a slow track.

“Count down for separation… separation, well I thought we’d hear more noise… Wolfs check position of the Landing saucer”

“Program running, confirmation, confirmation, we’re pointing our nozzles in the right direction alright.”

The ship had split in two, the two parts drifted away from each other, assisted by a few hissing blasts of the steering nozzles. All preprogrammed, but yet, they looked over the computer’s shoulders every second. At the right moment the retro-program would take over.

The Landing Saucer would fire its engines, breaking, and would dive into Mars’s dusty atmosphere.

“TAP, I hear noises, temperature adjustment problems? Check on our patient? What?”

“Concentrate Bo, focus on landing this bucket, Eartha is not well Bo, she’s not going to make it, but we must….”

The Retro kicked in, more noises. No more hissing sounds. It felt like driving over small rocks with a wooden cart. Gravity.

Retro! Than: freefall. Aero-breaking, and again Retrorockets! Chutes: more Retro. You know the drill; you’ve been in space putting those Buckets on the ground haven’t you?



(To be continued)