The day was July 17th,2096. The Launch of the Martian 7, the first manned mission to Mars, was on schedule. Astronauts John Stanley, Colonel George Marshall, and Jordan Carnelo were entering John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. There were only five more hours until launch. Television cameras were being set up, and people were going onto the launch field and unfolding portable seats to get a spectacular view of the launch. The astronauts went into the cafeteria of the space center and had their final Earth meal for the next two years. It takes about one year to get to Mars from Earth. Im going to miss earth; George said its too bad they dont have fries on Mars. John and Jordan chuckled. The manager of the space center walked in.
You guys better get your suits on. Only another four hours until you launch.
Jordan sighed and said, Alright. I just want to go get some candy to eat in space. Jordan went to the snack counter and bought three pouches of Skittles and three pouches of MnMs. The three walked into a white room and were helped into their space suits.
A computer announcement went on a speaker and loudly said THREE HOURS UNTIL LAUNCH! The men walked towards the elevator that would bring them half way up their rocket, the space shuttle. They got in and sat down. They buckled themselves in and waited. 30 MINUTES UNTIL LAUNCH! the computer said again.
Jordan was quiet for awhile, and then said Hey, do you know what today is?
John responded The day we go to Mars?
Jordan shook his head. Besides that. Today is the 100th anniversary of the TWA flight 800 explosion!
John became very nervous and began to breathe very heavily. Look what you did Jordan, John is freaking out again. Colonel George said. Look John, that was a plane, this is a space shuttle, nothing like that is going to happen. John was still breathing heavily. Then the countdown began.
The astronauts could hear the crowd outside the shuttle screaming 59, 58, 57, 56, 55, 54
George looked over his shoulder. Well boys, ready to become celebrities? The first astronauts to go to Mars ?
7, 6, 5, 4, 3
The crowd got louder and the Shuttle began to rumble as the rockets were warming up. The manager came on the shuttles radio and said Good luck boys.
2, 1, 0, LIFT OFF!! The crowd screamed and cheered as the Rocket ascended into the air. The rocket began to pick up speed. It left a huge white tower of smoke in its trail. Within eight minutes, it left the atmosphere. Here we are
. Its so clear
.so amazing. Jordan said. He looked over to see John calmed down.
I wish I brought my camera. John said. Ha ha, I did! George said. He reached into his pocket and waved his digital camera.
It had been one hour and all the astronauts had been doing was sitting and giving their coordinates to the Huston Space Center. Jordan took out a ball he brought with him. It was a regular hand ball and he threw it at the big blank wall on the side of the cockpit. He began to play what he called Zero Gravity handball. Then suddenly, as George read the coordinates over to Huston, The power went out. It was completely dark, besides the light of the stars and the slowly fading Earths moon. Jordan, go to the generator and turn it back on! Fix it! Jordan swam in the zero gravity through the shuttle to the generator. A wire had been overburned, so Jordan took out scissors and cut the wire, and replaced it with a spare wire. Power went back on and George reported the short circuiting of the ship. The power suddenly went out, and Jordan replaced it with a spare wire.
The commander at Huston space center came on the radio. Thats strange. Youve only been flying for an hour. Keep an eye on the generator. Then George turned off the radio.
Okay. John, take a look at the generator. Try and find what couldve made it overburn.
John went into the generator room and came back fifteen minutes later.
I couldnt find anything
..wrong with it. Im feeling a bit tired. Im going to bed
Im going to miss beds. Now we have to sleep in those sacks that hang from walls.
George and Jordan yawned too. George said Im tired too. We had a long day. Lets get some rest. Be awake at 4 AM tomorrow. They went into their sacks and fell asleep.
They woke up about 11 hours later, but to find their not in space anymore. They had crash landed on an unknown planet, and some of their food and some of their supplies were destroyed in the crash. Colonel, where are we? John asked, Breathing heavily again. John was really nervous now. George stepped out of the ship and looked at the sky.
Im not sure. It would appear we crashed on some planet with a similar environment as ours back on Earth, considering we can breathe here, and the sky is blue. Jordan, check the ships status. John, gather up all of the useable supplies and food.
Jordan sighed A piece of the shuttles hull is missing. It may have fallen off during the crash. The engines wont turn on, and I cant seem to get the radio to work. I noticed that a few chemical tanks were burned open. Maybe they were burned from the heat when we entered the atmosphere during the crash or something. However, the lights still work.
John came back from inside the shuttle and said we have eight gallons of water, all of the Cereal bars we needed for the mission are intact, we have three crates of vegetables still intact, and one crate of fruit still intact. However, our water converter was damaged in the crash. It cant be repaired without the right tools, which have gone missing.
George sat down on a rock, silent and looking at the supplies. he stayed silent for five minutes before coming to a conclusion. Okay, I have a theory of how we crashed. It would appear that the chemical tanks were cut open when the generator overburned. The heat from the generator may have burned the tanks open, releasing some of the chemicals. Those chemicals may have been what made us all tired. The shuttle may have crashed if some sort of meteor or asteroid hit it, pushing the shuttle of course, sending us here
.where ever we are. The hull must have come off when we entered the atmosphere, and the impact may have been what destroyed some of the supplies and food. The reason why we may not have felt the crash is because the chemicals made us pass out.
George looked at his crew members. John, go explore the area. Look for things we can use. Jordan, I want you to gather some rocks and put them in a circle. Then go look for things we can use to build a fire. I will try to see if I can repair the hull of the shuttle and get the radio and engines to work.
Seven hours passed before John and Jordan returned. George stepped out of the ship when he heard them come back. I got the engines to turn on and the radio working. We just need to find something to replace the missing piece of the hull. As soon as were all fixed, we are heading straight back to Earth. What did you find?
John reached into his pocket. I found some weird things. Im very surprised at what I found. John took out of his pocket a stone, a tree branch, and a flower. I found this flower in the sand. Its nothing like Ive ever seen before.
George turned his head and faced Jordan. What did you find?
I found 17 stones we can use for a fire pit. I gathered some dead branches and weeds for the fire to burn. This planet is so much like earth, yet its different. This planet even has a Moon. The Sun is so bright and its so hot though.
George took the stones and made a fire pit and threw some sticks in the center. John took two rocks and scratched them together until it made a spark. John used some fuel from the shuttle to get the fire going.
This same cycle continued for the next Two weeks. Making a fire, it going out, eating and drinking, exploring the area, and trying to repair the ship.
Guys, were down to our last gallon of water. John said, holding a jug of water in his hand. We need to find a source of water. We dont have any fruit either. So we cant make juice.
Jordan began to stare into space. We need water.
. There is only enough water for one of us
.. I am not going to die! George and John looked at Jordan like he just grew horns out of his head.
Jordan, what are you saying? We can make it through this. The situation isnt that bad.
Jordan turned around and pointed at George. This is your fault! We followed your instructions on how we can preserve food, and we lasted only two weeks! You dont deserve water! Jordan picked up a shovel from the supplies pile. Give me the water. Im the only one that deserves it! George gave the jug of water to John. Hold onto this John. Jordan ran towards George and slashed the shovel through Georges neck. George was dead. Jordan had gone completely insane. John stared at the decapitated body of his crew member.
Just then, Jordan ran toward John with the shovel. John jumped out of Jordans way, grabbed another shovel, and smashed it into Jordans spine. Jordan was coughing up blood. I cant die now
. Jordan was paralyzed now. John looked at him. Youve gone insane Jordan. We couldve found a way for everyone to live. John walked away with a shovel, the water, and a bag of food, while Jordan was screaming. Eventually, as John got farther, Jordans screaming faded away.
John had been walking for two days straight, and he was down to his last pint of water. He decided to drink it, and he dropped the jug. In front of him was a huge sand dune. He figured if he climbed it, he could get a good view of the terrain. He walked to the top, and when he reached it, he paused, and stood silent
He fell to his knees and broke up into tears. THIS CANT BE HAPPENING!!! In front of him, was power lines and roads with cars driving on them.
They had never left Earth