Chapter 11.1

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 (Alanday, Aries 10, 0031)

From: Carl Wilson
Subject: The view from here
Date: Aries 10, 0031 22:00
To: Mary Croft

(CLT): 6 min 50.81 sec

Hello Sweetheart,

Sure wish you were here to see this view. We are preparing to go into Mars orbit in two days, and I haven’t slept in nearly three. I can’t get over this spectacular sight of Mars. If I stand with my back to the door of the EVA Prep room and peer out the half meter sized porthole above the control console on the other side of the lab, there is the thinnest of margins of space surrounding the planet. It’s like back on Earth, during moonrise of a full moon: hold your hand out at arms length and make a ring with your thumb and index finger to view the moon through. It looks HUGE!! Have you ever done that? Try it if you haven’t.

We’ll be arriving with about 40 days left in the dust storm season, but if we get a break in the weather, so to speak, we’ll land at the first opportunity. These past six months have been terribly confining for everyone. When it comes to the claustrophobia of a closed space with no exits, this is about like being in the brig, on a submarine, under the polar ice cap. If that asteroid hadn’t hit the solar panel last month and stirred up so much excitement, I think I might have gone space happy. Although I don’t know why they call it ‘happy’. I kind of feel sorry for all of my crewmates that didn’t get to go out on the EVA. But, fair was fair and I won the draw. I got to experience the vastness of space, first hand.

Oh, and speaking of that excitement and the EVA, our new ‘steam-powered’ electrical generator is putting out nearly as much power as both of the old solar panels did. While going over the numbers with Tom, a few days ago, he said it reminded him of a story he heard about the early days of the Apollo Program. He said there was an ‘urban legend’ that goes like this:

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