Copyright 2016 Mario V. Farina
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
All Rights Reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
Electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information
Storage and retrieval system, without prior written permission of the author.
Correspondence may be directed to:
Mario V. Farina
Email: [email protected]
My name is Rex Snyder. I’m not an astronaut but Mrs. Snyder and I are on our way to Mars. We left Earth on January 1, 2040. Today is March 1, 2040 and we’re a little more than half way to our destination. A great deal of progress was made last year in power generation and space technology. A new form of propulsion was discovered named fusion flame. A luxurious space vehicle was built by NASA, which enabled my wife and I to begin the trip and travel in relative comfort while underway.
The distance from Earth to Mars varies from moment to moment. The minimum distance between the two planets is about 40 million miles but in traveling from Earth to Mars, we’ll need to travel many more than 40 million miles; actually about 150 million. Because of this, NASA chose a happily married couple to make the trip. My wife and I are living in a bullet-shaped vehicle that doubles as a space ship and a luxurious home. It has every modern convenience that happy home owners could wish for. We won’t need to do any “driving” since our entire trip has been computer programmed. When we get to Mars, we’ll simply orbit the planet, then return home. There will be no landing. The entire trip was planned as a political coup. Several competing nations have been preparing to travel to Mars and our President decided it was imperative that our country be first. The voyage was begun even though the planning for it was only partially complete.
During the time the voyage was being planned, there was a contest throughout the United States to select the most eligible childless couple to go, Happily Lucille and I were chosen.
It’s been fun so far. On January 1, 2040, there was a short dash on a runway at Dallas airport. When Mars One reached a velocity of about two hundred miles per hour, it rotated skyward and escaped Earth’s gravity within a few seconds. Our ship is traveling at about 25,000 miles per hour. Lucille and I spend our time looking out the picture windows, enjoying elegant meals we prepare using the Fusion-powered range, reading, watching TV, listening to music, and, otherwise simply enjoying a life of leisure. We’ll be returning to Dallas on or about March 1, 2041. We’ll arrive at Mars on or about July 1, 2040. We’ll need to stay in orbit with Mars for a few days before the window for a return trip to Earth opens. During those orbits we’ll be taking thousands of pictures.
This trip is tedious despite the comforts. Lucille and I knew this when we were chosen to make the trip, but it will all be worth it because of the service we’re providing for humankind. I know she and I will be greatly honored when we return and I’ve been composing our arrival speech.
May 1, 2040
Something important has happened since I wrote the first part of this story. After March 1, life continued happily until today. NASA hadn’t told us but several weeks after Lucille and I had begun our trip, further advances in space technology were made and another couple was launched to travel to Mars. Their ship was Mars Two and it was twice as fast as ours. Around lunchtime, as we were looking out our starboard picture window, we suddenly observed Benny and Helen Brown looking out the picture window of another space ship as it overtook and passed us on its way to Mars. We learned later that Benny and Helen were going to arrive at Mars well before us, and that our ship had been turned around for a return to Earth. This was disappointing but, at least, we thought, we’d arrive on Earth in plenty of time to get a small amount of glory.
May 15 2040
Today, as we were speeding toward Earth, we were looking out the port window and unexpectedly saw Grace and George O’Brien looking out the starboard window of still another space ship aimed toward Mars. This was Mars Three. Even further advancements had been made in technology and this ship was much faster than Mars Two. It was going to arrive at Mars before Mars Two. The latter ship had also been turned to return to Earth. This was bad news but we thought we’d arrive back on Earth first.
June 1, 2040
Alas, this will not to happen. We’ve just seen Mars Two forging ahead of us on the way to Earth. A few days from now, Mars Three will go by in the same direction. NASA told us that, actually, Mars Three will be first to arrive at Dallas. This will be on July 1. Grace and George O’Brien will get all the honors. Three weeks later, Mars Two will land. Lucille and Lucille and I won’t get back until September 1, 2040. Our ship has been declared obsolete. There will be no welcoming ceremonies for us. What is worse, our ship will not even land at Dallas. As a convenience to NASA, it will be redirected and parked at a huge storage yard in Houston.
NASA has scheduled our return to Dallas to be by bus but, at our own expense!