THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 35

Leave a comment

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 35

…”As we fly to zero latitude and zero longitude, on to the Plain of Xanthe, the horizon vista is psylastic!”...


Surprisingly, or maybe not so much, both the turbulence and blinding sand lessen the closer they get to the surface. As the drop to 30K and finally 5, the landmarks resemble those in the mockups, not unlike driving thru a town you have passed thru before.

“Things are improving steadily Mission Control, descending the final 5K… and there you go…the dunes of Mare Erythraeum, one peak in the range…” He stops to look over to perspectiveCeleste, asking, “Am I seeing things?”

She gives him a “I see the same thing,” nod.

“I repeat. One mountain in the range of 20 thousand in elevation appears to have clouds encircling its summit.” He double checks his visual.

“That is water vapor, 22.5 RHp,” Celeste confirms.mars-mountain

The unexpected is fast becoming rule rather than the exception. Earth is unusually mute, as co-eyewitnesses to an unexpected development.

The Master and Madame of this eye-popping peepshow continue their thrust-by-thrust description of this brave new venue. “As we fly to zero latitude and zero longitude, on the Plain of Xanthe, the horizon vista is psylastic!”

dictionary-definition-001“Psylastic Sam?”

“The P is silent.”

“Now you are making up words! I will add that to the Red Planet Dictionary, you concentrate on the landing,” Braden King exhorts.

“When you spot Syrtis Major, come about to begin final approach of Tithonius Lacus,” adds Roy Crippen.Related image
In the background, the upcoming New Mayflower  colonist mission geologist is babbling on about the water vapor. Nothing, none, zero, not any of the earlier observations has posited that gaseous forms of water were present on Mars.

Onsite observations are off the charts, Colony Control conversations titillating, and the possibilities innumerable, but Roy must  set the subjectivist notions aside to keep abreast of the landing.


Image result for water vapor artwork

Water Vapor by Danielle Nelisse

Episode 35

page 34

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.