2030: A Space Odyssey (Brave New World): flash fiction 250 words max
Trajectory 33.9 million miles, 7 months of space travel; 2030 – on the cusp of history. Captain Luigi Armstrong woke from his slumber. Showered and shaved, he glided through the corridor and headed for the gallery. Breakfast awaited along with the crew.
“Systems checked and calibrated, sir”
Refreshed and alert, the astronauts reconvened on the bridge.
“Good luck everyone”
Instrument panels were manned once more, computers spewing lines of code, myriad calculations flashing on screens.
“This is Houston, do you copy?”
“Luigi, this is Houston. If you read, we suggest you unstow one PLSS antenna so we can have communications. Over.”
“Red 1 this is Houston. On latitude, make that plus 00.692, rounding off. Over.”
“Ah, Houston, we’ve had a problem here. We’ve had a Main B Bus Undervolt.”
“Do you need assistance? Over”
“Situation resolved, Houston. Approaching orbit. Over.”
Stars watched on, ambivalent to mans’ attempt at exploration.
Orbit completed, the spacecraft entered descent. Hurtling though the Martian atmosphere, the capsule flared like a missile, white phosphorous blowing back into space. Retro-thrust rockets fired providing deceleration to land.
Three pioneers entered the airlock. Decompression navigated, cargo doors opened revealing an explosion of red landscape; Olympus Mons stood proud on the horizon.
Captain Luigi glanced up, scanning the auburn sky for moons (Phobos and Deimos). He lifted his space-suit enwrapped leg, jumped down and declared:
“That’s one small step for the world, one giant leap for humankind”
Hal9000 made preparations, in silence, for their return.