A Woman’s Wings


© Provided by Popular Mechanics – found at msn.com

Only 3,062 more kilometers until she beat her own personal best and was once again mentioned in the record books.

Amelia Earhart tried it on Earth in 1937, and her flight’s disappearance remains one of the great mysteries in aviation history.

It was Jerrie Mock who succeeded in becoming the first woman to circumnavigate the Earth solo in 1964, but she only did it once, and she had to land to refuel.

Since then, the Earth had been orbited too many times to count and it hardly mattered anymore.

But Shelley Parker invented a new challenge. She was an engineer and pilot, and right now, she was in the realization of her greatest design, the Hermes, a solar-powered fixed-wing aircraft specifically created to fly in the Martian atmosphere.

Shelly had already completed one full circuit of Mars at the equator without landing, and in just over 3,000 kilometers, she would finish her second.

“Eat your heart out, Jerrie.”

I found the above photo in the news and decided to make my own personal “photo flash fiction challenge.” I decided to find out if 23,464 km was roughly the distance between any two points, but that proved difficult. The circumference of the Earth is 40,075 km, so that’s a little more than halfway, but then I saw that the circumference of Mars is 12,263 km. I did a little quick math and saw that it would take only an additional 3,062 km to circle Mars twice at the equator.

So I invented my intrepid aviator Shelley Parker and decided to have her advance the cause of women like Amelia Earhart. This also helped me discover who the first woman was who made a solo flight around the world, and that was almost thirty years after Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared.

Additionally, I learned something about the proposed designs of aircraft intended to fly in the atmosphere of Mars, which is much thinner than our own.

Oh, my word count for this story is 154.

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