Rocketship to Mars

flight to mars

Image: From the 1951 film “Flight to Mars”

The four glittering, silver tail fins of Space Ship Ares One settled firmly on the red sands of the planet Mars as Colonel Bradley Graham flipped the toggle switch cutting the rocket thrust.

Then he picked up the microphone and depressed the transmission button on the side. “Space Ship Ares One to Earth Space Control. We have landed on the planet Mars. Repeat, we have landed on Mars.”

It would take minutes for the radio waves carrying his message to make the trip from Mars to Earth, but Graham vividly imagined the cheers of the crowd at Space Control and all of the Americans watching on their televisions or listening on their radios when they finally heard his voice from across the void.

“Okay, let’s get to it. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

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