A young man and a young woman alone on the first over-the-moon ship. The world cheered them as the most romantic adventurers in all history. Do-gooders decried them as immoral stunters. Gaunt, serious militarists pronounced them part of the most crucial experiment ever undertaken....
in. And again. Surely there never was, never could be, a greater delight embracing than in the floating, heady, free fall of null-G. Certainly the psychologists knew no other method of retaining sanity in the cruelly endless jet pit engulfing the stars. Which was why they had planned it that way.
* * * * *
Well out of atmosphere he began to brake skillfully, easing the craft into an orbital arc that would later be changed to a descending spiral. Biting into rarified air, he adjusted the hull heat distributor, cut in the refrigeration unit, increased oxygen a trifle. He removed a small envelope from its taped position on a panel and opened it to read his landing instructions. Then he looked questioningly at Carol.
"Southwest Oregon. The Oregon Caves National Monument. We're to go in on a beacon signal."
"You don't suppose they want us to show survival ability?"
"On a deal like this? No, something's haywire here. First, there's not a strip that'll take the Latecomer f
Written in 1954, set in 1966, the atomic space ship to the moon encounters interplanetary time slowing and space fear: a couple of things we've found don't happen. If you can ignore that, the story is okay. The characters are cardboard (Ken is a major, Carol a lieutenant, she's there to follow his orders--any orders).
There just seems to be too much wrong with the story.
End-of-the-world short story with an unusual premise and a bit of a surprise ending. Worth a read.