That first trip to the moon has been the subject of many stories. Mr. Vandenburg has come up with as novel a twist as we've ever read.And it could happen.
ad the ashes of the long dead heavenly body. The Russians, for all their boasts, had never come near the place.
The Ajax XX stood tall and gaunt and mighty, framed against the forbidding blackness of space. Captain Robb had maneuvered her down to the middle of an immense crater, which the crew came to nickname "the coliseum without seats."
Robb had orders not to leave the ship. Consequently, the crew of four scrupulously chosen, well-integrated men split into two groups of two. For three days they labored at gathering specimens, conducting countless tests and piling up as much data as time and weight would allow. Captain Robb kept them well reminded of the weight problem attached to the return trip.
Near the end of the third day Captain Robb contacted his far flung crew members over helmet intercom. He ordered them back to the Ajax XX for a briefing session.
Soon the men entered the ship. They were hot, uncomfortable and exhausted. Once back on Earth they could testify that there was nothing romantic about a thirty-five-pound pressure suit.
* * * * *
Hamston, the rocket expert, summed it up: "With that damn bulb over his skull a man is helpless to remove a single bead of perspiration. He could easily develop into a raving maniac."
Robb held his meeting in the control room. "You have eight hours to finish your work, ge
The first ship to land on the moon is about to return to Earth when the captain allows the crewmen to collect any souvenirs they want to take back. The guys come back. On the way back, they all show what they chose.
Kind of a dated story that relies on the twist at the end to give it any value.
Meh. Okay, but not great. The author tried to be a little too cute with the ending, but it's a political twist, not a science fiction twist.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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