Short Story #65: Shipwreck in the Sky by Eando Binder

Title:  Shipwreck in the Sky

Author:  Eando Binder

Summary

Fantastic Universe Science Fiction - March 1954
Captain Dan Barstow has been successful pilot in war and now, he's set to be the first man to go into space.  He preps for and is launched into space rather successfully.  The chaotic nature of space travel is a bit demanding as Barstow has to keep his eyes on many different things while also remaining in constant contact with mission control.  Out into space he flies and gets to see amazing sights.  However, he spots something unexpected, a second moon.  This moon is small (1 mile in diameter) and covered in dark rock, making it hard to spot by others.  Small as it is, the gravity is strong enough to pull his ship into orbit and eventually, he crashes (very lightly since the moon-side gravity is light).  With not enough rocket fuel to achieve escape velocity, Barstow assumes (as does mission control) that he will die on Earth's newly found, second moon.  However, while explore the moon, Barstow comes up with an idea and shortly after, he is reporting to command about his experience re-entering Earth's orbit and landing safely.  When asked how he managed to escape the moon, Barstow explains that he jumped off the moon because the gravity was that light and uses some small propulsion tools on his body to escape.  

Reflection

This is a cute and amusing story--just right for a sci-fi magazine.  It is in all likelihood horribly inaccurate, but that doesn't mean I couldn't enjoy it.  It reminds me of The Martian by Andy Weir which I just read last month.  Eando Binder is more famous for his (technically "their"--if I remember correctly, they are a brother duo under one name) Adam Link stories, but this story is certainly worth a read if you're looking for something light.

Short Story # out of 365
Rating:  3 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read: 3/5/2014  
Source:  I found this short story for free on Amazon Kindle.  However, you can also get this story from the Gutenberg Project.

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.




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