Now that we’re in orbit around Mars, everyone on Earth is expecting us to immediately hop in the lander and head down to the surface. Not so fast. There are about a million things we have to do to get ready; tasks that couldn’t be done in advance. They’ll take about a week.
While I’ll be staying on the ship as it circles Mars (behind Phobos), I’m still an important part of the landing procedure. In addition to being the interface between the ship’s tech and the crew, now I’ll have to be the intermediary between the ship and the lander. The data has to be absolutely precise, or the lander will crash.
Everyone else is making sure the lander has all the provisions necessary for the time they’ll spend on that hostile wilderness. It’s sort of like playing the old “Oregon Trail” game.


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