Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? Have sex? Smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour?
Jamie Waterman has made an important discovery on Mars. A cliff dwelling reveals the fact that an intelligent race lived on the red planet 65 million years ago, only to be driven into extinction by the crash of a giant meteor. But now the exploration of Mars is itself under threat of extinction, as the ultraconservative New Morality movement gains control of the U.S. government and cuts off all funding for the Mars program.
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