Highest rank: #402 in Science Fiction (12/20/2015)
The next shipment of supplies was scheduled to arrive at Delta 5 Base Camp a week ago on the Red Planet. Sitting currently a nice 145 million miles from the Blue Planet, what could go wrong?
Charlie Higgins is a NASA physicist and molecular botanist stationed on Mars for the last three years. After NASA's Mars Plant Experiment (MPX) was a success in 2020, more rover missions were sent to colonize the red planet with tiny greenhouses over the next fifteen years. Soon the millions of Arabidopsis seeds had germinated with the red soil and were growing.
Delta 5 Base Camp was NASA's giant martian garden millions of miles away from home, and evidence that life could be sustained on Mars. Higgins and his team of four astronauts, comprised of the best minds from around the world, were the second team sent to Mars to continue construction of NASA's next project.
Dealing with Mars' radioactive atmosphere was the first step in making the Red Planet inhabitable by humans. Enter Radioactive Environment Additive Project (REAP), NASA's attempt to stabilize Mars and buffer its thin atmosphere. With the backing of more than twenty nations worldwide, it marked the largest multi-national venture of all time, with more than 50 billion dollars funded to the space project.
It has now been three years since Higgins and his team arrived on the Red Planet to replace Team Aurora. And almost six months since the last supply probe dropped equipment for Higgins and his team. Supplies are running low, and the fear is building up. When the Mars Transfer Spacecraft is seen falling from the atmosphere in a ball of flame, Higgins' worst fears become a reality.
They would be trapped on Mars for another 500 Sols before the next shipment of supplies came from Earth. If they came...