In an economically depressed and politically dysfunctional United States, the long-defunct National Aeronautics and Space Administration is reestablished in a desperate attempt to channel the patriotism and optimism of the previous century's Soviet Space Race. But this time, the nation to beat is China, and the goal is Mars.
Far behind steady advances in Chinese aerospace engineering and even lunar colonization, a team of American scientists, engineers, and astronauts struggles to integrate decades-old technologies, untested prototypes, and some very out-of-the-box thinking to give their nation a shot at one of the most important achievements in human history. Nothing goes as planned while pursuing what appears to be the impossible, but the ultimate surprise lies in the mission's conclusion.
This quirky and intelligent novella by Christian Cantrell is both humorous and unpredictable as it explores an unfamiliar, but not entirely unimaginable, post-superpower United States.