The flight from Earth had gone smoothly and the landing module left the mothership which continued on its orbit around the Moon. As the module descended, the mothership commander watched it slowly diminishing in size to become a minuscule speck before disappearing. As the landing module approached the surface, the pilot searched calmly for a place clear of rocks to set the craft down. This was the moment when the success of the mission depended solely on the skill of the pilot. The retro rockets fired and the craft, in a cloud of moon dust, settled gently onto the alien landscape. With the engine switched off silence enveloped the craft, and the moon dust fell back through the weightless atmosphere to the ground. The relieved co-pilot grinned through the Perspex of his helmet and gave the pilot a grateful ‘thumbs up’.
As the pilot jumped off the last step of the ladder onto the grey rock strewn ground she spoke Armstrong’s historical words, paraphrased for the occasion and time, “That’s one small step for a human, one giant step for humankind”. Then slowly turning in her cumbersome space suit she faced the welcoming committee, dressed in their more modern comfortable suits.
“Welcome to Lunar City,” said a disembodied voice in her helmet, ” congratulations on the safe completion of this mission commemorating the 150th anniversary of the first moon flight. My Great-grandfather Neil Armstrong would have been proud of you!”
Behind the group of space suits Stellar Watson could see a crowd of cheering people sat on terraced seating in the city viewing dome, the sun reflecting dazzlingly off the curved structure.
“Sadly,” Kim Armstrong continued, ” Bill Gates, who funded this project, died at the Extended Life Clinic in Geneva, without witnessing this moment, the successful completion of the mission.”
Before making her speech Stellar waited for her co-pilot Buzz Aldrin IV to descend the steps and bounce gently towards her and come to rest alongside.
“Thank you for your generous welcome.” Said Stellar. “Many following our flight here, in this painstakingly restored Saturn rocket, capsule and landing module, will not full appreciate the risks involved in the historic mission undertaken by Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins in 1969. Had we encountered any difficulties we could have aborted our mission and been rescued by any one of the passing freighters or cruise star ships. For those intrepid explorers, any malfunction, well, for them there was no way back. No rescue. So, let us applaud those heroic adventurers!”
The audience in the dome again cheered.
“It should also be remembered that the technology used was very basic.” Continued Stellar, when the applause subsided. “It was said in the 21st century the computers used in the mission were less powerful than an instrument called a cell phone. Now, in this, the 22nd century, we would describe the computers used as less powerful, well actually, far less powerful than an Apple ICD, the Imbedded Communication Device, which you are all more familiar with,”
Back on Earth Buzz Aldrin V, in the family Life Pod, located near Houston, sat in the living area watching the landing on the Samsung Hologram imager.
“Wow, imagine that!” He said on his ICD to his friend in Australia, but who was virtually sat next to him.