The men sat alone in the cockpit. Nobody spoke for more than an hour but it could have been days. Besides, units of time measurement based on the Earth’s orbit seemed pointless to them now. The four men’s minds went separately to places over 240,000 miles away and the people they loved there.
West cried when he saw the Earth come into view. He wondered what his tears would do if his helmet wasn’t on. Without gravity he supposed they might just well up on his eyeballs and float away in front of him.
There had been a small explosion earlier. It hadn’t been as loud as it would have been within the Earth’s atmosphere, but it was all the more terrifying. They couldn’t see the direct reason why, but the comms panel was now useless to them, so communication with the Earth was impossible. At least two of the men privately thought this a blessing in disguise, as they did not know what they would have said to their children, their wives, their parents. Continue reading