Monday, November 28, 2011

Extremes 1-2 - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

""Yet this was one of the safest places near any inhabited part of the Moon. The area around Armstrong was mostly flat by Moon standards, but it still contained dips and hillocks and hazards too small to place on any official map. And then there were the tiny alterations in the landscape that occurred because the Moon had no atmosphere to block space debris.

Coburn had read about one runner who had stepped on the sharpened edge of an exploded shuttle, pieces of which had rained on the Sea of Tranquility the month before. The runner severed his foot. His suit, which had been severed along with his foot, depressurized. He didn’t even have time to die from the blood loss. The change in pressure and the loss of oxygen killed him first.

But cases like that were rare. The more common injuries occurred when a runner misjudged a distance—taking the wrong step before a leap up a four-meter rise, for example. Once launched, a runner was committed—there was no atmosphere to beat against, no air or water to slow him down, nothing to create friction or to use to change the trajectory.

Coburn had already seen victims of that miscalculation—good runners, excellent athletes, many of them extremists, who had fallen alongside the track, because they’d landed in an impact crater and broken an ankle or fallen against a tiny rise and ripped open one-half of their environmental suit."

3.5 out of 5