Original release date: November 10, 2023
In 2003, the Martian base has grown considerably and is getting ready to move an asteroid into Mars’ orbit for mining using a spacecraft commanded by Ed Baldwin. As a fatal accident occurs, the mission is aborted. Margo, now in the Soviet Union, has a dull life but was promised consultation on space activities. When she hears about the accident, she tries to contact Soviet space leadership but is rebuffed. Kelly Baldwin on Earth with her son wants her father to come home, but each time the option arises, Ed prolongs his stay. Aleida is still in mission control, suffering from panic attacks due to her trauma during the Johnson Space Center bombing. Unemployed oil rig worker Miles Dale applies for a job on the Moon, but the wait is too long for his monetary needs. He volunteers for a trip to Mars for more money, a shorter departure timeline, but a longer rotation. The new NASA administrator asks Danielle Poole to return to Mars as the commander of the mission due to the asteroid accident. Danielle accepts and she and Miles leave Earth with a large crew for Mars while Ed Baldwin looks at pictures of his career experiencing hand tremors.
* * *
[Ellen] The desire to go further has been a part of the American dream since the founding of our great nation.
We saw the impossible, and we made it possible.
But there are those few among us who would try to pull us backwards.
They underestimated us,
our resilience, our resolve…
[announcer] Five, four,
three, two, one.
And our desire to look up at the heavens
and never look back.
[newscaster 1] After one of the most sensational
come-from-behind victories by a presidential candidate…
[newscaster 2] called the Mars Seven Alliance.
The agreement aims to end the competition and distrust that has…
[newscaster 3] Helios loses its antitrust lawsuit
brought by Exxon, Shell and Halliburton.
The companies claim…
Show me the money!
[newscaster 4] President Wilson was sworn in, beginning her second term.
The Republican president is the first openly gay person to hold the office.
[newscaster 5] Helios CEO, Richard Hilliard, called their plasma propulsion technology a “game changer” because missions will no longer have to wait for the so-called Mars window…
[newscaster 6] Survivors of the mission have safely made it back to Earth.
Stranded on Mars for over a year…
[newscaster 7] Jung-Gil, first man on Mars, greeted crowds celebrating his return.
Lee spent months alone on Mars after his capsule crash-landed…
[newscaster 8] Your lunar suite awaits.
The first hotel has opened on the moon, available to the general public…
[newscaster 9] James Stevens testified against the defendants.
Stevens struck a plea bargain agreement with prosecutors last year.
[newscaster 10] The ABC comedy Ellen has been renewed…
[newscaster 11 speaking Spanish]
[newscaster 12] Today, President Wilson signed the Marriage Inclusion Act, legalizing same-sex marriage…
[newscaster 13] The Race to Mars had its premiere tonight
starring Clint Eastwood as Ed Baldwin, Jada Pinkett as Danielle Poole…
[newscaster 14] New breakthroughs in fabrication on Mars will enable Happy Valley Base to manufacture aluminum from materials found on the Martian surface.
[newscaster 15] Dubbed “the successor to the Concorde,” the aircraft is capable of reaching low Earth orbit and shortening travel time…
[newscaster 16] Director Stanley Kubrick died today in England at the age of 70.
[newscaster 17] The autobiography, written by CEO Eli Hobson, describes how he saved Chrysler by leaning into the boom in electric vehicles.
[newscaster 18 speaking Spanish]
[newscaster 19] The Y2K bug is wreaking havoc in Earth orbit today after clocks aboard the International Space Port reset to…
[newscaster 20] The question on everyone’s mind is, “Will Vice President Bush be able to keep together the Wilson Coalition?”
[newscaster 21] In a tightly contested election, Al Gore has defeated George Bush to become the 42nd president of the United States.
[newscaster 22 speaking French]
[newscaster 23] Chaos reigns in Riyadh tonight after insurgents seized key government buildings in Saudi Arabia’s capital.
[newscaster 24] The Osbournes and Moon Miners are leading the way for a new kind of television.
It’s being called reality TV, and it’s dominating the nightly ratings.
[newscaster 25] Glasnost and perestroika has transformed the once dour Russian capital into a city of light and even…
[newscaster 26 speaking Russian]
[newscaster 27] The alliance between Gore and the Soviet leader shows no sign of slowing down.
[Gore] As we usher in a new decade, the growing partnership between the United States and the Soviet Union, both on Earth and on Mars, is bringing a new sense of optimism to the nations of the world.
Tonight, I can proudly say that the Cold War is over.
Those we once thought of as our enemies have become our friends and a new era of peace and prosperity is before us.
Remote thermal sensors confirm temps have returned to nominal.
Good. Alert me at once if they start trending up again.
Ranger-1, Happy Valley actual. Sitrep?
[Ed] Happy Valley, Ranger-1.
Holding at 200 meters from XF Kronos with good viewing conditions.
And what a view it is.
[Peters] Status report shows all green. No flags.
[Kuznetsov] Copy, all green. Zakharova, we’re good to go out here.
[Zakharova] Commander, EVA teams report stage and checklist complete.
Kuznetsov’s ready to go.
Very well. Disabled forward RCS thrusters for EVA.
Let’s just hope this doesn’t get to his head.
I’m surprised he still fits in his helmet.
How are we doing out there, Grigory?
The most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
[Ed] Relax. Your wife might be listening.
[Ed] Let’s just not forget
that the only reason it’s you out there and not me is because of those two goddamn queens you drew.
Yes. But by now, you must be used to coming in second, Edward.
[chuckles] Easy, Grigory. Don’t forget I’m sitting by the controls.
[Kuznetsov] Must be nice to be XO of Happy Valley.
Assign yourself to whichever mission you desire.
[Ed] Oh, that’s a long and storied tradition in the Baldwin household.
[Peters] Ranger-1, Happy Valley. XF Kronos EVA approach.
Go-no-go flight rule check is complete.
You are go for EV1 departure.
Good luck, Colonel.
[Ed] Kuz, you ready to make history?
Always, my friend.
Commencing separation from Ranger-1.
[Lenara] Today, we all make history.
For the first time, man will set foot on an asteroid.
A Soviet cosmonaut on an American ship, wearing a suit manufactured by private company.
This is the fruit of our Mars alliance.
I couldn’t agree with you more, Lenara.
Today, along with our partners in Moscow, Helios, as well as the rest of the M-7 nations, we take the next step towards a self-sustaining Mars colony.
After Ranger-1 hauls the Kronos asteroid into Mars orbit and we begin mining its valuable resources, Happy Valley will only continue to grow.
Today, we embrace the 21st century, the beginning of a new era, and none of it would have been possible without all of you.
The sacrifice, the amazing work you’ve done here.
Every single one of you.
Even you, Dan. [chuckles]
Well, Miss Hughes, I suppose Lenara and I should get out of your way and let you get back to work.
Thank you, Administrator Hobson.
All right, everyone. Let’s keep our eyes on the ball.
Props, make sure that consumption numbers are within the pre-flight estimates.
Yeah, tracking pretty close, Flight.
[Hughes] Thrust, check on the despin thruster telemetry.
Star City, Houston. What’s the status of the stability platform command?
[Russian controller] Resolved. Remote PMU link has been fully restored.
[American controller] Flight, Colonel Kuznetsov commencing EV1 departure.
[Ed] Kuz, you ready to make history?
[Kuznetsov] Always, my friend.
Commencing separation from Ranger-1.
Range now 101 meters.
[Ed] Relative lateral velocity is within limits.
You are a go to proceed with your approach.
[Kuznetsov] Copy. Go to proceed.
Three meters to asteroid contact.
[Russian hip-hop music playing]
[in Russian] A little something extra today.
No, thank you.
You cannot say no, these are straight out of the oven.
[vendor] You need to stop complaining all of the time.
It’s bad for your health.
I am in good health. What we need to worry about is Gorbachev.
[vendor speaks Russian]
Another new tax, and prices rising more every day.
The Marked One thinks he’s a Westerner.
He should focus more on issues at home.
[vendor] If only you weren’t too young to remember how bad it used to be, you wouldn’t complain about how good we have it today.
And I have more than one paper to sell now.
Good morning, Artem.
Hello, my dear.
Well, thank you.
[Artem, customer speaking Russian]
[child, parent speaking Russian]
Hey, baby girl. Give us a hug. [groans] Squeeze.
[Miles] Hey, Sar.
Miles… [sighs] …what are you doing here?
I know. I’m sorry. I just… I’m in a rush. I have an interview.
Have you seen my good shirt? I can’t find it at my place anywhere.
Uh… [sighs] Look, it’s probably in one of the boxes out in the garage.
You can go look if you want.
See you later?
See you later.
See you, Sar.
They said you still haven’t signed the papers.
[Miles] Find the damn thing.
No, my fucking shirt.
Well, it’s probably in that box you’re looking in.
Well, it’s not.
You said you’d sign ’em.
No, I said I’d look at them.
Mandy, I just need some time.
If I can get this job, I can make us flush again, take us right back to where we were. You could move out of your dad’s.
We could rent a house just like the one we had.
It’s not some switch you can just flip, and suddenly everything’s okay with us.
Why can’t I find this fucking shirt?
Thanks. Thank you.
So, what’s this interview? [sighs]
You’re not gonna believe it.
Uh-oh. I know that look.
Last time you had that look, we wound up on the hook for three grand of Amway shampoo.
First of all, that was not my fault.
There was a downturn in the personal care market.
Second, it’s not like that.
You remember Cal from Bruce II?
Ran into him this morning. Guess where he’s working.
He’s going to the moon?
Says they’re looking for guys just like us, with offshore rig experience.
Isn’t that wild?
I mean, I could be doing something that I never even dreamed of.
Could you imagine me on the moon?
No, not really.
Well, get used to it… [stammers]
’cause apparently we’re just what they’re looking for up there.
Drilling, building out mine shafts, big-scale construction projects.
You haven’t worked a rig in five years.
Yeah. Well, Cal says it’s a couple months training, then it’s four months on.
Be just like me working on a platform.
[sighs] It’s just… Maybe you shouldn’t go getting your hopes up again.
You don’t think I could get it?
No, it’s not that. It’s…
I’ve just seen how hard you take it when things don’t work out.
It will work out.
I can get this, Mandy.
Well, not with all those wrinkles, you can’t.
Just take it off. I’ll get the iron.
[Danielle] ♪ Happy birthday to you ♪
[all] ♪ Happy birthday to you ♪
♪ Happy birthday, dear Avery ♪
♪ Happy birthday to you ♪
[all cheering, laughing]
Aunt Danielle, can I have the piece with the castle?
You got it, kid. [chuckles]
Who else wants a slice?
[children clamoring] Me!
Me, me, me, me!
Hmm. Look at her, happy as a little clam.
[sighs] I bet.
All that sugar she just had.
Why do you think I’m getting another slice?
How you doing? I know birthdays are always tough for me.
I’m doing okay, you know?
Every year gets a little easier.
But thank you so much for coming.
It means a lot to Avery and to me.
I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
[children giggling, squealing]
[mouthing] Oh, my…
Avery, put that down.
She’s never gonna hear me in here.
[Kelly] I know you won’t be here for another two months, but we can’t wait to finally have you home.
Your room is waiting for you. Alex is really excited.
[Kelly chuckles] Alex, wanna say hi to Poppy?
Yeah. Hi, Poppy.
Say hi to Ed, Olga.
You better be coming back this time, Dad, so I can send Alexei’s mom back to Omsk.
[sighs] Anyway, I love you.
[Zakharova] Commander Baldwin, Team One signals anchor and cable harness install to commence.
[Kuznetsov] Despin of asteroid complete.
Proceeding with anchor and cable harness installation.
[astronaut 1] Approaching anchor site 36.
[Kuznetsov] Copy. Cable tension looks good. I’m at site.
[astronaut 1] We’re gonna attach it to our cable.
We’ve got a sister anchor installed.
Inserting the anchor.
[Kuznetsov] I see a good seal at the interface. Stand clear.
[astronaut 1] Clear.
Ranger, Team One, anchor 36 installed.
[astronaut 1] Proceeding with cable connection at anchor 36.
Cable connected. [grunts] Install procedure complete.
[Kuznetsov] Translate to site 37.
[Ed] Roger, translate to site 37.
[astronaut 2] Truss element echo 42 is nearly complete.
Two more bolts and we move on to echo 43.
[astronaut 3] Proceeding with power connector 037.
[astronaut 2] Yeah, looking good here. Proceed at green light. We have conduit.
[astronaut 3] Here goes, with the PGT. Torquing bolt.
One, two, three, four, five turns.
I bet it feels so fucking great flying around free like that.
[scoffs] Screw free.
I prefer being hooked to something nice and solid.
[Kuznetsov] Helios 2, Kuznetsov.
Let’s pick up the pace.
[astronaut 2] Copy, Colonel.
Comrade Stalin sure is feeling himself.
No North Koreans around to steal his thunder this time.
He gets the glory and we do all the work.
Yeah, he can have all the glory he wants, as long as we get our bonus.
Well, we won’t get shit if we don’t finish this fucking thing.
[Kuznetsov] Translate to site 38.
[Ed] Roger, translate to site 38.
[controller 1] Copy that, Team Two.
Winch ops and work.
Hey, really nice you brought your kid in for the big day.
He’s being a real shit.
I’m sure he’d rather be at home playing video games.
Uh, maybe now, but he will remember this day forever.
I still think about the first time my dad took me to work to show me the assembly line.
How everything works. Soup to nuts.
And of course, I was more interested in the vending machines. [chuckles]
But it did instill something in me.
You know, seeing my dad in his element.
All those other men alongside him. Making something together.
Really gave me a sense of pride.
And I got to skip school, which was a double bonus.
Yeah, I think that’s why he agreed to this.
He’ll come around. I did. [chuckles]
Anyway, while they are lassoing this rock, I have got my weekly budget meeting.
And they say astronauts have all the fun. [chuckles]
[astronaut] Houston, Ranger-1, we have an update on the RCS thruster.
Standby for data downlink.
[controller 2] Copy that, Ranger-1. Standing by.
[Ed] Happy Valley, all of the tether cables have been fully secured.
Activating ion transport engines at 20% power levels and commencing transport of asteroid XF Kronos into Mars orbit.
Everybody, hang onto your butts. Here we go.
[commander] Ranger-1, Happy Valley, how’s the acceleration profile looking?
[controller 3] Commander Peters, accel curve right down the middle.
[receptionist] Thank you.
Afternoon. I had an interview with…
Fill out the application form and bring it back to the desk. Thanks.
Cal Harris speaks very highly of you.
Said you’re a guy who knows his way around a rig.
You two were derrick hands on the Bruce II platform. That right?
Yes, sir. I was nine years on that beast.
Best years of my life.
I’ve been getting a lot of you offshore rig guys in here.
Well, yeah, I’m not gonna lie, it was a bit rough when the rigs all closed down.
I’m hanging in there, but something like this, getting to work on the moon, that would be life-changing for me and my family.
Huh. FSU, huh? Go ‘Noles!
Right… [chuckles] …yeah. That’s right. Uh, FSU. Yeah.
Brother was class of ’92.
Uh, ’80… ’89.
What dorm were you in?
Uh, what dorm was I in? Uh… Uh, well, Tom, I, uh…
What dorm wasn’t I in?
[chuckles] You know what I mean?
There’s a lot of beautiful women in Tallahassee.
I hear that. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Well, Miles, you have the qualifications, the experience, and with a little bit of space training, clearly you can do the job.
Oh, I’m happy to hear that, Tom.
After our intensive training course, we should have a slot for you to go up in… summer of ’05.
Uh, two years?
Oh, I’m sorry. It’s the earliest slot we have.
Folks from all over the world are lining up to go.
Especially with that Moon Miners reality show being so popular.
I’m sorry, I-I can’t wait that long, Mr. Gamon.
I-I really need this.
Um, is there anything that… [stammers]…that I could do?
Um, I mean, I… [stammers] I can’t lose my family.
And this job, it would really, uh…
It’d make things right again, you know? And…
[stammers] Sure am sorry, Miles, but there’s really nothing I can do to move you up the list at this point.
Yeah, I understand.
I could maybe squeeze you onto a Mars crew sooner.
It is a bigger commitment. Two-year tour minimum.
A lot of folks don’t want to go up that long,
but that’s why the upside’s bigger too.
Would you be interested in that?
[controller 1] We’re seeing fuel depletion rates within predictions.
[controller 2] Harness holding nicely.
[Ed] All systems nominal.
[controller 3] Vibration within tolerances.
[controller 2] Cables all within stress margins.
[automated voice] Cable tension warning.
I’m getting a high side RCS thruster firing rate warning.
I’m seeing the same. RCS propellant quantities are falling.
[controller 3] Commander Baldwin, we’re getting the same readings back here.
Looks like we’re losing tension in cable seven.
It’s causing some instability.
[controller 4] Still climbing. Can you give us some slack?
[controller 5] I’m trying.
Happy Valley, the asteroid has begun to wobble.
I’m shutting down ion transport engines now.
[Peters] Copy that, Ranger-1. Standing by.
I’m gonna manually fire the thrusters out of phase.
See if I can reduce the wobble.
[automated voice] Cable tension warning.
Cable tension warning.
[Zakharova] The asteroid’s wobble is getting worse.
[Peters] We’re seeing more cable instability.
[warning alert continues]
[in English] It’s coming loose.
[Peters] Prepare for emergency disconnect procedure.
And I wanna know the second Ranger reaches the last 20% of her RCS props.
We run them dry, they’re gonna be in a world of shit up there.
[controller 6] RCS prop consumption is very high.
[controller 7] Sir, errors in pitch and yaw, both exceeding five degrees.
[Zakharova] Altitude control is making the oscillation worse.
[Ed] We can’t shut down the RCS, or we’ll start tumbling.
[warning alert continues]
Kuz, what the hell are you doing?
I’m going back out to re-tension the cables.
[Kuznetsov] I know, but what other choice do we have?
[warning alert continues]
All right. You got 30 minutes.
Then I’m pulling the plug and you better get your ass back inside.
Happy Valley, we are performing a contingency EVA to resecure the asteroid.
Negative, Ranger-1. Stand down your EVA.
Everyone is to remain in the ship until we assess the situation.
[in Russian] Sorry, Commander…
I cannot understand you.
[in English] Parker, where are you going?
You’re low on O2. You don’t have time to refill the tanks.
It’ll go quicker with a second set of hands.
Hey. Hey, what are you doing?
Peters told us to stand down. We’re not trained for this kind of shit.
If we don’t get that asteroid back to Mars, we don’t get our bonus.
You know I need the money.
Here I thought you were a hero.
Takes all kinds.
[automated voice] …tension warning.
[Ed] Grigory, the shaking is getting a lot worse.
What’s your status?
[Kuznetsov] We’re on the truss, ship side of the quad junction translating towards the platform.
Parker, when we get to the bottom of the truss, I’m going to reactivate winch number four and restore the cable tension.
You do the same with winch number two.
[Parker] Jesus, the whole truss is flexing.
[Kuznetsov] Ranger-1, there’s structural failure of the truss.
Parker, get away from there.
[Parker] I’m trying. [grunts]
It’s coming apart! [grunts]
[Kuznetsov] Parker! Parker, move!
[grunts] Parker, watch out!
Move out of the way!
Grigory, Parker, do you read?
What’s your status?
Ranger, Parker is gone.
Grigory, get back inside the air lock. We’re cutting this rock loose.
The truss has collapsed around my leg.
Can you get it free?
Start emergency disconnect sequence now.
I’m cutting this fucking rock loose once Kuz is back aboard.
Tommy, assist me with emergency suit donning and egress now.
What are you…
I’m going out there. Take my seat.
No, you cannot.
[oxygen meter beeping]
No. No, no. It is too late.
There is no time. You must cut me loose.
I won’t, Grigory.
Your duty is to your ship.
I’m not losing anyone else today. I’m coming out there.
Edward, listen to me.
There is a hole in my suit. My O2 is nearly gone.
You must do what needs to be done before everyone is lost.
[automated voice] Collision warning.
Goodbye, my friend.
Tell my wife and daughter I love them.
Goodbye, my friend.
Flight, we have a structural failure on one of the truss.
Ranger-1 approaching altitude control failure.
[Hughes] Give me numbers, people.
Come with me.
[Kuznetsov] Parker, when we get to the bottom of the truss I’m going to reactivate winch number four and restore the cable tension.
[Props, echoing] Ranger-1, switching to secondary feed.
[alarms blaring, ringing]
[people screaming, clamoring]
[Hughes] Aleida. Thrust!
Upload a sequential diagnostic to Ranger-1.
We need to make sure that each thruster is undamaged.
Uh, I’ll be right back. Send these up.
[Hughes] Where are you going?
[Danielle] So we’re gonna put this into a little mixing bowl.
And then all we have to do is add water.
You get the water.
The little mix can go in there.
Now put it in here?
You need to come see this.
On a day that should have symbolized the best of human achievement, instead the world is reacting to tragic news.
The joint M-7 mission to haul an asteroid to Mars has gone tragically wrong and Russian hero Grigory Kuznetsov and one other man have been killed.
Kuznetsov is best known as the first Soviet to step foot on Mars, hand in hand with now-retired NASA commander Danielle Poole.
Questions are already being asked about how this tragic turn of events could have happened.
We’re getting conflicting reports from inside NASA about exactly what went wrong.
[in Russian] Kuznetsov, a recipient of the Order of Lenin for being the first Soviet on Mars, was revered in the Soviet Union and across the world even in the United States where NASA head Eli Hobson spoke to reporters.
[in English] We here in Houston are truly heartbroken…
[translator speaking Russian]
[phone line ringing]
We’ve been in close contact with our partners in Roscosmos…
[operator, in Russian] Roscosmos, how may I help you?
Hello, this is Margaret Reynolds again.
I’m trying to get in touch with Director Catiche.
She has received all of your messages.
I only need five minutes.
I do not understand why I can’t talk to her.
She will return your call when she is able to.
[newscaster] …praising Kuznetsov for his service to the nation and vowing to devote the entire engineering team at Star City to analyze every aspect of the Kronos mission.
Devils when they’re up, angels when they’re down.
Look at her. [chuckles]
I still remember when I used to hold her like this, and her head was in my hand.
When you were out on Bruce II for those long stretches, Sarah and me, sometimes we’d pretend you were just camping out in the backyard.
I was so worried about something happening to you out there in the middle of nowhere.
No one to help.
And that was only a hundred miles away.
Mars is… 145 million miles away.
Those people that died today, they had families.
[stammers] Families that are never gonna see ’em again.
Just… Don’t go, Miles.
It’s gonna be okay. I promise.
[stammers] This doesn’t mean we’re getting back together.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[Margo clears throat]
[in Russian] I need to speak to Director Catiche.
[in English] She’s not available.
Oh, you speak English.
And French, German and Italian. Would you like to see my credentials?
I would like to see the director.
We will hear anything you want to discuss at your regularly scheduled appointment in nine days’ time.
When I first came here, I was promised consultations on all space matters, and all I have been is kept at arm’s length.
I need to see what caused the accident and how the crew responded so I can help you work the problem.
It has been almost 10 years since you ran NASA.
Most of the technology of that day is obsolete.
So what exactly do you think you can provide that we are not better equipped to handle?
Well, in your case, just about everything.
Thank you for coming in.
Please do not come unannounced again.
[Ed] Hey, kiddo. Uh, hope you and Alex are doing good.
It’s been a rough couple of days up here.
Losing Grigory was… That was tough.
[stammers] We’d gotten pretty close.
They’ve grounded any further asteroid missions until the Mars commission releases a report, and they’re supposedly sending up a new commander to get things back on track.
I don’t know who it is yet, but probably best for me to stay here a little longer.
It’s just a bad time to leave right now.
You know, I’m the XO, and everyone depends on me up here.
I-I just need to make sure that things have a smooth transition, you know, and… [stammers] …I promise I’ll come home as soon as the new commander settles in.
Talk to you soon, okay? I love you.
What did Poppy say?
[Kelly sighs] Sweetie.
Grandpa, he… he can’t come back yet.
He’s gotta stay on Mars a little while longer, but he promised he would come back very soon.
[in Russian] What good is his promise?
He promised to come back in ’98. In ‘99.2001.
[in English] He’s not coming back.
Olga, please. Not in front of Alex.
I’m done holding my tongue about that man.
He’s a selfish man.
[mumbling in Russian]
[knocks, door opens]
[assistant] Sir, she’s here.
Thank you so much for coming in on such short notice.
I couldn’t be more honored.
Please, come in. Come in.
A proud moment for America.
For the world really. What a journey.
I mean, could you ever have guessed when you first came to NASA that you would end up being the first American to set foot on Mars?
All I remember is landing on my ass.
Well, what is it you wanted to see me about?
Yes. Uh, well, as you’ve probably heard, we have grounded the asteroid mining program until we can get to the bottom of what happened up there.
We’re working up a report.
The Soviets are doing the same.
But what we do already know is that certain decisions were made in the run-up to the accident.
Breaking of protocols. And, uh, Colonel Peters’s position as commander of Happy Valley has become untenable.
Well, it’s easy to blame the guy in charge.
It always is, but that’s part of being in charge.
Taking responsibility when things go south.
You know that better than anyone. [chuckles]
Which is why I want you to replace him.
But doesn’t command pass to the Russians next?
Well, since Peters is leaving midterm, they’re allowing us to replace him with an American.
I don’t even work for NASA anymore.
I know it’s a lot to ask.
You chose to pursue a private life, and God bless you for it.
I probably should have done the same thing after Chrysler.
But, uh, when President Gore asked me to serve, I felt I had to repay my debt to my country.
And you did that by slashing NASA’s budget by 20%?
When I got here, over 60% of the projects were over budget or behind schedule.
Look at the asteroid mining project, even before this fiasco.
It was a shit show. I heard.
But it was finally headed in the right direction.
The M-7 nations have sunk untold resources into building out Happy Valley for this asteroid mining program, and they expect a return on that investment.
And now with the accident and all the questions it’s raised, the president is about a red ass hair away from canceling the whole thing altogether.
That is incredibly shortsighted.
[stammers] After all the work we’ve done up there, to just give up on it now?
I know. I know.
That’s why I want you to go up there and turn things around.
I haven’t been to Mars in almost seven years.
A lot has changed.
True, but people respect you.
They look up to you. Americans, Russians, heck, even the North Koreans.
You know how things work up there. You know the pitfalls.
And they’ll all listen to you.
Especially Ed Baldwin.
Ed Baldwin doesn’t listen to anybody.
That’s a big part of the problem.
He has been XO up there a long time, set in his ways you might say.
I hear you, Eli. I really do.
And I wish you well.
But I’m sorry. I just… [sighs] I just can’t do it all over again.
You accepted my invitation to talk this time.
Something must have changed.
Kuz was my friend.
We grew very close up there those 15 months.
Ed, he was just…
He was a wreck after what happened to Karen.
But Kuz was my rock.
I am here because of him.
I… I can’t begin to imagine how difficult that was.
The nine of you up there putting your lives on the line for Mars.
But all of that…
All of that will have been in vain if we don’t get this thing back on track now.
Hey, n-no, no. These are mine.
You want some? Well, I don’t know about this.
You’re gonna have to get it.
Come on. Get your backpacks. We’re leaving in five minutes.
And no back seat deejaying. Hmm?
Can we listen to music, please? I’m sick of Howard Stern.
What’d I just say?
[cell phone buzzing]
Aleida. It’s work.
Yeah, I’m good.
I’m just gonna work from home today.
All right. We’re gonna head out. I’ll see you tonight.
[kisses] Love you.
Love you too.
[Javi] Dad, let’s go.
[cell phone buzzing]
[alarm clock buzzing]
[in Russian] They are from the North.
They fly down for the winter.
I do not blame them.
They’re called Northern Bullfinches.
[in English] They’re patient birds.
They know they have to wait for the soil before the flowers bloom.
Do we know each other?
I know you.
Who are you?
Someone with your best interests at heart.
And those interests are not served by making waves at Star City.
It is winter now, Miss Madison.
But soon it will be spring.
You must be patient like our friends here.
Well, look who decided to grace us with a visit.
See, that ain’t fair.
How is it that you manage to get more and more handsome with age?
Come here. Hey, Cap.
William Joseph Tyler.
Oh, uh, this little thing? [chuckles]
[chuckles] So Rob finally decided to make an honest man out of you?
Hmm, he’s trying.
Well, I am so happy for you guys.
So, when is the big day?
Next spring. Mark it down. Mm-hmm.
Okay. I will.
And, uh, I heard you’ve been kicking ass over here at Astronaut Affairs.
Keeping tabs on me, huh?
I’m just making sure my tutelage paid off.
And then some.
So, uh, what… what brings you to the ranch?
He, um… He wants me to head back up to Happy Valley.
Take over for Peters.
I told him I’d think about it.
I mean, they could really use you up there. It’s a mess.
I suppose so, but I don’t know.
Heading back up there again after everything that happened with Danny in the end.
I just… I don’t know if I could.
Hey, that wasn’t on you, Cap.
You gotta know that. We all do.
There was just no other choice. You know, you did what you had to do for all of us.
I’ve been telling myself that for the last seven years.
Doesn’t help me sleep any better at night.
You gotta move on.
Get back in the saddle. It’ll be good for you.
But that’s the thing, is you don’t ever really move on.
The people you’ve hurt, the people you’ve lost, you just carry ’em around with you wherever you go.
“Through the shining gate where the angels wait.”
I will see you around, Cap.
Or maybe not.
[“When the Saints Go Marching In” playing]
[announcer] We are a go for a plasma drive start and Trans-Mars injection in five, four, three, two, one.