Synopsis
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It is the near future of the colonisation of the solar system.
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Water ice is mined from the south pole of the moon.
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The extracted water is processed into liquid oxygen and hydrogen....
MaelstromII_LaunchCradle.1.jpg...which is then loaded into frieght capsules.
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The freight capsules have no rocket power of their own. Instead they are hurled into space using an electromagnetic slingshot, a rail gun. Also known as an electromagnetic mass-driver. Once in space, the freight capsules are captured by a space station at L1 that fuels interplanetary missions.
CliffInOrbit/M2.CliffInSuitOverMoon.Jun14.C.crop.320.jpgCliff Leyland is a hydroponics engineer stationed at this mining facility.
capsuleInterior900.jpgCliff wants to visit his family on Earth, but is short on cash. He decides to hitch a ride on one of the freight capsules.
He is strapped into a module which is normally reserved for emergency evacations.
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Cliff's capsule is launched, accelerating at 20 Gs. Everything appear "routine", until one of the reactors powering the rail fails.
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The freight capsule coasts for a second through the failed section of the track, then resumes accelerating off the end of the track, and into space.
However, Cliff has not gained sufficient velocity to break away from the Moon's gravity.

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Instead, he is doomed to orbit the moon once only to impact the surface, not far from where he took off.
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In the spirit of Apollo 13, launch control come up with a "crazy" plan. Cliff is instructed to climb into the airlock and put on the Emergency Deep Space Suit.
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He then climbs out onto the top of the capsule and is instructed to wait until his capsule reaches the top of its lunar orbit.
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Cliff jumps as hard as he can, up and away from the doomed capsule. The hope is his jump will gain him just enough altitude...
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...to buy precious time for a rescue space craft to pluck him out of orbit...








Will Cliff be rescued in time?
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