First Landing by Robert Zubrin

By Robert Zubrin

From well known Mars visionary Robert Zubrin comes his much-anticipated debut novel - a piece of fiction born from the proof that encouraged his groundbreaking nonfiction works, The Case for Mars and getting into area . choked with startling authenticity, First touchdown follows humankind's first manned challenge to Mars, a brand new frontier of undreamed-of percentages - and nightmarish hazards.

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The bridge personnel continued their climb. In spite of efforts to keep the HEVs together, the Helljumpers came down in a landing zone that stretched approximately three kilometers in diameter. Some of the landings were classic two-point affairs in which the more fortunate Marines were able to jettison their crash cages about fifty meters off the ground, and land like sim soldiers in a training vid. Others were a good deal less graceful, as the skeletal remains of their drop pods smashed against cliffs, dropped into lakes, and in one unfortunate case rolled into a deep ravine.

Rawley looked, saw a Covenant landing craft coming straight toward the bay, braving the heat generated by theAutumn ’s reentry velocity. There was a limited window of opportunity to get off this sinking ship, and the Covenant bastard was right in the way. She swore and released the safety on the Pelican’s 70mm chin gun. The weapon shook the entire ship, punched holes through alien armor, and hit something vital. The enemy vessel shuddered, lost control, and spun into theAutumn ’s hull. “All right,” the wing leader said over the ship-to-ship frequency, “Let’s go down and meet our hosts.

A second alien carried an ignited plasma grenade—the little bastards meant to drop the explosive into his armor. He flexed his shoulders, and shook himself like a dog. Grunts flew in every direction as the Master Chief used short controlled bursts to put them down. He turned toward the lifeboats. ” Cortana urged. ” The Spartan ran, just as the door started to close. A nearby Marine fell while running for the escape craft, and the Chief paused long enough to scoop the soldier up and hurl him into the boat.

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