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Enceladus Landing

“We set down on a smooth spot near the south pole. The gravity is so low – more like Juno than a big moon – that I shut down the main engines and dropped us down on thrusters. The ice is supposed to be hard as rock, but the surface still seems real slick. First thing I did after planting both feet on the ground was a slow motion fall on my ass. The indignity of it all.

“Wilson came out next. We knew we’d come down near one of the blue chasms, but we never really expected to see the geyser that well. It looked like an aurora back on Earth, only bluer and clearly rising upward, like a thin curtain of mist.

“We’ll do the standard prelim EVAs, then I’ll take us over the chasm and see if I can find a nice safe ledge to land on. It would be nice to get some samples from down in the rift itself.”

- Commander Enrique Duarte Vasquez, chief pilot CSEA Kepler.

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