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Off Towards Mars Landing

From Phobos, it's a drop of six thousand kilometers to Mars.  Luckily, escape velocity from the little moon is so low a galloping horse could manage it.  With the heat shield blocking the main engine, the Universal Lander has only its thrusters to do the job.  Fortunately, those little rocket motors feed from the same tanks as the main engine, and the propellant they need for the transfer to Mars still leaves enough for the final moments of the landing and for the return to orbit.

 After weeks of preliminary exploration of the small moon and a rearrangement of the Expedition Stack, the Lander slowly launches and pivots towards the Red Planet.  Using the Stack's heat shield as a base, with the solar array still stowed and the nuclear generator's radiators turned to shadow themselves from the low sun, half the crew watches from the little outpost on Mars's innermost moon as the first two humans to descend to Mars slowly recede into the sky.

 --Excerpt from UXF promotional material, 2029. 

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