Translator:Henyee TranslationsEditor:Henyee Translations
Ever since the Apollo 17 lunar mission in December 1972, no one had ever ventured beyond Earths orbit and stepped on the surface of the Moon. The Skyglow sailing on the Earth-Moon orbit was like a lonely boat in the sea.
The view out of the porthole was pitch black; it was different from the night on earth, a different kind of silence and cold. This kind of darkness seemed to come from another world. The kind of dark that was 10-kilometer deep in the sea.
After nearly forty hours of the voyage, they were getting close to the dark grey planet.
Nie Yun, who was holding the joystick, looked at the Moon and took a deep breath.
"This is Skyglow, we have entered the 12-hour orbit, closing in on the Moon"
Liu Zhengwen was sitting behind him in the passenger seat. As he stared at the approaching planet, his heartbeat increased.
This was a feeling he couldnt describe.
After five minutes, he suddenly remembered something.
"Speaking of which Whos going first?"
Liu Zhengwen blushed. Even though he didnt want to sound greedy, he felt like he came off as rather gluttonous for the "first Chinese on the Moon". He just felt like this might turn into an argument, so itd be better to solve it before the mission began.
After hearing him, Nie Yun smiled.
"You can go first."
Liu Zhengwen awkwardly replied, "No, you should go."
After all, Nie Yun was the one who drove Skyglow all the way here.
Nie Yun smiled and said, "I have to stay on Skyglow. Im afraid I cant leave."
During the moon mission, the main pilot had to remain on Skyglow to ensure that all systems on Skyglow were operating normally. Even though there was an autonomous cruise mode, for which Skyglow could automatically orbit a given track, the system wasnt very reliable. Therefore, an experienced pilot would have to remain on Skyglow at all times.
Hence, he could only witness the glorious moment of inserting Chinas flag on the Moon.
However, he didnt really care about this.
Liu Zhengwen said nervously, "Im going alone?"
Nie Yun pointed at Nie Yan and said, "Dont worry, shell go with you and bring you back."
Liu Zhengwen said, "Then she should go first."
"Dont worry about me. It doesnt matter if I go first or second," Nie Yan smiled and said. "Regardless, Ill still be the first female on the Moon."
Nie Yun said, "Are there no female astronauts on Apollo?"
Liu Zhengwen: " I dont think so. I think all of the 12 astronauts are male."
Nie Yun nodded.
No wonder the higher-ups asked for a female astronaut.
In addition to investing in the future, the space race is about being first.
So why didnt the Americans bring a female astronaut to the Moon?
Even though Skyglow was near the Moon, it was impossible for them to release the lunar module at their current speed.
After a week of orbiting at the 12-hour orbit track, with the help from the ground command center, Nie Yun piloted Skyglow into a 127-minute orbit. The magnitude and the direction of the velocity were now at a safe level.
Nie Yun pressed on his helmet. He then took a deep breath and spoke.
" This is Skyglow. We have successfully entered the 127-minute orbit. We will reach the landing point in 25 minutes, requesting approval to release the lunar module."
"This is ground command center. Release approved."
Nie Yun looked back at Liu Zhengwen, who was sitting in the passenger seat.
"25 minutes until moon landing. You guys should get ready."
The two other astronauts unlocked their life support systems and helped each other put on outer-spacesuits. With Nie Yun supervising, they checked the statuses of their spacesuits.
"Oxygen systems activated!"
"Checking oxygen levels."
"100% oxygen left, enough for 4 hours!"
"Test the astronaut propulsion unit."
Just like what Liu Zhengwen learned during his training, he hooked himself onto a nearby railing. He then reached out and pressed a button on his left arm. His jet backpack made a quiet noise, and he could feel a gentle force pushing him forward.
However, this gentle force didnt push him too far.
" Astronaut propulsion unit is working!"
Nie Yun nodded, and he looked at Nie Yan, who was sitting next to him.
After Nie Yan completed her tests, she nodded and said, "Everything is normal."
Nie Yun nodded.
"Begin boarding, good luck!"
Nie Yan smirked, and she fist-bumped her brother. She then stepped through the hatch.
Liu Zhengwen nodded at Nie Yun. He then followed Nie Yans footsteps.
Nie Yun saw the hatch close, and he went silent for a while. After that, he raised his hand and saluted.
He spoke to himself in a solemn voice.
This was it.
After a five-minute voyage, Skyglow reached its target airspace. A black egg-shaped object was separated from Skyglow.
With the help of two pairs of chemical rockets, the lunar module flew toward the Moon like a meteorite and landed on the barren Moon soil.
The dust on the Moon billowed.
Whether it was Nie Yun sitting in Skyglow, or the ground command center staff 380 thousand kilometers away, everyone staring at the live-streamed footage clenched their fists.
Finally, the lunar module door opened.
A figure stood at the hatch.
Everyone held their breaths.
Except for Liu Zhengwen, who was standing at the hatch. He took a deep breath.
He gently jumped out of the cabin.
It was like his body was made of feathers, and he gently fell on the Moon.
The moment his feet touched lunar soil, he felt his entire body on fire.
The moment he stepped on the Moon, deafening cheers were heard 380 thousand kilometers away.
People hugged each other and burst into tears.
They did it!
They landed on the Moon!
They were rewriting history!