Written long before Andy Weir’s The Martian, “A Walk in the Sun” by Geoffrey A. Landis gives us a science fiction survival story a bit closer to home. Trish Mulligan is the last one alive on the moon after crash landing a ship that was never meant to land at all. Luckily, her solar powered spacesuit is operational. Unluckily, a rescue is thirty days away. To survive, she’s got to keep her suit working, and to keep her suit working? She’s got to keep it in the sun.
I like a science fiction story that lets me involve my calculator. (And yes, I mean “calculator”. My trusty old HP-15C… still love that thing.)
The diameter of the moon = 6786 miles.
The moon rotates once every 27 days.
So to keep that suit in the sun, Trish needs to average 10.47 miles per hour for 27 days. And she’s only got her legs to move her.
Can she keep that pace in the low gravity of the moon?
I listened to Infinivox’s recording of the story, read by Amy Bruce. She’s quite good and a great match with the story. It runs 51 minutes and you can get it on Audible for $5. I’ve listened to this a few times over the years so yeah, I enjoy it very much.