Crash On Planet AJ
All my life my dad has worked for NASA. Recently, NASA launched the 2272 space living project. My mom (being the supportive mom she is) volunteers us. I am 6. Another family with a 6 year old daughter volunteers. This is a 1-year program so they send the other family with us.
NASA sends us off on July 14th, 2272. We board with our phones, toys, clothes, and more. The ship has water cleaners so we can drink some of our own pee, and they send the food up every day in loads.
Lots of people are gathered for the departure of the Space Flyer 2272. Friends and family, NASA members, and other spectators are there. They are gathered a mile away from the launch site for safety reasons. The NASA members controlling the launch are in the headquarters. I am in tears.
“Come on Juliet, it's time to board the spacecraft. Please help carry as much as you can.” My mom says. We are all very excited, nervous and scared.
All the family members are boarding. Me (Juliet), Abby (the other daughter), Mary (my mom), Grace (Abby's mom) and George (Abby's dad). The crew is already on the Space Flyer 2272. They are: Jessica Meir (pilot), Jeanette Epps (co-pilot), Andrew Feustel (member 1), Tyler Hause (member 2), Andrew Morgan (member 3), Reid Wiseman (member 4), and Josh Cassada (technician).
As we walk up the stairs onto the aircraft I stand behind my mother. Abby stands behind me, her mom and dad behind her. All of us have four or more bags.
I follow my mother up the stairs and down the hallways to our rooms. Mine is big with a bed in one corner. The bed has white sheets. In the other corner of my room there is a space suit for outdoor travel. Winding along the top and bottom is a gravity machine. It keeps me from floating to the ceiling. I have one wall that is cupboard shelving units. They all have drawers.
My walls are light blue with white stars. I love my new room. I love the way that my windows view the solar system and the earth. I love the big fluffy rug in the middle of my room. The doors are next to the space suit and there is a desk next to that.
“Okay Juliet, put your stuff down and you can go say goodbye to everyone.” My mom says.
“Okay Mommy.” I say. I set down my 4 bags and run back outside to say goodbye. I'm going to miss my dad, grandparents, and friends. I run down the 7 flights of stairs I say goodbye to everyone.
“Goodbye, Daddy! I’m gonna miss you!”
“I’m gonna miss you too! Have fun up there, and be nice to your mom for me, okay?”
“Okay, can we talk every day, Daddy?”
“Maybe not every day, but we can talk a lot. How's that sound?”
“Okay, Goodbye. I’ll miss you.”
I continue saying goodbye to everyone else. I'm going to miss them a lot.
“5, 4, 3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF!” Everyone on the spaceship cheers. We are all standing in the main area with the big TV on the wall, watching the bystanders. The big speakers above and under the TV vibrate dramatically as everyone cheers and screams. The room has a big 2 corner couch all around the perimeter of the room. The light grey of the couch blends with the medium blue of the walls and the deep red pillows nicely.
A big table is set up in the middle of the room with a big fuzzy rug like the one in my room. Right now we are thousands of feet off the ground. I know I hear weird noises. I wonder if anyone else does. I don't think too much about it now that I'm on earth. I know I should have.
“Abby, do you want to come see my room?”
“Sure.” She says.
“Come on, follow me.” I struggle to remember the way to show her my room down long hallways and stairs.
“Woah!” She said. “It's amazing!”
“Doesn't it look similar like yours?”
“Basically. Want to come see?”
“I'd love to come!” I follow her down a hallway and we arrive.
It is the same as mine but has yellow walls like the sun. Also, her sheets are light blue. I hear another strange sound and tell her.
“I've been hearing these strange sounds. I've been wondering if you've been hearing them, too.” I say.
“Yes, I have.” She says. “They've been kind of scaring me.”
We stay in her room for a while and get to know each other. I learn that Abby likes the color blue and pink. I like the color pink. Her favorite food is macaroni and cheese, baked potatoes, and pizza. I like salad and noodles. Abby's favorite activity is drawing. My favorite activity is drawing, too.
Her mom comes in to get us for dinner a while later. We follow her down stairs and hallways, wondering how anyone learns their way around. After a small but filling dinner of mashed potatoes we go to our respective rooms for a quiet evening. Being six we have quite early bedtimes. My bedtime is at 7:50. Abby's was 8:00. After that we go to bed.
I wake up at 2 in the morning to loud banging sounds. I look out the window and see scraps of metal outside.
I walk down the hall to my Mom’s room and almost shout, “Mommy, Mommy! I saw metal outside the window!”
“I'm sure it's just trash, sweetie.”
“But I heard banging sounds, too. Is the spaceship falling apart?”
“No, sweets, I'm sure it's just bumping the spaceship.”
“Go back to sleep, now.”
I have trouble sleeping that night. I'm worried that the spaceship will explode. I have a nightmare where the ship explodes and we all die.
I wake up in the morning, still scared about the spaceship exploding. Abby comes to my room to pick me up for breakfast.
“Coming.” I say. I'm very hungry for breakfast.
We walk down to breakfast together. Breakfast is pancakes. They are very delicious. There is no syrup and they are reheated pancakes, but that is fine.
We go back to my room and hang for a while. All the other adults stay in the main area. We hear a lot of weird sounds and see lots of metal scraps flying outside. We are both very scared. Being 6 we both think we are going to die.
The rest of the afternoon goes normally. For lunch we have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I play with Abby the rest of the afternoon, with all the toys we brought. It is really fun.
Then night comes. Night is terrifying for me. What happens I will never forget. Not even when I'm on my deathbed.
I am sleeping snug inside my white sheets and comforter. Heating on the spacecraft is not the best (the reason for the comforter).
That is when I hear a big crash. That is what I wake up to. I don't know what it is. It is very loud. I see some smoke filling the spacecraft and all I can do is scream. My mom comes to my rescue.
“What happened?” I say.
“We crashed but we are going to be okay.” She says. “Please put on your spacesuit. I have to put mine on. Then bring as many bags as you can and follow the exit signs outside. I will be right behind you.”
I slip my suit on as fast as I can. The only thing I want to do is get to safety. I carry my bag of clothing and my bag of toys outside.
I don't know where I am. It is red in spots and green in spots and forest-y in some spots. The red spot is pretty small. All the people on the craft could fit with a foot around them in the red spot.
We have good human conditions on the planet. I’m glad there are human conditions. I am still very scared. The planet is pretty warm. It isn't the warmest it could be, but it's warm enough that we don't need coats.
No one knows where we are. No one thinks we are on the red planet. They decide to call the planet Planet AJ in honor of me and Abby. And I am crashed there. Crashed on Planet AJ.
The technician decides to deal with the crash in the morning. The adults go back into the ship to get spare air mattresses. There are enough mattresses for everyone. That is when I see Abby for the first time since the crash. Her mom stays with us while the adults get the mattresses.
We get to sleep next to each other. The night is long and quiet. Abby and I sleep OK, but I have nightmares. I have a nightmare about being trapped on the planet forever. I know that is not going to happen. At least I hope that is not what is going to happen.
I don't want to be stuck on the planet forever. I want to go see my parents and friends and grandparents. Abby has her parents with her. I'm jealous of that, my dad isn't there but my mom is there.
The next morning we get up and we don't have breakfast right away, because there's no food right there with us. We're going to take one trip to the craft for safety reasons.
We spend most of the day playing on the grass with our toys. We get breakfast around 11:00 AM. That is the only time we get to go onto the spacecraft. If we need to use the bathroom we have to go deep in the wooded/tree area.
Josh spends nearly the entire day trying to fix the craft. The front is nearly broken off. The only way to fix it is to take metal and weld it on. In the afternoon he takes a break from fixing the craft. He knows it will not be fixed for a couple days at minimum.
We sleep three nights and four days on Planet AJ. Josh finds enough pots and pans on board and welds them together and on the ship. The ship is not completely fixed, but it is good enough to fly back to Earth.
On the third day the wind is fierce so we get to go onto the craft to use the bathroom. We spend most of the day on the craft.
About midday Jeanette Epps calls us all to the main area.
“I wanted to tell you all what happened Tuesday night.” She begins. “I was sitting in the cockpit, minding my own business, controlling the ship. Then the control panel started to light up and buzz a lot. I looked out the window and-”
“Excuse me Jeanette Epps,” Jessica Meir interrupted. “But may I suggest that we take off while you continue speaking?”
“Oh, why yes, that would be lovely.”
“You would like me to control?”
The loud sound of the engine startles me and Abby. We go sit on the couch for take off. The engine starts to get louder and we push back in our seats so our nerves won't run a marathon inside our bodies as we take off.
The entire crowd of adults starts chanting. “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF!” With a deafening noise, the craft goes up and up. It is working! Abby and I are still scared about the crash. My mom must sense this because she comes over and pulls me onto her lap.
“You okay?” She asks.
“Yes. Just scared of crashing.”
“As I was saying, I looked out the window and we were moving very fast. Hyper speeding through space, I think. So I got Jessica and that is when we crashed. You should know the rest.”
We get back to earth okay. I miss my dad so much, and am so glad to see him. The ride is slower than there because it could break any time. There are no more weird sounds or metal bits flying around. I am much safer than the ride here. It is a lot better.