For my assistant’s birthday, have a Lady Astronaut short story

Technically, this is just for Alyshondra, who is all things wonderful, BUT she wants to share her birthday present, so that means you get a story, too. Make sure to wish her a happy birthday in the comments.

(Oh, and tell her about a novel that really struck you when you were a kid.)


The moment the stuffed giraffe drifted toward the floor of their small lunar hopper, Alyshondra knew that she had a problem. It was not that her eleven-month-old had lost her grip on the beleaguered patchwork giraffe and would start crying in about — now — but they weren’t supposed to be decelerating at this point in the trip to Grandma’s new homestead.

Amara’s wail wept up from a whimper to a full klaxxon to match Alyshondra’s internal alarm. She grimaced and ignored her daughter because the giraffe was continuing to fall.

She raked her gaze over the gauges on the panel of the hopper. 720 meters altitude, down at 80, 120 forward…. Their altitude was dropping with the giraffe and– MASCON. The moon had mass concentrations of gravity where the density of some rock formations made the gravity measurably stronger. They must be passing over one of those. Working on instinct, she gave a double tap on the nadir and aft thrusters to counter their drop and send them surging forward.

The engines kicked the seat against them. The giraffe dropped to the floor and bounced, spinning upward. Right hand on the manual controllers, Alyshondra snared the giraffe with her left as she watched the gauges. 1000 meters altitude, up at 100, 190 forward…. and steady. By the numbers, they weren’t dropping any more and were back on course for Grandma’s.

Sighing, she handed the giraffe to Amara whose wail cut off like an engine. Alyshondra’s daughter giggled and shoved the giraffe’s foot into her mouth

Glancing from the gauges, which continued to show a steady altitude, to her daughter, Alyshondra grinned and settled back into the rhythm of flight. “Well, done,  little one.” She leaned forward and made a note on her logbook for the trip home. “MASCON discovered by Amara’s giraffe…”



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7 thoughts on “For my assistant’s birthday, have a Lady Astronaut short story”

  1. Happy You-Survived-Another-Trip-Around-The-Sun, Alyshondra! May you have many more, and may the count always be right 🙂

    That’s a lovely little story, just the thing a pilot would encounter, solve and blithely keep flying after having solved it, because pilots can’t rest on solving a problem; you always have to look out for the next one.

  2. Happy birthday, Alyshondra! My 5-month-old has a stuffed dimetrodon not a giraffe, but close enough. 🙂

  3. Happy Birthday, Alyshondra!
    One of my favorite book’s as a kid was “Now We Are Six” by A. A. Milne. My mother and I would quote the poems to each other.

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