Jeff Phillips: The Starman’s Luminous Hanukkah [Repost]

Drinkers with Writing Problems

Jasper Mangold had been in orbit for eight months. His work was mostly maintenance on damaged satellites, redirection of the strays, some meteorological observation. Despite daily exercises on a machine that looked like a rowboat, a bicycle, a hamster wheel, and apparatus hanging in a meat locker, his muscles were starting to feel like nothing. Loss of muscle density in zero gravity was no joke, limbs start to look smaller and coordination flounders; not good when navigation of a starship requires precision. He still had a month before the rotation called for his descent. But there was something else that seemed to dwindle. Maybe it was his curiosity. A sense of stir crazy had maybe eroded. He was just there. There was so much out there.

He looked at his calendar and realized it was the first day of Hanukkah. There were no presents on the way for him. A…

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