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February 23, 2007

Jeff R.: Nowhere to Go but Up

Mankind's first permanent dwellings beyond Earth were established accidentally. There were 212 people working in orbit, when panicked terrestrial governments destroyed dozens of satelites, filling geosynchronous orbit with shrapnel that destoyed other satelites, making more orbital shrapnel, and so on. The manned stations evacuated to a higher orbit before the orbital debris cascade reached them, leaving them stranded, with no chance of relief or resupply.

With supreme effort and luck, those stranded astronauts completed work on the Mars Voyager, already designed to support a crew nearly that size for years and establish a colony. Which they did, six years later.

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