“Most rockets, see now, they weren’t designed to land.”
It was pristine: repaired, repainted, shiny as the day it first flew. The kids filed past, some listening, some not. They were hungry, or bored, or distracted; they were children.
“The ones that stayed on Earth, they were designed to go up and spit out a bomb, and then the rocket didn’t matter any more. It just fell, wasted. Burned up, or crashed. The ones we came here in, came to Mars in,” he smiled proudly, and gently laid a reverent hand on a fin, “these babies were designed to land.”