March 1st, 1953, Kerbinia Mission Control; live on national radio.
Gene: “How does it look Valentina”.
As the public affairs officer is about to ask why there is no reply, Gene holds up his hand, and Werner quickly whispers in his ear that there’s a few seconds delay each way, so talking must be done in a special way, which Gene and Valentina have practised.
Valentina: “Well, it’s quite cool and all being here, but it honestly looks like a big rock that got hit too much by other smaller rocks. Earth is more beautiful, although the Moon does have the same sort of beauty as the Kiberian wastes in the dead of winter”.
Gene: “How’re things going with the payload”.
Valentina: “The experiments have worked like a charm, and I’m finishing up my reports after this broadcast. All of it should be of interest to the boys in the lab”.
Gene: “Alright, I have promised our glorious leader to congratulate you on your achievement and that he is looking forward to meeting you after your safe return”.
Valentina: “I am looking forward to it as well, Valentina out”.
As the radio broadcast switch to commentaries from the Ministry of Information and Truth, the PA officer gives Gene a thumbs up, and as he leaves, the radio is turned back on.
Gene: “OK Val, nice show there. Got an update from flight, and it looks like the free-return trajectory isn’t as exact as calculated, so flight is going to give you some burn instructions to ensure that you end up back here on time, without burning up or being completely smooshed”.
Valentina: “Appreciate it, see you when I’m back down Gene”.