He thought back to what had brought him to this point. On the 3rd of December, 2041, President Antonio Gladwell of the United States signed Order 39.53.C, which granted the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) over 48 billion dollars of additional funding for a manned mission to Enceladus. Over the next year, the mission became highly publicized and became somewhat of a global event. Conceptual work for the Falcon Scott began, as the bright young engineers at NASA worked day and night to get the mission going. Next, came the crew.
In 2043, NASA opened up applications for positions onboard the Falcon Scott. Initially they planned on a four-man crew, but after seeing the incredible response from the applicant pool, they expanded the mission to six on board. Among the finalists were Dr. David Banks, the Clinical Microbiologist who had made quite a name for himself in the field for his ground-breaking research on the now-treatable H3N2 Influenza strained that plagued much of Europe in the late 30s.
After several additional rounds of interviews and medical physicals, Dr. Banks was selected.
The young bachelor physician brought a whole new aspect to the crew and the mission. While the mission had already brought new excitement to space exploration, the addition of Dr. Banks created a bit of a celebrity feel to the crew. In the six months preceding lift-off, he and the crew did numerous television interviews. There was even a brief reality series depicting their training at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The crew enjoyed their new-found celebrity and the perks that came along with it.
In addition to Dr. Banks, there were five other members of the crew: Shreya Mehta, the Punjabi engineer; Peter Arnette, the adopted Chinese-American geologist, Rebecca Sinclair, a petite blonde-haired Caucasian physicist from California, Emily Callender, a well-known red-headed chemist from Virginia, and Timothy Hartwell, a black British engineer whose work on nuclear reactors made headlines several years ago.
The six of them were frequently seen on newspapers, magazines, and teleivision hand-in-hand wearing their dark blue jump suits with NASA embroidered on the left breast. For six months, they trained together and extensively learned each others personality strengths and quirks. They had become close to family by this point.
But can they be trusted?
Six hours ago, that question wouldn't have crossed his mind.
Now, he was afraid.