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“Vimana” by Faroukh Virani
Two Indian astronauts must cope with the death of their captain on a one-way voyage to the nearest Earth-like sanctuary.
Set in the near future, three Indian astronauts are on a one-way trip to a distant planet, Gliese 581g. Unfortunately, the ship’s captain, Rishi, passes away after an adverse reaction to the hyper-sleep. Now it’s up to the two remaining astronauts, Pankaj and Naaz, to come together and land the vessel in his memory.
To complicate things, India’s mission control requires them to jettison the corpse in order to avoid bringing biological contaminates to the new planet. But Naaz, who has fallen in love with Rishi, refuses to let this happen. While Pankaj finds her actions weak and in direct compromise of the mission, Naaz must prove that strength comes from a place that is elevated far above scientific protocol—and is what makes us human in this great expanse called the cosmos.
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