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  • Writer's pictureJacob Yanoff

Trip to Mars

Landon, Age 9 West Sand Lake Elementary

"That's not gonna happen, " Daniel said. Laughing harder than mankind has seen before. "Yes it will." I said. "No it won't, NASA will be sending that rocket to Mars in a day. Unless all the atoms in the universe are perfectly aligned or Sir Isaac Newton was wrong and their is no such thing as gravity. Then no, it's not going to happen." "Why couldn't  I have been born in 1998?" "ok, so listen, my name is Jacques Evans and I want to be the first person to go on Mars. But y' know I'm 14 and that's just not gonna happen. Mae and my brother Daniel live in the suburbs of Topeka, Kansas. 189 Oath Lane to be exact. I entered my house to see my dad Cuho. I'm named after watching Topeka News 103. The governor was on their talking about what not and then there was breaking news. "Did the corner store up the street get robbed again for the 1,000,000th time?" My dad said, " The news guy said 'we have breaking news that NASA was delayed their rocket to Mars due to a technical difficulty." Right then a light bulb clicked. I ran upstairs to where my brother now was and said, "we're building a rocket." "Excuse me? Come again?" "I said, we're building a rocket to Mars." "You need to stop, even if he could it would take years to get there. NASA's takes a month. And they aren't leaking the blueprints so Space X can't copy them." "Then we'll break in NASA headquarters wherever in God's name that is." Daniel gave me a look. "Where's NASA headquarters?" I said. " I dunno look it up," Daniel said. My mother walked in the room. "Watcha guys want for dinner? We're going to that burger place in the city." "Lettuce, cheese, beef, and ketchup." We said at the same time. "Maria! come on!" my dad said. "Bye guys."I looked up on my phone where they were launching the rocket. "Houston," I said," Y'know who lives there, Sianna, Jorge, and Uncle Louis." "I'll pay for the plane tickets, oh sorry. I meant ticket." "How?" I asked. We went to his bedroom and he showed me his secret stash of cash. He had at least a half a million. "Where did you get this?" "You don't wanna know." "Bu wait, you said ticket. You're not coming? I can't do this without you." He gave one very long sigh and said, "...Fine." "Thanks dude!" "Okay, Okay, our next step is to find a flight." We went to our computer to do some research. "$105 round trip per person, it should take an estimated 2 hours." I said. "Okay, but which airline?" "I dunno. We've only flown American and Delta, not United and Southwest." "Let's just do Southwest." We bought seat 32 A and 32B. Our flight was at 9:00 PM at Topeka International Airport the next day.

Later that night we asked our parents if we could see Jorge and Sianna, just the two of us. "I don't know," my mom said. "It's okay Mom. We called Uncle Louis. He said he'll meet us there," Daniel said. "Well...I guess."

The next morning we packed our things and my mom dropped us off. We went through security with ease and grabbed dinner at McDonald's. Our plane got delayed for 30 minutes but we still got on. They had T.V. on screens, so I just watched the Incredibles 3 till we arrived. "Here we are. Good ol' Texas. Let's go call an Uber?" I said. A blue 2021 Chevy pick-up truck pulled up. "33 Aral Lane." my brother said. "That's really funny..." "The Uber driver said, "Why?" "Because I live there!" The Uber driver turned around and it was Uncle Lou's. "Hey how are my nephews doing?" "We're doing good." "What brings you here?" coming to see Jorge and Sienna. He drove us to his house and let us sleep in his guest room. I ended up waking up at 3:00 in the morning. I decided to just get breakfast and watch T.V. for 5 hours. After watching the same T.v. show for an eternity everybody cracked up. "What are you guys doing here?" Sianna said. While we're here I should mention Sianna and Jorge are fraternal twins around the age of 10. Sianna was born without an arm, so she has a prosthetic. "Nothing much, just, er...staying...for a bit." I said. "Wait, how'd you?" "Sianna, your breakfasts been here for 2 minutes. Eat it!" Uncle Lou said. We sat down and ate breakfast. After breakfast me and Daniel planned our break-in. "I find a key card, Use our map to find the rocket. Draw vivid image of said rocket, and hightail it out of there." Daniel said. "It's a fifteen minute walk...I think we're ready," I said. We told Uncle Lou is we were going out and left. After we left we arrived at the base. We jumped the fence conveniently found a key card. We entered the building and we both realized we were committing a crime. Using our map we found our way to the rocket. "Dang it. The doors need a k" Immediately Daniel picked the lock before I could finish my sentence. We entered the room and were immediately noticed. "Shout." We forgot the plan even existed. She ran up some stairs and grabbed the blueprints. Some guards were chasing us. We tried to run to the nearest exit, but we were cornered."Hands in the air." The guard said. I grabbed Daniel's arm and jumped down. We lost the map so were just running through the building.

Eventually, we found an exit and ran faster than Usain Bolt. We bolted inside the house and ran to the bathroom. The good news, I didn't throw up. The bad news, Daniel did. We hung out on the couch and relaxed and thought about what just happened. "So how was it?"Uncle Louis said. " Er...okay I guess,"I said. Uncle Louis mouthed something that looked like "teenagers." We ordered out for dinner and went to bed. The next morning we cruised round the neighborhood looking for a junkyard. Eventually, we found one and took all the parts needed for a rocket and two space suits. We went to the grocerystore and bought a bunch of food.

Finally, we were ready. We spent 5 days building that rocket, There was a lot of screaming. More than when I held the flashlight while my dad fixed his car. WE spent the next 2 hours testing this thing and eventually, "Okay its pretty for wait its not stopping, uhhh!" Dave said, "We're going up."  When we left the atmosphere the yelling stopped. We saw Texas, Mexico, America and whole yards. We spent weeks in the rocket surviving off of junk food. One day, we saw a big red planet. There it was. Once we landed on Mars we grabbed our space suits and went out. We took a photo and jumped around, like Neil Armstrong on the moon. We were so happy we spent another day on Mars before quickly leaving after realizing NASA would come soon. The trip home was amazing. But finally, we landed in a park in multiple police officers. "Get on the ground," "I think we should have seen this coming."

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