The odds were against them every step of the way.
"Drugged with figures, working more and more from sheer obstinacy, stubbornly trying everything I could think of to try, I came up with the conclusion that our chances of getting to Mars, when we left the soil of Earth, had been about a thousand to one against. And they weren't very much better now."
Bill Easson has made it out of Earth's doomed atmosphere in his lifeship - with ten Earthling expats in tow - but countless questions had followed them. Was Earth really doomed? How many more lives could they have saved with more time to prepare? Would there even be enough fuel to get to Mars?
And to what lengths will they go to get themselves there?